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A L W A Y S

F R E E

ISSUE 277 Jan. 22–Feb. 4, 2020


JANUARY 24–25 • HANCHER AUDITORIUM

HANCHER.UIOWA.EDU • (319) 335-1160 OR 800-HANCHER The performance on Saturday, January 25, at 1 pm, will feature an American Sign Language interpreter. Audio Description is also available for this performance.


Miró Quartet and Kiera Duffy, soprano

$10

STUDENT TICKETS

Personal Revolution Wednesday, January 29, 7:30 pm

A collaboration with the University of Iowa String Quartet Residency Program The Miró Quartet and soprano Kiera Duffy will explore the revolutionary music of one of Beethoven’s middle quartets—as well as music by composers he inspired. Schubert was part of an innovative group of artists, poets, and musicians in Vienna after Beethoven; Berg emerged from the postFreudian psychological revolution of the 1910s and 1920s; and George Crumb was immersed in the radical climate of the 1960s and 1970s. PROGRAM (subject to change):

EVENT SPONSORS:

Schubert: Quartettsatz in C Minor, D 703

Mace and Kay Braverman

Schubert: “Gretchen am Spinnrade,” “Im Frühling,” and “Der Erlkönig”

Richard and Judith Hurtig

Kiera Duffy

Berg: Lyric Suite Crumb: Three Early Songs Beethoven: Quartet in E Minor, Op. 59, No. 2

TICKETS: ADULT: $40 | $30 | $20 COLLEGE STUDENT: $36 | $10 YOUTH: $20 | $10

Order online hancher.uiowa.edu Call (319) 335-1160 or 800-HANCHER

Photo: Suntory Hall

Accessibility Services (319) 335-1158

Discover more at hancher.uiowa.edu Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Hancher in advance at (319) 335-1158.


Kids

$10

STUDENT TICKETS

Gina Chavez Saturday, February 1 2:00 & 5:00 pm New this season, we’re turning the club over to the kids— and the adults who love them, of course!

Austin, Texas, boasts a spectacular music scene, and Gina Chavez is a ten-time Austin Music Award winner and was named the Austin Musician of the Year in 2015. Chavez traverses boundaries—in her musical styles, her bilingual lyrics, and her work as a cultural ambassador with the U.S. State Department—and creates a welcoming space for all. After spending time in El Salvador, she found a passion for working with young people, creating this family-friendly concert that will be the inaugural Kids Club Hancher event. TICKETS: ADULT: $40 | $30 | $20 COLLEGE STUDENT: $36 | $10 YOUTH: $20 | $10

Order online hancher.uiowa.edu Call (319) 335-1160 or 800-HANCHER Photo: Spencer Selvidge

Photo: Suntory Hall

Accessibility Services (319) 335-1158

EVENT SPONSORS: Hancher Showcase/Hancher Guild

Discover more at hancher.uiowa.edu Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Hancher in advance at (319) 335-1158.


Rosanne Cash

$10

STUDENT TICKETS

Saturday, February 8, 7:30 pm Carrying the legacy of her famous musical family forward, Rosanne Cash is one of the great singer-songwriters of our time. Pitchfork calls her latest record, She Remembers Everything, “a collection of miniatures that collectively paint a vivid, haunting portrait of the blessings and bruises of life.” A passionate learner and activist, Cash will also participate in a series of residency events while on campus. TICKETS: ADULT: $65 | $55 | $45 COLLEGE STUDENT: $58 | $10 YOUTH: $32 | $10

Order online hancher.uiowa.edu Call (319) 335-1160 or 800-HANCHER Accessibility Services (319) 335-1158

EVENT PARTNERS: Norma and David Carlson H. Dee and Myrene Hoover Jeffrey and Kristine Nielsen Shive-Hattery Architecture + Engineering

RELATED EVENT: Creative Matters Lecture: Rosanne Cash

Friday, February 7 7:00–8:00 pm Hancher Auditorium This event is free and open to the public

Discover more at hancher.uiowa.edu Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Hancher in advance at (319) 335-1158.


VOL. 28 ISSUE 277 Jan. 22–Feb. 4, 2020 ALWAYS FREE LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM PUBLISHER MATTHEW STEELE

Zak Neumann / Little Village

DIGITAL DIRECTOR DREW BULMAN ART DIRECTOR JORDAN SELLERGREN MANAGING EDITOR EMMA MCCLATCHEY ARTS EDITOR GENEVIEVE TRAINOR NEWS DIRECTOR PAUL BRENNAN VISUAL REPORTER—PHOTO ZAK NEUMANN VISUAL REPORTER­—VIDEO JASON SMITH STAFF WRITER/EDITOR IZABELA ZALUSKA FOOD & DRINK DIRECTOR FRANKIE SCHNECKLOTH DISTRIBUTION

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Why-owa?

Caucus 101

‘I Was There’

Becoming first in the nation had less to do with politics than hotel room vacancies.

Whether it’s your first or 15th time caucusing, Feb. 3 will hold a few suprises.

Everyone from drag queens to Bruce Harreld will gather to commemorate Stonewall.

PAUL BRENNAN

JOHN DEETH

KEMBREW MCLEOD

8 - Interactions 10 - Brock About Town 14 - Caucus Guide 20 - En Español 22 - Bread & Butter

28 - Prairie Pop 31 - Staff Picks 32 - A-List 35 - Events Calendar 49 - Dear Kiki

51 - Ad Index 53 - Astrology 55 - Local Albums 57 - Local Books 59 - Crossword

BRIAN JOHANNESSEN, DAI GWILLIAM, NORBERT SARSFIELD, NICOLE ELDRIDGE, THEO PRINEAS MARKETING COORDINATOR, GRAPHIC DESIGNER JAV DUCKER ENGAGEMENT EDITOR CELINE ROBINS ADVERTISING ADS@LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM LISTINGS CALENDAR@LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM CONTRIBUTORS DANIEL BOSCALJON, AUDREY BROCK, LEV CANTORAL, JOHN DEETH, LISA DONATO, MARC FALK, MANNY GALVEZ, MELANIE HANSON, JOHN MARTINEK, KEMBREW MCLEOD, TREY REIS, SAMM RODRIGUEZ, GAGE SKIDMORE, CLAIRE THOELE, TOM TOMORROW, PAIGE UNDERWOOD, SAM LOCKE WARD, KENT WILLIAMS, PAUL ZONE SUBMISSIONS EDITOR@LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM DISTRIBUTION REQUESTS DISTRO@LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM CREATIVE SERVICES CREATIVE@LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM CONTACT (319) 855-1474, 623 S DUBUQUE

Little Village is an independent, community-supported news and culture publication based in Iowa City. Through journalism, essays and events, we work to improve our community in the Iowa City, Coralville and Cedar Rapids area according to a few core values: environmental sustainability, affordability and access, economic and labor justice, racial justice, gender equity, quality healthcare, quality education and critical culture. Letters to the editor(s) are always welcome. We reserve the right to fact check and edit for length and clarity. Please send letters, comments or corrections to editor@littlevillagemag.com. Little Village is always free; all contents are the licensed work of the contributor and of the publication. If you would like to reprint or collaborate on new content, reach us at lv@littlevillagemag.com. To browse back issues, visit us at 623 S Dubuque St, Iowa City, or online at issuu.com/littlevillage.

A L W A Y S

F R E E

ISSUE 277 Jan. 22–FEb. 4, 2020

ST, IOWA CITY, IA 52240

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INTERACTIONS LV encourages community members, including candidates for office, to submit letters to Editor@LittleVillageMag.com. To be considered for print publication, letters should be under 500 words. Preference is given to letters that have not been published elsewhere.

Ernst says world ‘is safer’ because Trump ordered killing of Iranian general; experts predict ‘war is coming’

fight. I agree the man was not a nice person, but I fear that we are in for a terrible mess because of it. —Billie M.M.

If it made us safer then why are people being told to leave Iraq, to be on high alert in other areas, and we’re sending 3,000 more troops to the Middle East? Those are strange consequences to being safer, aren’t they? —Julie B.

In other news, the Australian bush is a blazing apocalyptic inferno because of the inactions of people just like Trump. Ernst can take that pipe and smoke it… —A

A better headline would be “Joni Ernst Publicly Voices Support for US War Crime” —Riley S.W.

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She would be singing a different tune if she, or someone she cares about (if there are any), were heading into a life threatening

Judge orders Iowa to pay an additional $3.1 million because Gov. Terry Branstad violated state’s LGBTQ discrimination law I’d love to see a state law requiring anyone convicted of discrimination to pay the settlement from his/her own resources. I’m OK with the state paying for the initial


Have an opinion?

BETTER WRITE ABOUT IT! Send letters to editor@littlevillagemag.com FIND THIS ISSUE’S FUTILE WRATH IN THE CAUCUS SECTION, PG. 14! legal expenses...but I’d support paying NOTHING from state resources once the original verdict is in. —Rose R. “The case, and its billable legal hours, aren’t over yet. In November, Gov. Kim Reynolds said it would be ‘irresponsible’ not to appeal the jury’s verdict.” Wow. Can the people of Iowa sue Branstad for that money since he’s off making money in [China]? —Michelle A.

SHOP HALF-PRICE GIFT CARDS

/LittleVillage

READER POLL: Democrats: Which issue will most affect who you support in the caucus? Climate change Health care Immigration Jobs/economy

READER PERKS

51.9% 37% 7.4% 3.7%

State Auditor: ‘Bad data’ from Iowa DHS make it impossible to assess state’s Medicaid home health program One of my clients has to live at UIHC—only needs about 5 hours in home health care. We have failed people with disabilities. I hope the story comes out more rapidly now. It’s been going on for years. —Tamara R. Privatization has done nothing positive for Medicaid. —Nasreen S.

Gov. Kim Reynolds calls for an anti-abortion amendment to the Iowa Constitution Has she ever even spoken to a woman who

Baroncini — $20 for $10 Goldfinch Cyclrey — $50 for $25 Micky’s Irish Pub — $20 for $10 Maggie’s Farm Wood-Fired Pizza — $20 for $10 Reunion Brewery — $20 for $10 Willow & Stock — $20 for $10 Raygun — $20 for $10 Home Ec. Workshop — $20 for $10 Pop’s BBQ — $20 for $10 Ten Thousand Villages — $20 for $10 Joseph’s Steakhouse — $20 for $10 Almost Famous Popcorn Company — $20 for $10 Dandy Lion — $20 for $10 Design Ranch — $50 for $25 Café Dodici — $20 for $10 Groundswell Coworking — $15 for $30 / $75 for $150 Groundswell Cafe — $20 for $10

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BR OCK ABOUT TOWN

INTERACTIONS

/LittleVillage

READER POLL: Which former 2020 candidate do you wish was still in the running? Kamala Harris 52% Cory Booker 36% Beto O’Rourke 8% Other 4%

had an abortion? Does she have any clue what they’ve been through? Obviously not. —Ronda K. No argument for or against. The problem is, it can be done. We have the ability to perform abortions therefore we have an obligation to make sure they are as safe as possible. We do not need women dead on butcher tables or bleeding out on their way home or a preventable infection taking their lives. It can be done therefore me must make sure it is done safely. —Juanita G.

S T R E S S F R A C T U R E S

10 Jan. 22–Feb. 4, 2020 LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM/LV277

JOHN

MARTINEK

My dear readers, as I write this, Iowa City is buckling down for some serious snow. I went to Hy-Vee this morning, where a 50-yearold woman elbowed me in the ribs because I was blocking her access to a five-pound box of Rice-a-Roni. When I made the pathetic little scoffing noise that passes for confrontation in such a situation, she shrugged and said, “Sorry. I need it for Winter Storm Jacob.” Is it just me, or is “Jacob” an incredibly wimpy-sounding name for life-threatening weather conditions? That’s borderline irresponsible. Nobody’s going to stay home for fear of encountering Jacob. All this snow, freezing rain and Rice-a-Roni (I bought a box. What? It’s good) just make me want to crawl into bed and sleep for a thousand years, or at least until April. It feels like most of us are pretty low-energy right now. Don’t believe me? Go to Bread Garden. I guarantee you’ll see at least three people standing slack-jawed and empty-eyed in front of the candy section. And why wouldn’t they? The holidays are over, spring is well in the future and for most of us, life is just: go to work/shovel the driveway/lay on the couch and watch some genuinely horrifying news stories unfold. When one of the six continents inhabited by man is apparently burning to the ground and America’s about to start its, what, 10th war this year, it’s hard to be particularly motivated to go plastic-free or learn Italian. Believe me, I get it. Even my parents have stopped asking when I’m going to get a real job and started celebrating the little victories. There’s nothing more humiliating than having your dad tell you “good job” for putting your tax forms in an envelope and putting that envelope in the mail instead of just handing it to him. That said, don’t let yourself get discouraged. Stay warm, stay safe, have some soup and get back at it after the storm passes. After all, you’ve got things to do—many of you are going back to class this week—and do you really want to have to say you got your butt kicked by Jacob? —Audrey Brock


Our City. Your Exploration. Every visit has its own story. Request a Free Visitor Guide and write your story at tourismcedarrapids.com


INTERACTIONS I don’t think the governor knows what a necessity is. A necessity is having the right to make a difficult decision where your own well-being is concerned. A necessity is access to affordable healthcare for all Iowans. A necessity is clean air and water. A necessity is paid family leave. —Garry K. Call her office, show up to march, and vote her out. She does not represent me. —Lindsey K.

Arcade gaming returns to downtown Iowa City Did Critical Hit Games just become the best store ever? Cause I already love them as it is. —Z.X.

Downtown Hot Cocoa Crawl Fri, Jan. 31, 5 pm / Downtown Iowa City Brian Johannesen Album Release Party Fri, Jan, 31, 7 pm / The Mill

Lea Bertucci + Saariselka (Chuck Johnson & Marielle V Jakobsons) Fri, Jan, 31, 7 pm / Trumpet Blossom Cafe

Please say there’s a Centipede machine. Please say there’s a Centipede machine. Please say there’s a Centipede machine. —Andrew S. As someone who’s played them at [Critical Hit] already, I can honestly say it’s an amazing experience! Alongside all the cool arcade games there is a huge selection of board games, and Chance has been more than informative (will demo them with you if he’s not busy). Looking forward to the Street Fighter! —Tallen M.W.

The Home Show

Feb. 7-9, Hours Vary / Coralville Marriott Conference Center

Cheers to 100 Years - United Way of Johnson & Washington Counties

Sat, Feb. 8, 6:30 pm / Coralville Marriott Hotel & Conference Center

Winter Wine Party

Sun, Feb. 9, 3 pm / Brix Cheese Shop & Wine Bar

Think Iowa City Foodie Festival

Sat, Feb. 15, 6 pm / Coralville Marriott Hotel & Conference Center

The Domestic Violence Intervention Program's 23rd Annual "Souper Bowl"

Thu, Feb. 20, 5:30 pm / Coralville Marriott Hotel & Conference Center

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Reader-Submitted Photos: Faces Dyas rocks, of course. Sivan is cinematic. Hofmaier captures mundane elegance. —Patrick M.


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LittleVillageMag.com

IT’S A QUESTION THAT’S BEEN ASKED with increasing frequency over the past four decades: Why does Iowa go first in the presidential nominating process? Is it because the state is a unique repository of American values? Or because Iowans are remarkable judges of character? As flattering as those explanations may be, neither is correct. The reason Iowa goes first is because of the limited number of available hotel rooms in the Des Moines area in 1972. Iowa had been using a caucus system for most of the 20th century, but after the 1968 election, during a national push to reform how parties chose their presidential candidates, significant changes were made to how the system worked. The idea was to take power away from party bosses and open up the selection process to average people. Among the reforms the Iowa Democratic Party adopted was a requirement to issue advance notice before each of the four stages of the nominating process—the process that starts with caucuses and ends with the state party convention. (The caucus selected delegates for the county convention, which selected delegates for the congressional district conventions, which selected delegates for the state convention, where the final decision regarding candidates was made.) Thus, the timing of the state convention would determine the date of the caucus. And the state party convention, like any other convention, needed hotel rooms for its participants, which are more scarce in the summertime. Party officials had to work around what was available. So, instead of holding the caucus near the middle of the primary season, as was the custom, the caucus ended up being scheduled for Jan. 24, 1972. That made the Iowa Caucus the first candidate contest in 1972 (at least for Democrats; Iowa Republicans didn’t launch their caucus until 1976). The primary in New Hampshire, the state that traditionally voted first, was held March 7 that year. “It was not a plan [to increase Iowa’s political significance], and in 1972, it made no difference,” David Redlawsk told the Washington Post in 2012. Redlawsk, the principal author of Why Iowa?, is 14 Jan. 22–Feb. 4, 2020

a political science professor at the University of Delaware and a leading expert on the Iowa Caucus. In 1972, “undecided” won the caucus, finishing slightly ahead of Sen. Edmund Muskie of Maine and winning 36 percent of the vote. Four years later, things were much the same. The caucus was held in January again, for the same reasons it had been in 1972. “Undecided” won again, with 37 percent of the vote. But one thing did change that year, and it ended up shifting the way the rest of the country thought about the Iowa Caucus. In 1976, Gov. Jimmy Carter of Georgia claimed victory in the caucus, even though he finished nine Jimmy percentage points behind “undeCarter, 1976 cided.” But more importantly for the future of the Iowa Caucus, Carter made his “win” a major talking point in his campaign. He said the vote in Iowa was compelling evidence that he was a serious national candidate, despite the fact that few people outside of Georgia knew who he was. Whether or not that’s true, Carter went on to win the Democratic nomination and the presidency. Suddenly, political pundits started talking about the strategic importance of Iowa. Edmund Muskie, 1980

In 1980, George H.W. Bush of Texas actually won the GOP caucus, beating Ronald Reagan and five other Republicans.

George H.W. Bush, 1976

In 1980, Iowa went first again—this time it wasn’t an accident—and a Republican tried to repeat what Carter had done. George H.W. Bush of Texas (by way of Connecticut, Maine and Washington D.C.) actually won the GOP caucus, beating Ronald Reagan and five other Republicans. Like Carter, Bush claimed it meant he had wide appeal to voters. Or rather, “Big Mo.” “Now they will be after me, howling and yowling at my heels,” Bush said about the other Republican candidates after he won in Iowa. “What we will have is momentum. We will look forward to Big Mo being on our side, as they say in athletics.” Bush, it turned out, didn’t have Big Mo. He only won eight primaries after Iowa. Ronald Reagan crushed him in the contest for the GOP nomination, and then offered Bush the consolation prize of the vice presidency. But even if Bush didn’t have Big Mo, the Iowa Caucus did after 1980. Its role in presidential politics had gone from unplanned to unavoidable. Candidates from both parties come to the state, eager for a win to show they are serious contenders with big momentum. Which is why hotel rooms in the Des Moines area are always full of members of the media on Caucus Day. ––Paul Brennan


F U T I L E W R A T H

S A M LO C K E WA R D

LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM/LV277 Jan. 22–Feb. 4, 2020 15


COMMUNITY

Jordan Sellergren

LittleVillageMag.com

PREP TO CAUCUS The Iowa caucuses are a fickle beast, especially in the state’s most populous communities. John Deeth, a caucus organizer for the Johnson County Democrats and political blogger, shared some advice for aspiring caucusers. Be in it for the long haul Caucus night is like game day. It’s exciting and we all want the Hawks to win. But you don’t expect to walk in, watch a game highlights clip and go home. You’re there for a long time, two or three hours for the caucuses. And not every play is an exciting thing like a long touchdown pass. Sometimes you’re stopped at the line of scrimmage, the ref throws a flag and you have to sit around and wait while the three refs talk among themselves and figure out the call and everyone else is confused. And you can’t expect to show up 15 minutes before kickoff and get a parking space across the street from Kinnick Stadium. Prepare for crowds The caucuses in Johnson County are going to be very, very crowded. It’s important to remember that everyone, including me, is a volunteer and is legitimately trying to do their best in a tough situation. The caucus process was never meant to be a mass participation event that was the equivalent of an election. It was meant to be the handful of core party activists in the precinct—20 or 40 people who were familiar with the process and rules and were meeting at their friend’s house. In some parts of Iowa, it’s still like that: In 2016, the mean average attendance statewide was 102 16 Jan. 22–Feb. 4, 2020 LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM/LV277

people, and the median was just 65, so that kind of process still works in most of the state. But in Johnson County, the average was 342. We had seven of the 10 biggest precincts in the state and 19 of the top 40. Our biggest was 945 and we expect to top 1,000 some places this time. And a process that was designed for 20 to 40 people does not scale up well to a crowd of 1,000. We’ve done better with rooms than we did in 2016 but there are some places where the biggest room in or near the precinct is not big enough to hold everyone we expect to attend—and there’s nothing that can be done about that. There is not going to be enough parking anywhere, so walk or carpool if you can.

I’ve never been in a situation where my candidate was not viable in my precinct, but there have been years when I knew my candidate’s chances in the big picture were poor, and that’s emotionally hard. A friend of mine who supported a candidate who has dropped out had this advice: “I used to have a candidate, now I have a choice.” You can move to a second choice, or you can move in a way that hurts the candidate you like the least. That’s a tiebreaker you can decide for yourself. Is it more important to me that my first choice be recorded for the history books, even though they’re doing poorly and may drop out later tonight? Or is the overall direction of the party and campaign more important?

Things may look different than past caucuses There are a couple changes to the alignment process this year. The biggest is that the raw vote count at the end of the first alignment will be reported. In the past, the Democrats never reported vote counts at all, just delegate numbers. So a caucus-goer who is supporting a non-viable candidate on the first alignment will need to decide: do I realign now, or do I stay with my first choice candidate to get my vote counted, and then move at re-alignment time? The other change is that, once you’re in a viable group, you can’t move. It used to be that campaigns would send people over to another group to make them viable and hurt a different candidate. Example: We had a place last time where Hillary was at two delegates, Bernie at one and O’Malley was just short of viable. Hillary’s crew sent some spare people over to O’Malley to make him viable so that Bernie would not get another delegate. You can’t do that anymore.

Undecided? Get ready to commit. One thing I worry about here: In the past, a lot of undecided people would just go to the Uncommitted group, and then make their decision at realignment time. This year, there’s a risk of getting stuck in an Uncommitted group that’s accidentally viable. So if you’re Uncommitted, you need to keep track of that, and you may need to move sooner than you want to.

Do some research, and choose a strategy It will help to have a realistic and honest assessment about your candidate’s chances.

Feel free to dress to impress This isn’t an election, where campaigning in the polling place is illegal. This is a party meeting and you’re allowed to try to persuade people. Nothing is secret. (That’s actually one complaint about caucuses versus primaries—some people very strongly want to make their choice in secret. In other states, there were complaints in 2016 about bullying in caucus settings.) Shirts, stickers and buttons are OK. So are signs—though we are telling campaigns in Johnson County not to put signs on the walls. Candidate signs should be held. Our site hosts are concerned about messes and damage, and they’re being very gracious about letting us use their buildings (even though in some cases they’re required to by law, it’s still appreciated).


F U T I L E W R A T H

S A M LO C K E WA R D

LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM/LV277 Jan. 22–Feb. 4, 2020 17


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THE STRANGE CASE OF JOHN DELANEY T.V. photo by mxmstryo via Flikr, collage by Jordan Sellergren

BY PAUL BRENNAN

P

residential candidate John Delaney can’t win. Literally. Also, metaphorically. The first part should be obvious. Delaney stands no chance of winning the Iowa Caucus. Or finishing second. Or third. He won’t win a caucus or primary in any state. But the conventions of American political journalism prevent reporters from acknowledging certain obvious things. In the same way Donald Trump’s blatant racism is described with evasive euphemisms such as “racially tinged language,” Delaney is called “a long-shot candidate,” even though it is obvious he will not be elected president in 2020. Delaney shows no signs of dropping out before the Feb. 3 caucus, despite being left out of the last debate. And the one before that. And the one before that. Delaney bought TV airtime in Iowa during the Jan. 14 debate to run a commercial reminding people he’s running for president. He could do that, not because he has a strong donor base—he doesn’t—but because he’s a multi-millionaire who wants to be president. 18 Jan. 22–Feb. 4, 2020 LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM/LV277

LittleVillageMag.com

Which brings us to why John Delaney can’t win in a metaphorical sense. As one impressive Democratic candidate after another has dropped out of the 2020 race, citing fundraising problems as a major reason—Kirsten Gillibrand, Julián Castro, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker—there has been increasing attention focused on self-financing rich men trying to buy the presidency. But all the attention is focused on billionaires Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg. That’s not fair. John Delaney should be the poster-boy for this phenomena. Unlike Steyer and Bloomberg, Delaney does have experience in elected office. He was a two-term congressman who represented Maryland’s 6th District. A Democrat was always going to be elected to that district in the first election after the district’s boundaries were redrawn following the 2010 census, and Delaney, in his run for office, self-financed his way to a win using part of the vast personal wealth he accrued in his business career. (He started and sold two financial services companies.) How vast is that personal wealth? In 2018, Delaney’s final year in Congress, Roll Call listed him as the sixth wealthiest member of Congress. Using financial disclosure documents, the paper estimated Delaney’s net worth at $92.6 million. Those millions allowed Delaney to set a new record by declaring his candidacy

2020 Campaign Lengths Kirstin Gillibrand: 225 days Kamala Harris: 316 days Cory Booker: 346 days Julián Castro: 355 days John Delaney, as of Feb. 3: 920 days

earlier than any other presidential candidate in American history. Delaney announced his 2020 run in a Washington Post op-ed on July 28, 2017. By the time Caucus Day arrives, he will have been running for president for 920 days. “I’ve stayed in this fight for you,” Delaney assured voters in his Jan. 14 commercial. Delaney has been steadily campaigning since the summer of 2017. Data journalism site FiveThirtyEight averages leading polls to determine a candidate’s overall support— Delaney is at 0.1 percent. That’s actually better than his standing in the most recent Iowa Poll; Delaney received 0 percent support from likely Democratic caucus-goers. But none of that matters as long as John Delaney still wants to be president, and is still willing to spend his own money. And he has been willing to spend. Delaney has contributed more than 90 percent of the money his campaign has received. And yet, despite the fact he tapped his bank account to get himself a seat in Congress and has been lighting millions on fire to fuel a comically long and unsuccessful presidential campaign, Delaney doesn’t rate a mention in stories about the 2020 phenomenon of rich men trying to buy their way into office. No one takes him seriously. In fact, he’s only had one major moment in the national spotlight since launching his campaign, which has focused on centrist policy proposals. “You know, I don’t understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running for president of the United States just to talk about what we really can’t do and shouldn’t fight for,” Elizabeth Warren said in reference to Delaney during the July 30 Democratic debate. “I don’t get it.” Whether Warren or anyone else gets it doesn’t matter, as long as Delaney can still pay the bills. In the ’90s, a number of very rich men busied themselves with long-distance hot air ballooning. More recently, wealthy men have developed an interest in space travel; others start a charitable organization named after themselves and host fundraising galas. Everyone needs a hobby. Instead of doing those things, John Delaney is running for president. But the guy just can’t win. Zak Neumann / Little Village


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Es nuestro tiempo POR MANNY GÁLVEZ

L

a elección del 2020 es sin duda, la elección de mayor trascendencia en décadas. Hoy podemos ver claramente el deterioro del sistema político de los Estados Unidos de América— en particular, el deterioro de la clase política tradicional. Y Iowa es un buen ejemplo de ello. Para nosotros esta elección es un asunto personal, no sólo político. Lo que los Latinos de Iowa hemos vivido en los últimos 3 años no tiene referente. Me refiero a la constante agresión social y política. Por ejemplo, leyes como la SF-481*, que no hacen otra cosa que amedrentar a nuestras comunidades, y las cuales envían un mensaje enfatizando que no somos bienvenidos. El discurso anti-migrante de varios políticos de Iowa, como el del Diputado Federal Steve King o el del legislador local Steven Holt no sólo han incentivado discursos de odio, sino que también han motivado a que una minoría en el estado cometa acciones directas contra los migrantes. Sólo necesitamos ver crímenes de odio como los que recientemente se cometieron en contra de Natalia Miranda en Des Moines, donde sufrió un intento de asesinato sólo por ser mexicana, o al menos esa fue la razón esgrimida por su agresora. Además, en Iowa se ha vivido un incremento muy significativo en las deportaciones, donde en su mayoría se deporta a personas que no tienen un historial criminal. La falta de representación de Latinos en Iowa, entre otros factores, se debe a la baja participación electoral de nuestras comunidades.

Jordan Sellergren / Zak Neumann / Little Village

La falta de participación no es algo cultural, sino por el contrario es el resultado de un olvido histórico por parte de las instituciones y de los propios partidos políticos. Los Latinos necesitamos ir a los “caucus” y apoyar a un candidato con honestidad, alguien que se comprometa a impulsar una reforma

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migratoria integral y humana, que tenga la disposición y la solidaridad con el pueblo trabajador para aumentar el salario mínimo, que proteja el medio ambiente, que apoye los derechos de las mujeres para decidir sobre su propio cuerpo, que permita a todo ser humano practicar su religión en libertad y, que promueva


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el acceso a la educación y a la salud como un derecho universal y humano. Ante esto, en lo personal, tengo la convicción que la mejor opción en este momento es el Senador Bernie Sanders, pues él ha sido quien ha dado voz a cientos de miles que vivíamos en las sombras. Es el único que se ha comprometido a promover una reforma migratoria integral. El Senador Sanders nos ha devuelto la esperanza mostrándonos que es posible que los ideales de fraternidad y unidad puedan sobreponerse al odio y al dinero. Él ha dedicado su vida a la lucha por el bienestar de todos—lo demostró como activista, como alcalde y como congresista. Él es una persona consecuente con sus palabras. No me cabe duda de que tiene la experiencia y el juicio para ser el presidente de los Estados Unidos de Norteamérica. El Sen. Bernie Sanders es quien puede asegurar que esta nación siga siendo la más prospera y fuerte en el mundo. Es un honor para mí apoyar un compañero de ideales. Nota: El respaldo político a Sanders refleja la opinión del autor, y no representa un respaldo político de Little Village.

It’s Our Time

WRITTEN AND TRANSLATED BY MANNY GÁLVEZ

T

he 2020 election is undoubtedly the most important election in decades. Today, we can clearly see the deterioration of the political system of the United States of America—in particular, the deterioration of the traditional political class, and Iowa is an

example of this. For us, this choice is not only a political matter, but also a personal one. What Iowa Latinos have lived in the last three years—a constant social and political aggression—is without precedent. For example, laws such as SF-481* do nothing but intimidate our communities by sending the message that we are not welcome. The anti-migrant discourse of several Iowa politicians such as that of Rep. Steve King and state Rep. Steven Holt has not only encouraged hate speech, but has also motivated a minority in Iowa to commit hate crimes and act directly against migrants. We might recall the hate crime committed against Natalia Miranda in Des Moines, in which the aggressor attempted to murder Natalia simply because she was Mexican, a reason her aggressor gave. In addition, there has been a significant increase in deportations in Iowa, where most of those deported do not have a criminal record. The lack of representation of Latinos in Iowa, among other factors, is due to the lack of electoral participation of our communities in general. Non-participation is not something cultural, but is instead the result of a historical omission by the institutions and the political parties themselves. We Latinos need to go to the caucuses to support an honest candidate, someone who is committed to promoting a comprehensive and humane immigration reform, who understands the plight of working people and increases the minimum wage, who protects the environment, who supports the rights of women to make decisions about their own bodies, who allows every human being to freely practice their religion, and who promotes access to education and

health as a universal human right. Given this, personally, I have the conviction that the best option at this time is Sen. Bernie Sanders, because he has given a voice to hundreds of thousands of individuals who have lived in the shadows. He is the only one who has committed himself to promoting comprehensive immigration reform. Sen. Sanders has given us hope by showing us that it is possible that the ideals of fraternity and unity can overcome hatred and money. He has dedicated his life to fight for the welfare of all—he has demonstrated this as an activist, as a mayor and as a congressman. He is consistent with his words. I have no doubt that he has the experience and the right judgment to be the president of the United States of America. Sen. Bernie Sanders is the one who can ensure that this nation remains the strongest and most prosperous in the world. For me, it is an honor to support a man with ideals. *The so-called “sanctuary cities” bill, which Gov. Reynolds signed into law in April 2018, allows anyone to file a complaint accusing a city or county of failing to fully cooperate with federal immigration agents. If the complaint is determined to be valid, the municipality would lose all state funding. Note: The endorsement of Sanders reflects the opinion of the author, and does not represent an endorsement from Little Village. Manny Gálvez lives in North Liberty, Iowa. He is the owner of El Trueque Latino online magazine and the director of the Iowa City Latino Festival.

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ue to an influx of aspiring presidents every four years, many classic Iowa foods have been imbued with politics, from Iowa State Fair pork on a stick to Hamburg Inn pie shakes—even ranch! But Iowa has more to offer than the Midwest staples consumed on-camera by candidates pandering to the nation’s first caucusers. As White House hopefuls make their final swings through Iowa, here are some delicious Iowa City/Cedar Rapids-area foods to suit their tastes.

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MICHAEL BENNET The Colorado Senator told the New York Times his favorite comfort food is an Italian sausage sandwich from the Pueblo, Colorado restaurant Pass Key, which bills itself as a “family-style joint serving Italian and American comfort food in unfussy digs.”

MICHAEL BLOOMBERG The New York mayor who infamously tried to ban sugary sodas has, it turns out, a taste for junk food. NBC New York reported that Bloomberg loves Cheez-Its, salty popcorn, Big Macs and, perhaps strangest of all, burnt bacon and peanut butter sandwiches.

TRY: the Italian Beef Sandwich or Italian Beef Combo from Gianna’s Italian Beef (375 3rd Street SE, Cedar Rapids). These savory sandwiches—served in a casual setting and with a side of shoestring fries or gravy bread—should satisfy the long-shot candidate from the Centennial State.

TRY: Nodo’s (600 N Dodge St and 5 S Dubuque St, Iowa City) Grilled Peanut Butter and Banana sandwich; I’m sure their chefs would oblige and add bacon. Too bad the billionaire has announced he’s skipping Iowa and New Hampshire to focus on winning Super Tuesday votes. More peanut butter sandwiches for us.

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JOE BIDEN The former vice president is photographed eating ice cream cones nearly as often as he’s caught pressing the flesh with voters. His favorite flavor is chocolate-chip ice cream, according to PBS.

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TRY: Heyn’s Ice Cream (811 S 1st Ave, Iowa City and 25 E Cherry St, North Liberty). Twice voted the Best Frozen Treat in the CRANDIC, Heyn’s rich, glorious hard ice creams are fit for a VPOTUS and a photo op.

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BREAD & BUTTER of Albia, Iowa, but sold at grocery and convenience stores all over the state, Iowa Smokehouse has a distinctively plain white and black label and perhaps the most delicious beef sticks in the world. From brown sugar to spicy jalapeño jerky, Buttigieg is bound to find a dried meat to suit his tastes.

PETE BUTTIGIEG Remember back in 1963 when George Harrison mentioned in an interview that he liked jelly beans, then fans started pelting him with jelly beans at concerts? Well, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana is no Beatle, but he is, apparently, getting handed bags of beef jerky by supporters after it got out that he had a taste for it. TRY: Iowa Smokehouse jerky. Based out

24 Jan. 22–Feb. 4, 2020 LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM/LV277

JOHN DELANEY Delaney’s choice of snack is distinctive

in its specificity and literal white breadedness: “Grilled chicken sandwich from McDonald’s, no sauce,” he told the Times. “Two of them.” I guess the former Maryland congressman will be emptying out the White House packet drawer when he takes over. TRY: the Crispy Chicken Sandwich from Pullman Bar and Diner (17 S Dubuque St, Iowa City). Sure, Iowa is home to nearly twice as many McDonald’s franchises as it has counties (all of which Delaney has visited in the course of his two-year campaign— counties, that is, not McDonald’ses), but you can only get a Pullman chicken sandwich in one place. The sandwich is so hearty, one needn’t order two—but I wouldn’t blame Delaney for doing so. Spiced honey dressing is optional. TULSI GABBARD The last remaining vegan candidate (happy sails, Cory Booker), Sen. Gabbard won’t be helping herself to beef jerky or chicken sandwiches. The candidate has admitted to having a sweet tooth and enjoys vegan cupcakes.


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AMY KLOBACHAR This Minnesota senator enjoys simple pleasures as much as delivering sly quips from the podium; asked her favorite comfort food, she responded confidently, “A baked potato.”

TRY: a Vegan Double Coconut cupcake from Scratch Cupcakery (927 E 2nd Ave, Coralville). Scratch bakes up at least 20 varieties of vegan cakes, but the Double Coconut, including a vegan buttercream, has the slightest of tropical touches, which may prove comforting to the Hawaiian senator while trudging the wintery campaign trail in Iowa.

TRY: a potato off the Timmy Flynn’s Red Pepper Deli (517 S Riverside Dr, Iowa City) ’tater menu. There is no shortage of local restaurants offering baked potatoes as a side,

but few present their spuds with the panache of Pepper. From simple butter or melted cheddar cheese potatoes to the Roast Beef and Taco Tato, their spuds can serve as a prespeech snack or full meal from the campaign bus.

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BREAD & BUTTER former governor of Massachusetts considers cooking a relaxing hobby, and is known for catering his own fundraising dinners. “When I get my life back,” Patrick said back in 2012, he wants to farm his family’s land. “I’d like to get chickens, for the eggs, and maybe grow our own vegetables.” TRY: one of the area’s most renowned farmto-table restaurants, Rodina (1507 C St SW, Cedar Rapids). Similar to Nudel, a Lennox, Massachusetts restaurant and one of Patrick’s favorites, Rodina’s menu rotates with the seasons. But in an interview with Little Village in December, Rodina co-owner and chef Samuel Charles recommended a few of their staple dishes: the Roasted Half Chicken, the Pheasant and Mushroom and the Potato Pancake. BERNIE SANDERS Sen. Sanders famously loves the Vermontbased Ben & Jerry’s (and has more than one flavor named after him), but in 2016, he said his favorite food to eat (and grill) on the road

26 Jan. 22–Feb. 4, 2020 LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM/LV277

are pork chops. Well, you’ve come to the right place, Bernie. TRY: the pork chop at Iowa Chop House (23 E Washington St, Iowa City)—12 ounces of juicy deliciousness, and nine options for enhancing it, from blue cheese crust to bacon butter. While you’re in the heart of downtown, feel free to visit any number of local, definitely not billionaire-owned businesses and nonprofits!

TOM STEYER One of Steyer’s lesser-known enterprises is TomKat Ranch, a 1,800-acre grass-fed cattle ranch in the San Francisco Bay area, founded by Steyer and his wife Kat Taylor. The ranch is a kind of philosophy in action for the billionaire philanthropist, who has advocated for a transition to regenerative, carbon-recycling agriculture. TRY: the filet mignon from Joseph’s


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Steakhouse (212 S Clinton St, Iowa City). Joseph’s should suit Steyer’s grass-fed sensibilities, serving only Iowa Certified Angus Beef— cows raised on an organic, vegetarian diet.

ELIZABETH WARREN After Instagram Live-streaming herself hanging out at home and drinking beers on New Year’s Eve, 2018 (just before announcing her candidacy), Warren was questioned about her choice

Younger

of brew: Michelob Ultra. The Massachusetts senator admitted it’s “the club soda of beers,” but her favorite nonetheless. TRY: Iowa Eagle American Lager from Iowa Brewing Company (708 3rd St SE, Cedar Rapids). Iowa Eagle is a light, crisp beer, but infinitely more satisfying than an Ultra. Plus, it’s ’Merican as hell, from the beer’s style to its craft brew status to the bald eagle on its label. Plus, a portion of the proceeds from the beer benefit the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. All in all, a better look, Senator. ANDREW YANG Yang had one of the least sexy answers to the New York Times’ favorite-comfort-food question: KIND granola bars. But to be fair, KIND’s grain and nut bars are tasty, filling and convenient for the road. TRY: Slipstream Granola, available at New Pioneer Food Co-op (locations in Cedar Rapids, Coralville and Iowa City). Made down

in Fort Madison, Iowa, this organic, non-GMO, honey-forward granola grew out of a partnership between Heidi Weiser, a pastry chef, and Michael Winnike, owner of the bike shop Slipstream Cycling. The granola was so popular with Winnike’s shoppers, he and Weiser decided to start their own company. The combination of delicious, fortifying ingredients and entrepreneurial spirit in Slipstream Granola will no-doubt fuel Yang, a decorated businessman, on his quest for the White House.

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CULTURE Prairie Pop

A Street Society Fifty years later, the story of Stonewall is still uniting LGBTQ people and allies, including in Iowa City. BY KEMBREW MCLEOD

S

eismic social change sometimes starts at a dive bar. In the summer of 1969, a spontaneous uprising that began outside the Stonewall Inn inspired the gay rights movement and eventually transformed the ways we think about gender and sexuality. The University of Iowa is honoring the 50 years that passed since that formative event with a production of playwright Ike Holter’s explosive 2012 play Hit the Wall and, immediately following its opening night, a Stonewall 50th Anniversary Celebration. The pioneering transsexual glam-punk singer Jayne County was a regular at Stonewall, located on Christopher Street, a gay thoroughfare in New York City’s West Village. She described it as a dumpy little room with a bar to the right and a brick wall in the back that had a jukebox blasting everything from the Supremes to the Doors. “All types of people went there,” she said of the largely poor and working-class patrons. “Butch lesbians in men’s clothes, wild drag queens, street kids, gay hippies with long hair, all sorts, even a few straight people.” The UI celebration aims to attract an equally broad swathe of the community. Drag performances anchor the evening’s activities, which kick off at 10 p.m., and dancing will continue into the wee hours. Adding to the “all sorts” at the event is featured speaker, UI President Bruce Harreld. In November, UI Health Care released a video of Harreld and his wife speaking about their transgender child, which struck a chord with many in the community. The area surrounding Stonewall welcomed people like Agosto Machado, a Zelig-like figure who participated in the counterculture movements of the 1960s, along with 1970s underground theater, gay liberation and punk rock. He arrived in the neighborhood in the late 1950s after growing up in some rough New York neighborhoods such as Hell’s Kitchen, where he endured schoolyard taunts like “Ooh, you’re so queer you should go to Greenwich Village!” 28 Jan. 22–Feb. 4, 2020 LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM/LV277

Paul Zone

“People came from different parts of the city to express yourself in the Village,” Machado said. “I didn’t really feel I was part of the majority culture, which is why so many people who were trying to find themselves gravitated there.” “There was no internet,” he explained, “so how do you find out what’s happening? You go out on the street and you can hang out in Sheridan Square, Washington Square Park, and you’d find out more or less what people were doing.” The street scene created networks of social

Stonewall rebellion participant Jayne County onstage, 1973. Stonewall 50th Anniversary Celebration, University of Iowa Theatre Building, Iowa City, Friday, Jan. 31, 10 p.m., Free ‘Hit the Wall,’ University of Iowa E.C. Mabie Theatre, Iowa City, Friday, Jan. 31, 8 p.m., $5-20 (Opening night— through Feb. 8)


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support for those who had been rejected by their own relatives, a place to create a new extended family. “They were just hanging out, and you expressed yourself on the street, developed your own persona and then figured out your own place in that world. You could reinvent yourself.” Machado likened it to street theater, with different people making an entrance and putting on a show. Village characters like RollerArena-Skates glided around on cobblestone streets wearing a soiled dress and holding a wand, looking like a shabby Glinda the Good Witch. Holter’s play works hard to echo that sense. It follows the interwoven stories of 10 archetypal characters who were in attendance that night—repeatedly beating the refrain, “I was there.” A Chicago Tribune review contemporary to Hit the Wall’s premier praised its ability to “blow past all the usual rules and reach for something great.” A five-piece onstage band serves to heighten the surreality as the story dips almost into the ceremonial. For those who actually were there, though, the situation was more visceral than mythological. Men could still be arrested for wearing women’s clothes in public, so Machado and his friends carried their drag finery in shopping bags and then changed once they hit a critical mass. After the sun went down, they promenaded up and down Christopher, which intersected with Gay Street, a couple blocks away from Stonewall. “Honey, where are we? Gay Street!” they’d all shout. “The queens, all the way down Sheridan Square, would have an audience,” Machado said, “people walking by, people on the stoop. And as the evening wore on, they got a little louder and grander—showing their new fabric they got, or a new wig. It was a street society, and you could walk around and feel that your community would protect you.” While there was safety in numbers, they were still harassed. “You’d have the police clear the sidewalks and the streets,” Machado recalled, “so where could you go? Into mafia bars, or after-hour clubs. Conveniently, Stonewall was just down the street from where a lot of people hung out on Christopher Street.” It was also illegal for two males to dance together in New York, and gay bars and their patrons were often subject to police harassment, something that sparked the Stonewall Rebellion on June 28, 1969. Yippie cofounder LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM/LV277 Jan. 22–Feb. 4, 2020 29


CULTURE and early gay rights activist Jim Fouratt was walking down Christopher Street in the wee hours of the morning when he saw a police car parked in front of Stonewall, and the bar door flew open. “Out comes what you would call a bull dyke,” he said. “The nice term of that period was called a ‘passing woman.’ She passed as a man. She was like, Rr-rr-rr, like being as butch as she could be, and the police officer puts her in the car.” (She was arrested for not wearing clothing “ap-

“IT IS THE MOMENT WHEN ALL OF THAT STUFFEDDOWN FEELING, ALL OF THAT OPPRESSION THAT EVERY GAY PERSON HAD EVER HAD, GETS RELEASED, IN THAT CROWD.”

propriate to one’s gender,” as was mandated by a New York statute.) About 50 people gathered outside as the woman, whose identity is still unconfirmed, slammed her body from side to side until the door popped open and she fell out, then began throwing her weight against the police cruiser, which nearly tipped over. “There’s a moment—which is, to me, the critical moment—where the crowd screams,” Fouratt recalled. “It’s the moment of, to me, liberation. It is the moment when all of that stuffed-down feeling, all of that oppression that every gay person had ever had, gets released, in that crowd.” As they began fighting back, an AfricanAmerican street queen known as Marsha P. Johnson began throwing debris at the cops as the crowd danced in the street. “It was fun, almost,” Fouratt said, “and the police had no clue what to do because gay people never acted like this before.” For more background on New York City’s gay and underground scenes, check out Kembrew McLeod’s most recent book The Downtown Pop Underground from your local library. 30 Jan. 22–Feb. 4, 2020 LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM/LV277

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WHAT ARE WE DOING? STAFF PICKS: JAN. 22-FEB. 4, 2020

CEDAR RAPIDS/IOWA CITY FRIDAY, JAN. 24

National Ballet Theatre of Odessa, Ukraine Presents ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ Paramount Theatre, Cedar Rapids, 7:30 p.m., $23-63 Prokofiev’s 1938 setting of

Gage Skidmore

Shakespeare’s most enduring work is one of the most essential works of ballet theater. It’s also a perfect storm of relevance: The ballet premiered in Brno, in what was then Czechoslovakia—a beautiful tie-in to Cedar Rapids’ own Czech heritage. And this production is touring out of Ukraine, a country the U.S. has a star-crossed relationship of its own with. It’s at the Paramount for one notto-be-missed performance only.

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 22

Greater Good Initiative Policy Hackathon, Cedar Rapids Public Library, 4:30 p.m., Free (registration required) Public sector

management consulting firm Public Works is hosting a “policy hackathon.” Part of the nationwide Greater Good Initiative, the event brings together community members to brainstorm solutions to the various social problems that plague the country. The goal is to encourage participants of diverse backgrounds to bridge divides and problem solve together.

THURSDAY, JAN. 23

Anita Hill: From Social Movement to Social Impact,

Iowa Memorial Union, Iowa City, 7 p.m., Free

Anita Hill was perhaps the bravest woman in the United States on Oct. 11, 1991, when she testified in front of the Senate Judiciary

Committee (and millions of TV viewers) that Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas, her former boss, had sexually harassed her. Though she received plenty of slings and arrows for her trouble—not least of which Thomas’s confirmation to the court—her testimony and continued advocacy for women in the workplace laid the groundwork for the #MeToo movement. “I really want our leaders to stand up and say what happened in 1991 will never happen again,” Hill told NBC News in June. She will give the talk “From Social Movement to Social Impact: Putting an End to Sexual Harassment” in Iowa City on Jan. 23, presented by the University of Iowa Lecture Committee. The event is free and open to the public; doors open at 6 p.m. for UI students, staff and faculty, and 6:15 for the general public. —Emma McClatchey

THURSDAY, JAN. 23

Rebirth Brass Band,

Englert Theatre, Iowa City, 7:30 p.m., $15-25 Iowa City offers a

warm welcome back to a New Orleans institution: Rebirth Brass Band, founded in 1983 on the streets of the French Quarter and now bringing their funk- and hip-hop-tinged brass sound to all corners of the world.

SATURDAY, JAN. 25

Coralville BrrrFest 2020,

Coralville Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, 1 p.m., $40 Winter beers are the

centerpieces of this annual festival, which benefits Coralville 4th Fest and the Iowa Brewers Guild. More than 60 breweries from across Iowa will be represented. The early admission Brewmaster-level tickets are already sold out, but if you’re lucky, you can catch a general admission ticket.

SATURDAY, JAN. 25

Emma Goldman Clinic Choice Event 2020: W.W.E.D. featuring Megan Gogerty, Hotel Vetro, Iowa City, 6 p.m., $30-60

The clinic’s annual event features local comedian, playwright and—let’s face it—legit phenomenon Megan Gogerty, asking the question: “What Would Emma Do?” LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM/LV277 Jan. 22–Feb. 4, 2020 31


CULTURE A-List

The Kids Will Be Alright Gina Chavez leverages the power of music to help them get there. BY GENEVIEVE TRAINOR

M

usician Gina Chavez is a study in synthesis. In a story familiar to many multi-ethnic Americans, she didn’t always have meaning or identity convenient to her. But she has made a life and a career of creating meaning, of pulling disparate elements in her life into communion with each other. “I didn’t grow up speaking Spanish,” Chavez, who is known for her bilingual, Latininfused folk-pop, said in a recent phone call. “I’m half Mexican, half Swiss German; I’m a third-generation Texan … I didn’t grow up around my Latin roots, other than going to mass with my grandma every now and then.” It was on a study abroad trip to Argentina during her junior year of college that she first discovered her love of Latin music, and she’s been weaving it together passionately and indiscriminately ever since. “As I travel I just kind of get to be a sponge and pick up the things that lo que me llama, like in Spanish we’d say: what calls to me,” Chavez said. “‘Hey, I like that rhythm; hey, I like that; that sounds cool.’ … I do feel like I can connect with my Latin roots, but my Latin roots are bigger than just Mexican roots.” Her enthusiasm is contagious, whether her smooth voice is singing or laughing. It’s no wonder she draws a steady stream of supporters from across a wide spectrum. Collaborators on her first studio album, 2014’s Up.Rooted, include Austin’s Tosca String Quartet (who have also collaborated with artists from the Dixie Chicks to DeVotchKa) and folk royalty Eliza Gilkyson. And it’s clear why she was Hancher’s pick to kick off their brand new Kids Club Hancher series. Hancher’s former education manager (her last day was Jan. 16), Micah Ariel James, was inspired to develop the Kids Club Hancher series thanks to a performance she saw Chavez give at the International Performing Arts for Youth conference last year. Club Hancher has been around for several years, since just after the flood, James said, when Hancher programmers took to satellite locations such as The Mill to provide intimate experiences where audiences could sit and eat while they watched. 32 Jan. 22–Feb. 4, 2020 LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM/LV277

Lisa Donato

“When [Chavez] performed, I got the idea of doing Club Hancher, but kind of expanding it out to our younger audience,” James said. “I think that’s always been an important thing for Hancher: reaching audiences of all ages and all backgrounds.” The series lifts many of the same elements of Club Hancher, but shifts the customary two performances earlier in the day to accommodate kids’ schedules. “It’s a new territory for us,” she said. “Obviously, we have done family programming—but so far in the new building it’s largely geared toward theatrical offerings and movement offerings.” This trial run will give staff the ability to evaluate its impact. James leaves for her new gig at the University of Chicago Logan Center for the Arts before this show, and she won’t get to see her efforts come to fruition. But she’s confident that the Chavez shows will launch this into something great. “Hancher has a really strong team, and youth and family programming is high on the priority list overall. So I know that I’m leaving it in good hands and that good things will continue to come,” James said.

Kids’ Club Hancher: Gina Chavez, Strauss Hall, Iowa City, Saturday, Feb. 1, 2 & 5 p.m., $10-20

Although Chavez says kids shows are “outside of what we typically promote,” she and her band have a long history of playing in that world. Navigating between youth and adult performances is just one more synthesis for Chavez, who is always integrating her experiences into the broader fabric of who she is. Between the band’s time as cultural ambassadors for the U.S. State Department (“we traveled to 12 different countries, and a lot of the time we’d be doing daytime shows with kids and evening shows geared toward adults,” she said) and the influence of bandmate Michael Romero’s kid-focused side project, the Mr. Michael Group, Chavez and company have a lot to draw from when they perform for kids. But it’s high stakes, Chavez jokes. “Kids, let’s face it—they can be a tough audience. They’re not going to hide how they feel,” she said. “Kids don’t care about my songs. They want to hear the songs they know


LittleVillageMag.com

Genevieve Trainor has an incredible amount of faith in the youth of today and the capacity of music to galvanize them—and us.

CEDAR RAPIDS/IOWA CITY

via the artists’ Facebook

… They’ll tell you if they’re into it or not, just by their faces.” Chavez is consistently focusing on the experiences of those around her. Giving back to the world community is central to her work. “It’s great to have an audience; it’s great to see your name in lights. But for me there’s always needed to be something else. It can’t just be about me,” she said. “And so the idea that I can use my platform, use the stage, use the microphone for something beyond myself feels necessary.” Part of that is Niñas Arriba, the college fund for teenage girls in El Salvador that she started with her now-wife, Jodi Granado, about a decade ago. Through benefit concerts, they have raised sufficient money to give four young women a college education and a paid internship at El Salvadoran nonprofit Glasswing International. There are two more about to get started. “It’s the thing I’m most proud of,” Chavez said. “I always feel like, ‘Oh, you have to make it big and then you can do good for the world.’ No. You can do good for the world now. Right here.” Part of it, also, is Chavez’s dedication to sharing her experiences integrating two other facets of her identity: her existence as a queer woman and her Catholic faith. She speaks about that with audiences, she said, “mainly for the purpose of showing that we don’t have to fit into some box that the world prescribes for us.” “When I say that I’m queer and Catholic and go to mass with my wife, a lot of people are like, ‘How does that work?’ But on some level it does work, and it’s because we’re all multifaceted,” she said. “All of us understand what it’s like to not fit in, to not belong and to feel like we have to change some part of ourselves in order to do that. If we’re lucky, if we’re blessed, we figure out that that’s not actually how we belong.” It’s all part of the work of synthesizing identity. “How we belong is by really loving who we are at our core and being that person in the world,” she said. Chavez wants us all to know that “we’re all just called to be ourselves,” she said. “And whether that’s to a 5-year-old or a 50-year-old or any 85-year-old, we’re all just kids at heart. I think the message is the same; we just put it in a slightly different package depending who our audience is.”

WHAT ARE WE DOING? STAFF PICKS: JAN. 22-FEB. 4, 2020

SUNDAY, JAN. 26

Cedar Rapids Quad Con 2020 Comic & Toy Show,

Cedar Rapids Marriott, 10 a.m., Free-$5

Quad Con, an org that hosts low-cost shows throughout eastern Iowa and western Illinois, describes its events as “25% Comic Books, 25% Toys, 25% Art, 25% Games—100% Pop Culture Goodness.” There’s no arguing with the math: That’s a recipe for success. This year’s Cedar Rapids event will feature comic inker Mike DeCarlo (known for the 1988 Batman arc “A Death in the Family” and the era of Bongo’s Radioactive Man when it won its Eisner) and cartoonist Ed Bickford (American Chop Suey). Kids 10 and under are free, and if others want to snag $1 off their $5 admission, there are coupons at all of the area comic and game shops, if you can get there in time! —Genevieve Trainor

SUNDAY, JAN. 26

artists and poets from IC Speaks to create on-site and answer questions for attendees. It’s a fantastic opportunity to get an inside look at the creative process as well as get a peek at what’s on the horizon for the artistic community in Iowa City.

TUESDAY, JAN. 28

Mandolin Orange w/ Kate Rhudy,

Englert Theatre, Iowa City, 7:30 p.m., $35-55 When Mandolin

Orange released their latest full-length, Tides of a Teardrop, back in February of 2019, it served as the perfect laid-back soundtrack for those deep winter days of negative wind chills and icy snow. Their unique blend of folk and bluegrass is delicate and precise, warming your heart like a glass of brandy and a flickering fireplace. They will be returning to the Englert Theatre as the snow days start to pile up, just in time to fill that same role this year. Bundle up and trudge down to the Englert to get your winter soul filled. —Brian Johannesen

THURSDAY, JAN. 30

Brewing Art: A ‘Lovett or Mini Festival, Leave It’ Live,

Big Grove Brewery and Taproom, Iowa City, 3 p.m., Free This inaugural fest

at Big Grove is gathering together local

Hancher, Iowa City, 8 p.m., $39.50-99

Over the last few years, Crooked Media

LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM/LV277 Jan. 22–Feb. 4, 2020 33


WHAT ARE WE DOING? STAFF PICKS: JAN. 22-FEB. 4, 2020

CEDAR RAPIDS/IOWA CITY has built an empire on political commentary. Former Obama speechwriter Jon Lovett co-founded the progressive media network with Jon Favreau (no, the other one) and Tommy Vietor, and co-hosts the anchor podcast Pod Save America, in addition to hosting Lovett or Leave It. Lovett will be joined by various “Friends of the Pod” for a timely visit to Iowa just days ahead of the caucuses.

FMWT #48: Lea Bertucci w/ Saariselka (Chuck Johnson/ Marielle V Jakobsons),

Trumpet Blossom Cafe, Iowa City, 9:30 p.m., $10 Lately I have been experiencing what

Ben Lerner describes as “existential gout.” Perhaps it’s the emotional effects of the grey winter months that have me turning to simple pleasures and familiar vices, or perhaps it’s my growing fear as the caucus ever nears— regardless of the source or reason, I’ve been spending a lot of time on Twitter, and it’s time to get uncomfortable for my own good. Lea Bertucci’s music is deeply experimental sound poetics, at once measured and wild,

via the artists’ website

FRIDAY, JAN. 31

beautiful and discomfiting. Her spare, haunting woodwind compositions call forth the sounds of nature, industrial noise and vast space. This is music that will confuse me, and I need it. —Celine Robins

SUNDAY, FEB. 2

The Democratic Field, CSPS Legion Arts, Cedar Rapids, 2:30 p.m., $10-15 Looking to

have your perceptions shifted ahead of the Democratic Caucus on Monday? In this project of Artists’ Literacies Institute, presented

in Cedar Rapids by local new-work company Mirrorbox Theatre, area theater artists will present a mishmash of anonymized transcriptions representing key policy positions of the presidential candidates. The scripts are scored so that actors are speaking in the exact speech patterns of the candidates—but the speeches are assigned without respect to race or gender. Not even the actors know whose words they are speaking. The audience casts their vote before and then again after the experiment. A talkback follows, to allow audience members to discuss the impact of divorcing content from personality and prejudices. —GT

GRAB THE GIRLS & GET

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CEDARFALLSTOURISM .ORG 800.845.1955 34 Jan. 22–Feb. 4, 2020 LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM/LV277

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LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM

CALENDAR EVENTS AROUND THE CRANDIC JAN. 22-FEB. 4, 2020 Planning an event? Submit event info to calendar@littlevillagemag.com. Include event name, date, time, venue, street address, admission price and a brief description (no all-caps, exclamation points or advertising verbiage, please). To find more events, visit littlevillagemag.com/ calendar. Please check venue listing in case details have changed.

THERE’S EVEN MORE

Use the Little Village app to discover events, invite friends and add plans to your calendar. LittleVillageMag.com/app

Wed., Jan. 22 Iowa City Open Coffee, Merge, Iowa City, 8 a.m., Free (Weekly) Greater Good Initiative Policy

FEBRUARY 7–23 BOOK NOW FOR THE BEST SEATS! theatrecr.org

319-366-8591

Hackathon, Cedar Rapids Public Library, 4:30 p.m., Free (registration required) Unplugged Game Night, NewBo City Market, Cedar Rapids, 5 p.m., Free Burlington Street Bluegrass Band, The Mill, Iowa City, 6 p.m., $5 (2nd & 4th Wednesdays) Cody Hicks Writer’s Round, Wildwood Smokehouse & Saloon, Iowa City, 7 p.m., $7 Open Mic Night, Penguin’s Comedy Club, Cedar Rapids, 8 p.m., Free (Weekly) Karaoke with Vidal, Moco Game Room & Hot Dog Bar, Cedar Rapids, 9 p.m., Free (Weekly) Underground Karaoke with Spencer, Yacht Club, Iowa City, 9 p.m., Free (Weekly)

SPONSORED BY CEDAR RAPIDS BANK & TRUST AND TRUENORTH COMPANIES. PART OF THE CRST BROADWAY SERIES. ADDITIONAL SUPPORT PROVIDED BY EELLS & TRONVOLD LAW OFFICES.

LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM/LV277 Jan. 22–Feb. 4, 2020 35


EDITORS’ PICKS

120 E. Burlington Street, Iowa City 319-351-9529

FOOD, MUSIC & DRINKS KITCHEN OPEN 11 AM–11 PM QUICK LUNCH SPECIALS 11 AM–2 PM HAPPY HOUR 2–6 PM

ROOM RENTALS & CATERING AVAILABLE

Open Stage, Studio 13, Iowa City,

Daddy-O, Parlor City Pub and Eatery,

10 p.m., Free (Weekly)

Cedar Rapids, 7 p.m., Free (Weekly)

Late Shift at the Grindhouse,

Star Wars Trivia Night, Big Grove

FilmScene—Chauncey, Iowa City, 1

Brewery, Iowa City, 7 p.m., Free

0 p.m., $4 (Weekly)

Vladislav Bláha, Nat’l Czech &

Thu., Jan. 23

Slovak Museum, Cedar Rapids,

Therapy Thursday, NewBo City

Steven Moore, ‘The Longer We

Market, 5:30 p.m., Free (Weekly)

Were There: A Memoir of a Part-

Pride at FilmScene: “End of the

Time Soldier,’ Prairie Lights, Iowa

Century,” FilmScene—Chauncey,

City, 7 p.m., Free

Iowa City, 6 p.m., $7-9.50

Rebirth Brass Band, Englert

Iowa City Meditation Class: How

Theatre, Iowa City, 7:30 p.m., $15-25

To Transform Your Life, Quaker

Karaoke Thursday, Studio 13, Iowa

Friends Meeting House, Iowa City,

City, 8 p.m., Free (Weekly)

6:30 p.m., $5-10 (Weekly)

The Comancheros w/ the Horse

Line Dancing and Lessons,

Theory, Gabe’s, Iowa City, 8 p.m.,

Wildwood Smokehouse & Saloon, Iowa

$10

City, 6:30 p.m., Free (Weekly)

Vinyl Swap, Moco Game Room &

Thursday Night Live Open Mic,

Hot Dog Bar, Cedar Rapids, 9 p.m.,

Uptown Bill’s, Iowa City, 7 p.m., Free

Free (Weekly)

(Weekly)

DJ Loomer Thirsty Thursday

Anita Hill: From Social Movement to Social Impact,

7 p.m., $8-12

Dance Party, Yacht Club, Iowa City, 10 p.m., Free (Weekly)

Iowa Memorial Union, Iowa City, 7 p.m., Free

UPCOMING EVENTS TUES 01.21 CWJ Caucus Training

FRI 01.31 Brian Johannesen album release party

WED 01.22 Burlington Street Bluegrass Band

SAT 02.01 Short Play Fundraiser

WED 01.22 TalkART

SAT 02.01 Backroom Bass Sessions with Bruuuce

FRI 01.24 The Host Country

SUN 02.02 Dope Day II feat. Soultru

SAT 01.25 IC Pride Trivia Fundraiser SUN 01.26 LULAC 308’s Loteria Night MON 01.27 Open Mic with J. Knight

For all your printing needs.

WED 02.05 TalkART THU 02.06 Mike Doughty FRI 02.07 Exile Spotlight Series: The People Brothers Band & Armchair Boogie

OPEN MIC EVERY MONDAY AT 8 PM BLUEGRASS EVERY 2ND & 4TH WEDS AT 7 PM KARAOKE EVERY TUESDAY AT 10:30 PM HIP HOP EVERY OTHER SUNDAY

ICMILL.COM

www.rapidsrepro.com CEDAR RAPIDS

6015 HUNTINGTON CT NE 319-364-2473

IOWA CITY

415 HIGHLAND AVE, STE 100 319-354-5950

CEDAR FALLS • CLIVE • DAVENPORT • DUBUQUE

• FREE DELIVERY AVAILABLE •


LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM/CALENDAR

Fri., Jan. 24

Josh Arnold w/ Ben Jones,

NewBo Open Coffee, Roasters

Penguin’s, Cedar Rapids,

Coffeehouse in NewBo City Market,

8 p.m., $15-18

Cedar Rapids, 8 a.m., Free (2nd & 4th

Blake Shaw & Dave Thaker Duo,

Fridays)

Sanctuary Pub, Iowa City, 8 p.m., Free

FAC Dance Party, The Union, Iowa

The Host Country w/ Brother

City, 7 p.m. (Weekly)

Trucker, The Mill, Iowa City,

Kiley Reid, ‘Such a Fun Age,’

8 p.m., $10

Prairie Lights, Iowa City, 7 p.m., Free

[iHearIC]: The Only Ion w/ CBE,

National Ballet Theatre of

Jennifer MacB-Stephens, Deb

Odessa, Ukraine Presents ‘Romeo

Tiemens, Yacht Club, Iowa City, 8

and Juliet,’ Paramount Theatre, Cedar

p.m., Free

Rapids, 7:30 p.m., $23-63

Something Is Waiting w/ Good

ICCT Presents: ‘God of Carnage,’

Devils, Acoustic Guillotine,

Johnson County Fairgrounds, Iowa

Trumpet Blossom Cafe, Iowa City,

City, 7:30 p.m., $9-17 (Opening

9 p.m., $7

night—through Feb. 2)

Latin Night w/ FUZE, Yacht Club,

‘The Agitators,’ Riverside

Iowa City, 9 p.m., $5-10 (Weekly)

Theatre, Iowa City, 7:30 p.m., $10-30

SoulShake, Gabe’s, Iowa City, 10

(Opening night—through Feb. 16)

p.m., Free (Weekly)

Zoofunkyou w/ Citrus Sunday,

Sasha Belle Presents: Friday

the Grapevines, Gabe’s, Iowa City,

Night Drag & Dance Party,

8 p.m., $8

Studio 13, Iowa City, 10:30 p.m., $5

‘The Color Purple,’ Hancher

(Weekly)

Auditorium, Iowa City, 8 p.m., $50-85

LOVE

LITTLE VILLAGE? HELP US KEEP IT FREE. Voluntary contributions from readers like you help keep Little VIllage free for everyone to enjoy.

Chip in today: LittleVillageMag.com/Subscribe

Winter provides a unique perspective and highlights the changing beauty to the outdoors. These colder months of the year allow for hiking, snowshoeing, wildlife watching, photography, and much more.

WINTER FUN

in linn county parks

SLEDDING

The area next to Red Cedar Lodge at Squaw Creek Park and a hill by Woodpecker Lodge at Pinicon Ridge Park are popular for sledding during the winter months.

CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING

Linn County Conservation trails that are available for cross-country skiing include: Matsell Bridge Natural Area 5 miles Morgan Creek Park 3.8 miles Squaw Creek Park 3.5 miles Wickiup Hill Learning Center 3.3 miles Pinicon Ridge Park 1.5 miles 4” of snow is required for our equipment to be able to groom trails. Tracks are first “rolled” and then “groomed”. Hikers, horses, and dogs are encouraged to stay off the Nordic ski track.

WINTER SAFETY TIPS

Dress in layers for the weather Wear bright colors Keep hydrated Only venture on ice more than 4” thick

ICE FISHING

Ice fishing opportunities are abundant along the Wapsipinicon and Cedar rivers.

FIND OUT MORE AT LINNCOUNTYPARKS.COM


EDITORS’ PICKS

Sat, Jan. 25 Family Storytime, Iowa City Public Library, 10:30 a.m., Free (Weekly) Coralville BrrrFest 2020, Coralville Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, 1 p.m., $40 ‘The Color Purple,’ Hancher Auditorium, Iowa City, 1 & 6:30 p.m., $50-85 2020 Physicians for Social Responsibility Iowa City Presidential Candidate Forum, Old Brick, Iowa City, 2 p.m., Free (registration required) Write. Act. Watch. 6th Annual 24 Hr Play Festival & Silent Auction, RHCR Theatre, Cedar Rapids, 6 p.m., $15 Emma Goldman Clinic Choice Event 2020: W.W.E.D. featuring Megan Gogerty, Hotel Vetro, Iowa City, 6 p.m., $30-60 Backcountry Film Festival, Indian Creek Nature Center, Cedar Rapids, 6 p.m., $20 Chinese New Year Gala, Coralville Center for the Performing Arts, 6 p.m., Free-$10 Pride Trivia: Benefit for Iowa City Pride, The Mill, Iowa City, 7:30 p.m., $2 Abba Mania, Paramount Theatre, Cedar Rapids, 7:30 p.m., $30-50 Lewis Black: It Gets Better Every Day, Englert Theatre, Iowa City, 8 p.m., $25-98 Josh Arnold w/ Ben Jones, Penguin’s, Cedar Rapids, 8 p.m., $15-18 Saul Lubaroff Trio, Sanctuary Pub, Iowa City, 8 p.m., Free Let’s Do This! Comedy, Yacht Club, Iowa City, 8 p.m., $5 Elation Dance Party, Studio 13, Iowa City, 9 p.m., $5 (Weekly) Why Not w/ Bain Marie, TV Cop, Megababes, Gabe’s, Iowa City, 9 p.m., $8-10 Jim Buennig & Damani Phillips, Trumpet Blossom, Iowa City, 9 p.m., $7 Anthony Worden’s Sympathy for the Disco Vinyl Dance Party, Gabe’s, Iowa City, 10 p.m., Free

CREATING 319-855-1474

Join Little Village today with your business or nonprofit and reach over 400,000 monthly readers across eastern Iowa.

ads@littlevillagemag.com LittleVillageMag.com/Advertise


LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM

Sun., Jan. 26 Cedar Rapids Quad Con 2020 Comic & Toy Show, Cedar Rapids Marriott, 10 a.m., Free-$5 Combined Efforts Theatre Presents Leap! 2020, Coralville Center for the Performing Arts, 2 p.m., $5-10 Sunday Funday, Iowa City Public Library, Iowa City, 2 p.m., Free (Weekly) National Theatre Live: ‘Present Laughter,’ FilmScene—Chauncey, Iowa City, 2 p.m., $15-18 ‘The Tin Woman,’ Giving Tree Theater, Marion, 2 p.m., $22 (Closing performance) Brewing Art: A Mini Festival, Big Grove Brewery and Taproom, Iowa City, 3 p.m., Free Chris Liddell-Westefeld, ‘They Said This Day Would Never Come: Chasing the Dream on Obama’s Improbable Campaign,’ Prairie Lights, Iowa City, 4 p.m., Free Lotería Night at The Mill: Presented by LULAC, The Mill, Iowa City, 7 p.m., $5 suggested donation

FIGHT FOMO! Find more events! Visit

littlevillagemag.com/calendar

Mon., Jan. 27 Open Mic, The Mill, Iowa City, 7 p.m., Free (Weekly) Garth Greenwell in conversation with Novuyo Rosa Tshuma, Prairie Lights, Iowa City, 7 p.m., Free Comedy Open Mic with Spencer & Dan, Yacht Club, Iowa City, 9 p.m., Free (Weekly)

TELL THE TRUTH CHANGE THE WORLD Send story tips and submissions: editor@littlevillagemag.com


WHAT ARE WE DOING? LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM/CALENDAR

themidwestmatthew

QUAD CITIES

A Benefit Show for the RME: Jason Carl and the Whole Damn Band, Minus Six, the Velies, River Music Experience, Davenport, Friday, Jan. 24 7:30 p.m., $16-20 Help raise money for the

River Music Experience and support local musicians in the same night! Each year the RME provides a variety of music programming opportunities, hosts local and touring musicians, holds free community concerts and is a strong resource for musicians and creatives to learn, listen and play. Let’s pack the house in support of the RME’s important role in QC music education. —Paige Underwood

100th Batch Event, WAKE Brewing, Rock Island, Saturday, Jan. 25, 12 p.m., Free Our beloved

metal bar WAKE marks 100 batches brewed with vanilla and blueberry variants of Hand Of Doom, the best stout outside Mulligan’s on Poolbeg Street in Dublin. A limited run four-pack with two of each flavor will be available for purchase. Barley and Rye Bistro will be there with a menu to complement the brew. —Melanie Hanson

Sensei of Syllables Record Release Show, Rozz-Tox, Rock Island, Saturday, Jan. 25, 8 p.m., $5-10 Poet and spoken-word artist Aubs.

went ahead and made his debut rap project a double album. This calls for an extraordinary

release show, which features a dozen local performers, like Ahzia and Poor Bill, with visiting regional artists including Conscious Crew of Des Moines—all hosted by emcee at-large Crunk Chocolate! Don’t miss out. —MH

Stained Glass Kaleidoscope Workshop, German American Heritage Center & Museum, Davenport, Saturday, Feb. 1, 10 a.m., $40-45 Local artist Tom Chouteau is known for his colorful kaleidoscope creations, some of which you may have seen around town or at the German American Heritage Center. In this class, Chouteau will teach you step-by-step how to make your own stained glass-inspired kaleidoscope. Walk away with your own creation and show off the incredible patterns and designs your unique kaleidoscope can produce. Ages 10 and up; pre-registration is required. —PU

2020 QC Beats Artist Showcase, River Music Experience, Davenport, Saturday, Feb. 1, 7:30 p.m., Free Subatlantic, the

Common Faces and Riding Atlas are all local bands with devoted fans—some of whom never miss a show—and they’re each going to play a full-length set at this alt-rock-indiethemed showcase. RME exists precisely for events such as this, with plenty of room for a big crowd to mingle and dance. It’s going to be rowdy good fun. —MH

LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM/LV277 Jan. 22–Feb. 4, 2020 41


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EDITORS’ PICKS Say Anything Karaoke, Gabe’s,

Dance Party with DJ Jamaican

Iowa City, 10 p.m., Free (Weekly)

Daddy, Yacht Club, Iowa City, 9 p.m.,

Tue., Jan. 28

Free (Weekly)

Open Mic, Moco Game Room & Hot

Iowa City, 9 p.m., Free (Weekly)

Dog Bar, Cedar Rapids, 7 p.m., Free (Weekly)

Wed., Jan. 29

Blues Jam, Parlor City Pub and

Iowa City Open Coffee, Merge,

Eatery, Cedar Rapids, 7 p.m., Free

Iowa City, 8 a.m., Free (Weekly)

(Weekly)

Unplugged Game Night, NewBo

Andrew Seidel, ‘The

CALL TODAY FOR A FREE QUOTE!

319-248-0561 www.andrewmartinconstruction.com

Comedy & Karaoke, Studio 13,

City Market, Cedar Rapids, 5 p.m.,

Founding Myth: Why Christian

Free

Nationalism is Un-American,’

Miró Quartet and Kiera Duffy,

Prairie Lights, Iowa City, 7 p.m., Free

soprano, Hancher Auditorium, Iowa

Weekly Old-Timey Jam Sessions,

City, 7:30 p.m., $10-40

Trumpet Blossom Cafe, Iowa City,

Open Mic Night, Penguin’s Comedy

7:30 p.m., Free (Weekly)

Club, Cedar Rapids, 8 p.m., Free

Mandolin Orange w/ Kate Rhudy,

(Weekly)

Englert Theatre, Iowa City, 7:30 p.m.,

Underground Karaoke with

$35-55

Spencer, Yacht Club, Iowa City, 9

The Iceman Special, Gabe’s, Iowa

p.m., Free (Weekly)

City, 8 p.m., Free

Open Stage, Studio 13, Iowa City,

Karaoke with Vidal, Moco Game

10 p.m., Free (Weekly)

Room & Hot Dog Bar, Cedar Rapids, 9

Late Shift at the Grindhouse,

p.m., Free (Weekly)

FilmScene—Chauncey, Iowa City, 10 p.m., $4 (Weekly)


LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM/CALENDAR

Thu., Jan. 30

‘Lovett or Leave It’ Live,

Therapy Thursday, NewBo City

Hancher, Iowa City, 8 p.m.,

Market, 5:30 p.m., Free (Weekly)

$39.50-99

Iowa City Meditation Class: How

Karaoke Thursday, Studio 13, Iowa

To Transform Your Life, Quaker

City, 8 p.m., Free (Weekly)

Friends Meeting House, Iowa City,

Lil Beau & Wollfey, Gabe’s, Iowa

6:30 p.m., $5-10 (Weekly)

City, 8 p.m., Free

Line Dancing and Lessons,

Vinyl Swap, Moco Game Room &

Wildwood Smokehouse & Saloon, Iowa

Hot Dog Bar, Cedar Rapids, 9 p.m.,

City, 6:30 p.m., Free (Weekly)

Free (Weekly)

Thursday Night Live Open Mic,

DJ Loomer Thirsty Thursday

Uptown Bill’s, Iowa City, 7 p.m., Free

Dance Party, Yacht Club, Iowa City,

(Weekly)

10 p.m., Free (Weekly)

Hanif Abdurraqib, Prairie Lights, Iowa City, 7 p.m., Free

Fri., Jan. 31

Daddy-O, Parlor City Pub and

FAC Dance Party, The Union, Iowa

Eatery, Cedar Rapids, 7 p.m., Free

City, 7 p.m. (Weekly)

(Weekly)

Brian Johannesen Album

Eulenspiegel Puppets: ‘The

Release Party w/ Ryan Joseph

Big Election,’ Coralville Center for

Anderson, The Mill, Iowa City, 8

the Performing Arts, Coralville, 7 p.m.,

p.m., $10

$10-15

Amanda Auerbach & Matt

GZA w/ Strangers of Necessity,

McBride, Prairie Lights, Iowa City, 7

Ion, 26 ENT, Tay Yung, Gabe’s,

p.m., Free

Iowa City, 7 p.m., $25-30

“There’s so much more to our life together than HIV.” It doesn’t matter that he’s positive and I’m not. What matters is that we love and support each other.

/ActAgainstAIDS

Help stop HIV stigma in your family and community. Learn how at cdc.gov/together

/ActAgainstAIDS

@TalkHIV


EDITORS’ PICKS Stories at PS1: Election, Public Space One, Iowa City, 7 p.m., Donations accepted Orchestra Iowa Masterworks III: Beethoven 250, Coralville Center for the Performing Arts. Coralville, 7:30 p.m., $18-38 Dickie w/ TWINS, CSPS Legion Arts, Cedar Rapids, 8 p.m., $15-20 Snow Daze (Cozy Nights) ft. Zackreb, the East$ide Tribe, Ahzia, Sons of Mars, Jye, Jordan XO, T-Griff & more, Gabe’s, Iowa City, 8 p.m., $5-7 Steven Michael Quezada, Penguin’s, Cedar Rapids, 8 p.m., $15-18 Cole “The Piano Man” Thomas, Sanctuary Pub, Iowa City, 8 p.m., Free Rags and Riches, Yacht Club, Iowa City, 8 p.m., $5 Latin Night w/ FUZE, Yacht Club, Iowa City, 9 p.m., $5-10 (Weekly) FMWT #48: Lea Bertucci w/ Saariselka (Chuck Johnson/Marielle V Jakobsons), Trumpet Blossom Cafe, Iowa City, 9:30 p.m., $10 Stonewall 50th Anniversary Celebration, University of Iowa Theatre Building, Iowa City, 10 p.m., Free SoulShake, Gabe’s, Iowa City, 10 p.m., Free (Weekly) Sasha Belle Presents: Friday Night Drag & Dance Party, Studio 13, Iowa City, 10:30 p.m., $5 (Weekly)

FIGHT FOMO! Find more events! Visit

littlevillagemag.com/calendar

Sat., Feb. 1 Family Storytime, Iowa City Public Library, 10:30

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a.m., Free (Weekly) Kids’ Club Hancher: Gina Chavez, Strauss Hall, Iowa City, 2 & 5 p.m., $10-20 Giuseppe Caputo in conversation with Garth Greenwell, Prairie Lights, Iowa City, 7 p.m., Free Megababes w/ Hannah Frey, Moco Game Room and Hot Dog Bar, Cedar Rapids, 7 p.m., $5 Orchestra Iowa Masterworks III: Beethoven 250, Paramount Theatre, Cedar Rapids, 7:30 p.m., $16-56 Steven Michael Quezada, Penguin’s, Cedar Rapids, 8 p.m., $15-18


WHAT ARE WE DOING? LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM/CALENDAR

DES MOINES via ‘The Office! A Musical Parody’

JANUARY 8-21, 2020

The Office seems to have established itself as the most watched show of the millennial generation. I’ve seen Office-themed costume parties and trivia nights, and it’s increasingly rare that I go a few days without running into someone sporting a Dunder Mifflin shirt, cap or coffee mug. Arguments and opinions over the latter half of the show aside, it had a solid run through its nine seasons on air. I don’t know exactly what to expect from this parody musical of The Office. But likely, it will distill the overall plot of the series down into a collection of hilarious scenes and musical numbers, with just enough obscure references to reward the superfans. The show was written by Bob and Toby McSmith, who have written similar material for shows like Friends, Full House and Saved by the Bell.

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Groundhog’s Day Celebration, High Life Lounge, Sunday, Feb. 2, 6 a.m., Free With fundamental chang-

es in the way weather and the seasons affect our world, I’m not sure how much we can still trust the insights of ol’ Punxsutawney Phil. In fact, I’m not sure he ever had a terribly accurate track record as a meteorologist, considering his strictly unscientific method of making his determinations. Then again, we only created Groundhog’s Day as an excuse to party during the long, gray lull that is winter, so his predictions never really mattered much anyway. Shadow or no, the High Life Lounge will once again be hosting their annual Groundhog’s Day celebration, featuring

a parade, morning beers and a huge breakfast spread to celebrate the results, whatever they may be.

Jordan Sellergren

‘The Office! A Musical Parody,’ Hoyt Sherman Place, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 7:30 p.m., $28.50-38.50

Caucus Night in Iowa, Monday, Feb. 3, Visit aclu-ia.org to find your caucus location The

holiday season in Iowa before an election year feels a lot like a Claymore mine of political ads detonating over and over again. The news is a genre-spanning medley smashing together elements of horror, suspense and science fiction (Space Force!). I actually created BINGO cards for the huge list of Democratic presidential candidates, marking off squares whenever I heard from each campaign; I won twice before Halloween. It is a great responsibility that we bear here in Iowa, tallying our 2 million-or-so registered voter voices to narrow down the field of candidates for the rest of the country. So, brush up on your options and get ready to be yelled at by representatives from all the different campaigns for a few hours until we can hammer out a rough consensus on who we think the best candidate is. It’s your duty as an Iowan. —Trey Reis LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM/LV277 Jan. 22–Feb. 4, 2020 45


IOWA CITY SOUTH OF BOWERY

EDITORS’ PICKS Chapo Trap House, Englert Theatre, Iowa City, 8 p.m., $15-25 Basketball Divorce Court w/ In the Attic, Redcoat, Dog Dave, Gabe’s, Iowa City, 8 p.m., $8 Alex Williams, Wildwood Smokehouse & Saloon, Iowa City, 8 p.m., $20 The Muckrockers, Sanctuary Pub, Iowa City, 8 p.m., Free Elation Dance Party, Studio 13, Iowa City, 9 p.m., $5 (Weekly) Backroom Bass Sessions with Bruuuce, The Mill, Iowa City, 10:30 p.m., Free

Sun., Feb. 2 Sunday Funday, Iowa City Public Library, Iowa City, 2 p.m., Free (Weekly) The Democratic Field, CSPS Legion Arts, Cedar Rapids, 2:30 p.m., $10-15 Dope Day II feat. Soultru, The Mill, Iowa City, 7 p.m., Free

Mon., Feb. 3 Comedy Open Mic with Spencer & Dan, Yacht Club, Iowa City, 9 p.m., Free (Weekly) Say Anything Karaoke, Gabe’s, Iowa City, 10 p.m., Free (Weekly)

Tue., Feb. 4 ICE Enforcement: Impacts on Community

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Health and Well-Being, Iowa City Public Library, 4 p.m., Free

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Open Mic, Moco Game Room & Hot Dog Bar, Cedar Rapids, 7 p.m., Free (Weekly) Blues Jam, Parlor City Pub and Eatery, Cedar Rapids, 7 p.m., Free (Weekly) Weekly Old-Timey Jam Sessions, Trumpet Blossom Cafe, Iowa City, 7:30 p.m., Free (Weekly) Dance Party with DJ Jamaican Daddy, Yacht Club, Iowa City, 9 p.m., Free (Weekly) Comedy & Karaoke, Studio 13, Iowa City, 9 p.m., Free (Weekly)

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The Democratic Field Feb 2

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WATERLOO/CEDAR FALLS ACLU Rights for All—100th Birthday Party & Conversations about Civil Rights, Waterloo Public Library, Thursday, Jan. 23, 5:30 p.m., Free The ACLU of

Iowa is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the national org (founded Jan. 19, 1920) with free snacks and training on how to hold Caucus Day conversations on civil rights issues. As they say on their event page: “We’ll be celebrating our 100th birthday the best way we know how: empowering YOU to use your rights!” Areas of focus will be immigrant rights, voting rights, reproductive justice and criminal justice reform.

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UNI Mock Caucus, Maucker Union Ballrooms, UNI Campus, Cedar Falls, Monday, Jan. 27, 7 p.m., Free New to Iowa or to politics or

just to the caucus process? The Department of Political Science at the University of Northern Iowa is on the case! Food and drink will be provided at this open event that will walk you through what to expect, covering both the Democratic and the Republican caucuses. Individual campaigns will have tables outside the event so you can gather information about the candidates at the same time.

video still via Ralph Bryant

Jason Snell: EEG-to-Music Feb 6

This survey of great moments in opera is brought to you by the University of Northern Iowa Opera program, with support from the Northern Iowa Symphony Orchestra and the Concert Chorale and UNI Singers. Students, faculty and alumni will all be participating in this event. The program features “opera’s greatest hits,” with well-known arias and familiar choruses, and offering drama, comedy, romance and everything in between.

Katie and the Honky-Tonks w/ Bruce Day and the Dangits, Spicoli’s Reverb, Waterloo, Friday, Jan. 24, 6 p.m., $7 The Sires legacy in Iowa music is phenomenal—seriously, goddamn, what a family. Katie Sires and husband Luke (who also forms the core of TWINS with fellow Sires Toby and Joel), are fully half of old-time country act Katie and the Honky-Tonks, on vocals/guitar and drums, respectively (Jason Parks and Kelsey Hammer-Parks round out the band). I’m not sure exactly how Dylan Sires of, well, SIRES fits in, but all told, the local impact of this family is right up there with the Browns (Greg and Pieta). Katie and the Honky-Tonks spin Katie’s welcoming, immediately familiar voice into deft turns at classic tunes. Definitely a show not to miss.

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CSPS HALL

Mozart, Verdi & Friends, Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center, Cedar Falls, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2 p.m., $15.75-33.75

Soultru w/ Carli Foxx, Cracka Don w/ DJ No Relation, Illegal Smile, Spicoli’s Reverb, Waterloo, Friday, Jan. 31, 9:30 p.m., $7 One of the smoothest voices in

Eastern Iowa brings a stripped down, barebones show to Spicoli’s, with an acoustic version of Illegal Smile in tow, among others. LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM/LV277 Jan. 22–Feb. 4, 2020 47


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DEAR KIKI

D

ear Kiki, I’ve noticed lately that normal monthly ovulation-related horniness manifests as a really strong desire to screw around on my partner. It drives me to distraction and I enjoy every second! I feel like I’d risk it all in the span of two days just to screw around for a good time. The hunt! The escape! The danger! The hot, nostrings-attached sex! I want that. What to do? Redirecting toward my partner would be physically satisfying enough, buuuuut it’s not really what I’m after. And I want no consequences, of course! —Horny Hunter Dear Hunter, Right out the gate I want to put to bed (heh heh) the notion that monogamy is for everyone, or even that monogamy is or should be the default. The quick and dirty answer to your dilemma is to go for it. If you want to keep your current partner, you’d need their consent, of course— Claire Thoele ethics aside, the more frequently you actually cheated, the more likely you’d be to get caught—but if you really want the thrill of the chase, that’s not off the table for you. Raising the question of ethical non-monogamy in a relationship can be tricky, so let’s see this thread through to the end before I offer other solutions. The first step is to get right with yourselaf and your intentions. Know how far you’re willing to push. Is your ultimate goal to get what you want, or is your ultimate goal to preserve your relationship? If it’s the latter, know that there is a chance your partner will just say no, and you will have to respect that. Don’t badger, don’t harass, and for crying out loud if your partner identifies as male, don’t insult his manhood (“What do you mean you don’t want to sleep around?! You’re a guy!”). If your partner is open to the conversation, know that there are options, and stepping

LittleVillageMag.com/DearKiki

into this world requires seemingly infinite amounts of communication and trust. Offer assurances of your commitment. Know your limits: Is this fun only, or are you open to one of you dating someone? What is the plan of action if one of you changes your mind down the road? Be expansive; cover all bases. If one of you isn’t into this idea, you do have other options—but they also require deep trust. You can go out and party and flirt and get all riled up, either at a strip club or anywhere you feel safe, and return home to indulge with your partner physically only. You could also work together with your partner to role play situations like these, up to and including full-on costumes and makeup so you feel like strangers to each other. Ultimately, there’s two widely disparate things to remember. One: Your needs are valuable and genuine and deserve attention, and part of being in a relationship is facilitating each other’s needs. Two: Your partner is an independent person with limits of their own, and you do not have the right to make demands or ultimatums that hinge the relationship on fulfillment of your needs. Finding the fine line between those two truths is difficult. But if the relationship is worth it, then the challenge is worth it, and working through it together will make you stronger. Good luck! Xoxo, Kiki

KIKI WANTS QUESTIONS! Questions about love and sex in the Iowa City-Cedar Rapids area can be submitted to dearkiki@littlevillagemag.com, or anonymously at littlevillagemag.com/dearkiki. Questions may be edited for clarity and length, and may appear either in print or online at littlevillagemag.com. LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM/LV277 Jan. 22–Feb. 4, 2020 49


IOWA CITY DOWNTOWN 2 THURDAYS EACH MONTH 6:30–8:30 P.M.

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Magic the Gathering. Video Games. Warhammer. Warmachine. RPGs. Board Games. X-Wing. Dice. LotR. HeroClix. Miniatures. GoT. Blood Bowl. L5R. Pokemon. Yu-Gi-Oh. Kidrobot Vinyl. Retro toys. Pop vinyl & plushies. Gaming & collectible supplies. Huge Magic singles inventory plus we buy/trade MtG cards. Weekly drafts, FNM, league play, and frequent tourneys. Now buying/selling/trading video games & toys! Bring in your Nintendo Gameboy, NES, SNES, N64, Gamecube, Sega, WiiU, Xbox 360, PS1-2-3, & other used games, consoles, action figures, and toys for cash or trade credit! Fun atmosphere and great customer service!

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ASTROLOGY

BY ROB BREZSNEY

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): I’m a big fan of self-editing. For example, every horoscope I write evolves over the course of at least three drafts. For each book I’ve published, I have written but then thrown away hundreds of pages that I ultimately deemed weren’t good enough to be a part of the finished text. And yet now and then, I have created a poem or song in one rapid swoop. My artistic artifact is exactly right the first time it flows out of me, with no further tinkering needed. I suspect you’re now entering a phase like that, Aquarius. I’m reminded of poet Allen Ginsberg’s operative principle: “first thought, best thought.”

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PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Who don’t you want to be, Pisces? Where don’t you want to go? What experiences are not necessary in your drive to become the person you were born to be? I encourage you to ask yourself questions like those in the coming weeks. You’re entering a phase when you can create long-term good fortune for yourself by knowing what you don’t like and don’t need. Explore the positive effects of refusal. Wield the power of saying “no” so as to liberate yourself from all that’s irrelevant, uninteresting, trivial and unhealthy. ARIES (March 21-April 19): German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832) declared that English writer Lord Byron (1788–1824) was the greatest genius of the 19th century. Here’s an interesting coincidence: Byron regarded Goethe as the greatest genius of the 19th century. I bring this to your attention, Aries, in the hope that it will inspire you to create a similar dynamic in your own life during the coming months. As much as possible, surround yourself with people whom you think are wonderful and interesting and enlivening—and who think you are wonderful and interesting and enlivening. TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Taurus-born Johannes Brahms (1833–1897) was a renowned German composer who lived most of his life in Germany and Austria. He became so famous and well-respected that England’s Cambridge University offered him an honorary degree if he would visit the campus. But Brahms was too timid to risk crossing the English Channel by boat. (There were no airplanes and Chunnel in those days.) He declined the award. I beg you not to do anything even remotely like that in the coming weeks, Taurus. Please summon the gumption necessary to claim and gather in all you deserve.

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GEMINI (May 21-June 20): According to my analysis of the astrological omens, the coming weeks will be one of those rare times when you can safely engage with influences that might normally rattle you. You’ll be protected as you wander into the unknown and explore edgy mysteries. Your intuition will be highly reliable if you make bold attempts to solve dilemmas that have previously confounded and frustrated you. If you’ve been waiting for the perfect moment to get a bit wild and exploratory, this is it. CANCER (June 21-July 22): J. M. W. Turner (1775–1851) is regarded as one of England’s greatest painters. He’s best known for his luminous and imaginative landscapes. His experimental use of light and color influenced the Impressionist painters who came after him. But the weird thing is that after his death, many of his works were lost for decades. In 1939, a famed art historian found over a hundred of them rolled up like tarpaulins in the basement of an art museum. Let’s apply this event as a metaphor for what’s ahead in your life, Cancerian. I suspect that buried or lost elements of your past will soon be rediscovered and restored. I bet it will be fun and illuminating! LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): In my early adult life, I lived below the poverty line for many years. How did that impact me? Here’s one example: I didn’t own a mattress from ages 23 to 39, but rather slept on a two-inch thick foam pad that lay directly on

the floor. I’m doing better now, thank you. But my early experiences ensured that I would forever have profound empathy for people who don’t have much money. I hope this will serve as inspiration for you, Leo. The next seven weeks will be the Empathy Building Season for you. The cosmos will reward you if you build your ability to appreciate and understand the pains and joys of other humans. Your compassion will be tonic for both your mental and physical health. VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Ancient Greek author Theophrastus was a scientist before the concept of “scientist” existed. His writings on botany were influential for hundreds of years after his death. But some of his ideas would be considered unscientific today. For example, he believed that flute music could heal sciatica and epilepsy. No modern research suggests that the charms of the flute can literally cure physical ailments like those. But there is a great deal of evidence that music can help relieve pain, reduce anxiety, reduce the side effects of drugs, assist in physical therapy and even make you smarter. And my reading of the current astrological omens suggests that the therapeutic effects of music will be especially dramatic for you during the next three weeks. LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): “Learning to love is difficult, and we pay dearly for it,” wrote the serious and somber author Fyodor Dostoevsky. “It takes hard work and a long apprenticeship,” he added. All that’s true, I think. To hone our ability to express tenderness and warmth, even when we’re not at our best, is the most demanding task on Earth. It requires more courage than that of a soldier in the frenzy of battle, as much imagination as a poet, and diligence equal to that of an architect supervising the construction of a massive suspension bridge. And yet on the other hand— contrary to what Dostoevsky believed—sometimes love is mostly fun and inspiring and entertaining and educational. I suspect that the coming weeks will be one of those phases for you. SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): How well do you nurture yourself, dear Scorpio? How diligent are you in providing yourself with the sustenance that ensures your body, mind and soul will thrive? Are you imaginative in the ways that you keep yourself excited about life? Do you take strong measures to avoid getting attached to mediocre pleasures, even as you consistently hone your focus on the desires that lead you to joy and deep satisfaction? The coming weeks will be an excellent time for you to meditate on these questions. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Seven books of the Bible’s Old Testament refer to a magical place called Ophir. It was a source of exotic finery and soulful treasures like gold, peacocks, jewels, frankincense and precious sandalwood. One problem: No one, not even a biblical scholar, has ever figured out where it was. Zimbabwe? India? Tunisia? Its location is still unknown. I am bringing this to your attention because I suspect that in 2020 there’ll be a good chance you’ll discover and gain access to your own metaphorical Ophir: a fount of interesting, evocative resources. For best results, be primed and eager to offer your own skills and riches in exchange for what this fount can provide to you. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Capricorn filmmaker Steven Soderbergh says it’s crucial for us to have a well-developed story about who we are and what we’re doing with our lives. It’s so important, he feels, that it should be the trigger that flings us out of bed every morning. We’ve got to make our story so vivid and interesting that it continually motivates us in every little thing we do. Soderbergh’s counsel is always good to keep in mind, of course, but it will be even more so for you in the coming months. Why? Because your story will be expanding and deepening, and you’ll need to make the necessary adjustments in how you tell your story to yourself. LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM/LV277 Jan. 22–Feb. 4, 2020 53


LOCAL ALBUMS

The Vahnevants Freakout People THEVAHNEVANTS.BANDCAMP.COM

T

wo years ago, I saw the Vahnevants play a show on a city bus. The audience was an even split: Half of the people were bus regulars, just trying to get to their stop on their way to or from work. The other half was a mix of the kinds of freaks and art geeks who tend to turn up for these out-of-the-ordinary occurrences of live music. Due to the circumstances of playing on a bus, the Vahnevants’ set was necessarily a more stripped-down crawl through the band’s loose take on 60-year-old rock and roll traditions. At the time, I doubt any of the songs from the band’s newest album, Freakout People, had been written. But something about that whole experience seemed to encapsulate the title perfectly: the invasion of scruffy punks in shredded clothing bobbing their head as the band howled through a handful of slowly plucked guitar jams from the back of the bus; the sunlight streaming in through clusters of leaves hanging over shaded blocks of brightly painted houses; and the wheezing old city bus weaving its way in and out of stops around processions of pedestrians and turning vehicles. Freakout People takes its time. At points throughout the record’s seven tracks, it almost manages to shake away all the grit and grime from the deeply rooted garage rock of the band’s previous three albums. It feels

Submit albums for review: Little Village, 623 S Dubuque St., IC, IA 52240

more open, breezy—traveling music crawling over patchedup-pavement avenues. A hand curling in the wind through the open window. The album opens with “I’ll Go,” and it might just be the cleanest song the band has ever recorded. The song strips away the usual chain of battered guitar effects in favor of a roving little lick that pulls the whole album closer to its roots in the blues. It then immediately piles it all back on with “Don’t Tell Mama,” which rips with all the same blown-out reverb walls as most of the band’s previous catalogue. From there, the album begins to reconfigure the many genres that emerged out of American blues music. You can hear it most in tracks like “Midnight Splatter”—its spurs clink like a country ballad—or “Dark Luck,” “Hip Walkin’ Woman” and “I Can’t Help It,” where the messy blues riffs and piano plucking feel a bit like melted old Them 45s dug up out of the sand. There’s a moment at the end of “I’m Your Man” when everything comes sputtering to a halt. Delayed-out guitar walls hiss into nothingness and the song sits silent for a moment. As it picks up again, it slowly reassembles itself into the skeleton of an outro that whispers and claws its way toward the end of the song. That moment feels like a bridge to the entire album. In many ways, it speaks to the album’s greatest strength in its ability to easily tear apart and loosely reassemble decades worth of old music formulas without ever leaving behind all the weirdos at the back of the bus—freakout people. —Trey Reis

Brian Johannesen Holster Your Silver BRIANJOHANNESEN.BANDCAMP.COM

Brian Johannesen Album Release Party w/ Ryan Joseph Anderson, The Mill, Friday, Jan. 31, 8 p.m., $10

A

s I listened to Brian Johannesen’s Holster Your Silver this week, driving south on I-80 in the January dusk—a nearly full moon rising in the clear sky, plane contrails lining the sunset, bare trees silhouetted in the orange-pink-twilight blue—it hit me that dropping this standout album in deep winter makes all the sense in the world. Johannesen nails his Americana and country/roots rock marks: the bangin’ Steve Earle-esque rocker, the historical miner uprising story-song, the talking blues rave-up. But the overall feel of the album is one of profound melancholy. His writing eloquently frames the topics of depression, growing old(er), tough political times, a family member’s illness and death and a general feeling that the world, and fate, might not be on your side, against a backdrop of winter in the Midwest. The characters in these songs are struggling, looking for help and reason, uplift and meaning in a world where simply doing good, writing good songs and caring about the people around you might not be enough. Even the up-tempo numbers have names like “Tired” and “If I Thought That I Could Win.” That said, it’s a heck of an enjoyable listen and a supremely well-crafted piece of Midwestern

Americana. Johannesen’s songs are compact, well-thought-out and engaging, and the deep emotional connections, hidden musical and lyrical twists and standout musicianship take the familiar structures and forms to interesting and unusual places. Clocking in at under 33 minutes, it’s all killer and no filler. Each time I’ve gotten to the end I’ve wished there were a few more songs. A highlight throughout are the tight arrangements and the excellent band—Iowa City stalwarts David Zollo, Bernemann brothers Matt and Ryan, Randall Davis and Brian Cooper, along with a strong cast of Chicago players including Ryan Joseph Anderson. In a genre that sometimes privileges earnestness over musical competence, these are great musicians clearly having fun playing together. Anderson’s production is clean and crisp, and while there’s often a lot going on, it’s always cohesive and in service to the songs. Standout tracks include “Fremont,” with its outlaw and trad-country inspirations (and aspirations) cleverly name-checked in the verse and lyric-checked in the chorus, and “Music Business Blues Breakdown,” a humorously bittersweet recap of Johannesen’s time in Nashville and ongoing trials in today’s music business. The emotional lodestones of the album, though. are the opening and closing tracks. “Somewhere Down the Line” and “Holster Your Silver” are haunting bookends that will resonate with anyone who’s ever lost a loved one or struggled to make it through a long winter. There’s uplift at the end, reminding us that if we can drop our weapons and lower our guard, there is hope and light and music in the coming thaw. “But it’s now, so holster your silver / Yeah, it’s now, the twilight of a Midwestern winter / When up from the ground / Come the red wings and fireflies to sing for me now.” —Marc Falk Editor’s note: Brian Johannesen is a Little Village staff member.

LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM/LV277 Jan. 22–Feb. 4, 2020 55


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LOCAL BOOKS

Garth Greenwell Cleanness MACMILLAN PUBLISHERS

Garth Greenwell in Conversation with Novuyo Rosa Tshuma, Prairie Lights, Monday, Jan. 27, 7 p.m., Free

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leanness, the second book by Garth Greenwell (released Jan. 14, 2020), is exemplary. It provides rare rewards to its readers beyond the scope dared by many authors of contemporary literature. It demands much of the reader—not due to its difficulty, but in the unrelenting rigor of the narrator who patiently preserves the paradoxes of everyday life in their sweet and agonizing complexity. As in the greatest works of literature, Cleanness provides its own reader’s manual of sorts, instructing its audience on how to read it as it goes—an effect achieved through the narrator’s witness, matched by the author’s facility with language and prose. The narrator experiences each moment with an awareness earned through radical honesty and attentiveness. That self-awareness helps readers to engage with the more subtle aspects of the text. As the narrator continues to read his world, readers become equipped to read the book—and themselves. The book’s patient composition also elevates it. Read in sequence, the stories begin with a sense of the narrator as lost and end with a sort of homecoming. The book is informed by other structures, as

Submit books for review: Little Village, 623 S Dubuque St., IC, IA 52240

well—divided into three sections with three stories in each. Each triad is intricately woven together, rewarding rereading as much as the first read. The stories also mirror each other: the first and last focus on the narrator’s engagement with students, the second and eighth on stories of sexual submission, the third and seventh focus on groups. The middle section of three, Loving R., is the only one that bears a title, and it centers on a relationship. The fourth story focuses on falling in love, the sixth story on ascending out from it. Together, the mirror structure and the sequenced story of homecoming provide one of many examples of Greenwell’s deft reflection of a singular human story. This is simultaneously personal and universal. A first example of this emerges in the middle story. The titular effigy in The Frog King is a work of art immolated in celebration of the turn of a new year—the sacrifice of the beautiful at a point of transition. That character invokes the mythic stories of frogs and princes and kisses, shaped by love and the kind of matured transformation from youth to manhood. The power of the book is its quiet and precise expertise in bringing its many levels together—moments of mythic and thematic sensibility, reflecting a sense of self in a process of unchanging evolution, deepening into wisdom more than adapting to new circumstance. The power of the prose, patient and precise, made me a more attentive reader and also augmented my capacity to reflect both on myself and on the ways I relate to the world around me. Not only is this book a distinct contribution to contemporary literature, deserving every award it will undoubtedly earn, but it also is an act of love capable of touching and transforming those who read it. —Daniel Boscaljon

Chris Liddell-Westefeld They Said This Day Would Never Come PUBLICAFFAIRS

Chris Liddell-Westefeld, ‘They Said This Day Would Never Come: Chasing the Dream on Obama’s Improbable Campaign,’ Prairie Lights, Iowa City, Sunday, Jan. 26, 4 p.m., Free

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very president of the United States dominates public discourse so thoroughly that they almost erase their predecessor from the collective consciousness. No one has done that as thoroughly as Donald J. Trump. One has to think hard to remember the Obama presidency, given the relentless onslaught of dishonesty and brutish absurdity our current president has wrought. But it wasn’t that long ago when the idealists had their moment in the sun and worked to elect Barack Obama president. Chris Liddell-Westefeld remembers well. He started as a volunteer for Obama before there was even a campaign. He was a field organizer for the 2008 Iowa Caucus, and he became part of the campaign’s paid staff working to get Obama nominated and elected. Full disclosure: I was there too; the author and my son have been friends since high school, and I volunteered for the Obama campaign myself. They Said This Day Would Never Come is an oral history of the Obama campaign, from the Iowa Caucus through the inauguration. Though Liddell-Westefeld

interviewed him, Obama is a surprisingly small presence in the narrative. The story is told mostly by the voices of the staff and volunteers that worked for Obama’s election. Prominent figures like David Plouffe and David Axelrod are here, giving a top-down view. But the mood of the book is set by the people who were calling voters and knocking on doors, people who put their lives on hold to help elect Obama. It’s not aiming for a balanced or comprehensive account of the 2008 election. Liddell-Westefeld glues together the disparate voices with first-person passages describing his own experiences, and an “outside in” view of the campaign is presented at the beginning of each chapter with a collection of newspaper headlines. The people interviewed have a remarkably unified tone. They all worked harder than they ever imagined they could, they all believed Obama was America’s best hope and they all were pulling in the same direction. These people drove the campaign and inspired Obama himself. He says “... what I saw with the staff and volunteers was this almost organic process of people organizing themselves. I was the front man, but they were the band.” They worked so hard for Obama’s election because it felt right to them, even inevitable. How many other campaign volunteers ever said, as Bess Evans did, “I felt like I was holding lightning,” or echoed Jamal Pope’s comment, “I don’t want to be 60 years old and regret I didn’t take part in this”? It’s timely to read this book on the eve of the 2020 Iowa Caucus. Though there’s a broad field of impressive people running for the Democratic nomination, not one of them inspires as much devotion in as many people as Obama did. They Said This Day Would Never Come is an eloquent, dramatic reminder of how American politics really can be of the people, by the people and for the people. —Kent Williams

LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM/LV277 Jan. 22–Feb. 4, 2020 57


LIFE COMES AT YOU FAST

BY FRANCIS HEANEY

LittleVillageMag.com

The American Values Club Crossword is edited by Ben Tausig. 1

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ACROSS 1. Greeting from one with a pegleg and parrot, perhaps 5. Like outlet store products 10. Instagram model Hadid 14. Big tapioca pearls in Taiwanese teas 15. More despicable 16. Particularly persnickety 17. Noël Coward play featuring a séance 19. ___ Peppermint Pattie 20. Extension for a building or a web browser

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York Times 40. Spoiled with attention 41. Namesake of a logarithmic scale used in geophysics 42. Take-Offs and Put-___ (George Carlin album) 43. One running a drill, often: Abbr. 44. Detachment, say 46. Online initialism for weighing options 47. Poster-size photo, probably: Abbr. 48. Dated term for

streaming shows 50. With 59-Across, statement about any of several intersections in this puzzle 54. Layers of lacquer, say 58. Word before art or print 59. See 50-Across 62. A rapper needs a good one 63. Kemper of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt 64. Tricky hockey move 65. Company in a recent spat with Disney over Spider-Man

66. Soviet counterpart to NASA’s Apollo spacecraft 67. Speak to in a way that might get you grounded

29. Forcefully make oneself part of 31. “Yes, you can take my plate, thanks” 32. Disappointing answer to “Who’s shown up at the party so far?” 33. CBS has one 34. Instrument for many a prog keyboard solo 36. What an all-music radio station might promote itself as having 39. Capital city about two hours’ drive north of Denver, CO 45. More than is proper 46. Silly Putty containers, footballs, et al. 49. Channel that shows many noir films 50. Long-lasting buds, briefly 51. Disney character who takes hula lessons 52. They oppose the nays 53. ___ contendere (plea that’s not quite guilty) 55. At a loss, metaphorically 56. Tongue clucks 57. Playground features with ladders 60. Why Women Kill star Lucy 61. ___ Zeppelin (all-female tribute band)

DOWN 1. Band that could have been named LAUF, if they’d used the initials of their surnames instead 2. “I’ll see if she’s in, please ___” 3. Was dutiful 4. Brutes met by Gulliver 5. Drugstore chain with the longest receipts I have ever seen 6. Trendy 7. Who a cup at an empty chair might be for 8. British chocolate bar with little bubbles in it 9. ___ on (was above in the food chain) 10. It’s celebrated in June 11. Where spies may be right now, for all we know!!! 12. Foster played her role in Broadway’s Young Frankenstein musical 13. Types 18. Short dashes 22. Serfs of old Sparta 24. “I’ll just have ___” (bar order, when not drinking) 25. Method of manual data input 27. What something LV276 ANSWERS very expensive S P E E D P E A L A L B UM C A P ER costs, at half price? A L T A M I AM I OU I S 28. He was pope for A T L A S ON K P GR O U T K I B I T Z E D S U L T A NA less than a year in T OE S S I D E the 7th century but OR O T U N D F L OORMA T A NOD E QU I NN A R I Z he is very useful for B A R E B UMP S U I E S crosswords, so are OB I T F R E E S A NN A N I R AG L A S S MOD E S TO we all on board with OU S T BON E pretending he was ST A B L E S P A P E R J AM UC L A I S E R E SO F AR important? Cool B T U S EB E R T B

E C A RD R I T E S E L

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Creative. Educational. Here.

visit gallery.uni.edu for exhibitions and hours

LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM/LV277 Jan. 22–Feb. 4, 2020 59


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Profile for Little Village Magazine

Little Village magazine issue 277: Jan. 22 - Feb. 4, 2020  

Little Village | The Iowa City and Cedar Rapids Area's News and Culture Magazine

Little Village magazine issue 277: Jan. 22 - Feb. 4, 2020  

Little Village | The Iowa City and Cedar Rapids Area's News and Culture Magazine

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