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SE SE SE X S E SEX S XS XS XS X X E E E E E E S S S S S S E X X X X X X E YS X E EX F RSE S S XS X X X SE SEX SE SEX SE SEX S E E E E S S S W A S L X X X X X EX SE SEX EX ASE X X X SE SEX SE SEX SE SEX S E E SEX S S S X X X X X X X E E E E E E SE XS XS XS EX E E E EX S X SEX S X SEX S X SEX S S S S X X X X E E E E E SE XS X SE SEX S EX E E EX S X SEX S X SEX S X SEX S S S X X X X E E SE SE XS X SE SEX SE SEX SE SEX S E E SE S S SEX EX SEX X X X X X E E E E 0 2 0 EX E 2 S S S , S S S S F e b . 5 –E 18 S X EX SEX EX SEX EX SEX EX SEX SEX SEX SEX SE SEXSUE 27E 8 X S S S S IS S E EX SG SEX EX SEX EX SEX EX SEX EX SEX SEX SEX SESXTA XS E S g S N S S S n O X X X EiX EX Sh SXEX SEX EX p E a XS X S X r X SE SEX SE SEX SE SEX S E E E g S S S S o e X X X ErX EX SEX EX So SEX EX h s X C X e X SE SEX SE SEX SE SEX S E E n ceS XS X XS s XS X X X E E E E e E E E S S S v S S S S o X X EX E El EX EX EX EX EX S S S S S S S X X X X X X X E E E SE X SE SEX SE SEX SE SEX E EX S X SEX S X SEX S X SEX S EX EX EX EX E E E S S S S S S S X X X X X X X E E SE S S SE SE SE SE SE X X X X X X X E E E E E E E S XS XS XS XS XS EX S X SE E E E E E M S S S S S S SEX B S X X X X SE SE SE SEX EX SEX EX SE SED X X X X X E E E s ’ E E S S S S S XS X X X XS XS Xho E E E E E E W E S S S S S S S X X X EX SEX EX SEX EX SEX EX S X X SE StEhXe SE SEX SE SEX S E XS XS XS XS X X X E E E E E E E S S S S S S s S s X EoX SEX EX SEX EX SEX EX SEX EX SEX SEX SEX Sb X X E E ? S EX S X SEX EoXwS X SEX S X SEX S X SEX EX S X Sn SEX S X X E E E E E E E S XS XS XS E E E EX S X SEX S X SEX S X SEX SEX S S S X X X X E E E E E S S S S S SE SE SEX EX SEX EX SEX EX SEX EX SEX SEX SEX SEX SEX SEX SE S S S S SEX EX SEX EX SEX EX SEX EX SEX SEX SEX SEX SEX SEX SE S S S S SEX EX SEX EX SEX EX SEX EX SEX SEX SEX SEX SEX SEX S XS XS XS XS EX EX EX E E E E S S S S S S S XS X X X X X X X E E E E E E E S S S S S S S X X X X X EX SE SEX EX SE X X X SE SEX SE SEX SE SEX S E E SEX S S S X X X X X X X E E E E E E E S XS XS XS E E E EX S X SEX S X SEX S X SEX SEX S S S X X X X E E E E E E SE XS XS XS EX S E E E EX S X SEX S X SEX S X SEX S S C S S I X P X X X E E S SO SE SE R SE SE SE SEXT EX SEX EX SE SEX EX SEX EX SEX EX SEX EX SEX SE&XTH S S S aS S XS , X y EXS E E E e L SE S S l S n P SEX EX SEX EX SEX EX SEX E s o X s X X X s O a E E E n T r S S S S S S S EX EJXoh X EkXG aXnd c SE S S S VSEEX EX SEX E b u SEX EX SEX ELX X u h O X l E E E c C t S S S X resS XstSsEtrXip X SEX XS XS X S OR EXTO E o E E E f S S S S S n i XS X X X a y X a E E E MX t E l r E E E S S S u S S s S S ’ a X X heSbEeX aSmEoXrySEX SEX SEX SE ouSnEtXy SEX SEXX SEX SE X SEX X X X SE SE T C X EX EX Ely o EX oX SE SEX EX SE S S S S p X X f X X X EX E E E E E E S S S S S S S X X X X X X X E E E SE X SE SEX SE SEX SE SEX E EX S X SEX S X SEX S X SEX S EX EX EX E E E SEX EX S S S S S S X X X X X X X E E E SE XS X SE X SE X SE EX S EX S EX S

E H T X E S E U S IS


Syed Umar Warsi, Amir Safi, and Amal Kassir

$10 STUDENT TICKETS TICKETS: ADULT: $25

An evening of spoken word poetry

COLLEGE STUDENT: $10

Friday, February 21, 7:30 pm

General Hancher Partners Hancher Circle Donors

YOUTH: $10

EVENT SPONSORS:

Drawing from the wellspring of their lived experiences as Muslims, artists, and more, three spoken word poets and storytellers will present an evening of powerful and deeply felt work.

Negin Farsad Saturday, February 22, 7:30 pm A self-described “social justice comedian,” Negin Farsad has been named one of the 10 Best Feminist Comedians by Paper magazine and one of the 50 Funniest Women by Huffington Post. She is also the writer, director, and star of the romantic comedy 3rd Street Blackout and the director and producer of Nerdcore Rising and The Muslims Are Coming! While promoting the latter, she sued New York’s MTA for the right to put up humorous posters about Muslims. She won. She’ll win you over, too.

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

EVENT SPONSORS: François M. and Doris E. Abboud Little Village Jo Ellen Ross

EMBRACING COMPLEXITY Hancher’s Embracing Complexity project celebrates and explores Islamic art, Muslim artists, and traditions from Muslim-majority parts of the world. Learn more at hancher.uiowa.edu/embracing-complexity. This project is made possible in part by a grant from the Association of Performing Arts Professionals – Building Bridges: Arts, Culture, and Identity, a component of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.

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.


RUBBERBAND Vic’s Mix

$10

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Saturday, February 15, 7:30 pm RUBBERBAND holds a special place in Hancher history. The flood of 2008 forced the cancellation of the ensemble’s Hancher performance, but the troupe completed an exceptional state-wide residency, lifting spirits at a difficult time. Now, RUBBERBAND returns with Vic’s Mix, a celebration of Victor Quijada’s 15 years of making dance—not only for his own company but for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and Scottish Dance Theatre as well. RUBBERBAND will also be a key part of The Big Splash! in August of 2020. TICKETS: ADULT: $45 | $35 | $25 COLLEGE STUDENT: $40 | $10 YOUTH: $22 | $10

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

EVENT SPONSORS:

Photo: Bill Hebert

Scheels

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.


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VOL. 28 ISSUE 278 Feb. 5–18, 2020 ALWAYS FREE LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM

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 BRIAN JOHANNESSEN, DAI GWILLIAM, NORBERT SARSFIELD, NICOLE ELDRIDGE,

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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. Cover by Jordan Sellergren

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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.

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As Trump’s Senate trial begins, Grassley and Ernst vote against calling witnesses and requiring the administration to turn over documents Who needs witnesses or evidence at a trial? All that innocence would just slow down the proceedings. Best keep them under wraps. —Ben S. As I understand the House is supposed to do all the investigating and bring all the evidence. The Senate is then supposed to hold the trial. There is some blurring of boundaries here that might have repercussions down the road. We have consistently been told that there is enough evidence so why is there need for

new evidence? The executive branch has privileges. If documents are needed there is a procedure to follow, which might result in a request going to the Supreme Court. We, the Democratic Party, failed to follow that through, which is why we want new witnesses and documents, but really the House should have gathered these. I am ashamed of both parties and the sham they are making of our laws and Constitution. —Katherine N. Why is Iowa first? Interesting read. Lack of hotel rooms led to Iowa having [the] first in the nation caucus. What they need now is to rationally declare it’s an archaic and unfair way to select


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candidates and go to primary voting. —Gloria M. Sen. Joni Ernst emerges as a major Trump defender during the impeachment trial The least shocking headline I’ll read today, I’m sure. —Erin S. The worst thing to happen to Iowa since the great butter shortage of 1936. —Jeremy B. She’s entitled to her opinion—thought that’s what the USA is supposed to be about. —Nancy B. “You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.” -Harlan Ellison —Nikole V. It’s been a year since Iowa’s “fetal heartbeat bill,” the most restrictive abortion law in the nation at the time, was struck down

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INTERACTIONS in the Iowa Supreme Court. Since then we’ve lost Chief Justice Mark Cady (heart attack) & Justice Daryl Hecht (cancer). Justice David Wiggins retires March 13th. Dark times. —Jacki L. Joni Ernst gleefully suggests the impeachment trial could hurt Joe Biden’s chances in the Iowa Caucus Not only did Trump try to coerce Ukraine to put Joe Biden under suspicion, he’s using his own impeachment trial to continue it in

front of the TV cameras. His lawyers, Ernst and most of the GOP are happily helping with it. If you are still unconvinced the whole matter wasn’t conceived by Trump just to attack Biden, consider that his entire defense has been built around smearing Biden, not proving his accusers wrong. —Gregory D. Her comment is classic false narrative taken from defense strategy intended to smear political opposition candidates. Please, everyone—Dems and Reps—reject this kind of campaigning. Instead, let’s talk

B R O C K A B O U T T O W N

AU D R E Y B R O C K

Oh, hello. I didn’t see you there. Don’t let the rose petals scattered all over the bed fool you, you’re not interrupting anything. He just canceled on me. Apparently, “Saturdays are for the boys.” Will you help me blow out all these candles? I think I might have misunderstood the nature of this relationship. Anywho, welcome to the sex issue of Little Village magazine. I’ll be honest, this has been my toughest column to date. Sometimes, it feels like I’ve already made every joke about sex I possibly can. Stand-up comedy shows, most of the time, are totally indistinguishable from the back row of a middle school sex ed class, especially since most of us get no more action than your average eighthgrader. I, myself, have a comedy routine dedicated to each and every one of my ex-boyfriends. I’m like Taylor Swift, except she documents the highs and lows of the passionate love affairs she has with hot famous dudes like John Mayer, and I recall the various humiliations I encounter during my alcohol-fueled hookups with aspiring screenwriters. That said, with Valentine’s Day fast approaching, I find myself thinking about the less sordid side of the dating experience. You know, romance, like people on TV have. In that spirit, here are some Valentine’s Day date ideas for the rest of us. •

Bundle up warmly, go to the pizza place of your choice, get a large to go and then eat it on the sidewalk in front of Basta or Baroncini’s, because your boyfriend forgot that it was Valentine’s Day until he woke up this morning, opened Instagram, saw his ex-girlfriend’s post about the super sweet breakfast in bed her new boyfriend made her, and realized it was way too late to get a dinner reservation anywhere good.

Don’t get your girlfriend roses. Just don’t do it. Nothing says, “I haven’t been paying attention to a single thing you’ve said” like buying a dozen longstemmed roses for the woman you ostensibly love. Red roses are to flowers as French tip manicures are to fingernails; they’re an old standby in the worst possible way.

Break out the big guns. You know that grand romantic gesture you saw in a movie once and you thought it was kind of cute but upon further reflection realized that if you did that to a real-life being, they’d probably call the cops on you? Now’s the time to try it out. Even the most bitter, misanthropic love interest will be feeling the effects of Valentine’s Day FOMO and a sugar high from that box of cinnamon hearts they just housed, and think you’re completely adorable. You go, Lloyd Dobler.


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

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about various and differing ideas for moving forward. —Wayne P. She absolutely should be censured for making those comments...they were totally irresponsible and are contradictory to the Constitution and election laws. —Christopher G. She just made it credible that Trump was wanting an investigation into the Bidens by the Ukrainian government. When Trump said he did not. Wow. —Polly B. The strange case of John Delaney I wish he would drop out already. As someone living in poverty and marginalized to the point where I know I’ll never get ahead in today’s landscape, this man offers literally nothing for me. We don’t need a “sensible” candidate, we need someone who offers real economic change, and will offer real tangible help to people who are suffering. I’m so tired of seeing rich, white narcissists running for president because they can. And when your polling consistently at 0-1% in a still-cluttered field, seeing his stubborn name still there is like a punch in the face. —Jan M. Coral Ridge Mall is adding an H&M I am so happy! —Jody H.

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COMMUNITY

Jordan Sellergren / Little Village

Iowa Dispatch

How a Bill Becomes a Reauthorized Law Lobbyists aren’t all bad. BY RACHEL GRABER

The Iowa Dispatch features the voices of Iowans scattered around the country and the world, offering a local perspective on national and international issues.

I

n Washington D.C., no one ever invites me to dinner parties. Of course, no one has dinner parties to invite me to; it’s all about happy hour, a recreation in which I rarely take part. My colleagues in the gender-based violence field and I joke that no one wants to talk to us at social gatherings, because we’re downers. We are stuffed to the gills with facts, statistics, horror stories, laws, legislation and court cases related to intimate partner violence—not great conversation fodder. After decades of viewing lobbyists as 12 Feb. 5–18, 2020 LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM/LV278

a corrupting force in government (which they certainly are in many cases), I’m still a little embarrassed to tell people that I’m a lobbyist. I invariably preface “lobbyist” with “nonprofit” or add, “I work on domestic violence issues,” when anyone inquires after my profession. Sometimes I even say, “I’m a lobbyist for the good guys.” My official title is director of public policy. When I moved to D.C., my knowledge of the federal, behind-the-scenes legislating process was based largely on the dramatic depiction in Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde. In truth, as in the movie, 20- and 30-something-year-old staff do most of the work. And while hyper-partisanship flourishes on the public stage, many staff people work together across the aisle in good faith, particularly on certain issues—including domestic violence. Everyone agrees on one basic premise: domestic violence and other forms of gender-based violence are bad. Washington D.C. is abound with Iowans, especially people from Iowa City. In fact, women from Iowa City working for members of Congress were pivotal to both the eventual passage of the 2013 Violence Against Women Act reauthorization and the drama of the three years leading up to it. Being an Iowan

in D.C. is, in many ways, a strength. I can talk both as a resident of a (small-ish) urban area and as someone with experience working in a rural community. Certainly, I am not an “East Coast elite.” And, while I have not found people from elsewhere in the country to be unpleasant, Iowa nice is a real thing. Genuine friendliness is an asset to a lobbyist. In my professional world, reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is a rite of passage. VAWA is the big bill—the headline-grabbing, soundbyte-producing, anguish-causing, war-on-women bombshell. Gender-based violence impacts every person in America. One in four women and one in seven men experience intimate partner violence; one in five women and one in 71 men experience rape in their lives. Whether they know it or not, everyone reading this publication has a family member, friend, colleague or acquaintance who has experienced gender-based violence. VAWA, originally passed in 1994, is one of the pillars of the federal government’s response to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking, providing grant funding for state and local efforts to combat these crimes and to serve survivors. It is currently unauthorized. Money is still


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flowing to grantees, but this gives lawmakers the opportunity to review the grant programs and make any necessary changes to ensure they are accomplishing their intended goals. You can think of reauthorization as a sequel to Schoolhouse Rock!’s “How a Bill Becomes a Law.”

established 20 topic-area subcommittees and gathered input from local and state domestic violence and sexual assault programs, community-based organizations, academics, allies in intersecting fields and others. In all of our work, we are committed to centering the margins. We recognize that many communities

VAWA, ORIGINALLY PASSED IN 1994, IS ONE OF THE PILLARS OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT’S RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, DATING VIOLENCE, SEXUAL ASSAULT AND STALKING, PROVIDING GRANT FUNDING FOR STATE AND LOCAL EFFORTS TO COMBAT THESE CRIMES AND TO SERVE SURVIVORS.

Our VAWA reauthorization process started more than three years ago. Public policy professionals from a myriad of national organizations that work primarily on domestic and dating violence, sexual assault and stalking gathered in D.C. to begin identifying necessary improvements to VAWA. We

face significant and unique barriers to accessing safety and justice, and we prioritize the wellbeing of all survivors. I spend a lot of time on conference calls. I have one or two conference calls on Mondays, two or three on Tuesdays, one on Wednesdays and four on Fridays. Yes, four.

Working in coalition with other organizations maximizes our effectiveness, but it’s very hard on one’s phone battery. Sometimes, it’s hard to focus, call after call, so I have taken to crocheting hats, which my sister-in-law has been kind enough to take off my hands. It helps keep my mind from drifting. When my hands get tired, there’s always solitaire. While we were writing a 200-plus-page bill draft, we had even more conference calls. Truly, I don’t know how our foremothers wrote bills collaboratively before email, Dropbox and Google Docs. Admittedly, I once speculated about couriers—maybe on bicycles? My favorite part of my job, though, is meeting with Hill staff. I’m not sure why that is. I think it might be just that I like talking to a variety of people. Plus, these are people who share a common passion—public policy. While we might disagree in our priorities, conversing with staff tends to be energizing. (Of course, after work, I don’t want to talk to anyone other than my husband.) In our conversations about VAWA, from

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the very beginning, we had one very important baseline: During a time when immigrants and LGTBQ people are under attack and when racism is lauded by some, we would accept no rollbacks to current protections for marginalized communities. That means that we would not abide any harmful changes to the laws that protect undocumented immigrant survivors; prohibit VAWA grantees from discriminating against people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity; and affirm tribes’ inherent, sovereign authority to hold non-natives who commit domestic violence on native lands criminally accountable. Ultimately, in collaboration with Hill offices, we then drafted initial legislative language, which eventually became H.R.6545 in the 115th Congress and H.R.1585 and S.2843 in the 116th Congress. Due to a variety of factors, the offices we were initially working with shifted between congresses, from Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX-18) to Reps. Karen Bass (D-CA-37) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-01). In April last year, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019, (H.R.1585, almost verbatim the same as H.R.6545), passed the House of Representatives with strong support from both sides of the aisle. The bill would never have received such solid backing without the active intervention of House members’ constituents, including many reading this publication. They called, emailed, tweeted and otherwise contacted their House members to ask them to support H.R.1585—and their representatives listened. We rely heavily on the activism of people who care deeply about ending gender-based violence and who have the power to remove members of Congress from office if they are displeased. After the passage of H.R.1585, we began extensive negotiations with the staffs of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Iowa’s own Sen. Joni Ernst (R), which led to, if not quite a dead end, certainly a traffic circle. Sen. Ernst announced on the Senate floor that negotiations had broken down. Shortly thereafter, Sen. Feinstein introduced S.2843, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019. S.2843 is substantially similar to H.R.1585 and has the strong support of the gender-based violence field. A few weeks later, Senator Ernst introduced S.2920, also called the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019.

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Throughout this process, a lot of politicians were saying not-so-nice things about each other, including accusing Sen. Feinstein of politicizing VAWA by introducing our bill—the advocates’ bill, the bill that passed the House with strong bipartisan support. Ultimately, Feinstein and Ernst spoke to each other on the Senate floor and recommitted to negotiating a bipartisan bill. We look forward to continuing the process and incorporating the best from both bills. We do not expect a final product that we love; compromise means that everyone has to give things up. However, to repeat emphatically, we have certain bottom lines that cannot be violated, and we will not accept rollbacks! This being said, members of Congress depend on their constituents to weigh in on important issues. We cannot pass a strong VAWA without you! So, please do not forget to call your senators and tell them to introduce and pass a VAWA reauthorization bill that: • •

• • • •

Maintains protections for all communities; Respects the authority of tribal courts and affirms their sovereign right to hold non-natives accountable for violence on tribal lands; Disarms adjudicated abusers and stalkers, including dating abusers; Addresses the needs of underserved communities; Increases access to safe housing and economic stability; and Is acceptable to the domestic violence and sexual assault field.

Together, we have the power to craft legislation that moves our nation’s response to gender-based violence forward. Somebody’s got to lobby for the good guys. Rachel Graber is the director of public policy at National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), amplifying the voices of victims, survivors and domestic violence advocates in the nation’s capital. Prior to joining NCADV, Graber was a junior/senior high school guidance counselor in rural Iowa. She holds a Masters of Social Work degree and a Masters of School Counseling with an endorsement in gifted education from the University of Iowa, and is a graduate of Grinnell College. Please be advised that the opinions expressed in this article are Graber’s alone, and do not represent NCADV.


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Julia DeSpain / Little Village

THE SEX ISSUE!

Making Love A peek into the brave new world of intimacy choreography. BY EMMA MCCLATCHEY

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hey kiss,” reads the stage direction. But how long? Which character makes the first move? Are we talking hands on the face, shoulder, waist? Is the kiss more tender or sensual? Directors and actors are often left to prescribe or improvise this blocking, but, much like a bumbled fight scene, poor communication and choreography can lead to an unconvincing performance and discomfort between the actors. When it comes to sex scenes, the risks are even higher. Enter Audra Yokley. Yokley is an intimacy choreographer, trained to help casts and crews stage scenes of intimacy—everything from handholding and heated eye contact to simulated sex—with a focus on consent, safety and nuanced storytelling. In January, Iowa City

Community Theatre brought the Chicago-based Yokley in for a workshop in conjunction with their upcoming production of the musical Company (opening

loved theater movement work, and I have a background as a massage therapist. I was actually looking around for fight/stage combat kinds of classes and ran across an Intimacy for the Stage workshop hosted by Intimacy Directors International co-founder Tonia Sina in Oklahoma City. It just dawned on me: I can’t believe this has never been a thing,

and encouraging enthusiastic consent: talking with your scene partner, finding out where they don’t want to be touched and being able to build a relationship on that, knowing what their boundaries are so that when you begin working together, you know you’re not crossing a line with your partner.

I think there’s a perception that actors give themThe wonderful thing about choreographing selves to the art— there’s no such these scenes is the exact opposite of what thing as boundaries when a play I think critics fear, which is that the actual requires you to perform a certain sexiness or the real chemistry will be lost thing. How do you balance the because it will become robotic. needs of the play with the personal comfort of the actors? That’s a March 6). Little Village caught and of course it should be a continued narrative that’s being up with Yokley shortly after. thing. It was maybe two months fought every single day in this after the #MeToo movement hit, field. That’s what intimacy work How did you become an intiand it just sounded so fascinatis all about. It’s about proving macy choreographer? About ing. I went, and I loved it. that, yes, you can still make great two years ago or so, I was a new art and you don’t have to suffer mom and I wanted to find my What does a workshop entail? for it, [including] giving up way back into my own body. I I’m defining what consent means

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How do you choreograph and rehearse scenes while still keeping the chemistry between actors fresh? The wonderful thing about choreographing these scenes is the exact opposite of what I think critics fear, which is that the actual sexiness or the real chemistry will be lost because it will become robotic. What we’ve found is actually the opposite case, because when the actors feel comfortable in the movement, when they have the choreography down, they can then focus more on the actual job of acting it out. Body language reads—if someone’s uncomfortable with something, even if the audience doesn’t quite know why it doesn’t look right, that energy reads. To me, it’s actually less limiting. There’s more trust between the scene partners and in that way it opens them up to have the chemistry flow way more freely.

choreography? Another one of the co-founders of Intimacy Directors International, Alicia Rodis, became the lead intimacy coordinator for HBO. They first hired her on the show The Deuce … one of the actresses, Emily Meade, essentially asked for it, [saying,] “I feel like I have to shut myself off when I do these sex scenes, and why do I have to do that?” The sex scenes on The Deuce’s second season—every single sex scene was coordinated by Alicia and I think you can see the results there. They’re pretty sexual and pretty hot, or sometimes not, depending on the situation—but it looks great! It’s the same thing on stage. They’re not really touching their genitalia together, right, that’s not happening. We have lighting effects, we have ways we can position you where we can see from the audience what we need to see and get from the story while still giving the actors space.

What is an example of some really well-done intimacy

How do you think intimacy choreography fits into the

bodily autonomy.

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THE SEX ISSUE! larger #MeToo movement, specifically in the theater? Hugely. There was a theater here in Chicago called Profiles Theatre. They had an article come out in the Chicago Reader about the abuses that the artistic director was inflicting upon his casts. He was consistently abusive both sexually and physically to several actors. That happened and immediately the Chicago community said no to this. The #NotInOurHouse movement developed out of this story, which is a wonderful free resource anyone can utilize, notinourhouse. org. And within this movement, a couple of actors here in Chicago as well as a ton of community professionals created a set of standards and protocols that theaters can use in order to create the safest environment possible for anyone working within their walls. What could someone not in theater still take away from one of your workshops? Easily the idea of enthusiastic consent. That is relevant for our daily lives. To listen to people when they tell you they don’t want them to do something. To ask permission, not to assume before you hug somebody. It’s a simple act—“I want to hug you, can I hug you?” Not to assume you can just physically touch somebody is a wonderful takeaway for anybody. You were an actor before becoming an intimacy choreographer. How does it feel to know that you might be setting up actors to be in a safer place than you were at the time? Oh, it’s huge. This was not around when I was doing a lot of my formative years of acting in my 20s. I have experienced people sitting on me when it was inappropriate, sexually assaulting me onstage, and I could do nothing about it because I was in the middle of a show. … There was not a real support system for people like me. This kind of stuff could traumatize people to not want to do anything on stage again, which is horrifying. To be able to prevent that kind of thing happening and make the arts safe, it’s hugely personal to me.


The Actors’ Gang The New Colossus Saturday, February 29, 7:30 pm Performed in twelve languages (with English supertitles) with live music, poetry, and kinetic movement, The New Colossus asks an essential question: Who are we as a nation? The play explores the true stories of twelve people in the United States today because their families fled their countries of origin to escape oppression. Actors from around the world share the stage to tell heart-wrenching stories, weaving a single narrative of desperate people drawn to the promise of America. Audio Description is available for this performance. TICKETS: ADULT: $50 COLLEGE STUDENT: $25 YOUTH: $25

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

EVENT SPONSORS: Richard and Vicki Siefers Alan and Liz Swanson

Photo: Ashley Randall

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.


Julia DeSpain / Little Village

THE SEX ISSUE!

Three’s Good Company A Cedar Rapids couple keeps their bond strong by bringing in other partners. BY EMMA MCCLATCHEY

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hen Cinna Lewis’s husband gets home from a date, she’s the first one to ask how it went. It bolsters the friendship side of their marriage, she says, a marriage that has flourished for 10 years, this May. Cinna had no intention of ever getting married until, at 32, she reconnected with an old Cedar Rapids Washington High classmate, Beau Lewis. “I have some complex views on relationships, but with him it was the cliché,” she said. “I just knew, he’s somebody I want to build a life with.” Beau and Cinna got hitched with no playbook, she said. They’ve been figuring out what being married means to them as they go along. And for the

Lewises, polyamory—opening their marriage to other partners— has been the secret sauce. “I’m very stubborn; I don’t want to be told what to do. I don’t want to tell somebody else what to do,” Cinna said. “I think being in love is the most amazing feeling in the whole world, I really do. The rush we get or the pleasure we get from being a part of a partnership—whatever that looks like, there’s nothing like it.” If there’s a gene that makes the average person prone to romantic or sexual jealousy, Cinna thinks she was born without it. Growing up, if she sensed a boyfriend had a crush on another girl, she’d encourage him to flirt with her. “It just didn’t bother me, where my friends were like,

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‘you’re insane.’ I was always far more injured by dishonesty, secrecy, things like that. I’d rather know what you’re thinking and feeling.” “That’s how I discovered the concept of polyamory, because it does tend to attack a lot of those kinds of issues. It’s about growing into yourself as a person,

Still, neither Cinna nor Beau had really been in poly relationships before. When they decided to introduce it into their marriage, it wasn’t because monogamy wasn’t working out for them, Cinna said, but because it was working. With such a strong foundation, why not build on it? “We like to think outside the

“I’d say there was three or four months of just talking about it before we kind of slowly got on OkCupid and put ourselves out there.” figuring out where your insecurities come from.” Cinna is pansexual, but believes polyamory, beyond being a lifestyle choice, occupies some portion of her sexual identity. “I think it’s a part of how I’m wired,” she said. “My husband really identifies as polyamorous. He can just feel that in his bones.”

box. That binds us together as a couple. We don’t want to have lordship over one another,” she said. “With polyamory, it was just—I don’t want to call it a realization, because that’s kind of corny. It was just this thought. It started from an idea that I wanted each of us to have as much autonomy as possible.” “I approached him out of


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WE ER E D LIV LLY LOCA

nowhere one night. I walked in the TV room and was like, ‘You know, I’d really be OK if you wanted to see someone else or sleep with somebody else.’ … When he realized I wasn’t just messing with him or making a joke, we started talking about it. I think that every non-monogamous couple has to have a boundaries conversation—what’s going to be OK, what’s not OK.” They set only two hard-andfast rules for each other’s dating life: when it comes to sex, use protection, and keep it out of the marital bed. Still, they wanted to take the time to prepare for the transition, knowing polyamory requires brutal honesty, high levels of trust and constant communication. “I’d say there was three or four months of just talking about it before we kind of slowly got on OkCupid and put ourselves out there.” The Cedar Rapids couple made their own online dating profiles, disclosing wherever possible that they are “married, non-monogamous.” She and

Beau are “uniquely suited” to a poly lifestyle, Cinna said, from their more-the-merrier attitude about love to the lack of children to consider when embarking on or breaking off relationships. (Lewis was never interested in having kids, and Beau’s children from other relationships are older.) Before long, Beau had a girlfriend. Then Cinna had a girlfriend. Later, Cinna dated other men. And on a couple occasions, Beau and Cinna have had the same girlfriend at the same time, forming a triad. “I don’t want to say I have a favorite experience, but it’s a really cool one because then it’s like everyone’s working together as this really cool team,” Cinna said. “It was so nice that I care about this person and she cares about him and I know that if I’m not around she can be there for him if he’s having a bad day. I felt like there was so much support in that kind of system.” The biggest enemy of poly folks, she said, is time: “The logistical nightmare of life

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balance,” Cinna said. “Scheduling alone time, because everyone wants one-on-one time. You know, it’s Valentine’s Day, how do we sort that through?” And while Cinna and Beau practice perfect honesty with each other and their partners, it can be hard to be an “out” poly person. Their immediate family and friends have been accepting, and Cinna even brought a girlfriend to a work function once without conflict. But no legal protections exist to protect polyamorists from discrimination. “There’s a lot of threat to it. People can lose their job. If there’s a custody situation, people have to worry about it being brought up in court,” Cinna said. “It’s hard to be out, and maybe that’s part of the problem. I think there’s probably way more of us out there than what any of us know.” She’s learned to be patient while explaining her personal life to curious friends and acquaintances, but can get annoyed by assumptions that every poly person is a swinger, or serial cheater. “You have to remember that cheating equals lying. Cheating is dishonesty. Cheating is betrayal. When everyone’s honest with one another, there’s no betrayal,” Cinna said. “My perfect utopia on Planet Earth, you’d see families of poly people at IHOP. I think we’re kind of far away from that yet, unfortunately. I want everyone to be safe to be who they really are. Because there’s no greater gift than that.” She sees that gift in action all the time, she said. In poly circles, it’s referred to as compersion: feeling joy at someone else’s joy. Cinna fondly recalls a nice day when their triad were relaxing together on the Lewis’ back deck, beside the fire pit. “I remember I’d gone in the house and was looking out the kitchen window at him and our girlfriend at the time. I was just watching them interact and they were getting the fire going and exchanging a kiss and helping each other out with stuff. That felt really, really good,” Cinna said. “Polyamory is really beautiful. I call everything I do in life an adventure, and polyamory is one of the greatest adventures I’ve ever been on.” Emma McClatchey is not married, but likes to think of her cat, dog and her as a kind of triad.


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Julia DeSpain / Little Village

THE SEX ISSUE!

Kinkology

in Minneapolis, she jumped feet first into the leather community after becoming fascinated with the power dynamics between Iowa’s small but mighty leather community wants to show submissive men and dominant you the ropes. BY MEGGIE GATES women. “When I was 21, I had a friend percent of people harbor a fetish. berkinky’s Periodic who brought me to a bar called Probably the most prevalent Table of Kinks has Ground Zero in Minnesota, and and certainly well-known kink 151 blocks and is on the weekends, they have a is BDSM. The acronym is up for equally important bondage and go-go night,” Rage debate, but generally refers to as—if not more than, in my said. “As soon as I walked in I erotic bondage, discipline, domopinion—the Table of Elements. had a man crawl up to Various kinks are sorted into 12 me on his hands and categories, including torture, knees and another man restraint, role play, butt stuff and The list of domination-, pain- and asked to kiss my boots. I vanilla. Everything from tickling was there every weekend to poop play is represented. restraint-related kinks is virtually after that.” Mom, Dad, tread lightly with Becoming Ms. Iowa this one. endless, including such niche interests as Leather is no joke. Kinks—sexual desires atContestants submit a tached to specific objects, acts cuckolding and “human furniture” (which resume and, if picked, or body parts that aren’t necessarily sexual in and of themis pretty much exactly what you think it is). undergo an audition before a panel of judges. selves—tend to be taboo at the The audition consists dinner table, but they’re more of a private interview with the cutting the center and a red heart inance/submission and sadomascommon than you might think. judges, a speech, a question and in the upper left corner) around ochism. Riding crops, handcuffs, The Journal of Sex Research a five-minute fantasy scene perthe state, including at the Iowa ball gags, harnesses and black found one in three people have formed on stage. leather garments are BDSM tools City Pride Festival. experimented with paraphilia, or For Boy Chris, the Mr. Iowa Bettie Rage, Ms. Iowa Leather as well as part of the subculture’s unusual sexual interests, at some Leather 2020 titleholder, Leather 2020, has been in the scene for aesthetic. point in their lives. A 2016 UK Weekend is also a good way 20 years. Starting her journey The organized kink/BDSM survey indicated as many as 75

U

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community in Iowa is small, but it exists. Iowa Leather Weekend, which takes place in October, is an all-out kinky bonanza, including a vendor market, entertainment pieces and a contest in which participants compete for four Iowa Leather titles: Ms., Mr., Bear and Pet. These titleholders go on to wave the leather pride flag (black-and-bluestriped, with one white stripe


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to discover more about certain kinks. Educational panels present people an opportunity to learn safe sex practices in a welcoming environment. Because their kink can involve intricate skills, like knot-tying, and negotiated relationships, such as that between a dom and a sub, communication and consent are tanned into the leather of BDSM culture. “We pull in people from all over to watch the contest, and we do educational things,” Chris said. “We educate on various kinks, promoting inclusivity. We want everyone to come—our trans boys, sisters, drag queens, twinks, bears and pups. The pet scene has really exploded so we want to be all-inclusive and welcoming.” Pet play “is a subculture within our community that allows people to let go and feel comfortable in social scenes,” Chris explained. While people with a pet kink often get off on playing the role of a submissive puppy, including wearing a collar, leash or muzzle, others prefer to portray cats, or other animals “that

capture their personality.” The list of domination-, painand restraint-related kinks is virtually endless, including such niche interests as cuckolding and “human furniture” (which is pretty much exactly what you think it is). To signal which kink they’re into at meetups, people put various coded items, often colored handkerchiefs, in their back pocket. A red handkerchief indicates an interest in fisting, yellow for “water sports,” hunter green for daddy play, black for BDSM and so on and so forth. “There are plastic forks you can put in your back pocket— that just means you’re looking for dinner—and another is a sweatband which means you’re looking for wrasslin’ fun,” said Rage, explaining the most unique back-pocket tokens she’s seen. Rage understands how difficult it can be to overcome the fear of outing oneself as a BDSM enthusiast, particularly as a woman in a predominantly male scene. Before becoming Ms. Iowa Leather, she established a kink and coffee group at Smokey

UPCOMING EVENTS TUE 02.04 Karaoke

WED 02.12 TalkART

WED 02.05 TalkART

THU 02.13 Ritmocano Album Release Show

THU 02.06 Mike Doughty

FRI 02.14 Bawdy Bawdy Ha Ha’s Cheek to Cheek Burlesque!

FRI 02.07 Exile Spotlight Series: The People Brothers Band & Armchair Boogie SAT 02.08 WIRES Benefit for Australia Wildfires MON 02.10 Open Mic with J. Knight TUE 02.11 Karaoke WED 02.12 Burlington Street Bluegrass Band

SAT 02.15 RoM Theatre Prod.’s Variety Show Fundraiser MON 02.17 Open Mic with J. Knight TUE 02.18 UI Jazz Performances TUE 02.18 Karaoke FRI 02.21 Sad Iron Music + The Bernemann Brothers

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

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Row in Des Moines for female-identifying and nonbinary folk to have a safe space to talk all things kink without male-identifying people around. “Running for title was important to me because there are so many spaces that are still men-only spaces [where] women and trans folks aren’t necessarily welcome,” she said. “I wanted to win this title to be a presence in the women’s community and to change things.” The Iowa Leather title family has recently broadened its outreach, offering monthly Think Kink classes at the Blazing Saddle in Des Moines, open to anyone 18 or older. Held on the second Tuesday of every month and spanning six months, the lessons are designed for both beginner and experienced kinksters. “The first one was consent and the next one [on Feb. 11] will be about impact play,” Chris explained. “In that topic it’s about, how do you do those things without hurting, and then teaching what consent you need to think about when using a cane to hit someone.” Iowa Leather will also expand beyond Des Moines metro, hosting a Sash Bash at Studio 13 in Iowa City March 6-8, and an event in Waterloo at Kings and Queens Club the first weekend in April. I felt very comfortable interviewing Rage and Chris, and told them so. As a closeted kinky queer, being sex-forward is something I crave but haven’t acted on, held back by trauma and boys who don’t respond to my 2 a.m. booty call. The Iowa Leather titleholders reassured me that the community is open to anyone, regardless of if they’re having sex or not. There’s no pressure to be anything in a place largely written off as “bad” or “perverted,” a few negative stereotypes unfairly hurled their way. Once you overcome what society has conditioned you to believe is bad, you start living. “People have kinks. Gay, straight, nonbinary, whatever people want to identify as, they have kinks,” Chris said. “We just want to reach out and let people know they’re not alone. My title family is living our best lives and showing people you can have fun and still be an adult.” Meggie Gates is a comedian and writer from Cedar Rapids, based in Chicago, Illinois. They write for the Chicago Reader, Consequence of Sound, Reductress and a variety of other places, including, of course, Little Village, located in their favorite city in the world. They enjoy comic books and hate sand between their toes.

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LUNCH

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Sex & Love

No Such Thing as Guilty Pleasure Or, how I learned to stop worrying and write about anal play. BY NATALIE BENWAY

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asked with picking a fun and fluffy topic for my pre-Valentine’s Day column, I sat down to write around 1,200 words on anal sex—and found myself lacking in motivation. Musings on plugs and pegging were soon overshadowed by news about bushfires, plane crashes and impeachment trials. How am I supposed to write a fun-filled article about butt sex in the midst of a Dumpster fire? I shared my dilemma with a sex-educator friend. “Maybe we need sex—anal and then some— now more than ever,” he said. Another friend, Cat Fribley, turned me on to the idea of pleasure activism, a term coined by Adrienne Maree Brown, author of Pleasure Activism:

The Politics of Feeling Good. Brown’s book combines essays, poetry and interviews from feminist writers and activists, including Audre Lorde, Octavia Butler, Joan Morgan and Sonya Renee Taylor. They argue that connecting with our own sense of physical gratification is central in challenging systems of oppression. Why shouldn’t our lives be focused on feeling good—even and especially when times are dark? “We settle for suffering and self-negation because of oppression,” Brown writes. “Oppression makes us believe that pleasure is not something that we all have equal access to. One of the ways that we start doing the work of reclaiming our full selves—our whole liberated,

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free selves—is by reclaiming our access to pleasure.” She invites readers to participate in hot and heavy homework, including exercises in masturbation (Brown asks her readers to masturbate before, during and after reading her book), taking nude selfies and having consensual erotic experiences with

freedom.” I wanted to understand this idea of pleasure activism more, so, in addition to buying Brown’s book, I chatted with the friend who recommended it. Cat has been doing sex-positive advocacy and anti-sexual violence work both locally and nationally for the last 25 years. She

Anal play can also be a fun exercise in slower, deliberative, consentdriven sex. It may have a reputation for being kinky, but safe anal also requires relaxation, meditation, massage—in short, intimacy. another person. A black woman, Brown writes that taking ownership of her body, self-actualizing her own pleasure, is in defiance of America’s history of slavery and persecution. “Feeling good is not frivolous,” she asserts, “it is

helped create a business plan and worked as an employee at Iowa City’s own feminist sex shop Ruby’s Pearl, which sadly closed in 2005. At Ruby’s, Cat helped people find space and words to talk about their sexuality. She reassured them that their desires


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are normal and natural. She sold dildos and helped folks find the right vibrators (sometimes their first one). She discussed pleasure as something to be expected and deserved with customers who usually hear a very different message. Cat engages in similar conversations these days, but with people trying to return to a sense of safety, normalcy, dignity and connection with their bodies after experiencing sexual violence. “Finding our way back to pleasure is one of the ways that we stay centered in a world we are building,” she said. “We have so many places where we have experienced harm, especially people of color, trans and queer folks and femmes. Those are the same folks who are doing the work to envision new and liberation-based ways forward.” So, in the spirit of sexual liberation and frolicking the primrose path, let’s talk about anal play! Of course, not everyone enjoys incorporating the back door in their bedroom activities, but it’s an option that doesn’t always get the consideration it deserves,

despite being rather common (around 40 percent of Americans have experimented with anal play by age 50). People hoping to dabble in butt stuff with a partner may not feel empowered to bring it up, and some who had negative experiences with anal play in the past—perhaps they rushed into it or were pressured by a partner— may have written it off. But like sex in general, there’s a variety of ways to approach anal, and there are two key ingredients to ensuring a good time: communication and preparation. Anal play can also be a fun exercise in slower, deliberative, consent-driven sex. It may have a reputation for being kinky, but safe anal also requires relaxation, meditation, massage—in short, intimacy. Anal play doesn’t just mean anal penetration; many folks experience pleasure from simply rubbing or licking the anus without any penetration at all. Rimming, also called analingus, is the act of using the mouth, lips or tongue on the rim or anal opening, where most of the nerve endings are.


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With butt stuff, the potential for pleasure is high, as is the potential for pain. The walls of the anal canal are thinner than those of the vagina, and it doesn’t self-lubricate. Move slow and communicate your needs with your partner, breathe and, for the love of God, use lube. A silicon-based lubricant is recommended for anal sex. If you’re feeling tense, physically or emotionally, slow down. And remember that arousal makes everything easier—and more fun!—so incorporating masturbation into your anal play can help prepare the muscles and relieve some tension. Starting with a finger, or using a sex toy like a slim butt plug or vibrator, can be a great way to enjoy anal pleasure or to warm up for a penis or larger dildo. One thing that’s important to remember is that any toy you insert into your butt must have a base that’s wider than the rest of the toy, so part of the toy always stays outside your body. This is essential to make sure the toy doesn’t get lost up your rectum. You want to avoid that trip to the emergency room! If you have a prostate, congratulations— anal sex can be very fun for you. If you do not have a prostate, well, you still have all those touchy anal nerves. Penetrative anal can still be a good time without the added bonus of prostate stimulation, providing a unique feeling of fullness, and perhaps even internal clitoral stimulation. Don’t forget your condoms. STIs, particularly HIV, are easily transmitted through anal sex. If you like anal a lot, and have it regularly, you might even consider PrEP, a daily drug that can reduce your risk of contracting HIV. Of course, before any of this happens, you have to make the decision to try anal with your partner(s). In a healthy relationship, this conversation shouldn’t be too difficult—it may even be hot. Preferences about butt stuff can be incorporated in broader negotiations about your sexual checklist. What’s on the menu, and what isn’t? If someone wants to add something to the menu, how do we go about testing it? Consent is sexy, folks. Natalie Benway LISW is a psychotherapist in private practice in Coralville. She has a certification in sexuality studies from the University of Iowa and is currently pursuing additional licensure with the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists.


The Chieftains The Irish Goodbye

$10

STUDENT TICKETS

Wednesday, March 4, 7:30 pm One of Ireland’s most treasured musical ensembles, The Chieftains are six-time Grammy winners and incomparable instrumentalists and innovators who honor and extend the breadth and depth of traditional Irish music. The band’s tour of the United States will feature the breathtaking virtuosity for which the group is known. Join us for a trip to the Emerald Isle just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. 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 SPONSORS: Lee and Kazi Alward Nancy Andreasen and Terry Gwinn Deborah K. and Ian E. Bullion GreenState Credit Union Casey D. Mahon Gary and Nancy Pacha David and Noreen Revier Tallgrass Business Resources

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.


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I remember there used to be a strip club in Coralville, but it closed down. How could the only strip club near a big university go out of business? —Anonymous

T

here are lots of ways for a strip club to go out of business, but Dolls Inc in Coralville is probably the only one driven to extinction by a rainforest. Or rather, plans for a massive indoor rainforest. It was going to be a wonder of the world. A giant terrarium—4.5 acres—filled with free-roaming monkeys and tropical birds, as well as some unspecified prairie-dwelling animals (jackrabbits? Lesser prairie chickens?) in a separate section. In 2004, city leaders were convinced it would make Coralville an international tourism hotspot. “Visitors could stroll on suspended wooden bridges 100 feet in the air, through the tops of hundreds of towering Brazilian beautyleaf and American mahogany trees,” the Des Moines Register wrote in 2004, describing what was supposed to happen if the dream became reality. “The 20-story enclosure would look like a giant foil-covered caterpillar to motorists next door on Interstate Highway 80.” “Children would learn, researchers would study and tourists would roam through prairie, rain forest, an aquarium, an amphitheater or an IMAX-style theater in a kind of prairie-meets-the-Amazon setting.”

BY PAUL BRENNAN

Next to Earthpark—the name eventually attached to the rainforest/ prairie/IMAX/whatever complex—would be a new hotel and convention center. The city decided to call the whole thing the Iowa River Landing Project. Many Coralville citizens never bought into the Earthpark idea. But city leaders did. After all, a very rich man was behind the project. Ted Townsend of Des Moines started working on plans for a tropical rainforest in Iowa in 1996. Townsend’s father had been a successful inventor of meat-processing equipment, “including a profitable device that could strip rind from pork and stuff a hot dog at fantastic speeds,” journalist Peter Rugg wrote in his history of Earthpark. “At one point, 95 percent of all U.S. hot dogs were plumped with Townsend’s pork. The family became very wealthy.” Peter Sollogug, a Boston architect who worked on the rainforest project in its earliest stages, told Rugg that Townsend was a selfless philanthropist who wanted to improve Iowa by giving it a rainforest like the ones he’d seen on trips to Africa. “He never even wanted his name to be on anything, ever,” Sollogug said. “Never once mentioned calling this ‘The Ted Townsend Project.’ That’s one of the reasons they settled on the name ‘Iowa Child Project,’ really selling that this was about education.” That name didn’t last. The name changed to the Iowa Environmental/ Educational Project and then to the Iowa Environmental Project, before it became Earthpark. Normally, all those name changes might seem like a cause for concern, but it didn’t worry Coralville leaders.

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Townsend had persuaded universally beloved former governor Robert Ray to serve on the board of directors of the project, which reassured people. He was also an executive director of Earthpark, and was exceptionally well-connected in Iowa Republican political circles. Political connections were important, because Iowa getting a rainforest always hinged on that rainforest getting taxpayer money. Although Townsend reportedly put millions of his own dollars into the project, its estimated cost ranged between $180 million and $300 million (depending on who you asked and when you asked them). Getting Coralville to spend public money on a private business wasn’t a problem. The city is famous for its business tax breaks and incentives, doling them out at rates that jeopardize its creditworthiness and bond ratings. Coralville agreed to spend at least $10.6 million to buy property for the project to be built on. State tax dollars were tapped, too. The Iowa legislature approved spending $75 million on the project. But it was the federal tax dollars that got the most attention. In 2004, Sen. Chuck Grassley, who was running for reelection that year, announced he’d secured $50 million in matching funds for Earthpark. Grassley got the money by threatening to kill funding for other environmental projects, unless Congress supported the Coralville rainforest. (In a 2006 story on how money buys influence in American politics, The Economist highlighted Grassley’s actions, noting that Townsend donated $3,000 to the senator’s reelection campaign, before Grassley

on our homepage, or email us at editor@littlevillagemag.com.

secured the $50 million for Earthpark. Everything both Grassley and Townsend did was legal, and to The Economist that was as ridiculous as a rainforest in Iowa.) Grassley’s backing made Earthpark seem like a sure thing. An old industrial park was selected as its site, and Coralville started buying up its businesses. Dolls Inc was one of them. In October 2004, Dolls’ owners agreed to sell their property to the city for $6.3 million, and an additional $134,399 in relocation expenses. But the relocation never happened. The club owners bought a 10-acre lot south of Hwy. 6 in Coralville as the site of a even bigger Dolls, before the old club closed in February 2005. The lot had originally been zoned “heavy industrial,” but had been reclassified as “light industrial.” That was a problem. Coralville’s zoning code requires “adult-orientated” businesses to be in “heavy industrial” areas to keep them away from retail shopping areas. Dolls’ owners sued, claiming the city’s zoning decisions were just an attempt to get rid of Coralivlle’s only strip club. A judge rejected that argument. Dolls never found a new home. By 2006, Earthpark still hadn’t broken ground, and Coralville gave up on the dream. The city decided to build a more modest Iowa River Landing without a rainforest. Or a strip club.

LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM/LV278 Feb. 5–18, 2020 33


BREAD & BUTTER

LittleVillageMag.com/Dining

LV Recommends:

Eat Your Heart Out Spice up your plate with these libidiofriendly foods. BY TIFFANI GREEN

A

Oysters One of the best-known aphrodisiacs, and apparently a favorite of Casanova’s, oysters probably get their reputation from their resemblance to female genitalia and the slightly sloppy, suggestive process of eating them. They contain zinc, which boosts testosterone, and dopamine, which stimulates arousal. Try eating them the traditional way: raw on the half shell. Honey This one dates back to ancient Greece,

with Hippocrates recommending honey to increase sexual vigor. It contains boron which regulates hormone level and nitric oxide which increases blood flow during arousal. Try eating honeycomb with fruit or drizzling it directly onto your partner if you want to keep things efficient. As a bonus, raw local honey may help boost your immune system.

Strawberries This is another food with roots

in Greek mythology, as the sweet red fruits are said to originate from the tears Aphrodite cried when her lover Adonis died. They contain vitamin C, which aids in the production 34 Feb. 5–18, 2020 LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM/LV278

Jordan Sellergren / Little Village

s any Iowan can attest, Midwestern winters are long and bleak. After the merriness of Christmas subsides and the glitter of New Year’s fades, we are left with a damp gray-brown slog that can extend all the way until April. Add to that the emotional slog of an election year and it becomes doubly important to find an enjoyable way to fill the time. It’s the perfect season to stay in, eat and fuck. In fact, you might not even notice that you’ve gone a week without seeing the sun. Aphrodisiac foods combine the sensual pleasures of eating and sex. Deriving their name from Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and pleasure, aphrodisiacs are thought to improve sexual performance or enhance sexual pleasure. They sometimes contain nutrients that contribute to sexual health, although it’s up for debate whether an average serving consumed right before sex has any effect. If you’re ready to test their effectiveness yourself, here’s a list of foods to try and tips on what to do with them once you get home. of sex hormones. They’re not in season, so try dipping them in chocolate (and maybe save some of that melted chocolate for later) or using them to top off angel food cake. Chili Peppers There is legitimate science to

support the aphrodisiac effect of chilies. The capsaicin found in the ribs of the fruit stimulates the nerve endings in the tongue and increases the release of endorphins, which is likely to make you feel aroused. Any chili ranging from mild to hot will do. Salsa is always a reliable choice, or you could step outside the box and smear pepper jelly on salmon (another aphrodisiac!).

Avocado As if we didn’t already have

enough reasons to love avocados, they contain vitamin B9, which can increase testosterone production. And the Aztec word for avocado, ahuácatl, also translates to “testicle.” Conveniently, guacamole can be eaten on chips, tacos or another person.

Pomegranate Nicknamed the love apple,

pomegranates are sometimes portrayed as the forbidden fruit Adam and Eve consumed in the Garden of Eden, and have long been associated with fertility. Try sprinkling the seeds over a salad or adding the juice to sparkling wine to make a cocktail. While the efficacy of aphrodisiacs isn’t settled science, their reputation as sexual aids has persisted over centuries. This list represents only a fraction of the foods said to have libido boosting properties; a little internet research will turn up dozens of additional options. Grab a fork and a partner and start experimenting! You might just be able to stay busy—and warm—all winter.

Tiffani Green lives in Cedar Rapids with three cats, two dogs and a teenager who is taller than her. She loves botanical gardens and Victorian novels and she expresses love with meals and light housekeeping.


CULTURE

LittleVillageMag.com

A-List

The Big Reveal HomeBrewed is helping Riverside prove “thespians can boogie, too.” BY GENEVIEVE TRAINOR

36 Feb. 5–18, 2020 LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM/LV278

Jordan Sellergren / Little Village

I

f you’ve attended a fundraiser in the Iowa City area in the last several years, there’s a better-than-average chance that you’ve heard the sounds of HomeBrewed. They’ve played shows for CommUnity’s Project Holiday meal campaign, for Strengthen • Grow • Evolve, for the local chapter of National Alliance on Mental Illness and many other Johnson County nonprofits. But they’re not just a popular choice for their blues riffs and decades of combined musical talent. They actually seek out these opportunities as their raison d’etre. And more often than not, they don’t just seek them out: They create them. By day, Peter Damiano is the director of the Public Policy Center at the University of Iowa. He has also, since 1990, taught at the UI College of Dentistry in the Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry. But in what cannot possibly be a large amount of free time, he is the leader of HomeBrewed’s fluctuating lineup of generous musicians. Damiano sings and plays harmonica for the group, and is the driving creative force behind their ever-increasing selection of original tunes. He also serves as band manager and publicist, and he is the point person for the band’s most important work: guiding and collaborating with the organizations they support. “Peter is just so organized,” Kate Markham, development director at Riverside Theatre, said. “He’s just really been on top of it.” Markham has been in the planning stages for Brew and the Bard, Riverside’s big kickoff event for their free summer Shakespeare programming. There’s no cover for the event, but it launches their big fundraising campaign for the summer show, which will be announced at the event. “We’re just dropping hints kind of everywhere,” Markham, whose desire to spill the beans about the title was almost palpable, said. Markham attended summer Shakespeare shows at Riverside every year when she was in high school and college, and is excited to be part of the process of bringing them to the wider community. “It’s so fun to offer a free production … in that beautiful festival

Riverside Theatre’s production of

stage,” she said. Free Shakespeare will be in its third year this summer, and Riverside artistic director Adam Knight said it “felt like we didn’t reach the ceiling of reaching the community.” So the theater decided on this kickoff event and big reveal. They’ll be announcing not just their summer Shakespeare but their second summer show, as well as exciting changes to the production schedule. But they wanted a new format, a new idea. More than anything they wanted the event to be a community “thank you” and outreach party—a celebration. “Mostly it’ll be about the music—and having fun,” Markham said. “We’re very serious most of the time … Thespians can boogie, too.” They landed on Big Grove for the location (Markham and Knight are very excited about lifting a Burch the Bear beer in celebration), the closing day of their current play, The Agitators, as the date and HomeBrewed as the perfect fit for the entertainment. “People, when they see us play, see that we’re having fun, which allows them to have fun,” Damiano said. Damiano and his crew specialize in fundraisers like this, where the group they’re working with is testing new waters. Sometimes they’ll reach out to an organization; sometimes they’re approached. But Damiano says they enjoy “finding where there’s a niche or a gap.” The amount of work Damiano puts in varies based on the needs of the organization, but he has developed a smooth-running operation that

‘Much Ado About Nothing,’ June 2018. Brew and the Bard, Big Grove Brewery, Sunday, Feb. 16, Iowa City, 5 p.m., Free

takes the pressure off coordinators. “When we do events … it’s a lot of us paying attention to every detail,” Markham said, adding gratefully: “HomeBrewed has so many connections in the community.” Damiano spent a few years on the board of the Regina Foundation, a financial support organization for Regina Catholic Education Center in Iowa City. But other than that, he said, he’s been entirely self-taught in fundraising. He’s largely self-taught musically, too. “I’m afraid if I learn something, then I’m gonna think I have to follow some rules,” Damiano said of his excursions into songwriting. He’s done just fine ignoring the rules of how to make things work so far. What Damiano brings to the table is a passion for uniting the community and an uncanny ability to get people to buy into his goal. Everyone in HomeBrewed, including Damiano, is a volunteer. The morphing mix of roughly 10 musicians, from UI students to retirees, are a varied group. But the one thing that’s unwavering is their commitment to “music with a mission” and the community it serves. Genevieve Trainor believes that there is no greater goal than collaboration in the arts for the good of the community.


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

Zak Nuemann / Little Village

CEDAR RAPIDS/IOWA CITY

THURSDAY, FEB. 6

Mike Doughty w/ Baby Men

Upcoming Events: EVERY MONDAY - PARCHMENT LOUNGE - 6:30 PM free write session hosted by Iowa Writer's House EVERY WEDNESDAY - ANDREW'S BAR EXAM - 7:00 PM

FEB 7

Steve Grismore

FEB 8

Ross Clowser

FEB 14

Cole "The Piano Man" Thomas

FEB 15 6 PM

Bluetone Jazz Collective LIVE

FEB 16

Luke Hendrickson

FEB 21

Mike Maas & Carlis

FEB 22

Cedar County Cobras

FEB 28

Le Grand Sellegrini

8 PM 8 PM 8 PM

8 PM 8 PM 8 PM 7 PM

MONDAYS ARE HAPPY HOUR EVERY HOUR! SUNDAYS ARE 1/2 OFF ALL PIZZA ALL DAY! (319) 351-5692 • 405 S GILBERT ST, IOWA CITY

The Mill, Iowa City, 8 p.m., $20-22 Soul Coughing alum Mike Doughty is rolling through town again, and I am Here. For. It. There’s not a lot my teenage daughter and I agree on musically, but we’re both all-in for his entire oeuvre. Doughty has spent more than 25 years writing gorgeous, intricate songs that maintain their residence in your headspace long after hearing, with lyrics that elevate his tunes to masterful storytelling. Stand in the light, stand in the light. —Genevieve Trainor

FRIDAY, FEB. 7

First Friday: Art Caucus

FilmScene—Ped Mall, Iowa City, 5 p.m., Free Are you

E X H A U S T E D from the past several months and the caucus fever that gripped our poor state? Are you filled with rage or sadness that your candidate didn’t take the state (or wasn’t even viable)? Get it all out of your system and get something of a second chance by caucusing … for art! Artists are invited to bring a single work of

political art to display; attendees will align with the work that best suits their political sensibilities. Local artists Bekah Ash, Jenny Gringer, Kaitlin Murphy, Dani Sigler and Daniel Smith will serve as “precinct captains”—their work will anchor the pop-up exhibition.

FRIDAY, FEB. 7

Good Morning Midnight, Purple Frank, Dark Family, In the Pines Trumpet Blossom Cafe, Iowa City, 9 p.m., $7 Another stellar bill

of Iowa bands congregates at Trumpet Blossom for this Friday night. Good Morning Midnight’s album Both Neither and Both was a catchy-moody standout in 2018, while Purple Frank have rapidly been making names for themselves in the Iowa scene(s) through their excellent live performances. Dark Family’s recently released record Holiness is already an early 2020 favorite. Cincinnati’s In The Pines round out the bill for a great night of Midwestern indie rock. —Brian Johannesen LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM/LV278 Feb. 5–18, 2020 37


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

CEDAR RAPIDS/IOWA CITY THURSDAY, FEB. 13 photo via the artist / collage by Jordan Sellergren

Cedar Rapids Grant Information Session

CSPS Legion Arts, Cedar Rapids, 5 p.m., Free (RSVP required) The Iowa

SATURDAY, FEB. 8

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

Coralville Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, 6:30 p.m., $50 Dogs on Skis, Plastic Relations

IOWA CITY OLD TRAIN DEPOT

and Daddy’s Brother Band will be on hand to help this storied organization celebrate its long presence in the community. Era-themed rooms dedicated to the ’20s, ’50s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s and 2000s will offer food, drinks, music and activities to allow you to reminisce.

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WEDNESDAY, FEB. 12

Reading: Michael Zapata

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

living in Iowa City for about five months now, I have yet to stop by Prairie Lights Bookstore despite telling myself countless times that I’ll stop by after work. (The cold weather has been making it difficult to want to go anywhere besides curling up on my couch.) But that’s going to change! University of Iowa alum Michael Zapata will be in town discussing his debut novel, The Lost Book of Adana Moreau. I’ve been looking for what book to read next, and now I have an answer! —Izabela Zaluska

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Department of Cultural Affairs is sending staff around the state this month and next (other stops include Davenport and Keosauqua) for hour-long information and how-to sessions on the many grants offered by the state. Representatives from the Iowa Arts Council, the State Historical Society of Iowa and Produce Iowa-State Office of Media Production will offer tips and tricks on submitting strong grant applications. Give your organization or project its best shot at being recognized! —GT

FRIDAY, FEB. 14

Cheek to Cheek Valentine’s Day Burlesque

The Mill, Iowa City, 8:30 p.m., $10-$35 The second I saw

this event on the LV Tix lineup, I texted the link to my husband in a not-so-veiled hint. Headlining will be Burlesque Hall of Famer Tila Von Twirl and body-positive bombshell Lola Loquacious alongside other burlesque beauties and drag king cuties, and the


SAIGON’S CORNER Authentic Vietnamese Cuisine

CALENDAR EVENTS AROUND THE CRANDIC FEB. 5–18, 2020

evening will be hosted by Iowa City comedian JaMaya. In an adorable extra touch, there will be a pin-up photobooth! I’ll be there, but if you ask me whether it’s the champagne or the entertainment that’s making my cheeks blush, I’ll never tell. —Celine Robins

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.

SATURDAY, FEB. 15

Material Oracle

Public Space One, Iowa City, 6 p.m., Free

Love PS1. Love this community of artists. Looooove to shop. Every year my New Year’s resolution is to throw more money into the visual arts world if I have some lying around. And I know they say you shouldn’t via the event & artists / collage by Jordan Sellergren

LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM

201 S. Clinton St., Iowa City (319) 333-7233 thesaigonscorner.com

THERE’S EVEN MORE

Use the Little Village app to discover events, invite friends and add plans to your calendar. LittleVillageMag.com/app buy art for the purpose of interior decoration, but damn we could use something above the bed! Plan on seeing yours truly at the closing reception for PS1’s Material Oracle auction because this art-loving shopaholic loves a party! ––Jordan Sellergren

Wed., Feb. 5 Iowa City Open Coffee, Merge, Iowa City, 8 a.m., Free (Weekly) Siren Wednesday, CSPS Legion Arts, Cedar Rapids, 5 p.m., Free Kevin Bassett at Newbo Synth Group,

SATURDAY, FEB. 15

CSPS Legion Arts, 7 p.m., Free

Think Iowa City Foodie Festival

Reading: Tola Rotimi Abraham, ‘Black Sunday,’ Prairie Lights, Iowa City, 7 p.m., Free Struggle Jennings w/ Young Zorro, Zef Walker, FOE Savo, Trevin Blackfeather,

Coralville Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, 6 p.m., $55 Tickets to food festivals

in Iowa City tend to sell out, so the time is ripe to dive in on this inaugural event and take a chance before it gets popular. This is a small-bite tasting event, with wine and a cash bar. Proceeds benefit the CommUnity Food Bank, Coralville Community Food Pantry and North Liberty Community Food Pantry.

Wildwood BBQ & Saloon, Iowa City, 7 p.m., $20-70 Talk Art, The Mill, Iowa City, 7:30 p.m., Free

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Open Mic Night, Penguin’s Comedy Club, Cedar Rapids, 8 p.m., Free (Weekly) Magic Beans w/ Willy’s Wacky Warehouse, Kids Under Bleachers, Gabe’s, Iowa City, 8 p.m., $10-12

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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) Open Stage, Studio 13, Iowa City, 10 p.m., Free (Weekly) Late Shift at the Grindhouse: ‘The House By the Cemetery,’ FilmScene—Chauncey, Iowa City, 10 p.m., $4 (Weekly)

Thu., Feb. 6 Therapy Thursday, NewBo City Market, 5:30 p.m., Free (Weekly) Red & Blue Food & Brew, Big Grove Brewery, Iowa City, 6 p.m., $25 Iowa City Meditation Class: How To Transform Your Life, Quaker Friends Meeting House, Iowa City, 6:30 p.m., $5-10 (Weekly) Line Dancing and Lessons, Wildwood Smokehouse & Saloon, Iowa City, 6:30 p.m., Free (Weekly) Thursday Night Live Open Mic, Uptown Bill’s, Iowa City, 7 p.m., Free (Weekly) Daddy-O, Parlor City Pub and Eatery, Cedar Rapids, 7 p.m., Free (Weekly) Reading: Sean Adams, ‘The Heap,’ Prairie Lights, Iowa City, 7 p.m., Free Jason Snell: EEG-to-Music, CSPS Legion Arts, Cedar Rapids, 7:30 p.m., Free Jay Owenhouse, Paramount Theatre, Cedar Rapids, 7:30 p.m., $48-78 Live Jazz, Clinton Street Social Club, Iowa City, 8 p.m., Free (1st & 3rd Thursdays) Karaoke Thursday, Studio 13, Iowa City, 8 p.m., Free (Weekly) Mike Doughty w/ Baby Men, The Mill, Iowa City, 8 p.m., $20-22 Hank’s Monthly Moco Jam, Moco Game Room & Hot Dog Bar, Cedar Rapids, 8 p.m., Free Greet Death w/ Meth, Archeress, Trumpet Blossom, Iowa City, 9 p.m., $10 Vinyl Swap, Moco Game Room & Hot Dog Bar, Cedar Rapids, 9 p.m., Free (Weekly) DJ Loomer Thirsty Thursday Dance Party, Yacht Club, Iowa City, 10 p.m., Free (Weekly)

Fri., Feb. 7 First Friday: Art Caucus, FilmScene—Ped Mall, Iowa City, 5 p.m., Free The Home Show, Coralville Marriott Hotel, Coralville, 5 p.m., $7 FAC Dance Party, The Union, Iowa City, 7 p.m. (Weekly) Cody James, Wild Culture Kombucha, Iowa City, 7 p.m., Free

WHAT ARE WE DOING? LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM/CALENDAR

QUAD CITIES A Glimpse of an Infinite Eternal and Ever Changing Ridiculousness, Rozz-Tox, Rock Island, Friday, Feb. 7, 5 p.m., free This show might as well be sub-

392. DJ Milo and SaturnBoi will be there to spin. Join hosts Crunk Chocolate and Ginger CC for this first installation in a series of collaborative events called On Site. —MH

Summer Camp On the Road Showcase, River Music Experience, Davenport, Saturday, Feb. 15, 8 p.m., $10

titled, “A Study in Repetition, Rebirth, Redundancy, Recursion …” and so on. The name comes from Lucas Berns’ exhibition, which opens at 5 p.m. Cocktail hour is at 7 p.m. Then another cocktail hour at 8 p.m. The music starts at 9 p.m. with four acts (Aqualife, Haunter, Gabi Vanek, Dog Hairs), plus a final set during which all performers take the stage again. This show might as well be subtitled, “A Study in Repetition, Rebirth, Redundancy, Recursion …” —Melanie Hanson

Summer Camp is a music festival held annually over Memorial Day weekend, which brings together fans of folk, jam, bluegrass, classic rock, funk, country, EDM and more each year at the beautiful Three Sisters Park in Chillicothe, Illinois. Hosted by Scamp alum and local jam band, the Dawn, the On the Road showcases give local bands at each stop a chance to compete for a spot at this year’s festival. Cure your winter blues by getting out to this show to discover a new-toyou local band who you just might get to see in May while you’re eating super heady tacos at the camping stage. —PU

The Festival, Renwick Mansion, Davenport, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 6 p.m., $10-$12 If each edition of this

monthly event is a music festival microcosm, call this one the Four-Month Countdown to Chicago’s Do Division Street Fest for its rock and rhythm vibes, courtesy of: Wulfbriar, Kya Angelou, the Common Faces and Jenny Lynn Stacy. House DJ FVTVNV keeps it moving between sets. —MH

Talib Kweli w/ Sweet Diezel Jenkins, V8 Vast Change, The Rust Belt, East Moline, Friday, Feb. 14, 8 p.m., $20-25 This show

is your rare chance to see a hip-hop legend in the Quad Cities. Talib Kweli, the Brooklyn-based MC and lyrical genius, has been releasing music for over 20 years now. Kweli has undoubtedly made his long-lasting mark on hip hop as a legendary rhymesmith, whether you know his work alongside Mos Def as one half of Black Star, solo as Talib Kweli or collaboratively with Common, Kanye, Pharrell Williams and more. Listen closely and digest his messages. —Paige Underwood

On Site, Caffé392, Davenport, Saturday, Feb. 15, 6 p.m., $12

Our artists are getting restless early this year. This multiple media pop-up gallery features work from 10 (10!) very different visual artists. The brand new Cat’s Cradle Artisanal Brewing will offer a tasting of their beers alongside the in-house beverage artistes of

via the artist

LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM

LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM/LV278 Feb. 5–18, 2020 41


EDITORS’ PICKS Creative Matters Lecture: Rosanne Cash, Hancher, Iowa City, 7 p.m., Free Cinch World’s Toughest Ride Rodeo, US Cellular Center, Cedar Rapids, 7:30 p.m., $20-70 ‘A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,’ Theatre Cedar Rapids, Cedar Rapids, 7:30 p.m., $22-45 (Opening night—through Feb. 23) Joe Diffie w/ Boot Jack Duo, First Ave Club, Iowa City, 8 p.m., $20-160 ‘Boeing Boeing,’ Giving Tree Theater, Marion, 8 p.m., $22-37 (Opening night—through Feb. 23) Steve Grismore, Sanctuary Pub, Iowa City, 8 p.m., Free Exile Spotlight Series: The People Brothers Band & Armchair Boogie, The Mill, Iowa City, 8 p.m., $10-15 Anthony Worden & the Illiterati w/ In the Attic, Moco Game Room & Hot Dog Bar, Cedar Rapids, 8 p.m., Free Latin Night w/ FUZE, Yacht Club, Iowa City, 9 p.m., $5-10 (Weekly) All Sweat Productions: Bob Marley Birthday Bash, Gabe’s, Iowa City, 9 p.m., $10 Good Morning Midnight w/ Dark Family, In the Pines, Purple Frank, Trumpet Blossom, Iowa City, 9 p.m., $7 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)

Sat, Feb. 8 The Home Show, Coralville Marriott Hotel, Coralville, 10 a.m., $7 Family Storytime, Iowa City Public Library, 10:30 a.m., Free (Weekly)

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LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM Cheers to 100 Years—United Way of Johnson & Washington Counties, Coralville Marriott Hotel, Coralville, 6:30, $50 Cinch World’s Toughest Ride Rodeo, US Cellular Center, Cedar Rapids, 7:30 p.m., $20-70 Rosanne Cash, Hancher, Iowa City, 7:30 p.m., $10-65 Five Seasons Chamber Music Festival Presents: Roots of Rhythm, CSPS Legion Arts, Cedar Rapids, 8 p.m., $15-20 Summer Camp: On the Road Tour feat. Badman, Fried Ice, Levity Music, Megababes, Gabe’s, Iowa City, 8 p.m., $10 Ross Clowser, Sanctuary Pub, Iowa City, 8 p.m., Free WIRES Benefit for Australia Wildfires featuring Indigo Trip, Dog Dave, Rosemask, and Matt Bar, The Mill, Iowa City, 8 p.m., $7 The Beaker Brothers, Wildwood BBQ & Saloon, Iowa City, 8 p.m., $10-20 Miles Over Mountains w/ Sneezy Dollars, Yacht Club, Iowa City, 8 p.m., $10 Elation Dance Party, Studio 13, Iowa City, 9 p.m., $5 (Weekly) Koop & Company, Moco Game Room & Hot

Julie Mehretu, Entropia (review), 2004. Lithograph and screenprint on Arches 88 paper Printed by Cole Rogers, assisted by Mia Keeler, Tyler Starr, Joanne Price, and Zac Adams. Published by Highpoint Editions and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis

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Coralville, 10 a.m., $7 Sunday Funday, Iowa City Public Library,

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Iowa City, 2 p.m., Free (Weekly) Winter Wine Party 2020, Brix Cheese Shop & Wine Bar, Iowa City, 3 p.m., $60 Blue Carpet Bash, FilmScene—Chauncey,

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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

Think Iowa City Foodie Festival Sat, Feb. 15, 6-9 pm Coralville Marriott Hotel & Conference Center

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

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

For all your printing needs.

Winter Wine Party

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

Cheek to Cheek Valentine’s Day Burlesque Fri, Feb. 14, 8:30 pm / The Mill

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

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

Simple Meal Planning with Alina Warner, CHC Feb. 22, 10am / New Pioneer Co-op Cedar Rapids

Top Chef: Downtown 2020

Mon, Feb. 24, 5 pm / Graduate Iowa City

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Newsboys United, Paramount Theatre, Cedar Rapids, 7 p.m., $23-48 Dope Day, The Mill, Iowa City, 7 p.m., Free Rational Anthem w/ Telethon, Devon Kay & The Solutions, inasmuch, Gabe’s, Iowa City, 8 p.m., Free

Mon., Feb. 10 Open Mic, The Mill, Iowa City, 7 p.m., Free (Weekly) 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. 11 Bijou Film Board Presents: ‘God Loves Uganda,’ FilmScene—Chauncey, Iowa City, 6 p.m., Free-$7 Open Mic, Moco Game Room & Hot Dog Bar, Cedar Rapids, 7 p.m., Free (Weekly) Now Hear This - feat. Lincoln and Noel, Opus Concert Cafe, Cedar Rapids, 7 p.m., $12 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) Karaoke with Vidal, Moco Game Room & Hot Dog Bar, Cedar Rapids, 9 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)

Wed., Feb. 12 Iowa City Open Coffee, Merge, Iowa City, 8 a.m., Free (Weekly) Burlington Street Bluegrass Band, The Mill, Iowa City, 6 p.m., $5 (2nd & 4th Wednesdays) Riff Raff w/ Soultru, 26Ent., Wets & Sueno, Gabe’s, Iowa City, 6 p.m., $25-75 Reading: Michael Zapata, ‘The Lost Book of Adana Moreau,’ Prairie Lights, Iowa City, 7 p.m., Free Open Mic Night, Penguin’s Comedy Club, Cedar Rapids, 8 p.m., Free (Weekly) Underground Karaoke with Spencer, Yacht Club, Iowa City, 9 p.m., Free (Weekly) Jacqui Alpine w/ Frankie Valet, Honey Swell, Trumpet Blossom, Iowa City, 9 p.m., $7 Open Stage, Studio 13, Iowa City, 10 p.m., Free (Weekly) Late Shift at the Grindhouse: ‘Valentine,’ FilmScene—Chauncey, Iowa City, 10 p.m., $4 (Weekly)

WHAT ARE WE DOING? LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM/CALENDAR

DES MOINES JANUARY 8-21, 2020

Calexico w/ Iron & Wine, Hoyt Sherman Auditorium, Feb. 13, 8 p.m., $35-50 It’s been 15 years since

Calexico and Iron & Wine released their collaborative EP, In the Reins. I remember cashing my impressive $6.25/hour prep cook paychecks and buying the album with a grip of other Sub Pop and Saddle Creek CDs. As far as I can tell, that era of early 2000s experimentation was directly responsible for the entire indie-folk genre as we’ve come to know it. Now, nearly 15 years later, Calexico and Iron & Wine have once again teamed-up to deliver their new album, Years to Burn, with a tour that will bring the bands to Hoyt Sherman Place on Feb. 13.

Plack Blague w/ Traffic Death, Dryad, voiddweller, Vaudeville Mews, Feb. 13, 8 p.m., $10 Plack

Blague live shows are like none other. They are often aggressive, loud and overtly sexual, seamlessly marrying together aspects of EDM with various metal and hardcore microgenres. The Lincoln, Nebraska-based dance-noise project has been crafting their leatherbound industrial beats for nearly 20 years, and in the process Plack Blague has developed a cult following among both musically and sexually experimental communities across America. Des Moines has become a consistent stop and their annual tour, and this year brings Plack Blague into town for what is sure to be an intimate pre-Valentine’s Day party at the Vaudeville Mews.

Cupid’s Lounge: A Valentine’s Musical Variety Show, Vaudeville Mews, Feb. 14, 6 p.m., $8-65 For

Valentine’s Day this year, the Vaudeville Mews is hosting a musical variety show that will feature a packed bill of local bands performing short skits wherein they cover their favorite love songs. The show will be hosted by the comedy couple powerhouse of Ramona and Derek Muse Lambert, who will be cracking jokes, setting the scenes and keeping the love vibes strong between sets. Exile Brewing is sponsoring the event with a selection of hand-picked kegs, and portrait photos will be provided by Annick Sjobakken. Champagne, chocolate and flowers are also available via a limited number of VIP tickets if you’re feeling particularly sappy.

Zak Neumann / Little Village

LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM

Hustle & Motivate Pt. 1, xBk Live, February 15, 6 p.m., $10-15 The

variety show is an underutilized entertainment style, so I appreciate the scope of these massive hip-hop shows. Part one of Hustle & Motivate will feature musical performances from Entre’ Luche’, Spayce Botts, Tyler Rootz, Octoba 7ven and Nova Caine. There will also be dance performances throughout the night and a set from the Isiserettes Drill and Drum Corps. New clothing will be on display from Made4Mankind Clothing, who are hosting the event alongside SnapCity Salon. There’s a little bit of something for everyone, but they’re calling it a “Networking Event” so I suppose that’s kind of the point. —Trey Reis LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM/LV278 Feb. 5–18, 2020 45


EDITORS’ PICKS

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*At Toyota of Iowa City, Weather Permitting

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46 Feb. 5–18, 2020 LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM/LV278

Thu., Feb. 13

Fri., Feb. 14

Cedar Rapids Grant Information

Old Creamery Theatre Presents:

Session, CSPS Legion Arts, Cedar

‘Wheel of Murder,’ Price Creek

Rapids, 5 p.m., Free (RSVP required)

Event Center, Amana, 6 p.m., $52

Galentine’s Day, Big Grove

(Opening night—through Mar. 8)

Brewery, Iowa City, 5:30 p.m., Free

Friday Night Out, Ceramics Center,

Pride at FilmScene: ‘Kiki,’

Cedar Rapids, 6:30 p.m., $40 (2nd

FilmScene—Ped Mall, Iowa City, 6

Friday)

p.m., $8-10.50

Dan Hubbard, Artisan’s Sanctuary,

Reading: Thomas Cook,

Marion, 7 p.m., $10

‘Clubfoot: The Quest for a Better

Blake Shaw, Wild Culture

Life for Millions of Children,’

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

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

Grayscale w/ Hot Mulligan,

The Texas Tenors, Paramount

WSTR, Lurk, Gabe’s, Iowa City, 7

Theatre, Cedar Rapids, 7:30 p.m.,

p.m., $18-22

$40-65

‘Evita’: In Concert, Coralville Center

Ritmocano Album Release Show,

for the Performing Arts, Coralville,

The Mill, Iowa City, 8 p.m., $5-7

7:30 p.m., $14-29 (Opening night—

[iHearIC] Sneezy Dollars w/

through Feb. 16)

Prodagy, Diviin Huff, Will Yager,

‘Five Women Wearing the Same

Yacht Club, Iowa City, 8 p.m., Free

Dress,’ Rich Heritage of Cedar Rapids

UG Sounds 001: Tripzy Leary

Theatre, Cedar Rapids, 7:30 p.m.,

w/ Too Peace, MixedMind b2b

$16-19 (Opening night—through

MOGLI, 40hz, Gabe’s, Iowa City, 9

Feb. 22)

p.m., $10

Heywood Banks, Penguin’s, Cedar Rapids, 8 p.m., $23-25


LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM The Second City: Laughing For

Think Iowa City Foodie Festival,

All The Wrong Reasons, Englert

Coralville Marriott Hotel & Conference

Theatre, Iowa City, 8 p.m., $32.50-

Center, 6 p.m., $55

37.50

The Bluetone Jazz Collective,

‘Men Are From Mars, Women

Sanctuary Pub, Iowa City, 6 p.m., Free

Are From Venus’ Live!, Paramount

Material Oracle, Public Space One,

Theatre, Cedar Rapids, 8 p.m., $60

Iowa City, 6 p.m., Free

Cole “The Piano Man” Thomas,

Korn & Breaking Benjamin, US

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

Cellular Center, Cedar Rapids, 7 p.m.,

The Great Divide w/ Palomino

$49-89

Band, Wildwood BBQ & Saloon, Iowa

Hawkamania XIV, Wildwood BBQ &

City, 8 p.m., $20-30

Saloon, Iowa City, 7 p.m., $10

Cheek to Cheek Valentine’s Day

RUBBERBAND: Vic’s Mix,

Burlesque, The Mill, Iowa City, 8:30

Hancher, Iowa City, 7:30 p.m.,

p.m., $10-35

$10-45

Bijou After Hours: ‘Nude on the

Heywood Banks, Penguin’s, Cedar

Moon,’ FilmScene—Chauncey, Iowa

Rapids, 8 p.m., $23-25

City, 10 p.m., Free-$7

The Second City: Laughing For

Rebellion Burlesque: Morals &

All The Wrong Reasons, Englert

Misdeeds, Yacht Club, Iowa City,

Theatre, Iowa City, 8 p.m., $32.50-

10:30 p.m., $10-15

37.50

Sat., Feb. 15

The Pork Tornadoes, Paramount

Run of the Mill Theatre Variety

$12-22

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EDITORS’ PICKS Psymbionic w/ Zebbler Encanti Experience,

Mon., Feb. 17

Gabe’s, Iowa City, 9 p.m., $15-20

Filmmaker Spotlight: ‘Last Chance Tango,’

Joel Palmer w/ Miss Christine, Ryan

FilmScene—Ped Mall, Iowa City, 6 p.m., $5-8.50

Summers, Yacht Club, Iowa City, 9 p.m., $5-10

FilmScene 101: Contenders and Composers of

Bijou After Hours: ‘Lars and the Real Girl,’

the Fifties—Week One ‘On the Waterfront,’

FilmScene—Chauncey, Iowa City, 10 p.m., Free-$7

FilmScene—Ped Mall, Iowa City, 6 p.m., $50-60/

Sun., Feb. 16

four-week course

Big Grove Drag Brunch, Big Grove Brewery, Iowa

Homeless Men,’ Prairie Lights, Iowa City, 7

City, 12 p.m., $20

p.m., Free

Artifactory Presents: Art In The Afternoon, The Center, Iowa City, 1 p.m., Free (3rd Sunday)

Tue., Feb. 18

National Theatre Live: ‘All My Sons,’

Linn County STEM Festival, Kirkwood Linn

FilmScene—Chauncey, Iowa City, 2 p.m., $15-18

Regional Center, Hiawatha, 4 p.m., Free

‘The Agitators,’ Riverside Theatre, Iowa City, 2

Bijou Horizons: ‘Alice,’ FilmScene—Chauncey,

p.m. $10-30 (Closing performance)

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

The Poor Poor Rich w/ Jordan Sellergren

Reading: Jia Tolentino, ‘Trick Mirror,’ Prairie

Band, Old Neighborhood Pub, Cedar Rapids, 4

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

p.m., Free

‘An American in Paris,’ Paramount Theatre, Cedar

Brew & The Bard, Big Grove Brewery, Iowa City, 5

Rapids, 7:30 p.m., $53-$78

p.m., Free High Time, CSPS Legion Arts, Cedar Rapids, 7 p.m., $20-25 Luke Hendrickson, Sanctuary Pub, Iowa City, 8 p.m., Free

48 Feb. 5–18, 2020 LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM/LV278

Reading: Kate Wisel, ‘Driving in Cars with


WHAT ARE WE DOING? LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM/CALENDAR

WATERLOO/CEDAR FALLS A Two Hoo: A Taproom Release Party, SingleSpeed Brewing Company, Waterloo, Saturday, Feb. 8, 10 a.m. What? What? I’m not

usually a fan of sours, but this delightful concoction modeled after the addictive taste of a Tootsie Pop might just be the one to win me over. The American-style kettle sour joins the irresistible flavors of raspberry, cherry, vanilla and cocoa for a 5.1 percent ABV sippable treat. I’ve got to find out how many sips it takes. A tapping at SingleSpeed’s Cedar Falls location follows the next weekend.

celebrate Valentine’s Day with

bread garden market offering an assortment of housemade treats for one or many! CHOCOLATE COVERED STRAWBERRIES VALENTINE DONUTS • TRUFFLES • FRUIT TARTS MACARONS AND MORE

Ink specializes in productions that pair humor with humanity.

Friends of the Library Book Sale, Waterloo Public Library, Saturday, Feb. 15, 9 a.m. I’m a

sucker for a book sale, any time, any where. But library book sales have a special place in my heart. Books that have been retired from circulation, especially, carry this beautiful weight of history, this knowledge of readers past. This sale has a $4/bag deal, and you don’t even have to bring your own bag! If you’re a real die-hard, you can check out the Friends Preview Night, Thursday, Feb. 13, at 5 p.m.—Friends of the Library memberships can be purchased at the door for $15 ($10 for seniors).

featuring:

Valentine’s Serenade: The Romance of Robert and Clara Schumann, The Historic Ruben R. Rath Home, Waterloo, Sunday, Feb. 9, 2 p.m., $25 Cedar Valley

Chamber Music presents an afternoon program about renowned musical couple Clara and Robert Schumann. The event features vocalists Jean McDonald and Jeff Brich, violist Julia Bullard, and pianist Vakhtang Kodanashvili. It also includes a selection of art songs, musical theater favorites and romantic selections for viola and piano.

Indian Ink Theatre Company Presents: ‘Mrs. Krishnan’s Party,’ Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center, Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 11-12, 7 p.m., $33.75-50.75 New Zealand touring company Indian Ink presents the tale of Mrs. Krishan and her boarder, a wannabe DJ who invites a few friends over to celebrate Onam in her back room. When 100 strangers (the audience) descend upon them, Mrs. Krishan rises to the occasion to throw a rollicking party. Founded in Auckland in 1997, Indian

Jamee Varda

225 S LINN ST, DOWNTOWN IOWA CITY 319.354.4246 | BREADGARDENMARKET.COM

Wiki Commons

ROSES AND BOUQUETS FROM JULIE’S FOUNTAIN OF FLOWERS

Moodie Black w/ Coolzey, SOTR, Octopus College Hill, Cedar Falls, Saturday, Feb. 15, 9 p.m., $7 Moodie Black’s new album,

Fuzz, doesn’t drop ‘til March 27. But the duo will be testing out their new rap-gaze tracks a month early at Octopus.

The Lost Diaspora, University of Iowa Maucker Union Hall, Cedar Falls, Sunday, Feb. 16, 5 p.m., Free Waterloo art company Eye-Odine is

partnering with UNI to present this exploration of the African diaspora. Performances will include spoken-word artist Loréal Nichelle Lester and Puerto Rican Bomba dancer Karla Michelle Santiago Lebron. The event will both dig into the history and culture of the diaspora and celebrate the culture of Waterloo as well. LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM/LV278 Feb. 5–18, 2020 49


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Public Space One’s annual art auction

painting • sculpture ceramics • textiles prints • photography music • unique commissions and the beyond...

BID ONLINE FEB. 7-15 publicspaceone.com

FINAL BIDS & CLOSING PARTY FEB. 15, 6-8pm 229 N. Gilbert IOWA CITY

126 LOUNGE (40) ADAMANTINE SPINE MOVERS (9) ALMOST FAMOUS POPCORN (50) BASTA PIZZERIA RISTORANTE (27) BAWDY BAWDY HA HA (56) BIOTEST (9) BLANK & MCCUNE (54) BLUEBIRD DINER (50) BREAD GARDEN MARKET (49) CAFE DODICI (48) CHOMP (49) CITY OF CEDAR RAPIDS (58) CITY OF IOWA CITY (7) CROWDED CLOSET (9) THE DANDY LION (48) DELUXE CAKES & PATRIES (60) DVIP (33) THE ENGLERT THEATRE (35) FILMSCENE (23) FONG’S PIZZA (47) GIANNA’S ITALIAN BEEF (39) GRINNELL COLLEGE MUSEUM OF ART (43) THE HEARST (59) HANCHER AUDITORIUM (2-3, 19, 31) HONEYBEE HAIR PARLOR (56) IOWA CITY DOWNTOWN CO-OP (26) - BEADOLOGY - DEADWOOD TAVERN - DONNELY’S PUB - BARONCINI - REVIVAL - RAYGUN IOWA CITY EASTSIDE CO-OP (10) - HAMBURG INN NO. 2 - SHAKESPEARE’S PUB & GRILL - ENDORPHINDEN TATTOO IOWA CITY GIRLS’ SOFTBALL (14) IOWA CITY NORTHSIDE MARKETPLACE (52) - OASIS FALAFEL - ARTIFACTS - HIGH GROUND - GOOSETOWN - BLUEBIRD

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PLEASE SUPPORT OUR ADVERTISERS! l ittlevillag e m ag .co m /ad ve r tisin g READ • SHARE • SUPPORT LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM/LV278 Feb. 5–18, 2020 51


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52 Feb. 5–18, 2020 LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM/LV278


ASTROLOGY

BY ROB BREZSNEY

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): According to my analysis, the year 2020 will be a time when you can have dramatic success as you re-evaluate, re-vision and revamp your understanding of your life purpose. Why were you born? What’s the nature of your unique genius? What are the best gifts you have to offer the world? Of the many wonderful feats you could accomplish, which are the most important? The next few weeks will be a potent time to get this fun and energizing investigation fully underway. PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Physicist Niels Bohr won a Nobel Prize for his insights about quantum mechanics. But he was humble about the complexity of the subject. “If you think you understand it, that only shows you don’t know the first thing about it,” he mused. I’m tempted to make a similar statement about the mysteries and riddles that are making your life so interesting. If you think you understand those mysteries and riddles, you probably don’t. But if you’re willing to acknowledge how perplexing they are, and you can accept the fact that your comprehension of them is partial and fuzzy, then you might enjoy a glimmer of the truth that’s worth building on. ARIES (March 21-April 19): You now have the power to make connections that have not previously been possible. You can tap into an enhanced capacity to forge new alliances and strengthen your support system. I urge you to be on the lookout for a dynamic group effort you could join or a higher purpose you might align yourself with. If you’re sufficiently alert, you may even find an opportunity to weave your fortunes together with a dynamic group effort that’s in service to a higher purpose. 207 NORTH LINN STREET, IOWA CITY 319.338.1332 • WILLOWANDSTOCK.COM

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): “Victory won’t come to me unless I go to it,” wrote the poet Marianne Moore. In other words, you must track down each victory you’re interested in. You must study its unique nature. And then you must adjust yourself to its specifications. You can’t remain just the way you are, but must transform yourself so as to be in alignment with the responsibilities it demands of you. Can you pass these tests, Taurus? I believe you can. It’s time to prove it. GEMINI (May 21-June 20): While at the peak of his powers as an author, Gemini-born Nobel Prize-winner Jean Paul Sartre consumed an array of mood-shifters every day. He quaffed at least a quart of alcohol, smoked two packs of cigarettes and drank copious amounts of coffee and tea. His intake of pills included 200 milligrams of amphetamines, 15 grams of aspirin and a handful of barbiturates. I propose that we make Sartre your anti-role model during the next four weeks, dear Gemini. According to my analysis of your astrological indicators, your ability to discover, attract and benefit from wonders and marvels will thrive to the degree that you forswear drugs and alcohol and artificial enhancements. And I’m pleased to inform you that there could be a flood of wonders and marvels. CANCER (June 21-July 22): I don’t think I’m boring. How could I be? I have an abundant curiosity and I love to learn new things. I’ve worked at many different jobs, have read widely and enjoy interacting with a broad range of humans. Yet now and then I’ve had temporary relationships with people who regarded me as uninteresting. They didn’t see much value in me. I tend to believe it was mostly their fault—they couldn’t see me for who I really am—but it may have also been the case that I lived down to their expectations. Their inclination to see me as unimportant influenced me to be dull. I bring this up, my fellow Cancerian, because now is an excellent time to remove yourself from situations where you have trouble being and feeling your true self. LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Soprano Helen Traubel and tenor Lauritz Melchior performed together in many productions of Wagnerian

operas, often at the Metropolitan in New York City. Friends and colleagues but not lovers, they had a playful relationship with each other. A favorite pastime was figuring out tricks they could try that would cause the other to break into inappropriate laughter while performing. According to my quirky reading of the astrological omens, Leo, the coming weeks will be a propitious time for you to engage in similar hijinx with your allies. You have a poetic license and a spiritual mandate to enjoy amusing collaborative experiments, playful intimate escapades and adventures in buoyant togetherness. VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Eighteenth-century author Samuel Johnson singlehandedly compiled the influential A Dictionary of the English Language, which remained the definitive British dictionary for 170 years. We shouldn’t be surprised that it was a Virgo who accomplished such an intricate and exhaustive feat. As a high-minded Virgo, Johnson also had a talent for exposing hypocrisy. In commenting on the Americans’ War of Independence against his country, he noted that some of the “loudest yelps for liberty” came from slave-owners. I propose that we make him one of your role models in 2020. May he inspire you to produce rigorous work that’s useful to many. May he also empower you to be a candid purveyor of freedom. LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Is there a project or situation you’d love to create but have lacked the confidence to try? Now is a time when you can finally summon the necessary courage. Is there a long-running dilemma that has always seemed too confusing and overwhelming to even understand, let alone solve? Now is a favorable time to ask your higher self for the clear vision that will instigate an unforeseen healing. Is there a labor of love that seems to have stalled or a dream that got sidetracked? Now is a time when you could revive its luminosity and get it back in a sweet groove. SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Was there a more influential 20th-century artist than Scorpio-born Pablo Picasso? He was a revolutionary innovator who got rich from his creations. Once, while visiting a gallery showing of art made by children, he said, “When I was their age I could draw like Raphael [the great Renaissance artist]. But it took me a lifetime to learn to draw like they do.” In accordance with your current astrological omens, Scorpio, I suggest you seek inspiration from Picasso’s aspiration. Set an intention to develop expertise in seeing your world and your work through a child’s eyes. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): I know a Sagittarius man who has seen the film Avengers: Endgame 17 times. Another Sagittarian acquaintance estimates she has listened all the way through to Billie Eilish’s album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? 135 times. And then there’s my scholarly Sagittarian friend who has read the ancient Greek epic poem the Iliad 37 times. I have no problem with this behavior. I admire your tribe’s ability to keep finding new inspiration in sources you already know well. But in my astrological opinion, you shouldn’t do much of this kind of thing in the coming weeks. It’s high time for you to experiment with experiences you know little about. Be fresh, innocent and curious. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Athens was one of the great cities of the ancient world. Its vigorous art, theater, philosophy, architecture and experiments in democracy are today regarded as foundational to Western culture. And yet at its height, Athens’ population was a mere 275,000—equal to modern Fort Wayne, Indiana or Windsor, Ontario. How could such a relatively small source breed such intensity and potency? That’s a long story. In any case, I foresee you having the potential to be like Athens yourself in the coming weeks and months, Capricorn: a highly concentrated fount of value. For best results, focus on doing what you do best. LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM/LV278 Feb. 5–18, 2020 53


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LOCAL ALBUMS

The All Souls’ Day EP Nadalands NADALANDS.BANDCAMP.COM

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he All Soul’s Day EP, the newest release by Nadalands, is, apparently, firmly in the post-songwriter (poso?) tradition. This may mean that John Lindenbaum, Nadalands’ heart and soul and only official member, is engaged in employing the trappings of the singer-songwriter tradition to consider topics and ideas that are not generally the stuff of, say, James Taylor or Joni Mitchell or Neil Young songs. Or it may mean something else entirely. Either way, The All Soul’s Day EP is comprised of five quirkily lovely and frequently disturbing songs driven by unusual imagery and Lindenbaum’s thick-honeyed, often angelic voice. It is brief, but it is rich, and like a particularly rich meal, it may well benefit from moderation. Lindenbaum, who hails from Colorado, has a deep relationship with the Iowa City music scene. Along with this record, which (like other Nadalands releases) features beautiful harmony vocals by Iowa City’s Alexis Stevens and Brian Johannesen, Lindenbaum is also in the Lonelyhearts and Rust Belt Music with Iowa City arts executive and essayist Andre Perry. The EP opens with “We’re All Slaves in a Capitalistic System, Aren’t We?” in which, we learn immediately, a man finds his own corpse in the trunk of his Corvette. The song continues as the critique of capitalism its title

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suggests, but the oddest, most oddly beautiful moments in the song are found in its chorus: “Oh, man, I don’t know how he got there but / He’s got my face and my clothes and even my haircut / After our co-workers go / Would you care to help me dump this body?” There’s something about “even my haircut” that lends pathos to the strange, disorienting moment of discovery. And the formal shaping of the request for aid— “Would you care to help…?”—is, delivered in Lindenbaum’s plaintive voice, courtly and romantic. Which is, of course, weird. The corpse in the Corvette is immediately followed by a bag of 54 human hands at the top of the next number, “The Amur River.” Despite the grisly opening, it’s something of a love song, set in Siberia. “Plagues,” the EP’s third track, convincingly introduces synesthesia into its storytelling. It’s followed by “Red Light Runners,” which opens with the lines “I am the last terrestrial hermit crab / Kept as a pet / In the American Southwest” and ends with the gut punch of “Admit if you can that all of us are Abrahams / More than willing to sacrifice our sons.” The EP closes with “Deep Thoughts From Arizona’s Most Affordable Mental Health Community,” which turns out to be the Grand Canyon. The song features an image both predictable and powerful that Lindenbaum fully sells with the ache inherent in his voice: “They told me the natural beauty / Would help me forget all the shooting / But I just see the far side of the canyon / So close I can almost reach / So close I might just leap.” Throughout these songs, Lindenbaum allows the musical lines to shape how and when he delivers various words and phrases. The technique adds to the EP’s off-kilter beauty and rewards repeated listening. —Rob Cline

Aubs Sensei of Syllables

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he first time I heard Aubs. perform the titular “Sensei of Syllables,” he was on the Rozz-Tox stage with one of his writing students. Abdur, 12, had just made his debut at Roaring Rhetoric, the spoken word event series Aubs. founded. Aubs. is Aubrey Barnes, known to the QC lit community as a performative poet with a steady, rhythmic delivery and experimental style. He’s one of the most ambitious working writers in the region. His dual album Sensei of Syllables I and II is an experiment in poetic lyricism. “It was a challenge of combination of the arts that I value,” Barnes writes in our texts about the project. “Part I was much more experimenting, trying out … what worked and what didn’t. Or better yet, what was me and what wasn’t.” Barnes is a lot of things. In addition to the work that falls under the umbrella of Aubs., he teaches and maintains an academic career with a focus on writing. He’s teaching When Battle Rap and Poetry Meet: A Writing Workshop with Aubs. at Midwest Writing Center on Friday, Feb. 7 at RozzTox in Rock Island, Illinois. His experience as a teacher appears in his lyrics. Por ejemplo, the end of “Dat Skonk” seems to include part of a rant I’ve heard many a writing instructor recite in so many words (“… but your resume sucks when I see it on paper / most of y’all write like you were first graders …”).

But for a lyric more indicative of his style—teaching, writing, being, etc.—look to the opening of “Black Samurai (Jabez Da Sorrow)”: “They said, ‘black boy, be more wise’ / there’s no such thing as a black samurai / imagination’s not for guys / you cannot be a black samurai …” The song goes on to describe the social oppression of a cerebral youth who finds strength in imagination. It’s a theme at the core of Barnes’ lessons: Use knowledge and creativity as a power for good. His choice to exchange “wiser” for the less grammatically correct “more wise”—with emphasis on the first half of “wise”—is a sample of the playfully sardonic sensibilities that make him so accessible. He alludes to expectations, which he then subverts, to give the listener a window into that experience of our aforementioned cerebral youth—of the “outsider,” so to speak—through active listening. In other words, we have little choice but to engage with the lyric, which itself is composed of mental breadcrumbs designed to lead us to form a conclusion. Funnily enough, Aubs. considers Sensei of Syllables, Part I—which includes “Black Samurai”—to be almost frivolous in comparison to Part II. If Part I was an experiment to explore his identity as a poet and rapper, is Part II a confirmation of that identity? How does he know when he’s found what’s him and what isn’t? “As corny as it sounds, by Feel,” he writes. “Whenever I create something, I have a gut feeling that affirms I wrote a certain bar or verse from a place of authenticity, or just because it was convenient and easy, if that makes sense.” “From a practical place, I know it’s me when I have a balance of writing something that is dope as fuck lyrically, and also says something … whether thought provoking or truth-telling.” —Melanie Hanson

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LOCAL BOOKS

Sean Adams The Heap WILLIAM MORROW (A HARPERCOLLINS IMPRINT)

Reading: Sean Adams, Prairie Lights, Iowa City, Thursday, Feb. 6, 7 p.m., Free

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n his first novel, Iowa Writers’ Workshop graduate Sean Adams masterfully satirizes bureaucracy, capitalism and hustle culture in a way that is humorous and disturbing, while constructing an intriguing narrative that deals with the mystery of human connection. Before it all came tumbling down, Los Verticalés was a 500-story self-contained architectural curiosity equipped with nearly everything needed for a burgeoning metropolis. “The Vert,” as it was called, was a “city that grew up rather than out, defying directional norms until the day it could no longer hold.” The collapse of the Vert led to countless deaths and wreckage scattering across 20 acres of desert. The lone survivor, 103.1 WVRT radio personality Bernard Anders, is trapped at his soundboard in an underground studio that hasn’t completely caved in. Surviving on water trickling out of a wall and a diet of rats, he continues broadcasting over the airwaves. Ratings soar as listeners tune in to hear about life on the inside. One of those loyal listeners is his estranged brother Orville, who hopes to reconnect with Bernard and joins the colossal “Dig” effort, where valuables are to be retrieved to finance a monument

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

dedicated to the Vert’s memory. The only way Orville can talk to his brother is by calling into the radio program through a phone bank. Guilt-ridden about his lack of connection to Bernard, Orville hopes to rescue his brother—but complications arise. He is surrounded by characters who, nearly without exception, are shameless opportunists with hidden (and sometimes not-so-hidden) agendas. During his quest, he uncovers layers of deceit to unearth strange and dark secrets buried beneath the tragedy as well as those trying to exploit it. Orville soon learns “there are greater forces at work,” as he finds himself entangled in a web of conspiracy and intrigue when a media company tries to profit off his brother’s predicament. He also encounters an outfit known as the Vocalist Cartel, “voice actors without morals” who are “willing to do anything for a price.”

tragedy and tenderness, Adams’ satiric vision presents a world obsessed with the myth of infinite growth and egos attempting in vain to reach such heights, where hope for humanity survives when people search for truth beyond the deceptive dimensions that keep such dangerous illusions intact. The Heap is a debut definitely worth discovering, and it’s worth encouraging others to “Join the Dig!” —Mike Kuhlenbeck

Lovar Davis Kidd Paper Planes: A Collection of Poems not Crumpled on the Floor SELF-PUBLISHED

AN INVENTIVE BLEND OF HILARITY, TRAGEDY AND TENDERNESS The narrative is threaded with selections from a collective memoir by Vert residents who were away during the collapse, titled The Later Years. These excerpts reveal the bizarre inner workings of this social and financial experiment. Along with gaining a sense of the massive scope and structural wonder of the Vert, readers are allowed rare inside views into the world within its walls: the class divisions between those in the inner units (the “windowless”) and those with wealth in the outer units (the “windowed”), the unexpected consequences from expansion and shady dealings on every corner. An inventive blend of hilarity,

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edar Rapids-based dancer, educator and poet Lovar Davis Kidd started the new year by self-publishing a volume of poetry entitled Paper Planes: A Collection of Poems not Crumpled on the Floor. This collection calls to mind the author’s spoken word performances, and most of these pieces beg to be read aloud. The short book is divided into three sections: On Life, On God and On Love. The first section moves from thoughts on growing up to Netflix to racism. The poem “Slant” offers questions with few solid answers other than “... turn your head to get a new perspective. / The question is when will it all change?” From there, Kidd turns to reflections on identity when he writes, in the poem “Racism,” “I felt like another stereotype ... / Birthed into societal injustices of a choice a white mother and a black / father

made when they laid in a bed with no thoughts of my present / tense.” He pushes on in this poem to question society and the way people view themselves and others. On God is a 13-page section that reads more like a modern devotional than poetry, with Kidd taking scripture from the Old and New Testaments of the Bible and offering meditations on the verses. In the piece “Ask of Me,” Kidd cites a verse in Psalms and then offers exhortations to his reader on how to apply this to life, writing, “Shake off the dust of despair. There’s no burden too great...” Certainly there are poetic elements at play, as in the entry “Unashamed,” where Kidd writes, “So, in this attempt to live transparent, I’ll use my conclusion to show you God’s grace is inherent.” Again, I found myself wanting to hear Kidd perform this piece rather than read it on the page. Sometimes it is the prosody of a poem that really brings it to life, and if you’ve ever seen this author perform, you know exactly what I mean. The final section contains the title poem, which challenges the reader with these lines: “Love demands you stay but flight is required to escape. Your folds / shaped me into this paper plane pilot and you co-exist.” The abstractions in this particular poem leave to the reader a variety of interpretations. Kidd pays tribute to his sons in “#myloveisgrowinformylesandkohen” before moving on to a lost love and his own love of writing. While the fonts change distractingly from poem to poem, the content is heartfelt and real. Kidd offers his readers a glance into his life, his devotion and his art. In a unique twist, the book closes with several blank pages and the admonition to “Use these last few pages to uncrumple your words and let your story take flight.” —Laura Johnson

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BURSTING WITH PRIDE

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LittleVillageMag.com

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29. Car song car 31. Specifics, in slang 34. Keto diet no-nos 35. You may need a key to read one 38. Uncommon collectors’ items 40. Instrument featured in a punnily titled song by comedian Bo Burnham 41. “Hit me up ...” 43. Long ultimate frisbee pass that shares its name with a Twain hero

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does 58. Star Trek character played by Marina Sirtis 59. Architect who died in 2019 at 102 60. Love group 62. Show attitude toward 63. Athlete with 81 consecutive match wins on clay 64. Playing with convoluted NFL rules that can involve sudden death, e.g. 65. Agile climbers 66. Headphone problems circumvented by wireless sets 67. Jay-Z’s former club

tacklers, say 32. Advice in a world where nothing is as it seems 33. Plan that might be discovered by an intelligence agency 34. Beehive part, or beehive parter 35. Applesauce eponym 36. New Yorker critic Hilton 37. Promote, as an influencer might 39. Losing streak 41. Temperature regulator for a CPU 42. Wings of a plane, for example 45. “I’m having the time of my life!” 46. Chance to play 49. Careless 51. “What’s goin’ on?” response 55. Country south of its namesake gulf 56. Beehive, e.g. 57. Nipple 58. Org. since November 2001 61. Intended recipients of Voyager’s Golden Record, briefly

DOWN 1. Mental slip-up 2. Disorganized stack 3. Sacred cup 4. Crash site? 5. Some posters 6. Get fit 7. Large drum 8. Doha denizen 9. Polynesian, e.g. 10. “O, it came ___ my ear like the sweet sound ...”: Shakespeare 11. How you can’t tango LV277 ANSWERS 12. ___ L G B T Q I A + Rachel Wood of A P R I L OV A SO L E S Westworld P I A NO N A T L EOV I 13. Like some S L I NG E T A A RN A Z E E L G R U R E N E N E models J E E P I ND Y 22. Light over T B I RD D E E T S yellow C A R B S MA P R A R E S OBOE HO L L A HUC K 24. One may be M L K WE T S U I T S R I dead or bitter B E E RH A T GRUN T E D S L E E T F R O N T 26. Concur COME SOU T ON T OP 28. “Sure!” T RO I I MP E I HO L E S A S S N A D A L I NO T 29. Dog bite? A P E S K NO T S N E T S 30. Evaded one’s

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60 Feb. 5–18, 2020 LITTLEVILLAGEMAG.COM/LV278

Profile for Little Village Magazine

Little Village magazine issue 278: Feb. 5-18, 2020  

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