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Sound Notes Pick o’ the Week

12/19/2012

Ravi Shankar — the finest sitar player of his generation, inspiration to everyone from The Beatles to Philip Glass and father to Norah Jones — passed away last week. It’s been a tough December for fans of non-top-40 niche musicians, with the passing of progressive jazz legend Dave Brubeck on Dec. 5, and Shankar on Dec. 11. Traditional superstition says these things happen in threes; as of this writing, pan flute master Gheorghe Zamfir was alive and well.                

Time for a recap for anyone still scoring at home. Donna Summer: Rock and Roll Hall of Famer; KISS: Not Hall of Famers. Randy Newman: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; Joan Jett: No Hall for you. Well, at least the Hall of Fame voting panel can cross “right an unconscionable wrong” off its bucket list this year with the induction of both Rush and Heart.                

It’s a short week of notes this week, due to the holiday and all. But there’s still plenty of good stuff going on to help you rock away those chilly December nights.               

Kick things off at The Standard on Thursday, Dec. 20, where you can catch some blues, courtesy of Curry Harter. Music goes from 5 to 8 p.m., and there’s no cover.               

Then look to Wooly’s on Friday, Dec. 21, where you can catch Des Moines natives Euforquestra and its benefit for the Food Bank of Polk County. The all-ages event kicks off at 8 p.m., and tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door. Mr. Baber’s Neighbors and Bright Giant also perform.                

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Also on Dec. 21, Vaudeville Mews is hosting an End of the World Party, because, you know, funny memes about the Mayans. Anyway, The Films of John C. Reilly anchor that one, and it kicks off at 8 p.m. Ramona and the Swimsuits, PURE GUT, The French Dials and Pussy Willow also perform; $5 at the door.                

What’s that, you say? Don’t want to head downtown on Friday night? Then check out the Hull Avenue Tavern, where you can catch Level B Road.               

Then, on Saturday, Dec. 22, Gas Lamp plays host to David Zollo’s holiday party. The Iowa City roots rocker’s show starts at 9 p.m. and will be $7 at the door. The Body Electric opens.                

Also on Dec. 22, House of Bricks has Spidercake, Kick and Strange Matter in an early show at 5 p.m. and 4ENT, Social Schade and Best of Fools, starting at 9:30 p.m. Admission is $5 for the early show and $10 for the late one.                

On Sunday, Dec. 23, mosey on over to El Bait Shop and check out J.B. and the Smoothsayers.                

Then, be sure to have yourselves a Merry Christmas, impolitic though it might be to say. Here’s hoping that bearded, fat stalker surprises you with something good.              

Finally, on Wednesday, Dec. 26, the Blue Moon Dueling Piano Bar has Toaster performing rock covers from 8 to 11 p.m. Worth mentioning because I appreciate both toast and word association. Mahalo. CV

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