The University of Iowa University of Iowa

Mission Creek Preview: KRUI 40th Anniversary & Saturday

Saturday marks the busiest day for the Mission Creek Festival. In the afternoon, there are a plethora of community pop-ups featuring literature, books, records and zines, along with a couple free shows for attendees. In the evening, a wide array of artists will be playing at various venues across Iowa City, including Trumpet Blossom Café, Riverside Theater, Gabe’s and The Englert.

Saturday is also the KRUI 40th Anniversary Birthday Bash, where alumni from across the country are coming together to celebrate the student radio station’s impact and longevity since March 28th of 1984. The party will feature an anniversary gathering at 3:00 PM, and a live music performance at 5:00 PM both at the Iowa Memorial Union. Here are the details of what’s going on Saturday.

KRUI 40th Anniversary:

Image via Blist Her

Blist Her

The Midwest can be isolating. Flatness can consume you. If you try to drive away, you’ll only be met with the familiar red rhythm of powerlines flashing on the horizon.  

Blist Her is a shoegaze band from Burlington, Iowa. The Midwest feels less like their place of origin, and much more like the perfect backdrop to all their songs. I hear an infinite field in the fuzzy, droning guitar, and thick snowfall in the glittering ambiance. As the drums slowly trudge on, so does your car. It too is now acutely familiar with the crimson flashes in the distance. 

Blist Her’s songwriting is tender but disturbed. It blends short, aching lines with beautiful environmental descriptions. While words in the band’s songs are few, usually no more than 10 lines per song, their vocalist Brandon Boyd delivers them with a confessional tone that blankets you in sorrow and new beginnings. This local act fits well for the celebration of an Iowa City staple in KRUI. Come cry, come smile, and maybe walk out of it feeling a little more connected to your Midwestern existence. 

-Casper Bakker, Production Staff

Image via OHYUNG


Robert Ouyang Rusli has found themself walking down seemingly miles of red carpet in recent months for the release of the film Problemista, directed by Julio Torres, and the most recent film put out by the production company A24. They wrote the soundtrack for the film, along with composing for several other movies as well. As a recent transplant to Iowa City from New York City, they have been performing experimental noise sets in the Iowa City area over the past few months under their performance name OHYUNG. Now, they find themself performing as the headlining act for the KRUI 40th Anniversary Birthday Bash. 

Combining, many different sonic genres, OHYUNG’s albums have varied from permeating minimalistic ambient tracks like on imagine naked! to the blown out maximalist trap beats in PROTECTOR. Live sets also have vast variation, and can balance between peaking bright shearing sounds, to a soothing calm atmosphere, to loud abrasive and anxious breakbeats dabbled with harsh noise. They’re reminiscent of lying still among the serene tranquility of nature, and then being dragged out into the chaos of artificial human living. Two contrasting survival arcs. Ripping out the essence of a person’s humanity, it can either destroy, or stand still and take in the beauty around them. OHYUNG couples this with a lively stage presence, breaking into sporadic convulsions and writhing across stage often drenched in ebbing and flashing light. The sets are both visual and auditory artistic displays. 

OHYUNG has been prolific, with many performances in places across the United States. Their performance portfolio even includes a Boiler Room set in collaboration with animator Lorin Roser. Now, their next show will be to commemorate this historical benchmark in KRUI’s history. Like the student run radio station itself, they will create an experience lasting in memories for years to come. 

-John Glab, Editor-In-Chief


The Blake Shaw BIG(ish) Band performing “Love For Sale” at the 2019 Iowa City Jazz Festival

The Blake Shaw BIG(ish) Band (3:00 PM ReUnion Brewery)

The Blake Shaw BIG(ish) Band will be playing ReUnion Brewery on Saturday at 3:00 PM for the Mission Creek Festival. Shaw has cultivated a group of masterful players and writes arrangements to play to their strengths. Shaw himself features on double and electric bass, while also doing vocals at times. His band is composed of some of the best improvisational players around Iowa, whether they be music professors, retired band teachers, or some of Iowa’s best local musicians. Shaw also serves as the entertainment director of Iowa City Pride, along with providing insight for the Iowa City Jazz festival. 

The group as a unit is so tightly put together, whilst also feeling loose and freewheeling. This can be seen in the performance of “Love For Sale” from 2019’s Iowa City Jazz Festival. Speaking from personal experience, his group was a joy to see live when they performed at Hancher Auditorium in August. If you like jazz and find live performances enjoyable, this is a great show to go see. To quote Mission Creek, this is “for fans of bass, funk, hot people, and a good time.” You can keep up with Shaw’s activities by visiting his Instagram @theeblakebass. 

-John Mumm, Music Staff

New Standards Men (3:30 PM Trumpet Blossom Café)

A particularly unique inclusion, Denver’s New Standards Men reward those with an ear for details. Opting for more longform pieces, the band offers an exploration of tonality and progression, featuring elements of jazz, metal, drone, and post-rock. Their works are epic in nature, and command the listener’s attention. Fans of such acts as Earth and Godspeed! You Black Emperor, consider making time for this performance. 

-Evan Raefield, Music Staff

Image via Sam Hammond

Bootcamp (4:45 PM Trumpet Blossom Café)

Formed in May of 2023, Bootcamp is a hardcore punk band that doesn’t disappoint. With members from several other notable hardcore groups, they’ve made a mark in the local Iowa City Hardcore scene with an assault of consistently energetic performances, and a powerful demo tape released by Pokeys Records in August of last year.

In the short time they’ve been a band, they’ve already toured across parts of the United States, established a strong following in the local community, and garnered praise from many other musicians in the hardcore sphere. Bootcamp’s shows are typically short and punchy, with lively crowds often including an active mosh-pit. Their presence on stage is, similarly, active. The band members exude a fantastic energy that really elevates their shows. 

-Harry Epstein, Editorial Staff

24thankyou (7:30 PM Riverside Theater)

Having more than established themselves as a band on the cutting edge of Iowa City’s local scene, 24thankyou is coming off the release of their debut album, Everything I Was, Burning Slow. Each song feels like an auditory adventure of its own, with their most recent album featuring forays into avant-folk, bedroom pop, trip-hop, and more. Their performance is not one to miss. No matter the sonic palette, each song is delivered with its trademark one-of-a-kind energy and colorful delivery. 

-Evan Raefield, Music Staff

Image via .em

m denney (7:45 PM Gabe’s)

m denney will be performing at Gabe’s on Saturday at 7:45 PM. m is a local artist whose work fragments genres, mediums, and ideas to create a unique experience threading together our very lives. She works in electronic and noise music, guitar, writing, and lying about being a composer. These works frequently incorporate collaboration from other local artists such as dancers, instrumentalists, and other performers to bring a visual element to her one-of-a-kind sound. m’s career has spanned many cities, many names, many genres, and many mediums, but no matter what she does, it is sure to be experimental and wholly unique.  

m’s performances are mesmerizing. They’re a web of sounds, engrossing the audience in an alien experience that challenges them to consider what connects them, these noises, and the world around them. My experiences at her shows have been fascinating. Her style has a knack for pulling you in with its persistent, familiar repetition yet always leaving room for more, keeping the audience on edge with curiosity. The underlying droning and blinking lights further hypnotize me as I imagine the jungle of audio equipment analogous to the connections between the sounds it outputs. m’s set is sure to be a truly unique experience. You can find her previous work on her website, and her future performances under the name .em

-Trent Strawhacker, Editorial Staff

Image via The Boot

S.G. Goodman (8:00 PM The Englert)

S.G. Goodman is a singer-songwriter based in Murray Kentucky, that caters to the Americana folk set of ears. Raised in a rural area, within the confines of a Southern Baptist church, Goodman makes songs that convey feelings around forbidden love. She speaks on the queer experience while living in a community that isn’t entirely accepting. Through the medium of music, Goodman produces songs that are interpreted as a means of healing from the traumatic experience of not being welcomed for who you are by your own community.  

Tender and bittersweet, Goodman represents and holds an identity within the country genre that one doesn’t usually run into. She pours her sapphic longing in lyrics of sentimentality and instrumentals of nostalgia. The approach that she has toward rock is one that sets out a unique perspective and voice within the genre. It is a voice that is much needed. Her well-known album Teeth Marks probes into sensations of yearning, within the umbrella of something passionate and evocative blossoming into fruition. What Goodman has to offer are reflections of reality placed in the romance of outlaws. It makes the listener want to live their truths just as she does. 

-Anika Maculangan, Editorial Staff

Nadah el Shazly (8:45 PM Riverside Theater)

Nadah el Shazly’s work is not to be overlooked. Originally hailing from Cairo, Egypt, she combines a creative art folk style with precisely played jazz, classical, and electronic backings. The result is a wholly original whirlwind of influences capable of profoundly moving an audience. Their compositional attention to detail alone is enough to make this performance a must-see for classically trained audiophiles, as well as anyone interested in the sheer artistry that el Shazly is capable of displaying.  

-Evan Raefield, Music Staff

Image via Death By Audio

Osees (9:45 PM The Englert)

Osees (aka Thee Oh Sees, Oh Sees, The Oh Sees, OCs) is the blossoming brainchild of musician and visual artist John Dwyer. Founded in San Francisco, and now based in Los Angeles, the band has gone through various lineup and name changes since their inception in 1997. The band’s sound is erratic, spanning a range of genres, all with a distinct psychedelic garage rock edge. Osees started to flourish as a band in the late 2000’s and early 2010’s in DIY venues across the country. The band is known for their bombastic live shows, making it a performance not to miss during The Mission Creek Festival on Saturday.

-Casper Bakker, Production Staff

Image via Bandcamp

Pelada (11:00 PM Gabe’s)

Iowa City is not often one of the last stops, at least to my knowledge, of a music act on their farewell tour. Mostly because I associate the “farewell” tours with bands that were not able to pass the test of time, providing their goodbye, which is sometimes ephemeral, in large, stadium-like venues. Additionally, these farewell tours are often more called for than not. Whether it be because of the state of the band members or lack of interest from audiences. This is far from the case with Pelada, who have decided that 2024 is going to be their last, and we are fortunate to have them in Iowa City closing the Mission Creek Festival.  

Pelada is characterized by a its electronic music backbone with a punk ethos, and Spanish lyrics. The vocals provided by Chris Vargas sternly communicate themes of evolving inequality, climate change, and social justice with vigor. Production is mainly managed by Tobias Rochman, taking foot on techno and house, with strong probes to industrial music, and heavy yet tasteful uses of acid bass lines. Their highly acclaimed Movimiento Para Cambio gained traction with a fully-fledged ideal of what punk in an electronic music context would sound like. Ahora Más Que Nunca is their most recent project, released in mid-September of 2023.  

After 10 years, one EP and two highly acclaimed LPs, Rochman shared on Instagram the dates for the last stops in the first half of 2024 and announced that Pelada would end by January 1st of 2025. I remember a couple weeks after, Rochman posted an Instagram story expressing frustrations over fees regarding transporting their gear into Mexico for their Pitchfork Music Festival performance in Mexico City. He added that increasing fees for touring artists in the United States and internationally is one of the reasons the duo will be dismantled.  

Those working behind the scenes at The Englert, knowledgeable or not of the situation, worked out to provide an incredible opportunity to witness a unique musical act once again. But now with the caveat of being one of the last shows for this duo. Expect an unrepeatable danceable experience, where defiance is the protagonist. 

-Andrés Mora Mata, Music Director