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Music Staff Picks: The Best Releases of April

billy woods – Aethiopes On Aethiopes, billy woods reestablishes his strengths as a storyteller, with help from producer Preservation’s experimentally jazzy beats. By now, woods has cemented himself as one of hip hop’s greatest writers, and his brooding yet clever introspection sounds especially powerful over Preservation’s musical backdropping. Samples of pianos will twinkle across some tracks, and pound discordantly on others, while electric guitars ring and horns blow. By the time the harmonica enters the equation, the beats here are unparalleled. It is an enveloping atmosphere completed by excellent percussion, which moves between hand drums, full kits, and shuffling jangles … Continued

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Soccer Mommy Hints at New Sound at Mission Creek Festival

Overall, Soccer Mommy earned the headline spot at Mission Creek Festival with their bright-sounding indie underpinning the deeper, darker meaning looming in the lyrics. Sometimes, Forever releases June 24th and can be pre-ordered through her website. 

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On Cloud Nine with Beach Bunny

Beach Bunny had had their first performance of their tour at the Englert Theatre. The theater quickly filled with excited young bodies thrilled to see Beach Bunny live.

Yankees Edge Cubs in Tanaka Sweepstakes

As always, the Major League Baseball offseason has brought about several marquee free agent races. In December, former New York Yankee and perennial All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano signed with the Seattle Mariners for a 10-year deal worth a whopping $240 million, making it the fourth-largest contract in MLB history. Although the Yankees missed out on resigning the superstar, the Bronx Bombers picked up the biggest new name in free agency with the signing of Masahiro Tanaka, a Japanese right-handed pitcher who is poised to become an ace in the American League. The much-discussed Tanaka sweepstakes came to an end … Continued

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In the same way a four-year starter for the Iowa football team wishes to end their career with a fulfilling sense of victory and accomplishment, I too want to leave the University of Iowa with something more than the intangible Hawkeye pride I’ve already possessed for years… I want bragging rights. In the context of football season, (holy porkchop, we’re almost a month into the schedule) bragging rights are represented through traveling trophies designated for each respective rivalry game. (Yes, I realize the ultimate prize for FBS football teams is the coveted glass ball awarded to the BCS national champions, followed by … Continued

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The 2012-2013 NBA campaign has certainly provided basketball fans with an abundance of twists and turns to follow, not to mention the various storylines that have developed from the outset of the season. Thankfully, as another outstanding regular season came to a close, a plethora intriguing storylines will finally come to fruition as the playoffs continue. So, as the first round matchups unfold, here are some of the elements I’ll be watching closely, as well as my projected forecast for each these developments. Dwight Howard and the Kobe-less Lakers After a whirlwind of a regular season, the once-laughable Lakers somehow … Continued

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For the past three years, I’ve had the privilege of traveling west to the Martian land of Arizona to attend Spring Training for my beloved Chicago Cubs. No matter the final standings from 2012, Spring Training is a magical time for every team. Previous victories and defeats are washed away, and for a few brief weeks, each organization is hopeful about the prospect of the new season. As I prepare for another trip to Phoenix, I’m looking forward to seeing several intriguing Cactus League matchups. While lineups are never certain for preseason exhibitions, there are a variety of things worth … Continued

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