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October 4, 2006


“The Secret History of the Cedar Valley” is a exhibit organized by Art Professor Matthew Wilson which will take place in March/April of 2007 at the Wartburg College Art Gallery in Waverly, Iowa.

The show will celebrate the wonderful array of influential bands and musicians in the Cedar Valley, and will also uncover more obscure but equally fascinating lo-fi musical projects of hitherto unknown individuals and groups.

The spontaneous energetic spark of the creative impulse will be championed as embodied in the Do-it-yourself (DIY) aesthetic, which valued the homemade over the mass-produced.

The exhibition will feature art, design, photography, cultural artifacts, videos, and original music documenting the prolific creative output and rich cultural impact of the independent (“indie”) rock music scene in the Cedar Valley over the past 30 years.

Interactive listening stations will allow gallery visitors to hear archival recordings of local music and will provide a wealth of visual and historical information about each selection. Videos and films will be shown of musical performances and documentary footage of cultural events. The design of posters, flyers, albums, cassettes, CDs, and other promotional materials will be showcased.

This exhibit is being planned with the cooperation and assistance from student volunteers and members of the local community to make it as creative, intense, and exciting as possible!

Click here to download a PDF of this description.

Vintage Photographs by Matt Tandy

Just was sent a small collection of photographs documenting a hardcore show in a garage on Franklin and 18th St. in Cedar Falls in June, 1987.

Scope of the Show

This exhibit is a huge undertaking and as its curator I have had to focus in on what it is possible to try and cover in the time we have. Here is a general idea of the focus of TSHOTCV:

  • Geographic: Bands from Cedar Falls, Waterloo, Waverly, and surrounding areas within a reasonable distance. [see map]
  • Timeframe: 1977-2007
  • Genre of Music: Original Alt Rock (punk, post-punk, hardcore, noise, garage, lo-fi, indie pop, grunge, etc) [This will be a tricky one to define precisely.]

As we move forward, we may need to focus even more, depending on the volume of material we uncover and our own production timeline. I hope we can get in as much as possible, but as with all things, there's only so much time and so many resources.

Iowa Underground Archive

For those who have not seen this, check out the excellent Iowa Underground Archive run by David Wilkins in Des Moines for a good look at what the underground music scene looks like in Iowa.

October 9, 2006

An Iowa Scene Report circa 2003-2004 (?)

An interesting scene report from Eastern Iowa circa 2003-2004(?)--though they incorrectly list Cedar Falls-based power trio House of Large Sizes as being from Des Moines!

Wunderground Exhibit at RISD Museum

Check out "Wunderground: Providence 1995-Present" [Flash] on an exhibit at the RISD Museum showing poster design from art and music events in the Providence, Rhode Island area. Over 2200 posters were shown, salon style, covering the gallery walls. An interview with the curator can be found here. Pretty cool stuff. And check out this video of the opening!

October 18, 2006

Band List

I have been collecting the names of bands from three different eras in the Cedar Valley scene. Some of these bands I know of, others are a total mystery to me. This list is going to form the bulk of the material to be put in the exhibit. Read through the list and if you see any omissions, please comment to this post so I can add bands that we've forgotten or didn't know existed.

The 80s (1980-1989)
Aggressive Chubbies
Box 10
Crock of Dookey
Cul-de-Sac of Fear
Cynical Young Skins
Dead Souls
House of Large Sizes
Jim Curtis
Looney Tunez
Primitive Ritual
Sorry Excuse
Static Farm
Stone Wakening
The Beveragemen
The Glorious Sloshbuckets

The 90s (1990-1999)
Angry Cops
Cars of the Country Music Stars
Dale Hansen and the Farm Report
Desert Fish
Fantasy Kitchen
Fat Bertha and the Love Shakers
Heroic Nonsense
Innocence Broken
No Consensus
Online Inventory
Page 5 Girl
Safety Second
Shootin’ Hollywood
Sinister Plot
Stephen Oulman Tot Lot Band
Suave Frog
Test Project
The Clark Kents
The Fruits
The Police Cops
Wagner Quartet
Weird Clouds and Rainbows
What If The Man
Win the Fight/Begin Again

The 21st Century (2000-present)
A is Jump
Albino Spiders
Ben Cook-Feltz
C.F. Sound Station Unity Crew
E.D.I.T.H. (Exit Drills)
Gen Ed
Imaginary Enemies / Imaginary Friends
Knuckle Sandwich
Modern Life is War
My Pet Robot
Night Sweats
Old Scratch Revival Singers
Rocks and Rooftops
Ryan Creery
Teddy Boys
The Beat Strings
The Cactus Rats
The Halfway Situation
The Mittens
The Power Plant
The Sno-Mans
The Spectacle of Kumpffnhauser / Louisons Amusements & Oddities

October 23, 2006

Sinister Flower Gift is Still In Print??

I've been scouring the web for used records and tapes from Iowa bands and came across the amazing fact that Sinister Flower Gift, the debut lp by the Des Moines-based band the Hollowmen is still in print at the Pravda Records website for $8.99! The site looks a little outdated, but I ordered a copy and will let you know if it actually goes through.

UPDATE: Tom Armstrong of the Hollowmen currently lives in San Francisco and is still playing music. Here's a link to his current musical project.

UPDATE (Nov 3): Look what came in the mail today:

Tom Armstrong of the Hollowmen told me that these albums are from their first pressing of the record which came out in 1985. Amazing that 22 years later you can order it from the same label! My only quibble: It didn't come with the lyric insert.

Black Flag in Cedar Falls? (June 19, 1986)

Uncle Fester & That's All Right Productions


Here's some more posters:

About October 2006

This page contains all entries posted to The Secret History of the Cedar Valley in October 2006. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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