Monsanto Controls the Weather: A Midwestern Corn-spiracy Theory

Melanie claims genetic engineering is to blame for the decrease in local humidity and temperatures this summer, so I ask her: “Why do you think Monsanto is responsible?” She responds with another question: “Do you know anything about corn?” “I know how to pop it.” “A moderately-sized cornfield can create its own thunderstorms,” she continues…

Deporting the Working Man

No one has ever accused the Midwest of being colorful. At the moment, we are a gloomy people. We celebrate our heritage of boiled potatoes and ice hockey, which is comforting for about ten seconds. Then you start to notice the dimensions where our community is a cultural desert. As much as I love the…

Art. Culture. Pork.

You’ve found The Ugly Iowan. We focus on Midwestern cultural events and phenomena – primarily in the Quad City area – with occasional jaunts to exotic places like Ireland and South Dakota. Library punk will never die. Get on in here. Or visit mnhanson.com to complain.  

Fear in a Small Town

Update, August 22, 2018: Police found Mollie’s body in a corn field yesterday. They have someone in custody, and he has reportedly confessed. At this moment, he is appearing in court in Poweshiek County. My mother told me not to travel alone this week. “I read that 30 people have gone missing in Iowa in…

The Biggest Little Venue on Two Continents

Rio de Janeiro, London, Berlin, and Rock Island. All of these places have something in common: venues that consistently host international artists and cultural virtuosos. Rozz-Tox QC is the only intimate Midwestern venue (outside of a few spots in Chicago and Minneapolis) that consistently brings in acts from all over the world. Every continent is…

Record Store Day at Ragged

Bob Herington is a cool dude with a cool job and cool glasses. He’s like a much better version of John Cusack in High Fidelity. Like, you actually want to spend time with him and never get the urge to kick him in the liver. Bob’s already proven his good musical taste many times over, so you…

Lavender Daughter’s Moline Club Baptism

On Sunday night, I texted my best friend: “I’m lost in an abandoned country club, and I just found keg half-full of beer.” Because I like to send her tidbits from my life with little to no context. There were a couple of things wrong with the text, though – excluding the fact that, yes,…

Kweku Collins is Coming to Save Us

In a fog of existential collapse, Kweku Collins is a beacon. He’s a good artist to find when you’ve been beaten down so hard by loss, pain, and despair that you can hardly move. He’ll get you to move – whether it’s through dance, creative inspiration, or just enough psychic energy for you to take one more blind swipe at joy.

Case in point: the title of this post. It makes the corner of my mouth turn up just a bit, and I’d hope a lyrically inventive rapper – with an experimental streak – like Collins would appreciate it.

Calls for Submission

Call 1 Aubrey Barnes, the Midwest Writing Center’s Poet-in-Residence, is curating a community blog. He’s accepting submissions until November 25th – a little over two weeks from today. Nowhere in the call does it specify that you must be from the Quad Cities or even the Midwest; we’re a tolerant people. In addition to my own contribution,…