Hello My Name Is…Iowa City Edition

Today brings the story of three artists/bands from Iowa City, Iowa. Let’s see how they came up with their names…

King Toad is the project of Areli Jamal Morgran River (aka “White Jamal”, aka “Hambo Joe”, aka “John Fields”, aka “Fart.” Here is the story behind his name:

“In junior high I read a fantasy paperback novel in which a character saw a monster and began hollering about it being ‘the Toad King.’ In the book’s universe the fellow wasn’t even correct, it was just a random troll, not The Toad King, but I guess I liked the idea quite a bit. I don’t remember bringing it up exactly, but I know I pretty much immediately started trying to get people to call me King Toad. Eventually my friends and I even printed up a bunch of t-shirts that said “The Really Scary Toad Clique” and started wearing them to school and giving them out to anybody who wanted one. All this had nothing to do with music originally, but at age 20, when I wanted an alias to release albums under, King Toad seemed like as good a choice as anything. 7 albums later, it apparently still does. I’ve tried to retire the name, more than once, but ultimately I always gravitate back to it.”

Liberty Leg is a  trio consisting of Ethan Richeson on vocals, Craig Ziegenhorn on guitar and Josh Carrollhach on drums. They formed in 1999 in Iowa City and later moved to New Orleans for a few years, before coming back to Iowa City permanently, right before Hurricane Katrina. The group currently has a full length album out called Way Back When. Here is the story behind their name:

“Well, we liked the fact that it didn’t have a definite meaning and it was kind of abstract.  Though later we found out it was also a butcher’s term for a cut of lamb, which is funny because our singer Ethan used to be a butcher.  Now he cuts apart squid and octopus for a Korean restaurant.  I also found out that his youngest sister is named Liberty.  I still don’t know them all because he has 13 siblings and he’s the oldest.  Ethan came up with the name so I don’t know if any of these things consciously played a role.  We liked the name Liberty Leg because we thought it kind of sounded like an old indian battle.”

Catch ’em live!

Oct 25 2008 at The Picador in Iowa City, IA

Coolzey is a solo artist from… You guessed it, Iowa City, Iowa!

“When I was in 4th grade I started a rap group called Shotguns and Dandelions, and I wrote all the rhymes. I was really into Weird Al so we did a parody called Welcome to the Restroom. I had to name everyone in the group, so I named most of the people after Digital Underground members, like Money T, Shock D, and my friend Jam Master Hag, of course. But I wanted a simple name because I have always been a minimalist. My favorite hip hop name at the time was Kool Rock from the Fat Boys. That’s the simplest, coolest name of all time, I think. So I decided to be Cool Z. Well, around 1999 I decided to spice it up a bit, and I’m just a weirdo, so I changed the spelling to Coolzey, with the emphasis on the first syllable. I wanted it to sound French, kind of, I think.  I like the language and I was really into being anti-macho in hip hop, ‘cus I love going against the grain.At first people couldn’t wrap their heads around the spelling, and they kept calling me Cooley Z on flyers and in person. But after a year or two that faded, and now it’s how everyone knows me!”

Catch Coolzey live!

Oct 14 2008 at Vaudeville Mews in Des Moines, IA
Oct 15 2008 at The Industry in Iowa City, IA
Oct 28 2008 at Vaudeville Mews in Des Moines, IA
Oct 29 2008 at Picador in Iowa City, IA
Nov 11 2008 at Vaudeville Mews in Des Moines, IA
Nov 25 2008 at Vaudeville Mews in Des Moines, IA


One response to “Hello My Name Is…Iowa City Edition

  1. Speaking of Digital Underground, their new album dropped this week. You can get it on iTunes or at http://www.cdbaby.com/digitalunderground … it’s a pretty dope album, and there’s quite a few tracks I really like. I dare you to get the first track “Eat Boiled Peanutz” and blast it as loud as you can!!!

    – JT

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