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What's Happenin': August 20 - 26 PDF Print E-mail
Lifestyle - Noteworthy Events
Written by Mike Schulz and Marguerite Day   
Wednesday, 20 August 2008 02:03

River Roots Live

Downtown Davenport

Friday, August 22, and Saturday, August 23


The Guess Who Attending the Kenny Chesney concert at the i wireless Center: $80. Seeing 22 concerts at River Roots Live: free.

Oh wait, that's supposed to be "priceless." In this case, though, the two words are pretty much synonymous.

The annual River Roots Live music festival, which takes place August 22 and 23 in downtown Davenport, is offering free admission to concerts from local, national, and international artists for the very first time. Some of the big names performing this year are the late-1960s band Foghat, Canada's first international rock stars The Guess Who (pictured), and the emerging IDM (intelligent dance music) band Goodnight Nurse, while local artists include Lissie, Jim the Mule, Rude Punch, and Head Held High.

In addition to the concerts, the festival will bring back the annual RibFest, with the annual "People's Choice Award" for best ribs; each River Roots Live ticket will have a ballot on the back, allowing rib connoisseurs to vote for their favorite, and the winner will be announced Saturday evening.

But even if ribs and concerts aren't enough entertainment for you, the festival is also hosting a Guitar Hero III tournament and West Music Junior Jam workshops, with featured instructors including Travis Williams and Ellis Kell.

More information on the River Roots Live festival - taking place on Davenport's Second Street - can be found at - Marguerite Day



Jamie Kennedy

Saturday, August 23

Penguin's Comedy Club


Jamie Kennedy On August 23, actor/comedian Jamie Kennedy will perform stand-up at Penguin's Comedy Club in Davenport. And September 9 brings with it the national DVD release of actor/producer Kennedy's Heckler, a documentary in which the star gets filmmakers and performers to share unpleasant memories of verbal and journalistic assaults by critics.

With that in mind, I'd like to share this snippet from a review of the 2003 comedy Malibu's Most Wanted:

"Jamie Kennedy's overprivileged white rapper B-Rad has been so meticulously thought-out that the actor's performance is more than just deeply amusing - it's freakishly smart and, shockingly, even touching." - Mike Schulz, River Cities' Reader,

Just wanted Kennedy to remember that we critics can be cool sometimes, too. (He hasn't read my Son of the Mask review, right?)

And he's certainly fared better than many of his contemporaries, as the talented creator of the 2002-4 sketch-comedy series The Jamie Kennedy Experiment also earned laudatory reviews for such films as Three Kings, Bowfinger, Boiler Room, and the Scream series, and will again be a weekly television presence when he joins the cast of CBS's The Ghost Whisperer this fall.

Plus, Heckler looks like a fascinating piece of work, especially since it's the type of documentary that could never be filmed in our area, as everybody here loves critics. Right? Right?

Uh ... hello ... ?

More information on Kennedy's set is available at - Mike Schulz



The Birthday Cakes and Meadowlark Lemon

Racer's Edge

Thursday, August 21


The Birthday CakesSo a few weeks back, I get an e-mail with the subject heading "The Greatest Band in the World to Play East Moline." And I'm excited, because I'm thinking, you know, Dr. Teeth & the Electric Mayhem. And then I open the e-mail, and it turns out to be this Canadian band The Birthday Cakes (pictured), who are playing Racer's Edge on August 21.

The group admits that "greatest band in the world" title is self-proclaimed, but the musicians from Sudbury, Ontario - brothers Clayton, Cameron, and Carter Drake - claim to deliver a multimedia rock show featuring "caterwauling, frenzied songwriting, and vigorous live performance," and are on a mission to "take back the all-brother-band torch from sissies like Hanson and the Jonas Brothers." I'm not sure how well they'd pull off "Can You Picture That?", but they still sound like fun.

But then, I get excited when I see they're sharing the bill with Meadowlark Lemon, because I love the Globetrotters, yet it turns out to be another band from Canada. Composed of Clayton Drake and Jonathan Danyliw, Meadowlark Lemon's two-man outfit lists Radiohead, Sigur Ros, and Beck as influences, and according to that press release, "their music ranges from delicate, soft harmonies to all-out psychedelic noise explosions."

They sound fun, too. But still - sneakin' across our border to take jobs away from retired basketball legends and Muppets? It just irks me, I'm tellin' ya ... .

For more on both Racer's Edge acts, visit and - Mike Schulz



Save the Music Festival

Hal's Wagon Wheel

Saturday, August 23


Firesale "Jeff!"


"I'd like to do a What's Happenin' piece on this August 23 event at Hal's Wagon Wheel."


"Oh come on, Jeff, it's gonna be great! It's called the Save the Music Festival, and the proceeds benefit an organization called S.O.S. Through M.A.T.E.S. - which stands for ‘Save Our Students Through Music & Theatre Education Services.'"

"I said it's fine. Go right ahead."

"Don't be like that, Jeff - you've got to let me write it! All the funds go toward the purchase of musical instruments and equipment for free music and theatre instruction for Quad Cities kids ... ."

" That's fine, Mike ... ."

" ... and there'll be performances by local bands Trailer Park Fantasy, After the Fall, August Zimbal, Shallow Grave Satanic Symphony, and Firesale ... ."

" Mike ... ."

" ... and there'll be food and door prizes and a 50/50 raffle and free music lessons and a date auction and ... !"

"Mike. You're fine. Write the piece."

"You know what, Jeff? Go ahead and fire me, 'cause I'm gonna write the piece anyway. Somebody's got to stand up for the kids in this community! Somebody's got to help those who can't help themselves! And it's gonna be us, damn it! ‘The What's Happenin' pages! Champions of the masses!'"

"Whatever gets you through the day, Mike ... ."


Admission to the Save the Music Festival is $3, and more information is available by calling Leeann Jones at (563) 499-5220. - Mike Schulz



Acting Smart

Helpful Tips on Appearing More Intelligent Than You Actually Are


the caber toss You probably have a good idea of what to expect from this year's Celtic Highland Games of the Quad Cities festival, taking place at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds on August 23. As ever, this annual, eagerly-awaited celebration of Scottish and Irish culture will feature cultural displays, food and craft vendors, pipe bands, dancers, children's activities, and impressive feats of strength galore, with brave - and brawny - participants taking on such challenges as the hammer throw, the farmers' walk, and the ever-intimidating caber toss (pictured).

Yet it wouldn't be the Highland Games without the climactic ceilidh, and if you overhear festival-goers discussing it but don't understand what it is they're discussing, here are five ways to join the conversation without betraying your ignorance.


1) Know what a ceilidh is: The ceilidh is a traditional Scottish/Irish gathering, featuring storytelling, singing, and dance.

2) Know when and where the ceilidh is taking place: The post-games party runs from 6 p.m. to midnight in the fairgrounds' Starlite Ballroom.

3) Know who's performing the ceilidh: The Quad Cities' own Barley House Band plays at 7 p.m., the Celtic-folk duo of Switchback goes on at 6 p.m., and Cedar Rapids' Wylde Nept performs at both 8 and 10 p.m.

4) Know how to pronounce "ceilidh": It's kay-lee.

5) Know how to use "ceilidh" in a sentence: Walk up to a caber-tossing attendee of the Celtic Highland Games and say, "Faith 'n' begorrah, yer lookin' wall-fallin', ya gombeen, so what say ya take a pint at the ceilidh 'n' cop on, ya gammy gack!" If you get punched in the stomach, it's probably because you pronounced it incorrectly.


More information on this year's Celtic Highland Games of the Quad Cities, which begin at 9 a.m. and run until midnight, can be found at - Mike Schulz


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