What's Happenin': Thursday, February 20, through Wednesday, March 5 Print
Lifestyle - Noteworthy Events
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 18 February 2014 06:00

Miles NielsenMusic

Miles Nielsen & the Rusted Hearts and Chicago Farmer

The Redstone Room

Friday, February 21, 8:30 p.m.


Americana musician Miles Nielsen performs at Davenport’s Redstone Room on February 21 alongside his ensemble the Rusted Hearts, and in an interview in the Decatur Herald & Review, Nielsen said of his team, “I want the band to sound like guys who have experienced a winter.” Let’s hope, for his local set, that Nielsen also wants his audience to have experienced a winter, because otherwise, he’s totally gonna be at the wrong venue.

A resident of Rockford, Illinois, and therefore no stranger to bitter winter weather himself, Miles is known to some for being the son of Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen. Yet through his vigorous touring schedule and his CDs Miles and Presents the Rusted Hearts, no one who’s heard the junior Nielsen could argue that he’s merely following in his famous dad’s footsteps. A gifted singer/songwriter/instrumentalist in his own right, Miles Nielsen’s anthems of working-class life and autobiographically influenced folk tunes – among them hits such as “Dear Kentucky (You’re Killing Me)” and “Cold War” – are worlds removed from the pop joy of “Surrender” or “Dream Police.” The young artist, though, is starting to amass acclaim similar to his father’s, with Hyperbolium.com calling Nielsen “an adventurous musician, with a deft pen and a rasp-edged voice that’s at home in a wide variety of styles,” and Glide magazine writing simply, and accurately, “Papa should be proud.”

And joining Miles Nielsen & the Rusted Hearts during the February 21 engagement is fellow Illinoisan Cody Diekhoff, a man far better known buy his musical moniker Chicago Farmer. With Chicago Innerview magazine praising “his commanding voice and passion behind his storytelling,” and Chicago Acoustic Underground writing, “His voice will make you sit up and listen,” the Delavan, Illinois, native has been a beloved Midwestern sensation since the release of his 2005 debut About Time. 2013’s Backenforth, IL, meanwhile, is Chicago Farmer’s sixth collection of incisive and evocative Americana tunes, and with its release, the artist is quoted as saying that his music is meant for “the kind of people that come to my shows. Whether in Chicago or Delavan, everyone has a story, and everyone puts in a long day and works hard the same way.” Tell me about it. Why just last week, for my job, I had to sit through three movies in a row, and ... .

They’re never letting me in the RME on the 21st, are they?

For more information on the Redstone Room evening with Miles Nielsen & the Rusted Hearts and Chicago Farmer, call (563)326-1333 or visit RiverMusicExperience.org.



The Farewell DriftersMusic

The Farewell Drifters


Monday, February 24, 7:30 p.m.


Praised by American Songwriter for their “lavish, layered sound” and by NoDepression.com for their “exuberant musical intelligence,” the widely acclaimed roots, folk-rock, and bluegrass musicians the Farewell Drifters play Rock Island’s Rozz-Tox on February 24 in support of the band’s new CD Tomorrow Forever, which was released less than a month ago. Ah, if only tomorrow were forever. Then I’d never have to get to all that laundry and housework I keep telling myself I’ll do tomorrow.

Based in Nashville, and composed of Zach Bevill, Dean Marold, and brothers Joshua and Clayton Britt, the Farewell Drifters began as a musical project of the performing siblings, who played together in garage bands during their high-school years in Franklin, Kentucky. Following the additions of lead singer Bevill and bassist Marold, the quartet hit the music scene with a bang near the end of the last decade with numerous festival performances and a showcase on NPR’s popular “Says You!” program, and found their debut CD, 2010’s Yellow Tag Mondays, landing at number-10 on Billboard’s bluegrass charts the week of its release.

The immediate success of the Farewell Drifters’ blend of, as described by AcousticMusic.com, “folk, bluegrass, nu-grass, mild country, and various other roots styles” led to another Billboard smash – 2011’s Echo Boom – which debuted at the number-six position. And with Tomorrow Forever, this group of young, thoughtful, and gifted musicians has started to amass the sorts of critical huzzahs that even the most venerable of artists would envy.

PopMatters.com, for instance, raved about the Farewell Drifters’ “unfiltered vocal sincerity, choruses that have drive without being dumbed down by overly anthemic lameness, and gutsy musicianship that’s as mature as it is whimsical.” NoDepression.com wrote that the group “accomplishes a form of alchemical magic that deserves a wide audience.” And AcousticMusic.com said that the ensemble’s output “goes down easy, provokes more than a few wistful reminiscences, but is generally up and sunny – not the ‘divorce, Jack Daniel’s, and prairie dogs’ that mark so much of the genre in general.” Whew. ’Cause I’m only acquainted with one of those things.

For more information on the Farewell Drifters’ Monday-evening set, call (309)200-0978 or visit RozzTox.com.



Amanda Zweibohmer, Jordan Webster-Moore, and Shannon Rourke in The Laramie ProjectTheatre

The Laramie Project

St. Ambrose University

Friday, February 21, through Sunday, February 23


The Laramie Project, which will be performed at St. Ambrose University’s Galvin Fine Arts Center February 21 through 23, concerns the immediate aftermath of the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old gay man who was taken to a remote location, severely beaten, tied to a fence, and left there for 18 hours before a passing cyclist first noticed his body. It’s consequently easy to see how the play could be an absolutely unbearable experience. But as St. Ambrose director Daniel Rairdin-Hale rightly says, “Though it is a play about tragedy, ultimately I believe there are messages of hope within it.”

And that, in the end, is the amazement of this 2000 work by writer Moisés Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theater Project: The tale that The Laramie Project tells may be horrific, but its presentation is much closer to exhilarating.

With its dialogue taken from transcripts of hundreds of interviews conducted in the town of Laramie, Wyoming, over the weeks following Shepard’s killing, the drama hews close to the facts. Yet through its nine-person cast, The Laramie Project allows more than two dozen of Shepard’s family members, friends, neighbors, and fellow college students – and others – to also address the meaning of the crime, and specifically, what it meant for Shepard to be an out gay man situated, as one character says, “in the middle of cow country.”

What results is a kaleidoscopic meditation on bigotry, tolerance, fear, hate, and forgiveness, and a play that, with all due respect to the subject matter, also proves enormously entertaining, allowing for startling narrative developments, surprising bursts of humor, and the chance for actors to stretch their muscles on all manner of character roles. (For St. Ambrose’s production, those fortunate performers include Nikki Devens, Chris Galván, Sam Jones, Kevin Noel, Liz Phillips, Shannon Rourke, Conor Strandquist, Jordan Webster-Moore, and Amanda Zweibohmer.)

Described by Variety magazine as “a riveting theatrical experience,” The Laramie Project is a work that Rairdin-Hale believes “is just as important today as it was 14 years ago,” allowing for discussion “about hate crimes, issues of sexual orientation, religion, what it is to be human, and how we treat other humans.” And even if you’ve seen the play, or its 2002 HBO movie version, previously, consider seeing it again. As the New York Times’ Charles Isherwood stated in his review of last year’s Laramie Project revival: “Some stories – painful though they may be to hear – gain in meaning and stature in the retelling. Why not keep listening?”

For more information on, and tickets to, The Laramie Project, call (563)333-6251 or visit SAU.edu/galvin.



CSI: The ExperienceExhibit

CSI: The Experience

Putnam Museum

Saturday, March 1, through Sunday, July 6


“Hey, Jeff!”

“Hey yourself, Mi – . Oh, no. What’s with the outfit this time?”

“Do you like it? I worked on it all night!”

“It’s horrible.”

“What do you mean? I’m wearing it in honor of the new CSI: The Experience exhibition at the Putnam Museum!”

“I should have guessed.”

“It’s going to be at the Putnam from March 1 through July 6, and it’s an interactive look into the world of crime-solving based on CBS’ hit CSI: Crime Scene Investigation franchise, and it looks like it’s going to be both educational and incredibly entertaining!”

“You don’t say.”

“I do! It allows museum guests to advance their critical-thinking skills and learn the art of forensic science through three separate crime scenes! In the ‘A House Collided’ area, for instance, you get to examine fingerprints and blood-spatter patterns, engage in fiber analysis, and study the victim’s DNA to discover cause of death. In ‘Who Got Served?’, you get to review evidence within a cell phone and ladies’ handbag, and establish time of death. And in ‘No Bones About It,’ you get to analyze the bullet from a found skull, test the DNA of an animal’s hair, and even get to compare dental records! Fun, huh?!”


“Toxicology, anthropology, entomology, pathology, firearm identification, forensic art ... . You get to learn about all that stuff at CSI: The Experience! And you actually get to engage in hands-on research using real equipment, and view multimedia introductions with members of the CSI cast! It’s gonna be a blast!”

“Sounds great, Mike. But the outfit. Really. You had no other options?”

“Hey, I spent all evening making these bullet holes in my torso look authentic! And it was either this or my Marg Helgenberger costume, so ... .”

“Good choice, then.”


For more information on the Putnam Museum’s CSI: The Experience exhibit, call (563)324-1933 or visit Putnam.org.



What Else Is Happenin’...?



Thursday, February 20 – Daytrotter: Communion. Concert featuring performances by Brave Baby, Oh No Fiasco, JohnnySwim, Chris Coleslaw, and Brooks Strause, with a DJ set by Ragged Records. Rock Island Brewing Company (1815 Second Avenue, Rock Island). 7 p.m. $11 advance tickets. For information, call (309)793-4060 or visit RIBCO.com.

Thursday, February 20 – Bob Marley Tribute with Natty Nation and Two Peace. Tribute show with the roots-rock and reggae musicians. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 8 p.m. $8. For tickets and information, call (563)326-1333 or visit RiverMusicExperience.org.

Thursday, February 20 – Nora Jane Struthers & the Party Line. Concert with the Nashville-based singer/songwriter and her ensemble. Rozz-Tox (2108 Third Avenue, Rock Island). 8 p.m. $8. For information, call (309)200-0978 or visit RozzTox.com.

Friday, February 21 – Great River Show Choir International. Two-day competition featuring show choirs from more than 20 schools in the Quad Cities and surrounding areas. Adler Theatre (136 East Third Street, Davenport). Friday 4:55 p.m. start, $5-8; Saturday 8:30 a.m. start, $5-12. For information, call (563)326-8500 or visit GreatRiverShowChoir.com or AdlerTheatre.com.

Saturday, February 22 – Lucero and William Elliott Whitmore. Rock, soul, and blues musicians in concert. Rock Island Brewing Company (1815 Second Avenue, Rock Island). 9 p.m. $20. For information, call (309)793-4060 or visit RIBCO.com. For a 2012 inteview with Lucero’s John C. Stubblefield, visit RCReader.com/y/lucero.

Saturday, February 22, and Sunday, February 23 – Music of the Deep North. Folk songs from Sweden, Finland, and Latvia with the professional vocal ensemble the Nova Singers. Saturday: First Lutheran Church of Galesburg (364 East Water Street), 7:30 p.m. Sunday: St. Paul Lutheran Church of Davenport (2136 Brady Street), 4 p.m. $15-18. For tickets and information, call (309)341-7038 or visit NovaSingers.com.

Saturday, February 22 – Lúnasa. Concert with the internationally touring Irish instrumental band. Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). 8 p.m. $22-25. For tickets and information, call (319)688-2653 or visit Englert.org.

Sunday, February 23 – Fran Wilkins and Semenya McCord. Jazz musicians educate and entertain in Polyrhythms’ Third Sunday Jazz Workshop & Matinée Series. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 3 p.m. jazz workshop, $5/adults, free for students. 6 p.m. concert, $10-15. For tickets and information, call (309)373-0790 or visit Polyrhythms.org or RiverMusicExperience.org.

Sunday, February 23 – Quad City Symphony Orchestra Youth Orchestras. Winter concert with the student musicians. Augustana College’s Centennial Hall (3703 Seventh Avenue, Rock Island). 4 p.m. $5-10. For tickets and information, call (563)322-7276 or visit QCSymphony.com.

Wednesday, February 26, and Thursday, February 27 - Rev. Robert Jones. Concert with the musician, storyteller, preacher, and Mississippi Valley Blues Society Blues in the Schools artist-in-residence. Wednesday - Cool Beanz Coffeehouse (1325 30th Street, Rock Island). 6:30 p.m. Thursday - River Music Experience (131 West Second Street, Davenport). 7 p.m. Free admission. For information, call (563)322-5837 or visit MVBS.org.

Friday, February 28 – Orquesta Son del Tumbao. Salsa music and dancing with Ed East, Omar Alaniz, and Nelson Martinez. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 8 p.m. $10-12. For tickets and information, call (563)326-1333 or visit RiverMusicExperience.org.

Friday, February 28 – Jupiter String Quartet. Touring musicians perform Beethoven, Hindemith, and Schubert in a concert in Hancher Auditorium’s Visiting Artists series. Riverside Recital Hall (405 North Riverside Drive, Iowa City). 7:30 p.m. $10-35. For tickets and information, call (319)335-1160 or visit http://www.Hancher.UIowa.edu.

Tuesday, March 4 – Charlie King. Folk singer/songwriter in a concert fundraiser for the Centro Maya Project, Oaks of Mamre Catholic Worker House, and Palomares Social Justice Center. Broadway Presbyterian Church (710 23rd Street, Rock Island). 7 p.m. $10 suggested donation. For information, call (309)786-6944 or visit BroadwayQC.org.

Wednesday, March 5 – The Ballroom Thieves. Alternative, folk, and rock musicians in concert, with an opening set by KAB. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 7 p.m. $5, free for RME members. For tickets and information, call (563)326-1333 or visit RiverMusicExperience.org.

Wednesday, March 5 – Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings. Gospel, soul, and funk musicians in concert, with an opening set by Valerie June. Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). 8 p.m. $25-50. For tickets and information, call (319)688-2653 or visit Englert.org.

Wednesday, March 5 – Moonface. Concert held in conjunction with the release of the singer/songwriter’s Julia with the Blue Jeans on, in a co-presentation with the Englert Theatre. The Mill (120 East Burlington Street, Iowa City). 8 p.m. $16. For tickets and information, call (319)688-2653 or visit Englert.org or ICMill.com.



Thursday, February 27, through Saturday, March 1 – Love Letters. Jessica Denney and Thomas Alan Taylor perform A.R. Gurney’s snail-mail romance, directed by Mike Schulz. Downtown Central Perk (226 West Third Street, Davenport). 6:30 p.m. “Pay what it’s worth” admission. For information, call (563)271-7213 or visit Goo.gl/Qxozgd.

Friday, February 28, through Saturday, March 8 – A Bright Room Called Day. Reader's-theatre staging of Tony Kushner's historical drama, directed by Marianne Davenport Long. The Center for Living Arts (2008 Fourth Avenue, Rock Island). Fridays and Saturdays 7 p.m. $10. For information, call (563)340-7816 or visit CenterForLivingArts.org.

Friday, February 28, through Sunday, March 9 – Walking the Wire: Merge. Annual presentation of monologues by regional and national playwrights, directed by Jody Hovland. Riverside Theatre (213 North Gilbert Street, Iowa City). Thursdays through Saturdays 7:30 p.m., Sundays 2 p.m. $15-30. For tickets and information, call (319)338-7672 or visit RiversideTheatre.org.

Friday, February 28, through Sunday, March 9 – The Matchmaker. Thornton Wilder romance and the inspiration for the musical Hello, Dolly! Iowa City Community Theatre (4265 Oak Crest Hill Road, Iowa City). Fridays and Saturdays 7:30 p.m., Sundays 2 p.m. $8-16. For tickets and information, call (319)338-0443 or visit IowaCityCommunityTheatre.com.



Friday, February 21 – The Ugly Duckling & Other Dances. The classic fairytale and other short pieces performed by the dancers of Ballet Quad Cities. Davenport North High School’s Holzworth Performing Arts Center (626 West 53rd Street). 7:30 p.m. $12-22. For tickets and information, call (309)786-3779 or visit BalletQuadCities.com.

Tuesday, March 4 – Frogz! Family-friendly dance production mixing fantastical costumes, mime, and comedy. Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). 6:30 p.m. $20-30. For tickets and information, call (319)688-2653 or visit Englert.org.



Thursday, February 27 – Jeff Dunham. An evening of comedy with the master ventriloquist. i wireless Center (1201 River Drive, Moline). 7:30 p.m. $43.50-55. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit iwirelessCenter.com.



Sunday, March 2 – WWE VIP Experience: Road to Wrestlemania. Matches featuring John Cena, Randy Orton, The Rhodes Brothers, Big E Langston, and other WWE stars. i wireless Center (1201 River Drive, Moline). 5 p.m. $15-95. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit iwirelessCenter.com.



Saturday, February 22, through Tuesday, May 20 – Roman Glass Works. Ancient glass vessels from the collections of Augustana College and the Putnam Museum showcasing the skills of early-Roman artists. Figge Art Museum (225 West Second Street, Davenport). Tuesdays through Saturdays 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Thursdays 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Sundays noon-5 p.m. Free with $4-7 museum admission. For information, call (563)326-7804 or visit FiggeArt.org.



Sunday, February 23 through Sunday, March 23 – 2014 Jewish Federation of the Quad Cities Holocaust Film Series. Screenings of the docudrama No Place on Earth on February 23, the drama Lore on March 16, and the documentary 16 Photographs at Ohrdruf on March 23. Figge Art Museum (225 West Second Street, Davenport). 4 p.m. $6-7, students free. For information, call (309)793-1300 or visit JFQC.org.

Thursday, February 27 – National Theatre Live: War Horse. A screening of the Tony Award-winning World War I drama. Cinemark Davenport 53rd + IMAX (3601 East 53rd Street). 7 p.m. For information, call (563)441-0242 or visit FathomEvents.com.



Friday, February 21, through Sunday, February 23 – RV & Camping Show. Annual recreational-vehicle event featuring new models, vendors, seminars, and more. QCCA Expo Center (2621 Fourth Avenue, Rock Island). Friday noon-8 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. $1-7. For information, call (309)788-5912 or visit QCCAExpoCenter.com.

Saturday, February 22 – Nursery School: Lessons in Gardening. Eighteenth-annual gardening symposium in which local and regional horticulture experts share tips and information through 16 seminars and workshops and a keynote speech by Mark Dwyer. i wireless Center (1201 River Drive, Moline). 8 a.m.-4 p.m. $45-55. For information, call (309)756-9978 or visit iwirelessCenter.com.

Saturday, February 22 – 2014 Red Dress Run. Fundraiser for the Wounded Warriors project hosted by the Quad City Hash House Harriers – Dirty Pirate Chapter, in which women and men don red dresses and follow a trail featuring stops for games, contests, cold beverages, and socializing. McManus Pub (1401 Seventh Avenue, Moline). 1 p.m. $25 registration. For information, call (309)781-7735 or visit QCRedDressRun.com.

Friday, February 28 – Bacon, Brews, & Berries. Friendly House fundraiser featuring beers and wines by local brewpubs and wineries, bacon-themed appetizers, auctions, raffles, live entertainment, and more. Figge Art Museum (225 West Second Street, Davenport). $40. For information, call (563)323-1821 or visit FriendlyHouseIowa.DreamHosters.com.

Tuesday, March 4 – Mardi Gras Rajun Cajun Fest. Area chefs create Cajun-inspired appetizers, entrées, and desserts for the 10th-annual festival. Figge Art Museum (225 West Second Street, Davenport). 5:30 p.m. $25. For information, call (563)326-7804 or visit FiggeArt.org.

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