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What's Happenin': Thursday, January 9, through Wednesday, January 22 PDF Print E-mail
Lifestyle - Noteworthy Events
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 07 January 2014 06:00

Matt AndersenMusic

Matt Andersen

The Redstone Room

Wednesday, January 15, 7:30 p.m.


On January 15, the Redstone Room will be the place to find the blues. Of course, as Quad Citians dealing with mid-January weather, we all pretty much carry the blues with us everywhere we go, but our blues comes attached with far fewer awards.

Described by the London Times as “Canada’s greatest guitarist,” blues-music sensation Matt Andersen will be that Wednesday’s featured entertainer at Davenport’s downtown venue, thrilling crowds with the guitar skills and soulful vocals that led to call him “one of the most exciting performers to erupt on the Canadian music scene in recent memory.” After making an initial splash with the New Brunswick-based band Flat Top in 2002, singer/songwriter Andersen released his solo CD debut Second Time Around in 2007, and went on to win the International Blues Challenge’s top prize for an individual or duo in 2010, becoming the first Canadian to triumph in that category in the 26-year history of the competition.

In addition to that notable prize, Andersen’s talents have earned him the East Coast Music Association’s award for Blues Recording of the Year (for the 2009 CD Piggyback) and 2011 citations as the Maple Blues Awards’ Entertainer of the Year and Acoustic Act of the Year, and his international tours have found Andersen performing alongside such artists as Bo Diddley, Little Feat, and Loverboy.

Meanwhile, if you were to engrave snippets from the man’s reviews onto plaques, you could probably add a couple hundred other awards to his trophy cabinet. The Toronto Blues Society raved about Andersen’s “sorrowing and soulful voice and astonishing guitar playing.” Velvet Rope magazine applauded his “energetic, keyboard-laden jams and soulful down-tempo ballads.” And Canada’s The Chronicle Herald called Andersen “a dynamite performer, getting more power out of his acoustic guitar than a hill full of wind turbines.” Maybe, if I played one of Andersen’s CDs in my car, I could get the damned thing to start on mid-January mornings.

For more information on, and tickets to, Matt Andersen’s Redstone Room concert, call (563)326-1333 or visit



La Sirga (The Towrope)Movies

19th Annual Hispanic Film Festival

Augustana College Science Building

Wednesday, January 15, through Wednesday, February 12, 7 p.m.


If you’re a fan of world cinema, you probably wish our area offered more screenings of foreign-language movies. If you’re a fan of cinema in general, you probably wish our area offered more screenings of free movies.

Well, for the 19th year in a row, Augustana College is planning to make both sets of viewers very happy, as the Rock Island institution again hosts its wintertime Hispanic Film Festival. Taking place on Wednesday nights at 7 p.m. in the school’s Science Building Auditorium, the 19th-annual event will feature five critically acclaimed titles boasting numerous awards and loads of festival cred, and should be a perfect excuse for area cinephiles to leave their homes for evenings of truly caliente entertainment.

This year’s festival opens on January 15 with La Sirga (The Towrope), which finds a Colombian refugee trying to rebuild her life in a dilapidated hostel in the highlands of the Andes. An official selection at the Cannes and Toronto international film festivals, the drama won both the Special Jury Prize and Cinematography Award at 2012’s Lima Latin American Film Festival, and led Variety magazine’s Rob Nelson to deem it “thoroughly engrossing” and “a triumph.”

January 22 brings with it Infancia Clandestina (Clandestine Childhood), a drama about military upheaval, family, and love that was a Director’s Fortnight selection at Cannes, while January 29’s screening is of Tanta Agua (So Much Water), the family-reconciliation comedy/drama that won 2013’s Grand Prize Award at the Miami International Film Festival and the Guadalajara Film Festival’s Best First Feature citation.

Manito (Dear Manny) – set in Washington Heights, the reformed “crack-cocaine capital of the world” – is on the docket for February 5, and won the Special Jury Prize at both the Sundance and Atlanta film festivals. And finally, on February 12, Augustana’s fest will screen El Bola (Nickname), the saga of a 12-year-old boy and the new family his abusive father unwittingly leads him to, and a Goya Award winner for Best Film. All told, it’s a lineup that makes me say, “Festival de cine hispano de este año va a estar fuera de este mundo!” Sorry if you don’t know what that means. I did take four years of high-school Spanish, you know. *

For more information on the Hispanic Film Festival, call (309)794-7670 or visit


* Editor’s Note: It’s “This year’s Hispanic Film Festival is going to be out of this world!” You think you’re the only one who knows about online-translation sites, Mike?



Bald Eagle DaysEvent

Bald Eagle Days

QCCA Expo Center

Friday, January 10, through Sunday, January 12


Ah, to be an American bald eagle. Beautiful. Majestic. Sexually mature at the age of four. (Some of us are still waiting.)

This magnificent bird of prey, along with many other miracles of nature, will be showcased at our area’s annual weekend celebration Bald Eagle Days, taking place at the QCCA Expo Center January 10 through 12. With Quad Cities Audubon Eagle Tours scheduled, on Saturday and Sunday, every 75 minutes from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., this eagerly anticipated local event will also feature live presentations focusing on birds of prey, Niabi Zoo’s exotic animals, and creatures visiting us from Des Moines’ Pella Wildlife Company. There will also be a 20-foot climbing tower for your kids to scale and more than 100 display booths chock-full of nature-themed information, much of it specific to the avian wonder that serves as our country’s national emblem.

What’s your level of American-bald-eagle knowledge? Let’s find out by trying your hand at the accompanying quiz.


1) In what year was the American bald eagle officially taken off the endangered-species list?

A) 2001

B) 2004

C) 2007


2) Roughly how many pounds can a bald eagle lift?

A) Four

B) Six

C) Eight


3) Bald eagles can fly to an altitude of roughly how many feet?

A) 5,000

B) 10,000

C) 15,000


4) What is the bald eagle’s typical wingspan?

A) Between 60 and 78 inches

B) Between 72 and 90 inches

C) Between 84 and 102 inches


5) Roughly how many feathers do bald eagles have?

A) 5,000

B) 6,000

C) 7,000



Tickets to Bald Eagle Days are $5 for adults and $1 for kids – with ages five and under free – and more information is available by calling (309)788-5912 or visiting



Answers: 1 – C, 2 – A, 3 – B, 4 – B, 5 – C. Don’t tell that last factoid to Lady Gaga. Just to be spiteful, she’ll make a dress out of 7,001.



Jason AldeanMusic

Jason Aldean

i wireless Center

Saturday, January 18, and Sunday, January 19, 7:30 p.m.


“So what was this dream about, Mike?”

“Well, doctor, it ain’t easy to recall. My memory ain’t what it used to be. But I think I was in this wide open hicktown of Lonesome, USA – just an asphalt cowboy staring at the sun while walking away from the water tower. And while I was in this nothin’ town, I notice Johnny Cash just passing through, singing this fast dirt road anthem about a church pew or bar stool or somethin’.”

“Uh huh.”

“I believe in ghosts and I don’t do lonely well, so I say, ‘This I gotta see,’ and I talk to him. I tell him the truth about the best of me – that I’m just a man and I use what I got on days like these, and if I break everything I touch, I ain’t ready to quit my kinda party. Not every man lives the only way I know. I’m good to go.”


“We laughed until we cried, and then he boarded the night train toward an Amarillo sky. I asked him, ‘Why? Don’t you wanna stay?’ And he said, ‘Even if I wanted to, I have to take a little ride on my highway to a country boy’s world. So keep the girl and the big green tractor, and be sure to drink one for me while wiping away relentless black tears over the heartache that don’t stop hurting.’ And then I woke up.”


“So what does it mean, doctor?”

“Well, Mike, whether you realize it or not, you’ve just name-checked the titles of 45 songs by chart-topping country singer Jason Aldean.”


“That’s 46. So as usual, I think your subconscious is telling you to write a What’s Happenin’ article, considering that Aldean will be playing Moline’s i wireless Center on January 18 and 19.”

“Aw, doc, thank you! I feel my wheels rollin’ again!”

“Forty-seven. So are you paying this week in cash or – ?”

“Don’t give up on me, doc!”

“Forty-eight ... and get back here!”

“See you when I see you!”

“Hmph. Crazy town.”


Jason Aldean will perform locally alongside special guests Florida George Line and Tyler Farr, and for the chance to hear many of his 50 aforementioned songs, call (800)745-3000 or visit



What Else Is Happenin’ ...?



Saturday, January 11 – Brainchild. Funk and rock musicians in concert, with an opening set by Half Naked. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 9 p.m. $8. For tickets and information, call (563)326-1333 or visit

Thursday, January 16 – Jon Batiste & Stay Human. Jazz, blues, and classical musicians in concert. Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). 8 p.m. $20-25. For tickets and information, call (319)688-2653 or visit

Friday, January 17 – Old Shoe. Chicago-based Americana and roots-rock band in concert, with an opening set by The Whistle Pigs. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 9 p.m. $8-10. For tickets and information, call (563)326-1333 or visit

Sunday, January 19 – Mike Conrad & Colossus. The 17-piece modern-jazz orchestra educates and entertains 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 or

Tuesday, January 21 – Keller Williams & More Than a Little. Singer/songwriter and his ensemble in concert. Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). 8 p.m. $20-22. For tickets and information, call (319)688-2653 or visit For a 2012 interview with Williams, visit

Wednesday, January 22 – The World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die. Connecticut-based emo musicians in concert, with an opening set by A Great Big Pile of Leaves. Rozz-Tox (2108 Third Avenue, Crystal Lake). 9 p.m. $10. For information, call (309)200-0978 or visit



Friday, January 10, through Sunday, January 19 – Of Mice & Men. Stage version of John Steinbeck’s Depression-era classic, directed by Tristan Tapscott. Playcrafters Barn Theatre (4950 35th Avenue, Moline). Fridays and Saturdays 7:30 p.m., Sundays 3 p.m. $10. For tickets and information, call (309)762-0330 or visit

Friday, January 10, through Saturday, January 18 – The Whipping Man. Dreamwell Theatre’s production of Matthew Lopez’ Civil War-era drama. Universalist Unitarian Society (10 South Gilbert Street, Iowa City). Fridays and Saturdays 7:30 p.m. $10-13. For tickets and information, call (319)423-9820 or visit

Wednesday, January 15, through Saturday, March 8 – Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story. Biographical musical revue about the rock-and-roll icon’s rise to fame. Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse (1828 Third Avenue, Rock Island). Fridays, Saturdays, Wednesdays, and January 15 and 16: 5:45 p.m. doors, 6-7 p.m. buffet, 7:15 p.m. pre-show, 7:45 p.m. performance. Sundays: 3:45 p.m. doors, 4-5 p.m. buffet, 5:15 p.m. pre-show, 5:45 p.m. performance. Wednesdays: 11:30 a.m. doors, 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m. plated lunch, 1 p.m. pre-show, 1:30 p.m. performance. $29.26-$49.12. For tickets and information, call (309)786-7733 extension 2 or visit

Friday, January 17, through Saturday, January 25 – My Sister. Iowa City playwright Janet Schlapkohl’s debuting drama set in 1930s Berlin, directed by Maria Vorhis. QC Theatre Workshop (1730 Wilkes Avenue, Davenport). Saturday 7:30 p.m. "Pay what it's worth" admission. For information, call (563)650-2396 or visit



Thursday, January 16 – Kelly Daniels. Augustana College associate professor of English reads from his memoir Cloudbreak, California as part of the 2013-14 River Readings series. Augustana College’s Center for Student Life (639 38th Street, Rock Island). 7 p.m. Free admission. For information, call (309)794-7316 or visit For a 2013 cover article on Daniels, visit



Saturday, January 18, through Sunday, May 4 – Kids Design Glass. Traveling exhibition of 52 glass sculptures by young artists, and the original drawings that inspired them. 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



Saturday, January 18 – 2014 Winter Wine Experience. Sixth-annual fundraising event featuring wine samples from area distributors and wineries, live music by Three & a Half Men, hors d’ oeuvres, a raffle, and more. River Music Experience (131 West Second Street, Davenport). 6 p.m. $25-40. For tickets and information, call (563)326-1333 or visit

Saturday, January 18 – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration. Tribute to the national leader inspired by the Dr. King quote “The time is always right to do the right thing,” featuring performances by the Community Gospel Chorus, the Westbrook Singers, Bold! Right! Life!, the Imani! Dancers, Tandazo, and Toi Allen. Augustana College's Centennial Hall (3703 Seventh Avenue, Rock Island). 6 p.m. Free admission. For information, call (309)794-7473 or visit

Saturday, January 18 – 2014 Red Ribbon Dinner: A Night to Remember. Twenty-first annual AIDS benefit sponsored by The Project of the Quad Cities, featuring 5 p.m. cocktails, a 7 p.m. dinner, live entertainment, and more. The Stern Center (1713 Third Avenue, Rock Island). $40-90. For tickets and information, call 9309)762-5433 or visit

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