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Killing the Band for the Better: Darlingside, November 12 at the Redstone Room PDF Print E-mail
Music - Feature Stories
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Thursday, 30 October 2014 05:13

The band Darlingside drew its name from an old chestnut for writers – the instruction to “murder your darlings.” (Killing your darlings would be “darlingcide,” which is made softer and more enticingly opaque as Darlingside.)

All the band members met at Massachusetts’ Williams College, at which they heard that advice in class.

Guitarist/singer Don Mitchell explained it this way in a recent phone interview promoting his group’s November 12 show at the Redstone Room: “You should be willing to get rid of the things that were initially what made you excited about the work, because those ... tend to be the clever ones; those ... tend to be the most indulgent moments. You might need ... to blow up the song in order to put it back together and continue to move forward.”

That’s an important lesson for songwriting, but it also applied to this band as a whole, which has over the past year-plus reinvented itself – shifting from an atmospheric, earnest rock band to a folk outfit.

 
Releasing the Party Band Within: The Candymakers, “Ridiculicious”; October 31 at the Redstone Room PDF Print E-mail
Music - Feature Stories
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Tuesday, 28 October 2014 12:26

Halloween is an opportunity for people to try new identities, so it’s appropriate that the Quad Cities-based band The Candymakers is marking the release of Ridiculicious with a pair of All Hallows’ Eve shows at the Redstone Room.

Yes, the group will be wearing costumes. But Ridiculicious is such a radical departure from its predecessor that it feels like an entirely new – freer and better – ensemble. Using the same musical building blocks, the band has transformed itself largely by stripping the material of any pretense of nutritional value; one could say it’s found its wheelhouse by sticking to the spirit of its name.

 
Photos from the Pearl Jam Concert, October 17 at the i wireless Center PDF Print E-mail
Music - Feature Stories
Written by Chris Jones   
Monday, 20 October 2014 09:52

Images by Chris Jones of the October 17 Pearl Jam Concert at the i wireless Center. For more work by Jones, visit MusicRowPhotos.com.

Photo by Chris Jones, MusicRowPhotos.com

Photo by Chris Jones, MusicRowPhotos.com

 
Unparalleled (but Unsustainable) Brilliance: The Quad City Symphony, October 4 at the Adler Theatre PDF Print E-mail
Music - Feature Stories
Written by Frederick Morden   
Friday, 10 October 2014 15:35

The Quad City Symphony had to contend with a last-minute change in soloists – and the piece he was playing – for the opening Masterworks concert of its 100th season. But the orchestra on October 4 dug deep to unearth world-class playing to match legendary pianist André Watts – and in the process seemed to exhaust itself. With a popular symphony and the world premiere of a commissioned piece in addition to a piano concerto with Watts, the intensity and high artistic level of playing were exhilarating to hear, but the orchestra didn’t sustain them in the second half of the program.

 
A Dream Season: The Quad City Symphony Smartly Marks Its Centennial PDF Print E-mail
Music - Feature Stories
Written by Frederick Morden   
Tuesday, 30 September 2014 11:19

Mark Russell Smith

Looking despondent, the young conductor was comforted by his mentor. “Think of it this way, my son,” the old maestro began. “If everyone was equally dissatisfied with your repertoire, at least you gave them a balanced season.”

It’s an old joke, but it sarcastically underscores the futility of finding music that will satisfy everyone.

But, in the Quad City Symphony’s 100th season, Music Director and Conductor Mark Russell Smith has fashioned a carefully considered, diversely adventuresome musical celebration that includes a balanced sampling of masterpieces, premieres of six new commissioned works, and guest soloists ranging from world-class recording artists to members of the orchestra.

It’s a dream season that lies ahead, but it’s been an evolutionary process for Smith to get there.

 
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