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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.

 
A Voice Found: Muddy Ruckus, September 19 at Rozz-Tox PDF Print E-mail
Music - Feature Stories
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 08:39

Muddy Ruckus. Photo by J. Elon Goodman.

By design, the opening three tracks of Muddy Ruckus’ self-titled debut are meant as an introduction.

But it might be more accurate to say that they’re a reintroduction – particularly for the Quad Cities. Singer/songwriter/guitarist Ryan Flaherty hails from these parts, and the album and a September 19 performance at Rozz-Tox will show what he’s been up to in the decade-plus since he left.

 
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