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Best of the Quad Cities Spring 2010 Winners PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 31 March 2010 11:09

Here you'll find the Best of the Quad Cities in 63 categories, including articles on 11 winners. Voting was open from mid-January to mid-March, and our readers submitted nearly 500 valid ballots. (Reasonable responses to 20 of the 63 questions were required.) The winter balloting covered the areas of Food & Dining; Civics & Government; Media; and Recreation. (Summer balloting will cover the areas of Arts, Culture, & Entertainment; Night Life; Shopping & Services; and People.)

For winners from previous years, check out our Best of the Quad Cities archive.

 
Bringing Out the Dead: Minda Powers-Douglas Offers a Visual History of Chippiannock Cemetery PDF Print E-mail
Literature
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Thursday, 18 March 2010 07:57

Chippiannock Cemetery in Rock Island has its share of impressive monuments, from the elegant resting place of the Cable family to the massive 30-ton boulder (for Edward Burrall) and the six-ton polished-granite sphere (for Dean Tyler Robinson).

But for Minda Powers-Douglas, author of the new Chippiannock Cemetery book in Arcadia Publishing's "Images of America" series, it's the modest, handmade grave markers that mean the most.

 
“American Pickers”: The Inside Story of the History Channel’s Surprise Hit PDF Print E-mail
Media
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Wednesday, 17 March 2010 06:12

Mike Wolfe, Frank Fritz, and Danielle Colby-Cushman. Photo by Amy Richmond.

In the American Pickers episode "Back Breakers," Mike Wolfe is donning a bright-red T T Motor Home Club jacket with the name "Louise" embroidered on the front.

The jacket is an "ice-breaker," a term that Wolfe and picking partner Frank Fritz use to describe an item that they don't really want but buy anyway as a way to warm up a reticent person to the idea of selling their old stuff.

It's a charming bit in the History channel's first-season reality-series hit, because it shows that Wolfe and Fritz aren't afraid to look foolish or silly. And Wolfe seems to enjoy wearing that jacket.

But it also works because it teaches viewers about how picking works. We learn the nuances of scavenging, and how they get people to part with the objects they've collected over decades. "We're like psychologists for people and their stuff," Fritz said on the show.

 
Comics' Timing: Comedians Alex Reymundo and Nick Madson on Hard Work, Big Breaks, and Dumb Luck PDF Print E-mail
Comedy
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 02 March 2010 06:00

Alex ReymundoTwo veterans of Comedy Central will perform in the Quad Cities this month, neither of whom, in separate interviews, had any trouble recalling his beginnings in professional stand-up.

Bombing on stage, after all, does tend to stick in your memory.

 
The Face of Arizona Wine: Tool’s Maynard James Keenan Talks “Blood Into Wine,” Screening February 19-26 at the Capitol PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Thursday, 11 February 2010 09:42

Maynard James KeenanMaynard James Keenan -- the frontman for prog-metal gods Tool, the co-leader of A Perfect Circle, and the founder of Puscifer -- isn't the type of person you'd expect to see as the subject of a thorough documentary. He has a reputation for being reclusive, and for jealously guarding his privacy. As he says in the movie Blood Into Wine, "I'm not much of a people person."

Yet Keenan, along with his wine-making partner Eric Glomski, is at the center of that documentary, a freewheeling but thoughtful mix of wine primer, underdog story, buddy picture, and sketch comedy. The movie is fun and gently didactic, and thankfully it engages in little idolatry. (Those hoping for a Tool movie will be disappointed; although Blood Into Wine doesn't ignore Keenan's music career, it's at best a tangent.)

Keenan often looks uncomfortable in the movie, but that could be a function of once being filmed on the toilet, and of being hectored by a pair of wine-hating talk-show hosts. (More on those things later.) But he is apparently committed enough to his cause -- fostering an Arizona wine country, and combating the idea that the state's climate and terrain can't produce good grapes and wine -- that he's willing to subject himself to all these indignities, and the public spotlight.

As Keenan told me in an interview last week: "This is an important thing we're doing up here. If we're successful with what we're doing, it's going to set up a future for more families than we can number. ... If you plant vines in this valley, they're going to taste a certain way; they're going to be very specific to where they're from. It's not a business that you can move to Mexico or China. It's from here. This is the definition of sustainable and local."

 
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