• 2022 Alternating Currents Festival, August 18 through 21

    Taking place in two cities, two states, and nearly 36 venues combined, the popular summertime traveling festival Alternating Currents returns to Davenport and Rock Island from August 18 through 21, a Quad Cities celebration of music, film, comedy, and visual arts boasting panel discussions, Q&A events, children's happenings, and more than 100 collective movies (including 36 unreleased Stephen King adaptations), comedians, music acts, and interviews.

  • “THE ATLAS 17” Release Party, August 18

    The literary gifts of more than a dozen area teens will be both celebrated and showcased in a special outdoor event on August 18, with the Rock Island venue Rozz-Tox hosting a release party for the Midwest Writing Center's 17th edition of literary journal THE ATLAS, an evening boasting performances of original work by 14 gifted and burgeoning talents.

  • Floatzilla 2022, August 20

    An eagerly awaited day of outdoor fun culminating in an attempt to break a pair of Guinness World Records is set for August 20, when River Action hosts the 13th-annual celebration of paddle sports Floatzilla, with participants and spectators gathering at Rock Island's Sunset Park to see if the Quad Cities can boast the world's “Largest Raft of Canoes and Kayaks” and “Largest Simultaneous Kayak Launch.”

  • River Action's Channel Cat Talks and Riverine Walks, August 2 through September 1

    Delivering a blend of local history, environmental issues, education, entertainment, and fresh air, Davenport's River Action is again presenting a series of outdoor presentations in the final month of the annual Channel Cat Talks and Riverine Walks: weekly programs that, from August 3 through September 1, will address such topics as improvements to the Lock & Dam 15, green rooftops, the area's German-American heritage, and jazz masters Bix Beiderbecke and Louie Bellson.

  • “Build! Create! Innovate!”, through September 4

    Visitors to Davenport's Putnam Museum & Science Center can receive insight into problem solving and abstract thinking using mathematics, physics, and design with fun, simple building materials in the venue's Build! Create! Innovate!, an exhibition that, through September 4, boasts 3,600 square feet of building space and more than 15,000 KEVA Planks, along with photography of local architecture and a pre-built bridge, Kone Tower, and the Putnam’s iconic Velie automobile.

  • River Cities Reader 1000th Issue Print Edition Cover
    Compromised Media Enables Regulatory Capture: The Power of the Pen and Printed Information Matters More Than Ever

    Welcome to the 1,000th edition of the River Cities' Reader, and thanks for picking up the printed copy you are reading now. (Depicted here at the web version of this commentary is a photo of the 1000th Reader print edition. Cover illustation by Ed Newmann.) The number of editions we would print was never a metric for achieving any milestones. Still, reaching one thousand printed issues is a gratifying moment that inspires reflection and meta contemplation!

  • Battling Civic Impotence for 1,000 Issues

    The time has come to make a personal change as an American, ignoring for the moment any partisan politics because for this purpose, party affiliation simply does not matter. Each of us needs to reclaim our individual authority, expressly acknowledged and protected via the Declaration of Independence, U.S. and State Constitutions, including the Bill of Rights (first 10 Amendments of the Constitution), the cumulative body of laws and substantive due process. That means robustly familiarizing ourselves with the above, especially the Bill of Rights and Declaration.

  • Grand Reflection: A Thank-you Note Times a Thousand

    While the remainder of this piece will kind of forced to be All About Me, allow me to raise a figurative champagne flute – figurative because it's actually a glass of chillable red I'll be raising – in acknowledgment of others.

  • Bailey Successfully Whacks Himself with Holocaust/Abortion-Equivalence Claim

    The ongoing uproar over Senator Darren Bailey’s 2017 claim that the Holocaust “doesn’t even compare on a shadow” to the lives lost to abortion reminded me of a scene in an old movie called A Bronx Tale.

  • Robin Kelly and Dick Durbin, Oddfellows Out in a Recalibrated Assembly

    One of the biggest unsung winners in the fight for control of the Democratic Party of Illinois is House Speaker Chris Welch.

  • Rock and Roller Coaster: “Ride the Cyclone” at The Black Box Theatre through August 20

    During Thursday's opening-night performance and area premiere of Ride the Cyclone, Ryan J. Hurdle’s character Ricky stops at one point in his song “Space Age Bachelor Man” and says, “It gets weird now.” But oh, gentle readers, that ship sailed from the moment the lights went down.

  • “Leaving Iowa,” August 18 through 28

    With the Chicago Sun-Times describing Tim Clue's and Spike Manton's comedy as “simultaneously hilarious and touching,” the regional delight Leaving Iowa enjoys an August 18 through 28 run at Geneseo's Richmond Hill Barn Theatre, the show also lauded by the Chicago Tribune as a work of “genuine charm and humility” that “lives as happily in its own warm skin as an ear of corn ripening along Interstate 80 on an August afternoon.”

  • “The Christmas Letter Writing Club,” August 19 through 28

    A world premiere by a local stage talent, the heartwarming dramatic comedy The Christmas Letter Writing Club makes its debut at Moline's Playcrafters Barn Theatre August 19 through 28, this holiday-themed tale of friendship written by Tom Akers – a familiar actor from Playcrafters' The Odd Couple and the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre's Drinking Habits and A Doublewide, Texas Christmas.

  • “We Will Rock You,” August 11 through 21

    For the final production in its 2022 summer season, Mt. Carroll's Timber Lake Playhouse is treating patrons to an audience with the Queen – or rather, simply Queen – in the imaginative musical review We Will Rock You, a celebration of the iconic rock and pop band boasting two dozen timeless hits including “Another One Bites the Dust,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “We Are the Champions,” “Somebody to Love,” and the iconic title tune.

  • The Towering Piranha Earthquake Inferno Adventure: “Disaster!”, at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse through September 10

    Disaster!, created by Seth Rudethsky, written by Rudethsky and Jack Plotnick, and now at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse, combines classic catastrophic-cinema elements with '70s pop tunes, and director/choreographer Amy McCleary, music director Ron May, and all involved came together to create this silly, music-filled diversion.

  • Kuinka, August 17

    A gifted quartet that, according to Vanyaland, “laces modern folk and Americana with an electronic jolt, waltzing along the grooved edges of dream-pop, synth-pop, and Brooklyn's mid-aughts guitar-rock revival,” the musicians of Kuinka headline an August 17 concert at Davenport's Raccoon Motel, their performance sure to demonstrate why NPR raved about the ensemble's “joyful noise” and “joyous organic sound.”

  • Muscadine Bloodline, August 18

    Praised by The Nash News for their "masterful storytelling and incredible musicianship," the country artists of Muscadine Bloodline – Charlie Muncaster and Gary Stanton – headline an August 18 concert at East Moline venue The Rust Belt, the Billboard-charting talents also lauded by Rolling Stone Country for their "tight harmonies [accented] by knotty, twangy bursts of electric guitar."

  • Morgan Wade, August 18

    Touring in support of her most recent album Reckless, a recording that Slant magazine called "a remarkable accomplishment" that "features just the right level of polish and embellishment," rising country star Morgan Wade headlines an August 18 concert is Davenport's Raccoon Motel, the singer/songwriter also lauded by Red Guitar Music as "an artist who deserves to make some serious waves."

  • 8th Annual Bill Bell Jazz & Heritage Festival, August 19 through 21

    With renowned Chicago great Ernest Dawkins among them, nearly two dozen gifted area musicians will be on hand – and in two Quad Cities locations – when Polyrhythms proudly presents the 2022 Bill Bell Jazz & Heritage Festival, an August 19 through 21 celebration of cultural heritage in the Quad Cities named after the late musician, educator, and East Moline native lovingly known as “The Jazz Professor.”

  • Here Come the Mummies, August 19

    Described by the Examiner as “a band unlike any other” and Blurt magazine as “a hybrid of Idris Muhammad, George Clinton, Ohio Players, and Earth, Wind & Fire,” the tightly-wrapped funk, rock, and R&B musicians of Here Come the Mummies return to Davenport's Rhythm City Casino Resort Event Center stage on August 19, their infectious grooves leading The Bob & Tom Show co-host Bob Kevoian to call one of their concerts “the most fun I've had in 20 years.”

  • Influencers: “Bodies Bodies Bodies,” “Fall,” and “Mack & Rita”

    Interestingly, in a weekend that saw the arrival of precisely zero new major-studio movies, the three local releases we did get all featured significant characters who earned a living through their podcasts, YouTube channels, and/or Instagram accounts. Once upon a time, on-screen professionals focused on careers in advertising and architecture. Now they're only focused on themselves. Eh, it's 2022. Guess that makes sense.

  • Mike Schulz with Dave & Darren on Planet 93.9 FM

    Going to the cineplex or staying in and streaming this weekend? Every Thursday morning at 8:15 a.m. you can listen to Mike Schulz dish on recent movie releases & talk smack about Hollywood celebs on Planet 93.9 FM with the fabulous Dave & Darren in the Morning team of Dave Levora and Darren Pitra. The morning crew previews upcoming releases, too.

    Or you can check the Reader Web site and listen to their latest conversation by the warm glow of your electronic device. Never miss a pithy comment from these three scintillating pundits again.

    Thursday, August 11: Discussion of Bullet Train, Easter Sunday, and Twister at the drive-ins.

  • Speed Demons: “Bullet Train” and “Easter Sunday”

    As a movie lover/reviewer who's been at this a lo-o-ong time, it should go without saying that I almost never see a film anymore that I'd consider calling my new all-time favorite. But every now and then, I do see films that I'm pretty certain will be somebody's new all-time favorite, and director David Leitch's comedy thriller Bullet Train absolutely feels like one of those titles.

  • Deep in the Heart of West Texas: “Vengeance” and “DC League of Super-Pets”

    In his first outing as a feature-film writer/director/star, B.J. Novak does a lot of very smart things in Vengeance; while I've enjoyed a bunch of movies this summer, none of them has been the low-key, completely unanticipated surprise that this comedic thriller proves to be.

  • Now Playing: Friday, August 12, through Thursday, August 18

    Now playing at area theaters.

Art

  • Artist Talk: LaToya Hobbs, August 18

    A Baltimore-based talent renowned for her large-scale portraits of Black women will be the showcased guest in an August 18 Artist Talk at Davenport's Figge Art Museum, with LaToya Hobbs discussing her works including The Everyday, a portrait acquired for the venue's permanent collection earlier this year.

  • “Where Children Sleep: Photographs by James Mollison,” through August 21

    An artistic exploration into the lives of children raised in many different kids of circumstances, the Muscatine Art Center's new exhibition Where Children Sleep: Photographs by James Mollison will be on display through August 21, and stands as a revealing series of photos that share the diverse stories of youths living in different countries around the globe.

  • Scholar Talk: Dr. David Cunning, August 25

    Held in conjunction with the venue's current exhibition Anne Lindberg: think like the river with poet Ginny Threefoot, Davenport's Figge Art Museum with host a special Scholar Talk on August 25 with Dr. David Cunning – professor and chair of the philosophy department at the University of Iowa – as he explores themes from the exhibit in relation to the work of 17th-century notable Margaret Cavendish.

  • “College Invitational 2022,” through August 28

    In the 12th installment of the venue's latest group exhibition, the artistic talents of 41 students from area colleges and universities will be on display in the Figge Art Museum's College Invitational 2022 through August 28 – a showcase of techniques and mediums including drawing, painting, collage, printmaking, clay, digital illustration, silkscreen, mixed media installation, and found materials.

  • “John Leslie Breck: American Impressionist,” through August 28

    Dozens of paintings by the gifted artist credited for introducing Impressionism to the United States – many never before seen – will be on display at the Figge Art Museum through August 28, with the Davenport venue exploring the work, life, and career of a celebrated 19th-century American in the exhibition John Leslie Breck: American Impressionist.