Flint Eastwood

If you hear that Flint Eastwood’s Small Victories was written after the 2013 death of leader Jax Anderson’s mother – and that it’s about that passing – you might make a couple of assumptions: that its creation was a solitary process, and that it’s sullen and pensive.

Small organizations tend to reflect the personalities of their leadership, and that’s certainly true of the Midwest Writing Center and its executive director, Ryan Collins.

Three-year-old Cole Petersen holding one of Moline’s newly legal chickens.

If you think about the type of person likely to raise backyard chickens in the Quad Cities, you might conjure a vision of somebody similar to Liz Smith. With philosophical and practical motivations and a love of animals, she did her research and educated her city’s leaders.

Lung. Photo by Scott Beseler.

When cellist/vocalist Kate Wakefield and drummer Daisy Caplan – now known as the band Lung – first started playing music together late last year in Cincinnati, they didn’t plan on touring for a very simple reason.

The Quebe Sisters

The three Quebe sisters – Hulda, Sophia, and Grace – had played the violin before they attended their first fiddle competition back in 1998. But something clicked with the Texas-style music they heard at the event, and within a year they were themselves competing.

Somebody should familiarize Rock Island Mayor Dennis Pauley with Aesop’s Fable “The Farmer & the Viper,” which famously ends with a snake biting a man who showed it kindness: “Did you not know that a serpent in the bosom, a mouse in a bag, and fire in a barn give their hosts an ill reward?” In other words, you knew I was a snake.

Cartouche Records' Bob Herrington at his Ragged Records store.

When I asked Bob Herrington how business was at his Ragged Records store, his answer was a shrug. “It’s good enough,” he said. “I sell records. I’m not going to get rich.”

Ragged Records, of course, specializes in new and used vinyl just off the Government Bridge in downtown Davenport, in a shared space with Trash Can Annie. Prominent in the store is a display showcasing eight LPs – all bearing the name of Cartouche Records, which Herrington also runs.

And the words meant for Ragged Records could easily apply to the two-year-old label. “It’s not a money-making venture at this point,” Herrington said of Cartouche. “If I can do it, and put out a few releases a year, and not lose a ton of money, I’m going to continue to do it.”

Chrash

Six seconds into Chrash’s “Midwest Sky” is a throw-away sound that illustrates the band’s method for Things My Friends Say: the light ping of a coin being flipped.

In 2006, Western Illinois University approved its master plan for a Moline riverfront campus, boasting that “this new location will host an initial enrollment of 3,000 students.”

Last year – with two of three planned construction phases complete – Western Illinois University-Quad Cities (WIU-QC) had 1,531 students.

On the surface, this looks pretty bad. There was no equivocation in that enrollment statement, and the numbers aren’t even close.

David Wax Museum. Photo by Claire Roeth.

The core of the Mexican-music-influenced folk outfit David Wax Museum is the husband-and-wife duo of David Wax and Suz Slezak, and they were becoming a father-and-mother duo as their fifth album was being written.

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