• The State of Things: Hauberg Estate Mansion and Gardens

    Deb Kuntzi, executive director of the Hauberg Estate Mansion and Gardens in Rock Island, discusses the venue's operations during this period of social distancing. We spoke on Tuesday, May 19.

  • QCA Today: May 25, 2020

    This feature collects articles published online by Quad Cities-area media outlets and by CapitolFax.com and the state-politics sections of the Des Moines Register and the State Journal-Register.

  • The State of Things: Niabi Zoo

    Lee Jackson, director of the Niabi Zoo in Coal Valley, discusses the zoo's operations during this period of social distancing. We spoke on Thursday, May 14.

  • The State of Things: River Action

    Kathy Wine, executive director of River Action in Davenport, discusses the organization's operations during this period of social distancing. We spoke on Tuesday, May 12.

  • The State of Things: Putnam Museum & Science Center

    Rachael Mullins, President and CEO of the Putnam Museum & Science Center in Davenport, discusses the venue's operations during this period of social distancing. We spoke on Thursday, April 23 (which happened to be her birthday).

  • Some Things Shouldn’t Be Done by Remote Control, and That Includes Reporting

    Last winter, a buddy of mine asked me if I thought I could cover state-legislative sessions from a remote, perhaps warmer, location.

    I've been writing about Illinois politics and government for 30 years. Like many of my more-experienced colleagues, I've developed an extensive list of sources and contacts that I can reach out to. I can also watch General Assembly floor debates and many committee hearings on the Internet.

  • Missing: Hopeful Celebration That COVID-19 Is Not the Lethal Pathogen Feared

    The most mystifying phenomena of this COVID-19 pandemic is the public's resistance to a wealth of compelling new data that confirms the SARS-CoV2 virus, claimed by the CDC, NIH, and WHO to be the cause of the disease COVID-19, is not nearly as lethal as originally feared.

  • Pritzker’s Talent Throughout the Pandemic Has Been Following Others’ Maps, Not Drafting His Own

    For many weeks after the beginning of this COVID-19 crisis, Governor JB Pritzker proved adept at telegraphing his every move.

  • Try This PPP: Pertinent Pandemic Podcasts

    On October 18, 2019, the planners of the 2020 worldwide panic called a Covid-19 pandemic emergency fully mapped out and role-played how all of this fear and economic chaos would arise and what steps global leaders will take. Visit Plannedemic.org to see the World Economic Forum and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funded Coronavirus pandemic simulation's own Web site of materials and video recordings. Participants include non-government organizations (NGOs) such as the World Health Organization, the United Nations, global corporations and media, Johns Hopkins University, the World Bank, and both U.S. and China Centers for Disease Control agencies.

  • Are Municipalities Willing to Forfeit Their Insurance Coverage Should Their Premature Reopening Prove Precipitous?

    Governor JB Pritzker has repeatedly said he's delegating enforcement of his stay-at-home order to local governments.

    That stance has frustrated some folks who want him to get tougher with violators (although he'd undoubtedly risk making martyrs out of them if he did crack down hard). And the governor's position seems to have emboldened some local officials to defy the governor's order and open up their economies on their own.

  • The State of Things: Timber Lake Playhouse

    Dan Danielowski, executive director of the Timber Lake Playhouse in Mt. Carroll, discusses the theatre's operations during this period of social distancing. We spoke on Wednesday, May 20.

  • The State of Things: Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse

    Brett Hitchcock, director of audience development at the Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse in Rock Island, discusses the venue's operations during this period of social distancing. We spoke on Thursday, May 7.

  • The State of Things: Davenport Junior Theatre

    Daniel DP Sheridan, Artistic Director and Performing Arts Supervisor for Davenport Junior Theatre (DJT), discusses the organization's operations during this period of social distancing. We spoke on Tuesday, April 14.

  • The State of Things: The Spotlight Theatre

    Brent Tubbs, co-founder and -owner of The Spotlight Theatre in Moline, discusses the venue's operations during this period of social distancing. We spoke on Wednesday, March 25.

  • We, Ourselves, and Us: “Their Town,” at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre through March 15

    The Playcrafters Barn Theatre's Their Town is this season's first production in the venue's Barn Owl series of newer (or debuting) plays, and this year, all four “Barn Owls” are by local authors. Playwright Alexander Richardson has not only kicked off the 2020 series with a strong script, but has also, along with his and director Elizabeth Melville's cast and crew, given the upcoming presentations much to live up to.

  • Landethics, "phantom tidepools"

    One-person production project Landethics dropped the relatively short but jam-packed 12-track album phantom tidepools on their Bandcamp at the beginning of May. The producer explores a palette of sounds and production styles that falls between windswept Japanese role-playing-game soundtracks that you might hear on turn-of-the-century Playstation games and a hip-hop-adjacent series of grooves built over clipped kick drums and heavy 808 bass thuds.

  • Closet Witch, "Complete Discography"

    Iowa’s premier grindcore/mathcore/screamo ensemble Closet Witch compiled their full discography together into one conveniently compressed Bandcamp page at the beginning of April. The band’s complete catalog, consisting of 44 tracks, ranges from songs that bear a fuller, more detailed sound characteristic of more professional studio-recording environments, to tracks clearly marked with [DEMO] that, paradoxically, end up hitting just as hard despite their cruder recording origins.

  • Giallows, "Enochian Power Ballads" and “The Sun Falls Down (Plague Music)”

    Davenport-based psych-rock power trio Giallows have been pumping out a steady stream of studio-recorded material, live shows, and odds and ends on their Bandcamp over the last couple years. Their newest recordings from April 2020 include the full-length release Enochian Power Ballads that features three improvised jams in the psych/stoner rock vein, and the standalone single “The Sun Falls Down (Plague Music)” that falls closer to a surreal collage of horror-movie music and somber poetry.

  • Bo Jaywalker, "Bo Jaywalker LP" and “Song for Vaughn”

    Davenport-based experimental psych-folk freak Bo Jaywalker released a full-length album straight to Bandcamp in mid-April, making it available for digital download for the telling amount of $4.20. The album expands in bizarre directions over the course of its often winding song structures, colliding smooth digital beats, multi-layered synth missives, and passages of weighty spoken word with his own vocals.

  • Kronos Resistor, "The Book of Pariah"

    Davenport's progressive metal band Kronos Resistor released a lengthy LP called The Book of Pariah earlier this year. The five-piece band has a discerning ear for epic metal arrangements that veer between guttural metalcore beatdowns and more stately, almost neo-classical interludes built over washes of synth and bright guitar harmonies. When your band has “Between the Buried and Me” listed as a genre tag on Bandcamp alongside more conventional but no less indicative choices such as “mathcore” and “melodic metal,” you might go into their music knowing what to expect: a fusion of disparate genres and moods, all of which orbit around a bruising core of barked vocals and palm-muted guitar shred.

  • Carpe Diem!: Cinematic Examples of Jobs Done Well

    In honor of my Augustana College friends who are graduating this weekend yet were denied the opportunity to enjoy a proper on-campus send-off before entering the cold, cruel workplace world, here are five titles under the collective blanket of “What I Want to Be When I Grow Up” – home-viewing options from 1976 to 1990 featuring excellent examples of pros at their inspiring peaks of performance. Consider it my cinematic commencement address. I don't know why I've never been asked to give a real one. Probably because they'd anticipate my being crude. Those jackasses.

  • They're as Mad as Hell, and They're Not Gonna Take This Anymore: Great Movies for When You're Feeling Angry

    What follows are five of my favorites from the 1970s and '80s that give me the pleasure of being riveted by others' anger when I'm feeling some myself and want to dispel it without throwing a public fit or composing an online treatise on the subject. The latter of which I suppose I'm doing right now. Damn it.

  • I Was Building a House: Five Standouts from the Summer Before I Became a Quad Citizen

    There were loads of huge hits in the summer of '92: Batman Returns and Lethal Weapon 3 and Sister Act and A League of Their Own … . But as usual, the releases that affected me most and lingered most were the ones that went dark, even for comedies – works that continue to resonate more than a quarter-century after my initial viewings. Here are my five favorites – all but one seen gratis, and all of them enjoyed before I had to start paying for movies all the time like some kind of chump … .

  • I'm Not Gonna Be Ignored, Dan: Formative Performances from a Critic's College Years

    In honor and celebration of my college-senior theatre-major friends who are now graduating yet were denied the opportunity to enjoy one final send-off performance, allow me to guide you to five of my personal favorite film performances from the years in which I attended Augustana College.

  • A-Z INDEX: Reader Movie Reviews, 2000 - 2020

    Numbered Titles / A /  B / C / D / E / F / G / H / I / J / K / L / M / N / O / P / Q / R / S / T / U / V / W / X / Y / Z / Special Features

Art

  • Ken Urban and Margaret Ertz Exhibitions, through June 19

    In a combined celebration of The Great Outdoors, beautiful and evocative works by a pair of Iowa-based artists will be showcased in the next Quad City Arts exhibition running through June 19, with the venue's Web site currently displaying photographs by Ken Urban of Durant and paintings by Margaret Ertz of Burlington.

  • Winners and Favorites from Our Spring 2020 Photo Contest

    Many thanks to all who entered the River Cities' Reader’s Spring 2020 Photo Contest for which we received dozens of entries in the categories of "Past," "Present," and "Future." Here are our winners and honorable mentions – congratulations to all!

  • “Nina Weiss: Prairie Visions” and “Back to the Future: A Student Exhibit,” May 23 through 28

    Works by a celebrated Chicagoland painter and more than 100 up-and-coming area artists are set to decorate the Beréskin Gallery & Art Academy beginning May 23, with the Bettendorf venue welcoming visitors to two brand-new art exhibitions running through May 28: Nina Weiss: Prairie Visions and Back to the Future: A Student Exhibit.

  • “Seen & Heard: The Art of Empowerment,” May 9 through September 6

    Currently Installed in the Figge Art Museum’s second-floor orientation gallery, the Davenport venue's new exhibition Seen & Heard: The Art of Empowerment will be available for online viewing from Saturday, May 9, through Sunday, September 6.

  • “QC Pride Photographs by Andy Abeyta,” through August 2

    People gather in celebration with friends and strangers alike on the streets of downtown Davenport while rainbow banners wave behind them. Taken during the 2019 Pridefest, these images by photojournalist Andy Abeyta document one of the many events planned by Quad Cities Unity Pride during its annual QC Unity Pride Week, and can currently be viewed online in the Figge Art Museum's virtual exhibition QC Pride Photographs by Andy Abeyta, on display through August 2.