KATE MORRISSEY Theo's Java Club Friday, April 14, 9 p.m. Her style has been described as a little bit Joni, a little bit Tori, and a little bit Alanis. Judging by the acclaim she's received, I'm guessing all the right bits.
Folk singer Kate Morrissey will perform at Theo's Java Club on April 14, treating audiences to the smooth musical stylings and smoky vocals that have graced her CDs An Open I and A Girl in Winter. Her live performances sound similarly enchanting. Following a concert, Ben Gerrard - of the entertainment magazine Flagpole - wrote that "her songs are laced with fresh passion and devilish temptation hidden within upbeat love songs. ... Morrissey's music can carry you away to the sumptuous spaces and places in her mind, while her lyrical content is enchantingly witty." And according to her Web site (http://www.katemorrissey.com), she "puts on a calm delight of a show, the kind that melts things, mixes them around, and leaves them to glue themselves back together." That sounds a little like what I did when I was five, although my parents never referred to me as "a calm delight." For more information on Morrissey's Rock Island appearance, call Theo's Java Club at (309)788-5282. - Mike Schulz
REDSTONE ROOM GRAND OPENING
River Music Experience
Friday, April 14, and Saturday, April 15
The River Music Experience's new live-music venue has been open since April 3, but the Redstone Room will officially celebrate its opening on April 14 and 15. River Music Experience (RME) President/CEO Lon Bozarth calls the Redstone Room "a dream come true"; in a press release, Bozarth said, "With our proposed music-incubator educational center, the RME will become a showcase for the creation and performance of American music." On the performance side of things, singer/songwriter Martin Sexton will kick off the festivities at 9 p.m. on Friday, followed by a second show at 11:15 p.m. The Boston Globe said Sexton is "ripe with ... raw, expansive talent." And on Saturday, Greg Brown - with Bo Ramsey and Pieta Brown - continues the party at 8 p.m. Yahoo! Music said that "Brown's deep, ragged voice ... evokes 'authentic' folk music, as though he'd just been discovered in some Appalachian holler by a folklorist." Tickets for both events are $25 and are available at the River Music Experience. For more information, call (563)326-1333 or visit (http://www.rivermusicexperience.org). - Jesse Virgil
IOWA CITY INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 12, THROUGH SATURDAY, APRIL 15
Documentary hounds - and I'm certainly one of 'em - should be in film-fest paradise this week, as the Iowa City International Documentary Film Festival kicks off at the Englert Theatre on April 12, showcasing nearly 50 works by filmmakers from Iowa, from across the nation, and from around the globe. The entries cover the documentary gamut - from personal stories to works tackling political and social issues - and will be in contention for the Best of the Fest award, with additional prizes awarded for Best Student Film, Best International Work, and Best of Iowa. Two out-of-competition works will be screened at the University of Iowa's Becker Hall, but the rest will be shown at the Englert, and are categorized into six themes: "Stories, of Struggle & Success," "Life Rhythms," "Individuality," "Look Around & Say Hello," "We Are All Animals," and my personal favorite, "Life Is Hell." Among that category's entries are shorts entitled Bullets in the Hood: A Bed-Stuy Story, Lost Cat, and one called Cyst Removal - I bet David Cronenberg's aching for the feature-film rights to that one. For more information on the festival, call the Englert box office at (319)688-2653. - Mike Schulz
Rock Island Brewing Company
Friday, April 14, 10 p.m.
Madahoochi is a great band name. It's one of those monikers that immediately brings to mind anagrams (the best I came up with was "O, I had mocha"), and can you imagine how many points it could be worth in Scrabble? But Madahoochi, appearing at the Rock Island Brewing Company on April 14, should easily excite more than the English majors among us. Described on its Web site (http://www.madahoochi.com) as "a taut and energetic musical machine" that "both embraces and shuns pop format," the St. Louis-based Madahoochi has played more than 800 shows and recorded three CDs since its formation nine years ago. The group was named Best St. Louis Jam Band by the Riverfront Times in 2004 and 2005, and their genre-defying song list includes such titles as "Dirge for a Dog," "The Spider That Betrayed the Fly," "Moose," "The Eight-Legged Butterfly," "Shih-tzu," and "Tales from the Cheetah Factory." As Friday night's performance will mark Madahoochi's RIBCO debut, it's impossible to guess how the crowd will react, but I hear the folks with PETA think they're the bomb. For a full list of RIBCO's upcoming music events, visit (http://www.ribco.com). - Mike Schulz
FINDING THE SUN
Black Hawk College
Thursday, April 13, through Thursday, April 20
In Edward Albee's 1982 one-act Finding the Sun - being produced at Moline's Black Hawk College April 13 through 20 - four couples meet at the beach one sunny afternoon, and conversation ensues. Sounds pretty straightforward, but keep in mind this is Edward Albee we're talking about here - he wrote a play about a guy in love with a goat. Not only that, but he won a Tony Award for the play about the guy in the love with the goat, so it should surprise no one that Finding the Sun turns far deeper, and more unexpectedly subversive, than its simple premise would suggest. Through a series of chance encounters and mordant observations, the characters in Finding the Sun reveal Albee's unique insight into the nature of passion and relationships; the show is a bit like Albee's Pulitzer-Prize winner Seascape, only without the humanoid lizards. (And you thought that goat play sounded unusual.) Tickets - $6 for the general public and $4 for students and seniors - are available at the campus bookstore, and more information on the production is available by contacting director Dan Haughey at (309)796-5419. - Mike Schulz