The Redstone Room
Saturday, May 20, 7 p.m.

Reviewing Lin Rountree's Groovetree CD in the Michigan Chronicle, David G. Watkins wrote, "The smooth, progressive beats and rhythms are tantalizing and can send the listener into a virtual groove-based trance," and as anyone who's heard his music can attest ... wait, what was I saying? Rountree, the featured performer at the May 20 fundraising event for the Smooth Jazz Concert Series (being held in the River Music Experience's Redstone Room), is an accomplished R&B, soul, and jazz trumpeter/composer who has risen to the forefront of the Detroit music scene, but his presence has been felt far beyond the Great Lakes State; in Jazz Monthly magazine, D.J. Fazio wrote, "If first impressions are lasting ones, then Lin Rountree's CD Groovetree should make him a lasting player." 
The Redstone Room's evening also features a silent auction, and judging by the rapturous praise from fans on his Web site (, it sounds like the only portion of the evening that will be silent - after a Lin Rountree performance, it's doubtful the audience will be. Tickets are $18 in advance and $21 at the door, and more information on the night is available at ( - Mike Schulz

Walcott, Iowa
Saturday, May 20, 10 a.m.

I'm a movie hound. When I hear "chainsaw," I think "massacre." So just imagine what went through my head upon receiving a press release for something called the Chainsaw Rendezvous. (Lock up the kids! Leatherface is on the loose!) Yet this event doesn't seem at all terrifying - in fact, it sounds pretty cool. Artisan Tom Gleich, whose "Majestic Hope" sculpture stands in Davenport's VanderVeer Park, will host a chainsaw-carving seminar at his shop in Walcott, Iowa, on May 20; in addition to artist demonstrations, where wood sculptures will be created on-site, the seven-hour event will feature door prizes and refreshments sold by the North High School Key Club, and Gleich suggests that spectators bring lawn chairs for the outdoor demonstrations. (This sounds like an excellent idea, as wood splinters in the ass are really uncomfortable.) The event takes place at 8905 210th Street in Walcott, and although his shop doesn't have a name, per se, Gleich says it's easy to find - just look for the engraving of "Majestic Hope" directly outside of it. So clip and save the above photo. The Reader's calendar glances, friends! Educational and user-friendly! For more information, call Tom Gleich at (563)391-6183. - Mike Schulz

Nighswander Theatre
Thursday, May 18, through Saturday, May 27

After a year devoted to stalkers, Iowa meth labs, and the survivors of the Titanic, the decision to close New Ground Theatre's 2005-6 season with a romantic comedy comes as joyous news. Of course, this is the frequently edgy New Ground we're talking about here, so you probably shouldn't expect a frothy, Doris Day-style romp out of String Fever. In Jacquelyn Reingold's 2003 play, Lily, a 40-year-old music teacher, evaluates her life and loves, and among her paramours is a physicist who explains how life is mirrored in the elusive string theory, or Theory of Everything. While the New York Times' Ben Brantley wrote that String Fever "dispense[s] this world view with attractive blitheness," the show's concept may seem geared solely toward the egghead crowd. But it's worth remembering that A Beautiful Mind starred Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly, and Proof had Gwyneth Paltrow and Jake Gyllenhaal, and String Fever features the seriously talented, and seriously attractive, Kimberly Furness and Adam Clough. Seems all the hotties are getting into science these days. What the hell was I thinking with those English and Theatre majors?! For tickets, call (563)326-7529. - Mike Schulz

John Deere Commons
Saturday, May 20, through Sunday, May 28

Baskets and tractors and bears, oh my! This is just a sampling of what you'll find at the John Deere Basket Fest 2006. The nine-day event, being held May 20 through 28, will be chock-full of family fun and entertainment, with activities aplenty, including the weaving of green and yellow baskets - you expected different colors from Deere? - and the creation of cuddly teddy bears, and visitors will even have the chance to sit behind the steering wheel of a giant John Deere tractor or combine harvester. The Longaberger Company will host 24 weaving stations where guests can register for an hour's worth of weaving time for $56.95. (To register a weaving time slot, call [740]322-5588.) And Basket Fest attendees can also test-drive a new John Deere riding mower and enjoy a variety of arts, crafts, and pioneer trades. The John Deere Basket Fest will be held at the John Deere Commons in downtown Moline. Hours are Saturdays 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sundays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Mondays through Friday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more information on the event, visit ( - Jesse Virgil

Trinity Lutheran Church
Saturday, May 20, 5 p.m.

The title of the May 20 fundraising event at Davenport's Trinity Lutheran Church is "Amazement & Laughter Guaranteed," and yes, its press release states "if you are not amazed and full of laughter we will refund your money." (We'll happily make that same offer here at the Reader, so thank goodness the paper is free.) But, considering the lineup of speakers and humorists, it seems doubtful that Trinity will be returning anyone's $5 admission that night. After a taco-bar dinner and entertainment beginning at 5 p.m., the audience will be treated to the sleight-of-hand of John Neely, who has forged a career as a professional illusionist ... while living with Tourette's syndrome. (That "amazement" in the title might be guaranteed right there.) Afterward, author D.D. Dunn takes the stage with hilarious anecdotes from her collection Binder Twine & Band-aids, and the evening wraps up with comedy from humorist Twila Belk, whose Gotta Get 'em Fixed! book jacket promises "a meal of meat and potatoes marinated in humor." Forget the taco bar - I'll have what she's having! For more information on this fundraiser for the "Friends in Faith" ministry retreat, call the Trinity office at (563)323-8001. - Mike Schulz

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