The Redstone Room
Saturday, February 6, 9 p.m.
If you visit the Web site for the musical wizards of Future Rock (FutureRock.net), you'll find bassist Felix Moreno explaining that one of the great joys of his band's blend of electronics and traditional musical instruments occurs "when the audience sees me play my bass, and they have no idea what's coming out. I love that look of confusion." The next time the guys are in town, they should book themselves a gig at the Reader offices. They'd be in heaven.
In the meantime, Moreno, drummer Darren Heitz, and keyboardist Mickey Kellerman will have to content themselves with a February 6 concert at Davenport's Redstone Room. Employing live loops, synthesizers, filters, and an electronic drum kit, the Chicago-based ensemble creates a singular, dance-driven sound, yet those expecting a night of pre-recorded samples are likely to be surprised; as Kellerman states on Future Rock's Web site, "Ninety-nine percent of our show is live."
The group's resulting electronica has not only electrified audiences nationwide, but music critics as well, with the Chicago Reader praising Future Rock for its "nuance and sonic detail," and its style that "sounds like acid house taking a Sunday afternoon off from frying brains to play video games and chill." That's pretty rock 'n' roll, and so is Moreno's admission that Future Rock's first album (Sugar Coated Bullets) was "written on whiskey and coffee," while its second (Gears) was written on "Red Bull and vodka." And once they get to gin and tonic, they'll totally be able to write What's Happenin' articles.
Tickets to Future Rock's 9 p.m. concert are $8, and can be reserved by calling (563)326-1333 or visiting RedstoneRoom.com.
The Capitol Theatre
Tuesday, February 9, 8 p.m.
On the Web sites for most nationally recognized bands, you'll generally land upon a section featuring links to published interviews and reviews, which is a pretty smart place to start when researching a particular group. Consequently, when I visited the Web site for Gov't Mule (Mule.net) - the noted Southern/hard/blues/jam rockers set to play Davenport's Capitol Theatre - I was thrilled to find a page of this sort, which promised plenty of information and accolades for this music ensemble that began as an Allman Brothers Band side project in 1994.
The first link I clicked featured a Washington Post review of Gov't Mule's most recent album, 2009's By a Thread, which was described as "a little bit new, a little bit borrowed, but still grounded in blues, Southern, and classic rock riffs, psychedelic explosions, Warren Haynes' soulful vocals, and epic jams."
The second link had Jambase.com extolling that the musicians "truly honor their forebears by playing with passion, musicianship, and compositional skill equal to the best in the long line that precedes them."
The third link found the Pittsburgh Tribune calling Haynes "the hardest-working man in show business," and raved about Gov't Mule's "heavy blues-based jam-rock leavened with a wide dynamic range and top-notch musical chops."
And once I get around to attacking the 355 other links to reviews and articles on the band's Web site, this article might actually be well-researched.
You can discover for yourselves what all the ink is about when Gov't Mule performs at the Capitol Theatre on February 9, with an opening set by the Steepwater Band. Tickets are $25 to $30, and more information and reservations are available by calling (563)326-8820 or visiting TheCapDavenport.com.
Quad-Cities Waterfront Convention Center
Thursday, February 11, 7:30 p.m.
An honest-to-goodness Hollywood legend is set to make an appearance at the Quad-Cities Waterfront Convention Center, when the one and only Debbie Reynolds takes the Bettendorf stage on February 11. This beloved star of Singin' in the Rain, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, and dozens of additional films, Broadway productions, and television series will share her incomparable talents in a night of reminiscences and music, allowing Isle of Capri patrons a private audience with one of the world's most tireless, endearing, and gifted performers.
To prep for this exciting area event, try your hand at some Debbie Reynolds trivia: Which of the following statements about Carrie Fisher's mom is actually untrue?
1) Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1997.
2) Won the Miss Burbank contest in 1948.
3) Had a top-10 radio hit in 1957.
4) Spent years as a professional dancer prior to Singin' in the Rain.
5) Appeared as Dan's mother on Roseanne and Grace's mother on Will & Grace.
6) Serves as president of The Thalians, an organization dedicated to mental health.
7) Owns Marilyn Monroe's famed "wind-swept" dress from The Seven-Year Itch.
8) Owns one of the pairs of ruby slippers made for 1939's The Wizard of Oz.
Tickets to Debbie Reynolds' Thursday-night show are $40 to $45 and can be secured by calling (800)843-4753 or visiting Bettendorf.IsleOfCapriCasinos.com.
Answer: 4. Reynolds actually hadn't danced professionally at all until she was cast by Gene Kelly. And you thought it was impossible to hate her.
Wednesday, February 10, 7:30 p.m.
Singer/songwriter Rosanne Cash performs at Iowa City's Englert Theatre on February 10, in a concert sponsored by the University of Iowa's Hancher Auditorium, and a quick scan at the artist's credits could leave you feeling incredibly cowed.
Cash is, of course, the eldest daughter of country-music legend Johnny Cash, and certainly shares her late father's affinity for the genre; among her early albums were 1980's smash Right or Wrong, which yielded three top-25 singles on Billboard's country-music chart, and 1981's even smash-ier Seven Year Ache, from which three singles made it all the way to number one.
Yet here's a sampling of other notable Cash accolades and accomplishments over the past 29 years: a 1985 Grammy Award for the song "I Don't Know Why You Don't Want Me," plus nine other Grammy nominations; nine additional albums boasting a collective 21 top-40 country singles, 11 of which made it to the number-one spot; crossover success in rock, folk, and blues, with such critically acclaimed offerings as King's Record Shop, The Wheel, Black Cadillac, and 2009's The List; and, in this latter work, recorded duets with the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Neko Case, and Rufus Wainwright.
All told, Cash's credits are enough to intimidate even the most veteran performers, which is why I'm glad I'm an author, and have no reason to feel ... .
Oh, wait. Cash's bio reveals that she's also written essays and fiction for New York Times, Rolling Stone, New York Magazine, and The Oxford American, and had a book published by Harper Collins in 2000.
Damn it, Rosanne ... .
If intimidation and jealousy don't prevent you, you can reserve tickets for An Evening with Rosanne Cash by calling (319)335-1160 or visiting http://www.Hancher.UIowa.edu.
Ballet Quad Cities' Love Stories
The Capitol Theatre
Saturday, February 13 and Sunday, February 14
"You know, this next issue of the Reader will be available during Valentine's weekend, so I think we should definitely do a What's Happenin' on Ballet Quad Cities' new performance of mixed repertoire. It's titled Love Stories, and it's taking place at the Capitol Theatre on February 13 and 14."
"Makes sense to me. What's on the program?"
"Well, the production will stage five individual pieces, all themed around the subject of romance. Choreographer L.D. Kidd's Amor Desmonocido (Unknown Love) is a balletic meditation on the mystery and thrill of a first date, while Simone Ferro's Evol - An Anagram of Love includes original music by Seth Warren-Crow, and involves the word 'love' being literally spelled out through the movements of the dancers."
"That sounds cool."
"Right? Love Stories also features Paquita Pas de Deux, a Spanish classic from 1881 that Ballet Quad Cities' Erica Attwood is re-imagining for the Capitol, and two works by frequent Ballet Quad Cities collaborator Deanna Carter - an experimental piece titled Ash to Glass, and the lighthearted duet Conveyance. All five will be performed by Ballet Quad Cities' professional ensemble members, and will be brought to life with gorgeous lighting, costumes, and technical design."
"I'm sold. Do you need help coming up with a hook for the article?"
"I was thinking of starting it like this: 'A showcase for the extraordinary talents of Ballet Quad Cities, Love Stories promises not only to be the most exhilarating dance production you've ever seen, but perhaps the grandest production the world has ever known."
" ... "
"Or do you think that's too much?"
"Boy, you really want to be cast in The Nutcracker again, don't you?"
"Hey, I didn't buy those toe shoes for nothing!"
Love Stories will be performed at 7:30 p.m. on February 13 and 2 p.m. on February 14, and tickets and more information are available by calling (309)786-2677 and visiting BalletQuadCities.com or TheCapDavenport.com.
What Else Is Happenin'...?
Friday, February 5 - Satisfaction. Concert tribute to the Rolling Stones. Quad-Cities Waterfront Convention Center (1777 Isle Parkway, Bettendorf). 7:30 p.m. $10-$15. For tickets and information, call (800)843-4753 or visit Bettendorf.IsleOfCapriCasinos.com.
Saturday, February 6 - Valentine's Day Massacre with Burtlesque Le'Moustache. Musicians and performance artists perform New Orleans jazz, accompanied by musicians from the Hot Club of Davenport. The Capitol Theatre (330 West Third Street, Davenport). 8 p.m. $18. For tickets and information, call (563)326-8820 or visit TheCapDavenport.com.
Saturday, February 6 - Shawn Kellerman. Noted blues musician in concert. Rascal's Rock Memorabilia Bar (1414 15th Street, Moline). 9 p.m. For information, call (309)797-9457 or visit MySpace.com/rascalsmoline.
Saturday, February 6, and Sunday, February 7 - Quad City Symphony Orchestra. The fourth Masterworks concerts of the season, featuring guest conductor Jon Hurty, soprano Mary Wilson, baritone Andrew Garland, countertenor Alfred E. Sturgis, the Handel Oratorio Society, and Quad City Choral Arts. Saturday - Adler Theatre (136 East Third Street, Davenport). 8 p.m. Sunday - Augustana College's Centennial Hall (3703 Seventh Avenue, Rock Island). 2 p.m. $10-$50. For tickets and information, call (563)322-7276 or visit QCSymphony.com.
Friday, February 12 - Josh Duffee & His Orchestra. Big-band musicians play hits from the 1930s and 1940s, with tunes popularized by Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Gene Krupa, Tommy Dorsey, and others. The Col Ballroom (1012 West Fourth Street, Davenport). 7 p.m. $8-$10. For tickets and information, call (563)322-4431.
Friday, February 12 - Kris Kristofferson. Grammy-nominated and Golden Globe-winning performer in concert. Riverside Casino & Golf Resort (3182 Highway 22, Riverside). 8 p.m. $40-$55. For tickets and information, call (877)677-3456 or visit RiversideCasinoAndResort.com.
Friday, February 12 - The Winard Harper Sextet. Master of the drum kit and West African balafon performs with his ensemble. A presentation in the Hancher Auditorium Fine Arts Series. Iowa City High School (1900 Morningside Drive, Iowa City). 7:30 p.m. $10-$25. For tickets and information, call (319)335-1160 or visit http://www.Hancher.UIowa.edu.
Saturday, February 13 - The Smooth Jazz Valentine's Concert & Dinner. Pianist Alex Bugnon, saxophonist "Shilts," and bassist Michael Manson perform jazz, R&B, classic funk, and smooth grooves. The Lodge Hotel (900 Spruce Hills Drive, Bettendorf). 6 p.m. dinner, 8 p.m. concert. $80. For tickets and information, call (563)324-4208 or visit GreatSoundsPromotions.com.
Friday, February 5, through Sunday, February 14 - Rinde Eckert's Eye Piece. A theatrical meditation on blindness, featuring Eckert and performers from the University of Iowa's Theatre Arts and Dance departments and School of Music. A presentation in the Hancher Auditorium Fine Arts Series. E.C. Mabie Theatre (100 Pomerantz Center, Iowa City). Friday and Saturday 8 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m. $5-$17. For tickets and information, call (319)335-1160 or visit http://www.Hancher.UIowa.edu.
Thursday, February 4 - River Readings at Augustana: Richard Katrovas. Award-winning author from Western Michigan University reads from his works, with a reception following. Wallenberg Hall, Augustana College (3701 Seventh Avenue, Rock Island). 7 p.m. Free admission. For information, call (309)794-7823.
Tuesday, February 9 - The Real World of Fiji. A presentation in the museum's World Adventure Series, with a post-film discussion. Putnam Museum & IMAX Theatre (1717 West 12th Street, Davenport). 1, 4, and 7 p.m. $4-$6. For tickets and information, call (563)324-1933 or visit Putnam.org.
Saturday, February 13 - Quad Cities' Heart for Horses Fundraiser. Event benefiting the Hooved Animal Rescue & Protection Society and Blue Ridge Rescue, featuring live music from the Southern Cross Band, a cash bar, a 50/50 raffle, and a silent auction. Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds (2815 West Locust Street, Davenport). 7 p.m. $10. For information, call (563)320-2923 or visit QCHeartsForHorses.com.