What does it mean for journeyman musician and revered songwriter Phil Elverum to make an album under the name The Microphones in 2020? The project Mount Eerie has been his mainstay since the early 2000s. The Microphones began years before and documented some of his earliest work around which his reputation was formed and his role in the lineage of institutions such as K Records and the traditions of what we now know as bedroom pop, lo-fi music, and emo was solidified.

Awash in meat smoke and bongwater, Davenport-based self-professed “bbq death metal” duo Pit Lord recently released their new album Seasonings in the Abyss.

Rock Island’s own Randall Hall dropped a transfixing full-length album titled Oracle in mid-June that documents a cycle of his extended saxophone experiments and electro-acoustic compositions – all with the intent to, as he explains, “delve into the mythic, the esoteric, and the apophatic.” Loaded with fierce atonal sax shred, passages of freewheeling improvisation in more consonant modes, and interstitial segments of processed spoken word and electronics that build on his central theme of ancient Greek mysticism, Oracle lands as a fully realized and diverse statement of purpose from Randall Hall with seemingly few other precedents in the Quad Cities scene.

Iconic Italian film composer Ennio Morricone passed away on July 7 at the age of 91. Active as a musician and composer from the late-1940s (!) all the way up to his death, Morricone ranks among the most acclaimed artists in the medium of film music. However, it’s safe to say, as the iconoclastic New York composer John Zorn asserted in his New York Times obituary/tribute, that the influence of Morricone's work moved far beyond the paradigm of film scoring and that he should rightly be considered one of the greatest composers of the 20th century, full stop.

Davenport-based experimental folk artist/singer-songwriter/“???”-core producer Bo Jaywalker has dropped no less than eight individual releases on his Bandcamp page since the last time we checked in with him regarding his Bo Jaywalker LP in April.

Davenport's LoPiez is celebrating the completion of its first full year in business. The self-described "Rock & Roll New York style" by-the-slice pizza joint has decided to celebrate its anniversary in style, with a socially-distanced three-band outdoor bash in the parking lot across the street from its Third Street location. It's a joint venture with Rock Island's Wake Brewing, and will serve as the Rock Island "riff-infused" brewery's Iowa debut, with its signature metal-inspired beers being made available across the river for the first time.

Lauded by Fanfare for his “dazzling technique and white-hot interpretations” and by News Review for his “stunning mastery of the instrument,” the classical pianist, composer, and recording artist Julian Gargiulo performs a virtual concert in celebration of the Figge Art Museum's 15th anniversary, the streaming August 8 event sure to demonstrate why the Huffington Post advised Gargiulo's listeners to “revise any preconceived notions you have about classical-music concerts.”

Appearing in a special Signature Series program courtesy of WVIK Public Radio and the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, concertmaster Naha Greenholtz and pianist Marian Lee will join musical forces for the August 7 concert event Fantasie, a repertoire of four classical compositions that will be performed live in St. Ambrose University's Galvin Fine Arts Center and also, through multiple high-definition camera setups, simulcast via Livestream for those wanting to enjoy the music from home.

Praised by the Washington Post for her “astonishing voice” and “undeniable ingenuity,” lauded jazz singer and music educator Lenora Zenzalai Helm and her ensemble headline a special, virtual concert hosted by the Polyrhythms Third Sunday Jazz Series, the July 26 evening with the Lenora Zenzalai Helm Tribe & Jazz Orchestra showcasing a performer who, according to the New York Daily News, “has a fistful of jazz and world rhythms in her pocket and some glorious songs in her soul.”

The in-person concerts and workshops for this year's celebration may be canceled due to COVID-19, but the jazz music, on July 31 and August 1, will most certainly go on in the 49th-Annual Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival, with six national and local bands performing in the virtual event held in tribute to the legendary cornet player and Davenport native.

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