Once again, thanks to Bandcamp’s region-based search, I've happened upon an inexplicable pocket of highly technical metal nestled somewhere along the riverbanks of the Mississippi, this time courtesy of Davenport-based shredder Austin Korth. If the material he has here is any indicator, his self-proclaimed quest to "play and record as much music as possible" (as per his Bandcamp bio) shows plenty of promise for idiosyncratic Quad Cities home recording.

Whoa! Before discovering this gem on Bandcamp, I had no idea that living legend Mike Watt, the bassist and co-guiding force of seminal independent punk progenitors Minutemen and a whole host of other great projects from the '80s and beyond, had a duo with an Iowa-based musician – Iowa City’s jack-of-all-trades songwriter/singer/multi-instrumentalist Samuel Locke Ward (a.k.a. SLW). As you might expect from anything in Watt’s orbit, it rips.

Perhaps you’ll be surprised to learn that William Campbell, the composer of the film’s spectral, gorgeous soundtrack resides right here in lovely Davenport, Iowa – and that this isn’t even his first film to receive an Academy Award nomination, the first being 2018's Lifeboat. Quad Cities representing!

A special virtual event wrapping up the University of Dubuque's “Live at Heritage Center” programming for the 2020-21 season, the May 15 concert with the esteemed members of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and world-renowned guest organist Alan Morrison will follow a dedication ceremony for the university's new custom-crafted pipe organ, a glorious instrument with more than 3,000 pipes gifted by John and Alice Butler.

Thursday, May 13, 8 p.m.

Presented by the Englert Theatre

Returning to Davenport's Redstone Room for the first time in more than a year, Polyrhythms' popular Third Sunday Jazz Series gets an exhilarating reboot with its May 16 concert by Silversmith, a new six-piece, hard-bop jazz band that plays originals and jazz classics by artists including Horace Silver, Jimmy Smith, Dexter Gordon, Kenny Dorham, Charles Mingus, and Lee Morgan.

One of the most acclaimed and electrifying stars of stage and screen will be showcased in a special, live Quad City Symphony Orchestra event on May 15, with Davenport's LeClaire Park serving as the locale for An Evening with Renée Elise Goldsberry, a night of unforgettable Broadway, pop, and soul favorites with the Tony and Grammy Award winning sensation from Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton.

Performing a special live concert at Davenport's Rhythm City Casino Resort Event Center, the Midwestern pop-rockers of the Pork Tornadoes will deliver an eclectic assortment of hits on May 8, their energetic repertoire ranging from Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Justin Timberlake and Beyoncé all the way to Lizzo, The Killers, Coolio, and Phil Collins.

The rate at which prolific musicians in the Bandcamp era can churn out new material on a short notice will never cease to amaze me. The idea of an “album cycle” in which an artist drops one album a year, or even less frequently, and spends the time between proper releases promoting and performing based around one album’s material still exists in the upper echelons of the music industry.

Well, I, for one, am glad that groups of plucky young musicians get together and decide to make jazz fusion in the year 2021. As an avowed devotee of late-'60s through -'70s fusion as pioneered by the likes of Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, and Mahavishnu Orchestra, I can’t help but smile when a contemporary band can hit with horn voices, electronics, and funk rhythms all at once. Iowa City’s four-piece band Wave Cage get there.

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