The Shockingly Modern Saxophone Festival at Augustana College -- February 21 and 22.

A celebration of new and experimental works, Augustana College's Shockingly Modern Saxophone Festival, on February 21 and 22, will boast solo and chamber pieces that explore the sonic potential of the sax through improvisation, electronics, and multi-media, with festival founder and artistic director Dr. Randall Hall saying, “There are many saxophone festivals and many new music festivals, but as far as I know, this is the only event in the United States dedicated specifically to new music for saxophone.”

Longstanding Swedish stoner-rock shredders Truckfighters play RIBCO on February 22, offering up a rare chance to see their fuzz-drenched live set in the context of a relatively intimate venue.

Singer/songwriter and guitarist Christopher Paul Stelling brings his intimate live show to Rozz-Tox on February 23, as part of a tour following the release of his new album Best of Luck, which landed on February 7.

The legendary Brooklyn-based MC and Black Star member Talib Kweli drops into East Moline venue the Rust Belt for a show on February 14.

Praised by Smooth Jazz Therapy as “a major player on the contemporary jazz scene,” the gifted saxophonist, flautist, and vocalist Paula Atherton headlines Great Sounds Promotions' latest Smooth Jazz Valentines Concert at Davenport's Redstone Room, the February 14 event sure to demonstrate why The Smooth Jazz Ride lauded the artist for her “stylish, sleek, and energetic talents.”

Touring in support of his 2019 album State I'm In, Aaron Lewis – the chart-topping outlaw-county singer/songwriter and co-founder of rock outfit Staind – headlines an acoustic February 15 concert at Davenport's Rhythm City Casino Resort Event Center, treating fans to a repertoire that inspired Saving Country Music to rave, “Aaron's voice comes with a familiarity and richness of tone that endears itself to the songs he writes.”

With The New Yorker deeming the group “an ensemble of eloquent intensity” and “one of the mainstays of the American chamber-music scene,” the gifted musicians of the Jupiter String Quartet appear as special guests in the WVIK/QCSO Signature Series, their February 15 performance at Augustana College's Centennial Hall sure to deliver what the Boston Classical Review called “an intensely alert investigation of the musical possibilities in each work.”

A musical showcase held in support of Black History Month, the latest presentation in Polyrhythms' Third Sunday Jazz Workshop and Matinée Series finds the Midwestern greats of the Peter Callaway Quartet bringing their significant talents and deep love of jazz to Davenport's Redstone Room on February 16, offering a celebration of African-American jazz composers and musicians including Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, George Benson, Duke Ellington, and many others.

A bill of pummeling post-hardcore, screamo, and full-throated black metal hits Rozz-Tox on February 16 as St. Louis’ Mystic Will forms a bill with local acts The Dead Girl Medallion and Suburban Commando.

What follows is a subjective list of my 10 favorite releases of 2019, as well as some honorable mentions. My personal tastes tend toward rock and metal, and this list reflects that, with a few exceptions. There's much good music that I've either missed or haven't fully appreciated. You are probably in the same boat. So read on – and feel free to recommend anything I may have overlooked.

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