Sergei Rachmaninoff was an average composer and an excellent performer. He composed mainly in the 20th Century, yet the Romantic idiom dominated his work; while other composers were exploring the edges of modern composition, Rachmaninoff was unable to move beyond the high drama of the 1800s.

• Painfully poignant as today's headlines bring us closer to adopting a Robocop reality, I beg of everyone to stop and listen to a simple question: "What's Going On?" A star-studded re-mix CD posing Marvin Gaye's soulful question has just hit store shelves, a puff of hope and harmony from the lips of the next generation to keep the dream of brotherhood afloat.

The Quad City Symphony Chamber Series is quickly becoming a favorite. Beginning its second year as a concert staple, the regular symphony players kicked the sub-season off on October 21 with a performance at Augustana College’s Wallenberg Hall.

Eastern Iowa is fast becoming a cultural hub between Chicago, Minneapolis, and Omaha. With stops in Iowa City by the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Houston Ballet, and most recently mezzo-soprano Frederica Von Stade, Quad Citians have been within a 40-minute drive and a $10 ticket price of world-renowned performers.

• Blast those little window-soapin' goblins with a sonic slap of the original monsters of rock, The Misfits, as the band is finally releasing its rare Mars Attacks! demo sessions just in time for Hallow's Eve. On Tuesday, the Roadrunner Records label is spitting out this 19-track collection of odd nuggets from 1996 through 2001, entitled Cuts from the Crypt.

• This Tuesday, the master musicians of four-string funk show up as guest players on the new Gov't Mule album, The Deep End Volume 1. The record, on the ATO label, marks the band's first studio recordings since the death last year of founding bassist Allen Woody.

When the Quad City Symphony Orchestra (QCSO) kicked off its concert season on October 6 at the Adler Theatre, the performance couldn't help but be partly covered in darkness. The shroud of pain and uncertainty and musical weeping of the first half seemed fitting given the tragedies in New York, Washington, D.

• The Kinks are the recipient of Sub Pop Records' upcoming tribute set, entitled Give The People What They Want, on November 6. The 19-track collection features a Sup Pop super-stable of participants, including C-Average's spin on "Revenge," Mark Lanegan's take on "Nothin' in the World Can Stop Me Worryin' 'bout That Girl," The Murder City Devils' splash of "Alcohol," Mudhoney's turn on "Who Will Be the Next in Line," and Heather Duby's version of "The Way Love Used to Be.

• My favorite new CD of the moment is When Cupid Meets Psyche by the enigmatically monikered (The Real) Tuesday Weld. Just picturing the actress Tuesday Weld in Thief with James Caan or Sex Kittens in College is enough to make me tingle warmly all over, but this newly released Kindercore Records CD isn't reaching back into 1960s and 1970s iconology; it takes a much deeper time trip into the 1920s and 1930s big-band swing of your grandfather's 78 RPM records with modern-day loops and electronic beats.

When the Quad City Symphony Orchestra (QCSO) takes the stage for its season-opening performances next weekend, the audience will have several new experiences - one piece in tribute to the victims of the recent terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, and another that few people anywhere have heard.

Pages