• Back for a second collaborative album, this Tuesday Jello Biafra & the Melvins release Sieg Howdy! on Biafra's Alternative Tentacles label. With intriguing song titles such as "Those Dumb Punk Kids (Will Buy Anything)" and "The Lighter Side of Global Terrorism," the new CD promises new rants from the Dead Kennedys founder and an updated recording of the band's classic "Kalifornia Uber Alles" for the Schwarzenegger populous.

You might think that it's only natural that Pieta Brown turned out to be a singer-songwriter. After all, she's the daughter of the legendary Iowa roots artist Greg Brown. Her second full-length recording, In the Cool (in stores this week), makes it sound like she's been doing this forever.

Music, family, friends, food, and tradition brought a huge crowd to the 23rd annual Quad City Symphony Orchestra Riverfront Pops concert last Saturday. An opportunity to enjoy classical music surrounded by nature, the concert consisted of lively and entertaining pieces supplemented by the addition of saxophonist Chris Vadala … and accompanied by the pleasant cacophony of an audience enjoying the experience as well as the music.

• In celebration of the 10-year anniversary of the War Child: Help CD that raised funds for the children of the Bosnian war, a new project brings together a who's-who of modern rockers to continue the goal of helping children caught up in warfare worldwide.

• After blowing minds with the DVD series it started in 2003, Palm Pictures is releasing four more volumes in its Director's Series imprint. Due this coming Tuesday, this time the focus is on the visual ambition of directors Jonathan Glazer (Sexy Beast), Mark Romanek (One Hour Photo), Anton Corbijn, and Stephane Sednaoui.

• Taking the adage that it's the driver, not the car, David Grisman's Acoustic Disc label has compiled 42 master musicians laying hands on a beloved 1933 Martin OM-45 guitar and a 1922 Gibson F-5 mandolin. Next Tuesday the label releases the fruit of this unique four-year effort in Tone Poets, a two-CD set that shows the range of sounds drawn from these same vintage instruments by different fingers, slides, and flatpicks.

Activism can sneak up on you. One year ago, Bettendorf musician A.J. Haut couldn't have imagined being the initiator of a benefit performance involving dozens of performers and nearly a thousand dollars in raffle merchandise.

More questions than answers are blowing in the wind, my friend, with superstar artists cutting deals that exclude traditional mom-and-pop record stores from carrying their upcoming CDs. Walmart's 800-pound gorilla already dictates to the major record labels what it's going to take to get their product into their stores - approving cover art and a take-it-or-leave-it cost margin.

• The holiday gift-giving season is a still a few months away, but you should start begging now for the new Johnny Cash box set, Cash: The Legend. The four-CD offering is a beautiful testament t.o the beloved icon, saluting the 50th anniversary of his first single, "Cry, Cry, Cry," and the upcoming biopic Walk the Line, arriving in theatres in November.

"Tell them to get ready to rock and roll!" That is Edgar Winter's official message to those who'll see him Friday night at River Roots Live. And considering Winter's accomplishments in 35 years of performing, who wouldn't be ready? With more than 20 records to his name since his Entrance entrance in 1970, innumerable concert appearances, and continued public awareness due to the longevity of his '70s classics "Frankenstein" and "Free Ride," Winter is a bona fide musical legend, and one with a style that - like the musician himself - can't be easily categorized.