• My favorite new CD of the moment goes to Rick Altizer and his power -pop masterpiece All Tie Zer. Bearing the imprint of the Not Lame Recordings, a Colorado label serving up the best in indie pop, this new album is candy for the ears with its "Dear God"-era XTC meets Tom Petty cleverness and melancholy melodies.

Zuill Bailey was a rambunctious child. The cello changed him.

Bailey's first encounter with the cello was at a symphony concert as a young child. Running through the halls, he "smashed into a girl holding a cello," breaking the instrument, he recalled.

• The "big five" major music companies - Sony, EMI, BMG, Universal, and the Warner Music Group - have laid down their swords and come together to rush the release this Tuesday of America: A Tribute to Heroes, a not-for-profit CD, VHS, or DVD documenting the somber benefit broadcast from September 21.

With a robust musical tradition to draw on, the Quad City Symphony Orchestra (QCSO) has released its first full-length CD, an assembly of movements and snippets drawn from recordings by Augustana’s WVIK public-radio station.

• The new independent film Dean Quixote is an indie-rock love letter, with an appearance by Dayton, Ohio's Guided by Voices and a tastefully selected soundtrack. Just released on the spinART Records label, it features the band's "If We Wait" alongside Olivia Tremor Control, Beachwood Sparks, The Minders, Bevis Frond, Bettie Serveert, and Orchestra Fantastique, a new side project from Robert Schneider of The Apples in Stereo.

One of the primary goals of any artist, especially a jazz musician, is to have a distinctive style. Knowledgeable jazz musicians and even fans can hear just a few bars of Clark Terry, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Milt Jackson, Thelonious Monk, and many others and easily recognize who is playing.

• I let out a holler and a hoot over the smashing success of the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack at the 35th annual Country Music Association Awards in Nashville, as the set won best album and single for "I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow" by the Soggy Bottom Boys featuring vocalist Dan Tyminski.

The man who goes by the name Fuzz might not realize just how appropriate his moniker is. In talking about his eight-piece funk band Deep Banana Blackout, Fuzz (née James San Giovanni) pretty much apologizes for every decision he and his cohorts have made over the past year.

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.