Looking back at the 2001-2 season of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra (QCSO), it is fair to say there were some good concerts but more mediocre-to-bad shows. April’s concert last weekend fell squarely into the latter category; like a sardine sandwich, the ends of the concert were adequate while the middle smelled and tasted funny.

• My favorite record of the moment is I Can See Your House from Here by The Scooters, a gorgeous sophomore release blending sweeping Brit-pop melodies and easy beat twang. From the open acoustic chords of "This Is How It Ends" and its Radiohead-esque lyrics - "So this is how it ends / Man against machine / It's the finest fistfight / The world has ever seen" - the album stretches out and soars with shimmering three-part harmonies and hook-driven power pop.

Very few people will disagree that Bill Monroe is the father of bluegrass music. But I wonder how many of them will admit that it was a young female fiddler from Champaign, Illinois, who made it a viable commercial entity in the 21st Century.

Even though it's been without vast amounts of fame or fortune, the career of John Hiatt has had an arc that many musicians would envy. The singer-songwriter has hopped from label to label and style to style, garnered heaps of respect and a bunch or royalties when other artists cover his songs (which happens a lot), and generally gets to do what he wants without the weight of public expectation.

• New York City alternative weekly The Village Voice and its sister newspapers have completed an aggressive benefit CD project they began shortly after the September 11 terrorist attacks. Their call for music from established and up-and-coming artists produced more than 1,000 submissions, 18 of which make up the disc Love Songs For NYC.

Ron Block doesn't like the spotlight, and that makes him a perfect fit for the world's most popular bluegrass band, Alison Krauss & Union Station.

"The whole concept of my playing is to enhance the sound of the band and not draw attention to myself unnecessarily," said Block, the band's guitarist, banjo player, and most frequent songwriter.

• The first-ever rarities-and-hits box set from XTC is due next week, a 10-ton drop of pop genius that covers the band's history from 1978 to 1989. The four-CD set is loaded with goodies, with nearly 70 percent of the material being presented for the first time.

• This Tuesday brings the long-awaited domestic release of the Super Furry Animals' newest, Rings Around the World, recently receiving MOJO magazine's pick as "Album of the Year." The stateside CD issue of this monster U.

One name saved a frozen evening. Christian Lindberg. On what was the most treacherous weather night the Quad Cities had seen in a while, Lindberg – Sweden’s famous solo artist and rare solo trombonist – dazzled the sparse Quad City Symphony Orchestra (QCSO) audience with flashy clothes, incredible playing, and rarely performed but easily accessible trombone concertos.

• In San Francisco last week, a magical collective of musicians and promoters held the 10th annual Noise Pop celebration, a loose and loving gathering of tribes, basking in the best of modern music. The six-day affair featured more than 80 artists and bands, including Azure Ray, Beachwood Sparks, Big Star, Daniel Johnston, Death Cab for Cutie, Folk Implosion, Guided by Voices, Jason Lytle of Grandaddy, Modest Mouse, Paula Frazer, Stratford 4, The Donnas, The New Pornographers, and The Posies.

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