The committee exploring options for the River Music Center in downtown Davenport is about to undertake a feasibility study to see if the community will support its concept for the planned facility.

The concept for the $7 million project is still vague, but it should give the community some sense of the project as it moves toward its scheduled completion in summer 2004.

Live music isn't an endangered species, but there are certainly fewer and fewer venues offering it these days. That's a stark contrast to a time when music was everywhere in the community.

"These are significantly different times," said Nate Lawrence.

• The good ol' boys of the Drive-By Truckers have resurrected the rock opera in their own grand Southern gentry style, as their new two-CD set is a concept album based on the life, death, and haunting legacy of Lynyrd Skynyrd.

When last we left the local ambient-art-rock group INTENSITY!, it had just released a two-song album of nearly 50 minutes with the title The Stone of Madness.
So we might call It All Starts Tomorrow progress toward something that at least acknowledges convention.

• Incubus has broken new visual ground as the first musical artist to use the state-of-the-art digital filmmaking that created Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. The band's just-released concert DVD, Morning View Sessions, documents a live studio session from October of last year and utilizes Sony's CineAlta 24P production system, a digital-video technology that records at 24 frames per second, comparable in quality to 35-millimeter film.

• This Tuesday the Fuel 2000 label issues Ride Pony Ride, a terrific new anthology documenting The Golden Palominos and the band's 1980s underground avant-funk clique. Built on the rhythm of drummer and bandleader Anton Fier, the group's ever-changing coil featured ace players such as saxophonist John Zorn, guitarists Nicky Skopelitis and Arto Lindsay, and bassists Bill Laswell and Jamaaladeen Tacuma.

With two music events and a clinic for children, the Quad Cities Jazz Festival promises to brighten your Memorial Day weekend with spectacular music from nine stellar acts.

The Quad Cities Jazz Fest runs Thursday through Saturday and includes singer Marilyn Maye, saxophonist Kim Park, the Southwest Missouri Jazz Band, trombonist Paul McKee, trumpet player Manny Lopez, pianist Mulgrew Miller, bassist Jim Widner, drummer Jim Ekloff, and guitarist Rick Haydon.

• A newly conceptualized tour package looks to be the place to fly your sunscreen-slathered freak flag this summer if you're lucky enough for it to touch down near you. Dubbing itself the Unlimited Sunshine 2002 tour, this one sounds wonderfully weird and adventurous with headliners The Flaming Lips.

• Epic Records has announced the debut of a new artist-owned "boutique" label under its umbrella, as well as the catalog restoration of one of the most enigmatic musical entities of the 1980s - Matt Johnson of The The, reintroduced to the world with his new Lazarus Records imprint.

In an age of pristine and perfectly recorded CDs, Ryan Flaherty’s debut album, Dimestore Blues, is the kind of thing that would sound best on crackling vinyl.
The did-it-himself collection of 10 songs – seven originals and three covers – has a rough charm that (intentionally or not) recalls the scratchy, popping recordings of the blues masters from many decades ago.