• A bookish group of singer-songwriters has contributed 16 tracks of work directly inspired by a favorite tome or written-word piece, ranging from poems and plays to comic books and Homer's The Odyssey. Due next month on the Red Ink/United Musicians label, this highbrow project was conceived and created to help fund The SIBL Project - a San Francisco adult literacy program that promotes reading through music - and national literacy campaigns.

It's a shame when musicians who perform America's original art forms - jazz, blues, and other African-American musics such as gospel and zydeco - tell us that their music is much more respected and appreciated in Europe and Japan than in this country.

Chamber music is highlighted by individuality, expressiveness, and an intimate musical experience. It’s a treat for the ears, and a break from the heaviness of orchestral concerts. Fortunately, the Quad Cities has a robust chamber tradition, and much of this can be attributed to the work of Chamber Music Quad Cities (CMQC).

• This Tuesday brings the new Sonic Youth album, Murray Street, influenced by the recording's interruption last fall by the September 11 terrorist attacks. Named for the band's lower Manhattan studio address, which was hastily abandoned after only one month of recording, the album features dual saxophonists Jim Sauter and Don Dietrich of Borbetomagus.

If you saw John Music, the lead singer of Provoke, you would probably be able to guess he was part of the hardcore music scene, with the tattoos that peak out from his chest and run down his left calf. But looking at Terry Johnson from another local hardcore/progressive band named Transmission 13, you could never guess that they had any affiliation at all.

The group's first fundraiser brought in $126, and its organizers thought that was a pretty good number. And relatively speaking, it is.

After all, the group's operating expenses to this point have totaled $6.

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.