It’s something that happens to bands of all types, from fictional (Spinal Tap) to big (the unnamed band combining former Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell with the instrumental power of Rage Against the Machine): A major player (Nigel or Cornell) quits at an inopportune time (in the middle of a big tour or before the debut album is even released), leaving everybody in a lurch.

• American Music Club founder Mark Eitzel is mad for covers this Tuesday as his new solo album, Courage & Confidence, is chock full of interesting interpretations by the somber bard. Ten oddly selected songs make up the New West Records release, including his pensive take on Curtis Mayfield's "Move on Up," The Flamingos' "I Only Have Eyes for You," Andrea True Connection's "More, More, More," Anne Murray's "Snowbird," Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine," and - dig this - Culture Club's "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?" • Both Robert Plant and Dolly Parton have announced that they too will be dipping into the strange cover waters, with Plant's upcoming album featuring his take on the Jimi Hendrix classic "Hey Joe" (itself a cover), Tim Buckley's "Song of the Siren," and the track "Morning Due," previously recorded by Tim Hardin and Jeff Beck.

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.