It would be easy to forgive the Bix Memorial Jazz Society if its leaders were looking past this weekend's Bix Memorial Jazz Festival. After all, next year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Leon "Bix" Beiderbecke, and the society has some big things planned, including a Caribbean Bix cruise in November 2003 and what's sure to be a blowout centennial festival next summer.
• This Tuesday Public Enemy releases what could be considered the first truly interactive album ever made. Entitled Revolverution, the 14-track CD is a collection of live tracks, remixes, and unique new material that boasts creative partnership with the band's fans.

A Rare Insight

The photograph on the cover of Retrospective 1982-2002, the new overview CD by Cedar Rapids’ Gayla Drake Paul, might at first seem to be a concession to modern marketing. The photo, dating from 1988, shows Paul in a tank top and unzipped jeans, her hand reaching under her shirt, exposing part of a breast.
• With Eminem's heavy nick of the Malcolm McLaren scratch-and-street classic "Buffalo Gals" on his smash "Without Me" pumping the hot air of summer, my old-school heart is yearning for those crazy house-friendly hip-hop days of the 1980s.
• Delightfully British in the campy flavor of go-go boots and paisley house dresses, my pick of the week is Zap the World by Death by Chocolate, released this coming Tuesday on the Jetset label. This fresh and sassy sophomore effort is fronted by Angela Faye Tillett, a time-traveling London pop girl channeling a splendidly droll vibe whether she's musing on the perfect scrumptiousness of Cinnamon Grahams cereal or her favorite "lime-green fitted blouse with rounded collar and puce cuffs.
• 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.