These ones are really doing it for the kids! The new just released Gizmodgery CD from Self takes kids' play up a notch as the entire disc uses everyday toy instruments - and nothing else - whipping it all up into a clanking, churning delight with Beck-esque playfulness and Prince-esque funk.

After a summer of anticipation, the Quad City Symphony Orchestra (QCSO) kicked off its 86th season Saturday, October 7, at the Adler Theater. The mammoth performance of Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony, the intimate emotion of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E Minor, and even the rabblerousing overture to Verdi’s opera Nabucco delighted the senses.

With few surprising pieces, this year's Quad City Symphony Orchestra season is best described as "solid." By relying on repertoire mainstays like Beethoven's Third Symphony, Brahms' Fourth, and the Verdi Requiem, music director and conductor Donald Schleicher has created a season that will surely please the Adler crowd but offer them sparse originality.

You remember rock, don’t you? That arena sound that required no hair spray, no leather, no preening, no showy solos, no attitude? The only things you needed were guitar, drums, bass, and a singer.
That’s exactly what the local band Blue Ash Ink has on its self-titled, self-released album.

The new Limp Bizkit album, Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water, is due this coming Tuesday on the Flip/Interscope label and features a funky Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory-esque twist. Purchasers might be lucky enough to find a randomly inserted "golden ticket" and autographed gold CD inside a handful of the first pressing of discs.

Film director Baz Luhmann has consistently turned heads and ears with his visually stunning work like his William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet, Strictly Ballroom, and monster hit "Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen).

Progressive rock has never been cool. It has sometimes been respected, but those periods have been fleeting and hastily apologized for.
The genre had many practitioners in the early 1970s, bands unafraid of releasing 30-minute pieces (they can’t properly be called songs) rife with self-indulgence and pomposity.

Rage Against the Machine is currently putting the final touches on a new live album, recorded recently at Los Angeles' Grand Olympic Auditorium and dominated by an unusual selection of cover tracks like Devo's " Beautiful World" and MC5's "Kick Out the Jams.

There’s nothing fancy-pants about Kelly Pardekooper’s music. It’s as unassuming, familiar, comfortable, and rugged as denim.
That’s not to say it’s pedestrian. Far from it. Pardekooper’s new album, Johnson County Snow (on the well-regarded Trailer Records label), is simply spectacular, with 10 beautifully crafted pieces of corn-fed rock from Iowa City.

Look for the upcoming Fatboy Slim album, Halfway Between the Gutter and the Stars, to include the track - and first single - "Sunset (Bird of Prey)," which is built upon a vocal sample of the Doors' Jim Morrison reading some of his poetry.

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