January is a right proper time to rest and rebuild, and if any business has earned that respite, it's Rozz-Tox – the Rock Island spot has spent more than a decade functioning as a music venue, art gallery, café, bar, hostel, and all-in-one “culture hub,” weathering the plague and coming out on the other side with fresh ideas, including all-vinyl DJ nights curated by local and regional musicians and knowledgeable non-musicians. The venue is breaking its winter's rest for two special events: an experimental show at the end of the month, and, on January 21, the formal QC headlining debut of Running Man.

The year's most fully-realized, cohesive album is a scant nine minutes long – it will probably take more time to read this article than it will to listen to the album.

Fontaines DC, Skinty Fia

We've widened our acoustic lens this year and are pleased to present top five to 10 albums of the year from 16 disc jockeys spinning tunes at two independently owned radio stations and three prolific local musicians/artists. The styles range from country to death metal, from indie pop to jam bands, from blues to roots and everything in between and around the edges. There are legends such as Buddy Guy and Elvis Costello. There are bands with such names as Fat Earthers and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizards. The lists include live concert recordings from mega-stars including the Rolling Stones and Tom Petty, both from 1977. Who knew iconic artists Jimmy Cliff and the Dropkick Murphys were still making music?!

The thrilling discography of one of the most popular and successful rock outfits of all time will be celebrated at The Rust Belt on January 13 when the East Moline venue presents the touring sensation Kashmir: The Live Led Zeppelin Tribute Show, an event sure to boast exhilarating renditions of “Whole Lotta Love,” “Immigrant Song,” and of course, the immortal “Stairway to Heaven.”

On January 15, no fewer than 17 gifted Midwestern musicians will perform at Bettendorf's Rivermont Collegiate as featured guests in Polyrhythms' Third Sunday Jazz Series, with Mike Conrad & the Iowa Jazz Composers Orchestra proving that jazz lovers don’t need to look to New York City or Chicago for beautiful, creative, high-quality music.

With the ensemble currently boasting Walter “Clyde” Orange, James Dean “J.D.” Nicholas, and William “WAK” King alongside their five-piece band The Mean Machine, the legendary funk and soul outfit The Commodores bring their “Greatest Hits Tour” to Davenport's Rhythm City Casino Resort Event Center on January 8, treating crowds to a beloved repertoire that includes the chart-topping ballads “Easy,” “Still,” and the immortal “Three Times a Lady.”

With Pitchfork deeming the artist a "Nashville spitfire [who] flits easily between country, bluegrass, and rock," singer/songwriter Lillie Mae headlines a January 13 concert at Davenport's Raccoon Motel, her most recent recording Other Girls lauded by Pop Matters as "the album that will garner Americana/alt-country artist Lillie Mae the attention she richly deserves."

Praised by Music Review Roulette for possessing "one of the most beautiful female voices we have heard in a long time," folk, country, and Americana singer/songwriter Genevieve Heyward headlines a January 12 concert at Davenport's Raccoon Motel, the rising star lauded by Americana-UK for her "lilting vocals, sharply clever lyrics, and a distinctly country hued musicality that should be able to win over both traditional and more modern fans of the genre alike."

Lauded by Americana-UK as a talent who boasts "a soulful wail, a quieter, world-weary growl, and expressive country yawp," country singer/songwriter Kiely Connell headlines a January 8 concert at Davenport's Raccoon Motel, her 2021 recording Calumet Queen deemed by the United Kingdom's Folk Radio "an outstanding debut ... written and sung with wisdom, insights and experience of a life-seasoned artist."

Composed of lead vocalist on guitar, Mike Petrasek on bass, and Joe Kus on drums, the hard-rocking tribute artists of Smells Like Nirvana play a January 6 headlining engagement at Davenport's Raccoon Motel, celebrating the legendary sounds of Nirvana and Kurt Cobain through smash hits, B-sides, rare songs, and more from albums including Nevermind, In Utero, and Bleach.