Awful or Awesome?: Quad City-style Pizza

Update, Mar. 13, 16:22. I just realized this can go in the Awful-Awesome series, which I wanted to be a thing for a while but then fizzled out. Thus, I have retitled this post and added an additional closing paragraph. Enjoy! I was in my twenties before I stumbled upon this term on Wikipedia. That…

A Dying Man’s Final Words

First, the thing; the weird, spooky thing that no one’s really sure what it is (besides R-rated): Some very talented people helped make this thing. Producer Andrew Barkau spent hours searching through sound files for the effects I wanted. Voice actors Mike Steele and Jeff Tady read brilliantly from a script that was deliberately obtuse….

Kweku Collins is Coming to Save Us

In a fog of existential collapse, Kweku Collins is a beacon. He’s a good artist to find when you’ve been beaten down so hard by loss, pain, and despair that you can hardly move. He’ll get you to move – whether it’s through dance, creative inspiration, or just enough psychic energy for you to take one more blind swipe at joy.

Case in point: the title of this post. It makes the corner of my mouth turn up just a bit, and I’d hope a lyrically inventive rapper – with an experimental streak – like Collins would appreciate it.

Rainbow Immunity Soup Recipe

Some of the best recipes are the ones we invent ourselves. This is my new go-to flu season soup, and it’s the healthiest, heartiest meal ever created by human hands. To make it any healthier, I’d have to serve it with a side of GNC vitamins. The black bean rotini is available at Trader Joe’s….

New Venue Alert: The Stardust

Dear Music Makers, meet the Dreamers of Dreams – FINALLY! A mid-sized venue is opening in downtown Davenport! With a capacity of 800, The Stardust is the space we’ve dreamed of and begged for. For years, certain entertainers have declined to perform in the Quad Cities due to lack of an appropriate… Source: The Stardust: The Newest Star…

Art Is Rent and the Residence Gallery

Featuring works by Quad Cities artist Donnie Bobb avail. thru Jan. 15, 2018. For years, I thought an art gallery was a place owned by an uptight rich lady who dyed her hair jet black and dressed like a polo-playing assassin. And in order to get your work into her gallery, Elizabeth Bathory herself had to find…

The Bad Year, Or: Sharing is Love

This has been a rough year for various reasons, chock full of moments like finding oneself in front of the Amazon listing for Final Exit and thinking, “maybe I’ll just read some of the reviews.”

Calls for Submission

Call 1 Aubrey Barnes, the Midwest Writing Center’s Poet-in-Residence, is curating a community blog. He’s accepting submissions until November 25th – a little over two weeks from today. Nowhere in the call does it specify that you must be from the Quad Cities or even the Midwest; we’re a tolerant people. In addition to my own contribution,…

How to Spot a Sexual Predator – And What to Do When You Find One

“Men only want one thing,” my developmentally disabled cousin told me when we were teenagers. It was like her mantra – something she said over and over: “Men only want one thing.” I suppose her father drilled that into her skull as a way to protect her. She was (and still is), unfortunately, a high-risk target…

Women to Watch: Justice Oepping, “Voice of the Heavens”

Justice Oepping is a mellow human being. You might expect her to sway and croon about late nights walking home in tall-heeled boots. But she does not croon. Once she begins, you’ll hear an intensity even as she starts low. Some times she skips freely about the scale like a new wave blues singer, while…

Dunk Me at the Lowland Block Party

Twice the size it was last year, the 2017 Lowland Block Party marks the second go-round for the event and the beginning of its partnership with the All Senses Festival. Last year was like watching an infant take its first steps; this year, we’re teaching the kid to swear (just kidding – it’s a family-friendly event)….