Daytrotter Downs Photos

I like to take digital photos and then play around with the levels in GIMP or iPhoto or whatever’s handy. Here are some decent shots I got at Daytrotter Downs earlier this month. The number of photos per performer is no reflection on my opinion or musical preference. There were some shows where I just couldn’t…

White Fang’s Mom Was A Bitch

Happy International Women’s Day! I still have the copy of White Fang I was supposed to read in high school. It’s a Scholastic Classic with a forward by K. A. Applegate (The Animorphs, Everworld). As problematic as the characterizations are (Gray Beaver takes all of thirty seconds to develop a debilitating addiction to firewater), it’s…

Hit These Links: Quad City Tastemakers Tell Locals to #GetBaked

ATTN: Iowa writers, entrepreneurs, and bloggers – Travel Iowa has a blog that seems underutilized, especially considering how accessible it is to small business owners. I wrote this post about an awesome new venue in the Village of East Davenport called Baked Beer and Bread Company: From the partnership that brought you Brew in the Village:…

Jantopia and the Utopiugly

The past week has felt like five years. I’m just now getting to write about Utopiugly Production’s most recent event, Jantopia, the winter sister of Junetopia. A three-day event, starting on Friday at Daytrotter and ending on Sunday at Rozz Tox, I can’t detail each of the dozens of bands that performed. Instead, I’ll focus on…

Welcome to The Island

Cue hula girls. Naw, just kidding. It’s colder than Satan’s backside. DIY spaces have made headlines recently for not-so-positive reasons. I’ve briefly discussed my own experience within these spaces. Last Saturday night, I had the good fortune to see a show in one I hadn’t visited. James Fauser, gentleman and scholar, invited me to a…

On the Artscience of Sound

A man wearing a gorilla mask manipulates a theremin as though he’s attempting to summon the demon that dwells within. His fellow performers are a guitarist and keyboardist, both in balaclavas (totally appropriate, given the season). Interestingly, their instruments aren’t the main focus: it’s the manipulation of console and pedal sets that feature. The result…

SMACKDOWN!: Mountain Swallower vs. Condor and Jaybird

New Year’s Eve is a smörgåsbord of debauchery and decadence. As per usual, I had many options this year: the always amusing Analog Arcade Bar offered some sweet console giveaways alongside their champagne toast, the Candymakers took over RME, and good old Chicago offered some amazing shows from the likes of Umbra and the Volcan…

Tiny and Mighty: The Boy Who Wanted to Live

The winter holidays are a bittersweet time for everyone. If you are fortunate, retail bills, icy weather, and an anti-climactic gift exchange are your biggest disappointments. Like a Christmas special, everything tends to turn out all right in the end. Though you fought with your mother and burned the roast, you went to bed feeling…

DIY is dead. Long live DIY.

The final death toll is 36. According to the L.A. Times, the Ghost Ship in Oakland was considered an “enchanting ‘safe space’ that many called home.” Yes, people lived there, but they also opened their doors for others to meet and gather. I’ve been in plenty of spaces like that: filled with wooden furniture and antiques,…

Tweet Your Dissent

A local college instructor told me about the rhetoric class she taught this fall. She had her students watch the presidential debates. “Watching those debates is usually very useful for students. [The debates] illustrate rhetorical tools and logical fallacies.” This year was quite different. Students saw Trump fail to use even the most basic principles of…

It’s Absurd! Or: Suicide as the One True Philosophical Problem

Some time in the early 1940s (or, possibly, the decade before, or really any time between then and about 1915 but most likely in the late 30s), Albert Camus wrote: “The absurd man will not commit suicide; he wants to live, without relinquishing any of his certainty, without a future, without hope, without illusions ……

The Power is Glorious – Condor and Jaybird

It’s taken me nearly a month to write a review of Condor and Jaybird’s newest album, The Power. No, it’s not just because I’ve been busy teaching and writing and giving readings in laundromats. It’s because The Power is not the type of album you listen to a couple of times and think, “Oh, I get…