New Gallery & Store

The Ugly Iowan’s identity has shifted many times over the years since its inception as a road trip diary in 2008. In its current incarnation, it serves as a low-key promotional tool for area artists and organizations. It’s a mental gymnasium and laboratory. Sometimes it’s a psychological playground, and at others it’s an emotional junk…

50 Ways to Fight the Flood

Some folks here want to build a wall. I don’t think that’s the answer – it just sends the problem to the next community and screws them that much more. But we can’t keep going the way we have been. It’s unsustainable. I’m talking about the flooding in downtown Davenport and Moline that’s inundated several…

YellowUFO Presents!

Local media can’t stop buzzing about recent changes to the QC music scene. The vultures circle, hoping for death, while those of us with more than bird brains await the next ambitious, mission-driven project we’ve come to expect from this generation of entrepreneurs. Por ejemplo: YellowUFO is stepping out on Saturday (May 4) with the…

The Electric Outlet at Rozz-Tox, QC USA

The Outlet series may very well extend to the stores in Guangzhou and Shenyang (both in China), but this article I wrote for Little Village focuses on the much nearer Rozz-Tox of Rock Island, Illinois – about an hour east of LV’s Iowa City headquarters. As my four-or-so regular readers already know, I’m a big…

Deporting the Working Man

No one has ever accused the Midwest of being colorful. At the moment, we are a gloomy people. We celebrate our heritage of boiled potatoes and ice hockey, which is comforting for about ten seconds. Then you start to notice the dimensions where our community is a cultural desert. As much as I love the…

Witness the Club Artist Revolution

This month sees a radical experiment among our local champions. It’s the logical next step in a community that has been quietly on the move for years. We forgot about them for a while. I blame the advent of the mp3 player and its shuffle mode – the very same invention that’s led us to…

New Ragged Refreshes QC Music Industry Hub

Ragged Records continues to expand its QC presence with a second store on the other side of the river in Rock Island. Ragged Records and Music, like the original, has its own identity. Unique and unpretentious, you’ll not only find thousands of albums – from current top artists to obscure electro-folk acts featuring knock-off Muppets –…

All Senses Will Rock All. Your. Senses.

“It’s the most unique fest going on in the QCA with a very left of center, diverse line-up… not aimed to please everyone, it is meant to be a boundary-pushing showcase of art.” That’s according to Jason Parris of RIBCO and Wake Brewing and possibly the most reliable dude in the area’s music industry. Hey,…

Meet the Woman of a Thousand Muses

Heather Kanzaki has been called “Living Art.” At least, that was the title of the spread in Downtown that covered her June exhibition, and if that’s not what they meant, then I’ll make it official now: Heather Kanzaki is living art. Heather’s not posing there. That’s how she usually looks: active and engaged. She laughs…

New Festival AlertSSSS. Plural.

…including benefits for local non-profits! I feel fortunate to have returned to the Quad City Area at a time when so many motivated, ambitious young people are building up and taking control of their community and culture. I already covered the brand new BirdFest over at Travel Iowa. This is a project from GoldBird Recordings,…