COVID cases have risen once again in Illinois, and Phase 3 mitigations are in place. It's not exactly a safe time to be doing business, but Ragged, which has kept its best interests in mind as well as those of their patrons, has decided to go ahead with its Black Friday Record Store Day sale. "We had thought about canceling it," says staff member Jon Burns, "but our customers go wild for Record Store Day, so we figured we'd give the people what they want."

The Bettendorf-based project Pulsing makes some sort of case for the continued relevance of Game Boy tones transplanted into other musical contexts – in this case, a strain of electronic weirdness that falls somewhere between dungeon synth and sludge metal.

Another month, another spellbinding long-form ambient album issued from Rock Island composer Terry Skaggs, also known under the lower-case moniker dead lizard grin.

Another champion in the annals of terrible band names, Bettendorf’s Cuck Dirt seems to be an offshoot of the noise project Voiddweller, whose recordings have recently been reviewed in the Reader. While Voiddweller seems to land closer to the overblown noise-rap chaos of groups such as Death Grips or Clipping., Cuck Dirt throws all caution to the wind and goes full unhinged, manifesting as a collage of momentary news media vocal samples, electronic drums, piercing feedback, and something like home-recorded black metal.

Landing somewhere between a chaotic burst of metal brutality and a free-for-all noise collage album, Fakeality fills its running time with incidental patches of field recordings, random snippets of dialogue, bursts of in-the-red guitar shred, and overdriven drum-machine beat-downs.

The Quad Cities' mainstay psych-rock/improv/freak goth crew Giallows dropped a live album in October that documents a show they played in July 2019 at Moline venue Factory of Fear. Despite its origin as a live recording, the band’s decision to release it as a stand-alone album seems justified in light of the relatively high production value and solid mixing job – far from a one-microphone room recording.

Among all the nü-metal bands that came to prominence in the late '90s and early '00s to bridge the gap between pop radio and dissonant, heavy sonics, it sure seems like Deftones have aged the most gracefully.

With the special event designed, in part, to raise funds for Maquoketa's Codfish Hollow Barn in the wake of a year of cancelled concerts, Swedish recording sensation Kristian Matsson – a.k.a. The Tallest Man on Earth – headlines the live concert documentary and Q&A The Little Red Barn Show, a virtual November 12 presentation on the challenges and joys of making art and music in 2020.

Continuing the musicians' season-long celebration of composer Ludwig van Beethoven's 250th birthday, the Quad City Symphony Orchestra delivers a virtual performance of the second Masterworks program Beethoven Violin Concerto, a tribute to that classic composition – with a piece by Béla Bartók, as well – available for home viewing on November 8.

A modified Record Store Day sale is set to take place this Saturday at Ragged Records and Music in downtown Rock Island, with social-distancing measures in place. Vinyl hounds can slake their thirst for limited-edition wax releases and snag some choice discount records in the courtyard; the indoor selection is available for browsing as well, though with only a limited number of customers allowed inside at one time.

Pages