Shepherd Express - Local Music http://shepherdexpress.com/articles.sec-377-1-local-music.html Tue, 23 May 17 00:00:00 -0500 en hourly 1 Mike Benign Focuses on Melody for His Latest Album, 'Kid' http://shepherdexpress.com/article-29762-mike-benign-focuses-on-melody-for-his-latest-album-kid.html
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Jay Anderson Brings Jazz into the Mixtape Age http://shepherdexpress.com/article-29728-jay-anderson-brings-jazz-into-the-mixtape-age.html   ]]> Township Slow It Down on ‘Impact Bliss’ http://shepherdexpress.com/article-29697-township-slow-it-down-on-%25E2%2580%2598impact-bliss%25E2%2580%2599.html   ]]> Singer Jerry Grillo Looks Back on 25 Years in Jazz http://shepherdexpress.com/article-29651-singer-jerry-grillo-looks-back-on-25-years-in-jazz.html ]]> Bad Bread Merge Detroit Punk with Milwaukee Rock http://shepherdexpress.com/article-29605-bad-bread-merge-detroit-punk-with-milwaukee-rock.html ]]> Red Stuff Shoot From The Hip on 'Woodfaces' http://shepherdexpress.com/article-29572-red-stuff-shoot-from-the-hip-on-woodfaces.html ]]> Milwaukee Rapper Blax Gets Political on “Be Well” http://shepherdexpress.com/article-29525-milwaukee-rapper-blax-gets-political-on-%25E2%2580%259Cbe-well%25E2%2580%259D.html   ]]> Ruby Yacht House Band Looks to Make Good on the Promise of Jazz and Hip-Hop http://shepherdexpress.com/article-29497-ruby-yacht-house-band-looks-to-make-good-on-the-promise-of-jazz-and-hip-hop.html ]]> Static Eyes Stay Rambunctious on Their 'Thaw' 7-Inch http://shepherdexpress.com/article-29418-static-eyes-stay-rambunctious-on-their-thaw-7-inch.html ]]> Milwaukee Hardcore Veterans Expire Are Ready to Do Just That http://shepherdexpress.com/article-29367-milwaukee-hardcore-veterans-expire-are-ready-to-do-just-that.html I’m sure Expire never intended to go to Europe, or Australia or Japan when they first started playing shows in bars and basements eight years ago. I’m sure they never thought they would be able ]]> Strings Meet Ska, Jamaica Goes Balkan at Jason Seed-Tritonics Show http://shepherdexpress.com/article-29385-strings-meet-ska-jamaica-goes-balkan-at-jason-seed-tritonics-show.html Talk about a curious double bill: a chamber string ensemble sharing the stage with a reggae-ska act? That’s what’s in store at Linneman’s Riverwest Inn this Friday when the Jason Seed Stringtet ]]> Chris Haise Fine-Tunes His Folky Debut, ‘Your Ugly Friends’ http://shepherdexpress.com/article-29338-chris-haise-fine-tunes-his-folky-debut-%25E2%2580%2598your-ugly-friends%25E2%2580%2599.html   ]]> Dead Fortune Want to Make Rock 'n' Roll Fun Again http://shepherdexpress.com/article-29295-dead-fortune-want-to-make-rock-n-roll-fun-again.html ]]> Abby Jeanne Takes Her Message Across the Globe http://shepherdexpress.com/article-29238-abby-jeanne-takes-her-message-across-the-globe.html   ]]> Negative/Positive Are More Than Just Kids http://shepherdexpress.com/article-29204-negative_positive-are-more-than-just-kids.html  ]]> The Experimental Education Series Looks to Offer a Gateway into the Experimental Music Scene http://shepherdexpress.com/article-29161-the-experimental-education-series-looks-to-offer-a-gateway-into-the-experimental-music-scene.html   ]]> August Traeger’s Bicephalic Records Label Keeps the Gloom Coming http://shepherdexpress.com/article-29113-august-traeger%25E2%2580%2599s-bicephalic-records-label-keeps-the-gloom-coming.html   ]]> Uncovered Returns with an Exploration of A Tribe Called Quest http://shepherdexpress.com/article-29078-uncovered-returns-with-an-exploration-of-a-tribe-called-quest.html  ]]> Shoot Down the Moon Strive For Serenity on 'Forever Sedated' http://shepherdexpress.com/article-29033-shoot-down-the-moon-strive-for-serenity-on-forever-sedated.html ]]> Milwaukee’s Skweee Label Innocuous Records Thinks Globally http://shepherdexpress.com/article-28996-milwaukee%25E2%2580%2599s-skweee-label-innocuous-records-thinks-globally.html   ]]> Dreamhouse Look to a Simpler Era of Pop-Punk http://shepherdexpress.com/article-28960-dreamhouse-look-to-a-simpler-era-of-pop-punk.html ]]> Tyne Darling Ties Up Loose Ends on ‘These Ghosts’ http://shepherdexpress.com/article-28949-tyne-darling-ties-up-loose-ends-on-%25E2%2580%2598these-ghosts%25E2%2580%2599.html   ]]> Sacred ‘Modernizes’ ’90s Metal - Milwaukee band releases a powerful debut disc http://shepherdexpress.com/article-28861-sacred-%25E2%2580%2598modernizes%25E2%2580%2599-%25E2%2580%259990s-metal-milwaukee-band-releases-a-powerful-debut-disc.html   ]]> Milwaukee’s Electronic Community Remembers DJ Troutski http://shepherdexpress.com/article-28835-milwaukee%25E2%2580%2599s-electronic-community-remembers-dj-troutski.html   ]]> Joe Wong’s ‘The Trap Set’ Podcast Lets the Drummer Get Some http://shepherdexpress.com/article-28806-joe-wong%25E2%2580%2599s-%25E2%2580%2598the-trap-set%25E2%2580%2599-podcast-lets-the-drummer-get-some.html   ]]> Milwaukee’s ‘Punx Give Thanx, Again!’ Benefit Offers Punk for a Cause http://shepherdexpress.com/article-28759-milwaukee%25E2%2580%2599s-%25E2%2580%2598punx-give-thanx-again_%25E2%2580%2599-benefit-offers-punk-for-a-cause.html   ]]> Derek Pritzl and the Gamble’s Wednesday Night Tradition http://shepherdexpress.com/article-28725-derek-pritzl-and-the-gamble%25E2%2580%2599s-wednesday-night-tradition.html   ]]> Allen Coté Reimagines The Beatles’ ‘Revolver’ http://shepherdexpress.com/article-28682-allen-cote-reimagines-the-beatles%25E2%2580%2599-%25E2%2580%2598revolver%25E2%2580%2599.html   ]]> Pharaoh Mac Goes It Alone, For Now At Least http://shepherdexpress.com/article-28651-pharaoh-mac-goes-it-alone-for-now-at-least.html   ]]> Boxcutter Copes Through Pop-Punk http://shepherdexpress.com/article-28618-boxcutter-copes-through-pop-punk.html   ]]> Stereo Frontier Fine Tune Their Jams on ‘From Here On Out’ http://shepherdexpress.com/article-28575-stereo-frontier-fine-tune-their-jams-on-%25E2%2580%2598from-here-on-out%25E2%2580%2599.html   ]]> How Undercover Organism Learned to Love the Loop - The Milwaukee band shows off their jam/electronic fusion on their new live set http://shepherdexpress.com/article-28533-how-undercover-organism-learned-to-love-the-loop-the-milwaukee-band-shows-off-their-jam_electronic-fusion-on-their-new-live-set.html   ]]> Kochanski’s Open Polka Jam Celebrates a Dying Tradition http://shepherdexpress.com/article-28504-kochanski%25E2%2580%2599s-open-polka-jam-celebrates-a-dying-tradition.html   ]]> Outdoors with the City’s Century-Old Band - Milwaukee Mandolin Orchestra to perform at Lynden Sculpture Garden http://shepherdexpress.com/article-28462-outdoors-with-the-city%25E2%2580%2599s-century-old-band-milwaukee-mandolin-orchestra-to-perform-at-lynden-sculpture-garden.html   ]]> Dead Horses Look to the Skies on ‘Cartoon Moon’ http://shepherdexpress.com/article-28419-dead-horses-look-to-the-skies-on-%25E2%2580%2598cartoon-moon%25E2%2580%2599.html   ]]> Bright Black Reluctantly Embrace the ‘E’ Word http://shepherdexpress.com/article-28386-bright-black-reluctantly-embrace-the-%25E2%2580%2598e%25E2%2580%2599-word.html    ]]> Rx Drugs Balance Melancholy and Uplift on ‘Future Friction’ http://shepherdexpress.com/article-28361-rx-drugs-balance-melancholy-and-uplift-on-%25E2%2580%2598future-friction%25E2%2580%2599.html   ]]> Triple Eye Industries Celebrates Two Very Productive Years http://shepherdexpress.com/article-28323-triple-eye-industries-celebrates-two-very-productive-years.html   ]]> The Pukes Find Refuge in a Holy Place http://shepherdexpress.com/article-28273-the-pukes-find-refuge-in-a-holy-place.html   ]]> The Strange Fruit Music Festival Looks to Build Bridges http://shepherdexpress.com/article-28254-the-strange-fruit-music-festival-looks-to-build-bridges.html   ]]> The Return of Tommy Blood - Veteran Milwaukee musician unveils a new band http://shepherdexpress.com/article-28222-the-return-of-tommy-blood-veteran-milwaukee-musician-unveils-a-new-band.html    ]]> Ear Records Pairs Real Designs with (Mostly) Real Albums http://shepherdexpress.com/article-28185-ear-records-pairs-real-designs-with-%2528mostly%2529-real-albums.html   ]]> Synth Fest MKE Looks Beyond the Moog http://shepherdexpress.com/article-28136-synth-fest-mke-looks-beyond-the-moog.html   ]]> Bo Triplex and His Beautiful Band Bring the Funk http://shepherdexpress.com/article-28107-bo-triplex-and-his-beautiful-band-bring-the-funk.html   ]]> Devil Met Contention Look to the Past http://shepherdexpress.com/article-28078-devil-met-contention-look-to-the-past.html ]]> Vincent VanGREAT Taps His Joyful Side on “UnGREATful” http://shepherdexpress.com/article-28014-vincent-vangreat-taps-his-joyful-side-on-%25E2%2580%259Cungreatful%25E2%2580%259D.html   ]]> Assault & Battery Draw from Milwaukee’s Disparate Punk Scene http://shepherdexpress.com/article-27974-assault-battery-draw-from-milwaukee%25E2%2580%2599s-disparate-punk-scene.html    ]]> Nineteen Thirteen Look to the Past on ‘Music for Time Travel’ http://shepherdexpress.com/article-27916-nineteen-thirteen-look-to-the-past-on-%25E2%2580%2598music-for-time-travel%25E2%2580%2599.html   ]]> Casual Vocals Keep Things Upbeat on ‘You Are I Am We Are’ http://shepherdexpress.com/article-27899-casual-vocals-keep-things-upbeat-on-%25E2%2580%2598you-are-i-am-we-are%25E2%2580%2599.html   ]]> Gloss Records Spotlights Its Diverse Roster with Gloss Weekend http://shepherdexpress.com/article-27859-gloss-records-spotlights-its-diverse-roster-with-gloss-weekend.html   ]]> Carter Hunnicutt’s ‘Dangerous World’ - X-Cleavers keyboardist returns with new album http://shepherdexpress.com/article-27810-carter-hunnicutt%25E2%2580%2599s-%25E2%2580%2598dangerous-world%25E2%2580%2599-x-cleavers-keyboardist-returns-with-new-album.html   ]]> Peder Hedman Delivers New and Old Songs with The Winning People http://shepherdexpress.com/article-27785-peder-hedman-delivers-new-and-old-songs-with-the-winning-people.html    ]]> Climax Denial Find Noise in Likely Places http://shepherdexpress.com/article-27765-climax-denial-find-noise-in-likely-places.html   ]]> Antler House Lay It On The Line http://shepherdexpress.com/article-27719-antler-house-lay-it-on-the-line.html  ]]> Heat Death Embrace the Terrible on '9 Steps to a Happier Life' http://shepherdexpress.com/article-27671-heat-death-embrace-the-terrible-on-9-steps-to-a-happier-life.html    ]]> The Crusties’ Vintage Vinyl - ’80s hardcore punk album reissued for Record Store Day http://shepherdexpress.com/article-27627-the-crusties%25E2%2580%2599-vintage-vinyl-%25E2%2580%259980s-hardcore-punk-album-reissued-for-record-store-day.html   ]]> Notaword Reunite to Revisit the Songs of Their Youth http://shepherdexpress.com/article-27600-notaword-reunite-to-revisit-the-songs-of-their-youth.html   ]]> Trapper Schoepp Tells Tales of the Road on “Rangers & Valentines” http://shepherdexpress.com/article-27563-trapper-schoepp-tells-tales-of-the-road-on-%25E2%2580%259Crangers-valentines%25E2%2580%259D.html   ]]> The CAUTION Music Series Looks to Give Overlooked Electronic Acts a Platform http://shepherdexpress.com/article-27530-the-caution-music-series-looks-to-give-overlooked-electronic-acts-a-platform.html    ]]> CircleSwitch to Debut its Latest Music Video - Milwaukee hard rockers performs at a benefit in Sturtevant http://shepherdexpress.com/article-27469-circleswitch-to-debut-its-latest-music-video-milwaukee-hard-rockers-performs-at-a-benefit-in-sturtevant.html   ]]> Slow Walker Get Serious http://shepherdexpress.com/article-27433-slow-walker-get-serious.html   ]]> Milwaukee Musicians Gather to Pay Tribute to David Bowie http://shepherdexpress.com/article-27384-milwaukee-musicians-gather-to-pay-tribute-to-david-bowie.html    ]]> Liar's Trial Create Their Own Brand of Outlaw Country http://shepherdexpress.com/article-27343-liars-trial-create-their-own-brand-of-outlaw-country.html In the past few years outlaw country has made a major comeback, with artists like Chris Stapleton taking cues from country greats in making music that goes against the grain. In addition, many music]]> Mrs. Fun at the Cabaret - Duo returns for shows at Sunset Playhouse http://shepherdexpress.com/article-27302-mrs-fun-at-the-cabaret-duo-returns-for-shows-at-sunset-playhouse.html   ]]> Love Medicine from a ‘Distant Planet’ - Milwaukee’s Dr. Chow packs power into garage punk http://shepherdexpress.com/article-27278-love-medicine-from-a-%25E2%2580%2598distant-planet%25E2%2580%2599-milwaukee%25E2%2580%2599s-dr-chow-packs-power-into-garage-punk.html   ]]> The Adults are Alright - Milwaukee’s Substitutes relive the glory of The Who http://shepherdexpress.com/article-27241-the-adults-are-alright-milwaukee%25E2%2580%2599s-substitutes-relive-the-glory-of-the-who.html   ]]> The Tritonics Do the Rocksteady http://shepherdexpress.com/article-27203-the-tritonics-do-the-rocksteady.html   ]]> Mic Kellogg Keeps It Mellow http://shepherdexpress.com/article-27161-mic-kellogg-keeps-it-mellow.html    ]]> The Return of Rainy Day Crush http://shepherdexpress.com/article-27121-the-return-of-rainy-day-crush.html   ]]> Xposed 4Heads Look Back on ’80s Synth-Pop http://shepherdexpress.com/article-26995-xposed-4heads-look-back-on-%25E2%2580%259980s-synth-pop.html Back in 1982, Xposed 4Heads began as a theoretical band, a series of musical jokes that gained airplay in Milwaukee before quickly dissolving into oblivion. Decades later, the 4Heads made an unanticipated comeback after 2012’s Lest We ]]> Trolley to the 20th Century - New album visits the past through postmodern technology http://shepherdexpress.com/article-26918-trolley-to-the-20th-century-new-album-visits-the-past-through-postmodern-technology.html Since forming in 1996, Milwaukee’s Trolley has kept the best elements of ’60s pop rock alive through recording a succession of great original songs. Trolley’s focus is often on that decade’s greatest musical year, 1966, when pop wore ]]> A Holiday Alternative - Paul McComas, Maya Kuper’s ‘Heralds of Hope’ http://shepherdexpress.com/article-26880-a-holiday-alternative-paul-mccomas-maya-kuper%25E2%2580%2599s-%25E2%2580%2598heralds-of-hope%25E2%2580%2599.html Maybe society was wrong for drawing a line from Thanksgiving through Dec. 25 and calling it the “holiday season.” A holiday is a day set apart on the calendar for celebration, and if you are alone on that day, despondent or otherwise not in]]> Tapebenders Heat Up with New Album http://shepherdexpress.com/article-26825-tapebenders-heat-up-with-new-album.html Last year, as they were preparing to release their new album, Elusive Parallelograms suddenly decided to change their name, opting for the shorter Tapebenders. It was a result of their sound and personnel outgrowing the name. Since then]]> The Belle Weather Find a Leaner New Identity http://shepherdexpress.com/article-26795-the-belle-weather-find-a-leaner-new-identity.html    ]]> Dana Coppafeel and SPEAK Easy Broaden Their Scope as Raplords http://shepherdexpress.com/article-26748-dana-coppafeel-and-speak-easy-broaden-their-scope-as-raplords.html When Uni-Fi Records head Dima Pochtarev suggested that two of the labels’ rappers, Dana Coppafeel and SPEAK Easy, come together as a duo four years ago, both were reticent. Frankly, they weren’t much alike]]> Mercy Isle Look Beyond Symphonic Metal http://shepherdexpress.com/article-26706-mercy-isle-look-beyond-symphonic-metal.html When Kassandra Novell, a powerhouse rock vocalist who made a name with symphonic gothic-metal band Orphonic Orchestra, performed at the Metal Female Voices Fest in Belgium last year, fans and fellow singers alike urged her to start her own new band]]> Latest Flame Records Says Farewell http://shepherdexpress.com/article-26658-latest-flame-records-says-farewell.html Independent labels don’t have the same cachet they did 20 years ago. Back then, landing a home on a respected label—something like a Dischord, a Southern Records or a Touch and Go—gave an artist instant]]> Maritime’s Tuneful Fifth Act http://shepherdexpress.com/article-26619-maritime%25E2%2580%2599s-tuneful-fifth-act.html On Friday, Oct. 16, Maritime will release Magnetic Bodies/Maps of Bones, their fifth album overall and their second for the prominent Los Angeles indie label Dangerbird. For most bands, that would mean crunch]]> It’s Not ‘Over’ for Mike Fredrickson - Milwaukee songwriter releases his ninth album http://shepherdexpress.com/article-26578-it%25E2%2580%2599s-not-%25E2%2580%2598over%25E2%2580%2599-for-mike-fredrickson-milwaukee-songwriter-releases-his-ninth-album.html Mike Fredrickson, an enduring fixture of Milwaukee’s East Side music scene, is one of the city’s most prolific recording artists. He’s released five albums with his on-again, off-again band, The Mosleys, and has just issued his ninth solo ]]> Colectivo Coffee’s Gospel Brunch Returns for Another Season http://shepherdexpress.com/article-26538-colectivo-coffee%25E2%2580%2599s-gospel-brunch-returns-for-another-season.html The African American churches of Milwaukee’s inner city and Northwest Side host a thriving, joyous musical culture not often heard beyond its native environs. The efforts of two not entirely obvious ]]> Milo Channels Rage into Poetry on ‘So The Flies Don’t Come’ http://shepherdexpress.com/article-26484-milo-channels-rage-into-poetry-on-%25E2%2580%2598so-the-flies-don%25E2%2580%2599t-come%25E2%2580%2599.html Though Milo’s flow hasn’t changed much on his latest album, So The Flies Don’t Come, his subject matter has. After several albums of personal confessions and philosophical ruminations, he still raps with a poet’s ]]> Surfing with The Exotics - Milwaukee instrumental band marks 20 years http://shepherdexpress.com/article-26445-surfing-with-the-exotics-milwaukee-instrumental-band-marks-20-years.html The Beach Boys sang about surf, but the real surf bands never sang a word. Surf instrumental acts such as Dick Dale and The Ventures expressed the exhilaration of surfing through trebly guitar-powered music. The genre, which waned ]]> Max Devereaux Learns ‘How To Show Love’ http://shepherdexpress.com/article-26409-max-devereaux-learns-%25E2%2580%2598how-to-show-love%25E2%2580%2599.html Like plenty of albums before it, Max Devereaux’s How To Show Love began with a crush. Devereaux had been living next to a friendly German exchange student who he discovered, in typical meet-cute fashion]]> Mike Krol Embraces Mistakes on His Debut for Merge Records http://shepherdexpress.com/article-26370-mike-krol-embraces-mistakes-on-his-debut-for-merge-records.html Mike Krol playing piano? “I didn’t sign up for this shit,” the Milwaukee native and current Los Angeles resident jokes at the end of “Piano Shit,” the final song on his third album Turkey]]> Testa Rosa Work at Their Own Pace http://shepherdexpress.com/article-26339-testa-rosa-work-at-their-own-pace.html It’s not for lack of enthusiasm on the behalf of Betty Blexrud-Strigens and Damian Strigens, the married songwriting team at the core of the band, but Testa Rosa has a way of taking a backseat to other projects]]> Pharaoh Mac & DMT Share a Message http://shepherdexpress.com/article-26299-pharaoh-mac-dmt-share-a-message.html The Milwaukee rapper/producer duo Pharaoh Mac and DMT met nearly a decade ago, when both artists where teenage lifeguards at North Division High School. They hit it off almost immediately, bonding over ]]> Renz Young Gives it His All http://shepherdexpress.com/article-26262-renz-young-gives-it-his-all.html Renz Young credits his love of rap to his mom. She was his introduction to the music, and it was from listening to her CDs as a kid that he realized he could rap as well—perhaps not only as a hobby but as a ]]> The Wooldridge Brothers Double Up http://shepherdexpress.com/article-26222-the-wooldridge-brothers-double-up.html The Wooldridge Brothers enjoyed an album perfect storybook beginning. Brothers Brian and Scott moved from Indiana to Milwaukee after hearing about the city’s vibrant music scene, and quickly garnered major label success at Windswept ]]> (ORB) Score a Synthy Prog Opus on ‘Inside Voices’ http://shepherdexpress.com/article-26188-%2528orb%2529-score-a-synthy-prog-opus-on-%25E2%2580%2598inside-voices%25E2%2580%2599.html In part because they primarily played basement and all-ages shows, Terrior Bute were never a high-profile band, but they made an impression on anybody who saw them. They started out in the mid-’00s as a gangly ]]> Breadfest Aims for Inclusivity in its Third Year http://shepherdexpress.com/article-26153-breadfest-aims-for-inclusivity-in-its-third-year.html Milwaukee’s long been known as the “City of Festivals,” but for the last few years the appellation’s seemed more apt than ever, with a plethora of independent events carving out their place on an already jam-packed]]> Tenement Go Long http://shepherdexpress.com/article-26108-tenement-go-long.html Tenement didn’t volunteer for the task of making a double album so much as they inherited it. In 2012, the Appleton pop-punk band had garnered interest from a few labels before opting to sign with New Jersey’s ]]> Hello Death Keep the Chills Coming http://shepherdexpress.com/article-26070-hello-death-keep-the-chills-coming.html
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The Middle Ground Aim to Make a Connection http://shepherdexpress.com/article-26038-the-middle-ground-aim-to-make-a-connection.html Around this time last summer, Milwaukee-based pop rock band The Middle Ground were performing on the KNE New Music Stage at Summerfest, their first gig on the grounds of Henry Maier Festival Park. For a band that has played at venues both big and small ]]> The Rashita Joneses Keep the Bangers Coming http://shepherdexpress.com/article-26010-the-rashita-joneses-keep-the-bangers-coming.html Choosing to make a serious go of it as a band comes along with a lot of risks, and that utter lack of certainty likely keeps many content to stick to the basement, playing just to have fun with their friends. There’s nothing]]> Utech Records Festival Offers a Worldly Lineup of Experimental Music http://shepherdexpress.com/article-25933-utech-records-festival-offers-a-worldly-lineup-of-experimental-music.html As we collectively stare down another Summerfest, the epitome of an event trying to please everyone, it’s worth remembering that Milwaukee is also home to plenty of smaller festivals that don’t play it so safe and ]]> Okka Fest Returns for Another Weekend of Improvised Music http://shepherdexpress.com/article-25863-okka-fest-returns-for-another-weekend-of-improvised-music.html Consider these clichés: “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” “Man proposes, God disposes.” And, of course, Murphy’s Law: “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” Each reminds us that life punishes rigidity and might be understood as ]]> Jerry Grillo’s 20-something Anniversary - Jazzman is still singing after many years in the business http://shepherdexpress.com/article-25815-jerry-grillo%25E2%2580%2599s-20-something-anniversary-jazzman-is-still-singing-after-many-years-in-the-business.html Jerry Grillo recently announced that he will celebrate his 20th anniversary as a jazz singer with a pair of performances. When pressed slightly, he readily admits that it’s been longer than 20 years, actually. “Someone threw it to me: ‘Haven’t ]]> Junior Brantley’s Homecoming - The R&B veteran joins Leroy Airmaster on tour in Milwaukee http://shepherdexpress.com/article-25766-junior-brantley%25E2%2580%2599s-homecoming-the-rb-veteran-joins-leroy-airmaster-on-tour-in-milwaukee.html At The Rolling Stones’ first Milwaukee concert, in 1964, a young black Milwaukee keyboard player called Junior Brantley was tapped to open the show. His band, Junior and The Classics, was essentially a Top-40 cover act with R&B flair]]> YLLA Bend Jazz on Their Mathy Self-Titled Album http://shepherdexpress.com/article-25725-ylla-bend-jazz-on-their-mathy-self-titled-album.html Milwaukee’s music scene has never been especially known for math rock, but since the days of Hero of a Hundred Fights, Akarso and Managra in the ’90s, it’s always hosted its share. Chalk it up to restlessness]]> The Joe Hill Roadshow - Lil’ Rev and friends ‘Fan the Flames of Discontent’ http://shepherdexpress.com/article-25661-the-joe-hill-roadshow-lil%25E2%2580%2599-rev-and-friends-%25E2%2580%2598fan-the-flames-of-discontent%25E2%2580%2599.html One hundred years ago this November, labor activist Joe Hill was executed by firing squad in Salt Lake City. He was convicted of murder, but the evidence was less than circumstantial, the motive was unclear and the murder weapon was ]]> The New Seven Balance Rock and Bluegrass on ‘Look Closer’ http://shepherdexpress.com/article-25615-the-new-seven-balance-rock-and-bluegrass-on-%25E2%2580%2598look-closer%25E2%2580%2599.html Albums are rarely completed as quickly as artists would like, but for The New Seven, the wait was particularly trying. Progress on the folky Milwaukee rock group’s new album Look Closer, Say Something stalled ]]> The Young Revelators’ Bluesy, Old-School Psychedelia http://shepherdexpress.com/article-25566-the-young-revelators%25E2%2580%2599-bluesy-old-school-psychedelia.html Alejandro Martinez, guitarist for The Young Revelators, listens to old Mississippi Delta blues. He appreciates “the weird ways of arranging vocals—the way they sometimes made songs with no choruses.” As for how the barely 20-something discovered this music, he has a good story]]> Rapper Airo Kwil Presents ‘A Study in Paradox’ http://shepherdexpress.com/article-25505-rapper-airo-kwil-presents-%25E2%2580%2598a-study-in-paradox%25E2%2580%2599.html It didn’t take Will Rose long to realize that his old stage name wasn’t working. “I used to make music under the name Airhythmatic, which is just a terribly long, difficult to spell and pronounce moniker,” says Rose, who has since started rapping under the more manageable name Airo Kwil]]> Plasticland Prepare for WAMI Hall of Fame Induction http://shepherdexpress.com/article-25467-plasticland-prepare-for-wami-hall-of-fame-induction.html The influential Milwaukee psychedelic band Plasticland will be inducted into the WAMI Hall of Fame Sunday, April 19 at the Turner Hall Ballroom 35 years after their formation. Glenn Rehse (keyboards/vocals) and John Frankovic (bass/vocals) had previously played together in Arousing]]> eMC Make a Bid for ‘The Tonight Show’ http://shepherdexpress.com/article-25344-emc-make-a-bid-for-%25E2%2580%2598the-tonight-show%25E2%2580%2599.html Most likely no Milwaukee rapper has logged more miles on tour than Stricklin. Since lending a pair of verses to New York rap legend Masta Ace’s 2001 comeback album Disposable Arts, Stricklin has ]]> Rio Turbo Returns to Party Hard http://shepherdexpress.com/article-25301-rio-turbo-returns-to-party-hard.html For several years now, Rio Turbo has been one of the city’s most reliable party starters, routinely stealing the show with his heavy-hitting beats, his outsized swagger and his troupe of oftentimes scantily clad dancers, but that’s a pretty tough pace to keep up. Finding new angles from which]]> Willy Porter Believes in ‘Human Kindness’ - Full production and uplifting lyrics on his new album http://shepherdexpress.com/article-25263-willy-porter-believes-in-%25E2%2580%2598human-kindness%25E2%2580%2599-full-production-and-uplifting-lyrics-on-his-new-album.html ]]> Eagle Trace’s Brotherly Alt-Rock http://shepherdexpress.com/article-25181-eagle-trace%25E2%2580%2599s-brotherly-alt-rock.html Eagle Trace are the first to admit their band lineup isn’t the most conventional. The group is made up of four brothers, Mitch, Max, Cass and Jackson Borgardt, and one unrelated guitarist, Broderick Coning. As Jackson explains, being in a band comprised of so many siblings has its]]> Milwaukee’s Gloss Records Grows From a Whim http://shepherdexpress.com/article-25147-milwaukee%25E2%2580%2599s-gloss-records-grows-from-a-whim.html For many casual listeners, record labels are little more than a semi-mysterious name and logo stamped on the back of a release. And sometimes that’s precisely what they are, or at least what they start as, such as when Harrison Colby of Milwaukee’s now sadly defunct The Delphines ]]> Scott Wooldridge Makes His Solo Debut http://shepherdexpress.com/article-25108-scott-wooldridge-makes-his-solo-debut.html You can tell a lot from a record collection. Scott Wooldridge may be one of the few people whose includes albums by Judee Sill, Mott the Hoople and Klaatu, along with the usual suspects. Like Lenny Kaye, Wooldridge made his mark as a music writer and editor, all the while straddling the]]> Swami John Reis and The Blind Shake Create Modern Surf http://shepherdexpress.com/article-25059-swami-john-reis-and-the-blind-shake-create-modern-surf.html ]]> The Delta Routine Put the Pieces Together http://shepherdexpress.com/article-25016-the-delta-routine-put-the-pieces-together.html ]]> Painted Caves Back From India - Milwaukee band receives international attention http://shepherdexpress.com/article-24894-painted-caves-back-from-india-milwaukee-band-receives-international-attention.html A seemingly random encounter set Milwaukee’s Painted Caves on the way to a 2014 festival performance in India and worldwide distribution for their CD in 2015. The group’s vocalist, guitarist, songwriter and driving force, Ali Lubbad, recalls the gig where he met the Madison partner of a]]> Producer Strehlow Finds Kindred Spirits in the Noh Life Collective http://shepherdexpress.com/article-24796-producer-strehlow-finds-kindred-spirits-in-the-noh-life-collective.html ]]> Panalure Share Dark Tales on ‘The Bones’ http://shepherdexpress.com/article-24756-panalure-share-dark-tales-on-%25E2%2580%2598the-bones%25E2%2580%2599.html ]]> J. Ryan Trio (That’s Not a Trio) - Soul-blues with a twist of jazz http://shepherdexpress.com/article-24719-j-ryan-trio-%2528that%25E2%2580%2599s-not-a-trio%2529-soul-blues-with-a-twist-of-jazz.html ]]> Sam Llanas Enjoys Solo Artistic Freedom http://shepherdexpress.com/article-24621-sam-llanas-enjoys-solo-artistic-freedom.html ]]> Whips Play it Straight http://shepherdexpress.com/article-24554-whips-play-it-straight.html ]]> NO/NO Look Beyond The Delphines http://shepherdexpress.com/article-24509-no_no-look-beyond-the-delphines.html ]]> Sounds of Time Dial Up the Funk http://shepherdexpress.com/article-24443-sounds-of-time-dial-up-the-funk.html ]]> Jay Matthes Finds a Better Place with Solo Album http://shepherdexpress.com/article-24393-jay-matthes-finds-a-better-place-with-solo-album.html ]]> Hayward Williams Makes His Own ‘Moondance’ http://shepherdexpress.com/article-24352-hayward-williams-makes-his-own-%25E2%2580%2598moondance%25E2%2580%2599.html ]]> Milwaukee’s Mouth Organ Minstrel - Lil’ Rev returns with ‘Harmonica Americana’ http://shepherdexpress.com/article-24323-milwaukee%25E2%2580%2599s-mouth-organ-minstrel-lil%25E2%2580%2599-rev-returns-with-%25E2%2580%2598harmonica-americana%25E2%2580%2599.html ]]> Milwaukee Mandolin Orchestra at UWM Recital Hall - Still going strong after 114 years of making music http://shepherdexpress.com/article-24260-milwaukee-mandolin-orchestra-at-uwm-recital-hall-still-going-strong-after-114-years-of-making-music.html The lifespan of the Mandolin Orchestra is almost miraculous]]> Happy Jim Liban Day - Milwaukee blues veteran marks 50 years with a concert http://shepherdexpress.com/article-24223-happy-jim-liban-day-milwaukee-blues-veteran-marks-50-years-with-a-concert.html ]]> Geodes Do Jazz, Via Programming and Improvisation http://shepherdexpress.com/article-24131-geodes-do-jazz-via-programming-and-improvisation.html
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Greatest Lakes Find a Big Sound on Their Debut http://shepherdexpress.com/article-24107-greatest-lakes-find-a-big-sound-on-their-debut.html ]]> Calamity Janes and the Fratney Street Band End Their Fantastic First Act http://shepherdexpress.com/article-24069-calamity-janes-and-the-fratney-street-band-end-their-fantastic-first-act.html
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Twin Brother’s Album of Acceptance http://shepherdexpress.com/article-24002-twin-brother%25E2%2580%2599s-album-of-acceptance.html ]]> Joseph Huber’s One-Man Show http://shepherdexpress.com/article-23953-joseph-huber%25E2%2580%2599s-one-man-show.html ]]> Herman Astro Honor Tradition with ‘Mean Gene’ http://shepherdexpress.com/article-23920-herman-astro-honor-tradition-with-%25E2%2580%2598mean-gene%25E2%2580%2599.html Touring can be full of adventure, but for some bands after long stints on the road, touring can begin to feel more like a business obligation. It certainly began to seem that way for Milwaukee’s Herman Astro after several years of touring behind their debut album Chico. That’s not to say ]]> Three. Stacks. Eliot Find Shared Ground Between Jazz and Hip-Hop http://shepherdexpress.com/article-23862-three-stacks-eliot-find-shared-ground-between-jazz-and-hip-hop.html On the surface, jazz and hip-hop don’t seem to have much in common. The wildly improvisational spirit of jazz and the lyrical flow and beat-oriented nature of hip-hop can seem miles apart. Beneath the superficial disparities]]> The Midwestern Charm Survive ‘Growing Pains’ http://shepherdexpress.com/article-23832-the-midwestern-charm-survive-%25E2%2580%2598growing-pains%25E2%2580%2599.html There’s a degree of audacity inherent in fronting a band. To write songs, present them to the world and perform them in front of crowds requires real confidence. The Midwestern Charm’s Connor La Mue doesn’t have that. By his own account, he’s insecure and self-effacing, the last person]]> Body Futures Park at the Intersection of Noise and Pop http://shepherdexpress.com/article-23763-body-futures-park-at-the-intersection-of-noise-and-pop.html

 Chalk it up as another on the long list of ways that the Internet has made modern life easier and more convenient, but it was only 15 years ago that bands posted flyers when they were seeking a bassist or drummer. These days, of course, a simple Facebook post is much more efficient.

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Blues Brunch Offers Saturday Morning Soul with a Side of Pancakes http://shepherdexpress.com/article-23727-blues-brunch-offers-saturday-morning-soul-with-a-side-of-pancakes.html

 WNOV-AM’s Saturday morning Blues Café program may be the only dose of modern Southern soul, naturally combined with its antecedent of R&B-leaning blues, to be

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Drugs Dragons Deliver a ‘Disgusting Mess of Negativity and Debauchery’ http://shepherdexpress.com/article-23681-drugs-dragons-deliver-a-%25E2%2580%2598disgusting-mess-of-negativity-and-debauchery%25E2%2580%2599.html

II & I/II, the new record from Drugs Dragons, will probably not find its way onto anyone’s short list for “feel-good record of the year.” With song titles like

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Heavy Hand Get Crass on ‘Northwoods Knives’ http://shepherdexpress.com/article-23644-heavy-hand-get-crass-on-%25E2%2580%2598northwoods-knives%25E2%2580%2599.html

While all the players in Heavy Hand do time in other acts, it would be selling the band short to dismiss the Milwaukee

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Milwaukee’s New Red Moons Rise Again http://shepherdexpress.com/article-23609-milwaukee%25E2%2580%2599s-new-red-moons-rise-again.html

 The music industry is fickle. If a band wants to stay on the radar, it needs to continuously play shows, release new music and, if it’s lucky, receive some press. By those measures, the Milwaukee rock trio The New Red Moons had been falling behind. Until recently, the group hadn’t played a

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FuturePorn Keeps The Jazz Estate’s Tuesday Night Tradition Alive http://shepherdexpress.com/article-23572-futureporn-keeps-the-jazz-estate%25E2%2580%2599s-tuesday-night-tradition-alive.html

 Milwaukee’s jazz scene received a shock in January when the owner of The Jazz Estate (2423 N. Murray Ave.) announced that he was selling the venerable establishment. The East Side club has been home to internationally recognized jazz musicians, as well as a staggering array of

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Expire Examine the Dark Side of Sex on ‘Pretty Low’ http://shepherdexpress.com/article-23538-expire-examine-the-dark-side-of-sex-on-%25E2%2580%2598pretty-low%25E2%2580%2599.html

 Pretty Low, the new album from Milwaukee-based hardcore act Expire, wastes little time in setting the mood that dominates the record’s 11 tracks. Over a metal-infused

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Death Blues Returns with a Cryptic, Blown-Out Manifesto http://shepherdexpress.com/article-23498-death-blues-returns-with-a-cryptic-blown-out-manifesto.html

 High concepts are a dime a dozen in modern music, but it’s rare that you come across anything where those often-lofty ideas actually inform and guide the sound you’re hearing in a way that’s not purely superficial. It’s easy to throw around jargon, but it’s far harder to break down your

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Heidi Spencer’s Cinematic Turn http://shepherdexpress.com/article-23434-heidi-spencer%25E2%2580%2599s-cinematic-turn.html

 Heidi Spencer has been crafting beautifully sung, homegrown melodies for the past decade, but underneath the whitewashed exterior something mysterious lurks. Since 2003’s Matches and Valentines, her down-tempo, downtrodden folk songs never quite reveal the entire portrait, rather

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Calliope Finds a More Focused Groove on ‘Orbis’ http://shepherdexpress.com/article-23393-calliope-finds-a-more-focused-groove-on-%25E2%2580%2598orbis%25E2%2580%2599.html

 While it’s only been a year since they released their debut album, Milwaukee’s Calliope are not sitting idly on that momentum. Instead, they’re releasing a new EP called Orbis, a collection of rock songs that seemingly tosses off the training wheels. With its circus of sounds and influences

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The Delphines Drop a Punchy Full-Length Debut http://shepherdexpress.com/article-23354-the-delphines-drop-a-punchy-full-length-debut.html

 While they’ve generated a remarkable amount of attention and acclaim over the last two years, both locally and beyond, there’s always been something conspicuously missing from The Delphines

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For Brett Newski, Less is More http://shepherdexpress.com/article-23312-for-brett-newski-less-is-more.html

 Brett Newski imposed strict limitations on himself while working on his latest album, American Folk Armageddon, which he recorded at Shane Hochstetler’s Howl Street

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Doghouse Flowers Revisits Country Rock - Milwaukee band releases debut album, ‘Chasing the Sun’ http://shepherdexpress.com/article-23276-doghouse-flowers-revisits-country-rock-milwaukee-band-releases-debut-album-%25E2%2580%2598chasing-the-sun%25E2%2580%2599.html

Jon Ziegler is a musician with deep roots. He’s played early-’60s surf instrumentals with The Exotics and fronted

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Juiceboxxx Brushes Off His Viral TV Performance http://shepherdexpress.com/article-23241-juiceboxxx-brushes-off-his-viral-tv-performance.html

 Iconoclastic, Milwaukee-bred MC Juiceboxxx caused a stir online a couple months back when video of him suffering through a disastrous performance on TMJ 4 News

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New Jazz Estate Managers Bring Change but Keep the Jazz http://shepherdexpress.com/article-23197-new-jazz-estate-managers-bring-change-but-keep-the-jazz.html

 For more than 30 years, the Jazz Estate on Milwaukee’s East Side has been a gathering place for jazz musicians and enthusiasts. Its dimly lit, intimate space and the rhythms and melodies

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Milwaukee Psych Fest Returns for a Crowded Four-Day Weekend http://shepherdexpress.com/article-23170-milwaukee-psych-fest-returns-for-a-crowded-four-day-weekend.html

 Though only officially launched last year

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Die Kreuzen’s 'Cows and Beer' EP Gets a Proper Reissue http://shepherdexpress.com/article-23126-die-kreuzen%25E2%2580%2599s-cows-and-beer-ep-gets-a-proper-reissue.html

 All too often, reissues of classic releases

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After Transition, a New Beginning for Zach Pietrini and the Broken Bones http://shepherdexpress.com/article-23086-after-transition-a-new-beginning-for-zach-pietrini-and-the-broken-bones.html


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A Walk in the Park with John Sieger and Greg Koch - The guitar hero meets the ace of song http://shepherdexpress.com/article-23025-a-walk-in-the-park-with-john-sieger-and-greg-koch-the-guitar-hero-meets-the-ace-of-song.html

 The partnership between Milwaukee’s towering guitar wizard, Greg Koch, and its dean of songwriting, John Sieger, seems almost predestined. But the summit was long pondered and slow in coming. “I’d known of his magical

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Blonder Captures the Unpretentious Spirit of ’90s Indie Rock http://shepherdexpress.com/article-22965-blonder-captures-the-unpretentious-spirit-of-%25E2%2580%259990s-indie-rock.html

 Assembled from the remnants of bands with name

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The Beltempest’s Album Rock - Milwaukee band is heavy (but not metal) http://shepherdexpress.com/article-22862-the-beltempest%25E2%2580%2599s-album-rock-milwaukee-band-is-heavy-%2528but-not-metal%2529.html

  Rock bands can be like families with all the squabbling and bonding that entails. Nowhere is this truer than in the group now called

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Soup Moat Follow Their Own Misunderstood Muse http://shepherdexpress.com/article-22795-soup-moat-follow-their-own-misunderstood-muse.html Though they’ve developed a small but loyal following over the last four years, Soup Moat, as local bands go, have never really gotten their due. Maybe that’s because they’re so often relegate]]> Mike Benign Ponders Middle Age with 'Here's How it Works' http://shepherdexpress.com/article-22752-mike-benign-ponders-middle-age-with-heres-how-it-works.html

 For rock songwriters, middle age is the topic less taken. Great novelists have long made the subject their own, but rock still perceives itself as a young person’s game—even if many of the bestselling touring acts haven’t seen the sunny side of 40 in years

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Bio-Digitally Minded: Ivy Spokes' Two-Part Album http://shepherdexpress.com/article-22725-bio-digitally-minded-ivy-spokes-two-part-album.html

 For most bands working today it’s common practice to release EPs every so often. Albums can take days to months to complete, and it takes more time to release the finished product, while EPs are a good way to get music out faster. The Milwaukee pop-rock band Ivy Spokes, however

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Rapper Milo Finds Kindred Spirits in the Hellfyre Club http://shepherdexpress.com/article-22673-rapper-milo-finds-kindred-spirits-in-the-hellfyre-club.html

 Tuesday will mark the inaugural Milwaukee stop for Los Angeles headquartered hip-hop collective Hellfyre Club. For one member of the budding rap collective, though, the Mad Planet showcase will serve as something of a homecoming show

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Siempre Flamenco brings Spain to Milwaukee http://shepherdexpress.com/article-22635-siempre-flamenco-brings-spain-to-milwaukee.html The dancers clap their hands before getting ready to stab their sharp heels hard against the wooden floor, knocking in rhythm to the percussive playing of acoustic guitars. Arms and hands swing expressively, necks turn and heels keep up the beat before the singer begins, eyes closed]]> Jae Ace Balances Bombast and Profundity http://shepherdexpress.com/article-22603-jae-ace-balances-bombast-and-profundity.html

 Toughness and sensitivity have never been mutually exclusive in hip-hop. Since the genre’s earliest days, its most imposing figures have shown glimmers of their soft

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Milwaukee’s Speakerdust Collective Explores New Sonic Frontiers http://shepherdexpress.com/article-22564-milwaukee%25E2%2580%2599s-speakerdust-collective-explores-new-sonic-frontiers.html

It takes a whole crew to man a ship. With that in mind, Milwaukee’s Speakerdust approaches their improvisations as a group effort. Released on the winter solstice, Golden Sessions Vol. 1 captures the essence of the collective

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Strange Matter’s Belated EP http://shepherdexpress.com/article-22539-strange-matter%25E2%2580%2599s-belated-ep.html

 You don’t have to look far beyond the annual barrage of obligatory year-end best-of lists to realize that we often use music as a way of marking time, not only in our own

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The Benjamins Reunite for Pablove, Release New EP http://shepherdexpress.com/article-22490-the-benjamins-reunite-for-pablove-release-new-ep.html

 Somewhere beside “bass player upset at lead singer for hogging the spotlight” and “guitarist’s girlfriend lobbying for more solos,” failure to get a record deal sits prominently on the lists of reasons bands call it quits. But it’s not often that a band landing a spot on a label plays a role in its

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Worrier's Recycled Cassette Single http://shepherdexpress.com/article-22443-worriers-recycled-cassette-single.html

 In one of the more memorable mid-run gags from “The Simpsons,” Chief Wiggum plants a wire on his informant Bart, planning to record the conversation using a Hootie and the Blowfish cassette. “It’s cheaper than blank tape,” he deadpans. Dance-punk outfit Worrier employed that

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Milwaukee Musicians Honor Big Star http://shepherdexpress.com/article-22398-milwaukee-musicians-honor-big-star.html

 Tribute shows are a dime a dozen on just about any concert calendar, but they usually don’t offer much in the way of variety, mostly sticking to big, marketable musical brands

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No Guitars in Nineteen Thirteen - Making rock with cello and percussion http://shepherdexpress.com/article-22350-no-guitars-in-nineteen-thirteen-making-rock-with-cello-and-percussion.html

 1913 was the year of calm before the storm—the year before European civilization shattered on the battlefields of World War I. In that year an artisan in a far corner of Europe—Romania—crafted a handsome cello. The instrument survived both World Wars, and the rise and fall of Fascism

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Soulman Harvey Scales Lends Milwaukee Charities a Hand
 http://shepherdexpress.com/article-22272-soulman-harvey-scales-lends-milwaukee-charities-a-hand%25E2%2580%25A8.html

 When it comes to the legacy he wants to leave

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The Whiskeybelles Celebrate the Season with Covers and Liquor http://shepherdexpress.com/article-22230-the-whiskeybelles-celebrate-the-season-with-covers-and-lir.html

 Holiday music seems to get played earlier each year. These days, yuletide standards seem to hit department store speakers and regular terrestrial radio rotation the morning after Halloween. Christmas came extra early this year for The Whiskeybelles—April, to be exact

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Daycones’ Dreamy, Drifting Psychedelia http://shepherdexpress.com/article-22193-daycones%25E2%2580%2599-dreamy-drifting-psychedelia.html

 Over the last few years, Bandcamp and Soundcloud have made it possible to reconsider the form and context of an album. With local and national artists often releasing digital versions of their music before a

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Milwaukee’s CircleSwitch Plays Benefit For Cancer Clinic - Heartland Hard Rock http://shepherdexpress.com/article-22146-milwaukee%25E2%2580%2599s-circleswitch-plays-benefit-for-cancer-clinic-heartland-hard-rock.html

 When guitarist Danny Rodic founded CircleSwitch in 2007, he was as determined to find the right people to work with as he was to put his own spin on the hard rock that had shaped his musicianship. “We auditioned over one hundred vocalists before finding Kenny [James],” he says

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Faux Fir Go Global on ‘Fashionable Life’ http://shepherdexpress.com/article-22079-faux-fir-go-global-on-%25E2%2580%2598fashionable-life%25E2%2580%2599.html

 By the time Fashionable Life, the follow-up to Faux Fir’s 2010 self-titled EP, first hits Milwaukee’s ears this weekend, it will have already traveled across the country to Oregon and back before traversing in abbreviated portions to remote expanses of eastern Africa during its three-plus-year journey to vinyl. The

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Milwaukee Rockers Whips Get Off to a Fast Start http://shepherdexpress.com/article-22055-milwaukee-rockers-whips-get-off-to-a-fast-start.html

 Year One is a blistering five-song rocker of an EP that effectively serves as a brash introduction to young Bay View-based

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Man vs. Machine: Stagediver Makes Electronic Music the Slow Way http://shepherdexpress.com/article-22018-man-vs-machine-stagediver-makes-electronic-music-the-slow-way.html

 Tyler St Clair is doing damage control. His computer has just crapped out on him, and the timing couldn’t be more inconvenient

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City Of Ghosts Get Atmospheric on 'Calm in the Current' http://shepherdexpress.com/article-21980-city-of-ghosts-get-atmospheric-on-calm-in-the-current.html

 Since releasing its debut EP Daylight in July 2012, Milwaukee rock band City Of Ghosts hasn’t made much noise. Amid a near moratorium on playing out—save for an acoustic set at Milwaukee’s Warped Tour and a set for Bay

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Like Like The The The Death Tap the Underground, In All Its Forms http://shepherdexpress.com/article-21933-like-like-the-the-the-death-tap-the-underground-in-all-its-forms.html Listening to Cave Jenny, the latest album by Milwaukee’s Like Like The The The Death—LLTTTD
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Lamb’s Legs Capture Their Live Intensity on Their Latest EP http://shepherdexpress.com/article-21880-lamb%25E2%2580%2599s-legs-capture-their-live-intensity-on-their-latest-ep.html

 “There’s a sort of masochistic element, I think, in trying to be in a band,” says Lamb’s Legs guitarist Jeb Ebben, referring to a comment he made at the band’s Sept. 20 Summer of Lamb’s Legs EP release show. At that show he advised the crowd, “Don’t ever start playing an instrument

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Ugly Brothers’ Expansive Folk Grows Ever Prettier http://shepherdexpress.com/article-21852-ugly-brothers%25E2%2580%2599-expansive-folk-grows-ever-prettier.html

 With acts like Space Raft, Collections of Colonies of Bees, Holy Shit!, Mortgage Freeman and countless others of the ilk spread thick throughout the music scene, Milwaukee has no shortage of bands with random, lighthearted names with no real relevance to the way they sound

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Ragelife Spin Conscious Hip-Hop from the Party Lifestyle http://shepherdexpress.com/article-21802-ragelife-spin-conscious-hip-hop-from-the-party-lifestyle.html

 Like clockwork, the University of Wisconsin is ranked one of the country’s top party schools year after year, much to the chagrin of administrators and to the pride of students. Party culture is so deeply embedded into

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Sensual Nostalgia Runs Rampant on Heartthrob’s Debut EP http://shepherdexpress.com/article-21769-sensual-nostalgia-runs-rampant-on-heartthrob%25E2%2580%2599s-debut-ep.html


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The Fatty Acids’ Indie-Pop Circus http://shepherdexpress.com/article-21731-the-fatty-acids%25E2%2580%2599-indie-pop-circus.html

 As a general rule, college bands are not built to last. Most break up quickly, as band members’ interests drift or other commitments get in the way; only the most dedicated last much past graduation, when day jobs

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The Punk Vets in Go Go Slow Seek New Ground http://shepherdexpress.com/article-21689-the-punk-vets-in-go-go-slow-seek-new-ground.html

 Forming a band from the remnants of other recognizable groups comes with a unique set of perks, as well as its own challenges. On one hand, you’ve got a prefab fanbase

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Bucking Trends, the Milwaukee Noise Festival Expands http://shepherdexpress.com/article-21642-bucking-trends-the-milwaukee-noise-festival-expands.html These are hard times for noise music festivals. Noise fests around the Midwest have been shrinking or scaling back their lineups, and the country’s largest noise festival]]> Space Raft’s Science Fiction Madness http://shepherdexpress.com/article-21602-space-raft%25E2%2580%2599s-science-fiction-madness.html

Like most bands, Space Raft is the product of a score for a shelved low-budget horror movie, an insomnia-induced list of puns and members from some of the state’s renowned rock acts joining forces

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Nora Collins Commits Herself to Country Music http://shepherdexpress.com/article-21568-nora-collins-commits-herself-to-country-music.html “I didn’t really know what I was doing. I just knew I like to write songs, and I enjoyed singing,” so says 19-year-old country singer Nora Collins of recording her first album]]> Greg Koch Plays Well - Milwaukee’s blues-rock titan releases new album http://shepherdexpress.com/article-21553-greg-koch-plays-well-milwaukee%25E2%2580%2599s-blues-rock-titan-releases-new-album.html

 Greg Koch describes his new album as “a dream.” The title, Plays Well

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Buffalo Gospel Find Hope and Strength on Debut http://shepherdexpress.com/article-21507-buffalo-gospel-find-hope-and-strength-on-debut.html

As you drive into Plains states like South Dakota, chances are that you’ll come across barren wilderness like the Badlands, with nothing but seeming desolation for miles. A variety of animals call these areas home, including

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Yo-Dot Carries the Torch http://shepherdexpress.com/article-21467-yo-dot-carries-the-torch.html

 To the consternation of recognition-starved rappers all over the city, Milwaukee has historically only been able to support a small handful of locally popular hip-hop acts

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The Belle Weather Take a Chance http://shepherdexpress.com/article-21420-the-belle-weather-take-a-chance.html

 It’s no mystery that most bands face challenges on a daily basis, from where to play to the creation of set lists to what items they can afford. More so than most bands, though, Milwaukee’s The Belle Weather seek out challenges

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Volunteer Commit Themselves to the Local Heavy Music Scene http://shepherdexpress.com/article-21400-volunteer-commit-themselves-to-the-local-heavy-music-scene.html  On July 20, the criminally underrated record label Amphetamine Reptile will host a concert in Minneapolis to celebrate its more than 25-year existence. Whereas larger labels like Sub Pop often pushed to become more

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Preserving “Original, Local Music” at Summerfest http://shepherdexpress.com/article-21352-preserving-%25E2%2580%259Coriginal-local-music%25E2%2580%259D-at-summerfest.html In 2007, a small stage quietly debuted at Summerfest in the shadow of the Marcus Amphitheater. That modest stage, originally called the Cascio Groove Garage]]> Tony Memmel Spreads Hope Through Music http://shepherdexpress.com/article-21325-tony-memmel-spreads-hope-through-music.html

 Not many Milwaukee area musicians are able to earn a living and tour the country as full-time singer-songwriters. And exactly one of them has managed to do so without a left arm

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Cyberchump’s Journey of the Mind http://shepherdexpress.com/article-21260-cyberchump%25E2%2580%2599s-journey-of-the-mind.html

 Conceptually speaking, many people draw a lot of stark lines when it comes to music, separating genres and marking distinctions between electronic and acoustic

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Fable and the World Flat’s Second Phase http://shepherdexpress.com/article-21189-fable-and-the-world-flat%25E2%2580%2599s-second-phase.html

 With age and experience, bands learn all sorts of hard lessons, but one of the hardest to grasp is also seemingly one of the most basic: Don’t take yourselves too seriously

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The Wigs Return - Milwaukee’s power-pop stars back for one last time http://shepherdexpress.com/article-21152-the-wigs-return-milwaukee%25E2%2580%2599s-power-pop-stars-back-for-one-last-time.html

 Between Cheap Trick on the hard edge and The Shoes on the soft side, the power-pop movement spread out across the upper Midwest during the ’70s and was well represented in Milwaukee. One of the genre’s most

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The Jones Island Flood: Sex and Surf from the Shores of Milwaukee http://shepherdexpress.com/article-21110-the-jones-island-flood-sex-and-surf-from-the-shores-of-milwaukee.html

 Just off of East Nock Street in Bay View, a living room is filled with the vibrating, rolling sounds of the Jones Island Flood, who describe themselves as “trashy bluesy

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For Prophetic, a New City and a New Approach http://shepherdexpress.com/article-21060-for-prophetic-a-new-city-and-a-new-approach.html It’ll probably surprise a few people to learn that Milwaukee’s most visible rapper no longer lives in Milwaukee. After a half decade of constant gigging around the city, where he performed at seemingly every major venue, festival]]> Estates’ Full-Throttle Throwback Emo http://shepherdexpress.com/article-21021-estates%25E2%2580%2599-full-throttle-throwback-emo.html

Though it didn’t receive much attention beyond a handful of appreciative write-ups, Pretty Wounds released one of last year’s most vital local punk albums, a viciously grungy six-song sock to the gut called Whatever, Go

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The Miltown Beat Down Gets Electronic - DJ Shadow headlines the producer battle’s 2013 finale http://shepherdexpress.com/article-20984-the-miltown-beat-down-gets-electronic-dj-shadow-headlines-the-producer-battle%25E2%2580%2599s-2013-finale.html

 When Jordan Lee, aka DJ Madhatter, started the Miltown Beat Down in 2005, Milwaukee’s hip-hop scene was as segregated as the city itself, divided by geography, race and culture. For years the chasm between East Side rap

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The Kevin Hayden Trio is Gradually Leaving Jazz Behind http://shepherdexpress.com/article-20944-the-kevin-hayden-trio-is-gradually-leaving-jazz-behind.html Kevin Hayden has a love/hate relationship with jazz. He loves the music, which he’s been listening to since he was a toddler, when his father began teaching him to play drums. Over time, though, he’s learned to hate the culture]]> Cactus Club Hosts the Inaugural Milwaukee Psych Fest http://shepherdexpress.com/article-20906-cactus-club-hosts-the-inaugural-milwaukee-psych-fest.html With inked-up arms and blond hair down to his elbows, Andrew Shelp could pass for a vocalist from a hardcore metal band. Looks can be deceiving, though, as is the case with Shelp, who pilots the local psych-folk band Moss]]> Mortgage Freeman’s Proggy Grab Bag http://shepherdexpress.com/article-20869-mortgage-freeman%25E2%2580%2599s-proggy-grab-bag.html

 Though it will always claim a diehard following, prog-rock remains one of music’s most maligned genres, dismissed by rock purists who reflexively turn up their noses at any composition that smacks of overwork or indulgence

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An Expanded Fever Marlene http://shepherdexpress.com/article-20830-an-expanded-fever-marlene.html

  If you haven’t seen Fever Marlene for a while—and, given the group’s relative silence over the last few years, that’s a strong possibility—then you might not recognize them anymore. It’s been five years since the

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Calliope’s Retro-Groove Circus http://shepherdexpress.com/article-20803-calliope%25E2%2580%2599s-retro-groove-circus.html

 It’s no secret that the instruments a band uses help determine its sonic direction and can make a song work. In the case of Milwaukee band Calliope, one instrument—an organ

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No More Salty Tears - Semi-Twang is better the second time around http://shepherdexpress.com/article-20768-no-more-salty-tears-semi-twang-is-better-the-second-time-around.html Nothing is forever in rock anymore, least of all breakups. Whether local heroes or global superstars, defunct bands regroup nowadays with alarming regularity. Many of them downright suck; many more reemerge as mere outlines]]> Jazz Players Lead a Benefit for SUPERband Leader Gary Christensen http://shepherdexpress.com/article-20715-jazz-players-lead-a-benefit-for-superband-leader-gary-christensen.html

 The pain arose like an assassin at 2 a.m. on Dec. 14, slashing into Gary Christensen’s gut. Making matters worse, he felt desperately alone, in a friend’s cottage in a dark, desolate area outside of tiny Hillsboro, nearly a whole

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Milwaukee Embraces The Delphines http://shepherdexpress.com/article-20685-milwaukee-embraces-the-delphines.html

 Getting some momentum going behind a band is usually a challenging ordeal, involving lots of tedious hard work and perseverance without any guarantee of success. In certain rare cases though, things seem to move almost

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Kiings Remix Milwaukee http://shepherdexpress.com/article-20646-kiings-remix-milwaukee.html

 Tarik Moody doesn’t have much regard for genre boundaries. As a DJ for 88.9 Radio Milwaukee, Moody spins a little bit of everything, and as a principal behind the concert series Unlooped

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Foreign Fields Find Happiness in Nashville http://shepherdexpress.com/article-20613-foreign-fields-find-happiness-in-nashville.html

 When Wisconsin natives Brian Holl and Eric Hillman were granted permission to transform an abandoned office building in downtown West Bend into their personal studio, the duo jumped at the deal. With ostensibly limitless

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Joseph Huber’s Conflicted Americana http://shepherdexpress.com/article-20581-joseph-huber%25E2%2580%2599s-conflicted-americana.html Joseph Huber may very well be the hardest-working musician in Milwaukee. After seven years]]> The Savini Effect Goes Out with One Last Night of Terror http://shepherdexpress.com/article-20552-the-savini-effect-goes-out-with-one-last-night-of-terror.html

 Horror movies, for the most part, tend to be associated with the visual. The sight of frights such

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Young Talent Injects Life into Milwaukee’s Jazz Scene http://shepherdexpress.com/article-20524-young-talent-injects-life-into-milwaukee%25E2%2580%2599s-jazz-scene.html

 Jazz may not be the music that made Milwaukee famous, but the local scene has been looking vibrant lately. Credit that development to the young generations of musicians who have inherited the scene and made it their own. Enough of the city’s veteran players remain—some

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Pablove 4: A Night of Local Music for a Difficult Cause http://shepherdexpress.com/article-20478-pablove-4-a-night-of-local-music-for-a-difficult-cause.html

 Like many fundraisers, the Pablove Benefit Concert was born of tragedy. In 2009, Jeff Castelaz and his wife Jo Ann Thrailkill lost their six-year-old son Pablo to cancer. Having managed some of the most successful Milwaukee

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Back to the Blues - Stone Cohen returns with classic repertoire http://shepherdexpress.com/article-20438-back-to-the-blues-stone-cohen-returns-with-classic-repertoire.html

  Every generation numbers a minority of kids looking for music in less obvious places. In 1970, blues was often that place. In that year, a quartet of Whitefish Bay High School students formed the Stone Cohen Blues Band

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John the Savage Calls it a Day http://shepherdexpress.com/article-20377-john-the-savage-calls-it-a-day.html

 For the past five years, the off-kilter sound of Milwaukee-based John the Savage has been a constant in a scene often wracked by dramatic turnover. While the band was never exactly prolific, they did manage to record

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Riverwest Fest Returns for a Busy Third Year http://shepherdexpress.com/article-20340-riverwest-fest-returns-for-a-busy-third-year.html Promoters Kelsey Kaufmann and Sean Heiser created Riverwest Fest, a two-day “punk crawl” across Riverwest, in 2010 as a fundraiser to save the all-ages basement music venue, The Eagle’s Nest. In that respect it didn’t]]> Little Otik’s Existential Country Record http://shepherdexpress.com/article-20290-little-otik%25E2%2580%2599s-existential-country-record.html

 There are some records that have distinct seasonal feels. Slint’s Spiderland is reminiscent of an ominous fall evening, while Hüsker Dü’s New Day Rising sounds like a red-hot summer day. Closer to home, Startled

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Out of the Past - Bands and a Book Remember the Dawn of Punk http://shepherdexpress.com/article-20235-out-of-the-past-bands-and-a-book-remember-the-dawn-of-punk.html

 Reliving memories of punk rock in the days when it was new has been key in igniting such recent events as the Lest We Forget concert, headlined by Die Kreuzen, and The Prosecutors’ reunion show. Steve Nodine

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Flare The Floozy Invests in Mixtapes http://shepherdexpress.com/article-20211-flare-the-floozy-invests-in-mixtapes.html

  The most influential contemporary rappers all have one thing in common: a great narrative. Today’s rappers are first and foremost self-mythologizers, and their brands are

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Arab-American, Ancient-Modern Rock - The music and mystery of Painted Caves http://shepherdexpress.com/article-20180-arab-american-ancient-modern-rock-the-music-and-mystery-of-painted-caves.html

The self-titled debut album by Painted Caves has become a quiet

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Heavy Hand’s Filthy Underground Rock http://shepherdexpress.com/article-20130-heavy-hand%25E2%2580%2599s-filthy-underground-rock.html

 “We’re a filthy, charming, lovable band,” Christopher Roberts, drummer for Milwaukee trio Heavy Hand, explains bluntly. “A lot of our lyrics are dirty as shit and we swear in our songs. They’re not radio-friendly, for the most

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Rio Turbo Brings the Party http://shepherdexpress.com/article-20075-rio-turbo-brings-the-party.html

 As we settle in at a remote table in a nearly deserted Riverwest watering hole, Rio Turbo asks me if I’d like to take a shot with him before the interview gets underway. I politely refuse, explaining that I have to drive, but...

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Stacian Builds a Synth Community, Slowly http://shepherdexpress.com/article-20058-stacian-builds-a-synth-community-slowly.html

 Over the last few years, Milwaukee’s music lovers have been treated to an increasing amount of quality electronic music, particularly of a sort that’s as challenging and rewarding to listen to as it is easy to dance to...

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Where Can a Band Even Practice Anymore? - Recent evictions leave musicians in a crunch http://shepherdexpress.com/article-20010-where-can-a-band-even-practice-anymore-recent-evictions-leave-musicians-in-a-crunch.html
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The Championship’s Post-Country Album http://shepherdexpress.com/article-19976-the-championship%25E2%2580%2599s-post-country-album.html

 “Winter is on its way,” Joe Crockett cautions on The Championship’s new album, in a rested baritone that makes him sound like he himself has just woken from a deep hibernation. In some ways, he has. High Feather...

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Delta Routine Ups the Ante http://shepherdexpress.com/article-19928-delta-routine-ups-the-ante.html When Milwaukee band Delta Routine received the WAMI Award for Alternative Artist of the Year this spring—on top of being named 88Nine Radio Milwaukee’s Band of the Year last year—they had just gone through...]]> AUTOMatic Plays It Straight, Mostly http://shepherdexpress.com/article-19900-automatic-plays-it-straight-mostly.html

 This summer the Milwaukee hip-hop duo AUTOMatic released either their best or their worst song yet, depending on your tastes: “Move,” a thumping, electro-funk throwback...

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Klassik and the Power of Positive Thinking http://shepherdexpress.com/article-19848-klassik-and-the-power-of-positive-thinking.html

 Milwaukee rapper/producer Klassik recorded his debut full length, In the Making, over several trying years marked by self-doubt, depression, relationship struggles and a crushing quarter-life crisis. You’d never guess...

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Tenement’s Appleton- Bred Punk http://shepherdexpress.com/article-19818-tenement%25E2%2580%2599s-appleton-bred-punk.html It’s often hard to like amazingly talented bands. Talent can breed pretentiousness, and pretentiousness can breed assholes. That’s why bands like Appleton-based Tenement are so noteworthy: They put out great...]]> Hugh Bob and the Hustle's Pure Country http://shepherdexpress.com/article-19745-hugh-bob-and-the-hustles-pure-country.html Nobody would claim that Milwaukee doesn't have a fondness for American music. Spend a week or two going to shows in Bay View, Riverwest or on the East Side...]]> R.I.P. Maidens - Milwaukee's metal scene loses one of its most promising acts http://shepherdexpress.com/article-19698-rip-maidens-milwaukees-metal-scene-loses-one-of-its-most-promising-acts.html They should have been bigger...]]> Sugarfoot Is Back - The return of classic Americana rock http://shepherdexpress.com/article-19648-sugarfoot-is-back-the-return-of-classic-americana-rock.html The '80s and '90s were special for Milwaukee music—an era when bands grounded in classic pop-rock songwriting (and often with an Americana accent) thrived on the city's East Side alt scene. One of the best, Sugarfoot, is returning to the stage...]]> Kane Place Record Club and the Art of Feeling Good http://shepherdexpress.com/article-19579-kane-place-record-club-and-the-art-of-feeling-good.html Milwaukee, like many other cities across the country, has seen a recent resurgence...]]> Zebras' Bleak State of the World http://shepherdexpress.com/article-19500-zebras-bleak-state-of-the-world.html Underground rock bands have touched upon issues of violence, illness and death for ages, to the point of draining these topics...]]> No Coast Mohawk Fest Readies Three Days of Punk http://shepherdexpress.com/article-19449-no-coast-mohawk-fest-readies-three-days-of-punk.html To paraphrase the Exploited, punk's not dead—it's just taking a brief vacation in Milwaukee. The upcoming No Coast Mohawk Fest features more than enough first-generation-inspired punk to satisfy even the most die-hard of fans...]]> Juiceboxxx Shifts Away From Dance on His Full-Length Debut http://shepherdexpress.com/article-19389-juiceboxxx-shifts-away-from-dance-on-his-full-length-debut.html If you've witnessed Juiceboxxx on the mic, chances are your mind is already made up about him. That's because the Milwaukee rapper's in-your-face bravado tends to garner polarized opinions. Fans laud the energy and unpredictability...]]> A Splash of Surf - Milwaukee's Exotics stir the tiki revival http://shepherdexpress.com/article-19315-a-splash-of-surf-milwaukees-exotics-stir-the-tiki-revival.html The Exotics were already together when people started talking to them about this cool new movie called Pulp Fiction. It wasn't so much the plot, or John...]]> Sulek Goes Big http://shepherdexpress.com/article-19251-sulek-goes-big.html Breaking free from something and pursuit of freedom are not faceless phrases for Sulek singer Patrick Hoctor, his co-singer wife Ruthie and drummer Chris Winberg. It's something quite dear and real to them. Each member...]]> Hearts of Stone Begin Anew, Hit Harder http://shepherdexpress.com/article-19179-hearts-of-stone-begin-anew-hit-harder.html For Hearts of Stone singer Neil Weingarth, the latest version of his band has come as a bit of a revelation...]]> Fahri Finds Its Milwaukee Groove http://shepherdexpress.com/article-19099-fahri-finds-its-milwaukee-groove.html Milwaukee trio Fahri's song “Lazy Fruit” begins in defiance of its own title. With its rolling drumbeat and poppy guitars, it expels an air of delicious nervousness—the kind of thrills that come from campy horror movies, grade-school...]]> Lorn Makes His Ninja Tune Debut http://shepherdexpress.com/article-19029-lorn-makes-his-ninja-tune-debut.html In the climactic scene of John Fante's 1939 novel Ask the Dust, Fante's grieving alter ego Arturo Bandini takes a copy of his novel and tosses it into the desert. The scene resonated with Milwaukee electronic artist Lorn, who titled his latest...]]> Arizona Wilder's Double-Sided Post-Hardcore http://shepherdexpress.com/article-18960-arizona-wilders-double-sided-post-hardcore.html Though it turns over almost completely every three or four years, Milwaukee's...]]> Jaill Releases a Second Sub Pop Album, Goes Bowling http://shepherdexpress.com/article-18891-jaill-releases-a-second-sub-pop-album-goes-bowling.html In 2009, the Milwaukee garage-pop band Jaill was plucked from obscurity and signed to Sub Pop...]]> Magnetic Minds' Heavy Rock 'n' Roll http://shepherdexpress.com/article-18831-magnetic-minds-heavy-rock-n-roll.html Though the group only features two members, Milwaukee-based Magnetic Minds makes a whole lot of noise. Count the band, featuring Chris Ortiz on vocals and bass guitar and Tim Wick on drums, as one of a number of...]]> Eddie Blazonczyk R.I.P. - Wisconsin's Polka King Passes On http://shepherdexpress.com/article-18805-eddie-blazonczyk-rip-wisconsins-polka-king-passes-on.html Certain Stars' Varied Sophomore Album http://shepherdexpress.com/article-18766-certain-stars-varied-sophomore-album.html Milwaukee rock band Certain Stars never set out to be famous, but don't confuse that with a lack of ambition. When Kyle Hernandez's fake press release for a band named Cudahy unexpectedly began to gain traction among friends in 2000...]]> Technicolor Teeth's Rootless Indie Rock http://shepherdexpress.com/article-18697-technicolor-teeths-rootless-indie-rock.html It's hard to believe that Teenage Pagans, the 12-song debut album from Appleton-based Technicolor Teeth, was made by a collection of musicians a few years out of high school. Teenage Pagans sounds confident and cohesive, as if the players...]]> Mark Shurilla R.I.P http://shepherdexpress.com/article-18681-mark-shurilla-rip.html There wasn't a name for what Mark Shurilla was doing when he started a Milwaukee band called the Electric Assholes in the mid-1970s. A couple of years later when punk rock came to town, Shurilla found a context for his inventive spoofing...]]> Vic and Gab's Sweet, Sisterly Pop http://shepherdexpress.com/article-18627-vic-and-gabs-sweet-sisterly-pop.html When asked what music has inspired her the most, Victoriah Banuelos, half of the sister-sister Milwaukee pop outfit Vic and Gab, answers readily: “Rush.” Victoriah isn't over the age of 35, and she isn't clueless about current independent pop...]]> Coo Woo's British Sensibilities http://shepherdexpress.com/article-18561-coo-woos-british-sensibilities.html Pop music has a natural snap to it, thanks to its youthful motivations. Nobody has done it quite as winningly as the punk legends Buzzcocks, but the Milwaukee pop group Coo Woo is game to try their hand at it. Coo Woo takes on the British...]]> Thirteen Years of Floor Model http://shepherdexpress.com/article-18488-thirteen-years-of-floor-model.html In 1999 drummer Dave Somerscales and guitarist Jeff Callesen were informed that a band had canceled a show at Quarters. They stopped into the Riverwest bar and made the case to management to give their hastily assembled two-piece act, Floor Model, a shot on the stage. Quarters' management agreed and the band's 13-year-long (and counting) history began. Somerscales and Callesen have remained consistent members of the band since that first gig. After using three different bass players over the years....]]> The Extra Crispy Brass Band's Hot Jazz http://shepherdexpress.com/article-18418-the-extra-crispy-brass-bands-hot-jazz.html The Extra Crispy Brass Band has a sound that is distinctly Dixie, finding inspiration from the “second line” traditional style of New Orleans jazz. “The first line was the funeral procession and the second line refers to the up-tempo brass band and dancers...]]> Paul Cebar Explores That Tomorrow Sound http://shepherdexpress.com/article-18351-paul-cebar-explores-that-tomorrow-sound.html “I wanted to put a name on the forward thrust of what we're doing,” Paul Cebar says of his decision to change band names a few years ago. Except for the group he once shared with John Sieger, the R&B Cadets, he had performed under the handle of Paul Cebar...]]> Blessed Feathers' Reflections on Florida http://shepherdexpress.com/article-18280-blessed-feathers-reflections-on-florida.html The Florida nonprofit 1000 Friends of Florida conducted an extensive study...]]> Jerry Grillo's Traditional Jazz Stylings http://shepherdexpress.com/article-18170-jerry-grillos-traditional-jazz-stylings.html Jerry Grillo has been at it long enough to call himself a veteran—even if he answered his calling as a jazz singer relatively late in life. Only after retiring from a career as a schoolteacher in 1992 was Grillo able to devote himself to his first love...]]> Dads' Paternalistic Pop-Punk http://shepherdexpress.com/article-18031-dads-paternalistic-pop-punk.html The founding fathers of Dads—Matt Chic, Tab Man and Jim Zajackowski—are active members of a specific scene composed of local punk bands. These bands play a circuit of basement shows and bars and are more devoted to parties, pizza...]]> Helping a Friend in Need - Musicians band together in 'Concert for Eileen' http://shepherdexpress.com/article-17957-helping-a-friend-in-need-musicians-band-together-in-concert-for-eileen.html If Eileen Worman's medical problems are somewhat unusual, the financial...]]> Present Music's Around 30: The Dark Side of Turning 30 http://shepherdexpress.com/article-17930-present-musics-around-30-the-dark-side-of-turning-30.html Pretty Wounds Look to the Past http://shepherdexpress.com/article-17861-pretty-wounds-look-to-the-past.html Are the '90s coming back? That's a question echoing throughout fashion and music, as some say the recession is leading Americans into a place of cultural nostalgia for a decade that, though it certainly had its ups and downs, held a clear-cut and...]]> The Promise Ring Reunites and Reminisces http://shepherdexpress.com/article-17789-the-promise-ring-reunites-and-reminisces.html Waxing nostalgic is inevitable with any reunion, and Dan Didier, drummer for lauded Milwaukee band The Promise Ring, has more than good reason to do so. “There was a...]]> Remembering Richard LaValliere http://shepherdexpress.com/article-17741-remembering-richard-lavalliere.html The memorial service for Richard LaValliere on Feb. 16 gave relatives and friends an opportunity to share their thoughts about the wildly creative bassist and songwriter, the engine behind the Oil Tasters, who died recently in his Brooklyn apartment...]]> The MidEast Beat Celebrates Poon Paregentan, Armenian Mardi Gras http://shepherdexpress.com/article-17723-the-mideast-beat-celebrates-poon-paregentan-armenian-mardi-gras.html Dozens of Musicians Get All Messed Up Again http://shepherdexpress.com/article-17649-dozens-of-musicians-get-all-messed-up-again.html If you want to get all intellectual about it...]]> Elusive Parallelograms Pick Up Speed http://shepherdexpress.com/article-17583-elusive-parallelograms-pick-up-speed.html Though it's unlikely to ever reach the extremes of the modern rap scene, where burgeoning artists are now expected to release a constant stream of new music if they're serious about building an audience, rock music is gradually taking on some...]]> KingHellBastard Blows Off Steam http://shepherdexpress.com/article-17452-kinghellbastard-blows-off-steam.html For months, KingHellBastard rapper DNA traveled with a video camera, compiling footage for a project he intended to call This Is Spinal Rap, a documentary about the travails and indignities of being a touring hip-hop group. It's unlikely he'll ever...]]> Jamie Breiwick and Barry Velleman Reinvent Jazz Standards http://shepherdexpress.com/article-17381-jamie-breiwick-and-barry-velleman-reinvent-jazz-standards.html I'll never forget the band's set at the Charles Allis Art Museum on that hot summer night last July. The sunset burst through the venue's windows as if Choir Fight's immaculate presence was evidence of divine...]]> A Farewell to The Mistreaters http://shepherdexpress.com/article-17215-a-farewell-to-the-mistreaters.html Huddled around the bar at the Cactus Club, the members of The Mistreaters are remarkably humble about their place in the history of Milwaukee underground music. In fact, vocalist Christreater notes, with a laugh, that the process of looking back on his band's legacy makes him “uneasy.” When pressed, Christreater will go as far as to admit that “I feel like we were a good band.” As the band gears up to play what they promise is going to be their final show and release a double LP singles collection (on guitarist Kevin Mistreater's Dusty Medical record label)...]]> A Milwaukee Holiday Mixtape http://shepherdexpress.com/article-17163-a-milwaukee-holiday-mixtape.html Whether your tastes in holiday music run toward the sentimental or the grandiose...]]> Herman Astro Catches Grooves http://shepherdexpress.com/article-17091-herman-astro-catches-grooves.html Sometimes a picture extends so far beyond the moment it captures that it stands as an enduring metaphor. For the Milwaukee blues-soul-rock band Herman Astro...]]> The Book of Blues - Playing along with harmonica great Steve Cohen http://shepherdexpress.com/article-17005-the-book-of-blues-playing-along-with-harmonica-great-steve-cohen.html A simple instrument anyone can pick up and play, the harmonica can also be tremendously powerful and emotionally expressive...]]> Local Rock Musician Dave Raeck Dies http://shepherdexpress.com/article-17009-local-rock-musician-dave-raeck-dies.html Rock That Shines and Glows - Trolley returns with dynamic new album http://shepherdexpress.com/article-16940-rock-that-shines-and-glows-trolley-returns-with-dynamic-new-album.html Trolley's new record, Things That Shine and Glow, is a powerful reminder of rock albums as they once were. Each track is distinctive on this cycle of memorable songs delivered with velvety insistence, but the sum of all parts has a character...]]> Moon Curse Gets Heavy http://shepherdexpress.com/article-16862-moon-curse-gets-heavy.html With music that is simple and to the point, yet as raging as a werewolf...]]> WiscoJazz Winds to an End http://shepherdexpress.com/article-16797-wiscojazz-winds-to-an-end.html Luke Balzrina didn't know what to expect when he launched his weekly WiscoJazz night at the Highbury Pub in 2006. He'd only DJed at the Bay View soccer...]]> Logic and Raze's Easy Collaboration http://shepherdexpress.com/article-16735-logic-and-razes-easy-collaboration.html Milwaukee rappers Logic and Raze each recorded very different albums last year. One of the many ex-members of the defunct Milwaukee superhero-themed alternative-rap ensemble House of M, Raze last summer released his second...]]> The Raykings' In-the-Moment Americana http://shepherdexpress.com/article-16621-the-raykings-in-the-moment-americana.html When it comes to rustic Americana and folk traditions, authenticity and genuine honesty reign supreme. Consisting of longtime friends Casey Stang and Kyle Krueger, the Milwaukee duo The Raykings have used that to their advantage, living in and making the most of each moment. During one of their first gigs opening at Shank Hall early last year, they took the stage as virtual unknowns. But as they showed off their harmony-soaked Americana/folk boosted by melodies from mandolin and guitar, it didn't take long for the crowd...]]> 'Gran Torino' Rapper Elvis Thao Gives Singing a Shot http://shepherdexpress.com/article-16538-gran-torino-rapper-elvis-thao-gives-singing-a-shot.html “I bet this is the first time you've ever talked with an Elvis,” Elvis Thao says shortly before we hang up, and he's right. Even if I had ever met Costello, that's not what his parents called him, and there hasn't been anyone else. So, there's my answer...]]> Secret Society of Starfish Keeps Local Prog-Rock Alive http://shepherdexpress.com/article-16470-secret-society-of-starfish-keeps-local-prog-rock-alive.html To call Secret Society of Starfish Milwaukee's own progressive-rock supergroup would be a stretch. But when three of its five members hail from two groups with international recording contracts and loyal fan bases, referring to these guys as just another...]]> Jason Seed's Sonic Journey http://shepherdexpress.com/article-16374-jason-seeds-sonic-journey.html Jason Seed has never sat still for long. His childhood included many towns and schools. His adulthood is following suit, as he has been pulled between the Midwest and the Pacific Northwest, between...]]> Canyons of Static Settle Down http://shepherdexpress.com/article-16318-canyons-of-static-settle-down.html “It's been an intense year for us thus far,” remarks Ross Severson of Canyons of Static. “We recorded our new album in late winter and have been...]]> Milwaukee's Intimate Yellow Phone Music Conference http://shepherdexpress.com/article-16231-milwaukees-intimate-yellow-phone-music-conference.html As Austin's South by Southwest and New York's CMJ Music Marathon music conferences ballooned into massive, citywide concerts...]]> A Farewell to Voot Warnings http://shepherdexpress.com/article-16175-a-farewell-to-voot-warnings.html “When I started, I could barely play,” Voot Warnings recalls, “so I based my act more on theatrics and shock value. I would come out with a toy rifle, aim it at the audience and tell them, a la Western movies, that when I say, 'Dance,' they best dance...]]> Tiny Strings, Big Love - Lil Rev's Ukulele Fest http://shepherdexpress.com/article-16079-tiny-strings-big-love-lil-revs-ukulele-fest.html The Celebrated Workingman's Softened Intensity http://shepherdexpress.com/article-16019-the-celebrated-workingmans-softened-intensity.html Recorded in a four-day blitz, The Celebrated Workingman's 2008 debut album, Herald the Dickens, captured the bombast and euphoria...]]> Remembering Tom DuBuque http://shepherdexpress.com/article-16008-remembering-tom-dubuque.html Tom DuBuque was always in motion as house manager of the Pabst Theater. Throughout his 41 years at the theater, he preferred to be offstage, assisting patrons, solving problems or happy to just greet an interested tourist poking a head in to see...]]> Pacino's 'Incomparable' Rap http://shepherdexpress.com/article-15957-pacinos-incomparable-rap.html By rap standards, Pacino carries himself with relative modesty. He's not an aggressive self-promoter, he doesn't talk about rap like it's some kind of competition, and he's the rare local rapper who doesn't speak in grand...]]> Canopies' Bridge-Building Pop http://shepherdexpress.com/article-15839-canopies-bridge-building-pop.html Current musicians are pretty much bridge-builders, experts who hop genres and blur multiple styles and eras. The enigmatic and energetic pop of Milwaukee's Canopies is a prime example. Sounds from '80s synth sit beside today's psych-pop revivals, while mid-'90s dream-pop accents take wing...]]> Resist Her Transistor: Rockin' Tough Ladies http://shepherdexpress.com/article-15783-resist-her-transistor-rockin-tough-ladies.html Before they formed Resist Her Transistor, Mandy Montanye and Stephanie Schreiber decided to step away from the band they had formed with two other women, The Riveters, to pursue a new interest: roller derby. Montanye had signed on with the Brew City Bruisers league on the...]]> Catacombz's Open-Minded Psych-Rock http://shepherdexpress.com/article-15695-catacombzs-open-minded-psych-rock.html Call it coy or call it a dead cause. Committing music to cassette could be both of those things. But it also...]]> Nineteen Thirteen Meets 2011 http://shepherdexpress.com/article-15577-nineteen-thirteen-meets-2011.html The group has gotten a favorable reception at a wide range of venues, ranging from a punk-rock club in Chicago (where they were billed as “heavy cello rock from Milwaukee”) to the Jazz Estate, where they perform frequently...]]> Death Dream's Premature End http://shepherdexpress.com/article-15510-death-dreams-premature-end.html There is much fanfare surrounding the final show of Milwaukee-based noise-rock act Death Dream, which is a bit strange considering that the band, despite being together for two years, has yet to put out a record of any kind. In fact, the only aural...]]> The Unforgettable Terry Tanger http://shepherdexpress.com/article-15480-the-unforgettable-terry-tanger.html Space Collector Saves the Future http://shepherdexpress.com/article-15438-space-collector-saves-the-future.html Imagine a dystopian future...]]> Into Arcadia's Rebirth http://shepherdexpress.com/article-15373-into-arcadias-rebirth.html Into Arcadia has truly caught the spirit of renewal that comes with this time of year...]]> Summerfest's Secret Refugee Stage http://shepherdexpress.com/article-15290-summerfests-secret-refugee-stage.html Along with the 12 billed stages at Summerfest there's a much smaller stage that you won't find listed on any official festival programming. Nestled on the festival's lake walk behind the Venice Club, The Refugee Stage has been quietly booking independent musicians for years, working with no official sponsorship...]]> Stock Options' Spontaneous Instrumentals http://shepherdexpress.com/article-15223-stock-options-spontaneous-instrumentals.html Stock Options have been working fast. Within weeks of tracking their self-titled first album last month, the Milwaukee instrumental post-rock trio had mixed the record, posted it to their Bandcamp site and finalized the art for a CD pressing, which should be finished in time for the band's July 5 performance...]]> Flojo's Bathrobe Rock http://shepherdexpress.com/article-15123-flojos-bathrobe-rock.html Kurt Spielmann and Mike Tietjen are former members of The Maze, and it was at a practice for that band in 2009 that a seed formed for what would eventually be their new band, Flojo. The two were trying to bang out a rendition of Neil Young's...]]> The Psycho Bunnies Are Back! http://shepherdexpress.com/article-15050-the-psycho-bunnies-are-back_.html In the 1970s a woman fronting a rock band was still unusual enough to turn heads. In Milwaukee, Stoney Rivera cut an especially striking figure with her Asian- and African-American features and a stance as implacable as a warship under full steam. Her singing career began as a high-school student at house...]]> Stratospheric Art Rock http://shepherdexpress.com/article-14989-stratospheric-art-rock.html Statobahn is a Milwaukee band that has taken years to gel. They first performed in 2005 “at a party on somebody's driveway,” as keyboardist Dave Hucke recalls, without the benefit of a name. The Germanic neologism finally came about in part through a typographical error. Meanwhile members came and went...]]> Milwaukee Rappers Bury the Hatchet http://shepherdexpress.com/article-14927-milwaukee-rappers-bury-the-hatchet.html Competition has been one of hip-hop's dominant lyrical themes since the genre's earliest days, and from the Juice Crew/Boogie Down Bridge Wars of the '80s to the Nas and Jay-Z quarrel last decade, rivalries have inspired some of rap's greatest creative triumphs. When those beefs spill over into the real world...]]> Northless: Finding Catharsis Through Metal http://shepherdexpress.com/article-14867-northless-finding-catharsis-through-metal.html Clandestine Abuse, the latest album by local metal heavyweights Northless, has picked up a tremendous amount of national attention since its release in March. Such hip media outlets as BrooklynVegan and Decibel...]]> Favorite Shape Triangle's Pop With an Edge http://shepherdexpress.com/article-14790-favorite-shape-triangles-pop-with-an-edge.html What started as a dynamic solo project for songwriter Aaron Ruffcorn has morphed into Favorite Shape Triangle, a quirky, polished four-man band gaining steam in Milwaukee's Bay View and East Side music scenes. Favorite Shape Triangle (FST) plays pop with an edge...]]> With Reason, Rapper Dana Coppafeel Modernizes His Sound http://shepherdexpress.com/article-14708-with-reason-rapper-dana-coppafeel-modernizes-his-sound.html Thirty is the age at which rappers traditionally begin to feel disconnected from hip-hop, often either because of the call of adult responsibilities or out of...]]> Milwaukee’s Hot Club - The swinging sounds of strings http://shepherdexpress.com/article-14635-milwaukee%25E2%2580%2599s-hot-club-the-swinging-sounds-of-strings.html The Glenn Asch & Chris Hanson Swingtet with Rae Cassidy is an unwieldy handle for a band performing in the gracious yet lively style of an earlier epoch. The Swingtet conjures up the music of the Hot Club de France, the delightfully swinging 1930s band...]]> R.I.P. Willie 'Duchie' Rodgers - The singer and guitarist was a staple of the Milwaukee soul scene http://shepherdexpress.com/article-14580-rip-willie-duchie-rodgers-the-singer-and-guitarist-was-a-staple-of-the-milwaukee-soul-scene.html Milwaukee's Willie "Duchie" Rodgers estimated that "maybe over 1,000" musicians had gone through his band, Black Earth Plus, since its early-'70s inception. Rodgers revealed that tidbit in a spring 2009 interview with producer Chris...]]> Crappy Dracula Releases a 'Fantastic' Concept Album - Read into those quote marks however you will http://shepherdexpress.com/article-14480-crappy-dracula-releases-a-fantastic-concept-album-read-into-those-te-marks-however-you-will.html The trouble with trying to talk to Crappy Dracula is that the information they present is almost never on the level. They prefer a swirling, surreal comedy routine with the interviewer set up as the straight man...]]> Copper Box's Polka Fusion http://shepherdexpress.com/article-14389-copper-boxs-polka-fusion.html Michelle Jerabek lacks neither excitement nor pride when describing Copper Box, the band she shares with her husband and a couple of other dudes. "Like a Texas tornado that swept through New Orleans...]]> Panda Teeth Says Farewell to Milwaukee, For Now http://shepherdexpress.com/article-14329-panda-teeth-says-farewell-to-milwaukee-for-now.html For Ronnie Lee, starting the solo experimental project Panda Teeth was a matter of practicality. Lee had left behind his old band when he moved from Duluth, Minn...]]> King's Horses' Reformed Noise-Rock http://shepherdexpress.com/article-14243-kings-horses-reformed-noise-rock.html The Milwaukee trio King's Horses formed from the ashes of—by their own account—a much worse band. Singer-guitarist Matt Slater, bassist Jack Packard and drummer Kyle Martin had been playing together in a self-described...]]> SPEAK Easy Pushes for Authenticity http://shepherdexpress.com/article-14171-speak-easy-pushes-for-authenticity.html As a kid, Milwaukee rapper SPEAK Easy inherited a love of hip-hop from his older brother, listening to any rap album that his brother brought home. It wasn't until he discovered Eazy-E, though, that he considered rapping himself...]]> De La Buena's More Danceable Brand of Latin Jazz http://shepherdexpress.com/article-14110-de-la-buenas-more-danceable-brand-of-latin-jazz.html Spanish for "the turtle," the title of De La Buena's new album, La Tortuga, gives a sense of the pace at which it was created. Arriving six years after De La Buena's 2005 debut album, En Vivo Y Directo, it's practically the work of a different band. Back in 2005, De La Buena was a group of Latin jazz...]]> IfIHadAHiFi Rocks Against Scott Walker http://shepherdexpress.com/article-14012-ifihadahifi-rocks-against-scott-walker.html "We're rolling. Whenever you're ready," says sound engineer Nicholas Elert, sitting at the control panels at Howl Street Recordings, a recording studio in Bay View. The timing counter on the studio's computer screen begins to quickly tick away, and a wide lineup of green bars measuring sound starts to jump up...]]> Codebreaker’s Short-Attention-Span House Music http://shepherdexpress.com/article-13963-codebreakerrss-short-attention-span-house-music.html Since their 2003 debut, Codebreaker has juggled the conventions of both live and electronic music, playing four-on-the-floor electro-funk at rock shows and dance clubs alike. Released last week, the Milwaukee duo’s latest album, The Space Chase, is their most electronic-minded to date, an homage to the futurist sounds...]]> Radiograffiti, a Label for Challenging Electronic Music http://shepherdexpress.com/article-13890-radiograffiti-a-label-for-challenging-electronic-music.html Though some subcultures are easy to grow old with, by all accounts the ’90s rave scene wasn’t one of them. The party lifestyle eventually took a toll on even its biggest enthusiasts, and the scene waned as crowds and promoters alike aged out of it. “I think people grew up and realized it wasn’t worth the hassle of going to these raves and possibly...]]> From Milwaukee to Vegas and Back Again - Richard Eliot's long journey http://shepherdexpress.com/article-13816-from-milwaukee-to-vegas-and-back-again-richard-eliots-long-journey.html In a career spanning more than half a century, Milwaukee’s Richard Eliot has played guitar on recordings by Elvis Presley and Perry Como, Patti Page and Harry James. He went on tour with Sammy Davis Jr. and Shirley MacLaine. And during his long residency in Las Vegas, he played behind Frank Sinatra...]]> The Vitrolum Republic’s Worldly Folk-Pop http://shepherdexpress.com/article-13736-the-vitrolum-republicrss-worldly-folk-pop.html The Milwaukee gypsy-folk trio The Vitrolum Republic often jokes about having to learn how to cover their own songs. “We often have to teach ourselves how to play a song live after we’ve finished it in the studio, because the recordings have so many instruments layered over each other,” says bassist Chuck Lawton...]]> The Hollowz’s Tortured Hip-Hop http://shepherdexpress.com/article-13680-the-hollowzrss-tortured-hip-hop.html The Hollowz didn’t intend for the lighthearted title of their debut album, Dreams of Sex and Flying, to be so ironic. The duo had conceived the title as a lark last year while kidding around on WMSE’s “Mad Kids” program, well before they...]]> Testa Rosa’s Richly Arranged Second Album http://shepherdexpress.com/article-13606-testa-rosarss-richly-arranged-second-album.html Playing a makeshift stage on Kinnickinnic Avenue during the Bay View Bash several years ago, an expanded lineup of Testa Rosa had listeners wondering how a band could sound so good live. With the recent release of their second album, II, it is apparent that Testa Rosa has not suffered the dreaded sophomore slump. Sonically...]]> Mighty Jam Band Thing http://shepherdexpress.com/article-13591-mighty-jam-band-thing.html The Mighty 9ft. Thing began during a dull moment at freshman choir—at least that’s where the band’s name originated. “I drew a tree with a mustache,” says drummer Kyle Kashian. “I called it the Mighty 9ft. Thing.” The picture left an impression. Two years later when the Brookfield East student formed a band...]]> Drivin’ n’ Cryin’ and ‘The Great American Bubble Factory’ http://shepherdexpress.com/article-13540-drivinrs-nrs-cryinrs-and-lsthe-great-american-bubble-factoryrs.html Kevn Kinney can’t remember exactly when his band Drivin’ n’ Cryin’ last played his hometown of Milwaukee, but it was quite a while ago. It was probably ’96 or ’97, he says, possibly ’98, though that seems too recent. The Atlanta rock band cut down drastically on shows a decade ago, as Kinney focused on making solo folk records...]]> Armada Rallies Against the Suburbs http://shepherdexpress.com/article-13429-armada-rallies-against-the-suburbs.html AUTOMatic Pushes Hip-Hop in Unlikely Directions http://shepherdexpress.com/article-13347-automatic-pushes-hip-hop-in-unlikely-directions.html As A.P.R.I.M.E. and Trellmatic of the Milwaukee-based experimental hip-hop duo AUTOMatic performed at the 37th Annual Zulu Nation Anniversary in New York City, A.P.R.I.M.E. noticed that one of hip-hop’s luminaries was listening to their music. It was Afrika Bambaataa. “Just to be around all that history, and just to have him give us the...]]> Eva Grubb Recaptures the Sound of 1966 http://shepherdexpress.com/article-13250-eva-grubb-recaptures-the-sound-of-1966.html The music and imagery of Eva Grubb has its roots in the mid-’60s, with the year 1966 being particularly influential. The band covers that year’s ? and the Mysterians hit single “I Need Somebody,” a song driven by chugging keyboards. Eva Grubb also performs covers of songs from 1966 by The Easybeats...]]> No Future Plays Hardcore for the Fun of It http://shepherdexpress.com/article-13194-no-future-plays-hardcore-for-the-fun-of-it.html It would be easy for Milwaukee-based hardcore band No Future to play the scenester card and have everything happen for them rather quickly. After all, the five band members—Andy Silverman, Brad Clifford, Kenny Siebert, Eric Alonso and Ryan Smith—have been in such noted acts as Since By Man, Decibully, Seven Days of Samsara, Poison the Well and Red Knife Lottery. Yet band members cringe...]]> Malicious Is Done With Milwaukee, Mostly http://shepherdexpress.com/article-13023-malicious-is-done-with-milwaukee-mostly.html Rapper T.R.E. of the Milwaukee group Malicious stresses that people can interpret the cover image of his group’s new album For Whatever It’s Worth however they’d like, though when pressed if there’s any way to interpret it aside from the obvious...]]> Zebras Combines Noise and Punk, Milwaukee and Madison Musicians http://shepherdexpress.com/article-12954-zebras-combines-noise-and-punk-milwaukee-and-madison-musicians.html Vincent Presley and Lacey Smith, founding members of Madison’s “weird noisy punk band” Zebras, looked outside the city following the departure of their original drummer and bassist, recruiting members of the Milwaukee band IfIHadAHiFi. Presley and Smith had formerly played in a band called the Window Smashers, and afterward formed Zebras with Presley on guitar, Smith on synthesizer and both sharing vocals. Zebras is sometimes...]]> I’m Not a Pilot: Guitar-Free and Efficient http://shepherdexpress.com/article-12888-irsm-not-a-pilot-guitar-free-and-efficient.html It’s not the most orthodox solution, but time-strapped bands having difficulty keeping their practice sessions on track could consider adding a cello player. It’s certainly worked for I’m Not a Pilot, the Milwaukee pop-rock quartet that features Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra cellist Peter Thomas. “The four of us have full-time...]]> Trance & Dance’s Multi-Generational Folk Rock http://shepherdexpress.com/article-12794-trance-dancerss-multi-generational-folk-rock.html When Jerry Fortier, then an American expatriate in Amsterdam, formed the Trance & Dance Band in 1973, he never imagined the group would become one of Milwaukee’s longest-running rock bands. The Wisconsin native was mixing psychedelic light shows for Pink Floyd...]]> Prestige Atlantic Impulse’s Instinctive Improv http://shepherdexpress.com/article-12744-prestige-atlantic-impulserss-instinctive-improv.html The glass, white marble floor and curved white steel of the Milwaukee Art Museum’s Windhover Hall provide a stark backdrop for a concert film—especially one in black and white. Overcoming the cavernous hall’s acoustical challenges, Prestige Atlantic Impulse performed one...]]> Girls to the Front Fest Celebrates Riot Grrrl Music http://shepherdexpress.com/article-12654-girls-to-the-front-fest-celebrates-riot-grrrl-music.html This weekend’s Girls to the Front Festival plans on “kicking the gender binary in its sexist ass with music, activism, workshops, discussions, films, readings, poetry, community, awesomeness and love,” according to the event’s organizers. The idea to host the fest stemmed from a scheduled appearance by an author of a book of the same name. Girls to the Front...]]> For The New Loud, a New Approach http://shepherdexpress.com/article-12489-for-the-new-loud-a-new-approach.html Shane Olivo, Jessi Nakles and Tim Frank of Milwaukee’s plucky keyboard-driven rock band The New Loud seem pretty comfortable in their slow shift from indie rock pros to a synth-layered, computer-geek pop machine. The now-trio has ditched the bass and amps they used for nearly a decade in favor of high-octane computer techniques...]]> Enemy Star’s Dark Metal Pop http://shepherdexpress.com/article-12418-enemy-starrss-dark-metal-pop.html The artful fury of Kassy Gruszkowski’s voice, swooping and soaring like a Valkyrie chorus, is not the blunt instrument of a heavy metal screamer. In addition to performing in bands, Gruszkowski earned a music degree from UW-Parkside and sang in the MSO Chorus...]]> Mandolin Orchestra Going Strong at 110 http://shepherdexpress.com/article-12355-mandolin-orchestra-going-strong-at-110.html “We’re 110 years old, but there are no original members,” says Linda Binder, music director of the Milwaukee Mandolin Orchestra, making light of a long history. Incorporated in 1900 as a nonprofit organization, the Orchestra is the oldest band in town, adding new members as old ones have departed over the generations. For some musicians, the Mandolin Orchestra is a father-son, father-daughter...]]> Jack Grassel’s Songs - Milwaukee guitarist looks back on 40 years http://shepherdexpress.com/article-12281-jack-grasselrss-songs-milwaukee-guitarist-looks-back-on-40-years.html Paramount Blues Festival Celebrates Grafton’s Legacy http://shepherdexpress.com/article-12210-paramount-blues-festival-celebrates-graftonrss-legacy.html Grafton's status as a hub for one of America's greatest musical exports remains rooted in history. It's that connection to the past, nurtured by people who care about maintaining that legacy, which fuels the Paramount Blues Festival, held this Friday and Saturday, Sept. 17-18, at Lime Kiln Park...]]> The Long Path to John Stano’s ‘Caribou Bar & Grill’ http://shepherdexpress.com/article-12138-the-long-path-to-john-stanorss-lscaribou-bar-grillrs.html Milwaukee Births Several New Record Labels http://shepherdexpress.com/article-12068-milwaukee-births-several-new-record-labels.html As business plans go, starting a record label is a pretty awful one. Music sales are down, record stores are dying off and bands have learned how to release their albums without a label’s assistance, so there’s...]]> Steampunks Gear Up for Milwaukee Ball http://shepherdexpress.com/article-11985-steampunks-gear-up-for-milwaukee-ball.html Steampunk is a thriving subculture that embraces something old and something new, combining Victorian-era fashion with science-fiction elements—it’s a response to “cyberpunk,” a parallel but opposite cousin that celebrates futuristic technology. The visual style of steampunk embraces locomotive engines, gears, top hats, corsets and aviator goggles, and fashion elements of the Wild West can be added to create a “historical sci-fi” look, according to...]]> Rappers KingHellBastard Get Recognized - (Though Not Always Paid) http://shepherdexpress.com/article-11921-rappers-kinghellbastard-get-recognized-%2528though-not-always-paid%2529.html Much like the actual act of rapping, the business of rap music is trickier than it sometimes appears to outsiders. That’s in part why the attrition rate for rappers is even higher than that of musicians as a whole. Overzealous entrepreneurs begin rapping with unrealistic visions of easy money, but once they realize that big breaks are...]]> The Scarring Party’s Macabre Nods to Yesteryear http://shepherdexpress.com/article-11834-the-scarring-partyrss-macabre-nods-to-yesteryear.html With their old-fashioned aesthetic, based on a quick glance at their MySpace page or a press photo, it’s perilously easy to misread Milwaukee’s doom-and-gloom purveyors The Scarring Party as traditional early folk revivalists...]]> Milwaukee’s Burning Sons Revive a Legendary Punk Label http://shepherdexpress.com/article-11768-milwaukeerss-burning-sons-revive-a-legendary-punk-label.html Though 80-something owner Doug Moody considers the release of the Burning Sons’ debut 7-inch a “one-off, fun” project, being on Moody’s famed California label Mystic resonates strongly for the new Milwaukee hardcore punk band, which was inspired by the label’s early singles. “We’re going to be on the same label as some of the bands that influenced us—Battalion of Saints… All these...]]> Unlooped Music Series Hosts Cross-Genre Collaborations http://shepherdexpress.com/article-11704-unlooped-music-series-hosts-cross-genre-collaborations.html The new monthly music series Unlooped was born of a feverish conversation between two Milwaukee electronic music enthusiasts, Radio Milwaukee’s Tarik Moody and John Goelzer (aka BTS.WRKNG), a DJ for WMSE and half of the electronic duo Signaldrift. The two shared their thoughts about the local electronic scene, agreeing that its talent is often isolated from one another...]]> Fahri: Indie-Rock Born of Love and Fire http://shepherdexpress.com/article-11634-fahri-indie-rock-born-of-love-and-fire.html Fahri’s back story contains all the indie-rock romance and adventure you could possibly want. Guitarist Sarah Long and guitarist and bass player Miles Murray were both working at different franchises of the Music Recyclery...]]> Another Helping of Goodnight Loving - Also: WMSE's Radio Summer Camp returns http://shepherdexpress.com/article-11554-another-helping-of-goodnight-loving-also-wmses-radio-summer-camp-returns.html Milwaukee’s Goodnight Loving christened their new record, The Goodnight Loving Supper Club, with a title that they’ll probably have to explain quite a bit on the road. Supper clubs, for those who don’t dine out much in northern Wisconsin, are the rural Midwest’s vision of fine dining, plying diners with heaping portions of American comfort foods at tables with...]]> Sulek’s Animated Lucky Break http://shepherdexpress.com/article-11484-sulekrss-animated-lucky-break.html Five years ago, the notion of striking out into the music industry as a full-time group had never crossed the minds of singer Patrick Hoctor and the other members of Milwaukee band Sulek. They were too busy having fun tossing song ideas to each other in bedrooms and garages and playing the random show...]]> Raze’s Hip-Hop for the Broke and Proud http://shepherdexpress.com/article-11425-razerss-hip-hop-for-the-broke-and-proud.html Milwaukee is filled with rappers who brag about lavish lifestyles, exotic vacations and expensive rides. Raze isn’t one of them. On the local rapper-producer’s second album, Living in Technocolor, Raze wears his empty pockets as a badge of honor, making a stand for the average rappers who live paycheck to paycheck, taking the...]]> Dusty Medical and The Get Drunk Celebrate Five Years http://shepherdexpress.com/article-11334-dusty-medical-and-the-get-drunk-celebrate-five-years.html As the founder of Milwaukee’s Dusty Medical Records, Kevin Meyer has some advice for anybody thinking about starting their own label: Go for it, just don’t expect to make much money. “It’s pretty easy to do,” he says. “Once you get it rolling, the label sort of runs itself. The finances can be restrictive, though. For us, we pretty much put out one record, then sell enough copies of it to pay for the next one...]]> The Sensationalists’ Expectations-Free Pop-Rock http://shepherdexpress.com/article-11271-the-sensationalistsrs-expectations-free-pop-rock.html When you really think about it, most of your favorite bands can probably be traced back to the members’ middle- or high-school days. There, in some finished basement or cul-de-sac garage, the pimpled rockers of tomorrow struggled through basic chords, belted off-key lyrics about...]]> Peter Roller’s Debut Record, Decades in the Making http://shepherdexpress.com/article-11196-peter-rollerrss-debut-record-decades-in-the-making.html For decades guitarist Peter Roller has been a prolific side-player in the Milwaukee music scene, assisting the earliest incarnation of Paul Cebar and the Milwaukeeans, performing with blues artist Steve Cohen, mandolinist Yank Rachell and the bluegrass band Salt Creek, and accompanying singer Robin Pluer in all...]]> Quest for Fire’s Scorching Hardcore http://shepherdexpress.com/article-11177-quest-for-firerss-scorching-hardcore.html Bluegrass Season - Where to find ‘mountain music' this summer http://shepherdexpress.com/article-11098-bluegrass-season-where-to-find-lsmountain-music-this-summer.html When the bluegrass sound hit in the mid-1940s, its popularity soon spread beyond the South. But the genre is still viewed as more of a seasonal enjoyment in the North...]]> For the BoDeans, a Melancholy Album and an Uncertain Future http://shepherdexpress.com/article-11011-for-the-bodeans-a-melancholy-album-and-an-uncertain-future.html When Kurt Neumann was 15, he had two cassette decks with which he “bounced tracks” back and forth, experimenting with musical effects. He played drums and guitar and had written a few songs by the time he paired up with high school friend Sam Llanas in 1983 to form the BoDeans. Today, Neumann lives in Austin and has a recording studio in a building on his Texas property. He still plays drums and guitar and writes songs with...]]> Freaks Come Out Fest - Three days of under-the-radar music http://shepherdexpress.com/article-10962-freaks-come-out-fest-three-days-of-under-the-radar-music.html Lately, the folks who book shows at the Pabst Theater, the Riverside, and the Turner Hall Ballroom have been getting some much-deserved praise for the job they are doing in getting quality...]]> Party by the Slice: Simple Punk Songs, About Pizza http://shepherdexpress.com/article-10890-party-by-the-slice-simple-punk-songs-about-pizza.html On paper, the concept of Party by the Slice doesn’t seem like it would work: Milwaukee hardcore punk scene veterans get together to extol the virtues of pizza...]]> Jazz on Camera: Jerry Grillo’s Historical Journey http://shepherdexpress.com/article-10811-jazz-on-camera-jerry-grillorss-historical-journey.html Jerry Grillo was a little taken aback. When a fan he had never met before, Lisa Chiappetta, showed him the video she made on her cell phone camera of one of his performances, Grillo thought, “I don’t like the YouTube quality.” But the encounter sparked a series of conversations, a train of thought that led to the Milwaukee jazz singer’s latest project...]]> Geoff Worman: A Eulogy for Stinky http://shepherdexpress.com/article-10805-geoff-worman-a-eulogy-for-stinky.html Architects of the Aftermath: Serious Thrash Metal, Without Dignity http://shepherdexpress.com/article-10698-architects-of-the-aftermath-serious-thrash-metal-without-dignity.html The members of thrash metal band Architects of the Aftermath don’t just claim to be true Milwaukee thrash: They back it up in person. During one of their first shows, singer Justin Tilley began a furious case of headbanging and demonically rolling his eyes to the back of his head. When the frontman felt a strand of snot start coming from his nose, he had two options: Be civil and wipe it away, or continue...]]> Two Nights of Canyons of Static http://shepherdexpress.com/article-10648-two-nights-of-canyons-of-static.html Those XCleavers - 30 years and counting for Milwaukee band http://shepherdexpress.com/article-10523-those-xcleavers-30-years-and-counting-for-milwaukee-band.html The members of Those XCleavers created a Milwaukee band that almost reached stardom and never entirely faded away. Formed in...]]> Harmonica Fest - Lil' Rev Throws a Party http://shepherdexpress.com/article-10476-harmonica-fest-lil-rev-throws-a-party.html ‘Positive Vibrations’ Night Goes Back to Reggae’s Roots http://shepherdexpress.com/article-10416-lspositive-vibrationsrs-night-goes-back-to-reggaerss-roots.html Local Country Music, of the Commercial Variety - ‘Home Made Jams' spotlights regional talent http://shepherdexpress.com/article-10329-local-country-music-of-the-commercial-variety-lshome-made-jams-spotlights-regional-talent.html Milwaukee has long hosted concerts by major touring acts on the commercial side of country music, but is the city too urban to nurture its own talent in what...]]> Get Rad Celebrates Five Years of Growth http://shepherdexpress.com/article-10260-get-rad-celebrates-five-years-of-growth.html Like many in Milwaukee, I’ve often overlooked just how good local hardcore punk favorites Get Rad really are. I’ve never dismissed them as a joke band, though it’s clear that all band members have well...]]> Cackle’s New-School Paganism http://shepherdexpress.com/article-10183-cacklerss-new-school-paganism.html Pagans have long had a public relations problem. Where centuries ago they were persecuted as heathens, if not Satanists, today they’re ridiculed as angry outsiders dressed in...]]> Jack and Jill Live - Great Music at Carleton Grange http://shepherdexpress.com/article-10172-jack-and-jill-live-great-music-at-carleton-grange.html Jack Grassel was once the busiest man in Milwaukee music, playing more gigs most years than the calendar has days. For the past three years, the jazz guitarist and his wife, singer Jill Jensen, have focused...]]> Dana Coppafeel, Team Player http://shepherdexpress.com/article-10119-dana-coppafeel-team-player.html Dana Coppafeel estimates that he’s spent 15 years, about half his life, in the Milwaukee rap scene. He’s been one of the city’s most ubiquitous rappers for so long it’s a bit surprising that until this month he had never released a solo album, but he says he never saw the need for one. “To be honest, I’m a team player,” Coppafeel says. “I’ve always felt more comfortable working within groups. That’s the dynamic I feel stronger in.”]]> White Problems Pick Up Where Predecessors Left Off http://shepherdexpress.com/article-10035-white-problems-pick-up-where-predecessors-left-off.html The average life span of a band in Milwaukee is remarkably short. It seems as if the most promising groups the city has produced during the last few years have broken up right as they appeared poised for bigger and better things. Yet one can take some consolation in the fact that the players from these fractured groups often come together to form new bands...]]> Mike Benign’s Second Coming http://shepherdexpress.com/article-9963-mike-benignrss-second-coming.html Hummingbird Records’ Songs of Praise - For decades, the Milwaukee label enjoyed the soul-gospel boom http://shepherdexpress.com/article-9870-hummingbird-recordsrs-songs-of-praise-for-decades-the-milwaukee-label-enjoyed-the-soul-gospel-boom.html There was a time when African-American men in matching suits and women in diaphanous dresses singing praises to the Lord in impassioned harmony...]]> Milwaukee’s .357 String Band Travels Beyond Regions http://shepherdexpress.com/article-9795-milwaukeerss-357-string-band-travels-beyond-regions.html “Lightning From the North is, in a nutshell, a response to people asking us what a bunch of Yankees are doing playing bluegrass,” Derek Dunn, guitarist of Milwaukee’s self-dubbed “streetgrass” quartet, the .357 String Band, explains of their newest release. “To me, Americana, country, bluegrass music...]]> Trapper Schoepp: Lived and Moved, Ready for More http://shepherdexpress.com/article-9734-trapper-schoepp-lived-and-moved-ready-for-more.html “Milwaukee is a great city, with all these great clubs,” says Trapper Schoepp, “but unfortunately it’s really hard to play out a lot when the frontman of your band can’t even buy a drink at a bar.” It’s a sentiment shared by many underage musicians in the city, but Schoepp seems to feel it particularly deeply. As you’d expect from a songwriter whose latest album...]]> Chris DeMay and His Ephemeral Backing Band http://shepherdexpress.com/article-9645-chris-demay-and-his-ephemeral-backing-band.html Since his alt-country band West of Rome slowed down toward the end of the decade, Milwaukee singer-songwriter Chris DeMay has reinvented himself as an eager free agent, recording a 2007 solo album, I Won’t Be Me, playing shows with songstress Michelle Anthony, joining the Americana ensemble Juniper Tar, co-founding the annual Neil Young...]]> Rapper Ray Nitti Flirts With National Breakthrough http://shepherdexpress.com/article-9582-rapper-ray-nitti-flirts-with-national-breakthrough.html Milwaukee rapper Ray Nitti didn’t get much of a heads up from V100 when DJs from the radio station called to tell him they were going to premiere his single “Bow” on their local segment “Heat From the Streets.” “They told me I had five minutes before it was going to be broadcast,” Nitti recalls. “I wanted to call everyone I knew and tell them my song was going to be on the radio...]]> The Maze Gets Lost in the Depths of Folk http://shepherdexpress.com/article-9472-the-maze-gets-lost-in-the-depths-of-folk.html When it comes to mining the depths of folk music, the members of Milwaukee’s alt-folk band The Maze would like to think of themselves as explorers trudging through the dense musical jungles with no predetermined route. With a try-anything mentality where electric guitars are often traded for ukuleles, The Maze has quietly (and occasionally loudly) found a following in the city and around the Midwest...]]> Beach Patrol’s Time-Tested Rock ’n’ Roll http://shepherdexpress.com/article-9376-beach-patrolrss-time-tested-rock-rsnrs-roll.html In a time when experimentation is often the hip thing to do, Green Bay’s rock ’n’ roll troubadours Beach Patrol stick to the tried-and-true basics. With a variety of past and present influences such as The Beatles, The Replacements, Tom Petty and Elvis Costello, the band sets out in studio or on stage to channel core rock ’n’ roll ideals and mix them with expertise...]]> The Lovelies’ Second Encore http://shepherdexpress.com/article-9306-the-loveliesrs-second-encore.html One of the best things about The Lovelies’ reunion performance in February at an Atomic Records tribute concert was “looking and watching people sing along to songs that haven’t been played in almost 10 years,” recalls the band’s longtime drummer, Damian Strigens. A local alt-rock band that mirrored The Breeders...]]> Decibully’s Long Road to ‘World Travels Fast’ http://shepherdexpress.com/article-9221-decibullyrss-long-road-to-lsworld-travels-fastrs.html Decibully’s long-delayed World Travels Fast arrives four years after the band’s last album, and singer William Seidel says its songs reflect that passage of time. “We definitely needed to slow down, take some time away from the band and focus on our personal lives,” Seidel explains. “We’re all getting older. We’ve been doing this for so long, and there’s only so many days you can sleep...]]> Monday Nights with Ballini, Ogburn and Baumann http://shepherdexpress.com/article-9132-monday-nights-with-ballini-ogburn-and-baumann.html The Jazz Estate’s Monday night residency is billed as Ballini, Ogburn and Baumann, but internally those three players prefer to call the event by a less formal name. “We call it ‘Honest Mondays,’” says singer-songwriter Marc Ballini, who shares the stage with mandolinist Ryan Ogburn and guitarist Craig Baumann. “We just play...]]> Leroy Airmaster Returns http://shepherdexpress.com/article-9044-leroy-airmaster-returns.html As if the creativity and innovation of ’60s rock wasn’t exciting enough back in the day, some fans of The Rolling Stones and Cream began to suspect a hidden world behind that music, a deep substratum of influences called the blues. High-school students in the late ’60s, Steve Cohen (harmonica), Bill Stone (guitar) and Dave Kasik...]]> Remembering Brian Barney http://shepherdexpress.com/article-8957-remembering-brian-barney.html Brian Barney was the only music writer I’ve worked with that bands requested by name. “Can Brian Barney write an article about us?” countless bands asked me over the years, and it’s easy to see why they wanted Brian to cover them. He wrote about other people’s music with the same enthusiasm and passion he had for his own music...]]> Arkady Introduce Themselves Via ‘Rock Band’ http://shepherdexpress.com/article-8901-arkady-introduce-themselves-via-lsrock-bandrs.html Bands generally don’t get their first real taste of success until years and years of playing together, performing shows and releasing at least an album or two. But Milwaukee rockers Arkady, who have yet to release so much as an EP or play a show under their current moniker—their first will be at Mad Planet on Nov. 19—are already on their way to getting a big taste of success...]]> Dear Astronaut: Space-Swamp House Band for the Planet of Misfit Toys http://shepherdexpress.com/article-8665-dear-astronaut-space-swamp-house-band-for-the-planet-of-misfit-toys.html Jeb Ebben swung his guitar and stomped on the row of effects pedals in front of him, the glow-in-the dark shoelaces of his Chuck Taylors radiating in the dimly lit stage area of the Borg Ward Collective. He spun and spasmed in the walls of fuzzy, distorted sound. He wailed and howled. Nathan Riddle was beside him...]]> The Flips’ Old-Fashioned Girl-Group Pop http://shepherdexpress.com/article-8574-the-flipsrs-old-fashioned-girl-group-pop.html Feraim Albano, drummer for The Flips, a band of Milwaukee women rock ’n’ rollers, describes her band as a mix of Shangri-Las styled pop, ’60s girl groups and Phil Spector’s wall of sound. Albano recently took a break from her day job at the Hi Fi Café to talk more about the sound of The Flips. She was joined by Wendy Norton, The Flips’ guitarist. Norton, who...]]> Sticks N Stones: Newcomers Greeted by a Supportive Scene http://shepherdexpress.com/article-8512-sticks-n-stones-newcomers-greeted-by-a-supportive-scene.html “Things are a lot different now,” Paul Kalfahs says of the Milwaukee music scene. “There are a lot more ‘garage’ bands, it seems like.” Kalfahs is guitarist/vocalist of one of those “garage” bands. His trio, flippantly dubbed Sticks N Stones, is only a few months old, but they’re already booked on bills opening for national acts like The Ponys...]]> 2009 Halloween Costumed Concert Roundup http://shepherdexpress.com/article-8513-2009-halloween-costumed-concert-roundup.html Fans of The Who will have their choice of two local Who cover bands this weekend, one decidedly professional, the other decidedly not. At Shank Hall Friday night, a Who cover band called Substitute will perform...]]> JC Poppe’s Truth Movement http://shepherdexpress.com/article-8408-jc-popperss-truth-movement.html In Milwaukee’s East Side and Riverwest rap scene, where soulful beats and laid-back grooves are the norm, rapper JC Poppe is a bit more aggressive than his peers—not rap-rock aggressive, per se (though that’s a style he would like to explore, if it weren’t so stigmatized), but he raps with the pointed indignation of Brother...]]> Perple Rain’s Purple Rain http://shepherdexpress.com/article-8330-perple-rainrss-purple-rain.html It only takes a song to snap us back to the past. The emotional chord that music strums within us is the reason we connect certain tunes to significant moments in our lives. They become our anthems, our soundtracks, and when we hear them later in life, they take us on a vivid trip down memory lane. Whether or not it’s intentional...]]> Venglevski and Lips: Accordion Maestros http://shepherdexpress.com/article-8243-venglevski-and-lips-accordion-maestros.html As the Soviet Union dissolved and the Iron Curtain crumbled, many decided to leave their various homelands to seek opportunities elsewhere. Some came to Milwaukee, including a few musicians. One of them, Moldovan accordionist Stas Venglevski, probably had no idea that his new home was once the accordion capital of America...]]> Will Phalen and the Stereo Addicts’ Modern Americana http://shepherdexpress.com/article-8153-will-phalen-and-the-stereo-addictsrs-modern-americana.html Will Phalen spent years driving south from Milwaukee to Chicago to visit friends, but these days he’s making that drive in reverse. The Milwaukee native has moved to Chicago, but he makes regular trips back to his home city, where the rest of his band, the Stereo Addicts, remains...]]> Lil’ Rev’s Ukulele Club http://shepherdexpress.com/article-8088-lilrs-revrss-ukulele-club.html Lil’ Rev is one of Milwaukee’s hardest-working musicians and one of the only soloists earning a living from music. Recently, he was seen sprinting across Farwell Avenue wearing a vintage Hawaiian shirt covered in colorful ukuleles. The sartorial impression was perfect. Almost single-handed, Rev has led a local revival of the modest, child-size instrument that almost anyone can learn to play. He recently released...]]> Jack Grassel’s Mexican Holiday http://shepherdexpress.com/article-7977-jack-grasselrss-mexican-holiday.html A day or two into his honeymoon, Milwaukee jazz guitarist Jack Grassel realized he wasn’t having a good time. It wasn’t his fault. Nor could he blame the company he was keeping, his bride, singer and longtime collaborator Jill Jensen. The problem was the antiseptic surroundings. “Cancun was a bum steer,” Grassel says. And so, in search of adventure, Grassel and Jensen set out by boat for nearby Isla Mujeres...]]> Ten Years of 1956 http://shepherdexpress.com/article-7885-ten-years-of-1956.html Every band’s life span varies. Some buzz bands garner hype even before releasing their debut album, only to burn out after an underwhelming follow-up. Other, more established groups feel the strain of heavy touring, eventually breaking up for divisive creative reasons. And many outfits don’t survive more than a few...]]> Old Earth’s Songs from a Haunted House http://shepherdexpress.com/article-7837-old-earthrss-songs-from-a-haunted-house.html Todd Umhoefer was house-sitting for his parents while they were in Florida last year when he learned that his mother had died. He spent the next day in that house, trying to make sense of the news. He wasn't handling it well. "I didn't have anybody to talk to," he recalls. "For a day I was just wandering around alone...]]> Direct Hit’s Laissez-Faire Pop-Punk http://shepherdexpress.com/article-7764-direct-hitrss-laissez-faire-pop-punk.html Nick Woods is, by his own admission, lazy. "I'm a pretty lazy songwriter in general and an even lazier businessman," he says. "I record when I have the time to record. I play shows when people ask me to. With my last band, Box Social, we were so focused on getting around the country and meeting...]]> Jeannine Rivers’ Jazz Journey http://shepherdexpress.com/article-7674-jeannine-riversrs-jazz-journey.html Jeannine Rivers fondly recalls some of her earliest performances. "My mother used to do a lot of baby-sitting growing up and I used to perform for the kids in the basement, singing 'Summertime' and songs by Gladys Knight," she remembers. "When I was in third grade, I won first place in the school music competition. I sang 'Let's Stay Together' by Al Green. My teacher was like...]]> Milwaukee Rapper Panic Tells His Story http://shepherdexpress.com/article-7589-milwaukee-rapper-panic-tells-his-story.html Josh Williams, who raps under the name Panic, knew he wanted to be a rapper when he first heard the Notorious B.I.G.'s Ready to Die. That's the official version of the story, at least-Panic concedes that the actual album might have been Coolio's Gangsta's Paradise. "Laugh all you want, but you can't deny that album was hot back...]]> Sose: The Godless Rapper http://shepherdexpress.com/article-7508-sose-the-godless-rapper.html Like a taken-for-granted fifth element, every bit as important as rapping, DJing, breaking and graffiti, God has been a ubiquitous presence in hip-hop, a common thread tying together rappers of all stripes. From the Native Tongues to the Cash Money Millionaires to No Limit Soldiers to the Wu Tang Clan, most every rapper pays respects to God. He's the first person thanked in liner notes and at award shows, and rappers customarily...]]> Richard LaValliere’s Mosh-Pit Polka http://shepherdexpress.com/article-7421-richard-lavalliererss-mosh-pit-polka.html Between playing in Milwaukee's premier punk-rock band, The Haskels, and moving on to the city's exemplary post-punk band, the Oil Tasters, Richard LaValliere could have written his own ticket in this town. But by the late 1980s, when he moved to New York City, the ticket had already been punched several times over...]]> MidEast Beat’s Rhythm of the East http://shepherdexpress.com/article-7352-mideast-beatrss-rhythm-of-the-east.html The cradle of civilization and the home of many cultures, the Middle East has sometimes been a trouble spot—and sometimes not. The region's many peoples often lived side by side in harmony, sharing food, customs and music. Witness Racine's MidEast Beat. The band's repertoire is largely Armenian...]]> Buzzed: The Sugar Stems Dish Out the Pop http://shepherdexpress.com/article-7288-buzzed-the-sugar-stems-dish-out-the-pop.html The Sugar Stems aren't out to fool anyone with their name: Their music is undeniably sweet and carefree. If the Candy Land images on their MySpace page weren't clue enough, hearing the band live sends out intermittent buzzes of pop endorphins-the first, pleasant stages of a heady sugar buzz. Vocalist/guitarist Betsy Borst and harmonizing guitarist Drew Fredrichsen create a charismatic live performance that recalls the energy of pop...]]> Werewolf Sequence’s Strange Transformation http://shepherdexpress.com/article-7182-werewolf-sequencerss-strange-transformation.html If The Band had gone on to exclusively perform the music of Bob Dylan, they might have set the example for Werewolf Sequence's relationship with songwriter Martin Jack Rosenblum. Werewolf Sequence vocalist-guitarist James Redding offers a more recent analogy. "It's the Blind Melon thing, except Shannon Hoon is dead and Marty is just invisible." ]]> Decapitado Makes Up For Lost Time http://shepherdexpress.com/article-7109-decapitado-makes-up-for-lost-time.html Blacked CD, a collection of ridiculously heavy (yet also surprisingly catchy) songs that instantly marked them as a band to keep a close eye on. But year after year passed, and next to nothing was heard from the band. Now, more than five years later, the group has emerged with a flurry of shows and an ambitious recording schedule. Perhaps wanting to make...]]> After Turbulence, The Wildbirds Fly Again http://shepherdexpress.com/article-6980-after-turbulence-the-wildbirds-fly-again.html "It was like hooking up with an ex-girlfriend; it was like, 'Why did we break up?'" Nicholas Stuart reflects on that one, chance occurrence after a major breakup. This particular occurrence? An impromptu practice. The major breakup? His roots-rock band, The Wildbirds. After calling it quits following a tough time on the road, a musical rendezvous with former band mate Hugh Masterson was clearly the right...]]> Cajun, Covers and More - Hat Trick's Checkered Career http://shepherdexpress.com/article-6897-cajun-covers-and-more-hat-tricks-checkered-career.html The Barrettes Rock the Melodica http://shepherdexpress.com/article-6828-the-barrettes-rock-the-melodica.html Coo Coo Cal’s Next Move http://shepherdexpress.com/article-6755-coo-coo-calrss-next-move.html

In the eight years since Coo Coo Cal's single "My Projects" ignited as one of the biggest, most inescapable rap songs of 2001, the Milwaukee rapper has weathered a succession of ups and downs. "I had my run-in with drugs and alcohol, the whole nine," Cal explains. "I've been in jail; I've been in rehab, fighting my drug addiction...

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Hot Dog! Makes the Case for Classic Country http://shepherdexpress.com/article-6679-hot-dog_-makes-the-case-for-classic-country.html "When you ask someone what kind of music they're into, they'll say, 'Oh, I like everything but country;' we're trying to turn the tide of that opinion," says Austin Dutmer, one of two DJs behind Hot Dog!, a monthly country spin at Burnhearts. "There are decades of music just as good as rock and soul that people really don't [give credit] to," Dutmer muses. "Maybe there's too negative...

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The Candeliers Conjure Vintage Folk-Pop on Overdue Debut http://shepherdexpress.com/article-6620-the-candeliers-conjure-vintage-folk-pop-on-overdue-debut.html Pamela Means: Still on the Way Up http://shepherdexpress.com/article-6516-pamela-means-still-on-the-way-up.html The first time I saw Pamela Means, she was absorbed with her acoustic guitar in the dim back stage of Shank Hall, quietly working out a chord progression. She was ready to open for someone else's show (if memory serves). It was circa 1990, and Means was already making her name in Milwaukee's neo-folk-acoustic-whatever scene, flourishing on the fringes of rock clubs, bookshops and poetry readings...]]> David Greenberger and Paul Cebar’s Shared Memories http://shepherdexpress.com/article-6425-david-greenberger-and-paul-cebarrss-shared-memories.html The Return of International Pop Overthrow http://shepherdexpress.com/article-6372-the-return-of-international-pop-overthrow.html Cherry Cake: Back From the ’80s http://shepherdexpress.com/article-6266-cherry-cake-back-from-the-rs80s.html Disguised as Birds’ Dueling Rock http://shepherdexpress.com/article-6229-disguised-as-birdsrs-dueling-rock.html "Fully Bonded," the opening track off Disguised as Birds' 2008 rock record Seeds, epitomizes the band's dual singers' lyrical cohesiveness. Not only do the dueling Christophers, Chris Chuzles and Kris Endicott, harmonize concurrently throughout most of the record's tracks, they also collude on song crafting duties as well... ]]> Record Store Day 2009 - Live music, limited editions, a local comp and maybe some grilling http://shepherdexpress.com/article-6192-record-store-day-2009-live-music-limited-editions-a-local-comp-and-maybe-some-grilling.html Dan DuChaine may be the only record store owner who's actually trying to drive traffic away from his shop on Record Store Day, an annual event created last year to draw attention to independent record stores. While shops around the country will be celebrating with in-store performances and promotions on Saturday, April 18, DuChaine is instead pushing a Pabst Blue Ribbon-sponsored Bay View pub crawl, which... ]]> Pure Pop: Sleep Tight Co.'s Youthful Energy http://shepherdexpress.com/article-6099-pure-pop-sleep-tight-cos-youthful-energy.html Jerry Grillo’s Sentimental Journey http://shepherdexpress.com/article-6012-jerry-grillorss-sentimental-journey.html Several years ago Jerry Grillo was one of the most prolific jazz performers in town, recording no less than seven CDs from 1994 through the middle of the present decade and singing consistently in local clubs. He didn't fall silent as much as he became quieter, playing modest duets at Paddy's Pub and weddings and corporate parties with the Nick Contorno...]]> Northless: A Band Metalheads and Punks Can Agree On http://shepherdexpress.com/article-5942-northless-a-band-metalheads-and-punks-can-agree-on.html Streetz and Young Deuces’ Milwaukee Pride http://shepherdexpress.com/article-5851-streetz-and-young-deucesrs-milwaukee-pride.html Though it spotlights less prosperous neighborhoods than the Milwaukee tourism bureau undoubtedly would, Streetz and Young Deuces' "Welcome 2 Da Mil" is one of the most spirited tributes ever recorded to the city, a cavalcade of loving shout-outs to 66th, Burleigh, Capitol Drive and North Avenue. A reliable set-closer, the song doubles as Streetz and Young Deuces' mission statement. "We rep the Midwest, we rep Milwaukee," says Young Deuces, half of the...]]> The Get Drunk DJs Get Down, Drunk http://shepherdexpress.com/article-5791-the-get-drunk-djs-get-down-drunk.html "We got asked to do my buddy's Christmas party in L.A.," Kevin Meyer, one half of Milwaukee's Get Drunk DJs, recalls. "There were Mexican wrestlers and he was trying to get a donkey. He was going to fly us out. I don't know why we didn't end up going-it was really heartbreaking. It was some crazy marketing, hipster industry party. He was making us sound like the greatest DJs ever...]]> The Julie B Well’s Well-Composed Rock http://shepherdexpress.com/article-5693-the-julie-b-wellrss-well-composed-rock.html Garage-Pop the Jail Way http://shepherdexpress.com/article-5607-garage-pop-the-jail-way.html Kid, You’ll Move Mountains’ Participatory Pop http://shepherdexpress.com/article-5535-kid-yoursll-move-mountainsrs-participatory-pop.html Kid, You'll Move Mountains often seem torn between two eras. Their songwriting nods to the insular, folded-arms indie-rock of late-'90s Polyvinyl bands like American Football, yet they perform them with the communal, clap-along spirit of so many modern indie-pop bands. Singer/guitarist Jim Hanke, late of the cherished Milwaukee power-pop band El Oso, admits that it can be tough to find the balance between audience participation and self-parody...]]> Farms in Trouble’s Mid-Fi Sound http://shepherdexpress.com/article-5460-farms-in-troublerss-mid-fi-sound.html The Gas Station Soundtrack. "Some people are really into it in Philadelphia, some people really like it in Seattle, and in Minneapolis a guy is putting out a kind of beautiful, handmade cassette for us. "One thing really cool that I didn't realize is that cassettes...]]> An Atomic Valentine - Concert Preview http://shepherdexpress.com/article-5462-an-atomic-valentine-concert-preview.html Atomic Records wasn't just a passive observer of the Milwaukee music scene, explains Damian Strigens. It actively shaped the scene, fostering local bands and, sometimes, even birthing them. Strigens, a one-time Atomic employee who now plays with Testa Rosa, was in one of those bands, The Mustn'ts, which he formed with another Atomic alum...]]> Jayme Dawicki’s Polished Piano-Pop http://shepherdexpress.com/article-5381-jayme-dawickirss-polished-piano-pop.html The irony of MTV's ongoing music-video purge is that it may have actually created more opportunities for independent musicians than a decade of "TRL" ever did. With so many hours of reality programming to soundtrack, MTV has turned toward small and emerging artists for songs.No Milwaukee-area singer/songwriter has benefited more from MTV's aggressive song licensing than Jayme Dawicki, who in the past eight months has lent five songs-one half of her 2008 album Shatter Queen-to different incarnations of "The Real World." Most recently her song "Here I Go" appeared in the January season premiere...]]> The Delta Routine - Rock 'n' roll basics, rock-star excesses http://shepherdexpress.com/article-5297-the-delta-routine-rock-n-roll-basics-rock-star-excesses.html Howl Street Sessions - Bay View studio documents Milwaukee's punk scene http://shepherdexpress.com/article-5224-howl-street-sessions-bay-view-studio-documents-milwaukees-punk-scene.html It's been less than a year and a half since Call Me Lightning drummer Shane Hochstetler moved out of his bedroom studio and into a more professional space in Bay View, but his Howl Street Recordings studio has already left an indelible mark on the Milwaukee music scene. The studio has become a breeding ground for great albums from many of the city's punk, metal and hardcore bands. In the past year, it's produced records from Malachi, Disguised As Birds, Cougar Den and Protestant. Many more will see release in coming... ]]> The Wigs - Powerful old-school pop http://shepherdexpress.com/article-5128-the-wigs-powerful-old-school-pop.html .357 String Band’s Punk-Rock Hootenannies http://shepherdexpress.com/article-5068-357-string-bandrss-punk-rock-hootenannies.html The .357 String Band has come a long way from playing on street corners and basement shows since they formed four years ago. They've recorded two albums, 2006's Ghost Town and last year's Fire & Hail. They've also toured both coasts and gone on three European tours, taking their high-octane acoustic act as far as Serbia. The String Band is where new meets old. It is cowboy hats and nose rings, a hootenanny with a mosh pit. The songs play like...]]> The Other Kind of Pirate Radio - Bilgemunky broadcasts on Internet “arrrr”-waves http://shepherdexpress.com/article-4953-the-other-kind-of-pirate-radio-bilgemunky-broadcasts-on-internet-ldarrrrrd-waves.html "Avast, you scalawags. Bilgemunky Radio is preparing to air…" A robotic female voice with a British accent repeated this a few times shortly before 8 p.m. on a recent Monday night. Meanwhile, Gerard Heidgerken was cueing up to broadcast his weekly Internet pirate radio show. In this case the term "pirate" doesn't refer to a broadcast that taps FCC-sanctioned airwaves, but rather to literal, swashbuckling pirates. Bilgemunky Radio features songs about pirates from mainstream bands and a surprising number of songs from...]]> 5 Card Studs Plot Holiday Extravaganza http://shepherdexpress.com/article-4859-5-card-studs-plot-holiday-extravaganza.html Lil’ Rev: The Ukulele Man http://shepherdexpress.com/article-4774-lilrs-rev-the-ukulele-man.html On his new DVD, Lil' Rev is shown seated with a ukulele, coaxing a big sound from that tiny instrument and finding a measure of complexity in its four short strings. Along with his DVD, Showpieces With Lil' Rev, the Milwaukee multi-instrumentalist and singer has just published a pair of ukulele instruction books through Hal Leonard. Anyone associating the instrument with the camp of Tiny Tim or Don Ho's Hawaiian lounge will be surprised by the contents. It's the Great American Songbook with folk-blues selections such as "Goodnight Irene" and "We Shall Overcome" next to Elvis' "Love Me Tender," Hank Williams...]]> The Jonathan Burks Band Honky-Tonks, Drunkenly http://shepherdexpress.com/article-4696-the-jonathan-burks-band-honky-tonks-drunkenly.html Outspoken Word - Melissa Czarnik's poetic rap http://shepherdexpress.com/article-4611-outspoken-word-melissa-czarniks-poetic-rap.html With age, Melissa Czarnik has found it harder and harder to enjoy the albums she used to listen to, even some of her favorites. "When I was younger, I could listen to just about any MC and not criticize what they had to say," the Milwaukee rapper explains. "Growing up, I didn't listen to anything but mainstream rap, and until I was 18 or 19, I would go out to the clubs, get all dressed up, and just shake my ass." But, she says, as she grew older and exposed herself to more underground hip-hop, she could no longer gloss over the disparaging references to women...]]> Forgotten Favorites - Rocky Mountain cover band http://shepherdexpress.com/article-4540-forgotten-favorites-rocky-mountain-cover-band.html The family that plays together has been common in country and gospel music, rarer in rock and unusual in our city. Milwaukee's Rocky Mountain Beaver Pond consists of brothers Mike and Marc Callies (guitar and drums respectively) and their dad, playing bass under the stage name of Papa Beaver. Ties of friendship bind the family to Brendan Shea (guitar) and Mick Pavlovich (keyboards). "For the most part it works, but we have our moments," says Mike Callies. "One of the hardest things is telling my dad no." Apparently Papa Beaver, a veteran...]]> Year of the Scavenger Sings of Hard Times http://shepherdexpress.com/article-4476-year-of-the-scavenger-sings-of-hard-times.html "We're not under the illusion that people will buy music anymore," Cody Litkey says, describing the business model (or anti-business model) of his band Year of the Scavenger. Instead of charging for their music, the trio plans to give it away through their Web site, www.yearofthescavenger.com. "We want to record and release as fast as we can, so everything stays fresh," Litkey explains. "And we want to do it for free: Record, mix, release, repeat." The band owns...]]> “Basement Crew” DJ Launches His Own Rap Career http://shepherdexpress.com/article-4390-ldbasement-crewrd-dj-launches-his-own-rap-career.html As the youngest of the DJs on Jammin’ 98.3’s “Basement Crew” program, the only show on the station that plays hip-hop, Antonio Criss is always looking to update the playlist. “We do old-school hip-hop, ’90s and ’80s,” says Criss, who DJs under the name 2 Tight Tony. “I’m always pushing for more ’90s—more Death Row.” Lately, though, he’s also been pushing to give airplay to music he’s even more invested in: his own. Criss has long been rapping under the moniker Immortal, opening for acts like T.I., Ludacris and Slick Rick and co-recording a rally song for the Green Bay Packers, “Bringing the Pain.” As his first album, Shook Up My World, nears...]]> I Remember Halloween - Hardcore's greats reborn at the Cactus Club http://shepherdexpress.com/article-4304-i-remember-halloween-hardcores-greats-reborn-at-the-cactus-club.html Rico Love, R&B Songwriter to the Stars http://shepherdexpress.com/article-4199-rico-love-rb-songwriter-to-the-stars.html His songs are all over radio stations, movie theaters and Web sites, where he's selling plenty of downloads, but Rico Love still has a soft spot for his longtime home, Milwaukee. "I lived half my life in Milwaukee," says the songwriter, who was born Richard Butler Jr. Birthed in New Orleans 26 years ago and raised in Harlem, N.Y., where he acquired his stage name from a Hispanic neighbor, Love has been bounced around by his parents' divorce and professional ambition through Milwaukee, Tallahassee, Fla., Atlanta, Los Angeles and his current digs in Miami. One of his three sisters still calls the Mil home...]]> Cascio Interstate’s DrummerFest 2008 Features World-Class - Dennis Chambers, Jim Riley, Marco Minnemann & Johnny Rabb http://shepherdexpress.com/article-4197-cascio-interstaterss-drummerfest-2008-features-world-class-dennis-chambers-jim-riley-marco-minnemann-johnny-rabb.html Cascio Interstate Music, at 138th and National Ave, in New Berlin, will present its eigth annual DrummerFest on Saturday, November 15th, featuring Johnny Rabb, Jim Riley, Marco Minnemann and Dennis Chambers. This FREE all-day event is open to the public with interactive clinics and performances, prize giveaways, food and beverages, plus photo and autograph opportunities.]]> The Elusive Parallelograms Go Back to the Future http://shepherdexpress.com/article-4113-the-elusive-parallelograms-go-back-to-the-future.html    Listening to "Rev," the first song on the Elusive Parallelograms' new album and everything changes, one's immediate reaction is to get up and dance around the room. It's an incredibly fun song, one meant to immediately grab the listener's attention. I could easily see the band playing a Factory Records party circa 1991, as their psychedelic-tinged rock would have fit in nicely with such acts as The Stone Roses and Happy Mondays. At the same time, the Elusive Parallelograms also seem to share the anything-goes approach to songwriting that marked the Manchester music scene throughout the late-1980s and early 1990s. From the mellow...]]> Looking for an Anchor? - Burbank Cartel seeks to nurture the Milwaukee scene http://shepherdexpress.com/article-4022-looking-for-an-anchor-burbank-cartel-seeks-to-nurture-the-milwaukee-scene.html Without Translation, the new album from Milwaukee's Burbank Cartel, is the album I've been waiting for the band to make. It is an album that sounds remarkably modern, remarkably self-assured: It sounds like alternative rock should sound in the early 21st century. ]]> Herds’ Violent Nature http://shepherdexpress.com/article-3911-herdsrs-violent-nature.html The Art of Noise - Milwaukee Noise Fest returns for year three http://shepherdexpress.com/article-3814-the-art-of-noise-milwaukee-noise-fest-returns-for-year-three.html Jeanna Salzer: Contemporary Pop Newcomer http://shepherdexpress.com/article-3696-jeanna-salzer-contemporary-pop-newcomer.html The past few years have seen Milwaukee turn out a number of powerful rock 'n' roll bands. While there is room for variety within the city, there is usually a consistency in the volume at which these acts play (loud) and the gender of those doing the playing (male). It's a band-centered, male-dominated world out in the noisy clubs of this city. ]]> Space Rock Or What? http://shepherdexpress.com/article-3606-space-rock-or-what.html Back in the late 1970s punk rock and prog rock seemed as opposite as the architecture of the Bauhaus and the Baroque. For punks, progressive was code for pretentious bombast; for progheads, punks were no-talent poseurs. ]]> Pigs on Ice’s Punk Spectacle http://shepherdexpress.com/article-3528-pigs-on-icerss-punk-spectacle.html The idea of punk rock as an antidote to bloated, spectacle-ridden rock 'n' roll has become a standard trope in many versions of popular music history. This stripped-down, simplistic style of play, conventional wisdom tells us, came along to cure the perceived excesses of classic rock and rid the world of the fashion-first consciousness of pop. ]]> Bone Shaker's Milwaukee Metal http://shepherdexpress.com/article-3440-bone-shakers-milwaukee-metal.html Bone Shaker’s Milwaukee Metal http://shepherdexpress.com/article-3443-bone-shakerrss-milwaukee-metal.html Hair metal is viewed in many ways: Reverence, distaste, obsession, incredulity and even humor are all evoked in descriptive commentary by critics and fans who debate the genre. No matter what your take on it, though, metal is still alive and well. With a mission statement that is geared toward injecting "new" into "old school," Milwaukee's Bone Shaker is one of the genre's biggest local proponents. The band has toured relentlessly since forming in 2006. Bookings picked up particularly after their well-received debut, 13 Ghosts, and they've since played large stages supporting bigger-name acts throughout the Midwest . . .]]> Jason Seed’s Symphonic Elixir http://shepherdexpress.com/article-3353-jason-seedrss-symphonic-elixir.html Friends Remember DJ Rock Dee http://shepherdexpress.com/article-3265-friends-remember-dj-rock-dee.html It was raining Monday morning when Radio Milwaukee 88.9's airwaves broadcast a solemn set of music, with a somber Scott Mullins hosting at an unusual time slot. Milwaukee awakened with the hard truth that DJ Rock Dee, born July 27, 1968, had passed away. Though known most recently as a DJ for Radio Milwaukee, Rock Dee had deep ties to the city's hip-hop scene. This is a tribute to him, a story told by just some of those he knew and loved. Hip-hop was our way of life. It wasn't about the dollars; it was about the love for the music. -Doctor B, owner of the Scratch Pad, one of the first sources for hip-hop records in Milwaukee, and a famed local DJ who mentored Rock . . . ]]> Music Man: The Legend of Mike Mangione http://shepherdexpress.com/article-3171-music-man-the-legend-of-mike-mangione.html Psycho Flute, Retro Sounds - Daniel Nathan brings the flute back http://shepherdexpress.com/article-3082-psycho-flute-retro-sounds-daniel-nathan-brings-the-flute-back.html Today’s bands need a hook. The hook could be a number of things—novel influences, Halloween masks, a highly publicized substance abuse problem, whatever—but they’ve got to have some panache and an inimitable shtick. The Daniel Nathan Band has both. The Milwaukee-based band is a self described psychedelic soul trio, its tunes undeniably inspired by the ’70s and stewed in Southern blues. It’s not the well-crafted songs or Nathan’s mannish boy vocals that make the boldest first impression. Instead it’s what Nathan calls the band’s “procedural weapon”: his flute, “the psycho flute.” ]]> The Heavyheads Up Their Game http://shepherdexpress.com/article-2991-the-heavyheads-up-their-game.html A cautious optimism has permeated Milwaukee’s once demoralized music scene. As local bands—through a mix of talent, vision and, perhaps most importantly, strategic self-promotion—begin to make a name for themselves and as radio stations and print publications make a more visible effort to cover the local scene, there’s an increasing sense that Milwaukee musicians may now actually have a shot at national exposure. That feeling is certainly driving The Heavyheads.]]> A Weekend of Zines, Comics and Local Bands http://shepherdexpress.com/article-2926-a-weekend-of-zines-comics-and-local-bands.html Alongside the sounds of copy machines churning out paper and staplers crunching zines together, the first Milwaukee Zine Fest will feature three free music shows with 18 local and touring bands. The majority are punk bands, rounded out by some acoustic, hip-hop and indie rock groups. Zine fest coordinator Jessica Bublitz and Corey Baumann, of local band Louis Tully, organized the shows. “Almost all the bands had an immediate interest,” Bublitz says. “We’re hoping this gives people attending from . . . ]]> The Garfield Avenue Blues, Jazz, Gospel & Arts Festival - American Music and a Milwaukee Tradition http://shepherdexpress.com/article-2929-the-garfield-avenue-blues-jazz-gospel-arts-festival-american-music-and-a-milwaukee-tradition.html Since 1998, the Garfield Avenue Festival has shined a spotlight on local music while dishing out some of the best soul food in the city. After modest beginnings as a blues festival, the free event has grown each year, offering more food vendors, more street performers, more visual artists, more activities and demonstrations for young children and more music. The festival, which runs from noon to 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 19 on Garfield Avenue between 4th and 7th streets, now attracts about 15,000 people a year . . .]]> Freight’s Anxious Music for Anxious Times http://shepherdexpress.com/article-2819-freightrss-anxious-music-for-anxious-times.html Holy Shit! Hits the Fans http://shepherdexpress.com/article-2645-holy-shit_-hits-the-fans.html From Bach to Rock - Gufs, MSO offer free summer concert series http://shepherdexpress.com/article-2555-from-bach-to-rock-gufs-mso-offer-free-summer-concert-series.html Rhonda Begos, Milwaukee’s Busiest Singer http://shepherdexpress.com/article-2453-rhonda-begos-milwaukeerss-busiest-singer.html Paul Silbergleit’s Wednesday Jazz Jam http://shepherdexpress.com/article-2359-paul-silbergleitrss-wednesday-jazz-jam.html Like a good jellyroll, the heart of jazz is the jam. The organized spontaneity and free-spirited approach to familiar material that can ignite at a jam session has always been emblematic of the music. In healthy jazz scenes, players get together regularly to improvise with one another. Milwaukee hasn’t had a regular jazz jam in years—until last November, when a weekly session debuted on Wednesday nights at Treats, 2221 N. Humboldt Ave. There had been blues jams and jam-band jams . . . ]]> John Sieger’s Subcontinental Revue http://shepherdexpress.com/article-2278-john-siegerrss-subcontinental-revue.html The Nashville that John Sieger experienced during the mid-’90s was just as many music lovers picture the city, a friendly haven for songwriting talent where hungry up-and-comers intermingle with established legends. During his time there, Sieger performed with Lucinda Williams and rubbed shoulders with Shelby Lynn. His friend lived next door to Emmylou Harris. Sieger, who has written songs for Dwight Yoakam and The BoDeans, had some success in Nashville—he hosted a weekly night at the city’s renowned Pub of Love—but, he explains, “I wasn’t making enough money to really say I had a career in music.” ]]> Warm Weather Cruise - Skipper Michael Drake sets sail http://shepherdexpress.com/article-2199-warm-weather-cruise-skipper-michael-drake-sets-sail.html Long as anyone remembers, the Iroquois made its way along the Milwaukee River every summer, saluted by raised drawbridges on its way to the harbor. The pleasure boat Iroquois has carried generations of sightseers onto the water during the warm months. What better entertainment for the Iroquois’ first cruise of the season than a shipboard show by the No Tan Lines Band, purveying what bandleader Michael Drake calls “island music.”]]> Revisiting Tyler Traband, Milwaukee’s Piano Man http://shepherdexpress.com/article-2116-revisiting-tyler-traband-milwaukeerss-piano-man.html Tyler Traband’s self-released Re-issue EP is not a repackaged collection of five old tracks, but five songs rerecorded and issued for the first time in their new versions. For Traband, a pianist and prolific songwriter, the disc was an easy opportunity to showcase five old songs with his new band. “The hope was to catch the live vibe we’ve been getting,” he explains.]]> Two Sides of Waukesha - Bone Shaker does hard rock, Francesca folk http://shepherdexpress.com/article-2019-two-sides-of-waukesha-bone-shaker-does-hard-rock-francesca-folk.html Power Pop or Not? - Trolley Recalls '60s Brit Rock http://shepherdexpress.com/article-1932-power-pop-or-not-trolley-recalls-60s-brit-rock.html Pete Townshend coined the term “power pop” in the 1960s to describe The Who, but the phrase was forgotten for more than a decade. In the late ’70s, rock critics began applying the pithy phrase to Big Star, The Plimsouls, The Last—bands recovering the endangered verities of mid-’60s rock in three-minute testimonials to melody and harmony, two guitars, bass and drums. Power pop never produced another Beatles but has survived as a handy marketing label for a genre of melodic rock. When one such band, Material Issue, recorded a song called “International Pop Overthrow” in the early ’90s, they intended it as an anthem for the music they loved . . .]]> Rumba and the Rest - Rumbrava's Caribbean rhythm club http://shepherdexpress.com/article-1799-rumba-and-the-rest-rumbravas-caribbean-rhythm-club.html Milwaukee has been called a big small town, but it’s large enough for musicians in overlapping circles to know each other without actually playing together for decades. Such was the case with respected Latin jazz percussionist Luis Diaz and the funky pop jazz duo of Connie Grauer and Kim Zick, aka Mrs. Fun. “When we started jamming together once a week, we commented that we’ve never collaborated after all these years,” Grauer says. And then there was a relative newcomer to town, Cuban-born cellist Ana Ruth Bermudez ]]> The Lackloves’ Modern (Retro) Pop - Local Music http://shepherdexpress.com/article-1703-the-lacklovesrs-modern-%2528retro%2529-pop-local-music.html At this point it’s fair to recognize songwriter Mike Jarvis as an elder statesman of Milwaukee’s pop music scene. In addition to a rsum that includes time with The Blow Pops, Root Cellar, Simpleton, Chicago’s Green and three albums with The Lackloves, guitarist/vocalist Jarvis has toured Europe and Asia. The Lackloves’ latest album, Cathedral Square Park, marks a lineup shift back to the band’s original trio incarnation after spending much of its existence as a two guitars/bass/drums quartet. Drummer/vocalist Tommy Dougherty and newcomer bassist/vocalist Kevin Ponec round out the current lineup.]]> Midwest Western - The Championship embrace rural Americana http://shepherdexpress.com/article-1621-midwest-western-the-championship-embrace-rural-americana.html One of Bay View’s rootsiest bands has just gotten rootsier. The Championship’s 2005 debut album was a more modern exercise in Americana, firmly grounded in contemporary folk-rock and alt-country, but there’s little about the group’s rustic new album, Midnight Golden, that couldn’t have been recorded decades ago. “We wanted to get back to that late-’60s, early-’70s, AM gold feel,” explains singer/songwriter Joe . . .]]> Danny Price and The Loose Change - Local Music http://shepherdexpress.com/article-1503-danny-price-and-the-loose-change-local-music.html Let’s run through it one more time, then listen to the CD,” Danny Price says to his band, The Loose Change. They are practicing a set of mostly covers for a St. Patrick’s Day show at a Riverwest bar known simply as The Pub, and are trying to master a cover of a traditional song, “Sinnerman,” made popular by Nina Simone. It is an intensely soulful, rolling piece. “When I first heard her version of ‘Sinnerman,’ there wasn’t another song I listened to for a week,” Price says. The Loose Change—Paul Setser, keyboard, Ben Rousseau, bass, Russ Nadasdy, guitar, and Ken Zanowski, drums—are crowded in Setser’s living room in his secondfloor flat. The drum set is by the couch, the keyboard by the TV and everything else somewhere in between. All the band members have a glass of wine within arm’s reach. ]]> WMSE Announces New Hip-Hop Show - Plus: Atlatl and The Good Luck Joes http://shepherdexpress.com/article-1398-wmse-announces-new-hip-hop-show-plus-atlatl-and-the-good-luck-joes.html How eMC Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Leak - Local Music http://shepherdexpress.com/article-1299-how-emc-learned-to-stop-worrying-and-love-the-leak-local-music.html EMC were in their tour van, en route to a Los Angeles concert this January, when they heard the news: A full two months before its official release date—and just four days after it had been mailed to the media— their debut album, The Show, had been leaked online. “We were angry, especially since we think we know who leaked it,” says Stricklin, the Milwaukee rapper who makes up the group along with veteran lyricists Punchline and Wordsworth and golden-age icon Masta Ace. “We rushed to the hotel so we could get an Internet connection and find out more.” Thanks to the Internet, you can watch the band work out their response to the leak in real time . . .]]> St. Patrick Rocks - McTavish's gift of music http://shepherdexpress.com/article-1214-st-patrick-rocks-mctavishs-gift-of-music.html Twenty years,” Paul Cotter offers with a disarming grin. He’s speaking of St. Patrick’s Day 2008, the 20th anniversary of McTavish, Milwaukee’s first Irish rock band. “It’s hard enough to keep a band together for a year or two.” I’m seated across the table from Cotter (vocals, guitar) and McTavish co-founder Mark Shurilla (vocals, guitar). We’re not in an Irish pub, but a Mexican restaurant, which may say something about the porous boundaries of the postmodern world or perhaps the sometimes-tense relationship between McTavish and some of Hibernia’s local gatekeepers. “We’ve never kissed the ring of the Irish establishment,” Shurilla says gleefully. “We do what we want to do because we like it.” ]]> Aimless Blades: Real Rock ’n’ Roll - Local Music http://shepherdexpress.com/article-1129-aimless-blades-real-rock-rsnrs-roll-local-music.html Nowadays rock is everywhere. Real rock ’n’ roll, however, has become a rarefied taste. It may be going the way of the connoisseur, the path of bebop and pinot noir. Meanwhile, Milwaukee’s Aimless Blades are doing their part to keep rock ’n’ roll alive and in the moment, delivered with unpretentious intelligence and grit, with their fourth CD, Rara Avis. Released on Madison’s famed Boat Records, Rara Avis features guitar riffs of surging melancholy over solid yet forward rolling rhythms. The lyrics suggest more than they say, opening the window in the listeners’ imagination that began to close with the advent of literal-minded music videos. There are echoes of swampy Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Stooges‚ serrated psychedelia, Bob Dylan’s husky twang, even the stately folk rock of Fairport Convention. ]]> The State of the Rusty Ps - Local Music http://shepherdexpress.com/article-1045-the-state-of-the-rusty-ps-local-music.html The Rusty Ps don’t talk much about scoring a major record deal these days. “We gave up those pipe dreams long ago,” says Adam Haupt, who raps with the group under the nom de plume Phantom Channel. “Once you actually start dealing with the music industry, you see how crazy it is. So we’re not making music to try to blow up anymore; we’re making music just for the love of making it.” But Haupt admits the band once had lofty dreams of breakthrough success. “When you put your first real album out and it gets picked up for distribution by the first label you send it to, that gets your hopes up,” Haupt says. In 2000, during a time of high interest in independent hip-hop—but before inexpensive software enabled every laptop owner to cut their own rap records—the Rusty Ps released “Tread Water,” a 12-inch featuring some fortunate friends the band made while touring: The Pharcyde’s Imani and Minneapolis’ then-burgeoning Atmosphere. The single had reach far beyond just the merch table. Thanks to the emergence of Napster and file sharing, any college student hunting down Pharcyde and Atmosphere rarities discovered the Rusty Ps. ]]> Fable and the World Flat - Plus: Welcome home, Carlton Thompson http://shepherdexpress.com/article-962-fable-and-the-world-flat-plus-welcome-home-carlton-thompson.html "We aren’t a dance band, but we all like to dance,” drummer Michael Stewart says of his band, Fable and the World Flat. “We like music that makes you feel good. “We don’t just want audiences standing around with their arms crossed,” Stewart continues. “It’s a lot more fun when people are moving. We want to bring audiences that same feeling they’d get every time they hear the Jackson 5’s ‘I Want You Back.’” That’s an ambitious mission statement considering that Stewart’s band grounds its sound not in sunny indie-pop or uptempo electro-clash, but rather in the somber, jazzy indie-rock of turn-of-thecentury groups like Karate and Aloha, bands more likely to crush spirits than lift them. ]]> Rivers of Music - Colin O'Brien's American journey http://shepherdexpress.com/article-867-rivers-of-music-colin-obriens-american-journey.html Colin O’Brien’s songs are timeless. Many of the numbers on his new CD, Dancing by the River, sound as if they lived in the ether for centuries, only to be channeled finally through his own imagination. “One of the biggest compliments I can get when I play is, ‘Did you write that song?’” he says. O’Brien has played in a variety of settings since the ’90s when he studied American finger style guitar at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, including with duos and a popular string band, Salt Creek. Lately, he’s been making a living as a soloist. ]]> Paul Spencer’s Groovy Jazz - Local Music http://shepherdexpress.com/article-757-paul-spencerrss-groovy-jazz-local-music.html Jazz shouldn’t be this good anymore. At a time when many conservatory trained musicians have reduced a great American art form to a noodling string of solos held together on a fragile string of familiar melody, Paul Spencer has produced a contemporary big-band album showcasing many styles and moods. The solos . . . ]]> Woolton Parrish Revisited - Alt-rockers take a final bow http://shepherdexpress.com/article-692-woolton-parrish-revisited-alt-rockers-take-a-final-bow.html For a rock group navigating Milwaukee’s music scene in the late- ’80s, a time when venues gave cover bands preference over original bands, adaptability was key, and Woolton Parrish quickly learned to blend in with any surrounding. Their songs could chime like ’60s pop or thunder like contemporary hard rock, so . . .]]> Under the Radar with Jail - Plus: Kramp's shirts and a mysterious crunk single http://shepherdexpress.com/article-604-under-the-radar-with-jail-plus-kramps-shirts-and-a-mysterious-crunk-single.html Some local bands announce themselves loudly, but pop-rockers Jail have opted for a different approach. The group plays just a smattering of Milwaukee shows every couple of months, then disappears for lengthy periods. “We’re not aggressively booking local shows—we’re more interested in touring,” explains . . .]]> The Nice Outfit: Power-Pop Legends - Music Preview http://shepherdexpress.com/article-547-the-nice-outfit-power-pop-legends-music-preview.html Paul James Wall sums up The Nice Outfit with a catchy litany of bands: “Buzzcocks, Bangles, Beatles and Byrds.” Judging by the Milwaukee group’s new EP, Kissing Jocelyn, they have distilled the essence of the Four Bs—plus a dollop of The Kinks—]]> Malcolm Michiles - Official Packers DJ http://shepherdexpress.com/article-462-malcolm-michiles-official-packers-dj.html Malcolm Michiles looks out his apartment window. It has begun to snow, and he studies it, sipping a mug of tea. It is two days before the NFL’s Green Bay Packers will beat the Oakland Raiders and win the NFC North division title. “I’m not sure about this . . . ]]> Cougar Den's All-Ages Screamo http://shepherdexpress.com/article-366-cougar-dens-all-ages-screamo.html The thrill of a good punk song is that it's combustible and could ignite at any time. With screamo songs, however, there's never any doubt about when they'll ignite. They arrive pre-lit. ]]> Scott's Friends - Milwaukeean plays L.A.'s Whiskey A Go Go http://shepherdexpress.com/article-296-scotts-friends-milwaukeean-plays-las-whiskey-a-go-go.html Scott Berendt has made lots of friends while kicking around in bands since the '80s. He didn't realize until recently how many of them were from MySpace. When he did, the singer-songwriter-drummer decided to put his cyber connections to work.]]> Greg Koch: Blues in Mind http://shepherdexpress.com/article-238-greg-koch-blues-in-mind.html Excuse me, was that Greg Koch?" asked a woman at an Alterra coffee shop, overhearing our conversation. It wasn't that she recognized the 6-foot-plus guitarist by sight as he ambled off to the counter for his latte. Turns out she recalled Koch's mock basso profundo voice from hearing him on WMSE.]]>