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Top 10 Picks for October 2013
Some notable acts, new releases and a dance party birthday.

Every month, we count down the top 10 most exciting, surprising and just plain great moments in music. Here are some highlights from October.

10. Brian Wilson Brings the Beach to Brew City

When Paul McCartney brought his incomparable cache of Beatles, Wings and solo classics to Miller Park this summer, Milwaukee (understandably) went nuts. It’s only fair to make mention of Beach Boys great Brian Wilson coming to Riverside Theater on Oct. 30. Though beautiful, the Riverside is no Miller Park in terms of venue intrigue. But Wilson guest opener/collaborator Jeff Beck helped this legendary concert climb a couple rungs on the ladder of significance.

9. Choir in the Warehouse

Repave, the outstanding follow-up album from Volcano Choir warrants Best Of attention on its lonesome (wait until December!). But when the indie dream team constructed from components of Bon Iver and Collections Of Colonies Of Bees films a video of its new single for Pitchfork.tv in town, we’ll find room for it. The performance was captured at the band’s practice space at The Tannery in Bay View.

8. New Tracks and Treats

Fittingly, a few great local musicians treated us to the audio equivalent of a full-size candy bar in the form of great new songs this October. A few highlights of the scary-good haul of songs come from the likes of Juiceboxxx, Tigernite and Brett Newski.

7. “From The Stage to the Booth” Debuts

Hyper-localized Bay View beer bastion Blackbird Bar added another component to its Milwaukee love when it debuted its weekly “From The Stage To The Booth” DJ series Oct. 11. So far, great local bands Vic And Gab, Space Raft, and Fable & The World Flat have stepped off stage and behind the turntables as part of this unique way to see local bands in a new way. The series is currently booked through the end of January, with acts like Midwest Death Rattle, The Championship, Hugh Bob & The Hustle, and Trapper Schoepp & The Shades slated to spin.

The Music Notes crew will play exclusively Milwaukee music for the Dec. 13 edition.

6. Midnight Reruns Releases Video

Milwaukee’s own Midnight Reruns got the Brooklyn Vegan treatment for the premiere of its new video for “King Of Pop.”

Come for the sparklers, smashed produce and wacky hats. Stay for the infectious power pop. Midnight Reruns will play songs from its new album during its Nov. 15 DJ set at the aforementioned Blackbird series and will play its release show at Cactus Club the following night.

5. It’s 1956 Again

Following a two-year hiatus, Milwaukee shoegaze trio 1956 ended a two-year hiatus with a set of well-received re-hashings of past hits and buried songs from all parts of its 14-year-old catalog at Frank’s Power Plant on Oct. 25. Hopefully this low-key reunion leads to more appearances from the band that’s been rocking since the late 20th century.

4. The Get Down Turns 10

The concept is simple. Once a month (occasionally more), a Milwaukee venue becomes a dance club and the sale-priced PBR tallboys flow like water. The Get Down, as it was called, has yielded a decade worth of sweaty dance parties at (usually) Mad Planet, Tonic Tavern and recurring New Year’s Eve events at Turner Hall. Happy 10th. To many, many more!

3. New Releases

There’s already been a wealth of excellent releases by local bands through the first three-quarters of 2013. Yet bands continue to pile on with quality efforts as the year creeps toward conclusion. October alone saw new albums from Rio Turbo, Like Like The The The Death, City Of Ghosts, Dogs In Ecstasy, and Brief Candles. And who could forget the new album, Electric Manland, by Sat. Nite Duets (which features our own Joe Guszkowski on drums)?

2. Altos Earth

Don’t think we forgot about the Milwaukee Film Festival’s contributions to local music in October. For one, a myriad of Milwaukee music staples kept the party going long after festival screens faded to black with the Hotel Foster’s “Soundtrack” concert series (whose unveiling earned a nod in our August Picks).

However, local 12-piece – which was made 18 for the event – Altos providing the score to 1930 Alexander Dovzhenko’s silent film Earth at the Oriental Theatre was truly something special. The Alverno Presents crew hit yet another artistic home run by having a locally lauded act lend its musical chops to the rarely seen silent Soviet film. On response alone, Altos’ Earth proved to be the crown jewel of the biggest and best Milwaukee Film Festival to date.

1. Bill Faust Dies

As our own Matt Hrodey says in his outstanding piece about the grumpy Bay View music store owner, “They don’t make ’em like Bill Faust anymore.” Say what you will about the man’s personality, his economic and political opinions and his store profit-averse policies, but judging by the response following the passing of the crotchety shopkeeper (who was actually named William P. Regalado) in October, his death will leave a mark on Milwaukee music. We’re now lacking the lovable grandfather figure of whom local musicians always tried – and usually failed – to win approval. For the first time since Faust took over as the store’s manager in 1955, the screwdriver/makeshift lock won’t be selectively removed anymore. But long after Faust Music’s already-deteriorating signage is removed in full, the memory of this polarizing local businessman will live on.

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