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Tremor Time
Today’s basement sounds are tomorrow's indie breakouts.

For local and lesser-known touring acts, shows held in about five local DIY venues serve as a saving grace. SHANE HOCHSTETLER (the Call Me Lightning drummer and owner of Howl Street Recordings) got his start in the mid-1990s playing basement shows with the Waukesha-based hardcore band Managra. “I couldn’t be more grateful that I came from that scene,” he says. “House shows were crucial around here. There were no other places to do shows, unless someone rented out the bowling alley or something.” Playing at a Riverwest home known as “Bremen House,” Managra shared playbills with such bands as Modest Mouse and The Faint. “I remember seeing [Modest Mouse in 1997] and saying, ‘Meh, not my thing,’” he says. But 10 years later, “They were one of the biggest bands in the land, which is pretty awesome.” Hochstetler toured throughout the U.S. and Europe on the support of house shows, playing with metal legends Mastodon (at a DIY venue in New York) and noise favorites The Paper Chase (inside a shed at Denton, Texas). And then there's MYLES COYNE, who fronts Myles Coyne & The Rusty Nickel Band and books shows at the Chapter III house in Riverwest, where he also lives. If any neighborhood has emerged as a leader in house shows, it’s Riverwest, and Chapter III has hosted national and local performers such as Field Report’s Christopher Porterfield. As Hochstetler puts it, “At a certain point in your life, you encounter something that shakes you to your core – so much that it sets your path.”

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