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Top 10 Picks for July 2013
This month's best of local music.


10. Summerfest Ends.

Summerfest is kind of like spending two weeks with an annoying younger cousin. You can’t stand it when it’s around, but when it’s gone, everything seems so… quiet.  We won’t miss expensive parking and post-apocalyptic crowds, but we’ll miss the tunes. But there are nine other things on this list, so I think we’ll survive.

9. Northless releases new track, “Kuru.”

The seven-minute track from Milwaukee’s doom kings opens with perhaps the evilest-sounding guitar I have ever heard, like a cross between a tornado siren and an army of weed-whackers. It is the first bone-rattling taste from upcoming album World Keeps Sinking, out Aug. 23 on Halo Of Flies/Gilead Media.

8. Milo releases new mixtape, Cavalcade.

Milo’s dense, free-associative imagery is the kind of thing that rewards repeated listens. On Cavalcade you’ll hear him rap about building model trains and “Norse gods with coarse armpits” over samples from “A Horse With No Name” and Dirty Projectors, among other things. The mixtape comes fast on the heels of Milo’s excellent double-EP Things That Happen At Day and Things That Happen At Night, released in January by LA-based label Hellfyre Club.

7. Technicolor Teeth releases video for “Drips.”

The Appleton trio hangs around a graveyard in this video for the new, faded “Drips.” One of the graves belongs to Kate Blood, who is rumored to have murdered her husband and three children before taking her own life. Spooky. The song is from the Blood Pool 7”, also out this month via Accidental Guest. 

6. Fatty Acids release new track and announce new album, Boléro.

“….combining a variety of influences to make a sound all their own” are words a lot of bands use to describe themselves. Very rarely is it true. For the Fatty Acids, though, it is.  The bouncy “Airsick” is what happens when a band has been around long enough for its influences to synergize into something truly original. It is the first single from Boléro, to be released Sept. 6 at the Pabst Theater.

5. The Benjamins reunite for Schoepp Shindig.

In the coolest thing to happen in Wauwatosa since Noodles & Co., Trapper Schoepp and The Shades hosted an ambitious Last Waltz-style concert at Hart Park, featuring guest performances from the likes of Joe Crockett (The Championship), Quinn Scharber (Hugh Bob And The Hustle), and, most notably, The Benjamins. The early-2000s pop-punk favorite reunited specifically for the Shindig.

4. Ragelife releases two new tracks: “The Ragelife” and “Ride.”

For a group with only three tracks available, hip-hop trio Ragelife has already covered a lot of ground. In December, they released the silky, spacious slow jam “Let Me Go.” In July, they’ve shifted gears, amping up the energy and the rhyming on party anthem “The Ragelife” and organ-driven “Ride,” a self-described “further reflection on not having a reliable mode of transportation.” All three are tracks from an as-of-yet untitled project.

3. Soul Low and Buffalo Gospel break out with debut LPs.

July was jam-packed with album releases, but two stood out above the rest. Soul Low seemed to come out of nowhere with its fully-realized indie pop debut Uneasy, full of squiggly guitars and jittery vocal hooks. Buffalo Gospel, which has been around since 2009 with a few EPs to its name, released the stunning We Can Be Horses, a collection of sparse Americana reflections on loneliness and lost love.  

2. Midnight Reruns and Hello Death will open for Best Coast and Volcano Choir, respectively.

Announced this month, two local acts will share the stage with some big national names coming up. Garage rockers Midnight Reruns opens for Best Coast tonight at The Rave, while Hello Death will warm up for Volcano Choir – the collaboration between Collections Of Colonies Of Bees and Justin Vernon – Sept. 28 at Turner Hall.

1. Paul McCartney plays Miller Park.

We weren’t there, but reports of Sir Paul’s performance at Miller Park were positively glowing. The 71-year-old was in rare form, playing a set heavy on Beatles’ material and even dedicating a few numbers to his old band-mates and first wife, Linda. Paul is dead; Paul will never die.

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