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A Reaction to Paste Magazine's Wisconsin Bands List
Sure, they forgot some. But every band on that list deserved to be there.

Juniper Tar 
Photo by C.J. Foeckler

Paste Magazine yesterday released a list of “10 Wisconsin Bands You Should Listen To Now,” part of an ongoing “50 States Project” which sets out to find the best bands in every state.

Milwaukee bands making the cut include Jaill, Juniper Tar, Vic & Gab and Field Report.

Predictably, reactions to the list have been largely of the “you forgot about band X, Y, and Z”-variety, which is fair, and, in fact, welcomed by Paste. There are always going to be deserving bands left off of lists like this.

That said, I don’t think there’s a band on the list that shouldn’t be there. A few of them, in my opinion, are some of the best bands around, in Wisconsin or otherwise. Yeah, the list is heavy on folk-rock, but that’s not necessarily an unfair assessment: folk/folk-rock is undeniably popular around here, so it makes sense that there’d be a lot on the list.

That said, I think Paste is playing it too safe. There is no hip-hop, metal or punk represented. (See: Milo, Northless and The Hussy for great state acts in those genres, respectively.) Also, most of these acts have already transcended the local scene and are either signed to national labels or have received national recognition.

Paste claims to have “scoured” the state in search of the best bands around, but I think it’s clear to any fan of local music that they’ve only scratched the surface.

I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but I can think of at least 10 other bands that should be on this list. I’m sure you can too. You can probably think of 20. And we should feel lucky to say so.   

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