The Erotic Adventures of the Static Chicken – say what? Yeah, that’s the name of the band. It’s strange and, to a certain degree, so is the music. But, it’s become a Tuesday night tradition at the Jazz Estate for the past 10 years, and every week, they pack the house.
The basis of the band is improvisation – no rehearsals, no songs, no preconceived notions. Bassist Matt Turner calls it “an emotional release and complete freedom for the musicians.”
Regarding the name, the suspicions might be cooler than the actual story, which involves a guy working at Subway, some prank calls and another guy in a bathroom. So let’s just leave it at that and allow you to concoct your own version.
In 2000, Jeremy Kuzniar and Matt Turner went to a jazz festival in New Orleans and were inspired to start their own gig. So they came back to Milwaukee and began playing Linneman’s in Riverwest. They added musicians and moved over to Jazz Estate in 2002.
|Matt Turner. Photo courtesy Melissa Miller.|
Now, led by bassist Matt Turner (Milwaukee’s Own, Jimmy at the Prom, Tristan Royalty Squad) and drummer Jeremy Kuzniar (De La Buena, Kings Go Forth, Loaf), the Erotic Adventures of the Static Chicken also includes Kris Krow on keyboards and Aaron Gardner on tenor sax.
So how does this all come together? “Basically, someone will start the riff and the rest follow; someone will make up a head, and then the rest follow; and then we make up some vocals,” explains Turner. “And it keeps changing. That’s why people keep coming back. We’ve never repeated anything in 10 years.”
Brian Sanders, owner of the Jazz Estate, echoes, “The music is an amalgamation of jazz, funk, rock ’n’ roll and weirdness.” The Jazz Estate (2423 N. Murray Ave.), an East Side staple for live music, also has regular acts BOB on Monday and Evan Christian on Wednesday.
All the other Static Chickens musicians play regular gigs with their respective bands as well. “Every once in a while, we play together at other venues, but the success of the band is completely shared with the success of the venue,” Turner says. “It’s just the vibe of this place.”
One more spot not to miss: If you like traditional jazz, check out hidden gem Caroline’s Jazz Club (401 S. Second St.). They feature the Paul Spencer Band in an intimate setting every Saturday night. They also host a blues Jam & Open Mic on Wednesdays. For more information, call 414-221-9444 or check out their Facebook page.