Two friends with the same name and a crazy passion for music – Ryan Matteson and Ryan Schleicher – have been bringing emerging rock artists to Milwaukee for the past two years under the moniker “WMSE and Muzzleofbees.com presents.” Sounds like a pretty sweet gig, huh? Matteson works in PR and social media for the Pabst/Turner/Riverside, and Schleicher is the director of promotions for WMSE – careers rather conducive to manage this extracurricular concert series.
Muzzle of Bees, named after a Wilco song, is Matteson’s music blog that he started back in 2005. In addition to general musings about music, the blog hosts a podcast, which was the genesis of two great friends sharing music with each other and anyone who would listen. In talking, however, they discovered that few in Milwaukee were booking musicians in clubs with capacities under 200. So why not take a crack at it? With WMSE as a sponsor, they’d have the promotions side of the concert planning covered. So the partnership took off.
Part of their efforts, Jukebox the Ghost, Elizabeth & the Catapult and Ruby Coast will perform at the Cactus Club Oct. 12 at 9 p.m. They say it will be unlike any other show they’ve done. “It is going to be one of the booty-shakiest shows eva!” Schleicher says. So in other words, this is the show to see if you want to get down.
The show’s headliner, Jukebox the Ghost, is a newly formed, D.C.-based trio, heavy on the piano pop with quirky lyrics and a fun vibe. With Everything Under the Sun out and a heavy touring schedule behind acts such as Ben Folds, Tokyo Police Club, Ra Ra Riot and Barenaked Ladies, Jukebox the Ghost is keeping busy.
Matteson and Schleicher try to put together shows with similar indie-folk styles. They mainly focus on emerging bands, but will also feature more established artists. “I definitely go out of my way to chase the music that I love and bands I would be crushed if they didn’t play in Milwaukee, Matteson says. “I’ve also taken a lot of shows of groups that I knew virtually nothing about, that I ended up enjoying tremendously. I feel very fortunate to be able to help bring my favorite music – old and new – to Milwaukee.” They’ve introduced artists such as A.A. Bondy and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros who’ve gone on to great acclaim. Edward Sharpe sold out the Pabst last spring, the year after it sold out the Cactus Club.
“It’s not really a set series,” Schleicher says. “We just put on concerts whenever we can get good acts.” Matteson anticipates presenting about 20 to 25 concerts this year under the partnership. In November, look out for Frontier Ruckus, David Wax Museum, Breathe Owl Breathe and The Chapin Sisters. Never heard of ’em? Check out www.muzzleofbees.com for a preview.
Tickets for the show are available at the door or here in advance.