Film and Music

Vic and Gab photo by Shervin Lainez Monday, Oct. 7: Carbon Leaf with Clarence Bucaro @ Shank Hall, 8 p.m.   The Celtic-inclined indie rock band left Vanguard Records in 2010 with the intention of releasing more music on its own terms. It’s no wonder that we haven’t really heard from them since – without the promotional muscle of a big label, Carbon Leaf’s last few albums (including the two released in 2013 alone) were probably only known by people already familiar with the band. Nonetheless, they ride those releases into town Monday at Shank Hall, with support from Brooklyn singer-songwriter…

Album Review- Brief Candles Newhouse EP

If the EP is the elevator pitch of music formats, Brief Candles makes an impressive case for itself on the relentless Newhouse EP, which pulls no punches even as it zips through five tracks of swirling guitar and white-knuckle drumming that are at once dream-like and bruising. The band still sounds beamed-in from the ’90s, with an obvious affinity for the warped guitars and dense layering of My Bloody Valentine, but plays with so much rock ‘n’ roll bombast that it’s impossible to confuse the two.   The album begins in the midst of a racing drum pattern (on “Olympic…

Top 10 Picks for September 2013

10. Call Me Lightning will release a new album. This is a picture of Shane Hochstetler’s hand holding what is ostensibly the final mix of a new Call Me Lightning album called Human Hell. The band has not released anything since 2010’s When I Am Gone My Blood Will Be Free. No release date for Human Hell has been announced. 9. Herman Astro performs on Fox News. Milwaukee’s Fox 6 News hosted the soulful rock band as part of its new “Studio A” program, a local culture feature which hopes to keep viewers in tune with Milwaukee music. Despite some…

Billy Bragg at Turner Hall

Monday, Sept. 23: Dustin Wong with Dope Body and Catacombz @ Quarters, 9 p.m. As a major figure in the ripe early-2000’s Baltimore music scene, Dustin Wong brought his trenchant guitar work to seminal acts like Ecstatic Sunshine and Ponytail before striking off on his own. His solo recordings take his studious technique to a new level of complexity, with layers of looped guitar swirling and shifting to a form a meditative snarl of sound. He’ll be joined by Baltimore’s bludgeoning Dope Body and Milwaukee’s Catacombz. (900 E. Center St.) Tuesday, Sept. 24: Billy Bragg with Joe Purdy @ Turner…

Album Review- Caley Conway and the Lucy Cukes

After a long, hot summer of short-sleeves and sunburn, there’s nothing like pulling on a sweatshirt for that first cool evening of fall. Caley Conway and the Lucy Cukes capture that feeling on their recently released live recording Live in Story Hill, a pleasantly off-the-cuff batch of folk songs recorded at a friend’s birthday party. It has all the homemade charm you’d expect under those circumstances: party chatter, clinking glasses, and the applause of what sounds like about 10 people hanging out in a living room. It’s the perfect environment for Conway’s songs – quirky, intimate yarns about cheese, saying…

Golden Moments at the Yellow Phone Music Conference

Jeff Castelaz – the co-founder of Dangerbird Records, current president of Elektra Records and Milwaukee native – kicked off the third annual Yellow Phone Music Conference, a four-day event featuring panel discussions with music industry pros and a free concert showcase in the Third Ward. Castelaz was appointed president of Elektra (an imprint of Atlantic) in 2012, but his humble origins as a Milwaukee writer and band manager made him a perfect choice for a keynote speech addressed to a roomful of artists with lofty dreams.  With his experience, he could have easily rattled off a list of music biz…

The Roundup for Sept. 9

Tuesday, Sept. 10: Blood On The Dance Floor with Heavygrinder, Farewell My Love, The Relapse Symphony and Haley Rose @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 6:30 p.m. I had no idea who Blood On The Dance Floor was, and after reading their Wikipedia page and watching a handful of music videos, I still don’t really know. They dress like teenage Svengoolies and specialize in a grating mix of screamo and electronica, seeming perfectly oblivious to anything that could be currently described as “cool.” That said, they press on undeterred: They’ve released six albums and six EPs over the last five years. Newest…

Take Note- Ragelife

Graduating from college these days ain’t what it used to be. Just ask Ragelife. The hip-hop trio just released its debut album, a self-titled odyssey inspired by the group’s experience as fifth-year seniors at the University of Wisconsin. And if Ragelife is any indication, the transition from house parties to the real world is no simple task. Founding members P/1 (Andrew Thomas) and ¡OYÉ! (Karl Iglesias) met through a UW program called First Wave – a cutting-edge artistic learning community that puts students through school on full-tuition scholarships. With fellow Badger Ian Carroll (aka DJ *hitmayng), they formed Ragelife to…

Album Review- Heartthrob – Love Efficient

For the past few months, fans of local noisepop group Heartthrob have had to rely on the band’s seemingly bi-weekly performances and a pair of grainy Bandcamp recordings to get their fix. Heartthrob’s kinetic live act has earned the band a following, so it’s fitting that its first proper release should capture that same energy. Love Efficient is six songs recorded live on WMSE in June: a satisfying collection of dark pop, noisy guitars and a no-bs rhythm section. The EP opens with a thorny wall of feedback from Scott Anderson’s guitar – the instrument responsible for the watery, reverberating…

A Reaction to Paste Magazine’s Wisconsin Bands List

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…