Feeding the Soul

t’s inordinately quiet near the corner of Broadway and Michigan Street just before 8 o’clock on a Tuesday night. The silence is pronounced in the confines of a former office building, with an interior appearing to be either midway through renovation or demolition. Up the dusty stairs and past a reception desk left on hold from more profitable times, a sound begins to swell. Halfway down an otherwise darkened corridor, light shines through an open door. Palm-muted guitar and shrill, ominous vocals grow louder with each step. Behind the door is a cache of instruments and microphones, a computer, some…

Comic Relief

It’s a little after noon on a Friday. The barroom in Oak Creek’s Classic Lanes sits vacant and quiet, save for the talking-head sports pundits engaged in an inane dispute on the flat-screen TVs and the distant pang of gutter balls brought on by a small group of daytime bowlers.  Suddenly, the tranquility is broken by the rumble of an idling school bus parked outside the bowling alley’s front doors. The field trip has arrived. KEEPING THEM IN STICHES Ryan Lowe and his merry band of puppets are making their mark on Milwaukee’s comedy scene. Photo by Adam Ryan Morris…

Musical Chairs

Animals in Human Attire is the Kevin Bacon of the Milwaukee music scene. The Riverwest-based indie rock sextuplet has a direct or, at the very least, a strong tangential connection to many of the city’s headlining bands.

Top 10 Picks for March 2014

10. Milwaukee Record announced Excuse the shameless self-promotion, but this will be my last post for Music Notes. As you may have read last week, I’ve partnered with ex-A.V. Club Milwaukee editor Matt Wild to start a new Web-only entertainment periodical called Milwaukee Record. We officially launch Monday, April 7. Until then, check up on us on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. I can’t say enough about how great it was to be even a small part of Milwaukee Magazine. Since the outset of 2010, I was given virtually free reign to cover whatever I wanted in the realm of Milwaukee…

Truckers Trouts and a Birthday Bash

Monday, March 24: The Championship with Josh Berwanger, and Joseph Huber at Cactus Club, 8 p.m.After going to SXSW to play a solo set and support Jayk on guitar, Joe Crockett is back in Wisconsin and is once again at the helm of his longtime folk band The Championship, which opted against making the trip to Austin for the festival. Kansas City songwriter Josh Berwanger (formerly of The Anniversary) and Joseph Huber (of defunct Milwaukee bluegrass magnates .357 String Band) are also on this great Monday night bill. (2496 S. Wentworth Ave., CactusClubMilwaukee.com) Tuesday, March 25: Schpongle with Desert Dwellers…

SXSW by Midwest

If you didn’t make it to Austin last week for South By Southwest, you’re not alone. While Milwaukee Magazine couldn’t get to Texas for the behemoth festival (and even larger marketing event), we asked five local musicians to sum up their SXSW experiences to let those of us who couldn’t make it know what we missed. Graham Hunt, Midnight Reruns With thousands of bands playing and probably hundreds of thousands of people attending, SXSW this year proved to be a close to unbearably overwhelming experience for me. Here are some things I learned. – I saw a doppelganger of almost…

From Gambino to Garfunkel

Monday, March 17: Whiskey of the Damned with Beer City Hearts, and The Atomic Spins at Turner Hall, 7 p.m. ($10) If you’ve had your fill of green-tinted beer and “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” swag, celebrate the St. Paddy’s season at Turner Hall with vaunted celtic rockers Whiskey of the Damned, who will release its new album Monsters Are Real in this fitting Irish holiday showcase. Beer City Hearts and The Atomic Spins open. (1032 N. 4th St., PabstTheater.org) Also: Squeezettes at Riverwest Public House, 7 p.m. (FREE) – (815 E. Locust St., RiverwestPublicHouse.WordPress.com) Tuesday, March 18: Islands with Escondido,…

Experience Hendrix And Much More

Tuesday, March 11: Brett Dennen with Foy Vance at Turner Hall, 7 p.m. ($20) At just 34, Brett Dennen has amassed a career of a musician well beyond his years – in terms of both volume of work and quality. With seven releases under his belt (including 2013’s Smoke and Mirrors) in 10 years, the folk rocker is set apart from his brethren in a well-represented genre by way of his incredible vocal range and altogether upbeat catalog. Foy Vance opens. (1032 N. 4th St., PabstTheater.org) Thursday, March 13: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. at Turner Hall, 7 p.m. ($15) Among the best band names in…

Album Review- Call Me Lightning “Human Hell”

With one member living in Chicago, another recording virtually every band in Milwaukee at his Howl Street studio and the band’s third bass player busy in a heft of other great local acts, Call Me Lightning’s production has slowed to a near halt since the veteran rockers released its particularly well-received third album, When I Am Gone My Blood Will Be Free, in 2010. Still, even a semi-operational Call Me Lightning, justifiably, elicits excitement both locally and beyond. When the band streamed “Now We Have Begun” off its forthcoming Human Hell last fall, it was met with eager anticipation. Fittingly…

Eastside Music Tour Recap

Though the low temperatures and early afternoon snow flurries proved that old “in like a lion” adage correct, March 1 found hundreds of music lovers flocking to 30 makeshift concert venues on (or in the vicinity of) Brady Street playing host to 80-some acts as part of NEWaukee’s second annual Eastside Music Tour. I was among the throngs of people crammed into coffee shops, wedged into taverns and huddled for warmth in a tent. With the variety of quality performers on the lineup – many of which with overlapping time slots – throughout the day, it’s unlikely any two Eastside…