Music Notes: Top Picks of September 2016

From New Boyz Club to Fox Face, here are the top ten local music picks for September 2016.

Catch up on the best Milwaukee music scene offerings of this past month with the Top Picks of September:


  1. WebsterX takes home Milwaukee Film award

The city’s music scene has undergone a video renaissance over the past couple years. A continual supporter of the scene, the Milwaukee Film Festival has taken notice, showcasing 16 local music videos as part of the Milwaukee Music Video Show screening this year. A panel voted on the best work, awarding WebsterX and directors Cody LaPlant and Damien Blue the Koss Music Video Award and a $5000 check for their collaboration “Lately.”


  1. Watch Rio Turbo’s absolutely terrifying rendition of “Hush, Little Baby.”

Halloween is right around the corner. Add this cover of this traditional lullaby to your holiday playlist. Slowed down and put over ominous synthesizers, Rio Turbo’s take on “Hush, Little Baby” (as part of Milwaukee Record’s Public Domain series) is the stuff of nightmares.


  1. Rambunctious rock ensemble New Boyz Club stays in motion

“Changing, oh we’re always changing / Do it again, do it again,” sings bandleader Johanna Rose on “Taxes,” the closing track off New Boyz Club’s debut EP, G l O r Y g L o R y. The three-song effort twists and turns in different directions without warning, morphing each track into its own sonic adventure.


  1. Relive classic ‘90s R&B with B-Free’s hopeful debut album

B-Free’s sensational debut almost never happened. Following pneumonia and a throat infection that required vocal cord surgery, B-Free feared that she may never sing again. Fortunately, she was able to recover after a year when her singing voice was on the shelf and recorded Ode to a Love Affair, an effortlessly fun and strong take on ‘90s R&B and soul music.


  1. Dirty Dancing provides some insight on home, cat-based work-outs and feeling directionless in music video

“Don’t Wanna Be Satisfied,” the new music video from dance-rockers Dirty Dancing, captures that feeling of aimlessness that’s easy to be sucked into and hard to break. Director, producer, editor and actor Erich Schoen sleeps in, goes through some mundane tasks and obsessively checks his email, all while aspects of his surrounding world are blurred out.

“Don’t Wanna Be Satisfied” by Dirty Dancing from Eric Schoen on Vimeo.


  1. Something To Do brings ska back in style

Something To Do’s Not Making a Sound is an uproariously fun album that’s certainly the best record of the year that features two songs about Tina Fey.


  1. Soul Low acts as one big (strange) family in video for “Be Like You”

The Ryan Reeve-directed music video for “Be Like You” looks pristine yet feels tense, much like Soul Low’s own songs on Nosebleeds. The band finds itself dropped into suburbia, dressed up as “normal” family, though one that drives around in a hearse. Not surprisingly the members don’t seem to fit into the white-washed community, but that discomfort dissipates when Halloween finally rolls around.


  1. Fox Face shows teeth on new 7-inch

The punk group Fox Face embraces the world’s dark, underbelly on a new three-song release that features songs “Teen Wiccan,” “Boogie Man,” and “Tar” and runs less than seven minutes long. It’s a fierce and efficient effort.


  1. Thane delivers spellbinding electro-soul debut that features some big-time guest spots

Anderson .Paak, BJ The Chicago Kid, Mick Jenkins, Low Leaf and Kojey Radical all contribute to Thane’s impressive full-length debut, Topia. The producer creates an eclectic amalgamation of R&B, jazz, electronic and ambient music that pulls you in without squeezing too tight.


  1. Sat. Nite Duets displays deft songwriting dexterity on Air Guitar

For a band that was continually tagged into one genre, each track off Sat. Nite Duet’s latest album, Air Guitar, feels like it’s coming at you from a different angle. Even better, the record features the band’s strongest songwriting so far (especially on songs like “Two Birds” and “The Last Beer of My Music Career”). Best of all, though, Sat. Nite Duets never loses its wry smile.



Kevin is a freelance writer residing in Milwaukee. He’s contributed to The Shepherd Express, Third Coast Daily, Pop Matters and the sadly now-defunct A.V. Club Milwaukee. He looks forward to forging a deeper connection with the city’s impressive music scene during his gig as a Music Notes blogger. His talents include music criticism, riding a bicycle, drinking tasty beers and a crafty croquet swing. His weaknesses comprise Jean-Claude Van Damme movies, professional wrestling and his ever-growing record collection. He’s in desperate need to find more physical (and hard drive) space for the exceptional albums Milwaukee musicians keep churning out.