She’s crushing the drums relentlessly, not smashed in the back behind the amps, but on the front line. Accompanied by a guitar or two (Pat Boyce and Bill Grasley), bass (Brandon Domer), and sometime keys (Domer), Nichole Rae concusses the tension out of her drum heads while vocally exhuming all manners of their collective innards, thusly The Traveling Suitcase. For the Eastside Music Tour they made their 5:00p slot feel like headliner, that’s a pretty good sign of gnarl even if day drinking is involved. Something cool from Madison for a change.
The Traveling Suitcase, Carry Out Show via Brandon Domer on YouTube
Give them shades from other bands of now, or the future, and their eyes will blaze through those tinted lenses and burn your face off. The Traveling Suitcase rallies harmonic, desperate, and mercurial spirits. Spreading themselves as thin as artistically possible, they’re getting around the Midwest for live shows, keeping their edges tattered.
Slated to return to Milwaukee for Raw Artist Showcase in May, it wouldn’t surprise if The Traveling Suitcase finds time to squeeze in a couple of shows around here in the meantime.
MC Mikal lumbered in the BBC upper room, tall, gangly, vibrating above it all. The scene, relatively modest by hip-hop standards, dropped like an ember that starts a wild brush fire. A performative charge present, highly concentrated energy burned the anticipatory material around it, not caring to be seen.
In a benefit for Men of Tomorrow, one of the older youth programs in Milwaukee, MC Mikal ripped the mic to beats cued by local music producer Moses. Showing mastery of the chambers of emceeing, deviating from prepared material, Mikal enthusiastically took liberty to casually experiment with increasingly poetic streams of mind over rhythm.
Lyrically, MC Mikal readily latches on to various wavelengths, mostly intelligent, conscious of today’s struggles to avoid snares in the web of crap that is American society. In other moments, he gets down right hedonist, encouraging the niceties of life in the moment, social mischief and pleasures of the flesh. Oddly the “Mr. Hyde” MC Mikal, allows you to take his profound lyrical repertoire more seriously, there are no more saints, and he doesn’t pretend to be one. When he’s on, he’s a force on the mic.
Running with Knives
Milwaukee rap conglomerate H.E.R. held the flank, delivering tracks with beats tailor-fit for trunks with subs, riding on rims in their mid-20′s and candy coated paint. Thank Moses, as one of the producers of H.E.R. he brings plenty of heat.
Words peppering the crowd, Jermaine Event led H.E.R, twisting traditional battle style Milwaukee flavored hip-hop banter, an easy combination for people to get lost in. Rarely seen in the contemporary era of hip-hop, H.E.R. prominently featured a hype-man on back-up vocals and 2 guest MC’s. That’s an old formula that usually works, and H.E.R. put it to use rather effectively.
Sean Smart pushed his flows for H.E.R., packing visions of rugged-living, slick talking in a notable mic voice. Expanding on H.E.R.’s lessons, Myke Deezy kept the pace of the show well above resting with his additional vocals and general stage presence.
Quietly, emerging from its chrysalis, we see new hip-hop fauna flashing its oversized moth wings in the likes of MC Mikal, mysterious white dots marking the wings looking like eyes, giving music explorers something new to find. MC Mikal might be considered more appropriately as an artist that emees, so catching a performance from him is a gem.
Some avian raptor varieties of the hip-hop kingdom still stalk the streets, evolving like H.E.R., hanging on resiliently not likely to parish with the Jurassic era of the genre, giving fans from the original depths of the boombap something to vibe to. The subtle reinventions of the street rap style that H.E.R. brings to the stage, although clearly drawing off classic underground gangster rap legends, makes H.E.R. an intriguing example of how each style contributes to the rap picture. All are needed to make the hip-hop eco-system viable, if hip hop is truly to be a voice by which various perspectives on life are amplified through stereo speakers.
Cause for a Cause
In an time when everyone has an idea, notion or feeling of divine right to tell people what to do and how to do it, Anwar Floyd-Pruitt understands that just having a mentor can mean the difference between falling for traps set by bad influences or deciding your own path. He’s the acting Director of Men of Tomorrow, and the proceeds of the MC Mikal with H.E.R show went as a small but meaningful tithe to the Men of Tomorrow youth program. Men of Tomorrow is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit that primarily focuses on providing elementary school aged Black youth with mentors and guided activities to assist their transition to adulthood.
I like the idea of a one block tour, it’s the next best thing to traveling all over the country chasing your favorite bands! Keepers of the local ART Milwaukee are making it happen this Saturday on Brady Street all day with the Eastside Music Tour. They strung together an all day line up of shows to benefit the Cass Street School playground, which may soon be the grounds of Maryland Montessori. The overgrown and cuddly beasts calling the playground home need a new paint job.
The shows start at 4p and there are many. The entire line-up is pretty extreme, each hour will have a different band at up to 11 different locations simultaneously around the Brady Street Area. There are some obvious dinner time starts like Joe Wray (Cempazuchi at 4p) and Evan Christian (Casablanca at 5p), both solo crooners of the Rock, Blues and Blues and Soul persuasion.
Trocadero will have Fresh Cut Collective and Kane Place Record Club back to back starting at 7p in the Redlight, where they used to show soft romantic videos after hours (not to be confused with the now burned out Red Room). Roxie Beane, an extremely popular local rocker, also has a 7p slot (at Hybrid).
No Praise Required
If you’re in the mood for potentially new-to-you music, a couple of acts come to mind. The Thriftones mixes cocktail of rock and roll genres having all the ingredients that will give you plenty ambiance to day-drink to. I saw their recent Frank’s Power Plant show and they left quite an impression. More here… Birth of a Buzz, Thriftones, http://wp.me/p1hPwN-1y3
On a whole different wavelength at 9p, Crisp will have Albydamned and Demix a duo that master party time like no other. They collaborate on a electronic music showcase called Beyond Awesome, and it is just that. Beyond Awesome recently collaborated with local beat-makers Deletah and special guest Team Bayside High to put on a ridiculous show. Don’t even try to sample this music on your computer speakers. More here… Miramar Theatre, Beyond Awesome, http://wp.me/p1hPwN-1zI
Tickets to the Eastside Music Tour are available in advance only! If you haven’t gotten your tickets yet, only “Procrastinator Tickets” are available. Sucking for you they don’t come with a Fanny Pack or T-Shirt. For $15 you can get into whatever shows have room for you, and you also get exclusive Milwaukee deals and specials.
Mark “Madden Miles” next project (Download the Kate Upton Beat EP) dropped on the net on Valenine’s Day. If you just couldn’t get enough of that you could have got out to the Kate Upton EP Beat Tape Release Party live in Racine February 21, 2013. Well if you missed that I suggest you cop the download, the play is extra nifty. Click on your favorite part of the Kate Upton EP cover art below and check the details.
Madden Miles’ last joint the Candace Baily EP Beat Tape dropped last year and is still bouncing. If haven’t pressed the player play button to get a snippet of Madden Miles’ beastliness you missing it!
Beyond Awesome #somethingsomething via Spectral Productions on YouTube
If I said I didn’t have a taste in music vulnerable to electronic bass music, I’d be lying. The genre has had its fits and starts over the years but has solidly stayed under the rug of hip-hop and club-pop, since Disco died. Nowadays it has a spectrum that spans material making great soundtracks for basement booty-shake jams, warehouse thumping Drum-and-Bass and fun loving dance in the mirror House music. The gradients even go way beyond and have to many pseudonyms to discern, solidly separating the current forms from their musical predecessors. It really doesn’t matter anyway, the current mutation has crept out like some cold-ass Thriller-video zombies, with LED lit rainbow finger tips.
A coven of Milwaukee beat heads started bringing the boom back over the past few years, one group loosely coalesced under the Beyond Awesome banner. Expanding from hole in wall venues, Beyond Awesome now blows up little big spots into mini-full action mini-shows, A/V effects and all. The latest installment took over the Miramar Theatre this past weekend at Beyond Awesome #14-something, with Ryan Albydamed, Deletah and special guest Team Bayside High putting woofers to the test, lashing the faint-hearted with some nasty bass mash-up party music.
In Every City
Kind of beat up, the Miramar Theatre is basically one of the last true hold outs of super open format live music in Milwaukee, mostly extra local. Miramar is notorious and friendly to everything from open mic nights, to metal, to gangster rap, and folk all in the same night (I personally have even done my first and only stand-up comedy routine there on a dare, and the Miramar hosts were kind enough to record it to CD for me, to remind me not to do stand-up again).
More or less suitable for any type of crowd, except intimate, an ample open floor layout cuddled up to the stage where a gang of bass heads bumped, stomped, juked, nodded, and bounced, feeding off of rhythm and lazers. Actually, many due high-fives to Miramar for having ample house sound capabilities to handle the low end (or to whoever the sound dude was if that wasn’t an Miramar upgrade). The February 2013 installment of Beyond Awesome smashed again with a few sea-weathered DJs guiding the ship.
Release Performance, Manual Controller, Salutations
The February 2013 term of Beyond Awesome featured lazer blazing Chicago duo Team Bayside High. If the Miramar Theatre was actually Bayside High these cats basically tied Mr. Belling up, put Zack in a full-nelson and made Screech punch him in the face at knife point, while blasting their stanking new refit of C+C Music Factory’s infamous hype-music era killing classic “Make You Sweat” over the PA. They bribed Slater to lug 10 barrels of PBR, by himself, into that super weak cafe they had called The Max, where Kelly, Lisa and Jessie were already covered in chocolate syrup and whip cream having a three-way tongue fight, forcing Slater to stuff that masochist Gimp leather gag-ball in his mouth if he wanted to stick around and watch… and he did. Yeah, pretty much like that.
Man… Gonna Make You Sweat Retake via http://soundcloud.com/teambaysidehigh
At some point in their fledgling careers mashing beats up and blasting them, Team Bayside High felt the apple drop on their head, realizing that people like that kind of nonsense. They are tearing scenes up like breakaway pro-wrestler tanks on their rag-tag Midwest tour that eventually hits Spring Awakening in Chicago this June at Soldier Field. Expecting any material to stay sacred around them is expecting to much, they are capable of mashing anything to smithereens, including the best Super Mario rendition I’ve heard yet. Maestros, for real…
Here we go… Super Mario via http://soundcloud.com/teambaysidehigh
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Miramar Theatre, Beyond Awesome
Picture a couple of everyday smart assess interlocking hands in an Exclusive Company dance instrumental section while reaching for the same rare Dan the Automator CD, their deranged minds forever become intertwined, morphing into a mighty entity called Deletah. They Glitch and Dubstep with a high degree of technicality, carrying well thought out concepts that warp the dance floor to a distant nebula. Deletah generally finds some way to squeeze infinite variations from similar pulsing modulated lazer synths. At the end of an otherwise boring day, keeping the commotion going at Beyond Awesome was really not a problem for Deletah.
Very Recently released Deletah track via Deletah
Taking in a deeper listen of Deletah’s track sets gives a better perspective of the horizons they reach in their craft. Understandably, for a gig like Beyond Awesome nothing less could be expected besides a spine-shaking ton of rhythm pound, with a heavy dose of good old kick in the chest.
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Miramar Theatre, Beyond Awesome
A nice cross between mellower House and hard banging club Electronica of vary shades, I hate to even try to give a written flavor of Albydamned controlling the monitors. He’s been a mainstay of Beyond Awesome dance-offs and collaborator with most of the who is’s of Milwaukee’s club jam producers, most notably 414MELT ‘s TheDemix who deserves his own post.
Like a great point guard, Albydamned set the tone for the latest edition of Beyond Awesome at the Miramar Theatre emitting slowly boiling mixes that got the crowd primed and frothing for the rest of the night, swaying involuntarily to his own blends, his flowing mane draping in through the bass. You can get a great taste of a few of his kicking downloadable sets on the Ryan Albydamned Mixcloud, chances of sitting still… none.
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Miramar Theatre, Beyond Awesome
Proclaiming ‘Old is the the new New’ on the most infamous social media outlet, attracted the comment “New is Ooover!” Can anything be official?
Inducing a new understanding of ubiquity, when Alverno Presents announced Ryan Schleicher would lead a night of musical rediscovery entitled Beautiful Dreamer: The Foster Project the pieces of this musical thread dangled unattached to my immediate reference. If Schleicher rings a bell, he’s a member of Milwaukee’s own Juniper Tar, a simple times bluesy rock band that evokes that slow roasted southern rock with sharp whiskers whose name I pray is a idiom for Gin and cigarettes… but Stephen Foster…
Juniper Tar will preside over Alverno’s Pitman Theatre as maestro of The Foster Project, giving segue to several performers of disparate musical genres all of them casting their interpretations of Stephen Foster’s body of work. Let your eyes relax, drifting the words ‘Stephen, Stephen … Foster‘ through your mind.
Set Adrift on Memories Bliss
Yes, that green composite plastic cardboard cuboid with metal hinges and stubby round feet opens, revealing the platter of that 2nd grade classroom A.V. wonder sitting on the counter. Maybe it stood in the music room. Mrs. Staccato delicately picks up the arm of the phonograph and places it on the already rotating vinyl record. “Oh Susanna, don’t you cry for me…, Today class were going to learn about Stephen Foster”, Mrs. Staccato says. Please, come off of that bookshelf before you hurt yourself in your daydream now.
Old Music Dawns
Giving due to Stephen Foster, Jon Langford representing punk/blue grass, Blueprint accounting for Hip Hop, Robbie Fulks revving up Country, and Bethany Thomas pipping Choral solo will treat the audience to their personal tributes to Foster’s music.
Incredible talent will perform Beautiful Dreamer: The Foster Project at Alverno College’s Pitman Theatre, 3134 South 39th Street, on February 2, 2013 at 8:00p. Tickets are available in advance and at the door. It’s early, but The Foster Project might be one of the most genuinely interesting musical performances of the year.
Darkness permeates the atmosphere, the bar’s rich and chocolate brown stain has the visual quality of an oak barrel that soaked up raw molasses for decades. Oversized canvases beset the Bad Genie’s walls, bestowing florescent pop art images of the great heroes of rock n roll’s childhood, bears dancing, a Vicious snarl. The stage on this night invited a taste of old made new, Furious Frank smashing Chicago blues into traveling carnival vaudevillian show tunes.
Multi-pieced and maybe leaning a bit to the freaky side musically, Furious Frank keeps typical band instruments around (drums, guitar, bass, and assorted percussion pieces like tambourine) to accompany a prominently featured Trombone and kitschy favorites the Concertina and Mandolin. Furious Frank amplifies instrumentation making treats out of sound by massacring feel good covers and original songs.
If ears could be deceived, at least one set piece easily stunt-doubled for a Ska-version of “Soul Man”. All notes considered, Furious Frank subliminally rocked the house, a feat beautifully contorted Carny-rock can’t always pull. They put together some wicked low-tech animation for this video release that makes them even more weird.
via Hobocampmudshow on YouTube
“Motley” described a famous Crue of lost angles rocking the 80′s. In Milwaukee these days, Thriftones get motley, genuinely. Their distinct brand of folk, rhythm and blues Americana bridges the front porches of Dixie to bonfires of the Heartland, open fields of Upstate New York to city blocks running into Golden Gate Park.
The Thriftones tumble through mysterious carnival music-box time signatures, chiming, then break into swoons well-timed, with pace and delivery of a hilarious stand-up comedian prodding a crowd to laughter on command. Rattling, twanging guitar riffs serrate blues piano melodies, reckoning humble, hard times, down-tempo bluegrass rock by-gone, but not forgotten. Tapping influences faintly recognizable, more as ode than necessity, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bob Dylan, and a few others, subtly register in interludes and bridges, densely covered with original musical elements.
While judgement passed on bands often hinges on they’re musical ability, Thriftones demonstrate that lyrics sung, in key and audibly, can also have thoughtful, wise and poetic content and keep they’re edge. At their Mayan world end show at Frank’s Power Plant, Thriftones’ vocals easily cut the monotony of clanking glasses and empty cackles, in easy harmony with their instrumentation. A balance struck on par with bourbon whiskey, neat.
Busting out the It’s Tricky Irish folk band rendition? That’s gutsy Brothers Quinn, that’s gutsy. A musical brigade armed with fiddle, banjo, upright bass, drums and probably some other instruments I couldn’t see, Brothers Quinn heated up Fire on Water last Friday with traditional Irish tunes and even a cover of the classic Gorillaz ft. Deltron compilation track Clint Eastwood. Adding even more fever to the night MC One Self made a lyrical cameo.
It was already well beyond room temperature in the joint, and I’m not sure if that was to keep with the theme of the bar or because Brothers Quinn had a consistent jolly riot of dance floor junkies doing the half House of Pain Jump Around, half Polka, half Irish Jig move all night. What better to go with a few shots of Tullamore Dew than some kick butt Irish rock.
Brothers Quinn tour all around Wisconsin, and when they come around to Milwaukee again they may be worth pairing with a round or two.
Jessie Torrisi digs for a loud octave to check the sound sound system with. It’s The Please Please Me’s last stop on their tour, Yield, before heading back to homebase. Above the stage, clear plastic cords house a series of small lights that grant a red haze; dim red, the color of Rock. The eyes and images of a thousand Rock heroes stuck to the wall on posters approve. The Please Please Me can now begin.
A drummer, a cellist, and Torrisi on lead and vocals, at a volume suitable for listening, dive into their set. They easily touch shallow water of typical triangle-ting pop, then drift deeper looking for country and bluesy rock roots. Born south by south west in Austin, The Please Please Me call it circus pop. It sounds like the music stuff that definitively adds to the shape of Rock.
Fittingly they lope down the heartbroken road that keeps fingers calloused from strumming away the pain. Drum lines beat by Agustin Frederic switch back and forth mid-song from mid-tempo big epic rock ballad-esque tom pounds, to slight time-keeping hi-hat ticks. The cello bowed by Alissa Shram haunts mysteriously, giving each song a ambient cohesion. Intriguingly, The Please Please Me makes Sunday evening wine sipping music that when played live amps up to a whiskey slugging pitch.
The Please Please Me EP video tease via YouPleasePleaseMe on Youtube
That frighful edge of Milwaukee’s Eastside that dulled in the 2000′s, grates against a new breed of old souls, in clunky worn leather boots. The Please Please Me fit right in, Yield growing in its own way, incubating dark musky crevices needed for spawning a good rock lounge.
Over nerve-tingling live instrumentation, One Self in truly pro-fashion kicked out a jam, proclaiming the ability to feel something unexplainable and unseeable in the troposphere. A vet to the live performance circuit, One Self graciously set the tone for a Monday eve show, showing hip-hop has a few lives left before it hits nine. At the Hotel Foster, previously notorious for mustaches, ugly eye glasses, inadvertently styled hair, and generally worn-in feelings, the falling leaves outside did’t matter, the one’s budding inside did.
All Around the Beach Ball
Live music holds a special place in the legacy of Hotel Foster‘s space, and its nice to see the old glory of performances past continuing on its unearthed stage that was buried for so long. Milwaukee’s own Klassik added a its musical thread to the memorable one’s spun by troubadours of countless genres that have come before. Klassik dropped an online album in late September called In the Making, bringing with him exceptionally talent heavy vocalist Toni Martin and the prodigious Kevin Hayden Trio to give the album’s songs life when played live (who each could just as well had their own solo performances lined-up).
Enough, Just Up Start
Klassik is uncanny spawn of post scene-ster hip-hop and local conscience flavor, an old soul expressing musical freedom from solitarily confined 808 drum kits and samples, nursing on the essence home-brewed spoken-word and R&B underground usually found only west of Holton Avenue. Striking the most resounding chord, Klassik makes it all his own, with heaping appeal and a lot of heart; a consummate artist to please your ears with.
One Self and Klassik soothed the pain of the start another work week Monday night with a highly respectable showing Monday, and definitely deserve a venue on a weekend night. You probably won’t see Klassik for a little while locally, he’ll be pond jumping for a well deserved mini-tour in Europe. Only one place for this kid to go and its not down.
Find Klassik‘s latest album In the Making on Band Camp, where back catalogs also await for your enjoyment.
Check a little ditty video with a little range by One Self entitled What Do We Know feat Kerri.
M C Oneself “What Do We Know?”
via Scott A. Baldwin on vimeo
One Self performs live with a ton of others at Made in Milwaukee’s Creatures and Creators Halloween Bash at Turner Hall October 27.
Suede Glove Slapping, Hotel Foster, One Self, Klassik
Note: This video has not been altered and is shot in real time… Manual Controller doing some live spastism unreal. The Salutations album broke after two years in the making, constructed with all live hardware applications of digital composition.
Manual Controller, Salutations is available for purchase through some unknown alien being.
People trickle in and out of Orcanine Abbey‘s most recent open studio, checking out Rachel Sutter-Smith‘s set of provocative illustrations depicting personages both fantastic and realistic; conceivably a few self-portraits delving into the depths of her own inner most spaces. A dude listlessly sits in an a brown high back chair waiting for what’s next.
A handful of unheroic but reasonably cool looking kids have exuded a practical chemistry that usually can being felt among good friends. In good spirits, they enjoy the stellar performance of two piece band Pepe le Moko warming up the jerry-rigged stage. Episodically creepy yet blissful strumming done, these reasonably cool kids Sally, Sam, John and Lars that happen to be from Worcester, Ma, take up musical arms and crank up some major throwback post hoc garage/art rock mania as Secret Lover.
Under a dim oozing red light, the front woman calls out “Poison Ivy”, her cue to her band mates to let the gear rip into a raucous fury that soon animates the listless dude to his feet for a better vantage point. Not playing nice, the drum lead (Sam) crashes his symbol to the floor several times, and the guitarist (John) snaps two guitar strings banging out riffs for Sally‘s volcanic pipes to drift upon heralding exuberant tributes to life and youth, with Lars consistently throbbing the low end. Seriously smashing.
Secret Lover @ Orcanine Abbey, Milwaukee, WI, July 8, 2012
The Dumb Over, Orcanine Alley, http://wp.me/p1hPwN-1iM
The digital/electronic music spectrum has a fairly large amplitude that crests with pop-corny sound synths’ endemic to Owl City tracks, hits a solid plane with mainstays like the Gorillaz, and sweeps to another phase of under-pop experimentation with a local debut release entitled Salutations, by digital impresario Manual Controller.
A varied tempo ode to the glory ages of pre- hip-hop composed electronica, Salutations hits ambient realms with shades of dub on tracks Recessional Processional and Id and ignites a fist-full of freaking sparklers with hyper-synchronized and stylish tracks Gentleman in a Hat and Anthemis Colors.
Bringing an ethic back to the genre lost in the Scratch Live era, Manual Controller’s makes a habit of minimizing his use of digital software aids for arrangement and mastering by playing much of his instrumentation live, recording individual devices through a series of 1/4″ patch cables connecting to a multi-jack monitor. Imagine an American Bell call operator wearing an helmet seeming of some historical significance, surrounded by an arsenal of intense music equipment, and your pixelated view of the spectacle that Manual Controller manifests becomes a little crisper.
Befitting the growing appetite for electronic music in Milwaukee cultivated by events like WMSE‘s 414Melt and shown by the great reception Teisto got at Summerfest, Manual Controller will brandish his newly pressed compact disc on top of a live performance at Stonefly Brewery Thursday July 19th at 7p, after Stonefly’s notoriously bearable dinner time. In the mean time, you can test drive the album or get the whole schwabang on Bandcamp.
It hangs out on a block best known for the grizzly working-class pub Steny’s, smushed-up next to Fat Daddy’s. Making use of the sign design made famous by Southern used car lots, coin-sized dots spell “Lo Cash”, shimmering flecks of silvery sunlight off the side of the building.
The interior decor although not brand-spanking new has yet accumulated the drinking hours to adequately absorb the savory juices that amply flow from the kitchen, a dive in the making. A neon sign couldn’t even bring it attention. Lo Cash Live keeps the low-key atmosphere of the 5th Ward strip, still adding flavor to recipe. Lo Cash Live is a Barbecue Joint, South by Mid-West.
I sit down at a table near the wall with my dinner mate. Swinging into the tall seat I nod at Al Jarreau, who poses behind the glass of the frame that holds an old promo portrait. Other crooning singers from various eras and genres nudge corners with him. I’m hard on BBQ so I’m ready for disappointment. Nothing beats the backyard and down-home secrets that make it atop the briquette heated grill.
Lo Cash’s menu makes the right first impression, short, easy to read and to-the-point. Each main dish of either BBQ pork, chicken or brisket and comes with a side, picking from sweet corn, slaw, baked beans or macaroni and cheese (with is technically a vegetable south of the Mason-Dixon). Sandwiches of the same fill also for your fancy. The house adds variety with a fried shrimp po’ boy and a Wisconsin inspired option called Three Little Piggies: a brat patty with pulled pork and bacon, ‘tween a bun. Not one of the meals or sandwiches cost more than ten bucks.
Packing it In
I hone in the brisket meal, it’s even tough to cook-up outdoors. In fifteen minutes a sawed-off tin water pale comes out lined with red and white checked wax paper, table cloth inspired. On top of it, steaming slices of tender beef brisket lay naked, with a perfect amount of edge fat, and covered in vinegary BBQ sauce. The fork goes in, the brisket disappears, mighty delicious on a cool spring evening.
One added note, this 5th Ward diner will soon have the distinction of filling the void left by the closing of Sil’s Mini-Donuts on North Avenue. An appetizer called Corn Fritters comes out looking like a basket of traditional hushpuppies, however, sugared and thoroughly fried, the cornmeal balls come with a tub of molten butter sauce for dip. Goodness!
For Your Listening Pleasure
The food should draw you in and Lo Cash keeps the good times going with cover free live music. I got a fortunate treat hearing a solo set from Annie B who rocks lead for group Annie B and Vagabond Company. They actually just jammed the pre-game show with Icarus Down for the Bucks game Monday night.
Of hard Americana cast and heart made, sometimes mellow vocals belt from Annie B’s lips in front of her acoustic guitar on her two recorded albums Fancies of a Random Heart and a solo project The Kiwi Cafe, sounds well suited for live performance.
Lo Cash Live is located on 2nd and National and open serving great food and music daily.
I’m stepping on a thousand cigarette butts on the way in, it’s not dark and smokey in the Cactus Club anymore, but still a little dank on the music side. Someone on staff managed to keep a VHS tape of an old Arsenio Hall episode featuring N.W.A from being magnetized after all these years and its playing on wall-mounted t.v. monitors, nice.
Among the sippers, a sturdily built dude stands-out reviving shades of Trugoy during the Daisy Age crossed with Starski. If any one has a license Busdriver does, his pops wrote Krush Groove. Plus looks can be deceiving, Busdriver’s styles on the mic don’t need image to generate uniqueness.
The Un- to Fame
A musical dervish, Busdriver worked whatever electronic synth-instrument he was hovered over like a steering wheel to jerk the crowd through audio turns, unbelievably speeding up a Scott Joplin riff and ripping it on Me Time and, on Imaginary Places, annihilating a track that sounded familiar to the classic Beasties‘ Floop Loops sample, right after swinging out of a dub Reggae toast.
Busdriver himself is an unsung classic, notably contributing to the Aceyalone-led Project Blowed, way back then, and completed a better know collaboration with Daedalus, worth checking out even if you’re behind the indie-hop scene.
Check out this 10 year-old baby
Something newer for your knew
Milwaukee’s got the Catus
Busdriver did it up setting the Cactus Club stage for Astronautalis, an indie-fun-twirl group that mashes up the music spectrum really well, while highlighting how formulated mainstream hip-hop as a sound has become. Digital music producer Jel was scheduled on the undercard, didn’t her him live, however fluid, harmonic, ambient beats deserve a mention anyway. Milwaukee got a real treat before Busdriver and Astronautalis make their way to SXSW.
Waiting for the next snow storm won’t make the Spring come any quicker, I get the feeling people can sense the season coming anyway. Don’t be so hard on yourself you earned it. By the end of the week, you’ll be ready for a few entertainment options provided by a few of Milwaukee’s brightest unsung talent. Okay, maybe this “talent” is a little further away from the mainstream Galaxy than most, but the Easter bunny cometh, so some options other than the Bar should spark some interest.
Thursday March 1, 7:30p
Alchemist Theater, Bay View
Friday March 2, 7:30p
Milwaukee Area Composers & Artists (MACA) Showcase 4
featuring Stand By a Quasi Mondo Production
Marian Center Auditorium, Bay View
Saturday March 3, 8:00p
Astral/Subastral at the Riverwest Follies
Polish Falcon, Riverwest
Live original composition jazz meets experimental performance theater at the Marian Center for Non-Profits for one night only on Friday March 2.
Milwaukee Area Composers & Artists (MACA) jazz collective, led by Milwaukee grown Jazz composers and saxophonists Steve Gallam and Blake Manning, will perform in tribute to their first CD Release of Live Jazz performances. Solo, duet and quartet sets will create melody, as Mike Neumeyer navigates the marimba, Steve Gallam on Bass Guitar duals with Nathan Dill on violin, and Blake Manning corners a quartet of sax, drums, violin, and bass. MACA’s musicians all benefit from formal training but maintain their artistic warrant, clearly paying homage to their golden age of Jazz heroes in their works. This show should be a real treat for jazz enthusiasts who may be concerned about the future of the music, the MACA residents are all barely approaching 30 years of age.
Quasi Mondo Productions artistically directed by Brian Rott (formerly of Loose Canon Productions) pours a night cap/second-wind starter with its experimental theater trial Stand By that distills movement, props and illusion to tell a story. A subset of short acts from its parent production A Night of Something or Other, Stand By will play with elements designed to leave the audience room to narrate their own sub-text filling the space left by the production’s deliberate omission of spoken dialog. Visually intriguing and at times a bit nonsensical, Stand By aims to satiate the theater scene’s taste for something slightly askew of the typical flavor spectrum. Stand By enlists the talents of artistic consultant Jessi Miller, Lamont Smith and several other budding performers.
The Marian Center for Non-Profits Auditorium provides the stage for MACA part IV and will begin at 7:30pm. Proceeds or the $5 cover at the door go to offset the cost of space rental.
The Marian Center for Non Profits is located just South of Oklahoma Avenue on South Superior Street in the old St. Mary’s High School across from Bay View Park. The Marian Center for NonProfits is a mission of the Congregation of Sisters of St. Francis Assisi that provides affordable office space for non-profits and rent-able space for events.
Alive Week, Three Fingers-Plus of Weekend Performance Happenings, http://wp.me/p1hPwN-1bf
Marian Center for Nonprofits, Bay View Compass
The festivities of the Riverwest Follies continue for the 7th year this Saturday at the Polish Falcon. The Riverwest Follies offers an evening of family friendly entertainment including crafts, music and other antics insured by the MC/Host of the evening Sir Pinkerton of Dead Man’s Carnival. This year the Follies commemorate the 10 year anniversary of the Riverwest Currents, the neighborhood’s community paper.
Headlining the Riverwest Follies, Milwaukee’s resident world-music rockers Astral/Subastral orchestrate a live conglomeration of harmonies, rhythms and sounds brought together through generous instrumentation and reaching vocals that encourage soul-seeking movement, or just content head-nodding.
Astral/Subastral delivers hints of Purvian, Celtic, and possibly even Flamenco syncopation, behind a solidly folk-rock inspired lead vocalist. Astral/Subastral takes an fresh look on an often overlooked recipe: a crowd pleasing paella of musical influences from around the globe, easily enjoyed by groups of friends and family with an appetite for a potluck of good company and conversation.
The Riverwest Follies kick-off at 8:00p Saturday, March 3 at the Polish Falcon on Clarke and Fratney Streets in Riverwest. The $5 donation at the door will benefit the Riverwest Currents.
Alive Week, Three Fingers-Plus of Weekend Performance Happenings, http://wp.me/p1hPwN-1bf
Creeping in crevices up and down Milwaukee’s curvy strip of the Third Coast, for The Niama kicking-audiences’ arses comes second to just kicking-arse. The duo that makes up The Niama reek of deep Milwaukee roots that span both sides of the Hoan, and rock like skinned-elbows and the stories that go with them.
This dude Steve Gallam wears a new-school Milwaukee County Parks shirt, none of that blue pocket-T with the mini oak leaf logo. It’s black so it absorbs maximum stains and odors. Bandmate Mike Hodzinski looks pretty raw, head shaved strategically to maximize radness, but has bust-his-wrist-on-a-suckas-face-and-still-play-the-show guts to back it up (take that all you jive wanna-be long hyphenated word users).
Brandishing heavy percussion and aggressive guitar progressions, The Naima surfaces periodically like the Caddyshack gopher to amplify deviant and raucous live music.
With a blind fold on, you might think there are 2 guitars, 1 bass, and a drummer, but with no blind fold on you see that it’s just 1 guitar and a drummer playing leg and neck flexing metal instrumentals. It’s hard, it’s rhythmic and masterfully composed, pretty much two ornery musicians that put together a couple EPs (and an SP) worth of super sick songs by one-upping and stumping each other with their ideas.
Like true sell outs, The Naima headlined a very non-hyped show at Circle-A-Cafe’s Alive at 8 session over the weekend, that also featured Gnarrenschiff, a tough screw and rugged folk-blend of tambour and bodhran, spewing a beautiful and cacophonous layered mixture of notes.
As for next shows, you should be so lucky! (By the way, they are the last known band to effectively use myspace, what…? Myspace is cool again like flannels)