An e-zine for happenings of local culture in Milwaukee and elsewhere

Archive for December, 2012

Best of Local Trolley 2012!!


Approaching the doorstep of 2013, lets not trip over the threshold without getting a chance to look back on the most popular posts appearing on Local Trolley in 2012. First, I want to thank everyone who has used precious bytes of data and bandwidth to take a peek, if only at the home page on accident, at Local Trolley’s content. A lot has happened in Local Trolley’s second year, I find it fitting share a couple of online media milestones.

Numero Uno: I got a smartphone! Not just any old smarty-phone, I got an iPhone… and have talked shit about it from the day I took it out of that lame little white cardboard box. (I still love you though boo). My iPhone has truly made me more adequately social media obsessed and has truly aided me in finding my humble place on the grand scale of social media petty obsessionists. Yet I am undaunted, because at the end of the my AC adapter I still like to write more than I like to attract followers, so my cryptic and unflashy site is for just that, reading, occasionally.

Enough about Local Trolley, let get to the top posts, of the Year 2012.

#5 Brighten the Passage, Design Competition
This post actually appeared on Local Trolley in late December of 2011, and progressively got more popular. Perhaps as more people have attempted to walk from Downtown to the Third Ward, more have wondered why it is so Billy Goat Gruff-like under there, rather than yeah cool Red Hot Chilli Pepper’s Under the Bridge-like. Maybe others are just wondering if the contest is still going on. The Third Ward Association opened a design competition called Brighten the Passage to solicit ideas for how to make being under the I-794 overpass for 150 yards while trying to get to Public Market a bit more bearable. I never heard of a winner of the design competition or of an submission, maybe its time to revisit this one. I think we can at least get the City to move that damn yellow utility van off of the gravel on 4th and Clybourn Street.

#4 Far South Coast, Chef Paz Restaurant
Who wants to argue about Milwaukee’s “Foodies” and their enthusiasm for food? I don’t. Let’s face it, Wisconsin is known for brats and cheese. Milwaukee is know for brats, cheese and some of the best damn no non-sense ethnic food you can find… uh anywhere. I hate to take a stab Madison, but they’re a one of most things kind of town. Here in Milwaukee, for being a little big town, we have multiple decent options for a lot of ethnic food genres. The only thing we are missing is dim sum. At any rate, how cool is having a Peruvian restaurant to brag about, in West Allis no less.

#3 Bronze Age 2.0, Vanguard Sculpture Service, Winter Gallery Night 2012
Not to show too much bias (I’m a blog I can do that), but Vanguard’s Gallery opening was one of the coolest events I have attended in Milwaukee. Throwing fashion and trends to the side, Vanguard stepped out from years of unsung Milwaukee artisan craftsmanship to reach out to the mainstream. Nestled deep in the 35th Street Industrial Corridor, Mike Nolte represents the deep native Milwaukeean original art scene, predating the modern internet and contemporary art ad nauseam by decades. The Vanguard exhibit, Founders, featured bronze sculpture by roughly a dozen artists and a live bronze pouring demonstration.

#2 Making the Mold, Northern Chocolate Company
Our favorite chocolateer tops the list again! I am not the first nor will I be the last to write about the magical cocoa concoctions imprisoned in that beautiful Italianate cream city brick building on MLK Drive just waiting for you to break them out, waiting for you to become a part of the legend. A pure Milwaukee bucket list item, there are a couple of notes you should take before your trip to the chocolate town in Northern Chocolate Company. Give this post read before you go.

NUMBER ONE! Opening Shop, Urban Milwaukee
If there’s a more fitting outfit to grab the top spot, even on the most underground blog in Milwaukee let me know and I will sing their praises with a daisy behind each ear. Urban Milwaukee may be the most established Milwaukee focused online outlet Milwaukee has, and Urban Milwaukee has a store now. With a premier location kiddy corner to Hotel Metro , it’s great to have a place to feel right at home exchanging a few zealous words about Milwaukee in. One of the biggest beneficiaries of Urban Milwaukee (other than fanatic Milwaukeeans) are definitely visitors to the City. Kudos to Jeramy Jannene and Dave Reid you nabbed Local Trolley’s top post of 2012!

Ya! Ya! Sea Triscuit, on with 2013!

Who’s Making, Up Market, MOCT


Football dominates Sunday afternoons, especially in Packer country and especially when the hometown favorite makes mince meat morsels out of ancient rivals Chicago Bears. MOCT on Pittsburg has taken a different approach to Sunday funday, mixing an afternoon of sports and indy commerce. They’ve huddled with Wren Solares’ creative start-up Lost In Milwaukee to give a winter home to Solares’ venture the Sunday Up Market. The first installment of Up Market popped this past Sunday, scheduled to cycle in crafty inventories on alternating Sundays through the Spring of 2013.

Accommodating a couple of fists full of vendors, the Up Market gave opportunity to venerable makers-of-things of varying materials including Butterscotch Baby’s full line of Total Body Experience products, felted accessories by Jan Falk, repurposed and original nit designs by Zen Dragonfly, couture from BVEN Boutique on Brady, and some serious iron work from Historic Preservation Award winner Milwaukee Blacksmith Inc. Sunday Up Market’s selection of wares and accessories gave a swath of interpretations on winter favorites like hats, scarves, wrist warmers and some really nice mittens, and all season items like jewelry and resale vintage fashion from other sellers as well.

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As craft and art fairs become vogue, mainstay outlets like WSME’s Buy Local Bazaar, Art vs Craft and Made in Milwaukee need company, its getting to the place where there are just not enough booths to go around. Even more intriguing, MOCT has the ability to host this event on a regular basis with a nearly ideal atmosphere for a local shopping experience: urban chic and niche. Once spring breaks, Solares, collaborating with the Walker’s Point Association and Alderman Perez, plans to move the venue of Sunday Up Market to an outdoor space that will accommodate 200 vendors. The Sunday Up Market spring kick-off is scheduled for May 5, 2013.

Even though the next Up Market is a month out, you may still have time to strike a deal with some of the vendors before Christmas by contacting them directly, online or by appointment. The next Sunday Up Market is January 20, 2013 at MOCT. You’ll find more information on the market and vending opportunities on Sunday Up Market’s website.

Ascension into the Fiction, The Skrauss


Cloaked and vaporous social commentary of unprecedented proportion masqueraded as wackiness in one of the best art installations of the year. Tremendous effort went into putting together The Skrauss’ latest exhibition Ascension into the Fiction at UWM Innova 3 Gallery. An illustrator and painters by training The Skrauss has more recently taken a dive of the deep end into video production. He’s compiled a series of vlogs entitled The Skrauss Speaks. For Ascension into the Fiction The Skrauss constructed an elaborate maze, with walls at least 10 feet high with blind turns and tight spaces, fabricated from discarded boxes and duck tape. Several rooms were set upon by projectors blasting the The Skrauss Speaks propaganda films onto the maze walls.

This once and life time experience closed December 8th unfortunately, it actually took me two weeks to find the Innova 3 Gallery, nestled unceremoniously in the Peck Arts building on UWM campus proper. Alas, The Skrauss is having an art open house and book give away today at 4:30p at The Skrap Haus Multinational.

Musical Chalk Outlines, e.d.g.e., Madden Miles


Have you given up on beats? Unplug those earbuds and get a download of this collab of Ed Pengame and Madden Miles that’s only suitable for quality headphones, car systems with sub port bass systems or home stereos. Ed Pengame aka e.d.g.e gets clean on this one, indie and nothing to lose except respect in the underground hip-hop game, so you know what that means, Rip a Shot!

e.d.g.e. “For Your Thoughts” produced by Madden Miles via bigmcenroe on YouTube

Madden Miles released a limited edition EP this summer, The Candace Bailey Beat Tape, and keeps beating on the doors with a quality contender showing at the 2012 Miltown Beatdown. The kid keeps it very nice for purists and instrumental lovers with occasional beat sample drops check out some of the latest.

“Powdered Nostrils” Madden Miles

“Broken Mirrors” Madden Miles

“Rising Above” Madden Miles

Related Post
The Candace Bailey Beat Tape, Madden Miles

Irie Flame, Fire on Water, Brothers Quinn


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.