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

Archive for April, 2016

Classic Departure, Company Brewing, Sista Strings

In the depths of Milwaukee’s DIY music scene, a renaissance germinates. Classically trained brass and string musicians, pleasantly cross-pollinating rock genres of all types, continue their bloom. These virtuoso rosin their bows and swap out their reeds to spite traditional concert halls. They have carved places and musical structures of their own to express visions of musical aesthetic and composition yet conceived by the casual listener. Most of all, they create a marvelous experiences.

Company Brewing buttoned-up their image compared to the old Stone Fly, no worries though. On this night, like most others, the quality of the show stayed the same. New Boyz’ mystic river of loping, soul gripping stanzas had my live music jones covered, pleasantly. To get downstream though, I slipped into rushing rapids.

Holton Renaissance

Fervently, Sista Strings sent classical phrasing swiftly rolling along the banks of conventional string family expectations. Their set carried gormandizers against their will to a troublesome place they subconsciously want to reach anyway; somewhere between technicality and uninhibited.


Gracious performers, they grated their attendants with an edge of focused rage, occasionally releasing us from their grasp gently, as they surprised each other with subtle wrinkles in their sections, setting coy smiles on each others faces.

They should be featured as soon and often as possible.

They Say Us, Public House, New Boyz Club

Over a year ago now, Public House lovingly thought to do a Valentine’s Day show. The scraggly line-up put Mississippi Sawyer, an old time roots and Americana jazz band that earns most of their keep busking Milwaukee street corners, in the opening spot followed by whimsical rock enthusiasts Holy Sheboygan. The bill wrapped with these two spin-off projects from a couple known and respected bass musicians on the indie scene, Bo Triplex and New Boyz Club; my first experience with either.

The most auspiciously concocted day of the year dedicated to fond emotions came through for once. This show would add further spark to Milwaukee’s growing love affair with bass-lead oufits and deep genre fusion backed by classically trained string and brass musicians. 

Bo Triplex in its own regard, single handedly made R&B Soul, (like 70’s style with back up singers and everything) fun and musical again. New Boyz Club since then has gone intergalactic. 

They matured quickly like a wild baby zebra, developing the markings of a seasoned adult, confident, aware and at ease. Their February show at the Public House this shows what familiarity and chemistry can do for musicians in a short amount of time.

Light Cannot Escape

An invocation from Johanna Rose calls their performances into being, 

Glory, Glory…


It in ends in a cacophony of voices, chords and scales escorting everyones attention to the immediacy of life and the battle of wills contain with in it, to live, to control,


Gracious in all ways, New Boyz Club occasionally shares this moment with guest performances from friends, frolickers and family, sometimes all at once.

Good Times for Good Land

Speaking of cameos, good timer D’Amato serves a bit of soul succotash to compliment New Boyz’ song menu on occasion too. 


Together they tap that thick layered orchestrated BT Express-era soundscape that needs more play these days. D’Amato a solid solo artist in his own right as a guest chef make it that much more f*cking delicous.

In other pieces, New Boyz wisk in melodic variations on classical salsa, allowing room for improvised dashes of crushed pepper, bring their performances to a slow simmer.

In the their grandest moments, New Boyz disappear into one another. We All Go to Heavan on a Sinking Ship will always be their gypsy ballad, a beautiful lament that captures the unsettled and unjulating pace of uncharmed and cynically yourning lifeforces.

A few rising and notable local musicians, saxaphonist Jay Anderson, violinist Ernie Brusubardis, Katie Lyne, Will Rose, Palmer Shah and Josh Backes complete the New Boyz Club formula, a mixture epitomizing why we recognize Milwaukee Day.