5FriJanuary 5, 20189:00pm $6.00Pat McCurdy is a singer/song writer from Wisconsin. He tours the mid-western part of the USA, his shows usually consisting of just him and his guitar. While the majority of his audience is made up of a college-age crowd, McCurdy manages to appeal to a large number of people of all ages with his interactive shows. Performing well over 300 shows a year, his large catalog of original songs (nearly 600 and growing) covers a variety of topics such as lost loves, politics, family vacations, the joys of Asian cuisine, and the sex organs of long-dead French Emperors.
Classifying McCurdy's style has long been a problem since he tends to follow wherever his muse takes him. Many of his songs could be classified as rock/pop, though he's been known to wander into folk, jazz, country and even Gilbert and Sullivan. Whatever style he chooses, his songs often include memorable lyrics.
6SatDamaged Justice (Metallica tribute), Avenge 7X (Avenged Sevenfold tribute)
12FriJanuary 12, 20188:00pm $8.00Pundamonium is a slam-style pun contest. One by one, 15 contestants make puns based on prompts. Then they do it again.
Each contestant is immediately judged by five members of the audience, who have been selected before the show to be judges. They rank each punner on a scale of 1 to 10, often with hilariously long decimals and other commentary.
The top four contestants go head to head in a final pun-off.
Want to compete? Just show up! It's first come, first served.
13SatJanuary 13, 2018
Formed in 2014, two years after INXS stopped touring, KICK - The INXS Experience has beautifully managed to capture the spirit of INXS in both its sound and live performance, bringing the highest level of musicianship to the audience while showing a true passion for the music of INXS. Vocalist, guitarist, and singer-songwriter Cory Massi is the founding frontman of KICK, and has long held a respect and admiration for the late great Michael Hutchence. Massi even auditioned for the reality TV show, Rockstar: INXS, in 2004, where contestants competed to become the new lead vocalist for INXS. What convinced him to audition? "I loved Michael's singing and his personality," notes Massi. "I saw INXS when I was a teenager in '88 and '89; they were great, and the people were just gaga over them. Michael left a big impression with his star power; he really had it, that guy. Our range is similar and I just went for it. I had to sing "Mystify" acappella so I was kind of nervous because I didn't have a band behind me. There was a camera a foot away from my face and it was out of my comfort zone; I would probably still feel uncomfortable today. I didn't get the gig: I was one of the last people to try out and I think by the time I auditioned they had already made their selection. No excuse: it was a good experience. We include "Mystify" in our set and when I sing it, I have my band with me and we love the music, so we play it with a lot of heart."
KICK is already garnering the attention, admiration, and accolades of well-seasoned "ears" in the music industry. Radio personalities in several markets have been quick to offer praise; WZXL / Atlantic City program director Steve Raymond, a longtime fan of INXS, raved after listening to only part of one song, "Wow! These guys have got the vibe down. Really impressive!" 107.1 The BOSS (WWZY)'s midday air personality Michele Amabile concurred, "I had to go back and listen again with my eyes closed.... I could have sworn I was hearing Michael Hutchence!"
Sounding like legendary frontman Michael Hutchence is no easy task. "I guess the hardest thing, the most challenging thing when I started KICK," acknowledges Massi, "was capturing the great variety in Hutchence's voice. He can sound sensitive and soft and he can be super strong and really belt it out and sometimes that all happens within one phrase or even a word. It took a lot of self-control to capture how he projects his lyrics and the music. It's impossible to really sound and look like him; he's an Adonis, another Jim Morrison, Morrison in a pop sense. I can't mimic that; all I can do is do my best to capture his spirit."
The focus has been on faithfully recreating the music in its most powerful sense; an in-the-pocket bottom end from bass player Don Leslie and drummer Johnny Dee, a brilliant combination of piano and synth by Mark Goodnough, the signature guitar tones produced by guitarist Todd King and Jason Taylor, the saxophone by Nottingham, England's Tom Wheat, and the spot-on lead vocals by Cory Massi, all lend to a powerful high-energy show. KICK - The INXS Experience will take you back. It will reignite your passion for INXS. It will introduce you to music that is still as fresh today as the day it was written; from "Original Sin" to "Elegantly Wasted" and everything in between, including (but not limited to) "Need You Tonight," "New Sensation," "What You Need," "Don't Change," "Listen Like Thieves," "The One Thing," "Bitter Tears," "Suicide Blonde," "Not Enough Time," "Beautiful Girl," and "Devil Inside."
The band hears it, time and time again:
"This was like seeing INXS all over again, I'm their biggest fan."
"That was such an awesome surprise; I'd almost forgotten how much I love INXS!"
"I came thinking I would only know a couple of songs, but I knew every single one - and the words, too."
"Cory Massi is Michael Hutchence 2.0, fabulous!"
19FriJanuary 19, 2018
Living on the road and playing clubs from "Austin to Boston", the Bel Airs are carrying on the tradition of American Rhythm and Blues. The band is fronted by brothers Dick and Dave Pruitt on bass and electric guitars. Growing up on country soul and rock-n-roll, the Pruitt brothers have developed a harmony vocal style all their own. They have been performing together for more than 30 years, wowing audiences nightly with their unique brand of music- leading one reviewer to refer to them as the "Everly Brothers of Blues."
With four acclaimed albums and performances at festivals and night clubs across the USA as well as England, France, Belgium and Spain, the band continues to travel extensively. The Bel Airs' musical approach and superbly crafted showmanship make for a more than memorable concert whenever they appear.
20SatJanuary 20, 2018
The venue famously references the movie and fictional band Spinal Tap. In the movie, Shank Hall was a fictional space that Spinal Tap played while in Milwaukee.
Tickets are on sale now are available via TicketWeb. By advance will call tickets and save a few bucks. Sorry about the "convenience charge." That's why we lowered the price of advance tickets from $10 to $8. We expect a large turnout, and advance tickets will assure you are not turned away.
26FriJanuary 26, 2018Michael McDermott
The missteps and failures that followed, the collapse of an industry that once embraced him as its next sensation, are troubles and travails that either ruin a person completely, or they force a change of attitude and staunch determination to gather one's resolve to not only survive, but overcome. McDermott vowed to do both. Ten albums in, it's resulted in Willow Springs (Pauper Sky, June 17, 2016), one of the most honest, daring and defiant recordings of McDermott's career. Named for the small town where he now resides with his wife and young daughter, it reflects a certain circumspect about his life, the situations he's encountered, while realizing that ultimately, his fate resided in his own hands.
"This is an album of reckoning I suppose," McDermott reflects. "There was a real cacophony of change going on in my life at the time... being a new father, losing my own father, leaving the city for the country, dealing with sobriety, grief, death, mortality, shame and forgiveness. It was a veritable emotional tsunami and yet somehow I had to navigate through it all. That journey is reflected in these songs. Willow Springs is the name of the place where I took refuge and had to confront a lot of things".
Recorded at his home in the country and fan-funded, Willow Springs finds McDermott behind the boards as producer for the first time with longtime producer and collaborator, Lex Price doing the mix. Having enlisted a stellar support group of musicians -- including multi-instrumentalist, Price; guitarist, Will Kimbrough; keyboard player, John Deaderick ; sax player Rich Parenteau; and McDermott's wife, Heather Horton on backing vocals - McDermott found himself able to craft the unassuming yet cutting sound he envisioned.
Indeed, the results bear out the fact that Willow Springs is the most honest and expressive album of McDermott's extraordinary 25 year career. Songs such as, 'These Last Few Days', 'Getaway Car', 'Half Empty Kinda Guy', 'One Minus One' and the title track, convey all at once, a sound that's both reflective and confessional - borne by stark emotion and a tattered, battered delivery that's both sobering and sublime. McDermott remains more determined than ever, and Willow Springs is the result. "My enthusiasm is only matched by my desire to continue to evolve as an artist" he insists.
Accolades and kudos can be accumulated one minute and quickly dissipate the next. After all, the music biz is a fickle beast and it doesn't matter how much you pleased the masses last year, last month or even last week, but rather, about what you offer today.
Today, McDermott has offered his best.
Kudos to Michael McDermott - overnight success.
27SatJanuary 27, 2018Substitute (Who tribute), The Nimrods (Green Day tribute)8:00pm $10.00With a look and sound that captures The Who at the height of their 70s peak, Substitute plays the songs that have become part of rock legend. From the hits (Pinball Wizard, Who Are You and Won't Get Fooled Again) to lesser-known classics (The Seeker, Bargain and The Real Me), Substitute is becoming a regular at some of the Midwest's most prestigious venues and festivals!
The Milwaukee-based band was formed by Wisconsin by-way-of Seattle bassist Tom Branigan in 2005, when he found three people who shared his love of Who music and could faithfully replicate the playing styles of its four original members. Featuring veteran musicians Andy Potocic on guitar, Andy Pagel on drums, vocalist Dave Stevens and Branigan, the result is a no-frills sonic attack that brings back the very best of the 60s and 70s.
28SunJanuary 28, 2018
Samantha Fish knows that all too well, and it's been evidenced in the music she's made her entire career. While she's well known as a purveyor of blues, having been lauded by such legends as Buddy Guy, the Royal Southern Brotherhood and Luther Dickinson, her real love is simply raw, scrappy rock and roll. "I grew up on it," she insists. "Working with Luther on my last album further instilled that spirit in me. It made me realize just how much that basic, unfettered sound means to me, and how well it ties into soul music, R&B, country and so many other forms of music that are essential even today."
It's little wonder then that when it came time to record her new album, Chills & Fever (released March 17, 2017), Fish ventured off in another new direction, one she was exploring for the first time in her career. She traveled to Detroit and joined forces with members of the Detroit Cobras, a band whose insurgent ethic has made them darlings of the Midwest punk/blues scene. The two entities -- which included Joe Mazzola on guitar, Steve Nawara on bass, and Kenny Tudrick along with Bob Mervak on keys, and the New Orleans horn section featuring Mark Levron and Travis Blotsky on trumpet and saxophone -- bonded over a common love of classic soul and rollicking rhythms, so much so that the results testify to a seemingly timeless template. Covering songs from the '60s and '70s -- indelible melodies from the pens of legends like Jackie DeShannon, Jerry Ragavoy, Bert Berns and Allen Toussaint -- and revisiting some earlier demos she cut along with producer Bobby Harlow, Fish and the Cobras created an album that's best described as a pure slab of rocking rhythm n' blues.
"I listened to a lot of soul music, and I dug deep into people like Otis Redding and Ray Charles," Fish recalls. "I was also influenced by people like R.L. Burnside and North Mississippi's Junior Kimbrough. It's a lot less restrained style of music than the sound people may be used to hearing from me, but it's definitely a different facet of my personality. It's far more straight forward."
The fact is, Fish has never been bound by any expectations whatsoever. Growing up in Kansas City, she switched from drums to guitar at the tender age of 15. She spent much of her time in local watering holes listening to visiting blues bands. Samantha caught the attention of Ruf Records. The label subsequently released her album, Girls with Guitars, which found her co-billed with Cassie Taylor and Dani Wilde. That led to her forming her own trio and recording three more albums, Runaway (2011), Black Wind Howlin' (2013) and Wild Heart (2015), as reaping an awards for Best Artist Debut at the 2012 Blues Music Awards in Memphis. Along the way she found herself working with other artists as well -- Jimmy Hall, Devon Allman, and Reese Wynans, among them.
Still, nothing she's done before can prepare her faithful fans and followers to the seminal sounds of Chills & Fever.
I don't think I ever enjoyed making a record quite as much as I enjoyed making this one," Fish insists. "I love the sound of the brass and the edgier intensity. One thing's for sure. Nothing ever felt so authentic."
At some point in the last ten years Mojo Perry went from a guy playing throughout the mid-west performing his songs with his band and couch surfing, to having released eight studio albums, performing in 37 states and 6 countries, award nominations and more while writing and performing mostly with Cigarbox Guitars! In the past two years Mojo and his band have opened for Ana Popovic, Chris Duarte, Samantha Fish, Carolyn Wonderland, and others of today's top Blues Rock Artists who feature guitar playing. He is currently working on a new album titled "Radio Flyer", and wrapping up "Mojo Perry Live" CD/DVD and "Magic Butterfly Collection", a box set containing 160 tracks scheduled for release this October! Mojo is one of many gifted songwriters who are specially invited to participate in the "Steel Bridge" and "Darksongs" singer songwriter collaborative events. The experience of working with a big collection of amazing Artists has helped broaden his songwriting. His sound is not based in your typical Blues Rock fashion so his music stands out because of his creativity, raw sound and style of guitar playing, but also his personality and life within his music. He lives his Art. Perry's passionate performances continually place him in opening slots for many of today's most exciting and hailed Blues Rock Singer Songwriters. You will enjoy Mojo Perry's charm, pleasant stage banter with longtime bandmates Chuck Hubbell on Bass and Brother Joe on Drums, and you will be in awe after their butt whooping performance! This is Blues Infused Psychedelic Rock at it's best. A very authentic sound making Mojo Perry stand out as one of today's exciting singer songwriters.
30TueJanuary 30, 2018Mako
A stark shift in musical aesthetic, Hourglass sees MAKO graduating beyond their early beginnings in dance music and reaching far into the spheres of pop, indie rock and beyond. The album, created over two years, reflects an equal amalgamation of the myriad influences from which Seaver and Light draw as well as their deep-rooted experience on the road, in the studio, on the stage and in everyday life. All together, Hourglass is the latest and most robust chapter in the MAKO storyline, a growing tale told up to date in the album's 12 tracks. Still, to understand Hourglass requires a deep dive into MAKO's makeup and creative dynamic.
To hear it told from inception, the history of MAKO is much like listening to the unfolding of a modern-day legend. Seaver, a multifaceted, classically trained musician and gifted graduate of the lauded Juilliard School in NYC, moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in film composing where he met Light by way of their fathers, who were once college roommates. A devotee to the indie rock circles of the day, Light was making waves in his own right as he began to master the DJ decks, gaining enough momentum to attain opening slots for EDM giants Tiësto and Avicii. Following a storied trip to the EDM mega-festival Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas, where Seaver was thrown headfirst into the electronic music world, the two friends formed MAKO.
In no time, MAKO became one of the hottest acts in the electronic music world. Their first release, "Beam," amassed more than 25 million online views and streams. Between their own remixes and work for others they amassed multiple Hype Machine #1's. SiriusXM quickly jumped on board, anointing them "the next big thing," and the rest of the electronic musical community followed suit. MAKO have since worked alongside many top artists, including Avicii and Steve Angello. Additionally, Seaver has scored music for and worked alongside League Of Legends/Riot Games on a variety of projects, as well as has scored for independent film, television and several commercials.
On the touring front, MAKO have played high-profile festivals, including Coachella, Lollapalooza, EDC Las Vegas, TomorrowWorld, Electric Forest, Electric Zoo, and more, in addition to headlining their own club tours. Hourglass, then, is the next progression.
Sewn deep into the DNA of Hourglass lies a distinct hybrid musicality layered with MAKO's diverse backgrounds and unique interests stepping forward to present a new, consolidated sound. Dig into "Let Go of the Wheel," where a serene guitar-and-piano combo pair beautifully with Seaver's love-hued lyrics which explode as he sings of simpler times and future days. "Real Life" shines through powerfully and showcases an endearing take on indie rock sensibilities.
The album also features their 2015 breakthrough single "Smoke Filled Room," which soared into pop and dance radio airplay charts via continuous support on SiriusXM's BPM and iHeartRadio's Evolution channels and landed at #1 on the Dance Airplay chart. "Wish You Back" features Kwesi and offers a touching, self-reflective tale of love lost built over a cinematic arch, while Dutch house duo The Him offers a bouncy, alternate take of the track with club-friendly charm and serves as a bonus track on the album.
Other standout tracks include "North Dakota," a stunning and unique soulful ballad about finding solace outside of the big city; "Run for Your Life," which is three minutes of pop genius produced with the help of Seaver's Norwegian friend, Rat City and features a guest vocal from Natalola; and "Craziest Day I Ever Had," a hilarious tale of misadventure in Los Angeles. The album closes with "Our Story (Hourglass Finale)," an anthemic rework of MAKO's ode to childhood innocence.
"The biggest challenge was staring at a completely blank canvas and thinking, 'I can fill this with literally anything. What do I want to say?'" says Seaver of Hourglass. "To really develop a voice was the most challenging aspect of this project."
"We wanted to expand our sound to create something that shows both of our backgrounds and influences and try to make something new out of that," adds Light.
While the beginnings of Hourglass date back to 2014, it was a performance at this year's Lake George Music Festival (August 2016) that helped realize the group's artistic potential. Here, MAKO collaborated with the festival's 40-piece classical orchestra to create unique arrangements of the duo's original music. The result: The lush complexities and beefy layers of Seaver's professional training in classical music meshed beautifully with Light's love for the modern, the edgy, and the electronic, as heard fully throughout Hourglass.
With Hourglass, MAKO bid farewell to their former style of dance floor burners and hands-in-the-air beats with an evolved sound reaching toward the vast beyond: sincere, story-based songwriting; cinematic arrangements and orchestral instrumentation; and indie rock stylings the size of stadium anthems, all while retaining a twist of electronic goodness. Ultimately, its wide-reaching composite draws listeners into the duo's personal story with glimpses into their future sound, while remaining organically MAKO.
"We hope the people who have been along for the ride with us will love the direction we've chosen," says Seaver. "We put our hearts and souls into this. We're going the way we want to go."