2TueApril 2, 2019
With the group seemingly hitting new heights with every performance, Castro knew the time was right to answer his fans' demands for a live album. Killin' It--Live captures the band at the peak of their creative and improvisational powers, and features one unforgettable, unpredictable performance after another. "This is the best band we've ever had," says Castro. We really got something going on beyond just being good musicians. Every song we play live now has that right feel--all the dynamics. It allows us to jam out more on stage. Killin' It--Live is what you hear when you see us live."
Featuring songs from throughout Castro's career, Killin' It--Live was produced by Castro and engineer/songwriter Ron Alan Cohen and recorded at venues in Texas, New York, Michigan and California during 2018. The album includes eight Castro originals spanning his entire career and two Castro-ized covers, each showing a slightly different side of his multifaceted musical personality. From fan favorites She Wanted To Give It To Me and Make It Back To Memphis to newer classics like Lose Lose and Two Hearts to Taj Mahal's arrangement of Sleepy John Estes' Leaving Trunk (a song Castro has never recorded before but has been playing live for years), Killin' It--Live is a nonstop, spirited mix of blues, rock and soul, with rollicking, hypnotic grooves fueled by Castro's animated, fervent vocals.
Born in San Jose, California in 1955, Tommy Castro first picked up a guitar at age 10. He fell under the spell of Eric Clapton, Elvin Bishop, Taj Mahal, Mike Bloomfield and other blues-rockers. Almost every major rock and soul act, from Ike and Tina Turner to Janis Joplin to Elvin Bishop to Taj Mahal, toured through the area, and Castro was at every show. He saw John Lee Hooker, Albert King and Buddy Guy and Junior Wells at the same local blues bar, JJ's, where he often jammed, dreaming of one day busting out. Mixing the blues-rock he loved and the soul music he heard blasting out from his Mexican friends' lowriders, Tommy started to create his own personal sound and style. He honed his guitar skills and intense vocals, learning how to capture an audience as he performed on San Jose's highly competitive bar scene. As his reputation spread, Tommy played in a variety of Bay Area blues and soul bands, soon making a name for himself as a hotter-than-hot live artist bursting at the seams with talent. In 1985, he was recruited to become lead singer and guitarist for the regionally popular blues band NiteCry, gigging regularly throughout Northern California.
Castro joined Warner Brothers' artists The Dynatones in the late 1980s, performing all over the country. He formed the first Tommy Castro Band in 1991, releasing his debut album in 1996 on the Blind Pig label. In the mid-1990s The Tommy Castro Band served as the house band for three seasons on NBC Television's Comedy Showcase (airing right after Saturday Night Live), bringing him in front of millions of viewers every week. During the 1990s and into the 2000s, Castro recorded a series of critically acclaimed CDs for Blind Pig, Telarc and 33rd Street Records, as well as one on his own Heart And Soul label.
Castro joined Alligator Records in 2009, releasing Hard Believer to massive acclaim. He won four of his six career Blues Music Awards, including the coveted B.B. King Entertainer Of The Year Award (the very highest award a blues performer can receive). His next release, 2011's Tommy Castro Presents The Legendary Rhythm & Blues Revue--Live!, was a boisterous and searing collection of highlights from a series of live performances anchored by Castro and an all-star collection of blues giants, including Rick Estrin, Michael "Iron Man" Burks and Joe Louis Walker. His relentless road-dog approach--gig after gig, night after night--has won him loyal, lifelong fans everywhere he plays. The Washington Post says Castro is "phenomenal and funky" with "soulful vocals and inspired blues-rock guitar."
Castro formed the first incarnation of The Painkillers in 2012, and by 2014 (with Brown and Emerson taking over drums and keys respectively) they had become a lean, mean four-piece lineup, delivering soul-shaking, muscular music. The current band released Method To My Madness in 2015 and Stompin' Ground in 2017, with critics shouting praise and admirers cheering the group's every move. Castro had stripped his music down to its raw essence with the new, smaller band, creating a larger than life sound. Blues Revue said simply, "Tommy Castro can do no wrong."
Live on stage, Tommy Castro & The Painkillers' road-hardened musicianship brings an unmatched passion to Castro's blue-eyed California soul and hard-rocking, good-time songs. The San Francisco Chronicle describes Castro's music as, "funky Southern soul, big city blues and classic rock...silvery guitar licks that simultaneously sound familiar and fresh." No Depression says "Castro plays gritty, string-bending blues like a runaway soul train...a glorious blend that rocks the soul and lifts the spirits." Killin' It--Live captures the live power and raw passion of Tommy Castro & The Painkillers. It's the next best thing to being there.
3WedApril 3, 20198:00pm FREEKevn Kinney is the lead singer / songwriter of the Atlanta rock band, Drivin N Cryin. Since the band's 1985 inception, he's released some spare acoustic records on his own, often collaborating with R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck.
MacDougal Blues, released on Island Records in 1990, announced the rocker's arrival on the folk scene, with the engaging title cut and nine more acoustic tracks, produced by Buck, and mostly played by his bandmates from Drivin N Cryin.
Though often cited as a working-class lyricist, Kinney cannot easily be thrown into the same bag as Springsteen, Mellencamp, or Dave Alvin. Instead, his is a unique spin on class, not urban yet not completely rural.
Kinney still continues to tour as a solo artist in-between dates with Drivin N Cryin, and is known to help host the annual Christmas Jam in Asheville with Warren Haynes. Darius Rucker cut Kinney's song, Straight To Hell, on his album When Was The Last Time. The Drivin N Cryin song was a major hit on their album, Mystery Road, originally released in 1989.
4ThuApril 4, 2019
Some say I'm a bit of a throw-back, since I'm pretty sure in some other lifetime I was raised in the 60s and 70s, soaking up the tie-dye love. It reminds me of good ol' days, where folks like Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Queen, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, and MANY more of those greats reigned supreme. Ah Well! Missed that boat. I'm trying to keep the honest essence of the era going in my own way.
My music tells the roller-coaster story of life. As I know it. Possibly you, too? It oozes and infuses of heartbreak, whole-hearted love, loss, whimsy dreams, hope, and a knowing that just 'round the bend, a better day is near.
I'll never lose faith in that that.
5FriApril 5, 2019
There's a confidence, a completeness in the song cycle that listeners have gleaned throughout Adams' illustrious career, but A Face Like Mine, his sixth solo effort, brings it all into sharp focus. As Adams sees it, "On the long plod of finding my voice as a singer and a writer, the singing has slowly developed from the sound of a scared guy to someone who believes what he's saying and the writing, I hope, has become less rigid -- both in the lyrics and the phrasing."
Less rigid, indeed. Adams' brand of Americana nestles his often delicate, always heartfelt voice in the warm embrace of gentle guitar, tasteful dobro, subtle banjo, supportive bass, and unhurried percussion. The result is a sonic scape that, in turn, wraps itself around the listener like a soft blanket on a cold day. With A Face Like Mine, Adams further refines the simple musical sophistication that has become his trademark.
Throughout the self-produced set, Adams tells tales of love and loss, homes and hearts. The territory he mines is a deliberate mix of fact and fantasy. "I feel like I'm, firstly, a storyteller, but it's inevitable that my own stuff gets in there deep. And it's funny how, sometimes, I don't realize it until the song is done," he offers. "At the same time, there are times where I take very directly from an experience or a relationship, but I try to be very careful when that happens. I don't want to ever sound like a journal entry."
Regardless of the details, there's always a philosophical bent that is often more under than on the surface, firmly grounding Adams' songs even as they stretch outward. By his own admission, Adams is a seeker who spends considerable time wrestling with matters of faith, though he's the first to admit he doesn't have any real answers. "I honestly don't know what the hell I'm doing... nor do I have the language for any of this stuff," he says with a laugh. "But there is a constant tug on me in that direction and, the older I get, the more present it becomes. Music can often be the most direct way to step into that river."
That seeker's heart is the tie that so often binds these songs together. Whether the search for place and purpose is of a spiritual or geographical nature, few writers capture the journey as thoughtfully as Adams. An Alabama native, Adams says he feels most comfortable in motion and doesn't have a strong sense of being Southern, even though his music is rooted in that world in so many ways. The first verse of the album's mesmerizing lead track, "Good Man," exemplifies his plight: "This old house is falling down. Every step I take makes a hollow sound. Should I walk away? Should I push on through? What in the world can a good man do?"
Even as Adams goes on to sing of "laughing eyes with a touch of grey" and walking "a mile across the kitchen floor" in order to set various scenes, he leaves room for the listener to crawl inside his stories and make them their own. Striking that balance is the songwriter's eternal struggle, but one Adams seems to have mastered after years of toiling on his own and collaborating with co-writers like Kim Richey, Caitlin Canty, and Todd Lombardo.
"I don't think I'm very good at co-writing because my process seems so weird and long and tedious to me," Adams confides. "It's hard to allow someone into that space, but there a few folks where our sensibilities are aligned and we're not just trying to bang out a song in a day. I want to feel as close to the songs I co-write as the ones I write alone. Writers like Kim Richey have such an economy and depth to the ideas that come out of their mouths and hands -- there's wisdom there. I want to be more like that."
In addition to this release, Adams is currently putting his classical composition studies to work on a piece for violin and piano -- an aspect of his craft and education that got set aside somewhere along the way to now. "I've wondered a lot why I spent all that time studying music in school and how my composer hat fits in with or hinders my songwriting," he says. "Some of it was definitely useless to me, then and now. But some of it has left its mark on how I listen, and how I think of arranging songs, and how I communicate with players who are playing on them. Also, writing in such an extremely simple and constrained musical language makes all your choices much more delicate, so I spend a lot of time crafting even the simplest melody."
A Face Like Mine's songs were composed all over the world, from Alabama to India, and they dig into topics are disparate as the desperation of addiction ("Lorraine"), the grappling of self-image ("Who Else Could I Be"), the vitriol of politics ("We Are"), and the genetics of suffering ("A Face Like Mine"). "We Are" and "Who Else Could I Be" were originally written for a dance piece that Gina Patterson choreographed for the San Angelo Civic Ballet. Even so, Adams made sure the songs could stand alone in their own world no matter what else was swirling around them -- confidence and completeness in action.
As a work of musical art, A Face Like Mine fulfills the promise of Peter Bradley Adams. And rarely has an artist's standing still sounded so divine.
6SatApril 6, 20198:00pm $7.00The Lovin' Kind is a Milwaukee group who have re-emerged as a 60s rock band with Beatle and Rolling Stones roots. This group of seven musicians has dedicated themselves to entertaining those folks who truly love a song with a hook and a beat. The music is designed to produce songs that never leave your head.
We play all of our songs with the crowd in mind! We are a "fun" band playing songs that have a great beat for a full night of dancing. The songs are popular classic rock played with great musical talent. The Lovin Kind has been playing together for 7 years and the songs are really "tight". Great lead singing, great harmonies and full sound will make for the best night of music in years! The band consists of lead, rythm and bass guitars, keyboard, drums, degembe, and percussion. Band members sing with great lead and harmonies. The Lovin Kind is truly a classic rock icon in Milwaukee and will be for years to come!
Failure To Launch is a hot Milwaukee cover band will keep you on your feet dancing and singing along the entire show. You'll hear hits ranging form the 70s all the way to the current top 40. Classic Rock, Pop, and even a little Hip Hop are blended seamlessly. Keep an eye out for them in the Milwaukee bar scene as they've played venues such as the BBC, Whiskey Bar, and other Milwaukee area hot spots.
8MonApril 8, 2019Jeremy Enigk
1) At the time of its release in 1996, there was no other album like it.
2) In the 22 years between then and now, its marriage of seemingly opposing sensibilities--English folk and American punk; orchestral chamber pop and progressive rock; surreal, pastoral, fanciful lyrics that burn to express personal, emotional, and spiritual quandary--has become the blueprint for so much great music that a young listener can be forgiven for thinking that things were always just like that.
This isn't to claim some kind of Velvet Underground/Big Star status for the album, but it is to say that you can draw a straight line between Frog Queen and elements of Elliott Smith, Belle & Sebastian, Rufus Wainwright, Destroyer, the Decemberists, Fleet Foxes, Sufjan Stevens, Beirut, Grizzly Bear, Joanna Newsom, Bon Iver, and many, many other artists who have come to define the past two decades of indie music.
3) It's getting harder to remember anything anymore.
But Return of the Frog Queen is worth remembering. Or discovering. And most definitely celebrating. Though you rarely see it turn up on lists of 50 Best Things of Whatever Year We Wish We Still Lived in Because the Present Is Such a Consummate Drag, the album was an indisputable innovation in the world of '90s indie rock, rewriting a litany of unwritten rules about sound, subject matter, and solo identity for lead singers of successful bands.
As you probably know, Enigk was the singer/guitarist of Sunny Day Real Estate, the Seattle quartet widely credited as the Big Bang of the post-hardcore, indie rock variant of emo that would spend the next decade morphing into a massively commercial enterprise.
You can't blame Sunny Day Real Estate for that, though. They were just a young, powerhouse band who happened to be several years ahead of their time.
SDRE's debut album, Diary, and its first single, "Seven," was a seismic event, not least in the lives of the band members. It was released in May of 1994, one month and two days after Kurt Cobain's suicide was discovered. Diary became Sub Pop's biggest-selling album since Bleach--a distinction that lasted until the next decade.
The story of the band's splintering during the making of their follow-up album (LP2)--and triumphant reunion a few years later--has been well-told elsewhere. But for our purposes, it's worth bearing in mind that the break-up drama formed the background from which Return of the Frog Queen emerged.
In the space of about two years, Jeremy Enigk had joined a band with some friends, toured the world, sold way more records than anyone had anticipated, been heralded with hyperbolic--not to say unwarranted--praise, become a significant voice to a lot of young listeners, experienced a religious epiphany that he spoke of publicly, and watched the band buckle and fall apart, much to the dismay of a public that was only just starting to figure out how to broadcast its anxious speculations and judgments on the internet.
By the time the band broke up, he had been loved, respected, celebrated, criticized, vilified, and reproached. He was 21 years old.
One might expect a person might respond to all this sturm und drang by making noisy, chaotic, electric guitar-driven music of the kind his now-defunct band made its name with. One might expect someone whose character and even sanity had been widely debated in public might want to write a definitive statement about his identity, his ideology, his id.
But Jeremy Enigk didn't do either of those things. He made Return of the Frog Queen instead.
ENTER THE FROG QUEEN
The songs that formed the basis of Enigk's first solo album were about as far from the sound of Sunny Day Real Estate as you could imagine--unless all you'd heard of them was "Pheurton Skeurto," the little piano songlet that sounds (delightfully) out of place on Diary.
Spare acoustic guitar figures and solemn, almost plainsong melodies are the foundational elements, which Enigk and his two key collaborators, producer Greg Williamson and arranger/conductor Mark Nichols, build up into astonishingly dynamic worlds of sound. But for all the swoops and bends, the unconventional entrances and exits, the arrangements remain organic, and perfectly united behind the singular human voice at the center of it all.
From the very first strum on "Abegail Anne," the music is stately, mysterious, vaguely mystical, and not even remotely interested in the ironic detachment still popular in those days.
If anything, the arrangements, and the stupefyingly strong vocals, are flagrantly theatrical. Enigk sang hard over loud instruments in SDRE, but nothing prepared you for the versatility of his voice on Frog Queen. From a raspy whisper to conversational chest voice to clearly differentiated levels of high end--choked scream, melodic scream, head voice, falsetto, whatever you want. (And just a wisp of an unconscious British accent.)
But even at the peak of crescendo, as on the staggering climax of "Shade and the Black Hat," on which Enigk wails "WON'T YOU STAY TONIGHT?" at the top of his range while the orchestra whips up a maelstrom--this music feels unfailingly intimate, while somehow remaining intensely private.
This is the central enigma (enigkma?) of the album: How can a song be both intimate and private? How can music that feels like fearless personal revelation grow more opaque the more closely you examine at it? Consider the author, and what his life was like at the time these songs were written and recorded. It's easy to imagine a 21-year-old rock star manqué feeling overwhelmed, overexposed, overanalyzed, hungry for a kind of solace in which sound precedes meaning.
And yet, meaning is all over the record if you're looking.
In among the pleasing, suggestively abstract imagery--"dallow water," and "this dubious day," and "window morning dream paradise"--Enigk plants lines that don't require much interpretation at all if you've ever been anywhere near a break-up of a band or any other relationship, ever worried about what strangers might be saying about you, ever felt unseen, ever re-ran edited versions of old arguments in your mind, ever believed in something so fiercely that you were willing to lose friendships over it.
"Wait for, wait for me..."
"I've heard rumors..."
"No one knows my name..."
"What I've seen tears me inside..."
"Then the writing on the wall
said he is only the way
You said it was bad timing
at least we had timing at all."
These lines are crucial, but they're also non-sequiturs, there for you to discover if you're looking, but the songs still work beautifully if you never do.
But beyond the literal, there's a spirit of fabulism in the lyrics--hardly a surprise on a record named after amphibian royalty. Who is this "Abegail Anne"? Where is this sleepy, enchanted "Lewis Hollow"? What does "hi, hey" mean? And how does he proceed so artfully from idle, drowsy contemplation of a lizard in a castle, observing the tremors of its "dreary heart," to the roaring, soaring cascade of frustration bursting forth at song's end? Who is being addressed, and by whom?
Trying to tease out the puzzle of these artfully esoteric lyrics has proven to be one of the album's most durable pleasures (or possibly frustrations, if you prefer things spelled out). As time passes, the words might seem meaningless or profound depending on who you are, not who Enigk was.
It makes for an odd spin on the idea of self-revelation. The album unquestionably opens a window onto an unorthodox artist, pursuing an unorthodox process, to arrive at a most unorthodox production. But as with any great artwork, the real subject is the person looking at it.
ONWARD AND INWARD
Even after two decades, it's difficult to find a name for the atmosphere conjured by the album. There are traces of Incredible String Band pastoralia, but also a strain of Pink Floydish unease. Bowie between Man Who Sold the World and Hunky Dory. It's not dark exactly, but only because your eyes have adjusted to candlelight. It feels mystical, even metaphysical.
Emphasis on "physical."
Jack Rabid of The Big Takeover nailed it in two sentences from his review:
"He pounds a piano and howls like his wife just left him for his best friend, as the violins, violas, and cellos scrape at their strings as if to break them, and the flutes, piccolos, trumpets, trombones, French horns, and clarinets blow like they were hired by a wolf to blast a few recalcitrant pigs' houses down. The waves of classical countermelodies are extraordinary, adding on to each other to create an 1812 Overture anvil clarion call, a roar so dense, so overpowering, it's like gasoline exploding, even more so as they back Enigk's fevered wail as if he were long past desperation."
Return of the Frog Queen was the very last thing anyone would have expected to come out of the singer of Sunny Day Real Estate, or really, the Pacific Northwest at that time--which was not long past a different kind of desperation.
Without knowing or intending it, Enigk and his collaborators made a record that pointed the way out of Seattle's mid-'90s post-boom-years malaise, which had no shortage of talent and desire, but lingering ambivalence about ambition, and no clear sense of cultural direction.
And then all of a sudden, here came an utterly singular demonstration that when all else fails, the most reliable direction is usually inward.
It's unlikely that a generation of hopeful teenage garage bands formed as a response to eager suburban teens getting an earful of Return of the Frog Queen. Maybe it's just a coincidence then, that in the years following the record's release (and the breathtaking live shows Enigk played with a stripped-down version of the 21-piece orchestra that plays on the record), indie music from the Pacific NW outwards, got more expansive, more idiosyncratic, a little riskier, and a lot weirder.
But it was for sure never the same.
10WedApril 10, 2019
Uli Jon Roth is a true multi-instrumentalist who writes his own musical scores and arrangements. He is also a music director, paints realistic oil paintings, writes his own poetry as well as philosophical treaties.
Uli invented his own unique instrument - the by now legendary 6-octave Sky guitar which is without peer.
He produces his own albums and directs his own videos. Artistically he has been an inspiration to many of his fellow artists as well as his audience and continues to be so. He has been cited by countless guitarists from all over the world as one of their main influences.
Widely recognized as perhaps the single most important protagonist of Neo-classical guitar playing, Uli is seen by many as a trend-setter who has often been considerably ahead of his time.
In recognition of his remarkable artistic achievements Uli was officially inducted in the Walk of Fame by Europe's only Rock & Pop Museum, which is situated in Gronau, Germany. This took place in September 2003 at a concert in London.
11ThuApril 11, 2019Captain Beyond
12FriApril 12, 2019
"We wanted to write fun, summer anthems that are relatable," explains Martin. "They're primarily about relationships and the ups and downs that come from being in them. At the same time, there's a catchy vibe you can get down with. We wanted to marry our influences into something fresh."
Cherry Pools represents the culmination of a lifelong artistic journey for the musicians. Most recently, they operated under the moniker of Curses, built an international fan base through rigorous touring, and earned the endorsement of Alternative Press, Exclaim!, and more. In 2017, they underwent a pronounced progression. Martin turned his attention towards fusing the sounds that impacted him the most from his formative years through today. Under the influence of Phil Collins, Michael Jackson, Justice, MGMT, Tame Impala, and more, the four-piece arrived at a creative cross-section of inspirations. "It was about merging the modern and vintage," he goes on. "We wrote really catchy and rhythmic vocal hooks that people could easily digest. It's very simplistic and straightforward. That was the spirit."
The boys recorded in Toronto alongside Juno Award- and MMVA Award-winning producer Anthony Kalabretta. Together, they unlocked a cohesive and coherent vision that unfolds on the EP. On "Caught in the Stars," ethereal keys and handclaps entwine with lyrical conjurations of sharing kisses, chemicals, and cassette tapes as Martin's falsetto resounds to the heavens. "It's a summer romance," he explains. "You're trying to go back in time and relive this moment when you were madly in love." That sense of sonic intoxication carries through the energetic and enigmatic "Forever Young" punctuated by his cinematic lyricism. "It's about this mysterious girl who you never went past the whole flirty stage with," the frontman continues. "She's trying to recapture that passion by staying forever young. Physically, it's not going anywhere, but she thinks she can reach back to that feeling." Then, there's the clever and catchy "Hollywood," which doesn't sugarcoat "poking fun at the stereotypical Hollywood girls who are way to cool for school." "I don't get too metaphorical with my lyrics," he admits. "What you hear is what you get. These are my personal experiences I've encountered throughout the years. I don't hold anything back when it comes to getting a point across. I transfer that in a cool way." Every element coalesces into Cherry Pools. From the timeless sonic blend down to the mid-century inspired fashion aesthetic, the music ultimately functions as an escape. "We want everybody to have a good time in the end," Martin leaves off. "We're all about bringing positive energy. If we can pull people away from everyday life and leave them feeling inspired, that'd be amazing. If we can bring that joy out of someone, we're doing our job well. Come to our show and tell your friends about it."
13SatNew Wave Fest
show detailsApril 13, 2019
THE FANTASTIC PLASTICS
Describing themselves as "The Future of The Future", The Fantastic Plastics mix new wave, synth punk, and electro elements with Orwellian and Sci-Fi inspired lyricism. The band is a two piece live act, consisting of Miranda Plastic on Moog Synth/Theremin, and Tyson Plastic on Guitar, as well as video installations, custom costumes, and more. Following a stint in Brooklyn, where they made an impact at stages like the Van's Warped Tour, CMJ Music Marathon, Northside Festival, the Chris Gethard Show, and the Kotaku/io9 Cosplay Ball.
The legendary Xposed 4Headsis a witty, social satire art rock band with high-energy and colorful performanceslike a mash up of B-52's and Devo.Lead by Mark G.E. and his 'band' of Milwaukee luminaries and veterans Kelp Chofs, Carter Hunnicutt, Andy Stilin and Greg Barta, which includesStar Girls Theresa and Linda. Xposed 4Heads headlined the 2017 DEVOtional Devo fan festival in Cleveland, OH and has songs playing on radio stations all over the US and abroadwith music from their latest album Urgency Squad.
The Quilz are an Indie Synth-Pop duo consisting of producer Sage Schwarm & singer Becky Heck. Despite rumors that Becky is an artificial being, created during a freak electrical accident while Sage was working on a cover of DEVO's "Girl U Want", nothing could be further from the truth. We assure you miss Heck is a real girl. Anyway, since the "incident", The Quilz have been busy writing, recording & performing throughout the Midwest. A seven-inch flexi-disc and a 9 song CD is available now, and their full-length LP, entitled "Fishing For Ketchup", is due to drop Spring/Summer of 2018.
Great danceable music with a punchy rock and roll edge. That's New Wave. That's Radio Radio. Since 2009 this band of top MKE musicians has been playing songs no other band is covering, and in a way that makes you feel you are witnessing the real thing live for the first time. Artists like The Clash, Duran Duran, New Order, Elvis Costello & the Attractions, Devo, Talking Heads, Gen X, Flock of Seagulls, and a flock of b-sides and one-hit-new-wave wonders.
14SunApril 14, 2019Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers
After landing in the top ten of Billboard's Internet Sales Chart for six consecutive albums--all on independent labels and twice at number one--RCPM is poised to lead the charge for a Spanish-infused, roots rock revolution. The band's annual music festival in Rocky Point, Mexico, known as Circus Mexicus, is a testament to their growing fan base. What began as a rooftop show thrown together with extension cords and wooden pallets has blossomed into a pilgrimage that draws thousands of "Peacemakers" to the beach town every June. "There's something about our music that celebrates what's uniting versus what's dividing," says Clyne.
Irony played an integral role in the creation of The Independent, whose first track emerged from a stifling case of writers block. Armed with his guitar and battling creative blockades, Clyne unleashed the phrase "I ain't got the words for this" and as a result the first lyrics for the album were realized. "Ain't Got The Words" leads The Independent, exposing hearty vocal grit and liberating honesty.
The album features guitarist Jim Dalton, bassist Nick Scropos, drummer P.H. Naffah, and Clyne on vocals and rhythm guitar. While Clyne pens the bulk of the Peacemaker's tunes, a long stretch of Northern California highway set the stage for Dalton's lyrical debut. Traveling along the Causeway between Sacramento and San Francisco, RCPM's tour bus came to a screeching halt. "The bus driver screamed back at us and said, 'Guys I got nothing!'" recalls Dalton. "I grabbed my guitar and started strumming. The words 'Just another California breakdown' came tumbling out."
The inspiration behind Dalton's guitar-laden, hard luck tune "California Breakdown" remains one of the band's favorite memories to date. After alerting fans via Facebook to their sidelined 40 ft tour bus, The Peacemakers received more offers for a ride than they could accept. Devout fans piled RCPM's gear onto a landscape trailer, loaded the musicians into their cars, and headed into the sunset for the San Francisco show.
The title track off The Independent is a representation of the group's Southwest influences, delivering an instrumental collaboration that evokes desperado imagery and draws inspiration from old west greats like Sons of The Pioneers. Inversely, the track "Geronimo" is a radio-ready anthem that begins with dark undertones and mariachi roots before building into an uplifting call to arms that chides, "Time to sing a new battle cry, get up out of limbo, step into the blue sky, geronimo!"
The reoccurring themes of independence and chance arguably stem from RCPM's decision to record the album in Naffah's Somos Studios, which also found the drummer in the role of producer. Clyne is no stranger to Naffah's talents, as the pair originally began playing together in the celebrated 90's alt-rock act The Refreshments. Clyne credits Naffah for being a solid component in his 100+ song repertoire.
Riding into the music industry on their own terms has been a longstanding philosophy for the band, and in this case created a sense of freedom that allowed Clyne & company to make an unapologetic album that's pleasingly rough around the edges. Rich with commanding vocals, melodic bass lines, tambourine, and a hint of keys, The Independent embodies the spirit of RCPM.
"The Independent is a double entendre," says Clyne. "It represents the solo sojourner, but it also frames the idea of moving forward as a collective group in the name of independence."
Traveling off the beaten path works to the advantage of Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers. Clyne has successfully spearheaded the production of his own ultra-premium sipping tequila called Mexican Moonshine Tequila, orchestrated an out of country music festival, and guided a band whose fan base has grown exponentially over the last decade. Clyne notes that the lyrics off the track "Right Where We Want 'Em" sums up the sentiment of The Independent. The song speaks of encouragement and unlikely victory, stating, "Out numbered, out flanked, out muscled, out ranked and out gunned." Clyne sings, "Take another long trip off a short plank, at a dead run. We got 'em."
Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers "got 'em right where we want 'em now."
15MonApril 15, 2019The National Parks
In the first month after the release of Places (2017), the record had been streamed more than 1,000,000 times on Spotify alone with individual tracks landing on major Spotify playlists like Pop Chillout, Indie Pop and Morning Commute. Despite operating as a true independent, the band has built and maintained an impressive following with a Spotify monthly listenership nearing 400,000 and appearances at SXSW, CMJ, Snowmass Mammoth Fest, Oyster Ridge Music Festival, School Nights at Bardot's. Praise has come from major press outlets such as NPR, Paste, Baeble Music, The Vinyl District, and Baeble Music.
The National Parks create atmospheric and "anthemic indie-folk as boundless as their name would suggest" (Paste Magazine) centered around male/female harmonies backdropped by guitar/piano/violin instrumentation. The band's earliest touring was done as a three-piece but as the music has evolved, so has the band. A wide cast of musicians have joined as touring members of The National Parks but by 2015, the group had settled into a consistent five-piece setup with original members Brady Parks (vocals/guitar) and Sydney Macfarlane (vocals/keys) playing alongside John Hancock (guitar), Cam Brannelly (drums) and Megan Parks (violin).
17WedApril 17, 20198:00pm $10.00"What is the future, if this is now?" asks Canadian-born Mike Edel on his upcoming album THRESHOLDS due out March 1st. This question, echoing throughout groove of the song "Challenger," similarly echoes throughout Edel's entire record, produced by Death Cab for Cutie's Chris Walla.
THRESHOLDS is a compelling departure for Edel and after adopting a consistency is boring mantra and a tireless year in the studio, Edel's sound has evolved and this is his most intriguing album yet. From the radio rocker 'Houdini' to the indie-pop chiller 'Go With You' and with the CBC Music Top 10, thirties are the new twenties anthem '31,' Edel presents stand-alone singles that present a uniform theme throughout the 10-song effort.
After 2 million cumulative streams across major platforms, being in rotation on CBC Music, AAA Radio across the United States, and on Sirius XM's The Loft; after playing hundreds of shows including Rifflandia Festival, Vancouver Folk Festival, Regina Folk Festival, Victoria International Jazz Festival, and Upstream Music Festival; after sharing the stage with Serena Ryder, Foy Vance, Said The Whale and Josh Garrels; and after splitting his time between Seattle, WA and the mountains of British Columbia and getting married, Edel is taking his music in particular and his life in general across a threshold, through an open door, and into the unknown.
18ThuApril 18, 2019The Mother Hips
Brian Wurch Band
Originally signed by Rick Rubin while still just students at Chico State, The Mother Hips have spent two-and-a-half decades at the forefront of a new breed of California rock and roll--one equally informed by the breezy harmonies of the Beach Boys, the funky roots of The Band, and the psychedelic Americana of Buffalo Springfield--and established themselves as "one of the Bay Area's most beloved live outfits" (San Francisco Guardian) through countless headline shows, massive festival appearances, and dates with everyone from Johnny Cash and Wilco to Lucinda Williams and The Black Crowes. The New Yorker lauded the band's ability to "sing it sweet and play it dirty," and 'Chorus' is perhaps the finest example yet of that intoxicating dichotomy, a richly melodic album firmly rooted in gritty rock and roll with the kind of evocative storytelling that The Mother Hips do best.
19FriApril 19, 20198:00pm $10.00Pundamonium 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.
20SatMike & Friends (Grateful Dead Tribute)
8:00pm $10 advance / $15 door
show detailsApril 20, 2019Mike & Friends (Grateful Dead Tribute)
23TueApril 23, 2019Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio
The Michael Arnold Three
Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio was formed in the Spring of 2015 with the help of Amy Novo, Delvon's wife and band manager. She told her husband she would take over his music career and all he had to do was find the musicians, create and play music. They started with a weekly residency at The Royal Room in Seattle for the first year then self-released their debut album, playing short tours across the Pacific Northwest. Now they are headlining shows and spreading their contagious grooves with audiences across the globe. They have the impeccably unique blend of soul, jazz, rhythm & blues and rock & roll.
The Michael Arnold Three is a funky organ trio based in Milwaukee. Consisting of guitarist Michael Arnold, Dan Schneck on organ and drummer Jeremy Kuzniar, the group performs originals and soulful jazz that keep audiences coming back for more. Formed in 2018, they are quickly becoming a favorite of audiences and musicians alike.
Michael Arnold has opened for such diverse artists as BB King, Joe Bonamassa and David Benoit. Together with his group, The Michael Arnold Three is a can't miss mix of jazz, gospel and funk.
26FriApril 26, 2019
27SatApril 27, 2019
Tallan Noble Latz will be performing with 3 different bands, 2 of which are BRAND NEW. Tallan will take the stage at 8pm and not leave for the next 3 hours.
Kicking off the night will be the band, which is the new face on the Milwaukee country scene called Throwdown. Throwdown is a guitar driven Country Rock band!
Next, Tallan will perform with his band "Tallan". "Tallan" will be performing their original songs off the upcoming NEW CD that will be released later this summer. Be the first to hear the new material in person.
And closing out the night will be the Classic Rock/Rock band named The Castle Dogs consisting of Tallan on guitar along with singer, Tommy Holland! Holland is the ex- Steppenwolf singer who replaced John Kay when he left Steppenwolf. Holland also fronted the Chicago bands; The Bzz's and the band Holland.
Come on out and see all 3 bands in one night.
* band order subject to change
30TueApril 30, 2019Nekromantix
The Nekromantix catalog boasts enduring genre classics like the unapologetically hooky yet undeniably fierce "Who Killed the Cheerleader?" and "Gargoyles Over Copenhagen" alongside subversively sentimental cuts like "Haunted Cathouse" and "Subcultural Girl." There are echoes of rock n' roll's greats and punk rock icons alike, all with modern flair.
A Symphony of Wolf Tones & Ghost Notes broadens the Nekromantix legacy with expansive ambition that never sacrifices the trio's inherent grittiness, furiously stoking and reshaping the flames of the creative vision begun in Denmark with legendary labels like Nervous Records, through the band's master classes in punk n' roll albums stateside with Hellcat Records, the label cofounded by Tim Armstrong and Brett Gurewitz.
Armed with his signature coffin bass, chilling baritone, monstrous expressions and ten-stories-tall haircut, Kim Nekroman has earned tremendous respect, admiration and goodwill from a fiercely dedicated legion of hard-partiers, rabble-rousers, well-meaning degenerates, grease monkeys, outlaw bikers, nostalgic tastemakers and forward-thinking punks. It's a crew of supporters as diverse as the otherwise classic and timeless music the Danish-born California transplant has unleashed as leader of Nekromantix.
Nekroman's notorious quiff is as instantly recognizable as the coffin bass he's slapped into submission on nine studio albums, countless worldwide tours and festivals. The quiff, of course, combines the midcentury rebel style of the pompadour and flattop with the punk attitude of New York and Europe from the late 70s. It's a fitting symbol for the style of music Nekromantix has perfected into an art form, a rollicking psychobilly sound with reverence for the genre's origins and predecessors, infused with an iconoclastic boundlessness that refuses to abandon the electric catharsis of unadulterated fun.
Return of the Loving Dead (2002) marked a career resurgence and subcultural breakthrough for what was previously a feverishly cherished underground band best known outside of North America, via now legendary records like Curse of the Coffin (1991), Brought Back to Life (1994), Demons Are a Girl's Best Friend (1996) and their unstoppable debut, Hellbound (1989). The new millennium brought the band to America (at first to tour and eventually, to stay), conjuring into the world new Nekro landmarks in the forms of Dead Girls Don't Cry (2004), Life is a Grave & I Dig It! (2007) and What Happens in Hell, Stays in Hell (2011), as Nekroman steered the band through shifting lineups and energized shows with bands like Rancid and Reverend Horton Heat.
Nekroman has been joined by skilled guitarist Francisco Mesa for nearly a decade now, with drummer Adam Guerrero bringing a fresh injection of passionate enthusiasm to the band in 2014. A Symphony of Wolf Tones & Ghost Notes is a fertile proving ground for a reenergized lineup that fans of the band have already loved for two years. New songs like "Glow in the Dark," "War Bats" and "Resting Witch Face" are instant classics, standing mightily alongside the greatest Nekromantix songs enduring in their set list.
There are some bands whose sound, image and front person became synonymous with an entire subculture, whether as originators of a particular style, a crucial innovator among a handful of likeminded artists, or simply as the best embodiment of everything a specific style has to offer. Rock historians may debate who reigns supreme among Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple, but there's no denying they are all heavy metal titans. When someone says "Lemmy" or "Strummer" or "Blondie," certain feelings are immediately invoked. There's a palpable energy in the air among hardcore acolytes and culture mavens. It's a kind of iconic resonance that transcends boundaries.
To their dedicated army of supporters around the world and across every dimension, Nekromantix stands tall among the ghosts in rock n' roll's undead cemetery.