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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Another Helping of Goodnight Loving

Also: WMSE’s Radio Summer Camp returns

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Milwaukee’s Goodnight Loving christened their new record, The Goodnight Loving Supper Club, with a title that they’ll probably have to explain quite a bit on the road. Supper clubs, for those who don’t dine out much in northern Wisconsin, are the rural Midwest’s vision of fine dining, plying diners with heaping portions of American comfort foods at tables with shared relish trays, often in banquet halls lined with white linens and adorned by mounted buck heads. Supper clubs are typically tucked along state highways or in small towns, though Milwaukee also harbors its fair share, most of which have the feel of a walk-in time capsule.

The album title, then, is a nod to a local tradition that gives an apt suggestion of The Goodnight Loving’s rustic sound, a grab bag of early, jangly rock ’n’ roll, twangy rockabilly and soda-fountain pop. The group keeps their songs to two or three minutes, and their four members tag-team singing and songwriting duties, which gives their records the loose, spontaneous feel of a jukebox, where a surfy instrumental could be followed by a dusty country tune.

“From the beginning, we all wanted to keep our approach really open, allowing everybody to contribute songs in different styles, though it can be kind of tricky to sequence albums with all these different styles,” keyboardist/singer Andrew Harris admits.

Their first full-length for the Portland punk label Dirtnap Records—they previously released most of their catalog on Milwaukee’s Dusty Medical—The Goodnight Loving Supper Club is set to be the highest-profile record yet from the group, but it was recorded with the same informal spirit as their last couple.

“There are several songs on this record where there are only two or three of us playing on it,” Harris says. “It just sort of worked out that way because we were all learning a lot of the songs in the studio and coming up with parts on the way. It was probably a lot more fun and more of a creative process for us than if we’d had all the parts worked out in advance.”

The Goodnight Loving plays a 9 p.m. album release show on Saturday, July 17, at Linneman’s Riverwest Inn with Head On Electric, Sticks N Stones and The Get Drunk DJs.

About Radio Summer Camp: The Goodnight Loving record release performance is one of more than 20 shows this week booked under the umbrella of WMSE’s four-day, multi-venue Radio Summer Camp music festival.

Individual tickets are available for any given show, but a $25 pass, available at wmse.org, grants admission to all of them, including concerts by Band of Horses, Liars, Neon Indian, Zola Jesus, Lightning Bolt, John Doe, Codebreaker and Def Harmonic at venues including the Turner Hall Ballroom, the Rave, Shank Hall, the Miramar Theatre, Stonefly Brewery, Cactus Club, Sugar Maple and the Borg Ward.

The festival ends its second year Sunday, July 18, with WMSE’s Backyard BBQ, a free grill-out and concert in Cathedral Square Park featuring blues, rockabilly and country music from Southern Culture on the Skids, .357 String Band and The Carolina Chocolate Drops, and vittles for both vegans and omnivores from Maxie’s Southern Comfort and the Palomino.

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