Home / Local Music / An Atomic Valentine
Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2009

An Atomic Valentine

Concert Preview

Google+ Pinterest Print

Atomic Records wasn't just a passive observer of the Milwaukee music scene, explains Damian Strigens. It actively shaped the scene, fostering local bands and, sometimes, even birthing them. Strigens, a one-time Atomic employee who now plays with Testa Rosa, was in one of those bands, The Mustn'ts, which he formed with another Atomic alum, Mark Waldoch, after an in-store chat. "That kind of stuff happened all the time there," Strigens says.

This weekend some of the bands shaped by Atomic return the favor to the soon-to-close record store and its owner, Rich Menning, with a Valentine's Day benefit concert organized by Strigens.

"The store closing left a bunch of people really bummed out and at a loss," Strigens says. "To let it pass without some kind of celebration would have been a real shame."

Several of Milwaukee's most storied bands have reunited for the event, including Liquid Pink, the psychedelic-pop band that hasn't performed in 17 years. The original lineup of the alt-rock trio Sometime Sweet Susan is doing its first show in 15 years, and guitar-poppers The Lovelies are reuniting after seven.

In an age before MySpace, these bands relied on Atomic Records for promotion.

"They weren't just a store, they were a bunch of friends you would go see that you would happen to buy music from," explains Sometime Sweet Susan guitarist James Warchol. "When we self-released our first 12-inch, Rich took a bunch in the store and sold them out quickly. He also took time to spread the word about us to other people-distributors, reps, etc. Rich and the folks there were fans and friends at the same time, and that always meant a lot to us."

The Atomic Valentine concert begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Miramar Theatre and also features performances from Boy Dirt Cart, Cherry Cake, The Etiquette, The Mighty Deerlick, The Blowtorch and Mark Waldoch and His Good Grief.



Log in to use your Facebook account with
Express Milwaukee

Login With Facebook Account



Recent Activity on Express Milwaukee