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Music Feature
Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2009
It’s easy to play a song imperfectly. Bands do that all the time, for lack of skill, for irony, or for utter lack of caring. Andrew Bird wants very much for the music in his live shows to be imperfect. He says that his live shows are perilous, on the brink of collapse. But “brink of collapse” better describes all those other, imperfect musicians...
Music Feature
Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2009
They were the coke-snorting, trust-fund abusing, bastard grandkids of The Beatles—true libertines, influenced by The Libertines, with substance-driven frantic energy, skirt-chasing confidence and the too-cool-for-the-room sneer of disaffected youth. When NME named the Arctic Monkeys’ debut “the fifth greatest British album of all time,” the average age of the band members was 20...
Music Feature
Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2009
It's been nearly a decade, but the Psychedelic Furs still have that new reunion smell. After a nine-year hiatus that ate up much of the 1990s, the band reunited in 2000, but only in a touring capacity, and their perennially announced but never-quite-recorded new album remains up in the air. The only thing that ties the British post-punk legends to the present is as a reference...
Today in Milwaukee
Sunday, Aug. 9, 2009

Tonight @ Wisconsin State Fair Main Stage, 6 p.m.

More or less a Jonas Sister, Demi Lovato co-wrote her album with the The Jonas Brothers, appeared in their movies Camp Rock and Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience and signed a contract on the same Disney letter-head. Then why does she sound so much better? She certainly plays the same family-friendly, bubblegum power pop, targeted to the same tween market. But, perhaps as a result of her slightly punkier packaging...
Today in Milwaukee
Thursday, July 2, 2009

Tonight @ U.S. Cellular Connection Stage, Summerfest, 10 p.m.

The Shiny Toy Guns are a band of revisionists. In the past five years they have released four albums: three versions of their debut, We Are Pilots (released, re-recorded, re-released, re-recorded, and re-released again) and one version of last year’s Season of Poison. It’s a testament to the braveness of the hard-rocking electro-clash outfit that they would play their new material so many drafts away from being finished.
Today in Milwaukee
Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tonight @ M&I Classic Rock Stage, Summerfest, 9:30 p.m.

Joan Jett loves rock 'n' roll-a fact made abundantly clear by her 1982 hit single "I Love Rock 'n Roll." And don't get her started about her bad reputation! A virtuoso of the three-chord rock song, Jett set the prototype for the riot grrl movement of the 1990s (and the teenyboppers covering Joan Jett movement of the 2000s; see: Spears, Brittney...
Today in Milwaukee
Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tonight @ Harley-Davidson Roadhouse, Summerfest, 9:30 p.m.

Any credible list of the greatest guitar players of the last 25 years would include nine people who were influenced by Buddy Guy and one man who is Buddy Guy. Many of the former, including Stevie Ray Vaughan and Eric Clapton, sought out the later for collaboration. And why shouldn’t they? Guy was their father. He invented the modern day blues-rock axeman. From his revved-up solos that seamlessly appropriated rock into...
Today in Milwaukee
Sunday, June 28, 2009

Tonight @ Harley-Davidson Roadhouse, Summerfest, 10 p.m.

Rodrigo y Gabriela’s 2006 self-titled album debuted at number one on the Irish charts, taking the spot coveted by the UK’s Arctic Monkeys, Coldplay and Gorillaz—each with a then-top 10 album. It came only a few months after Rodrigo (Sanchez) and Gabriela (Quintero) immigrated to Ireland from Mexico City. Take that, European Union Lou Dobs!Guitar virtuosos who play what might be best described as guitar virtuoso music, Rodrigo y Gabriela are a strange melting pot of music. They have a sound...
Today in Milwaukee
Saturday, June 27, 2009

Tonight @ Miller Lite Oasis, Summerfest, 10 p.m.

Sara Evans comes from the thrown-into-the-deep-end school of becoming an entertainer. As a young performer she was hit by a car. Briefly confined to a wheel chair, Evans kept singing to pay the hospital bills. She was eight. After re-learning to stand, playing a gig like Summerfest must be a cakewalk for her. Evans is a rarity in modern day country, an old Nashville-style performer who burst onto the new-Nashville scene. Over her dozen-year...
Music Feature
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Every day, for 10 years, John Vanderslice has eaten the same breakfast: granola with rice milk. He drinks a cup of tea when he wakes up, and a second at 4 p.m. He is a creature of habit. There is only one time he forces himself outside of his comfort zone: when he plays music. "I'm a very routine person," he says. "For me, I need to get out of that. I like to keep myself on edge." Great albums don't come from a system, and excitement doesn't come from a routine. Good music, as it turns out...

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