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Album Reviews
Saturday, Oct. 17, 2009

Schizophrenic (Magnatude Records)

Israeli electric guitarist Oz Noy must realize that not even serious musicians (like himself) can listen to mindless shredding all of the time. That would explain why he injected Schizophrenic, his third all-instrumental CD, with enough quirky attitude and ego-free chops to make the disc a refreshing...
Album Reviews
Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2009

Release (Rock Ridge Music)

On Release, Sister Hazel’s ninth CD this decade, the Florida-based jangle rockers decided to make the songwriting process more democratic. Rather than have lead vocalist/acoustic guitarist Ken Block do most of the heavy lifting, each of the five members penned at least two tunes. The result is an...
Album Reviews
Monday, Aug. 24, 2009

Catharsis

On Catharsis, StrangeLand's third album, the local progressive-metal trio shows why it deserves to finally break free of regional status. Original drummer Brad Klotz has returned to the fold, joining guitarist Sean Gill and lead vocalist, bassist and keyboardist Chad Novell on an album rich with more melodies, vocal harmonies and musical adventure than the band's previous discs. Heavy crunchers "Asinine (Nothing Better)" and...
Album Reviews
Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2009

Black Clouds & Silver Linings (Roadrunner Records)

Dream Theater ranks among America's most consistent metal bands, both in terms of output and critical acclaim/reproach. Black Clouds & Silver Linings continues that trend. The group's 10th studio release in 20 years contains such signature Dream Theater elements as long, overworked songs (six songs in 75 minutes); muscular and complex musicianship; technical albeit catchy arrangements; repetition of musical motifs; and James LaBrie's...
Album Reviews
Monday, Aug. 3, 2009

The Show Is on the Road (Ramseur Records)

The Show Is on the Road serves as a love letter to both the longtime New York City home of anti-folk pioneer Paleface and his new dwelling space in Concord, N.C., where he sought refuge after nearly dying from alcohol abuse. In a voice both raw and intimate, with accompaniment only from an acoustic guitar and occasional...
Album Reviews
Monday, July 27, 2009

Dreaming in Neon

Many electric guitarists feel the need to get all self-indulgent when recording instrumental albums, but Peter Mac is above that. Perhaps it's because the ax slinger for the Milwaukee Bucks' house band, Streetlife, isn't just adept on the frets. Mac plays guitar, keys and sometimes bass on most of the 11 tracks on Dreaming in Neon...
Album Reviews
Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Latest (Cheap Trick Unlimited)

Cheap Trick has been around forever, or so it seems. Actually, it's been 35 years since the four lads from Rockford, Ill., formed the band that would become a cornerstone of power-pop, and 20 million albums later-some much better than others-the band is still going strong with The Latest, a cleverly titled follow-up to 2006's consistently effective Rockford...
Today in Milwaukee
Sunday, July 5, 2009

Tonight @ Marcus Amphitheater, 9 p.m.

In case you missed it, Southern Rock godfathers Lynyrd Skynyrd and longtime fan Kid Rock teamed up last year for the successful “Rock and Rebels” tour. In fact, it was so successful, that both artists are doing it again. The pairing actually makes sense, considering how Rock’s “All Summer Long,” a rip-snortin’ mash-up of Warren Zevon’s “Werewolves of London” and Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama”, has dominated radio and introduced both the naughty rap-rocker...
Today in Milwaukee
Saturday, July 4, 2009

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

Although Anberlin may not be a “Christian band,” its members acknowledge that they are a band of Christians. However subtle or obvious that distinction, one thing is clear: These Floridians manage to wrap their beliefs in savvy lyrics set to intoxicating alt-rock anthems—and if their uplifting messages actually contribute to making today’s kids happier, better-adjusted and more socially conscious, more power to ’em...
Today in Milwaukee
Thursday, June 25, 2009

Tonight @ Marcus Amphitheater, 7:30 p.m.

It’s been two decades since Bon Jovi made a 1989 April Fool’s Day stop at the Bradley Center on the band’s grueling 17-month, 232-date “New Jersey Syndicate Tour,” but Jon and the boys are still going strong. Missing only one original member (bassist Alec John Such, who was dismissed 15 years ago), Bon Jovi has survived grunge, boy bands and nu-metal—not to mention spandex and hairspray—to accomplish...

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