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Concert Reviews
Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2008

Oct. 3, 2008

   To many indie rock purists, My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James has committed a most grievous sin: He has infected the scene with a sort of jam-band aesthetic. And, based upon their recent sold-out show at the Riverside Theater, such cr...
Local Music
Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2008

Burbank Cartel seeks to nurture the Milwaukee scene

Without Translation, the new album from Milwaukee's Burbank Cartel, is the album I've been waiting for the band to make. It is an album that sounds remarkably modern, remarkably self-assured: It sounds like alternative rock should sound in the early 21st century.
Local Music
Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2008
It's been a while since anything in the world of hardcore punk surprised me, but I was genuinely taken aback by the lyrics on Herds' recently released 7-inch EP. With an almost haiku-like simplicity, vocalist Mike Priehs lays out the story of an erupting volcano in "Katmai": "Katmai made the sky turn to ash/ Isolated eruption/ The Valley of 10,000 Smokes." The juxtaposition of such a strange subject for a hardcore song with the sonic wallop that...
Concert Reviews
Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2008

Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2008

   Spiritualized frontman Jason Pierce named his band's newest record Songs in A&E, a reference to his recent stay in an "accidents and emergencies" ward in his home country of Great Britain. Based on his haggard appearance, i...
Local Music
Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2008
The past few years have seen Milwaukee turn out a number of powerful rock 'n' roll bands. While there is room for variety within the city, there is usually a consistency in the volume at which these acts play (loud) and the gender of those doing the playing (male). It's a band-centered, male-dominated world out in the noisy clubs of this city.
Local Music
Thursday, Sept. 4, 2008
The idea of punk rock as an antidote to bloated, spectacle-ridden rock 'n' roll has become a standard trope in many versions of popular music history. This stripped-down, simplistic style of play, conventional wisdom tells us, came along to cure the perceived excesses of classic rock and rid the world of the fashion-first consciousness of pop.
A&E Feature
Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2008

UWM Maps Out its Future

How does a landlocked urban university expand? The question has vexed such institutions for centuries and has sometimes led to violent confrontations between town and gown. Columbia University recently marked the 40th anniversary of the uprising of 1968, which was spurred, in part, by the university's attempt to seize public land in nearby Morningside Park. Making this anniversary even more relevant was the fact that Columbia is once again venturing into neighboring Harlem-a move that has not pleased a number of that community's long-time residents. Other colleges, including the University of Pennsylvania and Yale, find themselves facing tough community opposition to plans to expand their respective core campuses . . .
Concert Reviews
Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Saturday, July 19, 2008

There are few musicians in today’s indie scene as enigmatic as M. Ward. His latest album, 2006’s critically acclaimed Post-War, came across like a series of bulletins from a long-gone era, with Ward’s voice often sounding like it was channeling the highs and lows of American history. The result was a record that had something of an otherworldly feel to it. Post-War was clearly rooted in the past, but there was something about Ward’s delivery that made the record feel incredibly relevant . . .
Local Music
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
It’s been said that desperate times produce desperate music, and the current scene in Milwaukee would appear to bear this out. Bands such as Father Phoenix, Cougar Den, Pigs on Ice and Call Me Lightning are cranking out uneasy, volatile songs that provide the perfect soundtrack for our current era of anxiety. These groups, with obvious roots in the world of hardcore, have managed to craft a sound that captures the anger of punk while avoiding the generic tendencies that mark much of the genre. Simply put, these groups are innovative and exciting. It’s a rare breed of band that is able to pull off such a delicate balance, and Milwaukee is lucky to have so many of them.
Music Feature
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
It is often taken for granted that hardcore punk is—and perhaps should be—the domain of the young. Young adulthood is a scary time for most of us, and what better way to express one’s youthful angst than by identifying with a music scene that embraces those feelings of alienation and confusion? I don’t think I would have made it through adolescence with my sanity intact without records like Black Flag’s Damaged and Minor Threat’s Out of Step. Those albums provided me with a useful outlet for my youthful rage and, perhaps more importantly, made me realize that I wasn’t the only one feeling so, well, out of step. At a time when one’s identity is incredibly unstable, any sense of community becomes paramount, and hardcore punk became the one place where I felt truly accepted.

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