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Album Reviews
Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011

“The Great Destroyer” b/w “Too Drunk to Dream” (Cuba Libre)

After an EP and full-length album, Milwaukee/Chicago power-pop indie rockers Certain Stars issue the blast of a single before getting back to a longer format. "The Great Destroyer" soaks in piss-and-vinegar vengeance as it manages a Big Star referenc...
Album Reviews
Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011

Leash On Life

Imagine that the Rolling Stones had never graduated to international superstardom, but instead found themselves playing Midwestern bars, and you get a good picture of R. Mutt. The songs on the Milwaukee quartet's latest album speak...
Album Reviews
Sunday, Oct. 30, 2011

Bright Morning

On stage, Milwaukee saxophonist Johnny Padilla covers a wide range, including smooth fusion, salsa and merengue. He focuses on traditional and contemporary jazz on his new CD, Bright Morning, where his sassy, inventive playing never feels...
Album Reviews
Monday, Oct. 24, 2011

Blues After Dark

Milwaukee bluesman Gerome Durham continues his long-running association with writer/producer/multi-instrumentalist Johnny Rawls, finding room for both grown-up slice-of-life narratives and party-ready, tasty guitar licks. Durham's voice provides...
Album Reviews
Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011

Orinoco (Earsore)

It's been the better part of 30 years since Paul Hardcastle united electro hip-hop, R&B, smooth jazz and synth pop fans with "Rain Forest." Milwaukee producers/instrumentalists Steve Misovy and Ronald Byrdsongs find inspiration from roughly the same...
Album Reviews
Monday, Oct. 3, 2011

Hot Sun and Short Shorts

JoAnn Riedl takes a break from The Barrettes, Milwaukee's all-female punk band, for an alt folk-rock direction with the trio Blue Sky Hour. If that suggests the early Violent Femmes, s
Album Reviews
Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2011


On the debut by Milwaukee's Luvahl, the tragic glamour of '70s Bowie converges with sprightly bluegrass and mournful Gypsy folk. They'd be perfectly at home on a bill with Devotchka or...
Concert Reviews
Monday, Sept. 19, 2011

Sept. 18, 2011

Seats weren't necessary for many at the Erasure concert at the nearly packed Pabst Theater Sunday, since dancing was so prevalent. Nostalgia, the differential of melodic pep to lyrics reflecting as many ways to express bittersweet romance as there ar...