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Album Reviews
Monday, July 11, 2011

Into the Boulevard

Some of Jonathan Richman's heartbreaking naiveté and a pinch of Emo Philips' whimsical spaz are backed by poppy folk and power pop on Milwaukeean Brian Hoffer's impressive debut album. The hummable melodies aptly match lyrics that...
Album Reviews
Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Whiskey Don't Lie (Stolen Gold)

On Whiskey Don't Lie, Milwaukee's Big Leaf Linden mingles rock, country, folk and bluegrass to fairly original and often haunting effect. Vocalist Kirk Linden continues to sound like a sibling of Tom Petty and Roger McGuinn. Whiskey Don't Lie broadens the band's horizons with the faintest touch of electronics and...
Album Reviews
Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Fighting, We Were

Fox Lake/Waupun band Book Club follows up an EP with the kind of full-length project that should garner plenty of attention outside of Dodge County. Singer/guitarist Sam Sterk follows Billy Corgan's mold, with a hoarse yet tuneful way with the songs. Sterk and his band mates have learned the right lessons...
Album Reviews
Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Madison band Clovis Mann's third album continues its hybrid style of bluesy, jazzy, sometimes-reggae, jam-band rocking heavy on organ and guitar. They make a rich and varied hippie ruckus for trio with occasional guests, including choral accompaniment on a soul gospel rave-up that sounds...
Concert Reviews
Monday, June 20, 2011

June 18, 2011

Were radio and sales success ever to dry up for Kem, the musically expansive R&B singer should have little trouble paying his bills by motivational speaking or preaching. He engaged in both naturally and forcefully enough at his show Saturday night at the Riverside Theater...
Concert Reviews
Monday, June 6, 2011

June 2, 2011

An adult venue like Potawatomi Bingo Casino's Northern Lights Theater may at first seem a peculiar choice for a singer so associated with adolescent silliness as “Weird Al” Yankovic, but the venue made sense considering that the fan base who first fell for the accordion-slinging comedy rocker is about 30...
Album Reviews
Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Secret November

Milwaukee singer-songwriter Tom Vollman moved to a Manhattan walk-up apartment with a piano as one of its few furnishings. When the weather got miserable, out came these dirge-like songs for his band, Tyne Darling. You won't find a great supply of life's joys here, but with idiosyncratic instrumentation for his brand...
Album Reviews
Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Plane Rides & Ocean Tides

Many are the reasons an artist desires to be retro. For some, it may be a desire to identify with some hip aspect of a bygone style. For others, it's a sincere desire to stamp a personal interpretation on a style that may have fallen out of favor. Oconomowoc-reared singer-songwriter Eric Andersen falls into the latter...
Album Reviews
Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Dance! Pint Size Polkas Volume Two

Following up his 2008 album of kid-friendly material, Milwaukee accordionist/singer Mike Schneider again brings old-time sounds to the younger set with Pint Size Polkas. The album seeks to bring children to the dance floor—or at least get them moving—with oldies by Frankie Yankovic and others. Elsewhere, Uncle...