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Album Reviews
Monday, July 19, 2010

China Shop Matador

Milwaukee's multicultural funk/disco/rock quintet China Shop Matador revisits the post-punk dance proffered by early ’80s New York City labels such as 99 and ZE, with a healthy appreciation for the edgier accessibility of Prince and Milwaukee's multicultural funk/disco/rock quintet China Shop Matador revisits the post-punk dance proffered by early ’80s New York City labels such as 99 and ZE, with a healthy appreciation for the edgier accessibility of Prince and...
Album Reviews
Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Telemetry

The earnest and skittish Milwaukee band Sharking Hour smoothes out some of its idiosyncrasies on its sophomore album, Telemetry. Instead of the eclectic alt-indie pastiche of Sharking Hour’s previous CD, North of Nippon, this time they lessen the piano, pile on more guitar and approximate early Weezer as a...
Album Reviews
Tuesday, July 6, 2010

From the Attic (Pepper Cake/ZYX Germany)

Milwaukee veteran blues rocker Greg Koch is among the few musicians from the city with a foreign label deal. His latest trio outing on a European imprint delivers textural and lyrical diversity with a blue-collar sense of humor that makes it difficult to understand why Koch doesn't have a domestic record contract...
Album Reviews
Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Way Out Here (Columbia Nashville)

Cedarburg native Josh Thompson is one of the first Wisconsinites since the ’80s to crack commercial country radio’s top 20. The hit to take him there, "Beer On the Table," benefits from amiable hooks and sly machismo. His sincere delivery sells songs (all of which he at least co-wrote) that trot out the virtually...
Album Reviews
Monday, June 28, 2010

electri-violet

Vocalist Carole Ferrara and guitarist/singer John Plankenhorn have been performing around Milwaukee for the past 12 years as electri-violet. Given the lack of self-conscious trendiness about what they do, their act can be called organically retro. The confessional catharsis of ’70s singer-songwriters melds with the...
Dining Out
Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Milwaukee’s heritage in full flavor at Old German Beer Hall

Milwaukee's German heritage goes back centuries. Options for dining out on food from the fatherland, however, tend to be pricy. The Old German Beer Hall bucks the trend by offering a less expensive place to sample the cuisine of one of the ethnicities most associated with the city. Based on the appearance of the ample room behind the bar up front, facilitating...
Album Reviews
Monday, June 14, 2010

Soul Rockin (Tweed Tone)

Milwaukee blues rock group Hounds Tooth sounds hungry and committed. When it comes to vocals and guitar chops, Jared James Nichols practices restraint where others of his generation (he cites Stevie Ray Vaughan as a formative influence) would add flash. The quartet of local music veterans might not add...
Dining Out
Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Short Orders

Heinemann’s has closed all of its Milwaukee locations, but in Fox Point a similar spirit of the old chain's unique spin on breakfast continues at Maxfield's Pancake House (333 W. Brown Deer Road), housed in one of Heinemann’s old locations. The menu, especially those pages dedicated to the morning meal, traipse...
Album Reviews
Monday, June 7, 2010

Day 4 of Nine (Brand X Recordings)

Is Lovanova like Booker T. & The M.G.'s for prog rockers? Or prog rock for those still hung over from the ’90s lounge revival? Milwaukee punk and noise alum Paul "Evil" Kneevers calls his latest band's style “lounge prog rock.” It's a fitting designation for Lovanova and the monstrous tones of Kneever’s Hammond...
Album Reviews
Monday, June 7, 2010

Groping in the Dark (Simmerdown Productions)

The latest vinyl from Milwaukee's white socialist/pacifist reggae emissary is an electro treat with Chinese dulcimer and pots ’n ’ pans ’n ’ paint buckets programmed among the synths. It finds our man mixing romance and social conscience in a way only a guy with his particular convictions could. The other three...