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Monday, June 4, 2012

Boxes, Bagels & Elephants

The port of Marseille has always been a magnet for many nations, and like New York nowadays, it's also become a high-speed cultural blender. The French Mediterranean city is home to Kabbalah, whose new CD often sounds like an Orthodox...
Monday, June 4, 2012

Kraken Up

In the already rarefied world of folk music, not many acts specialize solely in maritime songs with a cappella vocals. Milwaukee's Bounding Main numbers among that select company, and, as the cover and title of their fourth album attest, they have...
Monday, June 4, 2012

The Revomatics

With cover art that alludes to the hot-rodding and slot-car racing that inspired the West Coast instrumental rock 'n' roll of the early '60s, Milwaukee's Revomatics are the real deal. They're not the city's first surf band, by a long stretch, but they've got the...
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Though the group only features two members, Milwaukee-based Magnetic Minds makes a whole lot of noise. Count the band, featuring Chris Ortiz on vocals and bass guitar and Tim Wick on drums, as one of a number of...
Monday, May 28, 2012

The Pearl Sessions (Columbia/Legacy)

“Get It While You Can,” the closing track on Pearl, proved strangely prophetic. Janis Joplin would die shortly after completing the 1970 session, cutting short her rapid development as an artist. Pearl was her greatest achievement, and the second...
Monday, May 28, 2012

Ten Stories (Pine Street)

In the era of downloads and iPods set on random, it's great to hear that someone still makes concept albums. mewithoutYou uses the titular Ten Stories of its latest CD to narrate a tale of a circus train wreck in 19th-century Montana. While the train...
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Milwaukee rock band Certain Stars never set out to be famous, but don't confuse that with a lack of ambition. When Kyle Hernandez's fake press release for a band named Cudahy unexpectedly began to gain traction among friends in 2000...
Friday, May 18, 2012

Sumud (Six Degrees)

“World music” is often a catchphrase for exotic mediocrity. Niyaz is among the great exceptions, a trio in cosmopolitan exile, retaining their Iranian roots but seamlessly fusing the quiet ecstasy of age-old melodies and rhythms with contemporary...
Friday, May 18, 2012

The Devil Ain't Got No Music (Aria B.G. Records)

Some blues musicians learn about music from attending church as children, later bringing gospel into blues music, while others start with blues music and bring that background into their spiritual songs. The older generations of musicians were...

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