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Thomas Dolby - The Invisible Lighthouse Tour

Thomas Dolby

Dolby Illuminates Wisconsin with The Invisible Lighthouse Tour
by John Noyd
October 2013

For someone who is likes being on the cusp of things, Thomas Dolby certainly has a strong passion for the past; particularly when it comes to his current tour, a multimedia event that incorporates both the latest in music technology and an old-fashioned Foley artist providing sound effects. “It’s a film with a live soundtrack, which is very different from a concert,” Dolby says, “We do everything live onstage. It’s a very dreamy, atmospheric piece.” Focused on his personal efforts to preserve coastal lighthouses long since outdated by radar and suborbital satellites, but a cherished part of growing up on the north coast of England, Dolby’s Invisible Lighthouse tour is cutting-edge nostalgia. Ever the Renaissance man, Dolby shot the short film himself using remote control drones and high-tech spy cameras when the British government refused to give him permission to document these maritime relics; turning the film from a documentary into a clandestine adventure. “It’s a little bit tongue in cheek,” he explains. “It’s really an exploration of my childhood memories and how they adapted over time. The underlying theme of the film is an examination of our memories and how unreliable they are.”

Beyond his own memories, Dolby also sees his preservationist campaign as a cultural crusade. Citing a Doomsday list that details 46 American lighthouses threatened by erosion or lack of upkeep; Dolby felt obliged to carry his message to America. “Some of these marvelous lighthouses have stood watch over our coasts for centuries, through devastating hurricanes, epic sea battles, daring rescues and thwarted invasions,” Dolby explains. “The U.S. public has a perpetual love affair with the lighthouse, but is probably unaware that many are on the verge of being lost forever. It is so sad to see them crumble. America is still a young country and we should be doing all we can to preserve our historic landmarks for future generations to enjoy.”

Long an advocate of imaginative applications of technology, it should come as no surprise that the man who built a recording studio inside a 1930’s lifeboat that is powered entirely by renewable energy should employ advanced media tools to celebrate abandoned maritime icons. “I think as you get into middle age you tend to look back on your achievements and try and make sense out of all of them,” says Dolby, who at age 55 has achievements ranging from radio hits to videogame designs and Silicone Valley patents. A visionary whose insatiable curiosity creates alternative worlds, Thomas Dolby brings his transmedia event to Madison’s Majestic on November 6th and Milwaukee’s Shank Hall November 7th. For more information check out his website www.thomasdolby.com or find The Invisible Lighthouse Tour trailer on YouTube. Seeing is believing.

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Thoughts For Food

Thoughts for Food


by Mike Huberty
February 2011

Easily the largest benefit concert in Wisconsin, Thoughts for Food gets all the music venues of Racine to party for a cause every year on the first Saturday of March. That cause is the Racine County Food Bank, an organization dedicated to helping the area’s people who are having trouble with the bottom and most basic rung of Maslow’s Hierarchy. Currently on its 19th year (its longevity a minor miracle in itself), the benefit spans nine Racine clubs as well as over 40 bands. That’s something that Racine County Food Bank Director Dan Taivalkoski doesn’t take for granted. He states, “Our budget is around a million dollars when you factor in the value of food. Our cash budget is about a third of that and Thoughts for Food is about a tenth of that, so it’s a very important fundraiser for us.”

While it’s essential for the Food Bank, it’s also a no-brainer for the venues involved. Taivalkoski states, “Most years you can guarantee a packed house the entire evening. And most of the bars give back their proceeds in the form of a donation to the food bank. It’s positive all the way around.”

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Threat Level

Threat Level


by Jason Mansavage
September 2010

Threat Level was forged amidst the industrial wasteland of Kokomo, Indiana in 2005. Known as the “City of Firsts,” for pneumatic rubber tires, aluminum casting, stainless steel tableware, the Howitzer shell, aerial bombs with fins, mechanical corn pickers, canned tomato juice and home to the Delco Radio Division of General Motors Corporation, its no wonder these guys turned to metal music. They grew up children of industry, surrounded by steel, metal, aluminum and more recently, poverty, issued by the closing of local auto plants. Attributed to the financial problems of the automotive industry, in December 2008, Kokomo was listed third by Forbes in a list of America’s fastest dying towns.

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Thrice

Thrice


by Joshua Miller
April 2010

When California alternative rockers Thrice stepped in the confines of the Daytrotter studios (located in Rock Island, IL) to record a live session in January, it seemed to echo a continued exclamation from the band to the world that they had moved far from being simply a metal/hard rock band.

While they might not need an introduction to many as they’ve toured around the country many times since starting in 1998, the session for Daytrotter.com proved to a golden opportunity for the band nonetheless. Daytrotter is a premiere location for sessions of some of today’s up-and-coming acts (many from the indie music scene).

“We thought that was cool that Daytrotter invited us because they don’t usually have many punk rock/metal bands,” says bass player Eddie Breckenridge. “They realized we’re doing something different now and I think a lot of people that ended up listening to it too were surprise that this was something Thrice would do.”

“A lot of people who listen or know about the band know more about the beginnings of our band when were first recognized and signed by a label. Our music has been changing so much over the years that maybe someone had like what we did in the past and moved on doesn’t know that we moved on as well.”

The band, which also includes singer Dustin Kensrue, guitarist Teppei Teranishi and Eddie’s brother and drummer Riley Breckenridge, feed on music exploration. With each of their six albums, the band’s sound has changed in more ways than one. The quiet and mellow demeanor of each of the members might hint otherwise but once the band gets on the practice floor or live setting it becomes evident the creative explosion.

Prior to their spring tour with fellow nationally touring acts Manchester Orchestra and O’Brother, which includes a stop at The Rave in Milwaukee April 24, Breckenridge talked to Maximum Ink about Thrice’s evolving sound and introspective lyrics.

MAXIMUM INK: It might be tough to describe but if you had to describe the overall sound of Thrice how would you describe it?
EDDIE BRECKENRIDGE: It’s kind of always in the state of evolving. It’s hard to describe. We’ve always had a rock base to our entire sound but we’re very much into experimenting with different sounds and new instruments. So I guess it could be kind of experimental rock. But I think that might mislead people because a lot of experimental rock ends up being sometimes being tough to listen to and I think we really focus on songwriting and trying to make good songs; creative but also enjoyable, like to sing along to.

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Tiger Clutch

Tiger Clutch

An interview with glam rock heroes, Tiger Clutch
by Mike Huberty
December 2011

Tiger Clutch might be the greatest glam rock band you’ve never heard. With influences based on Judas Priest, Nirvana, and Kick Axe, Tiger Clutch are five local musicians who play the part of grizzled hair metal veterans, having rocked, partied, and screwed their way through decades of music history. When it’s time to rock, they take the stage names of Thor (singer and local comedian David Leon), The Blast (guitarist Derek Reinfried), Brick Johnson (guitarist Joe Cushman), Shredderella (bassist Jennifer Reinfried), and Beatz “Off” McKenzie (drummer Riley Heninger). With a rock fist in the air and their tongue firmly in their cheek, they release their latest (in reality, first) album on Thursday December 1st. We took a few minutes to discuss the new record with them.

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Tim Janis (seated right) with Paul McCartney

Tim Janis

An interview with musician, composer, arranger, and conductior Tim Janis
by Tina Hall
October 2010

Tim Janis has worked with some of music’s most talented minds like Paul McCartney, Billy Joel, and Ray Charles to name a few. He has composed ten Billboard charting albums over the course of his career. Janis has had his work featured on four public television specials to date and is currently working on the special Celebrate America, which focuses on music in public schools. Tim has worked to promote several charitable causes like the American Cancer Society and Church World Service.

On December 2nd he brings The American Christmas Carol to Carnegie Hall to benefit Little Sisters of the Poor. Featuring a cast of truly talented artists it is a show you simply have to see. The cast comprises of Tim Janis, Chandler Lutz, Donald Braswell, Jim Cole, Sarah Darling, Wendy McPike, Emily Bear, and the ever talented Wisconsin native Eli Mattson (who I am sure readers remember from the third season of America’s Got Talent). Jimmy Nichols is the Music Director and Andy Hire, Todd Sullivan, and Kevin Cooper conduct the symphony orchestra and chorus. Rolland Smith is the host for the event, one of those rare events that remind you of the joy and wonder of Christmas felt as a child from the true meaning of the season, that the entire family can enjoy together.

Maximum Ink: Can you tell us a little about where you are from and how your early beginnings helped shape you into who you are at this point in your life?
Tim Janis: I am from Maine. I thank God for my gift to write music. I was at a Military HS when I decided to do music so I had a lot of catching up to do. But it was all in the heart.

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Time To Kill from Wisconsin Rapids

Time to Kill

An interview with founder/guitarist Keith Monville
by Aaron Manogue
January 2012

They say that punk is dead. They say that thrash metal was born and died in the 70’s and 80’s. They say if anyone wants to be successful that they need to pick a genre and stick to it. They also say that you absolutely cannot mix and mash punk, thrash and metal all together and make a sound worth living together. Clearly, the band Time to Kill never got the memo. And clearly, “they” don’t know what the hell they’re talking about. Time to Kill is a devil’s concoction mixed up to prove that if you love music, you can create something unique and something that stands out from the crowd for all the right reasons. As guitarist Keith Monville put it, “It’s a mix drink with one shot of punk, one shot of metal then top the glass off with some thrash.”

Maximum Ink’s Aaron Manogue spoke with Monville about Time to Kill’s history, some pretty funny “Spinal Tap” moments, and their huge upcoming show with Motorhead, Megadeath, Volbeat and Lacuna Coil. Time to Kill is Keith Monville on guitar, Shannon Hicks on bass, Jon Munro on vocals and Steven Heath on drums.

Maximum Ink: Give me a little history on Time to Kill. When did you start, how many records released, where did you all meet, etc.?
Keith Monville: Time to Kill started in a basement, with some long time friends, at the end of 2006 after I took some time off from the band scene. Next thing we knew it was 2007, we had a full band, playing shows, released a demo, signed by Turkey Vulture Records and released a CD. Then we toured the Midwest for 2008 in support of the “Insanity” CD, including many shows with national bands. 2009, I had to replace the lead singer and bass player and we toured the Midwest and released a demo. Then we spent 2010 refining the line up and writing new music. In, 2011 got the new line up set and started writing new music and here we are with a new demo CD for 2012 and writing and recording for a full length CD to be released this summer.

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