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Baghdad Scuba Review on the cover of Dec. 2009 Maximum Ink - photo by Nick Berard

Baghdad Scuba Review


by Andrew Frey
December 2009

Since their inception Baghdad Scuba Review has been swimming through the sands of creativity and their existence has bloomed and flourished because of it. When their dynamic and thematically charged jam rock debut “Testing The Waters” flowed into our ears in 2007 it was critically acclaimed and nominated for a MAMA award. Since then the band has played numerous shows and events around Madison and the Midwest, highlighted by memorable sets on the Capital steps for the Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Festival, in Black River Falls at the Grateful Garcia Gathering, and at Milwaukee’s incredible Summerfest.

Recently Chad Thompson (lead guitar/vox) and Justin Gerstner (drums) took a moment to update Maximum Ink about what’s percolating these days for BSR and what their next release (slated for an early 2010 release) holds in store. The rest of the band is composed of Erik Riedasch (bass), Rob Bloch (percussion), and Jason Krueger (keyboard).

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Mix Master Mike and his Moog pedal of the Beastie Boys on the cover of Maximum Ink - photo by Dustin Rabin

The Beastie Boys - Mix Master Mike


by Mario Martin
December 2004

November might be cold in Wisconsin, but just before Talib Kweli’s set at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, I had the chance to speak to one of the hottest DJs in the game. He’s the DJ for the headlining Beastie Boys and one of the founding members of the Invisibl Skratch Piklz, but this 34 year-old California native waxes about music, life on the road and the like.

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Beatallica on the cover of Maximum Ink January 2008

Beatallica


by Mike Huberty
January 2008

an interview with Beatallica singer Jaymz Lennfield as the band headed to Europe for their fifth Euro-tour.

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Beautiful Creatures, the band on the cover during 9/11, September 2001

Beautiful Creatures


by Paul Gargano
September 2001

There was a time when rock ‘n’ roll roamed the earth like a tattooed titan, a fire-breathing monster that made mothers cringe in horror, and their daughters creep closer to feel the heat. It was the music that separated the men from the boys, transforming guitars into an electrical storm, vocals into a maelstrom of piss and vinegar, and blasting a bottom end that made the walls shake. It meant more than just songs on the radio, it was a lifestyle.

Well, if the haze of the late-‘90s has left us convinced that excitement has left the building, Beautiful Creatures kick the door back down, stampeding onto the scene with their self-titled debut. Inspired by the same bands that spawned everyone from Alice in Chains to Pantera, they strike a paralyzing blow to the complacent chords and ridiculous excuses for rock stars that inundate the modern music scene. Paying homage to their roots and with their sites set on the future, its monster hooks and sleazed-out looks that make the Beautiful Creatures the most electrifying new band in years.

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Bela Fleck and the Flecktones on the cover of Feb 2012 Maximum Ink

Bela Fleck and the Flecktones

An Interview with Banjo Banshee Bela Fleck
by John Noyd
February 2012

You have not heard the banjo until you’ve heard BELA FLECK play the banjo. Not just because of his jaw-dropping talent for lightning-fast runs and twisted knuckle-busting riffs but because he places the instrument in unusual settings and manages to make it sound perfectly natural. For decades, the FLECKTONES have found new ways to present musical conundrums that are easy to love. A Madison favorite, the band recently reunited their original line-up to produce last year’s awesome, “Rocket Science.” As the quartet prepares to swing by Madison’s Union Theater March 1st, MAXIMUM INK managed to snare Bela for some questions about the reunion, the new album and this year’s tour.

MAXIMUM INK: It’s great to hear the original line-up back together.  With everyone’s extremely busy schedule was it difficult for everyone to drop their other projects and concentrate on an album and tour?
BELA FLECK: There was a lot of enthusiasm for the idea of going back to the old sound. Victor, Future Man and I were ready to have a musical adventure again. When we contacted Howard Levy about filling the Jeff Coffin slot (which was Howard’s 17 years ago) he could see the potential for an interesting reunion as well. We decided on giving it a full year’s commitment, and doing new music together, and that combination of parameters gave it some heft. Having a planned ending has made every gig special.

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Ben Masel imagery by Dan Goodrich

Ben Masel Day

420 is Ben Masel Day
by Rökker
April 2012

Last May, Madison’s city council along with mayor Paul Soglin passed a resolution (legislative file #22458)  “honoring the life of Bennett “Ben” Masel, his contributions to our community and declaring April 20th as “Ben Masel Day” in the City of Madison”. Ben Masel, the iconic Madison civil rights defender, passed away last April after a battle with cancer.

Here is the full text of the resolution from the city’s website, CityOfMadison.com:

“WHEREAS,  Bennett “Ben” Masel was a fierce defender of personal and civil liberty, a champion of the Constitution, the rule of law and the founding faith that the freedoms outlined in the Bill of Rights were not just ideals, they were practical tools to be used on a daily basis to challenge power; and

WHEREAS, Ben Masel peacefully fought for his rights with courage, cleverness, and joy; and

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International artist Bernard Allison on the cover of Maximum Ink in June 2000

Bernard Allison


by Dave Leucinger
June 2000

“My dad told me to never be a copy cat,” emphasized guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Bernard Allison in a recent telephone interview. “He told me, ‘you’ll have influences and idols, but you’ll need to put yourself into what you play.’” Allison, son of late titan Luther Allison, has taken his father’s message to heart in a career that reaches back more than 15 years. “I’m doing what I’ve always done – mix a 12-bar blues tune with a couple of rock tunes, and a couple of funk tunes.”

Contrary to many perceptions, the senior Allison was not the foremost musical teacher in Bernard’s early career. “There wasn’t that much teaching at the musical level,” Allison said. “I taught myself how to play guitar and sing pretty much on my own, although he showed me how to play a few things. But Our relation was more like brothers than father/son.” Bernard did note that his father gave him sage advice on other aspects of the business, however. “He did teach me about the road – but I also learned a lot from my 3 years with Koko Taylor.” That apprenticeship with Taylor, and later with Willie Dixon’s Blues All-Stars, saw the teenage Allison emerge with more of his own voice, further developed through tutoring by Johnny Winter and Stevie Ray Vaughan. So zealots who expect – or hope – that Bernard will develop into a clone of his father will be disappointed. “A lot of our music is naturally the same,” Allison said.  “Early on, there was a lot more stuff where I sounded like him. But now, you can hear a song and tell if it’s Bernard or Luther.”

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