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Birmingham, Alabama's Maria Taylor - photo by Autumn De Wilde

Maria Taylor

by John Noyd
April 2009

MARIA TAYLOR has had a full life. A multi-instrumentalist singer-song-writer born into a musical family Maria has been in bands and on the road for over half her life. Her third solo effort, “LadyLuck,” overflows with moving narratives and self-reflective stories. Performing April 21st at Madison’s High Noon Saloon, Maria was kind enough to answer some questions via email.


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Madison's classic 70's 10 Piece Disco Band VO5

VO5

by John Noyd
March 2009

To call VO5 a band may be slightly misleading; born four years ago, the nine-member collective is comprised of playwrights, engineers, film-makers, a firefighter and a doctor with musical resumes from Cherry Pop Burlesque to Swim Team and the Merkins. More than dance floor sequins and day-glo flares, VO5’s nostalgia is dipped in twenty-first century irony, their cheesy chic a release valve from reality. Strong with the power of the boogie, amateur ornithologist and band guitarist John Feith says, the band “simply aims to make people dance.”  Vocalist Kelly Murphy says, “Come down to a show and see for yourself.”

MAXIMUM INK: How did the band name come about?
Kelly : We are called VO5 because the world wasn’t quite ready for Nanopussy. 
John: We do still own www.nanopussy.us (try it, type it in…) if anybody is interested in renting that name for a high fee, along with www.boobatron.com
Kelly: The name also serves to call attention to our full, lustrous heads of hair.


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3819 ViewsPermalinkVO5 WebsiteVO5 MySpace

Bellydance Superstars - Petite Jamilla

by John Noyd
March 2009

Petite Jamilla has been belly dancing her entire life, bridging the generation gap between traditional folkloric style and modern belly dance fusion. Studying for over ten years, Jamilla toured the Southeast U.S. at fifteen, a seasoned instructor by seventeen, with two instructional DVDs before she turned twenty. A member of the BELLYDANCE SUPERSTARS for the past three years, Petite Jamilla was kind enough to answer a few questions in anticipation of her troupe’s arrival at Madison’s Union Theater on March 26th.

MAXIMUM INK: What are the biggest misconceptions about belly dance?

PETITE JAMILLA: Due to Hollywoods’ early depictions of ‘belly dancers’ I think the biggest misconception is that belly dance is done for exploitive and seductive reasons, but it really has become a self-exploratory and self-improvement tool for dancers in the U.S.


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Duncan Sheik

Duncan Sheik

by John Noyd
February 2009

MAXIMUM INK recently caught up with singer-songwriter Duncan Sheik hoping to break away from the panel discussions at the Sundance Film Festival to take in some snowboarding. Eleven years earlier Sheik found himself navigating an entirely different slippery slope. The single, “Barely Breathing,” from his self-titled debut stayed a record-setting fifty-five weeks on the charts and made him a Grammy-nominated pop star. A role, he admits, he was ill-suited to play.  “Call me lazy,” Sheik says, “but at the end of the day I prefer to be sitting in the audience than performing on stage.” Not satisfied continuing with the personal love songs of his debut, Sheik moved to narrative songs packed with elusive introspection, subtle themes and smart literary devices. At the same time he was feeling he was having less and less of an effect on his audience. Being in the spotlight was just not a natural setting for Sheik and yet his desire to create remained strong.


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Czech Republic's Plastic People of the Universe to play the Madison World Music festival

Madison World Music Festival 2008

by John Noyd
September 2008

Spread over two consecutive weekends in mid-September, Madison’s global gathering touches every point on the compass across Madison in every creative fashion imaginable. Syrian singer GAIDA, Indian guitarist PRASANNA and the psychedelic dub of Turkey’s BABA ZULA perform, dance, lead workshops and colorfully flavor UW’s campus, the Annex and the Willy Street Fair.


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English band Spiritualized

Spiritualized

by John Noyd
August 2008

As spokesman and songwriter for Spiritualized, Jason Pierce a.k.a. J. Spaceman, has no answers – which makes for a difficult subject to interview but a great artist to follow. Hard to pin down but happy to chat, a half hour on the phone with him brings a renewed enthusiasm for music’s power. He said, “You need to drag the music you love kicking and screaming into your life.” Believing simple is best and talent may well get in the way of good music, Pierce also claims there is no bag of tricks or formula to what he does. Relying on what he calls, “the meter in my head,” Pierce likes to see where things go in his attempts to write music that, “his band can’t hide behind.”


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Wisconsin bluesman Paul Filipowicz

Paul Filipowicz

by John Noyd
February 2008

Legendary Wisconsin Bluesman Paul Filipowicz talks about influences, Mongolia and his new album Chickenwire


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2722 ViewsPermalinkPaul Filipowicz Website
Robyn Hitchcock (remember the Twistin' Egyptians?)

Robyn Hitchcock

by John Noyd
November 2007

Robyn Hitchcock arrives November 3rd, 2007 to Madison’s High Noon Saloon, playing solo but carrying overstuffed bags of interesting history. From his post-punk Soft Boys beginnings to a three decade career mixing solo stretches with bands, films, published poems and painting, Robyn is a post-modern Renaissance Man who’s songs and speech dabble in riddles, scribbles, neurosis and culture. The newly minted five CD set, I WANNA GO BACKWARDS bonuses up three of his older solo albums and includes an incredibly strong double CD of rare works. We emailed Robyn to ask about his past and present state of affairs.


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Kristin Hersh

Kristin Hersh

by John Noyd
July 2003

When songs come to Kristin Hersh she has found it best not to ignore them. Fronting rafter-cracking banshee rockers the Throwing Muses, she depended on her muse to provide the band songs. So, even though she made the band a “non-functioning entity” seven years ago, when some songs came to Kristin she couldn’t get a handle on, she packed off the solo demos along with a batch of homemade cookies affectionately known as the Devil’s Feedbag, to Muse bassist Bernard Georges. His solution was obvious. These were band tunes. Thus was born the temporarily reformed Throwing Muses. Uncannily, it came back as it always should have been.  The record was recorded quickly over three weekends while they were still learning their parts. Kristin says the nervous energy had them all on fire and new classics like, “Mercury,” and, “Pandora’s Box,” show her point.  The sessions were planned around the band member’s schedules instead of intruding on pre-existing routines.  Kristin says the main reason she broke up the band was because she couldn’t ask her friends to go through the rigors of holding it all together.  They were no longer teenagers and everyone was looking to settling down.


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former Milwaukeean now NYC girl Katy Pfaffl on the cover of Maximum Ink in Jan. 2002 - photo by Joshua Silk

Katy Pfaffl

by John Noyd
January 2002

Light grooves and soaring melodies circle and dive with Latin jazz accents, soul throaty climaxes and soft, sophisticated pop. Fluid flowers of pan-global sensitivity blossom into polysyllabic rivers that dance among the keyboards, guitar, hand percussion and bass. Sounds conjuring wide-open spaces find strange bedfellows in Manhattan - a crowded city of subways and skyscrapers, but that is exactly where Katy Pfaffl found her muse - New York, by way of Amsterdam, Cincinnati and Milwaukee.

Born and raised in Milwaukee, Katy was a Sukuzi violin student, competing as a classical pianist before she entered high school. While she feels lucky to have grown up in Milwaukee, she found the city’s arts scene limited and more concerned with stability than change. “I’ve always had many interests and was always told I had to choose only one and commit to it,” she explains, “I believe that if you have a lot of talents and interests then use them all, explore them all so you can keep growing and expanding.”


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