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Madison's The Gomers on the cover of Maximum Ink in April 2006

The Gomers

by Mike Huberty
April 2006

Very few bands can say that they have had the mayor name a day after them (Feb. 1, 2003), and when it comes to Madison area bands, very few (if any) have matched the longevity, durability, or diversity of The Gomers. As guitarist Biff Blumfumgagnge explains, when they formed in 1986, “the band was initially a goofy punk project to entertain bored Emerald Choir members after rehearsal. Well, I had a bunch of silly songs, and so did Gordon. The early shows were theme-heavy (meat and toys, have a nice day) affairs with sometimes just a three-piece of Gordon and I and a rotating drummer that established a base of goofy songs about fish, alien abduction, antennae, big ideas and such. That was Gomers part 1.”

The Gomers Part Two was established as a Comedy Sportz band around 1988, which prompted them to learn a gi-normous amount of cover tunes, as well as beginning their, according to Biff, “bizarre and creative” musical exploration, often being compared to Zappa. The period included shows with national acts like Mojo Nixon and Molly Hatchet, as well as Wisconsin greats like Poopshovel and Couch Flambeau.


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Bif Naked

by Mike Huberty
November 2005

Just the name, Bif Naked, conjures up pornstar imagery right off the bat and certainly the Canadian rocker and starlet (whose scene was the highlight of the otherwise cinematic bowel movement, House of the Dead) isn’t afraid to take advantage of her sex appeal, but that doesn’t mean she’s invulnerable.

“I’m a real gullible girl and I always believe anything a boy will ever tell me. I get suckered a lot, but always get back up on the love horse,” she explains when discussing the songs on her latest album, Superbeautifulmonster. “I just came off a big heartache and was enshrouded in despair when I wrote [album tracks] ‘Abandonment’ and ‘After A While’. I like to think that I better my efforts, my songwriting, and singing with every record and this one’s a little darker and sadder, it’s much more guitar-oriented. There’s something that everyone can relate to. I’m crazy about love, crazy about the whole process. I keep getting knocked down, but I keep getting back in the ring.”


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Milwaukee's Carbellion in Maximum Ink in September 2005

Carbellion

by Mike Huberty
September 2005

American Heavy Rock, it’s the title of southeastern Wisconsin band, Carbellion’s first EP and according to lead singer, Cameron Kellenberger, the most apt description of their music. “Thematically, a lot of the songs are pro-United States, American culture”, he says, “heavy rock is a tag we put that just kinda stuck.”

Formed from the ashes of Milwaukee metal stalwarts, the Carbon Parlor and Whiskey Rebellion, Carbellion is a mash-up of the two former band’s names. But Cameron likes to tell unsuspecting fans that it’s a Spanish ghost-ship, a matador-killing Mexican bull, or a Civil War soldier. Carbellion has already played many of the Midwest’s biggest cities in support of bands like Corrosion of Conformity, Clutch (who the band feels are musical brothers-in-arms), and Alabama Thunderpussy.


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Madison's Awesome Car Funmaker on the Cover - photo by Rokker

Awesome Car Funmaker

by Mike Huberty
July 2005

Appealing and unpredictable, the high-energy rock n’ roll of Madison’s Awesome Car Funmaker is just plain infections. They recently celebrated their two-year anniversary, a feat in this modern age of bands.

ACF’s influences, which range from Queen and These Arms Are Snakes to 60’s soul music, are witnessed throughout their manic stage show that features the band dressed in quasi-Mod, loudly colored suits. Fueled by bassist Justin’s spastic pogoing and lead singer/guitarist Ryan’s over-the-top guitar hero posturing, Awesome Car Funmaker engage the audience with moments that range from the gorgeously saccharine sing-a-long tune, “Part Two,” one of the band’s current favorites to play, and the bombastic, metallic stomp of “Torture Chamber,” to the ridiculous cover of Journey’s epic “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart).”


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Tracii Guns of the L.A. Guns

Tracii Guns

by Mike Huberty
May 2005

Tracii Guns is most famous for his work with L.A. Guns and, prior to that, his involvement with Guns N’ Roses. He most recently put together Brides of Destruction with Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüe fame, recording two albums before the group disbanded. With Sixx’s return to the Crüe camp, Tracii Guns has opted to tour and record as a solo act The Tracii Guns Band revisiting material from all the acts mentioned above. The group plays Milwaukee May 12 at Vnuk’s, Madison at The Annex May13, and in Minneapolis at Station4 May 14.

MAXIMUM INK: What material will you be playing as a solo artist?
TRACII GUNS: You know, I never wanted to be a solo artist guy, but my managers suggested that I use my own name and play whatever songs I want from whatever projects I’ve been involved with. It gives me musical freedom. So I’ll be playing stuff from the L.A. Guns, Brides of Destruction, and some rootsy, riff-oriented stuff of my own.


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Madison's MUST - Men Under Sexual Tension on the cover of Maximum Ink in March 2005

Must

by Mike Huberty
March 2005

With Hendrix style lead guitars fueled by tongue-in-cheek boozy vocals that range from lilting to Gwar-esque, Madison rockers, MUST (Men Under Sexual Tension) are, in the words of their bassist, Matt Mueller, “moving to the next stage of the game.” Mueller, formerly of funk-rockers, Fungusamungus, is also owner of the fashionable Madison nightclub, The Cardinal Bar, home of the ever-popular and infamous Fetish Night. He speaks with a certifiable gusto for both the art and business side of music that’s rare in a band member. “We’re doing it to get our art, insights, and mission to the masses. We’re almost like mediums, channels for a higher purpose, not just a bunch of guys onstage to get laid.”


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Godsmack publicity photo

Godsmack - 2004

by Mike Huberty
December 2004

Godsmack’s drummer, Shannon Larkin freely admits, “The original intent of our acoustic record was selfish. We just wanted to do it for ourselves because we enjoyed it, but we were lucky enough to raise the ceiling and be allowed by our fans to do an acoustic tour.” Allowed seems a funny word when talking about it because at the time he was talking about it, the Orpheum Theatre in Madison was filled to capacity with a crowd of hungry Godsmack fans who absolutely demanded to hear the “other side” of Godsmack’s now-immensely popular alternative (not quite nü, but different from old school) metal. The night before they had played in Green Bay doing their full electric set opening for the Metallica juggernaut and you could recognize many of the same faces had traveled to Madison to see their acoustic show (even the same WI GODSMCK license plate was seen in the audience.)


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Madison Punkers the New Recruits featuring Shinky

The New Recruits

by Mike Huberty
March 2003

Madison Punkers the New Recruits featuring Shinky


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