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Enemy Star - photo by F Fischer

Metal Girl Fest

A Preview of Metal Girl Fest - A Female-Fronted Hard Rock Concert in Madison and Milwaukee
by Mike Huberty
August 2012

Milwaukee’s ENEMY STAR has been headbanging their way throughout the Midwest for the past two years with vocalist Kassy Gruszkowski and guitarist Paris Ortiz finally solidifying their lineup with two Brew City veterans, Dan Kubinski on bass (but best knows as the singer for real-deal punk pioneers, DIE KREUZEN) and Mike Olson (drummer for one of the town’s finest metal bands, the mighty REALM.) They’re rocking a two-day two-city showcase in September called Metal Girl Fest that will not only feature ENEMY STAR but also female-fronted bands CANDLELIT from Chicago, COLORPHASE from Madison, DYVIDED from Madison, and ONSET OBLIVION from Sheboygan. We talked with Paris and Kassy about the inspiration for the fest and what fans can expect.


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Outnumbered and Outgunned Live Album Cover

Meantooth Grin

An interview with Meantooth Grin's Tom Jordan
by Mike Huberty
July 2012

While their roots are in Wisconsin’s Northwoods, the three guys that make up MEANTOOTH GRIN can more often be found on the road, constantly touring and performing, delivering blues-based rock to audiences across the Midwest. Fueled by frontman Tom Jordan’s low bellow and screaming guitar lines and backed by bassist Seth Heffner and drummer Mitch Ostrowski, MEANTOOTH GRIN is a tight blues-rock machine that is at their best during their well-honed live performances. Their brand new album, “Outnumbered and Outgunned”, showcases their stage chops to full effect as a live concert record just released on July 3rd.


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Paul Scharlau & Brian Smith of God's Outlaw - photo by Richard Perez

God’s Outlaw

An interview with Brian Smith from God's Outlaw
by Mike Huberty
July 2012

With a sound ripped straight from Sun Studio circa 1954, Milwaukee’s GOD’S OUTLAW plays traditional country and rockabilly music with acoustic guitar, stripped down electric melody lines, and a big plucking standup bass. Since initially forming in 2004 as a duo that performed JOHNNY CASH B-sides as a tribute (and that’s an influence you can hear immediately), they’ve grabbed the attention of the music industry snagging opening slots for acts like HANK 3, BASTARD SONS OF JOHNNY CASH, and DAVID ALLAN COE as well as the band’s singer and acoustic player, Brian Smith, picking up the honor of Martin Guitar’s Player of the Month this past April. They’re quickly moving into the spot vacated by Milwaukee’s dearly departed .357 STRING BAND as the standard-bearers of Wisconsin’s underground country movement, and in June, they released their first EP, “Poetic Justice”.


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Dengue Fever

Dengue Fever

An interview with Ethan Holtzman from Dengue Fever
by Mike Huberty
June 2012

As an American band inspired by equally by Cambodian pop music as well as American 60’s bands (you can hear the Credence dripping out of each song), DENGUE FEVER, occupies a fascinating niche. While most of the band hails from LA, their songs didn’t even have any English until their third record. Formed by brothers Ethan and Zac Holtzman in 2001, they met up with Cambodian immigrant (and already a famous karaoke singer in her native country), Chhom Nimol, to fill out the sound of the band. Their latest full length is called Cannibal Courtship is their fifth and they’re touring to support it. We took some time to talk to DENGUE FEVER’s Ethan Holtzman about their upcoming Madison show.


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Kill Junior

Kill Junior

A review of Kill Junior's new album, "Distract-O-Matic"
by Mike Huberty
May 2012

There’s no band in the Dairy State that’s making classic thrash metal like KILL JUNIOR.  “Distract-O-Matic” is a virtual ball slap, like being knocked in the bag by another, larger pierced bag. A big fat Hafada pierced scrot bump full of metal power. Imagine walking into a Megadeth concert with Glenn Danzig on vocals and then just when you’re getting all turgid about how fucking awesome that is, an anvil of heaviness drops on your head like you’re Wile E. Coyote and while you’re dazed, the Road Runner sprints up to you, meep meeps in your face, takes a quick piss on your pleather boots, does an Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom Mola Ram heart grab on you, makes sweet love to that heart, puts it back under your rib cage, and sews you up like Civil War battlefield surgery. That’s something like the experience of hearing “Distract-O-Matic” for the first time.


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Dead Man's Carnival

Dead Man’s Carnival

An interview with Pinkerton Xyloma
by Mike Huberty
April 2012

Combining the best of live music, classic vaudeville, and circus sideshows, Milwaukee-based DEAD MAN’S CARNIVAL is a unique theater experience for the Midwest They are a regular fixture at the city’s Miramar Theatre, but have been traveling around the country for the past several years. We talked to frontman and musician, Pinkerton Xyloma, about their upcoming appearance at the Majestic in Madison.


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Great Matter Mechanics

Grey Matter Mechanics

An interview with Jestin Korleski from Grey Matter Mechanics
by Mike Huberty
April 2012

With several hundred songs in their repertoire ranging from jazz to hard rock, Janesville’s GREY MATTER MECHANICS, has a legitimate stake in claiming to be the most diverse musical trio in Wisconsin. Began in 2010 from the ashes of popular alt-rock/trip-hop outfit, SALVA ME, guitarist/vocalist Jestin Korleski and bassist Josh Dissmore begun their jazz trio to just play out and get some paying gigs, over time they started working to bring their original rock songs into the mix as well. They just released their first CD full of that original material called “Black and White”.


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Sunshine For The Blind Live

Sunshine For The Blind

An interview with Brian Daly
by Mike Huberty
January 2012

As the creative outlet for one-half of DNA Studios’ production masterminds, Brian Daly, SUNSHINE FOR THE BLIND, has been performing guitar rock with pop inflections in the Madison area for the better part of the last decade. Their latest album, Second Self, is an absolutely sonically masterful collection of straight-up classic alternative rock songs. There’s plenty of excellent guitar work, big chorus hooks, and a solid (and wonderfully complex) rhythm section provided by bassist Ken Stevenson and drummer Andrew Rohn.

As the guitarist and vocalist for SUNSHINE FOR THE BLIND as well as one of Madison’s most prolific audio engineers, Daly has been into music since he was a kid, “I have always experienced music that I like as transporting,” he says, “as an entry to another world. A world that generally seemed better than the normal world..  Part of this experience was a desire to create music myself. This isn’t logical; it’s possible to love music and not want to make it. But I was infected with this viral aspect of music.“


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Anna Wang and the Oh Boys - Madison, Wisconsin - photo by Nick Berard

Anna Wang and The Oh Boys!

An interview with Madison's Anna Wang from Anna Wang and The Oh Boys!
by Mike Huberty
January 2012

With one foot in bubblegum and one foot in rock, ANNA WANG AND THE OH BOYS! is unabashed good-time music, straightforward, fun, and deliriously catchy. Lead vocalist and songwriter, Anna Wang, is a recent graduate from the University of Wisconsin and ready to take on the world with her “Oh Boys”- bassist Jeff Funk, guitarist Jeremy Van Mill, and (not so boyish) Nicky Sund on drums. They’re celebrating the release of a brand new EP, Drive Fast (currently available for listening on their website, www.annawangandtheohboys.com), with a big party at The Frequency in Madison on February 3rd.


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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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