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Madison's Blueheels

Blueheels

by Mike Huberty
December 2008

With an Americana sound that varies from alt-country to rock n’ roll to indie rock, Madison-based band Blueheels sound perfectly modern and vintage at the same time. The band has two recordings under their belt (2006’s Long Gone and Lessons in Sunday Driving released in April of 2008), a live album soon to come, and a third studio record in the works. They seem to be keeping themselves busy creatively, while also keeping a regular and extensive performing schedule.


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Hollywood Undead, the band that god apologized to for Sodom and Gamorrah

Hollywood Undead

by Mack Dreyfuss
December 2008

John Schlesinger said “Hollywood is an extraordinary kind of temporary place.” Robert DeNiro says he only goes to Los Angeles “when he gets paid for it.” Jay Leno said, “If God doesn’t destroy Hollywood Boulevard, he owes Sodom and Gomorrah an apology.” Slithering out of this cauldron like the rumored first cell from primordial soup is a band called Hollywood Undead.

If you haven’t heard of them yet, prepare to be blindsided. The day they created their MySpace profile, several thousand new users signed on. In one week they crested to the top of the MySpace music chart like a wave on the Santa Monica shore. Their first official album called “Swan Songs” was released Sep. 2 by (A&M/Octone Records). They consist of six members identified only by street aliases. Their music is a collision of hip-hop, metal, and rock and sounds like the Beastie Boy’s Licensed to Ill getting pistol whipped by Eminem.


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El Donk with Motor Primitives' organist Jeff Muendel as Donk Floyd

Donk Floyd

by Mack Dreyfuss
December 2008

If you’re a Pink Floyd fan, Maximum Ink and some of Madison’s finest musicians are collaborating to give you a gift this holiday season. El Donk and Jeff Muendel, organist of the Motor Primitives, are teaming up to pay tribute to Pink Floyd organist Richard Wright, who passed away in September of this year. The Cardinal Bar on Dec. 20 is the venue of the Maximum Ink Holiday Party where The Falcon of El Donk states that they will play two sets consisting of 12 to 15 Pink Floyd songs in honor of one of the finest musicians of our time.


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Children 18:3 from Minneapolis, MN

Children 18:3

by Dan Vierck
December 2008

Children 18:3 are a dream come true for nearly any general fan of music. The music is easy to swallow but exciting and stands up listen after listen. They are, however, a critic’s nightmare.

This Minnesotan three piece shamelessly (and rightfully so) defines themselves with elements of pop, punk, rock and aesthetics that can be so polarizing it’s kind of a wonder they have the massive fan base they do.

If a Children 18:3 newbie doesn’t run when they hear “Christian Rock” they might when they see the band’s long haired, greasy, mascara’ed front man. Or, if they don’t turn the other cheek when comparisons to Alkaline Trio turn up they might turn the page when they hear this trio is a band of siblings.


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36 Crazyfists from Kenai, Alaska - photo by Brian Lee

36 Crazyfists

by Chris Fox
December 2008

The Alaskan-based heavy metal thrashers, 36 CRAZYFISTS, have taken a unique approach to their music and their performance. As Brock Lindow (vocals) explains, they have a very raw attitude, and admittedly are often too close to their music to fully understand what they are creating. Avoiding the negativity and anger that often surrounds the musical term “metal” and, rather, creating a positive ideal with a heavy sound. Their surprising rise to the heavy metal circuit is not that shocking, explains Lindow, “metal is the number one resource up there, nobody looks to Alaska as a musical hotbed, but that is what makes it the best place.” Lindow credits a lot of their inspirational drive to the small but thriving music scene in our nation’s largest state. Lindow compared the passion and energy of Alaskans to metal fans in Texas, and says, “Texas has got nothing on Alaska, the people are what make the music and the scene.”


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White Zombie

White Zombie

by Mike Huberty
December 2008

Formed in the mid-80’s in New York City, White Zombie would become one of the most popular metal acts through the 90’s. Their sound was heavy but with a groove and songs inspired from horror authors like Richard Matheson (I Am Legend) to classic muscle cars and cult films like Blade Runner and Night of the Living Dead. Their most visible member, Rob Zombie (Robert Cummings, Jr.), was not only a musician, but a filmmaker as well, who over the course of the past two decades would go from directing the band’s videos to being a sought-after horror movie director in Hollywood. Even though the band has been broken up for over a decade, Rob went through the entirety of their old recordings and came up with a new boxed set called Let Sleeping Corpses Lie which is a five-disc collection of everything the band recorded.

You can tell Rob Zombie gets asked about a White Zombie reunion all the time because the first thing he says is how the set has a perfect title, “it’s pretty self-explanatory because I didn’t want everybody to think the box set was the beginning of something. I wanted everyone to realize it was the end of something… I am not big on revisiting the past. I like to move forward all the time. So whenever anything else would come up, this would go in the backburner. I had a little bit of window, and just knocked it out. And I also figured that, if not now, when? By waiting longer, CDs aren’t even going to exist, so there will be no box sets.”


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Don Airey - keybordist for Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Rainbow, Ozzy, Whitesnake and more!

Don Airey

by Jeff Muendel
December 2008

Don Airey isn’t a name that many people know well, but his keyboards have been heard by most anyone listening to American radio in the last twenty-some years. The pipe organ intro to Ozzy Osbourne’s “Mr. Crowley?” That’s him. The slick strings in Whitesnake’s “Still of the Night” or the glassy electric piano on “Here I Go Again?” That’s him, too. How about the freaky synthesizers on Black Sabbaths’ Never Say Die album? Yeah, that’s Don Airey again.

The list if bands that Airey has either recorded with or been a member of is long, but includes (besides those already mentioned) Jethro Tull, Judas Priest, Gary Moore, The Michael Schenker Group, Rainbow, Thin Lizzy, and UFO.  He has come to be the most prolific keyboardist in hard rock. He is also the current organist in Deep Purple, perhaps one of the most keyboard-intensive bands in the history of rock.


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Sleighriders - Steve Grimm pointing to the sky!

The Sleighriders 2008

by Kristen Winiarski
December 2008

The Sleighriders with their cast of ever changing members, continue their fundraising activities at the Benefit for the SafeZone Community Art Project, taking place at Shank Hall in Milwaukee on December 15th. This year’s performers include: Eddie Butts, Steve Cohen, Warren Wiegratz, Gregg Koch, Sigmund Snopek, Annie Dennison, members of Bad Boy (including Steve Grimm & Xeno), Blue Hand, Crisis, Speakeasy, Dirty Ernie, Boogie Men and many others. The Brandon James Band opens the show this year.

2008 marks the 26th annual charity event by the Sleighriders. It is an event to encourage kids to get involved in making music and discover their potential. The money raised is given to buy instruments and musical instruction for children in the community. Their newest cause is the Safezone Community Art Project, which they have been raising money towards for the past five years.


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In This Moment

In This Moment

by Chris Fox
November 2008

After the recent release of their new album, “The Dream” on September 30, IN THIS MOMENT find themselves on tour. Somewhat familiar with Wisconsin, after hitting the stage hard for Band Camp ’07, they have returned, opening for Five Finger Death Punch.

The band has gone through a lot of sound adjustments in their four years together and have developed what Chris Howorth (guitarist) defines as “melodic rock and roll with a little bit of heavy metal.”  The new album concentrates more on song development rather than the almighty riff.  Maria Brink’s (vocalist) screams are less apparent than their previous release, but the band still manages to stay heavy with melody.  Howorth and Jesse Landry (bassist) account their changing sound to the diverse musical choices of the group. Howorth is the appointed “metal guy,” but they account everything from Kiss and Pantera to Ratt and Def Leppard as influences.

Each band member seems to have their own preferences as to which of their songs was the favorite, but their live favorite was a resounding, “Daddy’s Fallen Angel.” Landry explained that it was one of their heaviest songs in the set list and really seemed to click with the more rambunctious crowds. The live show seemed to be their favorite part of the whole lifestyle, and even though budgets are tight these guys plan to continue doing what they love.


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Los Angeles' Buckcherry on the cover of Maximum Ink in November 2008

Buckcherry

by Mike Huberty
November 2008

Originally coming on strong at the end of the 90’s with their fists-in-the-air ode to cocaine addiction, “Lit Up”, SoCal hard rockers, BUCKCHERRY, experienced a sophomore slump with their second album, Time Bomb, and the original band broke up.  After flirting with what would eventually become Velvet Revolver, distinctive screamer, Josh Todd, and guitarist-songwriter Keith Nelson reformed the band in 2005 with new members and have led the group to even bigger success in this decade with their biggest single (the ubiquitous “Crazy Bitch”) and two new albums. The second of which, Black Butterfly, was just released in September and the band is hitting the road in November with Avenged Sevenfold to promote their new release.

Keith Nelson is excited when talking about BUCKCHERRY’s resurgence. “We just came home from Japan and before that we were on Cruefest [the Motley Crue summer festival] and it was a lot of fun, a summer camp for the criminally insane and a rolling circus,” Nelson says, “now we start the new tour on November 4th.” That’s Election Day in the United States, so I ask him if there’s any candidate they’re supporting. “Well, in Japan they call it Erection Day,” he jokes, to which all I can do is groan, but at least he’s got a lot of life in him. “I don’t think any candidate really wants BUCKCHERRY in their corner,” he laughs, “politics is something that we decidedly do not get involved in.”


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