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San Diego's Dirty Sweet

Dirty Sweet

by Joshua Miller
June 2009

A spaghetti rock and roll western shoot ‘em up is in store for anyone who wanders to the U.S. Cellular Connection Stage opening night of Milwaukee’s Summerfest. Just as they created high energy and tension in the western shootout themed music video for their tune “Marionette,” California rockers DIRTY SWEET come guitars blazing with their take on rock and roll.

“Expect to be blown away with our show,” says Ryan Koontz, who handles lead vocals.

And just like old western shoot out there’s the intense parts and the calm, collective parts. In music, that’s translates to hard rock and bittersweet acoustic songs. Hence the band’s name.


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Madison's Pale Young Gentleman

Pale Young Gentlemen

by Joshua Miller
June 2009

Adventuresome, theatrical, and a pouring out deeply human emotion in their music, Madison’s PALE YOUNG GENTLEMEN come to give audiences June 14 at the Marquette Waterfront Festival a detour from the usual rock and pop songs.

“I hope people can find some emotional truth in our songs which are trying to be as honest as possible,” says lead singer Mike Reisenauer. “These songs are for people who like being alive, and want to think about things and try to understand their emotions.”

To do this, the band throws convention out the window as far as the blueprint for a typical rock or pop band. Combining the guitar, bass, drum format (which they initially started off with) with instruments such as cellos and violas, the band members have created an original sound that’s their own.


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Butch Vig - Producer, Drummer, Studio Owner, Madison Native

Butch Vig

by Mike Huberty
June 2009

A Wisconsin native who made his name producing records for bands that would come to define the alternative movement in the 90’s with Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins and then came to know rock success as the drummer and producer of multi-platinum artist, Garbage, Butch Vig is known as a sonic virtuoso who makes some of the best sounding rock music around. Playing in Madison bands through the 70’s and 80’s and founding Smart Studios, Butch has as of late relocated to the sunnier climes of California and started a family, but that hasn’t slowed him down. After recently producing records by The Subways and Against Me! his latest project is GREEN DAY’s newest album, 21st Century Breakdown.


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Metric is a Canadian New Wave/indie rock band.

Metric

by John Noyd
June 2009

METRIC – named after a synthesizer beat on a sampler. A band whose lead singer has dual citizenship, whose members range from Texas-raised to Boston-trained, New York hardened and Toronto nurtured. No wonder then this group of like-minded friends’ new album, “Fantasies,” is an edgy, coy and cosmopolitan masterpiece packing musical precision, sly hooks and savvy metaphors. Recorded in large part at guitarist JIMMY SHAW’s home studio and self-distributed in the States, “Fantasies,” is independent music with a capital I. Playing Chicago’s Metro June 14th, singer, songwriter and co-founder EMILY HAINES took some time out to answer a few email questions about the band and the new CD.


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Madison, Wisconsin band Brainerd

Brainerd

by Mack Dreyfuss
May 2009

Dan Dieterich, founder of Brainerd, is a man who is not afraid of getting in touch with the darker side of life. If you are aware of Madison, Wisconsin’s musical history, chances are you’ve heard of this band. Recently signed by (Zodiac Killer Records), their third album approaches. Called simply, “The Goat Album,” Dieterich says that Brainerd plays “deathpunk” and has “congealed into a unique sound.” He describes their first album, “There’s No Eye in Pussy” as “an amalgamation of sound that ranges from traditional punk to rockabilly. We came together more on our second album ‘Animal Mother’. That was more grindy. Fans who come out to hear our latest music can be assured that they will receive a hearty dose of high-powered, high-energy rock n roll party music.”


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Every Good Boy

Every Good Boy

by Cactus Joe
May 2009

Orly Bendavid, charismatic front woman of indie folk rock band EVERY GOOD BOY, calls Brooklyn, New York home, but spends most of her time touring and performing. Taking it solo for the time being, Bendavid is currently supporting Milwaukee folk artist MATTHEW DAVIES (CD also reviewed in this issue) on his tour and she is promoting the release of her full band’s debut album “The Human Haiku.”

Bendavid grew up in the San Fernando Valley of California and was exposed to the music of ELVIS PRESLEY, THE BEATLES, and CAT STEVENS from an early age.

“This was the music my parents loved the most,” Bendavid recalls on her MySpace bio. “This was the music I grew up on.”


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Wisconsin's Mother Orchis

Mother Orchis

by Joshua Miller
May 2009

Loudly making an entrance with a wave of raw emotion, MOTHER ORCHIS roams Milwaukee bars and clubs, looking to produce like minded beings that absorb her trance-inducing musical waves. 

Approaching this mysterious being reveals the elements that drive her: a band by the same name, which effortlessly blends classic rock, psychedelic rock and metal.  Laying down the beat of her footsteps and heart beat is Jesus, who keeps time her epic like movements.  Rochelle (often shortened to Roach) adds bass in rhythm with her heart beat while Kevin chugs away fiercely on his guitar.  Hallowing, somewhat growling, with an Ozzy Osbourne-like darkly tone, Matt Leece provides the final elements with his voice and guitar.

“I think we all kind of were on the same page from the get go,” Leece says of his band’s ability to merge their sounds together.


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American Thrash metallers Chimaira

Chimaira

by Chris Fox
May 2009

Welcome to the monster that is CHIMAIRA. With a name that means: grotesque monster having disparate and disagreeing parts, it can be expected that these guys bring a lot to the heavy metal table. Much like their name, the band is a constantly disagreeing group of musicians that strive to persistently improve their intense and precise sound. A sound defined easily with one word, heavy, seems to continuously attract more and more metalheads to their broadening fan base. Being known for their fast guitars and shotgun drums this sextet never ceases to impress.

Their upcoming release, “The Infection,” is due out on April 21, and as promised by lead guitarist, Rob Arnold, it will be “gut wrenching and in your face, like CHIMAIRA has always been.” The new album provides a new side to the group, Arnold explains, it has a “sledgehammer type groove,” that is a bit slower than previous albums, but just as heavy. With the standard metal influences, like Slayer and Metallica, CHIMAIRA strives to get heavier and expand their repertoire. As with any group of musicians, these ten-year veterans of the genre find themselves consistently maturing and creating a higher standard for themselves. They are always striving to improve what they are what they represent.


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Milwaukee's Black Frog

Black Frog

by Kris Klassen
May 2009

Guitarist/vocalist Eroc explained to me how they came up with the name BLACK FROG. He had four carnivorous albino aquatic frogs in a fish tank. One day he noticed a frog was missing. The next day another one was gone. Mystified, he put weights on the cover of the tank but he came home and the other two frogs had vanished.

Months passed and the frogs were never found as Eroc concentrated his energies on building a recording studio in his basement and launching a new band. One fateful day, the furnace in the studio needed repair and as the technician opened the furnace, Eroc heard him scream. When Eroc entered the room he found the repairman holding four fist sized frogs as flat as pancakes and blackened from oxidation. They had made their escape through the heating ducts to an entire new floor of the house. In honor of these four brave souls, Eroc decided to name the band BLACK FROG. He still has their corpses today and hopes to shellac them into a guitar.


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Madison's The Sharp and Harkins Band

The Sharp and Harkins Band

by Cactus Joe
May 2009

“To Each His Own” is the newest album by Wisconsin acoustic rockers the Sharp and Harkins Band. Branching out from acoustic and folk roots, the record is a mix of styles, with the goal of capturing the band’s more rock-influenced live sound. Many of the 14 songs on the album sit solidly within the rock genre, while still retaining a loyalty to the acoustic and folk sincerity that has won them considerable acclaim.

“This album was more for us to do our own thing,” said Ryan Harkins, one of the founding members along with Andy Sharp. “Our first album was more acoustic based, influenced by Jack Johnson and Ben Harper. After playing live we evolved into more of a rock band and we wanted to show that in our new album.”


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