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White Mystery - photo by Diane Alexander White

White Mystery

Live at Mickey’s, Fri. July 5, with The Arge & The Non Travellin’ Band
by Sal Serio
June 2013

Some sound advice from the Salamander: do NOT go totally gonzo-party overboard this 4th of July, because you’ll most definitely want to save some energy for Friday the 5th and the stellar rock ‘n roll triple bill showcased at Mickey’s Tavern in Madison. Headlining (but playing second on the bill) is the garage-rock power-duo from Chicago: White Mystery! This is White Mystery’s first Madison appearance since opening for Shonen Knife at the UW Terrace last August.


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Die Kreuzen

Die Kreuzen

“Gone Away” But Not Forgotten, Back For A Limited Time Only
by Sal Serio
May 2013

I turned 18 in 1981. Like many others who transformed from boys to young men in the early 80s, it was a time of confusion, but also one of excitement. America’s socio- political landscape had radically changed to one of conservatism and military intervention during the Reagan regime, and equally as turbulent was the beloved institution of rock and roll. Mainstays of arena rock were suddenly seen as antiquated… out of touch with a new look and attitude. Punk had taken over, and given the agitation of the times, it’s no wonder.

Much appreciated about the punk movement was how the barrier between musician and audience was broken down. In the 70s, chances were unlikely that a pimply-faced young dude would get to hang out with one of his heroes. This privilege was almost exclusively reserved for pretty girls. Likewise, to become a popular rocker seemed a nearly unobtainable quest. With punk, the fans all had their own bands, and many times the venues did not even have stages. We all stood on the same ground, and we all drank from the same keg when the show was over.

Which is not to say we didn’t have bands to look up to. When I joined my first punk band in 1983, we all brought a lot of influences to the table, but our commonality was that we wanted to be like Black Flag and Die Kreuzen.


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Dark Star Orchestra - photo by Bob Minkin

Dark Star Orchestra

An interview with guitarist Jeff Mattson
by Sal Serio
January 2013

One of the true originals in the history of American music remains the Grateful Dead, and even though the group disbanded in 1995 after the death of lead guitarist, vocalist, and co-founder Jerry Garcia, the Dead phenomenon continues full force. Among the strongest contingencies involved in keeping the vibe of the Dead authentic, and turning on new fans to the GD concert experience is Dark Star Orchestra, who formed in Chicago in 1997 when guitarist John Kadlecik and keyboardist Scott Larned shared the concept of starting a band that recreated entire Grateful Dead concerts from the past. Over the years, Dark Star’s legacy has grown, and a few line-up changes have occurred, including the shocking passing of Scott Larned in 2005. In 2009, Kadlecik was asked to join the band Furthur with original Grateful Dead members Bob Weir and Phil Lesh, and at that point Jeff Mattson, of Zen Tricksters and Donna Jean Godchaux Band fame, was logically asked to fill the Jerry Garcia role in Dark Star. In anticipation of DSO’s approaching upper Midwest dates (Jan 30 at First Avenue in Minneapolis, Jan 31 at the Barrymore Theatre in Madison WI, Feb 1 at the Pabst Theatre in Milwaukee, and Feb 2 at the Vic Theater in Chicago) I had the opportunity to speak to Jeff Mattson by phone while he was enjoying some time off at his home in New York state.


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Mojo Radio - photo by Brian Ebner/Optic Nerve

Mojo Radio

Madison's Guitar-Driven Harmonica-Powered Rock ‘n Roll Juggernaut!
by Sal Serio
November 2012

The local Madison guitar-driven harmonica-powered rock ‘n roll juggernaut known as Mojo Radio has a lot of positive momentum to hang their hats on these days. Their first self-titled CD has garnered attention in both the Midwest and the East Coast, as well as Germany and France. Having just signed to the self-proclaimed “high octane riffage total guitar” label Grooveyard Records, the group is now fine-tuning material for a second full length release. I was recently able to catch the band in their rehearsal space to get some insight in to how they got to this enviable position in such a short time span, and what the future promises. Mojo Radio is Jason “JP” Peterson on guitar, drummer extraordinaire Brent King, bassist Scott Aumann, and singer/harp player Adam Zierten.


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3091 ViewsPermalinkMojo Radio Website
moe. Register to Vote! - photo by Sal Serio

moe.

The Chuck Garvey interview – Too much Satan for just one hand!
by Sal Serio
September 2012

Let’s see, how many Moe’s can we think of? Right off the top of my head, I’m going to say Moe Howard of the Three Stooges, Moe the bartender on The Simpsons, Moe Tucker from the Velvet Underground, and the kick-ass rock band simply named moe. No capital letters and ending with a period – moe. Formed shortly after guitarist Chuck Garvey met bass player Rob Derhak at the University of Buffalo in the late 1980s, the group quickly gained a steady following due to their commitment to long, energetic concerts, diverse songwriting, and an overall sense of frivolity balanced with sincerity. By booking their own festivals and primarily self-releasing their albums, moe. has maintained their integrity without losing any momentum. The group is rounded off by percussionist Jim Loughlin, drummer Vinnie Amico, and guitarist/keyboardist Al Schnier. In anticipation of moe’s October 25th appearance at the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee, I managed to get in a few words with Chuck Garvey by phone, and right away said how happy I was to hear they were playing Wisconsin again after a several year absence.


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2821 ViewsPermalinkmoe. Websitemoe. MySpacemoe. Wiki
Kill Devil Hill

Kill Devil Hill

Guitarist Mark Zavon – Strong Enough To Kill The Devil
by Sal Serio
August 2012

It’s a warm feeling when someone you know hits the big time. Like maybe how some of Hendrix’s band mates from the early 60s “chitlin’ circuit” felt when he joined the Experience, or how other New Jersey troubadours from the early 70s felt after “Born To Run”. I know I felt a certain sense of pride when I saw that guitar man Mark Zavon joined forces in the critically acclaimed Kill Devil Hill with Rex Brown (Pantera/Down) and Vinny Appice (Black Sabbath/Dio/Heaven & Hell). After seeing Mark bust his chops for years with the fusiony JRZ System, and later with ex-Ratt singer Stephen Pearcey, it was fulfilling to know that his wood shedding and determination has paid off. I had the opportunity to speak to Mark in advance of Kill Devil Hill’s debut Wisconsin performance, September 15th at Janesville’s Back Bar.


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Aerial photo of Summer Camp 2011 - photo by Jason Kaczorowski

2012 Summer Camp – Where Musical Memories Are Made

Summer Camp 2012 - remember that one time, at band camp?
by Sal Serio
April 2012

Ah, Summer Camp. Two words that kickstart memories of canoe races, archery, roasting marshmallows, painting t-shirts… hula hoops, glow sticks, and Jane’s Addiction. Wait, what?! Those last three don’t sound like the summer camp you remember? Then you must not have been to the Summer Camp Music Festival!

Now in it’s 12th season, Summer Camp is the brainchild of Jay Goldberg Events, JAM Productions, and the bands moe. and Umphrey’s McGee. Taking place near the Illinois River on Memorial Day weekend just outside the sleepy rural burg of Chillicothe, Illinois, this three day festival features an exceptional line-up of bands and artists from multiple genres, plus more fun activities than you can shake a tambourine at. In fact, it’s near impossible to take it all in!


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Clovis Mann  - photo by Erica Krug

Clovis Mann

An interview with Clovis Mann
by Sal Serio
August 2010

MAXIMUM INK:  Can you give me a quick history of the band?

DANIEL WALKNER:  Well, I had some gigs lined up and everybody quit the band except for Stosh. This was about 2004. Ethan moved back from New Orleans.

ETHAN NOORDYK:  The Polish Mound Of Sound.

DW:  That’s right, Stosh Jonjak, (our) former bass player. We had a bunch of songs written up, and we had a gig Friday. There was a Battle Of The Bands on Thursday in Whitewater. So, Ethan came back, we practiced on Wednesday, we went into the Battle Of The Bands, and we won it. Then we went and played our gig at the Waverly in Two Rivers, and that was it.

EN:  We recorded in Milwaukee that weekend too.

DW:  Oh, that’s right. That was Saturday, at… wherever that place was. Then, about 1,000 shows later, here we are.

MI:  So you knew each other already.

DW:  Right, I knew Ethan from playing in blues bands years ago, and from doing pick-up stuff. Then we were in a bigger band and we kinda separated because we wanted to do a three-piece, because we were writing our own stuff and getting sick of doing that “Mustang Sally” routine. Stoshie and I had written some material together, “When You’re Gone”, “Stone Moses”, “War Child”, some of that stuff, and then we just started playing out. It kind of grew from there, and we rocked it as a trio. We did the first Clovis Mann album, and then the second album was Dues. Now we’re moving on to the Metamorphic album, with Danny Plourde on bass, Vince Farris is playing keys on almost everything, Craig Baumann from Fat Maw Rooney is playing guitar on one, and Pat Ferguson from Smokin’ Bandits is playing guitar on our gospel rave-up manic insanity church picnic theme song “The Light”.


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2283 ViewsPermalinkClovis Mann MySpace
Don Bakken of Last Crack - photo by Nick Berard

3 For The Price Of 1 - My Fair Share - Don Bakken - The Moments

by Sal Serio
June 2010

3 For The Price Of 1 - My Fair Share - Don Bakken - The Moments

Sal Serio runs through 3 CD’s from regional artists


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Mastondon cover art by Ian Chalgren

Mastodon

an Interview with Brann Dailor
by Sal Serio
June 2010

Any metalhead with their ear to the ground is sure to hear the rumbling, gargantuan footsteps of the mighty Mastodon. The densely complex and thought provoking heavy rock of the recent Crack The Skye and Blood Mountain releases have propelled Mastodon out of the underground and onto arena bills and critic’s top lists. I conversed with drummer Brann Dailor in anticipation of their May 18th appearance at the Orpheum Theater in Madison. Mastodon is rounded out by guitarists Bill Kelliher, Brend Hinds, and bass player Troy Sanders.

Maximum Ink:  Has Mastodon been to Madison before?

Brann Dailor:  I’ve been there a bunch of times.


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