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SIMO on the cover of Maximum Ink music magazine

SIMO

SIMO comes back to play AtwoodFest 2017
by Teri Barr
July 2017

The bluesy tunes of J.D. Simo have hit a new high. He has written hundreds of songs, traveled the world, and J.D. has even cut his trademark shoulder-length hair since the last time we talked with him for Maximum Ink just after a successful performance at AtwoodFest a few years ago. But his history in music remains the same; he grew up in Chicago, quit high school, and moved to Nashville. He became a young studio musician and played on more than 500 albums. He says many were popular names we may recognize which made him recognize he didn’t want to play sessions the rest of his life. He formed the SIMO trio, and this second chapter of his music history is still being written.

Here’s an update on some of the things we talked about during our first interview:

Maximum Ink: You’ll be back for a second AtwoodFest show in July, but you’ve played Madison a couple of times since your first AtwoodFest show. What is it about playing here that draws you back?
J.D. Simo: We try not to have expectations of a place when we play there, but Madison is beautiful, and I felt a creative contingent of people, similar to Boulder or Asheville. That’s a feeling that sustains you as you get on stage, and it helps you get into a rhythm. It’s what I did at the first AtwoodFest show, and after a few songs I looked out to see the place was packed. It’s something I want to remember! I’ve actually had people tell me, sometimes as a band is climbing, you forget to live in the moment, so you have to enjoy it. It really was a show we’ll never forget, and I’m looking forward to playing AtwoodFest again!

MI: SIMO is a three piece, but you have always sounded so much bigger. Not louder, but bigger. I saw you recently, and the sound is so consistent.
JD: I am so very proud of the three of us! We are so conscientious of our sound, and it’s why we use vintage gear, in the context of our heros like the James Gang or the Jeff Beck Group. We want to earn a stake in that lineage. Plus, as a trio, you have to give 100% of your talent, and energy. You have to be completely committed to the music, and we aim to do that every night, so we know not one of us can slack off on it.


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former Mayor of Madison, David Atwood, namesake of Atwood Avenue

Madcity Nights - July 2017

Show Previews for Madison and surrounding areas
by Max Ink Writer List
July 2017

Show Previews for Madison and surrounding areas


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White Bush Unicorn - photo by Danielle Kvatek

White Bush Unicorn

It's Better Than Nothing!
by Sal Serio
July 2017

Interviewing the 7-headed beast known as White Bush Unicorn was a real trip. A relatively new Madison musical conglomeration that makes a point of coloring way outside the lines, this is assuredly a group that will keep you guessing. White Bush Unicorn will be celebrating their debut recorded effort at Art In on Saturday, July 29, as part of a multimedia affair that will also feature Chicago rock band The Curls, and burlesque performers Unbookable Baby-Bear, Marina Mars, Mama No Shits, Claire Moon, and Melani Khandroma. Veteran Max Ink reporter caught up with various members of White Bush Unicorn, and the rest of this article speaks loudly for itself. [White Bush Unicorn is: Larry Bush: lead guitar, vocals; Kasondra White: vocals, keyboard, trumpet; Jordi Hipple: bass; AhnaMarie Grove: marching bells, flute, melodica, vocals; Raul Ramos: drums; Alley Bacon: alto saxophone; Marco Antoniolli: rhythm guitar]


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Porky's Groove Machine from Appleton, WI

Porky’s Groove Machine

An interview with nerd-funkers Porky's Groove Machine
by Mike Huberty
July 2017

With their tongues firmly planted in their cheeks, Appleton’s PORKY’S GROOVE MACHINE plays campus-ready dance-able white guy funk that is ready to help you get on with your baddest self. They’ve got tracks like a “PSA (Porky’s Service Announcement)” proclaiming to “Don’t be silly, wrap your willy!” or with titles like “Hey! Fatballs!”, so you might have guessed that their music isn’t quite the deep introspective soul-searching kind.


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Greta Van Fleet plays 'Shake The Lake'

Greta Van Fleet

An interview with Greta Van Fleet's Jake Kiszka
by Tommy Rage
June 2017

Greta Van Fleet’s Jake Kiszka talks about their debut EP Black Smoke Rising, their Dad’s musical influence and hanging out with fans in Madison during a storm.


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BTW founder Roy Elkins

Between The Waves Madsion Music Festival and Conference

and interview with founder Roy Elkins
by Teri Barr
June 2017

Many years ago, Roy Elkins left his hometown in Michigan, drawn to the music scene of Memphis, Tennessee. His father and brothers were musicians, and Roy believed he could create his own fame along Beale Street. But his fascination with the artists instead revealed a skill Roy hadn’t quite considered before—the technology-side of music.

Fast-forward to an opportunity with Sonic Foundry in Madison. It was 1997 and Roy was based in Philadelphia. He was still working in technology, and in a quickly-changing business, helped launch dozens of new products meant to make a musician’s job easier. But there was something about Madison. Shortly after settling in here, Roy realized he was smitten with the city. And as it turns out, it was not a short-term sort of love.


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Parker Lundgren from Queensryche at Madison Brat Fest - photo by Tricia Starr

Queensryche

Interview with Queensryche guitarist Parker Lundgren
by Tommy Rage
June 2017

One of the biggest rock/metal bands from the 80’s & 90’s returned to Madison for this year’s 2017 Brat Fest. Queensrÿche, which had success with releases Operation Mindcrime (1988, certified Platinum) and Empire (1990, triple Platinum) came to Madison in support of their 2015 release Condition Hüman (US Billboard #27).  I had a chance to catch up with the band and guitarist Parker Lundgren who hails from the same small town in the Pacific Northwest as I do.  Parker Lundgren, lead/rhythm guitars and backing vocals, shared some of his thoughts on Madison, Queensrÿche and supporting fellow small town musicians. 

Maximum Ink: Queensrÿche has a long and rich history with Wisconsin and specifically Madison, including the recording of the live release Operation: LIVEcrime (1991 double Platinum). How hasa the reception been this year?
Parker Lundgren:
We love coming to Madison and Milwaukee. I love to ride, and Wisconsin has Harley Davidson. I’m a huge fan of bikes and have a sweet bike as well. The energy from the fans at shows is great and we can feel the magic of a live show like what we had here [at Brat Fest 2017].


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The Claudettes from Chicago

The CLAUDETTES

An interview with Johnny Iguana, founder and pianist in punk-blues act, The Claudettes
by Mike Huberty
June 2017

After spending the 2000s with Chicago indie rock/popsters, OH MY GOD, keyboardist and singer JOHNNY IGUANA started a piano/drum band in 2011 as the house act at a little Illinois bar called Claudette’s (and named themselves after the club and its wild owner.) Starting with good old American Roots music, he began borrowing elements from punk, blues, jazz, and even classical to create their sound and since the spare beginning they’ve added more musicians to the mix to fill out the sonic spectrum. In addition to Johnny Iguana on piano and vocals, THE CLAUDETTES are Berit Ulseth on vocals, Zach Verdoorn on bass/vocals, Matt Torre on drums. We talked with Mister Iguana to discuss their upcoming show at AtwoodFest at 2pm on July 29th.


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The Dead Deads

The Dead Deads

An interview with Billy Dead, Drummer of Nashville's Pop-Punkers THE DEAD DEADS
by Mike Huberty
June 2017

It’s hard to believe that The Frequency is already celebrating 9 years! This year’s Birthday Weekend features two nights of music, but Saturday June 10th’s lineup features some new Pop-Punk from Nashville. Four girls with X’s over their eyes, with MISFITS-style chants at a breakneck pace, THE DEAD DEADS feature Meta on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Betty on lead guitar, Daisy on bass, and Billy on drums. And of course, their last name is all DEAD. We talked with Billy Dead about their new album, their influences, and their upcoming show at The Frequency on June 10th.


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David Atwood, namesake of Atwood Avenue in Madison

Russian Hackers Break into AtwoodFest Servers and Leak Music Schedule

by Tom Butler
May 2017

As summer music festivals in the Madison market release their music schedules, AtwoodFest typically waits until Memorial Day to release its anticipated line up of local, regional, and national artists.

This year, it looks like the Russians have intervened and hacked into the AtwoodFest servers and leaked the live music schedule on pastebin.com.

View the schedule here in its entriety: https://pastebin.com/FWERTdZz

Never before has this happened in small town America, but apparently Vladimir is trying to plan his summer fun schedule and could not wait until the holiday release.

Local authorities are calling for an independent investigation into the leaks but legislators in the capitol are using little known rules to block any attempts.

For now it looks like we’ll all have to wait for the official website to be released and trust that the leaks are accurate.


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