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Articles in Reverse

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Milwaukee's 1956, the band..

1956 The Band

by Mario Martin
April 2005

All too often, too much emphasis is put on those who create music rather than the music itself. Jim Morrisson saw it and performed whole concerts with his back to the audience. Trent Reznor saw it and performed most of his last tours’ shows behind a curtain. Slipknot saw it and began only going by band numbers behind masks. 1956 is an interesting paradox: similar, yet different.

Placing all the importance on the music, 1956 has been able to alienate the atypical image of the rock band whose visibility and publicity outshines the mediocrity of the music. That is not so with 1956. An assemblage of three men, all dedicated to the creation of strong rock music since 2001, 1956 enter the venue prepared for an aural, yet visceral, onslaught of sounds, pushed to the limits of conventional musicianship.


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Last Crack at the Blue Lagoon in Iceland, on the cover of Maximum Ink in May 2005 - photo by Rökker

48 Hours in Iceland with Last Crack

by Rökker
May 2005

March 30 1800 Central Standard Time: Last Crack and crew await boarding an Icelandair 757 at Minneapolis International Airport. To settle nerves some of the boys have taken to the bar and shot glass. Happy flights, next stop Iceland!

0630 Atlantic Standard Time: That’s midnight for us Wisconsinites. Our day starts waking up at Iceland’s Keflavik airport in need of transportation for our crew of nine plus gear to Reykjavik, Iceland’s capitol forty-nine kilometers to the west. Reykjavik is about the size of Madison and harbors two thirds of the island nation’s population.

An attempt was made to find the difference in cost between the bus and a rental car at the Hertz window when along comes a cab driver with an idea. Olafsson, the world’s only Porsche taxi driver, tells us he’s going to Reykjavik anyway so he’ll give us a good deal. He also suggested we rent a one-way car for the rest of the gear and guys and just drop off the car in the city. Brilliant idea! He saved us some money right off the bat.

0800 AST: After an intense drive past kilometer after kilometer of moss covered lava, mountains and volcanoes, Olafsson drops us off at the club we’re playing that night, The Grand Rokk.

Kalli, the owner, and his associate Jon (pronounced like yan but with a little yone in it) meet us and dole out cups of espresso by the dozens to the weary set of travelers, trapped in their lair. They tell us of Vikings, celtic lore and Icelandic customs, then take us to the guest rooms at the hotel Adam to meet host Ragnar and get some rest.


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Tracii Guns of the L.A. Guns

Tracii Guns

by Mike Huberty
May 2005

Tracii Guns is most famous for his work with L.A. Guns and, prior to that, his involvement with Guns N’ Roses. He most recently put together Brides of Destruction with Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüe fame, recording two albums before the group disbanded. With Sixx’s return to the Crüe camp, Tracii Guns has opted to tour and record as a solo act The Tracii Guns Band revisiting material from all the acts mentioned above. The group plays Milwaukee May 12 at Vnuk’s, Madison at The Annex May13, and in Minneapolis at Station4 May 14.

MAXIMUM INK: What material will you be playing as a solo artist?
TRACII GUNS: You know, I never wanted to be a solo artist guy, but my managers suggested that I use my own name and play whatever songs I want from whatever projects I’ve been involved with. It gives me musical freedom. So I’ll be playing stuff from the L.A. Guns, Brides of Destruction, and some rootsy, riff-oriented stuff of my own.


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Buddo of Last Crack on stage at the Headway Festival in Amsterdam, The Netherlands - photo by Rökker

Last Crack: On the Road in Amsterdam

by Rökker
June 2005

I awoke that morning of April the third to stories of snoring, dragons, taxi rides, red lights, girls behind glass doors, Finlanders, The Grand Rokk, Kalli and Jon, the Blue Lagoon, lava, sheep’s head, shark, Black Death and many more than I can list. That sleep allowed us to process that insanity called “48 Hours in Iceland.”

The group is hungry and everyone wants to eat down by the canals and walk around a bit. The Damrak, Amsterdam’s main street, is busy with people of all nationalities buzzing every which way. Cars, taxicabs, trains, bikes, horses, and motorcycles are all out to get me, it seems, as I weave my way through the web once again… only this time, the spiders are asleep.

We end up at a Turkish restaurant in the Red Light District called Grillroom Donny. It’s a small place with a great waiter and everyone gets kabobs and shaorma. The food sets our mood with combinations of spice and relish.

I can’t miss an opportunity for a quick space cake for desert, so it’s back to the Bulldog to check the Internet before heading back to the hotel.

We take the train back to the Hotel Etap and stop at the Heineken machine on the way in to call Freek Kroesbergen, the promoter of the Headway festival (www.headwayfestival.com). He was relieved to hear from us, as bands have gotten lost in Amsterdam before (too many space cakes I guess). He told us to stay put and sent a bus and driver to pick us up.

As we pull up to the site of the festival, Club P60 (www.p60.nl), we can see the bustle of people around the entrance and feel the buzz as music pours out the backstage door to the venue.


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Captured! By Robots on the cover of Maximum Ink in June 2005

Captured! By Robots

by Tom Butler
June 2005

Captured! By Robots, just home momentarily from a National two-month spring tour will be hitting the road again in June 2005 for a long over due tour of Canada with limited dates in the US. The “Greatest Hits” set will feature songs from both “The Ten Commandments and Get Fit with…” along with songs from Captured! Alive. These summer dates will be the only time in the foreseeable future to catch these songs again live.

Captured! By Robots recently recorded the follow up to the DVD/CD release “Captured! Alive.” This new release is a double CD entitled “The Ten Commandments / Get Fit with…” This release was recorded in the studio and contains two bonus 10 minute MPEGs – one clip from each of the past two tours, both filmed at the Green Door in Oklahoma City OK. “The Ten Commandments / Get Fit with…” chronicles the past two themed tours, The Ten Commandments CD was the set performed on the 2003 Fall Tour, and the Get Fit with…. CD is the set from the most recent 2004 Fall tour. Each CD will feature ten of Jbot’s favorite songs from each set. Due to acts of God, ie: manufacturing issues the release due out in April 2005, has not been available on tour or in stores but is now available.


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Madison's Awesome Car Funmaker on the Cover - photo by Rokker

Awesome Car Funmaker

by Mike Huberty
July 2005

Appealing and unpredictable, the high-energy rock n’ roll of Madison’s Awesome Car Funmaker is just plain infections. They recently celebrated their two-year anniversary, a feat in this modern age of bands.

ACF’s influences, which range from Queen and These Arms Are Snakes to 60’s soul music, are witnessed throughout their manic stage show that features the band dressed in quasi-Mod, loudly colored suits. Fueled by bassist Justin’s spastic pogoing and lead singer/guitarist Ryan’s over-the-top guitar hero posturing, Awesome Car Funmaker engage the audience with moments that range from the gorgeously saccharine sing-a-long tune, “Part Two,” one of the band’s current favorites to play, and the bombastic, metallic stomp of “Torture Chamber,” to the ridiculous cover of Journey’s epic “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart).”


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