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Finger 11 on the cover of Maximum Ink in November 2004

Finger Eleven

by Jason Manchester
November 2004

A band known for their ingenuity in songwriting, and amazingly energetic/enigmatic live shows, Finger Eleven are five seasoned rockers who continually seek new tour opportunities to share their music. Their third album, “Finger Eleven,” is a product of Johnny K (Disturbed), foosball, beer, and cigarettes. If you were lucky enough to get the limited edition DVD that came with their rare DVD/CD combo, you can peek into their world.

The DVD portrays aspects of the band rarely seen: The long hours in a studio away from home, and the hard work involved in creating and producing a record from the ground up. You can see first hand how much work went into this project. FE has been feverishly touring since 1995 throughout their homeland of Canada and the United States. If you have not seen this band live, you are missing one excellent and superbly energetic live show.

In the beginning, when the original members of FE were in high school, they were music nerds who decided to form a band for their high school’s Christmas talent show. They prepared three cover songs and rocked their school. Scott Anderson, vocalist, explains what happened, “After the Christmas show no one told us to stop playing, and we kept coming up with ideas and creating new songs.” After that show, they continued as a cover band called Rainbow Butt Monkeys for about six months because it was the only way to get gigs in their hometown of Burlington, Ontario.


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Rachel Yamagata

Rachel Yamagata

by Mario Martin
November 2004

Some of the most eclectic musicians have hit stage at Shank Hall. Garbage played their second show ever at the venue and managed to play so loud they blew a few amps. In the audience were a handful of Butch Vig fanatics that comprised most of the roughly 50-person audience. Alanis Morrissette also played the stage (with then drummer Taylor Hawkins of Foo Fighters) before her sold out arena tours. Many more preceded and many more followed. Rachael Yamagata is soon to be in the same echelon as these artists.

A quiet setting surrounding the venue produces the right mood and atmosphere from the last time Rachael performed in Milwaukee at The Rave (opening for Gomez). Subtle yet inviting, Shank Hall’s sound system and décor remain the eye-candy while inside the club, as the feel and anticipation peak for opener Tom McRae after Cameron McGill’s Damien Rice-like crooning.

McRae’s most recent outing, Just Like Blood (Nettwerk) has served as a reassessment of music in the singer/songwriter genre as its popularity has surpassed his previous record which garnered him much acclaim. McRae even received the nomination for the Mercury Music Prize for his self-titled debut in 2001. Often compared to Bob Dylan and Nick Drake, McRae stands tall on his own laurels and gifts the audience a piece of his own self. Regardless the prestige of the nods by the press and even within the industry, McRae remains a humble figure accompanied by his guitar and his lovelorn voice that belt out some of the darkest lyrics a singer sedated by his craft can fathom.


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Mix Master Mike and his Moog pedal of the Beastie Boys on the cover of Maximum Ink - photo by Dustin Rabin

The Beastie Boys - Mix Master Mike

by Mario Martin
December 2004

November might be cold in Wisconsin, but just before Talib Kweli’s set at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, I had the chance to speak to one of the hottest DJs in the game. He’s the DJ for the headlining Beastie Boys and one of the founding members of the Invisibl Skratch Piklz, but this 34 year-old California native waxes about music, life on the road and the like.


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Cradle of Filth

Cradle Of Filth

by Andrew Frey
December 2004

A grim figure stepped up to the mic and began “Your misery is worn as a veil, To hide bewitchment of the ugliest kind, In place of Eve, a bitter parody hails, Daggers from the swagger of a sodomite’s concubine.” Then the vocalist raised his hands up and screamed the chorus, “Gilded cunt…you gilded cunt!” before launching into the next verse.

For the uninitiated, “Cradle Of Filth” is Britain’s premier erotic black metal band. They have been shocking and stunning fans around the world for well over a decade. Outside of the 11 or so CDs available, they have been pumping out a proverbial onslaught of vile merchandise for the black masses. Rings, posters, stickers, shot glasses, pendants, t-shirts, computer icons, wallpapers, and so much more! Most of the merchandise has their trademark vampiric appearance and often shows off partially clad, (fake) blood splattered females.


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Godsmack publicity photo

Godsmack - 2004

by Mike Huberty
December 2004

Godsmack’s drummer, Shannon Larkin freely admits, “The original intent of our acoustic record was selfish. We just wanted to do it for ourselves because we enjoyed it, but we were lucky enough to raise the ceiling and be allowed by our fans to do an acoustic tour.” Allowed seems a funny word when talking about it because at the time he was talking about it, the Orpheum Theatre in Madison was filled to capacity with a crowd of hungry Godsmack fans who absolutely demanded to hear the “other side” of Godsmack’s now-immensely popular alternative (not quite nü, but different from old school) metal. The night before they had played in Green Bay doing their full electric set opening for the Metallica juggernaut and you could recognize many of the same faces had traveled to Madison to see their acoustic show (even the same WI GODSMCK license plate was seen in the audience.)


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