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Articles in Reverse

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former Milwaukeean now NYC girl Katy Pfaffl on the cover of Maximum Ink in Jan. 2002 - photo by Joshua Silk

Katy Pfaffl

by John Noyd
January 2002

Light grooves and soaring melodies circle and dive with Latin jazz accents, soul throaty climaxes and soft, sophisticated pop. Fluid flowers of pan-global sensitivity blossom into polysyllabic rivers that dance among the keyboards, guitar, hand percussion and bass. Sounds conjuring wide-open spaces find strange bedfellows in Manhattan - a crowded city of subways and skyscrapers, but that is exactly where Katy Pfaffl found her muse - New York, by way of Amsterdam, Cincinnati and Milwaukee.

Born and raised in Milwaukee, Katy was a Sukuzi violin student, competing as a classical pianist before she entered high school. While she feels lucky to have grown up in Milwaukee, she found the city’s arts scene limited and more concerned with stability than change. “I’ve always had many interests and was always told I had to choose only one and commit to it,” she explains, “I believe that if you have a lot of talents and interests then use them all, explore them all so you can keep growing and expanding.”


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Milwaukee's New Society Of Anarchists - photo by Rokker

New Society Of Anarchists

by David A. Kulczyk
January 2002

The music industry has been full of bullshit since some cavemen (or cavewomen) started pounding two rocks together at the campfire and one of their tribe members started getting them shows at other campfires. Before long, they demanded no pink Auk eggs in the dressing room, ten clay pots of honey beer, and only the best grubs and Mastodon meat. Eventually the band disintegrated. Oog went solo, Gork started another band and Raag, the only original member, resigned to performing with musicians half his age at backwoods Neanderthal camps.

It seems like nothing has changed in all those years, until I interviewed The New Society of Anarchists. A Milwaukee band founded in 1990 by brothers Zakk (Bass), Arlo (guitar), their cousin Jason (guitar) and a revolving door of drummers. “It’s easy to be together when your family is involved”, said Zakk. “The only people that we ever go through are drummers, but we have a pretty solid unit going now. My old man was playing in bands ever since we were young and Jason’s old man too, so it’s in our blood.”


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The Reverend Horton Heat on the cover of Maximum Ink in February 2002

The Reverend Horton Heat

by Dave Leucinger
February 2002

He genuinely enjoys music - writing it, performing it, and recording it. He is steadfastly loyal to and respectful of his fans. But Jim Heath - better known as the Reverend Horton Heat - has some real issues with the two dominant forces in contemporary music: technology and corporate control. In a recent telephone interview from his home in Dallas, he discussed how these elements have alienated him from the mainstream - for better and for worse.

“Since we did our first record, the Internet and web sites have become more important,” Heath said. “But I’m confused about the Internet. I think the way it’s looking, the music will eventually just be free, and that’s not an easy pill for the industry to swallow,” he said. “For us, we don’t rely a lot on the recordings - we get our revenue off tickets and merchandise. I’m so far from the industry, I don’t have the slightest idea of what will happen. But these bands could stand to lose millions.”

An explosion of computer technology in the studio also has Heath riled up. “Since the 1970s and 80s, we’ve been moving into a world where it’s not the sound of the live band,” he lamented. “You put down the drum tracks, then throw in other loops - it takes fuckin’ forever for an album. It’s defining how music is being written and composed. And all they’re doing is turning knobs, while kick-ass players - people with real talent - are passé. It’s those posing knob-turners who are being marketed.” Brace yourself, folks - he points to one of the iconic rock acts as establishing the trend. “Sit and listen to a Led Zeppelin album - they had three guitar parts and three vocal parts on the records. It was all done with overdubbing. I question the validity of that - when you realize that it can’t be reproduced live. Technology has taken music to a weird place - way out there.”


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Madison's Muzzy Luctin featuring former members of Inner Sanctum, Last Crack and Magic 7

Muzzy Luctin

by Sarah Klosterbuer
March 2002

The release of Symptoms of a Simple Life has been a long time coming for Muzzy Luctin.  Initial writing and recording for the album began in 1999, but scarce studio time and busy personal and professional lives for Muzzy Luctin’s members caused the final release to actually materialize almost three years later.

The time stretch proved to be a positive aspect in a number of ways for the band. Guitarist Paul Schluter took on mixing responsibilities for the disc, and quickly admits to being a perfectionist, refusing to be satisfied with anything less than excellence.  Perhaps even more significant than studio perfections, or even a more accepting rock scene than that of two years ago, is what the time has done for the personal dynamics of the band.  “You really find out whether or not you can stay together as a band, because we went through [a lot],” recalls Schluter.  “At least as bad or worse than some bands, and we stayed together.” Stressing the variety within the band, he continues, “[We have] different personalities, but we’ve all been able to compromise and work together and make it work, and that’s what’s gonna make us stay together.”


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Electric Hellfire Club on the cover of Maximum Ink in March 2002 - photo by Rokker

The Electric Hellfire Club

by Andrew Frey
March 2002

“My motto is “Failure to evolve is exactly that, failure.” If I sounded the same that I sounded in ‘93, then I fucked up somewhere along the line. The intention of the band was not to create a formula and make a million dollars. The intention of the band was JUST to make music,” states Thomas Thorn, lead singer and founding member of the infamous Electric Hellfire Club.

Electronomicon is the fifth full-length release from Satan’s little helpers, and is certainly no failure. In fact, it is their most ambitious and best sounding album to date. Part of the genius lies in the fact that it was recorded at the famed Abyss Studios in Sweden, and produced and engineered by Tommy Tagtgren. EHC was the first American band to ever record there, (and may be the last, as studio owner Peter Tagtgren has decided to close the studio.)


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Tenacious D on the cover of Maximum Ink in April 2002

Tenacious D

by Michelle Harper
April 2002

Yes! Finally, an original and innovative musical group pierces the rerun neo-metal trend of the new millennium. Of course, musical geniuses such as Brittany Spears and the Backstreet Boys (pre-rehab visits) have made it almost impossible for anyone to look good, or even competent, in comparison. But, the hilarious sarcasm of Jack Black and Kyle Gass are making a run for glory despite the uphill trek, riding their mighty steeds with a guitar in one hand and a scepter in the other. Their mission? Tenacious D wants to kick some ass, rock your face off, and allow you the privilege of witnessing the “greatest band that ever was”.

It all began in 1996 when Gass and Black met in the L.A-based theater group, The Actor’s Gang. Gass instructed Black on some guitar techniques, and the two became fast friends. The duo has made cameo appearances in such flicks as Bio-Dome, Cradle Will Rock, and more recently, an HBO short documenting the hilariously intense rise to ass-kicking stardom - Tenacious D-style.  Black has made a name for himself as an actor as well, appearing as a clerk in John Cusak’s record store in High Fidelity, and the Farley Brothers’ flick Shallow Hal with Gwynneth Paltrow.  Finally, after six years, with the help of Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters and production team The Dust Brothers , Tenacious D is on their way to selling 11 million records, just as Black so grandiosely predicted.


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