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Articles in Reverse

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Elliphant

Cherchez La Femme Musicale

Look For The Musical Women
by Mario Martin
August 2014

Alexandre Dumas wrote in his native French, “…in every case, there is a woman, I say, ‘Look for the woman.’” Dumas may have been tongue-in-cheek about his description of women, but accurate nonetheless in the concept. In every case, in every instance, in every way, women are deeply rooted in the specifics. And while Dumas might have had misogynistic undertones in his musings, the antithesis still holds true: no matter the specifics of the solution (opposite of problem), women are the root.

Apply this concept to the musical landscape of 2014, and even earlier. During the ebbs and flows of quality music, there have been successful women standing proudly atop the charts. Some of it was good and some of it, well, whatever. Throughout history though, there have been landmark artists like Janis Joplin or Stevie Nicks to take a stance and wail. There have been pioneers of shock pop like Madonna and Lady Gaga all the while, as well, who have taken turning heads to an art form, and legitimized the genre. There are the Joan Jetts and the Sean Yseults who have rocked houses, while Gillian Gilbert made everyone’s Mondays blue. The point is, all these ladies have worn motherhood on their visages for waves of new artists to emerge. And emerge they have, in 2014, in the form of Elliphant, Kodacrome and Zola Jesus…


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Tyler Preston - photo by Sydney Akagi

Tyler Preston

An interview with singer/songwriter Tyler Preston
by Mike Huberty
August 2014

Recent Madison transplant TYLER PRESTON came all the way from the Last Frontier. Not space, nerd, but Juneau, Alaska. He showed up in 2012 with a guitar in his hand and has been knee deep in the scene ever since. In addition to fronting the KING STREET BAND, he also has played a residency at the Rigby Pub (the place on the Capitol Square with all the Beatles crap all over) and an open mic at the East Side’s Tip Top Tavern. He’s releasing his first album, “Changes”, on September 5th at The Brink Lounge. We talked to Tyler about the new album and what his music is all about.


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JD Wiles & The Dirt Daubers  - photo by Joshua Black Wilkins

JD Wilkes and the Dirt Daubers

An interview with Kentucky Colonel and Rockabilly Legend, JD Wilkes
by Mike Huberty
August 2014

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Rocker from the Bluegrass State and real-deal “Kentucky Colonel” (an honor bestowed by the governor on notable Kentuckians), JD Wilkes, still leads popular punkabilly (seriously revved up 50s style rock n’ roll) LEGENDARY SHACK SHAKERS, but on the side he’s developed a formidable side project called JD WILKES AND THE DIRT DAUBERS.

Originally an acoustic group that played old-time songs, the Dirt Daubers feature JD on vocals and harmonica and his wife Jessica singing and playing standup bass. However, for their latest album, “Wild Moon”, they’ve plugged in electric style and have made a bluesy and soulful rock record that can fit perfectly next to THE BLACK KEYS or JACK WHITE. It’s a Southern Gothic spin on modern blues and “Wild Moon” is even produced by punk legend, Cheetah Chrome (ROCKET FROM THE TOMBS, DEAD BOYS), and is being released on his label, Plowboy Records. They’re coming to Wisconsin on September 24th at the Shitty Barn in Spring Green and on the 25th at The Lyric Room in Green Bay. We got a few minutes with JD to preview the upcoming shows.


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Meghan Rose and I Saw The Creature on the cover of Max Ink September 2014

I Saw The Creature

An Interview with Meghan Rose
by Teri Barr
September 2014

One woman. Five regular music projects.
Meghan Rose may be one of the busiest artists on the Madison scene right now, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. Meghan writes, sings, plays, records, edits, and teaches all styles of music; and those talents are highlighted in her various bands. I had the chance to ask her how she keeps it all going, and learned which group is getting ready to hit the road soon. 

Maximum Ink: Do you remember when you started your musical journey?
Meghan Rose: My mom taught me piano when I was 4, and then I started classical lessons when I was 5. First thing I remember learning to play was “Beauty and the Beast”, of all things. My dad bought me a nylon string classical guitar from an antique shop when I was 14 and I taught myself some chords then learned the church songs for bible day camp, which was one of my summer jobs. I played piano for the early church service for years. I still love hymns and I use some of the ideas to write about God in my lyrics, though I certainly don’t write what anyone would call Christian music. But once that type of music is in you, you can’t shake it. My mom also had tapes of musicals, and Broadway is still an obsession for me. I was 8 when my parents divorced, and one of the coping methods I developed was to steal my dad’s C.D.‘s. He collected the newest “alternative” music—a lot of female-fronted 90’s stuff. Bjork, Sheryl Crow, Sleater-Kinney, Liz Phair, Fiona Apple. Fiona and Liz were really powerful to me.

MI: Your current projects are all led by women; some bands don’t like the reference to women or men in the band, but would rather just be called musicians, in a general sense. What about you?


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Joey Santiago

The Pixies’ Joey Santiago

A brief chat with Pixies guitarist Joey Santiago
by John Noyd
September 2014

A self-proclaimed quiet thinker, self-taught guitarist and sonic architect, Joey Santiago would much prefer to talk about how producer Roy Thomas Baker brought his unique skills to shape both Queen and the Cars than about himself or his substantial contribution to creating the Pixies’ now classic loud quiet loud dynamic. The third of six sons, Joey remembers his mom calling up to his room asking if everything was alright. Santiago refers to being “stuck in the middle” growing up, but his youthful strategy to fly solo and let his curiosity lead the way brought an early discovery that the public library lets you check out vinyl. With the world at your feet Santiago says, “you’re not afraid to go check out riskier stuff,” and he soon became an avid reader of liner notes educating himself on everything from cool jazz to hot punk; a knowledge that tuned his college roommate Charles Thompson into sounds that eventually prompted them to drop out and form a band.

In preparation for their October 12th concert at Madison’s Orpheum Theater with up and coming rockers ROYAL BLOOD, MAXIMUM INK talked to Joey; which was not all that different from the music he is best known for; elusive then emphatic, he dodged questions with stories as revealing as any answer. Asked about his guitar playing and educating himself on Pro Tools, Santiago begins by saying he embraces his limitations, calling himself a “stress case” when it comes to getting the sounds in his head on to tape or more likely computer file. At the same time Santiago says, “Charles (Frank Black) and Gil (long-time producer Gil Norton) hand it over to me and let me run with it.” Joey admits that no matter what guitar he picks up it always sounds like him. He stumbles at trying to describe his style, referring to it as a “pointy thing,” then recalls former Pixies bassist Kim Deal calling him up after she watched an episode from the first season of Weeds, instinctively recognizing Joey’s sound in the incidental music.

 


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Il Sogno Del Marinaio

Mike Watt

Mike Watt Finds Bountiful Inspiration with Il Sogno Del Marinaio
by Joshua Miller
September 2014

Legendary spiel speaking bass guitar player Mike Watt has spent the last few decades tinkering with musical innovation.  His desire has been to keep learning, sailing the musical waterways from San Pedro, California, to spots around the world. Basically wherever his tour van would carry him. With singer D Boon, Watt helped usher in “Econo Punk” with The Minutemen and helped fuel their quick and direct songs that often dabbled in politics and social issues. After D Boon’s tragic death, he continued making his mark with bands like Firehose and Dos. He’s also spent much of the past decade playing with legendary band The Stooges, who reformed in 2003.

These days Watt keeps a busy schedule of music activities, including new band Il Sogno Del Marinaio. Joining him for that band are Italian musicians Stefano Pilia and Andrea Belfi.  The band is currently celebrating release last month of their second album, Canto Secondo, which follows their debut from 2013, La Busta Gialla. The band found its footing in 2009 after they were invited to be part of the Italy-based All Tomorrow’s Parties festival and found success in the resulting tour. Despite his past achievements, Watt remains humble, not one to hog all the credit all the time. Instead he’s always seeking to find new ways to make music.


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