Today is: Monday October 23, 2017 | Status: Under Re-development | Version 2.99.03

Brew City Sludge - January 2009

by Lane Klozier
Milwauikee's Me First and the Gimme Gimmes

Klozier here.

It’s a brand new year. We need to talk.

I’ve been doing some soul searching and thinking about the state of live music in our little beer soaked community.
When compared to other large metropolitan areas around the country it is seriously lacking.

I have tried to pinpoint the problem, but it seems there are too many factors to single out any particular one.

First, there are the clubs. A music venue in Milwaukee is either original or cover when it comes to what they offer. I guess that would be fine, except that there are not enough acts that represent either genre with enough substance to sustain either one.

The cover clubs have about five or six acts that do their best to “sound just like the record” and the original clubs have too many bands that just , well…er…uh….how shall I put this?...SUCK! Both of these situations create an exclusionary atmosphere where clubs and the music scene they support become mere “club houses” for clique crowds. Club owners are more interested in their tills than maintaining a thriving scene. I guess you can’t blame them; after all, their business is beer sales. However, I feel that they have a certain responsibility to their patrons as soon as they insert a stage.

Then there are the bands. Cover bands are just that, and not too much can be expected. But, there are bands such as Me First & the Gimme-Gimmes and The Dan Band that take tried and true material and re-invent it making it their own. If you take the time to learn something note for note, why not invest a little more effort and give it a twist? Let’s face it…many original super groups such as the Beatles and Van Halen got their start with an ingenious take on a cover.
When it comes to original bands, all I can say is: it takes more than the ability to play two chords while belching into a microphone to be considered an “original artist”. Spend a little more time with your instrument and a little less time in front of the mirror trying to achieve that “I don’t spend any time in front of the mirror” look. We need more acts that try to break new ground while maintaining musicianship and the art of actual song writing. All your buddies might enjoy your screaming unintelligibly to badly played music because thy know you, but, soon they will finish college and listen to country music on their way to work, slowly forgetting you because you’ve given them nothing worth remembering.

So: Clubs: widen your horizons and help energize what keeps your bar full on the weekends.
Bands: Tune that fucking thing and bring on something my girlfriend can shake her hips to!

I’m not trying to be a bitch…I am simply asking you for something better.
I know you have it in you.

Meanwhile, there are still some good clubs, and some terrific bands here. Thank you for another good year of fun.
That’s all for now my Darlings.

Remember: It’s a brand new year…resolutions are for people with nothing important that needs resolving.



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