Today is: Tuesday October 23, 2018 | Status: Under Re-development | Version 2.99.03
Shirley Manson of Garbage

Garbage with Rituals of Mine - The Sylvee, Madison WI Oct 16th, 2018

by John Noyd

Starting out wonderfully sultry with the sparse, slinky, “Afterglow,” Garbage built up steam slowly, celebrating the 20th Anniversary of their sophomore, “Version 2.0,” with an intimate examination of the band’s pivotal album. In many ways, “2.0,” is where Garbage began to become a real band, hunkering down to follow-up their smashing debut. They hunkered down in Madison, in Smart Studios and the subsequent work spawned several experiments that became standard band characteristics. In particular, their love of pop crept into their dense electro-rock configuration with songs like, “Special,” and, “Push It,” nodding to songs within a song. To that point, The Sylvee witnesses Fleetwood Mac’s, “Dreams,” Depeche Mode’s, “Personal Jesus,” and The Kinks’, “Tired of Waiting,” making sly appearances in the band’s nearly two dozen song set-list.

While the audience may not have recognized all the songs as being from “Version 2.0,” the tour dived into this year’s deluxe 2 CD reissue that included such gems as their covers of Big Star’s, “Thirteen,” and The Seeds’, “Can’t Seem to Make You Mine.” Both which appeared halfway through a show punctuated by humble asides and bombastic performances. Front-woman and non-Madisonian Shirley Manson, dressed in a shiny red dress with make-up somewhere between Blade Runner chic and Japanese Kabuki, paused to personalize these b-sides and deep cuts with stories of late-night phone-calls from Cafe Montmartre and marathon studio sessions broken up by runs to Ancora Coffee. Suddenly, “Get Busy with the Fizzy,” and “Hammering In My Head,” took on a more palatable persona, backed by actual facts and driven home by Butch Vig’s rumbling drums and triggered rhythms. 

Reassessing the culture that spawned the album, the decadence the band once harbored in unique freak anthems, “I Think I’m Paranoid,” and, “When I Grow Up.” have now become battle-cries for inclusion and acceptance.  History has been kind to the continued relevance and prophetic insight inside, ” Version 2.0,” with its remix-ready karate-chop riffs, cathedral-worthy keyboard power-chords and edgy, anti-establishment insistence. Twenty years later, the album’s precocious notions prove to be nuanced improvements in musical fusions as the skilled hands of Duke Erickson and Steve Marker welded processed guitars to seamless samples for enhanced ambience and optimal sonics. 

Two hours later, the band seems tireless, and as they wrapped up the night, much that Shirley referenced earlier was summed up in, “The Trick Is Too Keep Breathing.” Having experienced the ups and down of a band that began as a band of the moment and proved to be influential taste-makers, Garbage seemed genuinely grateful their dream continues to this day. Fitting then they closed the night with a new song, “No Horses,” before getting The Sylvee back up one more time with the smart, funky, “Cherry Lips.”
The evening’s opener, Rituals of Mine came on like gangbusters with a sleek data-banked techno-groove catapulted by the duo’s live thunder-drum percussion and dynamic lead singer.  A nice complement to Garbage’s pioneering work fusing electronics to rock, RoM’s relentless energy seemed worthy inheritors of the techno-groovy revolution.

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Tracii Guns, L.A. Guns

L.A. Guns 10-8-2018 Shank Hall, Milwaukee

by Al Brzostowski

Al catches classic metallers L.A. Guns at Shank Hall in Milwaukee

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Sting & Shaggy

Sting & Shaggy - Pier 17, NYC, September 26th, 2018

by Michael Sherer

With The Police’s music having reggae influences and leanings, and with Sting being the main songwriter for them, it’s a natural idea to have him pair with Shaggy, a Jamaican musician, singer and DJ. (And former United States Marine). The two first got together for the Grammy Awards this past January. They followed that up in April with a joint CD called “44/876,” a reference to their native country calling codes. (Sting, born Gordon Sumner, is from Newcastle, England.)

Currently on a U.S. tour for a month after having been in Europe since late June, the stop at NYC’s new (and great) Pier 17 at the South Street Seaport brings Sting home. (Listen to his song “Englishman in New York” for his thoughts on that.) With a stellar band consisting of longtime Sting guitarists Dominic Miller and Rufus Miller, and John Freese on drums, along with Shaggy’s keyboardist Kevon Webster and his excellent backup singers Melissa Musique and Gene Noble, with Sting holding down the bass and lead vocals along with Shaggy, they sounded fabulous. Combined with the open air of this outdoor, rooftop venue with the downtown NYC skyline below, it was a very memorable night.

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Sixth Street

Rockonsin 2018 and the Legacy That Follows

by Emily Sisson

For musicians, few experiences resonate deeper then the thrill and energy of performing for a live crowd. And young musicians around Milwaukee have long drooled with desire to get a coveted Summerfest gig. Lucky for the youth of Wisconsin, the dream of “some day” performing onstage at Summerfest can be achieved by the “Rockonsin” state finals.

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Ritchie Blackmore & Candace Night

Blackmore’s Night - Wellmont Theater, Montclair, New Jersey, 7.29.18

by Michael Sherer

England’s Ritchie Blackmore is one of the all time great and admired musicians from rock’s golden era, the 1970’s. As co founder of Deep Purple in 1968 and the founder Rainbow in 1975, his melodic and tasteful playing is one of the most distinctive and respected of all his peers and beyond.

Always interested in many forms of music, in 1997 Blackmore formed Blackmore’s Night with his then girlfriend, singer and former model Candace Night, (47) whom he eventually married. Their group is a is mix of folk, Celtic, classical and medieval music. Blackmore (73) plays mostly acoustic guitar in this group, with the emphasis being on the stellar vocals of Night. They’ve been quite prolific, having recorded ten CDs and touring regularly. This performance was the final stop on their 2018 tour.

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