Erin Wolf

Recent Articles

The Ian Olvera Beat

The Ian Olvera Beat

Ian Olvera & the Sleepwalkers swing through Milwaukee this Saturday at Club Garibaldi's with a new album in tow after a week of mini-touring alongside the legendary Paul Collins' Beat.

Conrad Plymouth: More MKE Than EC
Conrad Plymouth

More MKE Than EC

Christopher Porterfield of Conrad Plymouth has Linneman's to thank for his musical transition from Eau Claire to Milwaukee and returns to the source to release a new LP on local Ten Atoms Records tonight.

The Scarring Party Loses Teeth, Adds New Album

The Scarring Party Loses Teeth, Adds New Album

Milwaukee macabre-makers, Scarring Party releases their new album at Turner Hall Ballroom tonight. And yes, it is Friday, the 13th.

Something Wicked This Way Goes: Dear Astronaut Plays Their Last Show
Something Wicked This Way Goes

Dear Astronaut Plays Their Last Show

Dear Astronaut's Jeb Ebben talks about five years spent as Milwaukee's answer to epic sludge-rock as the band calls tonight's show at the Cactus Club their last.

Reviewed: Cap’n Jazz Reunion Show at the Bottom Lounge
Reviewed

Cap’n Jazz Reunion Show at the Bottom Lounge

90's legends Cap'n Jazz shared the stage with Gauge last Saturday at Chicago's Bottom Lounge for a sold-out reunion show.

Monsters of Techno Vol. 2

Monsters of Techno Vol. 2

The electronic extravaganza Monsters of Techno Vol. 2 invades the Cactus Club tonight.

Signaldrift Releases Debut Two Agents

Signaldrift Releases Debut Two Agents

Electronic duo Signaldrift debuts a double LP Wednesday night -- the first for the duo (with John Goelzer) built on Franz Buchholtz' 1998-initiated project.

Gospel Gossip Returns to MKE to Spread the Word of Shoegaze

Gospel Gossip Returns to MKE to Spread the Word of Shoegaze

You don't really have to look at your shoes to understand the intensity of distortion rockers Gospel Gossip - it just takes a pair of ears (with earplugs, of course).

This is How We Do It: Trent Fox and the Tenants and Nobunny Team Up This Saturday
This is How We Do It

Trent Fox and the Tenants and Nobunny Team Up This Saturday

Trent Fox and the Tenants are about to go into all-out party mode for their show with Nobunny at Garibaldi's.

Absolutely Celebrates a Year in the Life of Being a Band

Absolutely Celebrates a Year in the Life of Being a Band

Milwaukee's Absolutely began with the desire to play music in a style they'd never played, but always loved — post-hardcore. One year later, and they're still at it.

Bzybodies: Gravitation Towards Noise
Bzybodies

Gravitation Towards Noise

Milwaukee's "Acid-damaged punk" band Bzybodies get ready to make some noise at the Y-Not III this Saturday.

From the pAper chAse to the Nervous Curtains: Sean Kirkpatrick Brings Nervous Musical Energy to the Cactus Club
From the pAper chAse to the Nervous Curtains

Sean Kirkpatrick Brings Nervous Musical Energy to the Cactus Club

the pAper chAse's Sean Kirkpatrick now wields his own weird-rock weaponry in Nervous Curtains, creating dark and dense piano-driven rock music, all with a twisted sense of humor. "'It's Cramped in the Casket' is a really funny title, don't you think?" he asks. Yep.

Reviewed: Jaill/the Strange Boys/Sugar Stems @ Cactus Club, 4/1/10
Reviewed

Jaill/the Strange Boys/Sugar Stems @ Cactus Club, 4/1/10

Thursday night’s show with Jaill / the Strange Boys / Sugar Stems was celebratory in more ways than one.

Trapper Schoepp & The Shades: Be moved, a little
Trapper Schoepp & The Shades

Be moved, a little

Maybe he's young and doesn't quite feel it yet. Or maybe he's just reinventing Midwestern folk-rock altogether.

Global Union 2009 goes punk, brass and electric mariachi

Global Union 2009 goes punk, brass and electric mariachi

Milwaukee's biggest two-day world music festival at Humboldt Park includes a stellar lineup of super electric, full-sound music groups.

The Milwaukee Sound – John the Savage

The Milwaukee Sound – John the Savage

Fan-Belt Milwaukee's Erin Wolf has a seat with six of the seven members of John the Savage.

Ben Nichols

Ben Nichols

Ben Nichols, frontman for gritty rebel rockers Lucero, presents his first solo release, Last Pale Light In the West, a self-dubbed “mini-LP.” The mini LP is seven story-songs, pulling their tales from Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian (1985), a bleak, violence-ridden novel, packed full of historical and religious references. Each song Nichols pens in Last Pale […]

December Releases

December Releases

December 2008 Record Releases

David Byrne & Brian Eno

David Byrne & Brian Eno

What happens when English bloke Eno decides to tackle America’s gargantuan genre of gospel music? Uplifting takes a slight downturn into boring. Bless Eno’s fervent fascination and willingness to pan for gold in church, but his self-described ‘electronic gospel’ is, although earnest, also slightly tepid-sounding, and with David Byrne dutifully collaborating on vocal arrangements, Everything […]

ELECTION NIGHT SPECIAL: An interview with GIRL TALK (LIVE @ Turner Hall!)
ELECTION NIGHT SPECIAL

An interview with GIRL TALK (LIVE @ Turner Hall!)

By Erin Wolf “People will be getting naked … having sex up onstage.” Just a day in the life of the MC of one of the wildest dance parties around – Girl Talk. Known otherwise as Gregg Gillis, the 27-year old former biomedical engineer has found Pavlov’s Bell for lewd behavior. Booty-bumping, pulse-thumping song arrangements […]

Popular mechanic

Popular mechanic

By Erin Wolf Photos by Kat Berger Receptiveness is a valuable quality in audio recording equipment – and an important trait in the person pushing the buttons. WMSE 91.7 FM’s in-studio performance audio engineer Billy Cicerelli is receptive. He also possesses an innate know-how, provides a patient voice of reason, does his homework on every […]

The Celebrated Workingman

The Celebrated Workingman

Putting a sparkling veneer on struggles and giving them buoyancy takes chutzpah. Adversity in music has mostly been relegated to the sad, dark corners of the mope-ish and the forlorn, with abundant minor chords and enough terrible renditions of proverbs to make even a schoolteacher blush. The Celebrated Workingman’s Herald The Dickens is a joyful […]

The Sea and Cake

The Sea and Cake

The latest album from Chicago’s The Sea and Cake finds the band mid-lap on the race begun on last year’s Everybody, in which the jazzy, poppy, light post-rock was more ebullient than the band’s debut material in 1993. The mid-lap shows whether the participants are capable of following through. The Sea and Cake have produced […]

Stereolab

Stereolab

The avant-garde has always been the comfort zone for Stereolab, the lounge-y, psychedelic pop/rock outfit whose ardent fans are enamored with the untraditional krautrock sound, blending odd ‘60s-style department store music with fuzzy guitars, the famous ‘motorik’ time signature and the uninflected English/French vocals of Laetitia Sadier. Sadier and co-writer Tim Gane have paired with […]

Cordero

Cordero

“Where are you from?” Brooklyn’s answer to Latin indie rock asks its listeners this question with its latest album, which encompasses guitarist/vocalist Ani Cordero’s own personal musings on recent misfortunes. De Donde Eres, the quartet’s latest release, sheds the band’s former bilingualism and plays for keeps with Spanish, creating a deeper authenticity and a more […]

Into Arcadia

Into Arcadia

Horace Walpole, the 18th century English writer/historian/politician, oh-so-properly pointed out that “this world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel.” Walpole had a point, as those who are bound by the heart are usually more prone to the pathos that life dishes out. Milwaukee’s Into Arcadia have transformed their […]

Abigail Washburn

Abigail Washburn

When one thinks of bluegrass and old-time mountain music, the mountain range that typically comes to mind is the Appalachians. Abigail Washburn, though, doesn’t care much to stay planted in Bluegrass’s accepted Olympia. Instead, she creates a musical Pangaea, merging the Appalachians with the Qinling or Wudang Mountains of China. Washburn, an experienced claw-hammer banjo […]

Fever Marlene

Fever Marlene

Milwaukee’s Fever Marlene have a serious work ethic – they’ve unflaggingly made their presence known since taking up residence in their Historic Fifth Ward creative/living space, absorbing the industriousness of their neighborhood. Scott Starr (guitars, keys, vocals) and Kevin Dunphy (drums, vocals), a duo whose sound is more fleshed out than many a four- or […]

Exercising Ideals

Exercising Ideals

“Give a man a fish, he eats for a day, teach man to fish, he eats for a lifetime.” Dave Casillas, of the newly founded Echo Base Collective, is not only familiar with this proverb; he is actively trying to live by it. “People don’t appreciate what they have. They’ve got cars, but don’t treat […]

Stükenberg

Stükenberg

It’s to be expected that someone adept in the art of moving from city to city as a kid should not only need to look to music as an escape hatch, but in turn, to have that music be as far-flung as his own hometown track record. David Stükenberg, the kid with suitcase always in […]

Destroyer

Destroyer

Destroyer’s Dan Bejar has always been the sort to overshadow his music through his verbosity and the sheer precociousness of his vocal inflection. Fortunately, with his 3-D attention to production and his knack for atmospheric, cabaret-style ballads populated by pianos, strings and jazzed-out guitars, he pulls it off. Like the love child of David Bowie […]

John Vanderslice is practicing disable-ization

John Vanderslice is practicing disable-ization

“I don’t even have a suitcase right now – i’ve gotta go out and buy one. The zipper is broken on my old one and it’s still got the tape on it.” John Vanderslice is one week shy of heading off on his European/ United States tour. First stop: Café Mono in Oslo. “‘Disable-izing’ is […]

Drive-By Truckers

Drive-By Truckers

A departed band member can make the advent of a new album nerve-wracking rather than exciting for an ardent fan, but the absence of Jason Isbell, Drive-By Truckers’ singer of seven years, brings out a return to roots, as well as new directions. Brighter Than Creation’s Dark, the band’s eighth album, features contributions from band […]

Human Bell

Human Bell

Nathan Bell (Lungfish,Television Hill) and Dave Heumann (Arbouretum,Bonnie “Prince” Billy) could be the musical equivalent of Civil War re-enactors. Their conspired effort, Human Bell, creates an atmosphere akin to that of an organic battlefield – a dirge-y sweep of chaos, simultaneously cold as metal and mellow as a field of grass droning with insects. Recorded […]

Gorillaz

Gorillaz

This latest two-disc compilation, entitled D-Sides, dishes out the same concept, designed for true blue fans or club DJs looking for something new to get people shaking it on the dance floor.

Ian Ball

Ian Ball

Fans of Southport, England’s Gomez have long realized that with three songwriters in the band, there was bound to be a bit of venturing into solo-land, for true-blue songwriters can only collaborate and play nice for so long. Ian Ball has no desire to see his outfit disband, but is keen to try some orchestrations […]

Jimmy Eat World

Jimmy Eat World

‘Emo’ was once considered a four-letter word, yet one of the founding bands of this genre, Jimmy Eat World (along with the likes of Rites of Spring, Sunny Day Real Estate and Braid), managed to give it staying power. From 1993 onward, the band that once did split 7” records with Jejune and Christie Front […]

Sondre Lerche

Sondre Lerche

  When writer/director Peter Hedges (What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? and Pieces of April) first sought out Norweigan popster Sondre Lerche to compose and produce the soundtrack for his film Dan In Real Life, he had no inkling that the artist he so admired was so green, age-wise. Hedges only knew that organic, folky quality of […]

Testa Rosa

Testa Rosa

When Milwaukee-based band The Mustn’ts shook hands and called it a day, they couldn’t have realized what a happy parting of ways it would become when two even more brilliant bands were re-formed from the not-even-settled dust: The Celebrated Workingman and Testa Rosa. The latter, a condensed version of The Mustn’ts (all three members of […]

Heavy Trash

Heavy Trash

In Heavy Trash’s latest adventure (which picks up from their last release in 2005), there’s more riff-burning, pompadour-bobbing and gum-smacking than you can shake a fried chicken leg at. Bringing back the days of curvy cars, pinup ladies and smoking without borders, Jon Spencer (Blues Explosion) and Matt Verta-Ray’s (Pussy Galore) “Heavy Trash” moniker is […]

September 2007

September 2007

SEPTEMBER 4th Joshua Bell Red Violin Concerto Sony Classical Ted Nugent Love Grenade Eagle Super Furry Animals Hey Venus! Rough Trade SEPTEMBER 11th Black Francis Bluefinger Cooking Vinyl 50 Cent Curtis Interscope The Go! Team Proof of Youth Sub Pop Hot Hot Heat Happiness Ltd. Sire/Warner Monade Monstre Comic Beggars Banquet Orange Escape From L.A. […]

August 2007

August 2007

August 7th Peter Case Let us Now Praise Sleepy John Yep Roc Kat DeLuna 9 Lives Epic Drowning Pool Full Circle Eleven Seven Music Fuel Angels and Devils Epic June Make it Blur Victory Grace Potter and The Nocturnals This is Somewhere Hollywood The Pretty Things Balboa Island Zoho Music August 14th Peter Cincotti East […]

Josh Rouse

Josh Rouse

“The title was conceived during a 70-mile walk through the north of Spain in October. I thought it was a funny name and it’s similar to Aesop’s tale by the name of Country Mouse and the City Mouse,” Josh Rouse says of his seventh full-length album. Filled with reflective lyrics, the sounds around the words […]

July 2007

July 2007

July 3 Ash Twilight of the Innocents Infectious/Warner Circus Diablo Circus Diablo Koch The Rodriguez Brothers Conversations Savant Kelly Rowland Ms. Kelly Music World Music/Columbia Silverstein Arrivals & Departures Victory Velvet Revolver Libertad RCA July 10 Against Me! New Wave Sire Bad Religion New Maps of Hell Epitaph Beatallica Sgt. Hetfield’s Motorbreath Pub Band Oglio […]

Temporary Beauty

Temporary Beauty

The phrase “art on wheels” conjures images of taxi billboards, tour vans with flaming skulls and purple ponies, fancy ice cream trucks with neon graffiti and occasionally even cleverly wrapped buses. But look a little further – specifically, further down – and these words might also encompass another, much more fleeting form – skateboard deck […]

The Sea and Cake

The Sea and Cake

Since their debut in 1993, Chicago’s The Sea and Cake have quietly grown into hometown favorites alongside Tortoise, creating pop that’s one part ambient, one part jazz, one part rock and all parts pure. This unique sound, anchored by guitarist Sam Prekop’s trademark wispy-as-clouds vocals, has evolved from notional indie pop into this consistently eclectic […]

June 2007

June 2007

June 5th The Aggrolites Reggae Hit L.A. Hellcat/Epitaph Belly The Revolution CP Marilyn Manson Eat Me, Drink Me Nothing/Interscope Paul McCartney Memory Almost Full Hear Music/Concord O.A.R. Life From Madison Square Garden Atlantic Rihanna Good Girl Gone Bad Def Jam Bruce Springsteen Bruce Springsteen With the Seeger Sessions Band Live in Dublin Columbia Swizz Beatz […]

Feist

Feist

Leslie Feist has all the makings of a classic indie girl – completely indecipherable, yet at the same time completely able to be pigeonholed. For one not familiar with Feist, the Canadian has some pretty ridiculous credits racked up: from the electro-shock value of Peaches to the pretty indie-pop of the Broken Social Scene (not […]

May 2007

May 2007

May 1 Tori Amos American Doll Posse Epic Joan Armatrading Into the Blues Savoy Black Rebel Motorcycle Club Baby 81 RCA Michael Bublé Call Me Irresponsible Reprise Dinosaur Jr. Beyond Fat Possum Feist The Reminder Cherry Tree/Interscope Hanson The Walk 3CG Chantal Kreviazuk Ghost Stories Nettwerk America/Red Distribution The Mission God is a Bullet Cooking […]

Andrew Bird/Apostle of Hustle @ Alverno’s Pitman Theatre, April 21

Andrew Bird/Apostle of Hustle @ Alverno’s Pitman Theatre, April 21

Announcing that the audience at Alverno’s Pitman Theatre was about to experience the venue’s only ‘rock’ show of the season, opening act Apostle of Hustle began their set. It was filled with punchy banter from front man Andrew Whiteman, flippant statements on politics, co-eds and drug culture and lots of new material from their latest […]

April 2007

April 2007

April 3rd The Academy Is… Santi Fueled By Ramen Boys Like Girls Boys Like Girls Red Ink/Columbia Brandi Carlile The Story Columbia Chevelle Vena Sera Epic Jarvis Cocker Jarvis Rough Trade/World’s Fair Fountains of Wayne Traffic and Weather Virgin Kings of Leon Because of the Times RCA Los Straitjackets Rock en Espanol, Vo. 1 Yep […]

The Arcade Fire

The Arcade Fire

“World War Three, when are you comin’ for me?” Win Butler of the Arcade Fire poses the question in Neon Bible, which is saturated with natural disasters, social unrest, fundamentalist discontent and the toxic emissions from celebrity culture. Arcade Fire opens its mouth to the world, attempts to swallow it, digest, then spit it back […]

Trans Am

Trans Am

Trans Am’s eighth studio album finds them in an organic state of mind – no vocoders, more guitar work and averting their own comfort level by recording with borrowed equipment. On Sex Change, the classic Trans Am sound manages to remain brilliantly confusing and captivating, borrowing from prog, krautrock, electro-synth, pop, space-rock, funk and techno. […]

The Shins

The Shins

The advent of the Shins’ latest sees them with not an entirely clean bill of health. They’ve paled from the short-term convalescence that the indie film and television world has bled them into. Yet they’ve somehow grown a muscular sonic extroversion from this bloodletting, while still managing to leave their lyrical core of persistent pathos […]

Clinic

Clinic

For those with a taste for the peculiar in music, Clinic has always been a safe bet. But since their startling introduction with 2000’s Internal Wrangler, Clinic prefer to play as they please, enjoying their own melodica-infused weirdness and keeping things at their initial level with a menacing blend of garage, punk, hip-hop and world […]