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The Bay View Arts Guild wants your art!

The Bay View Arts Guild wants your art!

The Bay View Arts Guild is looking for creators of fine art and crafts to exhibit and sell their work at the South Shore Frolics Festival of  Art on Sunday, July 12, 2009. The well-received festival is held in  scenic South Shore Park in Bay View (Milwaukee) with Lake Michigan as a backdrop. There is […]

Dragonfly Vintage Goods launches new Etsy site

Dragonfly Vintage Goods launches new Etsy site

In the dead of Winter, Dragonfly realizes that no one wants to leave their nice warm houses (and understandably so)so they’ve decided to try and bring Dragonfly to you with a new Etsy site! If you’re local and looking for something bigger; furniture-type things, you won’t find them there but you will see some of the Dragonfly collection […]

Trouble in Mind

Trouble in Mind

By Matthew Konkel Are all people the same no matter the color of our skin? Yes, but no, is the conclusion of Alice Childress in Trouble in Mind. The year is 1957 in the backstage area of a Broadway theater. It’s the first rehearsal of a new play and the characters of Trouble in Mind […]

Theatre Gigante releases new dates for production of The Beggar’s Opera

Theatre Gigante releases new dates for production of The Beggar’s Opera

Theatre Gigante (formerly Milwaukee Dance Theatre) will present a production of The Beggar’s Opera March 12-14 at the Off-Broadway Theater, 342 N. Water Street. The Beggar’s Opera is written by Theatre Gigante’s artistic directors Isabelle Kralj and Mark Anderson and is based on the classic social satire originally written by John Gay in 1728. Please […]

Milwauke Art Museum announces new Chief Curator and Director of Exhibitions

Milwauke Art Museum announces new Chief Curator and Director of Exhibitions

Milwaukee, WI, January 26, 2009 — The Milwaukee Art Museum has appointed Brady Roberts as Chief Curator, announced Museum Director Daniel Keegan today. Roberts will assume his position on March 2, 2009. Roberts, who succeeds Joseph Ketner, most recently was the curator of a contemporary art space in Santa Fe, New Mexico, that represents artists […]

Harry W. Schwartz Bookshops Writes Final Chapter in Proud History

Harry W. Schwartz Bookshops Writes Final Chapter in Proud History

MILWAUKEE – After 82 years of bringing Milwaukeeans the most current novels, the world’s literature, nonfiction bestsellers and thousands of well-known authors, the four Harry W. Schwartz Bookshops will be shuttered after March 31.  The landmark company has been a family-owned and operated business since its founding in 1927, two years before the onset of […]

John McGivern’s Winter Tales

John McGivern’s Winter Tales

By Christina Sajdak Lucchesi   Actor, comedian and master storyteller John McGivern performed his much anticipated one-man show, Winter Tales (presented by Next Act Theatre) to a sold-out house this past Thursday.  At oncehilarious and heartwarming, the production delivers on all counts as it invites us to gaze into McGivern’s personal scrapbook of holiday memories […]

A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol

By Christina Sajdak Lucchesi   Once again, the Milwaukee Repertory Theater served up a heaping helping of holiday cheer with its annual production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, and a lovelier, more penetrating version of this story one would be hard-pressed to find.  In no other adaptation does the marriage of music, dance, movement […]

It’s A Wonderful Life

It’s A Wonderful Life

By Christina Sajdak Lucchesi The Sunset Playhouse in Elm Grove was host to a rather sedate house Saturday night as it presented James W. Rodgers’ adaptation of the Frank Capra film It’s a Wonderful Life. Theater-goers braved the cold this opening weekend, but a story notorious for its warmth, did not, in this rendition, inspire enough to […]

HOLIDAY SPECIAL: New Year’s Day Hangover Remedies
HOLIDAY SPECIAL

New Year’s Day Hangover Remedies

By Bridget Brave, Tom Ganos, Ryan Findley, Noah Therrien and Amy Elliott This month in Eat This we featured a fresh, frilly New Year’s Eve menu from Dan Smith at McCormick’s and Schmick, perfect for entertaining and celebrating in style. But what do you eat on the morning (or more likely, afternoon) after? I asked […]

VITAL’s predictions for 2009

VITAL’s predictions for 2009

By VITAL Source Staffers JON ANNE WILLOW – CO-PUBLISHER, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF No matter how hard Wall Street works to lure private investors back into the market, ordinary citizens will go back to saving the old fashioned way: stuffing cash in their mattresses. By June, Verlo will offer an all-new custom model, The Saver 3000, which will […]

Murderers

Murderers

Riddle Key, FL is home to a retirement community that offers only exorbitant five year leases to its willing and unwilling residents. In a populace that expects and on occasion even hurries to usher in death, two residents and one administrative office worker each unravel their stories independently of each other. Each unmasks their status […]

Six Characters in Search of an Author

Six Characters in Search of an Author

By Jenna Raymond What happens to our thoughts and hopes, and our dreams and personas? They live only as intangible wisps until we act on them, give them flesh or write them down. More often they wither and gasp until we forget them. Italian playwright Luigi Pirandello wrote Six Characters in Search of an Author […]

MUSIC ISSUE SPECIAL: So many Activities
MUSIC ISSUE SPECIAL

So many Activities

By A.L. Herzog “…A record can be made anywhere and by anyone,” says Riles Walsh. “I could hit five recording studios with an old mop from my porch.” Best known as the vocals, guitars, and keys at the forefront of grandiose folk act The Candliers, Riles Walsh – who’s maybe cheeky, or maybe just far-out […]

MUSIC ISSUE SPECIAL: The tour’s the thing
MUSIC ISSUE SPECIAL

The tour’s the thing

By Dan Agacki     With gas prices hovering around $4 per gallon, my band, Bored Straight, decided it was high time to throw some money away. None of us had ever toured before, so contacts were sparse. Half of the shows we booked came to us within a week of leaving. No one knew […]

Under 500

Under 500

By Brian Whitney Fun fact: In my pre-teens, I subscribed to Disney Adventures magazine, perhaps fulfilling a secret craving for pictures of the voice actors from Beauty and the Beast or Andrew Keegan’s thoughts on his three minutes of screen time in Independence Day, though I honestly don’t remember. One thing I do remember is […]

Smoked Out

Smoked Out

In celebration of America’s annual Great American Smoke Out, join VITAL Source and our fabulous host, Milwaukee’s legendary Cactus Club, for “Smoked Out: A Great American Rock Show.” Yeah, it’s kind of tongue-in-cheek, given that you’ll be spending the evening in a bar in Bay View (read: NOT smoke-free), but play along with us and […]

Various artists

Various artists

By Eric Lewin While college-rock (for lack of a better term) graduated into grunge and alternative-rock in the early ‘90s, Milwaukee has maintained an interesting relationship with the subgenre: the city’s biggest export is still the Violent Femmes, its most popular record stores are the size of bedrooms and its independent radio stations maintain an […]

Moon Over Buffalo

Moon Over Buffalo

By Jenna Raymond Very often, comedies can be overdone. Characters can seem generic and ridiculous as the entire plot grows to completely unrealistic proportions. However, under the direction of Debra Krajec, Marquette University’s production of Ken Ludwig’s Moon Over Buffalo is nuanced, seamless and zany in the best way. The action takes place behind the […]

Sign your name here!

Sign your name here!

Death Note DVD Review

Death Note DVD Review

Splashcast

Splashcast

A dog with a bone- more footage from the RNC
The power of the google

The power of the google

The power of the google

The power of the google

Love’s Labour’s Lost

Love’s Labour’s Lost

By Jaymee Sherman Lights … camera … Shakespeare? Milwaukee Shakespeare’s opening night performance of the comedy Love’s Labour’s Lost was not just another go at the Bard in a modern day setting, for these renditions are recently legion. No, this was a headlong jump into the deep end that successfully brought a hilarious Elizabethan era […]

A call for widespread police investigation in the Twin Cities
More protest coverage- is it a riot or a protest???
What I did during McCain’s speech- more protest news
RNC Day 4 protest coverage- my morning report
People are listening- an update on Keith’s story
Brief morning update- news of brutality starting to slowly spread
Missing video, fear, and a little bit of hope from readers
As promised- footage and pics!
More updates on police brutality at the RNC
More video and pic- more on the RNC brutality
Info needed for AP photographers/videographers
I’m a little discouraged this morning
More on RNC police brutality
The media starts to pay attention
Political news- why is it always so scary?
The reality of protest- police brutality in Minneapolis
Police Brutality- part two
A mother’s perspective aka Police Brutality part three
New Faces

New Faces

By Peggy Schulz Arts groups in Milwaukee are used to dealing with turnover – it’s the nature of the beast. But the 2008-2009 season will introduce even more fresh faces than usual. Along with a handful of smaller-scale galleries and museums (see Judith Ann Moriarty’s visual arts preview on page 22), at least five major […]

The Silent Years

The Silent Years

By Kyle Shaffer Maybe it’s time pop music got a little more contemplative. It’s all in good fun to keep the party going, and no one wants to be a walking rain cloud, but maybe the only frontier left for the genre lies in the gap between metallic truth and blinding possibility. To muster all […]

A JIHAD FOR LOVE

A JIHAD FOR LOVE

By

WATER LILIES (Naissance des pieuvres)
Soulstice Theatre’s CHICAGO
Manfred Olson Planetarium: Northern Lights Friday night show
Manfred Olson Planetarium

Northern Lights Friday night show

Milwaukee is a little too far south to see northern lights often, but this fact won’t stop you from enjoying them during the Friday night shows at the Manfred Olson Planetarium at UW-Milwaukee this fall. Not only do you marvel at the beauty of the aurora borealis — as they are also known — you […]

Do we ever learn

Do we ever learn

McCain vs the cake

McCain vs the cake

Spinning Into Butter

Spinning Into Butter

By Jill Gilmer Every once in a while, a play comes along that reminds us why we love independent theatre. Bold. High-energy. Daring. Provocative. Transforming. Pink Banana’s Spinning Into Butter is such a play. Award-winning playwright Rebecca Gilman has created a fresh examination of the usually taboo subject of race by peeking into the lives […]

Random Exposure

Random Exposure

By Bridget Brave To quote Ansel Adams, infinitely more knowledgeable about photography as art form than I: “There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.” For the third annual Random Exposure photography contest, VITAL’s judges honored that exact notion, finding in each of our winners something striking, something amazing. Photographs capture […]

The Wackness

The Wackness

By

Mummy 3 Review

Mummy 3 Review

The Police

The Police

By Jim Cryns You can identify the number of 80s bands that can currently sell out a major venue on one hand. The Rolling Stones and The Police are among first that come to mind. The Police are and always have been a hard-hitting band with more power than three men should be able to […]

Systems, Please Wait Ten Minutes & This is Entitled: This is Entitled
Systems, Please Wait Ten Minutes & This is Entitled

This is Entitled

By Jaymee Sherman On a muggy Thursday evening they filed into the dark space in search of something cool and refreshing. But it wasn’t air conditioning or beer on tap that beckoned them – it was hip and, for the most part, satisfying theater that was anything but escapist. Tonight, beyond the Fourth Wall, the […]

Dark Knight Review

Dark Knight Review

Both Sides of The Tube: NBC
Both Sides of The Tube

NBC

Paint the Town

Paint the Town

By Burt Wardall What if a pair of terrorist revolutionaries lived among us? These days we tend to picture terrorists as olive-skinned men who speak in broken English. But what if terrorists looked and sounded just like us? What would they do? How would they act? How would they live in today’s society? Rex Winsome’s […]

A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Spring Green
MHC Member Makes History as First American Selected for All-Ireland “Poc Fada”

MHC Member Makes History as First American Selected for All-Ireland “Poc Fada”

A Milwaukee athlete is on the verge of an historic first: Dan McAuliffe, a member of the Milwaukee Hurling Club, has been selected to participate in one of Ireland’s most popular and prestigious sporting events – the “Poc Fada” (“long puck [hit]” in Irish) on August 2, 2008. This marks the first time that an […]

Celebrate Your Independents Prize Drawing

Celebrate Your Independents Prize Drawing

The prize drawing entry form is available online here: http://www.vitalsourcemag.com/index.php/events/celebrate/

Icy Demons

Icy Demons

By Kyle Shaffer An open-door policy in a musical project seems is an obvious catalyst for experimentation. But when that collective implements an initiation process – involving alter egos – all your circuit-bent guitar pedals and Godspeed You Black Emperor! albums may not prepare you for what you’re about to experience. That’s the idea behind […]

Triptych

Triptych

By Nicholas Grider Triptych sells itself as a cross-disciplinary experiment in the ways that three different media — visual arts, dance, and music — mesh and fail to mesh in a performance setting, and on those terms alone it’s a great success, despite the somewhat apologetic attitude of the piece’s creators. The result of both […]

Reasons to vote Republican
Smoke! Smoke! Smoke!

Smoke! Smoke! Smoke!

Smoker’s Paradox: Photographs by Mike Brenner Annual Members Show June 20 — July 25 Walker’s Point Center for the Arts, 911 W. National Avenue Opening reception: Friday, June 20, 6-9 pm Mike Brenner, former proprietor of Hotcakes Gallery, has emerged from that grave, and, at age 34, is busy re-inventing himself, most recently in the […]

Insurgent Theatre needs your old junk!

Insurgent Theatre needs your old junk!

Insurgent Theatre ain’t too proud to beg cuz their commitment to re-use, re-cycling, and re-ally affordable theater is more important than their pride. Here is a list of materials needed for their ambitious summer plans (check out insurgenttheatre.org to see what those plans are): RAW MATERIALS -1 x 4 lumber, lots of it. Approx 4 […]

Incredible Hulk Review

Incredible Hulk Review

The Undiscovered

The Undiscovered

By Ken Olson A door closed noisily. With a lazy start, Greg Norton woke up. Even in the dark, he squinted as he propped himself up on one elbow, listening. Had the door been one of those inside his apartment? Or even the front door? It took him a moment to remember that he wasn’t […]

Pygmies in Chimayo

Pygmies in Chimayo

By Justin Burke Long before they filed for divorce late in 2004, Mr. and Mrs. Bourbon had lost their hankering for the Corriente cattle ranch. Over the last decade they had made the venture successful and had profited greatly from the growing rodeo market. In March of the following year they auctioned off the stock, […]

The smell of fresh water

The smell of fresh water

This short story was a finalist in VITAL Source's 2008 fiction contest.

The Phreaks

The Phreaks

By Ken Brosky I knew this guy, babe, he could do things with his mouth you ain’t never seen. And I ain’t talking about sex here, all right? All right? Get your head out of the gutter and listen to me, because this is a story that’s gonna blow your mind. There was a guy […]

Chickens

Chickens

By Craig Reinbold It was already mostly bone when he found it, the rooster, white ends picked clean, marrow exposed, sucked dry, bone still stuck here and there with pieces of feather, little strings of meat. The head was untouched, preserved, pristine, except for the eyes, which had been eaten. Chickens will eat their own, […]

Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares @ The Pabst Theater

Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares @ The Pabst Theater

By Ellen Burmeister Photo by CJ Foeckler Ecstatic, chilling, astonishing and profoundly moving: at a time in which most vocal music is digitized and synthesized to the nth degree, the sound of the Bulgarian Women’s Television Choir (known since the 1980s as “Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares” — the Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices — […]

May 24th – Tiger Army @ Turner Hall

May 24th – Tiger Army @ Turner Hall

Get ready for this Vital sponsored invasion of the Tiger Army. It begins at 8PM on May 24th at Turner Hall. Opening acts are The Unseen and War Tapes. Members of Vital will be there to give out goodies and we’ll have drawings for free tickets to other Vital shows at Turner. Don’t miss it!

We’ll do it live! (NSFW)
BIKE TO WORK WEEK SPECIAL: More than just a ride
BIKE TO WORK WEEK SPECIAL

More than just a ride

By Rebecca Cook Photos by Harvey Opgenorth + Photo of Harvey by Rebecca Cook Milwaukee artist Harvey Opgenorth looks to his surroundings for inspiration and the ever-present possibility of an art experience. A man with an eye for detail, Harvey constantly surveys his environment, savoring details as simple as a crack in the sidewalk. Examining […]

What’s in a name?

What’s in a name?

New Name for Milwaukee Dance Theatre now in its 20th Season!

New Name for Milwaukee Dance Theatre now in its 20th Season!

Isabelle Kralj & Mark Anderson’s Milwaukee Dance Theatre, celebrating its 20th Anniversary, approaches the next 20 years with a new name! Why the name change? Founded in 1987 by Isabelle Kralj, Milwaukee Dance Theatre (MDT) was conceived as an eclectic performance group with an emphasis on dance, but not dance alone. During the first decade […]

Fat Pig

Fat Pig

By Jill Gilmer I eagerly anticipated the opening of Fat Pig, if only to learn who its catchy title referred to. The answer surprised me. Contrary to popular belief, the Fat Pig was not the overweight leading lady, played with perfection by Tanya Saracho. Neither was it her commitment-phobic boyfriend or one of his obnoxious […]

Life’s remedy

Life’s remedy

By Charise Dawson One Milwaukeean has no trouble likening medicine to art. Dr. Curt Kommer, a Milwaukee artist and physician, will exhibit his artwork in his first gallery show at Lakeshore Gallery. The exhibit, Travelogues, a collection of oil and acrylic paintings, runs May 2 through May 31. According to Kommer, being an artist is […]

A New Brain

A New Brain

By Charise Dawson A real-life personal experience with arteriovenous malformation and the healing power of art inspired a Broadway musical now debuts in Milwaukee. Windfall Theatre closes its 15th season with A New Brain at Village Church Arts, 130 E. Juneau Avenue. The production runs May 2 through 17. William Finn’s A New Brain is […]

I’m sick!  Of health care talk, anyway
Spamalot

Spamalot

By Jim Cryns Like so many great comedy sketches, Monty Python’s antics tend to have an incredible life-span. From rather humble beginnings on PBS back in the ‘70s as Monty Python’s Flying Circus, the Python empire has churned out some of the most enduring cult hits of our time, including Life of Brian, The Meaning […]

Happy Trails: VITAL’s Online Summer Recreation Guide
Happy Trails

VITAL’s Online Summer Recreation Guide

As promised, here’s our comprehensive guidebook for living low-impact this summer, with links, contact info and more good ideas than you can shake a stick at. Have fun! ADVENTURE CHARTER BOATS Lake Michigan dive charters, right outta Milwaukee. THE ALDO LEOPOLD FOUNDATION E13701 Levee Rd., Baraboo BIKE TO WORK WEEK May 11 – May 16, […]

Son of Rambow

Son of Rambow

By

Story of the Year

Story of the Year

By Kyle Shaffer Defining one’s sound on a passing trend can prove a death blow for most acts. But, perhaps even more daunting a thought is that of trying to reformat a band’s sound to remain relevant. Story of the Year’s heyday was the release of Page Avenue amidst an explosion of screamo bands. Two […]

Sentimental outing

Sentimental outing

The Cuckoo Then, on Every Tree: Three Artists Celebrate Spring May 16 – June 28 Portrait Society Gallery 207 E. Buffalo St., Suite 526 The word cuckold is derived from cuckoo. A song in Shakespeare describes spring as the time when, “the cuckoo then on every tree, mocks married men, for thus he sings: Cuckoo!” […]

Spring 2008 WEED OUT!

Spring 2008 WEED OUT!

Milwaukee has taken its time warming up for spring. But instead of snow, parks throughout the county are now blanketed with a new seasoned enemy: the garlic mustard, the dames rocks and the burdock, just to name a few. These are the worst of the worst, the most appalling agriculture on this side of town. […]

RANDOM EXPOSURE 3: VITAL’s 2008 Photo Contest! SUBMIT NOW!
RANDOM EXPOSURE 3

VITAL’s 2008 Photo Contest! SUBMIT NOW!

In August 2008, VITAL Source Magazine will publish the work of the winners of our annual photo contest. Images will appear online and in print, and receive prizes TBD. Once again, the Best in Show photo will run on the cover of the August edition of VITAL Source. Winners determined solely by a panel of […]

Pedal Push: A Vital Bike-in on May 16th
Pedal Push

A Vital Bike-in on May 16th

A VITAL Bike-in! (Bikes optional) FRIDAY, MAY 16: 5:30 – 7:30 pm @ Wicked Hop’s Jackalope Lounj, 345 N. Broadway -Meet up for cheap Lakefront taps and $5 Van Gogh martinis, plus amazing appetizer specials! -Win a sweet set of wheels from Sun Ringlé and Hayes Bicycle! -“Trail Mix” by DJ Madhatter! At 7 or […]

Fan Belt Milwaukee

Fan Belt Milwaukee

Celebrate 7 Years of STRIPWAX  at the Hi-Fi!

Celebrate 7 Years of STRIPWAX at the Hi-Fi!

Come see one of VITAL’s own amazing artists this May at Hi-Fi. You won’t want to miss it!

Be a Friend of Milwaukee’s Rivers at the 13th Annual Spring Cleanup!!!

Be a Friend of Milwaukee’s Rivers at the 13th Annual Spring Cleanup!!!

It’s that time of year again-the winter snow has melted away, and spring is here! In an effort to curb the degradation of Milwaukee’s three rivers and connect people to their water resources, Friends of Milwaukee’s Rivers is organizing its 13th annual Spring River Cleanup. The cleanup will take place on Saturday, April 19 at […]

A Streetcar Named Desire

A Streetcar Named Desire

It’s the most depressing play I’ve seen in over a year. I checked. Tennessee Williams didn’t just want to tell a sad story — he wanted to agonize about it for eleven relentless scenes. He might not have known at the time that he was writing what was destined to be one of the most […]

Chad M. Rossi’s big ideas

Chad M. Rossi’s big ideas

By Charise Dawson Boulevard Ensemble Studio Theatre closes its 22nd season with Milwaukee Playwright Chad M. Rossi’s comedy Eureka! The company calls the play a randy comedy of “fourplay,” rife with young-adult growing pains, a love story or two and aliens from outer space. The production exemplifies the Boulevard’s mission to provide training for emerging […]

Eureka!

Eureka!

By Charise Dawson The Boulevard Ensemble Studio Theatre, located at 2252 S. Kinnickinnic, opened the world premiere of Chad M. Rossi’s Eureka! on Wednesday, April 9. The play runs through Sunday, April 27. Modern theatre needs new writers. According to Artistic Director Mark Bucher, theatre competes with television, film and technical writing. Without new theatre […]

Ben and Jerry made me think of more than ice cream- a lesson in responsible consumerism
Vital Source Facebook Page!
Sinners + Saints – 4.18.08

Sinners + Saints – 4.18.08

Enter an otherworldly realm with us this Friday at THE ARTS BUILDING, as 10 artists from divergent traditions – from Kristopher Pollard’s compelling ink portraits to Adam Werther’s ethereal and disturbing imagery to the typographic riffs of Jeremy Pettis – take on heaven and hell, devotion and doubt, temptation and resistance, iconography and iconoclasm and […]

WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE!  STOLEN PAINTING OF HEATH LEDGER

WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE! STOLEN PAINTING OF HEATH LEDGER

CALLING ALL RESIDENTS OF MILWAUKEE!!! If you (or any cowboys you know) have any information on the whereabouts or location of a one of a kind modern masterpiece entitled Cowboy Love Connection in Blue, please contact River Rat Galleries 347-9833 or The Palomino 747-1007. This highly collectible acrylic painting, framed in hemp rope, features the […]

Cymbeline

Cymbeline

By Morgan Shelton Milwaukee Shakespeare Theater’s Cymbeline offers an appropriately layered artistic depiction of the play’s complex storyline. Cymbeline tells a story of fighting – whether it’s for love, power, revenge, land, spite or respect – through a string of sub-plots, each blending together and circling around a bubbling political scene. Posthumus, played by Wayne […]

“Give them the Remote”

“Give them the Remote”

By Bridget Brave Cerqua Daniel Keegan doesn’t want to be a casual observer. “Don’t just give me a TV monitor with something playing. Give me the remote. Give me the options, give me the control.” And he’s not letting you slack off, either. “That’s what [the museum experience] needs to be: visitor options, visitor choice. […]

New Releases

New Releases

April 1st Anti-Flag The Bright Lights of America RCA Dave Barnes Me + You + the World Razor & Tie Black Francis Svn Fngrs Cooking Vinyl The Black Keys Attack & Release Nonesuch Lili Haydn Place Between Places Nettwerk Kathy Mattea Coal RED Moby Last Night Mute Van Morrison Keep It Simple Lost Highway R.E.M. […]

Knowledge is power- at any age
Milwaukee distillery wins prestigious gold medal

Milwaukee distillery wins prestigious gold medal

Milwaukee’s own Great Lakes Distillery has received a Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition for their Rehorst Premium Milwaukee Gin. This small local distillery beat out over 800 entries from 63 countries in a blind tasting with their unique spirit that combines the flavors of sweet basil and Wisconsin ginseng to […]

More than numbers in Iraq
March 20th-Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks @ The Pabst!

March 20th-Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks @ The Pabst!

STEPHEN MALKMUS and THE JICKS! MARCH 20@THE PABST! VITAL is sponsoring Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks on Thursday, March 20th at The Pabst Theater! This indie show is sure to please, and as always, VITAL will be setting up a table chock full of great stuff, including giveaways to other great shows! Our fun and […]

WUWM 89.7 FM – Milwaukee Public Radio Presents Radio Lab

WUWM 89.7 FM – Milwaukee Public Radio Presents Radio Lab

Milwaukee Public Radio invites you to join an intellectual investigation. For one week in April, WUWM presents Radio Lab, public radio’s award-winning series about wonder, discovery and big ideas. Radio Lab is produced by WNYC, New York Public Radio. The one-hour documentaries will air the week of April 7 – 11 at 11 a.m. Co-hosted […]

MKE’s Alterra boasts 2nd and 3rd at Barista Competition!

MKE’s Alterra boasts 2nd and 3rd at Barista Competition!

After months of preparation Justin Teisl and Scott Lucey, baristas at Alterra Coffee, won second and third places, respectively, at the 2008 Great Lakes Regional Barista Competition (GLRBC), held in Milwaukee’s Third Ward, March 14th-16th. The GLRBC is one of ten annual regional barista competitions held nationwide and is designed to encourage and recognize professional […]

My words aren’t as good as his
It’s 2AM and I’m drunk and finished
Be a part of Luckystar Studio’s MAIL ART SHOW! DEADLINE is 4/5!

Be a part of Luckystar Studio’s MAIL ART SHOW! DEADLINE is 4/5!

You draw it, paint it, silk screen it, spray paint it, throw a stamp on it and we’ll exhibit it in Wish You Were Here! This limited-run exhibit will be held during the very popular Spring Gallery Night, Friday, April 18, through the West Side Artwalk, April 25 & 26. The envelope, postcard, package or […]

EXTENDED: Seed Cycles by Sally Kuzma @ Villa Terrace Arts Museum
EXTENDED

Seed Cycles by Sally Kuzma @ Villa Terrace Arts Museum

Seed Cycles at the Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum has been extended through April 6. After collecting various plant specimens, Sally Kuzma uses a simple computer scanner to upload the images of plants, such as corn, soybeans, sunflowers, lilies and garlic to create a digitally manipulated piece of art. The details of each plant are […]

VITAL’s 2008 Short Fiction Contest: Call for entries!
VITAL’s 2008 Short Fiction Contest

Call for entries!

Submission Guidelines: • Entrants may submit two original, unpublished pieces of short fiction (max. 3,000 words). • Entries will be judged by professional editors and educators not affiliated with VITAL Source. • Winner will have his or her entry published in the June print edition of VITAL Source Magazine and on our website. • Runners-up […]

Last chance to submit reels & clips for REEL MILWAUKEE! Deadline is 3/14!

Last chance to submit reels & clips for REEL MILWAUKEE! Deadline is 3/14!

REEL Milwaukee On Saturday March 22 from 9 to midnight, VITAL Source Magazine and The Social are throwing a party in conjunction with our March cover story on filmmaking in Wisconsin. As part of the evening’s festivities, we’re looking for Milwaukee filmmakers to submit videos to be included in a looping film montage at the […]

My cynicism is showing

My cynicism is showing

More film news where that came from: The Film Wisconsin Clean-Up Bill
More film news where that came from

The Film Wisconsin Clean-Up Bill

As Major Film Project Announces $20 Million Investment in Wisconsin, New Bill Circulates to Speed Development of the Industry Lt. Governor Barbara Lawton announced today that Senator Jeff Plale and Representative Pat Strachota circulated a bill to improve Wisconsin’s Film Production Tax Credit Services Program for co-sponsorship, and she asked the legislature to move it […]

March 15th – The Scarring Party at Turner Hall!

March 15th – The Scarring Party at Turner Hall!

SATURDAY MARCH 15TH! THE SCARRING PARTY W/ GRANT HART OF HUSKER DU AND JOHN THE SAVAGE AT TURNER HALL! VITAL is sponsoring the CD release show for Milwaukee quartet the Scarring Party at TURNER HALL on Saturday, March 15th. We’ve staked out some real estate at the show where you can sign up to win […]

Weekend Music Report #3 – Doc Hammer/Video Games Live
VITAL’s 2008 Short Fiction Call for Entries OPEN

VITAL’s 2008 Short Fiction Call for Entries OPEN

  Entry Deadline: APRIL 18, 2008   Submission Guidelines: • Entrants may submit two original, unpublished pieces of short fiction (max. 3,000 words). • Entries will be judged by professional editors and educators not affiliated with VITAL Source. • Winner will have his or her entry published in the June print edition of VITAL Source […]

Of Mice and Men

Of Mice and Men

By Jill Gilmer “A play based on an American classic is only worth doing if it can spark a revolution.” This was the inspiration behind Rebecca Holderness’decision to direct Of Mice and Men at the UWM Mainstage theatre. Through the effective use of archival material and a variety of other unexpected touches, Ms. Holderness attempts […]

Fashion Ninja

Fashion Ninja

Theater at UWM

Theater at UWM

Milwaukee Rollergirls

Milwaukee Rollergirls

Experimental Milwaukee

Experimental Milwaukee

Present Music

Present Music

Milwaukee Rocks

Milwaukee Rocks

Travel Milwaukee

Travel Milwaukee

Spirit of Milwaukee

Spirit of Milwaukee

Outpost Natural Foods

Outpost Natural Foods

Our Milwaukee

Our Milwaukee

Milwaukee Art Museum

Milwaukee Art Museum

The Social

The Social

Choose Milwaukee

Choose Milwaukee

Fashionable Milwaukee

Fashionable Milwaukee

Metro Milwaukee

Metro Milwaukee

Big Andy’s Myspace

Big Andy’s Myspace

Broad Vocabulary

Broad Vocabulary

Schwartz books

Schwartz books

Woodland Pattern

Woodland Pattern

Muzzle of Bees

Muzzle of Bees

Michael Gull

Michael Gull

Kristopher Pollard

Kristopher Pollard

Dwellephant

Dwellephant

Max Estes

Max Estes

Paper Boat Boutique

Paper Boat Boutique

Luckystar Studio

Luckystar Studio

Jim Herrington

Jim Herrington

Scott Winklebeck

Scott Winklebeck

Brandon Minga

Brandon Minga

Holy Mary Motor Club

Holy Mary Motor Club

Aimless Blades

Aimless Blades

Spiral Trance

Spiral Trance

Milwaukee website links
Art Bar

Art Bar

The Pabst/ Riverside/ Turner Hall
MOCT

MOCT

Play in the City

Play in the City

Taste of the Town

Taste of the Town

DJ Diamonds Blog

DJ Diamonds Blog

REEL Milwaukee – A Major Party Event

REEL Milwaukee – A Major Party Event

March 22 9 to midnight No cover The Social 170 S 1st St. Milwaukee Music by Marcus Doucette Film cuts by local Milwaukee filmmakers Tabletop film trivia quiz Play “Six Degrees of Mark Metcalf” with your host MARK METCALF PLUS! Coppola wine bar featuring $5 Coppola wines and $7 Coppola Director’s Cut Complimentary appetizer bar […]

Myspace

Myspace

TheMilwaukeescene.com

TheMilwaukeescene.com

Milwaukeefood.com

Milwaukeefood.com

WMSE radio station website
WUWM radio station website
Radio Milwaukee 88.9

Radio Milwaukee 88.9

102.1 Radio station website
Cedar Block

Cedar Block

Fasten Collective

Fasten Collective

Bad Movies In Bay View

Bad Movies In Bay View

Vote!  Speak Out! Stand Up!
These New Puritans

These New Puritans

By Kyle Shaffer Beat Pyramid, the debut full-length release from UK dance-rock stylists These New Puritans, tows the line between brash post-punk and freak-out electronica. The record, which would sound as appropriate in a voguish pub as it would on a catwalk, brims with dance floor drums, noisy samples and artsy/obscure references sure to have […]

The new film coast?

The new film coast?

By Matt LevinePhotos by Jeff Kenney With local film icons as disparate as experimental luminary James Benning and the ubiquitous Mark Borchardt, Milwaukee’s cinematic offerings have always been eclectic and fruitful. But in the last several years, our film scene has seen rapid development — the onset, perhaps, of a new period of national exposure […]

Women without borders film festival
Queers and running-mates: sadly, not actually the same thing
Queers and running-mates

sadly, not actually the same thing

THIS SUNDAY! The Black Lips w/Quintron and Miss Pussycat @ TURNER HALL!

THIS SUNDAY! The Black Lips w/Quintron and Miss Pussycat @ TURNER HALL!

We are sponsoring this sure-to-be-spectacular show at beautiful TURNER HALL this Sunday, March 2. Visit us at the VITAL table and sign up for ticket giveaways, grab a copy of the new March issue, get some VITAL crayons or a limited edition VITAL 5th Birthday tote bag, or just say hi! Or dance with us! […]

88.9 RadioMilwaukee announces winners of Milwaukee Music Awards

88.9 RadioMilwaukee announces winners of Milwaukee Music Awards

Local music artists Element with J. Todd and Paul Cebar won top honors Tuesday in 88Nine RadioMilwaukee’s first annual Milwaukee Music Awards, which recognize the best of Milwaukee-area music in 18 different categories. The song “Bombs Away,” by hip-hop artists Element and J. Todd, was named Song of the Year in the awards’ urban category, […]

Weekend Music Report #2 – The Chain
Political thoughts through the fog of a hangover
Catholic School Girls

Catholic School Girls

By Charise Dawson Despite what you may think, Catholic School Girls is not a dark drama of how Catholic schoolgirls are horribly mistreated by nuns or a sexy story of parochial schoolgirls gone wild – for the most part. Four girls in plaid skirts and matching white blouses girls do fantasize about “doing it,” and […]

Behind the numbers

Behind the numbers

Three Days of Rain

Three Days of Rain

By Charise Dawson Windfall Theatre’s Three Days of Rain, the Pulitzer-Prize nominated drama, opened on Friday, February 15. The small three-person drama plays in the intimate space of Village Church Arts through March 1. The play opens with Walker (Jeremy Welter), a wandering thirty-something, crashing in the unoccupied Manhattan apartment of his late father, a […]

The delegate race- who matters?
The debate debate

The debate debate

McCain gives a thumbs up to torture
VITAL’s 6th Birthday Funhouse!
VITAL’s 6th Birthday Funhouse!

VITAL’s 6th Birthday Funhouse!

It’s VITAL’s 6th birthday, and we’re celebrating with a coloring party for grownups only, Saturday February 23 at MOCT Bar, 240 E. Pittsburgh Avenue on the border of Milwaukee’s Third and Fifth Wards. Join us from 9 pm to close for no cover, spins from Chicago DJs E6 and Matt Roan and our beloved Diamonds, […]

Soulstice Theatre issues open call for actors

Soulstice Theatre issues open call for actors

Soulstice Theatre is seeking four actors to complete the cast of Marvin’s Room by Scott McPherson. The show will be produced the last weekend of March and the first weekend of April in our studio. Rehearsals will begin at the end of February. The open roles are Bessie, Ruth, Lee and Charlie. If you have […]

Milwaukee International Film Festival announces new director

Milwaukee International Film Festival announces new director

The Milwaukee International Film Festival (MIFF) announced today the appointment of Byron Alpers as executive director. Alpers assumed his position on February 4, 2008, replacing the festival’s co-founder, David Luhrssen, who will remain on MIFF’s board of directors. Alpers comes to the festival with more than 25 years of experience in developing and implementing marketing […]

Glengarry Glen Ross

Glengarry Glen Ross

A scene from the Milwaukee Rep’s staging of Glengarry Glen Ross By Tracy Doyle Foul language. Crude behavior. Men being men. In the dark recesses of the underground parking garage, behind the open back doors of a parked van, a group of men bonded, argued, smoked the magic weed and emitted nearly tangible clouds of […]

Weekend Music Report

Weekend Music Report

Little bits before the Big Day
Collections of Colonies of Bees

Collections of Colonies of Bees

By Charlie Hosale The central aspect of Milwaukee natives Chris Rosenau and Jon Mueller’s musical projects has always been accessible experimentation. Collections of Colonies of Bees, thanks to an evolving and expanding lineup of musicians, have had a number of dynamically different sounds over the years. This new release finds the band on a new […]

Checkers or Chess?

Checkers or Chess?

Maybe no one will win this election By Donald Kaul American elections are nothing if not amusing; solemn rituals laced with equal measures of irony and hypocrisy, with a touch of absurdity thrown in for taste. The victory speeches alone are worth the price of admission. Take for example the statement of Mitt Romney after […]

VITAL turns six with Puzzles + Games

VITAL turns six with Puzzles + Games

By VITAL friends and family Download PDFs of all of our puzzles & games! Just print and play! Coloring page by Natalia Rubanov: VITAL’s birthday girl! Coloring page by Dwellephant Coloring page by Tim Edgar Hidden picture puzzle by Coth Paper doll by Tea Krulos Coloring page by Kristopher Pollard Coloring page by Jeff Noise […]

The Mac, the PC, and the McCain
2008 HANDBAG EXPO at FASHION NINJA: Seeking designers
2008 HANDBAG EXPO at FASHION NINJA

Seeking designers

Do you design handbags or know someone who does? Are you interested or would they be interested in selling them at FASHION NINJA for the 2008 HANDBAG EXPO? The HANDBAG EXPO was founded three years ago by designer Areka Ikeler as a way to feature one-of-a-kind, hand-made handbags. This year marks will be the third […]

Milwaukee Ballet’s new fundraising efforts so far a resounding success

Milwaukee Ballet’s new fundraising efforts so far a resounding success

The Milwaukee Ballet announced today that business planning and fundraising efforts with the organization’s new leadership team in place have resulted in new investments totaling more than $625,000. Leading the major contributions were the Dohmen Family Foundation with a gift of $375,000 and the Richard and Ethel Herzfeld Foundation with a gift of $100,000. Additional […]

VITAL Gallery Archive

VITAL Gallery Archive

Listen to Super Tuesday coverage on WUWM

Listen to Super Tuesday coverage on WUWM

On Tuesday, February 5 from 7 to 9 pm, WUWM 89.7 FM – Milwaukee Public Radio will carry NPR’s Special Election Coverage of the Super Tuesday primaries and caucuses. With competitive races in both parties and a chance that there could be at least one presumptive nominee by the end of the night, NPR will […]

New Pix Now in our Photo Gallery!

New Pix Now in our Photo Gallery!

Check out the pictures from our Gallery Night show, "Family Album," held January 18 at our new office. If you weren’t there, you probably know someone who was. Click here to go to the Gallery.

A SMALL ARMY OF LITTLE GOLDEN MEN
Your Support

Your Support

The Kennedy family endorses hope
Support Independent Media
When Cans Got The Lip

When Cans Got The Lip

Arabesque Music Ensemble

Arabesque Music Ensemble

By Blaine Schultz Umm Kulthum was a very popular Arabic vocalis; in her beautiful and powerful voice, she performed songs composed for her by a trio of talented men. Zakariyya Ahmad, Muhammad al-Qasabji and Riyad al-Sunbati are known as the Three Musketeers. This album is made up of tunes written in the 1930s and 1940s […]

Our responsibility for the lying Bush
Martin Luther King Jr and Politics as Usual
Outside the Free Speech Zone
Chief Flynn and the Unknown Plan
Michigan Democrats get the shaft
The edible and incredible Russ Feingold
10th Annual Milwaukee Short Film Festival: Call for entries
10th Annual Milwaukee Short Film Festival

Call for entries

The 10th Annual Milwaukee Short Film Festival, named Best Local Festival in MovieMaker’s Winter 2006 issue, is scheduled for May 10-11, 2008. The event includes industry judges, panel discussions, social events and awards, with a Grand Prize of $1000. Submit now in any genre. Early Deadline is January 31 with an entry fee of $10. […]

Kucinich, Diebold, Kerry, oh my!
Confounding the pundits

Confounding the pundits

The Politics of Fear

The Politics of Fear

DECISION 2008…..Your Vote Matters!
RESCHEDULED: Le Mystere Des Voix Bulgares @ Pabst Theater
RESCHEDULED

Le Mystere Des Voix Bulgares @ Pabst Theater

In our January Picks, we featured Le Mystere Des Voix Bulgares, scheduled to appear in concert at the Pabst on Friday, January 18. The show has been rescheduled for Friday, May 16. All tickets previously purchased will be honored and current ticket holders will be contacted by the Pabst to inform them of the change. […]

National webzine announces Latina writing contest

National webzine announces Latina writing contest

We received this press release today from Austin, Texas: Following a reverse trend in publishing, Latinitas Magazine, the first digital magazine made for and by Latina youth, is augmenting its successful online publications with the launch of a print magazine for “‘tweens” in 2008. To gather “voces authenticas” (authentic voices) from all over the United […]

Wall Street Journal loves The Norman Conquests

Wall Street Journal loves The Norman Conquests

Deserved and markedly positive attention was paid to Milwaukee this weekend in a major coup for the city and its arts scene with a glowing review in The Wall Street Journal of The Norman Conquests at the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre. “Revivals of so complex a theatrical undertaking must of necessity be rare, and I very […]

Open to interpretation

Open to interpretation

By Joe White “We’ll all have walkie talkies, and I’ll pretty much be like the quarterback,” says Kevin Stalheim. Such a statement might seem unusual coming from a member of a classical music ensemble, but when the ensemble in question is Present Music – a gaggle of adventurous virtuosi who have trained their fans to […]

Reverend Organdrum

Reverend Organdrum

The Reverend Horton Heat (specifically, band leader Jim Heath) is pretty much a brand name with the best of‘em. For over twenty years, the Rev has built quite a church on the strengths of his electrically – charged, vaguely psychotic musical sermons, with admirers in a wide spectrum of music appreciation, from the purists to […]

Milwaukee Moments Photo Contest: call for entries!
Milwaukee Moments Photo Contest

call for entries!

Looking for something to do now that the holidays are pretty much done with? Spend some off-time with the family reliving memories by going through old photos for the Milwaukee Moments photo contest. The Milwaukee Press Club announces a photo contest for the 162nd City of Milwaukee Birthday Party to be held January 29, 2008 […]

Holiday Alchemy

Holiday Alchemy

IN:SITE call for proposals
IN

SITE call for proposals

IN:SITE, a local organization fostering temporary public art in Milwaukee County, and Sherman Park Community Association are pleased to announce that they are collaborating on temporary public art installations in the Sherman Park neighborhood for 2008. There will be two five-month cycles of temporary public art, the first in April and the second in September […]

But Only Because People Are Asking
Know What They Call A Quarter Pounder With Cheese In England?
What A Wonderful Closing Song
A Pair of Hit Men Raise Money to Fight Cancer
A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol

Charles Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol at a time when there was a new focus on our growing human family and the plight of the poor. It was also a time when the urban Christmas tradition had started to lose meaning. Although a century or so has passed, A Christmas Carol still reminds us of the importance of charity and love for humanity that’s especially pertinent this time of year.

VITAL’s predictions for 2008

VITAL’s predictions for 2008

Formulating predictions for a new year can be ironic -- they usually revolve around the roadblocks we couldn't bust through in the previous year. What license are we issued to move the immovable just by the setting and rising of the sun one more time, one more bout of shuteye, one more flip of a shiny but flimsy paper calendar?

Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society’s Production of A Chr

Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society’s Production of A Chr

By Jill Gilmer From the moment you are greeted by the white-haired ladies at the entrance to the playhouse, it’s apparent that this will be no ordinary night at the theatre: this is the Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society. This very amateur acting troupe attempts to perform Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol […]

Milwaukee in Miami? Hotcakes takes us there

Milwaukee in Miami? Hotcakes takes us there

Hotcakes will be bringing art from Milwaukee to Miami for the Aqua Art Miami art fair and international market from December 5 through December 9, since most of us aren’t fortunate enough to go there ourselves this chilly time of year. The exhibition will be at the Aqua Hotel, a classic South Beach resort which […]

Marcus Doucette

Marcus Doucette

By Kenya Evans His distinctive voice graces our radio waves as a host on 88Nine, Radio Milwaukee; chalk up his tranquil tone to his meditative practices as a Yoga instructor. By night you may have found him scratching and mixing on the 1’s and 2’s at local hot spots like Jackalope Lounj and Hi Hat […]

Holiday Fun Guide

Holiday Fun Guide

It’s hard to get into the “seasonal spirit” amidst mobbed malls, wintry wind chill and foul fruitcake. But besides these holiday high jinks, there’s enough merriness and cheer for all to enjoy in Milwaukee.

Insurgents, Bananas and Holidaze
Listen to the national Democratic Presidential debate 12/4 on WUWM 89.7

Listen to the national Democratic Presidential debate 12/4 on WUWM 89.7

Milwaukee Public Radio will air the national Democratic Presidential debate live from 1:00-3:00PM (CT) on Tuesday, December 4, 2007. The national debates are an exclusive radio-only broadcast and will also stream online. NPR News and Iowa Public Radio (IPR) are hosting this debate, which will be held at the State Historical Museum in Des Moines. […]

GREETINGS!

GREETINGS!

By Tracy Doyle If you’re looking for a little holiday fun that isn’t your 234th viewing of A Christmas Carol, The Nutcracker, or It’s a Wonderful Life, head to the Off-Broadway Theatre for Next Act’s delightful presentation of Tom Dudzick’s GREETINGS! This holiday favorite tells the story of the Gorski family on Christmas Eve as […]

Carolin’ Carolynne’s Comin’ To Town

Carolin’ Carolynne’s Comin’ To Town

By Jill Gillmer Is it just me, or does the title Carolin’ Carolynne splashed across a red-and-green banner suggest that this holiday revue might include a few Christmas carols? This was how I convinced my elderly aunt and mother to accompany me to the performance. When I found myself waiting for the first carol nearly […]

Indian Blood

Indian Blood

By Carrie Beilke Without awkward family gatherings, the holidays would just be a time to eat turkey and spend too much time at the mall. The Boulevard Theater’s presentation of A.R. Gurney’s Indian Blood is an intimate peek into one such Christmas, with plenty of dysfunctional family members, arguments and wholesome helpings of Americana to […]

Lame Dreams – Vol. 1

Lame Dreams – Vol. 1

The song remains the same?

The song remains the same?

By Ellen Burmeister Once regarded as the epitome of the excesses of the 1970s rock landscape, Led Zeppelin is currently undergoing a revival of sorts, which is expected to culminate in a much-heralded reunion concert in London this December. For those of us who can’t book a flight to Heathrow, an admirable substitute came to […]

As You Like It

As You Like It

By Tracy Doyle As You Like It, one of William Shakespeare’s most popular pastoral comedies, has long sparked debates over its merits. Wisconsin Lutheran College’s production is no exception. The play is set in what is most likely France and opens after Fredericke, the younger brother of the reigning duke, has usurped the dukedom and […]

The Art of Work

The Art of Work

By Kerensa Edinger Milwaukee already has an art museum that in itself is a feat of engineering, but a museum dedicated to the art of engineering is another thing altogether. It may seem an anomaly, but we now have one of those, too. The new Grohmann Museum, on the campus of the Milwaukee School of […]

Recalling the Wisconsin Idea

Recalling the Wisconsin Idea

By Barry Wightman A century ago there was a political agenda known as the “Wisconsin Idea.” As Sanford D. Horwitt, author of Feingold: A New Democratic Party, puts it, the idea at the center of then-nascent progressive political thinking “became widely known as shorthand for new, enlightened rational government that would rein in laissez-faire capitalism, […]

CORRECTION: November 2007 Music Releases + Pagination
CORRECTION

November 2007 Music Releases + Pagination

Due to a file error, the album titles in the new releases listing on page 14 are illegible. We regret the oversight. A full listing of November releases is available here. Please also note that the pagination in our Table of Contents is inaccurate. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, drop us a […]

November 2007

November 2007

November 6th Angels & Airwaves I-Empire Geffen Chris Brown Exclusive Jive Jimmy Buffett Live in Anguilla Mailboat Cassidy B.A.R.S. Full Surface/J Counting Crows Saturday Nights, Sunday Mornings Geffen Kevin Elliot and The Broken Damage of This Day Broke City Rob GEE Rob GEE Rock Ridge Music Jay-Z American Gangster Def Jam Kanekoa Under the Coconut […]

Seven Guitars

Seven Guitars

By Jill Gilmer Who would believe that backyard banter could capture the soul of an entire people struggling to realize their dreams in the wake of economic and political oppression? This was the ambitious goal of August Wilson’s elegantly-written Seven Guitars, which opened University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s fall season Tuesday night. Seven Guitars is part of […]

When It Leaves The Screen
Talking Heads

Talking Heads

Angela Iannone in Talking Heads Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads, a series of six monologues, was so succesful in its incarnation on BBC television that it is living another life in live theatre. Milwaukee Chamber Theatre brings these monologues to the stage in two alternating programs at the Broadway Theatre’s main stage this month. The show […]

Doubt And Misery

Doubt And Misery

Damage / Repair

Damage / Repair

Stolen Art in Bay View

Stolen Art in Bay View

These custom, one of a kind, hand-painted black high-top Nikes, with bullets around the heel and bright yellow laces, were stolen from FASHION NINJA, a small business in Bay View on Wednesday, October 17, at 3:00 pm. They want the shoes back. If you see a student wearing them, please contact the authorities or the […]

Every Picture Tells a Story

Every Picture Tells a Story

In becoming a photographer, one makes a choice to be the teller of stories rather than the subject, witness to the deeds of others, a visual historian to a particular moment in time Milwaukee photographer Jim Herrington has stories of his own, of course, but what fascinates is his body of work – and that’s […]

Goodbye, My Friend

Goodbye, My Friend

Eddie Kilowatt releases new book + has a party!

Eddie Kilowatt releases new book + has a party!

The release party for Eddie Kilowatt’s latest book, Carrying a Knife in to the Gunfight, will be this Friday, October 12th at The Social, with music by High Lonesome and DJ sets by Von Munz and Flavor Dav Monroe — and of course, Eddie will be reading poems. $10 gets you in and a copy […]

Cryptogram: FINAL WEEK!
Cryptogram

FINAL WEEK!

By Tracy Doyle Windfall Theatre’s latest venture is a bold attempt at staging a very intriguing and challenging piece of drama, David Mamet’s Cryptogram. Mamet’s work, famous for its frequent interruptions, trail-offs and swear words, is often difficult to nail, but Windfall comes close with this production. And although some of the clues in this […]

Element Everest

Element Everest

By Kenya Evans Life is a Heist tells the spiraling stories of the hood rich just trying to get by and delivers a verbal vengeance signed and sealed by Ms. Everest personally. The first and only lady of local hip hop group Black Elephant – 2006 WAMI runners-up for best unsigned artist – Element Everest […]

Question

Question

An Interview with Paul Robeson

An Interview with Paul Robeson

By Jill Gilmer Interviewer: “Why did you stop making films?” Paul Robeson: “Because little Negro girls go to the movies looking forward to experiencing fantasy. But when they come home, they feverishly try to rub the color off of their skin.” The excerpt above is one of the provocative question & answer segments from An […]

Girlyman at Shank Hall

Girlyman at Shank Hall

How do you know you’ve made it as an Indie-Gender-Folk-Pop group? Is it playing to a crowd that sings along to almost every one of your songs? Witnessing members of your audience placing the now ubiquitous concert calls to friends who couldn’t make it to show? Or is it being called back to the stage, […]

VITAL Source 2007 Halloween Guide!

VITAL Source 2007 Halloween Guide!

The leaves are changing colors and that chic orange-black palette is resurfacing across front yards everywhere, which can only mean one thing: it’s time to celebrate the only appropriate occasion we have to put on a costume, look ridiculous (or sexy or terrifying) and demand candy from strangers. This time of year brings out the […]

The Music Issue

The Music Issue

Here at VITAL, we love music, and we figure it’s a pretty fair bet that you love music, too. Every year we showcase everything that thrills us about the wide world of melody and harmony, rhythm and tempo, sound and silence, and this year it’s even more close to our hearts — it’s 100% homegrown. […]

Gary

Gary

Death Becomes You: Awesome show at Luckystar Studio!
Death Becomes You

Awesome show at Luckystar Studio!

VITAL Source is sponsoring this quirky, creepy show at Luckystar, just before the mad Gallery Night rush. Check out what they have to say about it — and mark your calendar. Milwaukee, WI: Leaves are changing color and falling from the trees, flowers are dying and the mosquitoes have disappeared. Fall is in the air […]

A Star Onstage Might Be A Memory Onscreen
MPTV Airs “Milwaukee” Antiques Roadshow!

MPTV Airs “Milwaukee” Antiques Roadshow!

Antiques Roadshow, the most popular program on PBS, visited Milwaukee last July. Now, Milwaukee Public Television will air three programs revealing what Milwaukeeans brought in for appraisal: Monday, Oct. 29, at 7 p.m. and repeated at 8 p.m.; Monday, Nov. 5, at 7 p.m. and repeated at 8 p.m.; and Monday, Nov. 12, at 7 […]

CORRECTION: “Jobs, jobs, jobs”
CORRECTION

“Jobs, jobs, jobs”

On the cover of our September issue, we incorrectly stated that “Jobs, jobs, jobs … ?”, an article about Mayor Tom Barrett’s employment report, would appear in the magazine’s pages. The article by our Commentary contributor, Ted Bobrow, will run in our October print edition. It will also be available on our website starting October […]

Ani DiFranco

Ani DiFranco

By Allison Berndt Ani DiFranco is a true entertainer. Whether it’s in her racy, controversial lyrics, her man-handling of the guitar, her feminist and political ideals or even her own radical personal style, she’s certainly a woman who’s paved the way for female activist artists. Canon, DiFranco’s 17th studio album, is a two-disc compilation of […]

The Anatomy and Physiology of Arts and Entertainment

The Anatomy and Physiology of Arts and Entertainment

Living in our bodies can be a terrifying prospect. Their epic mechanics – hundreds upon hundreds of bones and muscles, tens of thousands of feet of blood vessels, 45 miles of nerves, a quadrillion chemical synapses in the brain – allow them to toil 24 hours a day at daunting projects to which we are […]

“Music’s golden tongue Flatter’d to tears this aged man and poor”

“Music’s golden tongue Flatter’d to tears this aged man and poor”

By Barry Wightman If the tongue is a muscle of love, a notorious logo of leering lascivious brown-sugared rock & roll, the taste it produces in our mouths, the perception of flavor, is simultaneously a deeply personal perception of quality, an aesthetic discernment, a judgement we use to assign value in art, literature and music. […]

Global Union Music Previews: 17 Hippies and Dobert Gnahore
Global Union Music Previews

17 Hippies and Dobert Gnahore

By Blaine Schultz Dobert Gnahore Na Afriki Cumbancha There is a pulsating sense of energy just beneath the surface of Dobert Gnahore’s music. Her fluid vocals are gently propelled by musicians led by acoustic guitarist Colin Laroche de Feline. With roots in Africa’s Ivory Coast, it is no surprise that the English translations for Gnahore’s […]

Rufus Wainwright at the Pabst – August 26, 2007

Rufus Wainwright at the Pabst – August 26, 2007

It’s always a little surprising that rock bands look and sound as good as they do at the Pabst, a gilded German theater full of red velvet, Italian marble, and busts of famous Austro-Hungarians (Beethoven, Wagner). But it never fails – dirty, dance-y, pounding shows are exalted by the baroquerie of the opera hall, not […]

About Vital Source

About Vital Source

Never Offer Drink To The Guy Who Is Tied-Up
SHOOT THE BLUEBIRD at the ASTOR THEATRE!

SHOOT THE BLUEBIRD at the ASTOR THEATRE!

The internationally famous “Bluebird” (by Al Emmons) is in place atop the Astor Theatre. On September 8, 2007, from 9 am – midnight, visit the Astor at 1696 N. Astor Street (on the corner of Brady and Astor) to shoot photos of the Bluebird. There will also be a 5 foot tall fairy (outfitted by […]

LET IT BLEED

LET IT BLEED

I Love Cooperation

I Love Cooperation

Footloose

Footloose

By Tracy Doyle Check it: a beloved ‘80s movie starring Kevin Bacon, over a decade later made into a moderately successful Broadway musical, revised in 2007 and this past weekend made its local premiere in Elm Grove’s Sunset Playhouse. Why yes, I am talking about Dean Pitchford’s Footloose! Noi-ce! Mark Salentine’s director’s notes clearly stated […]

2007 Short Fiction and Poetry Contest

2007 Short Fiction and Poetry Contest

Intro by Jon Anne Willow It’s possible that only a writer can understand the difficulty of being one. It is not a skill or avocation, but the most primal of callings, an obsession at least as deep-rooted as any felt for love or high ambition. Writing is a cruel muse, leaving you when you need […]

Found in translation

Found in translation

By Evan Solochek With so many misconceptions, half-truths and flat-out ignorance surrounding the Middle East, immersing yourself in its diverse culture and rich history for a weekend seems a good first step to enlightenment. In a time where stories of bombings and body counts are a nightly fixture on local and national news, it’s easy […]

Thanks for taking the Milwaukee Music Survey

Thanks for taking the Milwaukee Music Survey

Thanks for taking our survey. We’ll post the results in the October issue of VITAL and on our website. Your email address will be kept confidential and we won’t contact you again unless you’ve given us permission. You can forward the survey if you like and your friends can vote, too. Please don’t be a […]

Take VITAL’s Milwaukee Music Survey

Take VITAL’s Milwaukee Music Survey

Click here to take the survey. Results will be published in the October issue of VITAL Source, which is our annual Music Issue. There are only 12 questions, so it’ll just take a second. Thanks, as always, for playing. The VITAL Staff

Project Runway at LELA

Project Runway at LELA

Cathedral Square Farmer’s Market

Cathedral Square Farmer’s Market

Deep in the heart of the concrete jungle, otherwise known as downtown Milwaukee, lies an oasis—a breath of fresh air if you will. It is here that good ‘ol city folk gather on some green amidst the hustle and bustle of the city to enjoy the simpler pleasures in life. Welcome to the Cathedral Square’s […]

Traveling Art Circus

Traveling Art Circus

Street Team Saw Fever Marlene @ Summerfest

Street Team Saw Fever Marlene @ Summerfest

For the past several years, as Summerfest approaches I always say I’m not going, citing my distaste for large drunken crowds and snobbish taste in beer as the reasons. Then i get chided because it is a music festival not a beer tasting party. Then I remember, oh yeah, I like music. Spurred by a […]

Fever Marlene, Summerfest 2007
Milwaukee Sketch & Improv Fest Goes National
Benefit Show for Pat Kasthurirangaian
Become a MARNmentee!

Become a MARNmentee!

MARN seeks Mentees for Mentoring Program! To strengthen the network of support for artists, provide in-depth professional resources and to contribute to the health of Wisconsin’s arts community, MARN has created MARNmentors specifically for visual artists, literary artists, filmmakers and arts administrator in the Milwaukee area. MARN will act as a liaison between established working […]

Coming soon — Scene and Heard
VITAL Source Presents Random Exposure 2

VITAL Source Presents Random Exposure 2

Join VITAL Source Magazine after work this Thursday, June 14 at the endlessly fascinating Eisner Museum of Advertising and Design for Random Exposure 2, a gallery exhibit of over 60 finalist and winning photographs from VITAL’s annual photo contest. Last year’s event was a smashing success, and this Thursday will set a new bar, with […]

This Thursday! VITAL Source Presents Random Exposure 2

This Thursday! VITAL Source Presents Random Exposure 2

Join VITAL Source Magazine after work this Thursday, June 14 at the endlessly fascinating Eisner Museum of Advertising and Design for Random Exposure 2, a gallery exhibit of over 60 finalist and winning photographs from VITAL’s annual photo contest. Last year’s event was a smashing success, and this Thursday will set a new bar, with […]

PrideFest Photo Galleries

PrideFest Photo Galleries

Please visit our new PrideFest and Pride Parade photo galleries! Enjoy!

Starting Here, Starting Now

Starting Here, Starting Now

By Tracy Doyle If you’re looking for some light, summertime musical fare, check out In Tandem Theatre’s production of Starting Here, Starting Now, which captures the many phases of romantic involvement, everything from waiting for the love of your life to come along to the wretched throes of the breakup. A musical revue written by […]

Various Artists

Various Artists

By Nikki Butgereit Anchored In Love: A Tribute to June Carter Cash is the musical counterpart to John Carter’s biography of his mother. Clearly, this album was a labor of love, not just for the grieving son, but for the artists and relatives who came together to celebrate Carter Cash’s musical legacy. The album opens […]

Black Strobe

Black Strobe

By Ally Berndt Norwegian death metal. Gothic French electro. ‘80s electronic body music. Something totally different. Any or all of the above can be ways used to describe Black Strobe. Burn Your Own Church – “Brenn Di Ega Kjerke” in Norwegian – is Black Strobe’s latest album, and while all 11 tracks reflect the group’s […]

FREE MICHAEL MCGEE!!!

FREE MICHAEL MCGEE!!!

Good-Bye,  Mr. Davis

Good-Bye, Mr. Davis

2 Guys

2 Guys

The Cultural Iconography of My Generation
Just Break EVERYTHING

Just Break EVERYTHING

BUSH HAS LOWEST APPROVAL RATING IN HISTORY
The Baker’s Wife

The Baker’s Wife

By Tracy Doyle Opening night of Windfall Theatre’s staging of The Baker’s Wife, I was warmly ushered into the intimate and awkward venue and the best of the remaining seating was pointed out to me. The space, which must double as a meeting room of some sort for the Village Church Arts, was perfectly suited […]

Matt Cook . . . Bombs?

Matt Cook . . . Bombs?

Colin Hay, May 3 @ The Miramar Theatre

Colin Hay, May 3 @ The Miramar Theatre

By Erin Landry Dropping in at Bay View’s local watering hole, the Palomino, you might have had the pleasure to be served a drink by Colin Hay’s opening act Thursday night: the talented Davey von Bohlen (of Cap’n Jazz, Promise Ring and Vermont fame), a regal name he says that was given to him at […]

Lady Day

Lady Day

By Jill Gilmer It’s hard not to have a great evening at the Stackner Cabaret. The nightclub-style setting creates a relaxed and festive atmosphere and the well-heeled crowd doesn’t seem to mind sharing tables with strangers and chit-chatting over cocktails or coffee and dessert. Add to this backdrop the wonderful music of Billie Holiday performed […]

Simply the best

Simply the best

By Evan Solochek + Photos by Kat Jacobs and Gene Martin He is one of the recording industry’s true living legends; some call him the godfather of modern music. His name is as synonymous with rock & roll as Jimi Hendrix or Eric Clapton. What’s that? You say you’ve never heard of him? Well, take […]

Robbie Fulks

Robbie Fulks

By Allison Berndt The best way to describe Robbie Fulks’ new album Revenge! is to call it an eclectic hillbilly mix produced live on the road for an audience that’s looking for some good ol’ country music alongside a good laugh. Well, it’s true. Fulks, known for his catchy country songs and humorous lyrics, has […]

Time to grant women equal rights

Time to grant women equal rights

By Martha Burk The new Congress has been busy, what with scandals in the Justice Department and votes to rein in war spending with some accountability and better training for the troops. Both are good things, and proper priorities. But both are likely to end with standoffs as they go head-to-head with the White House, […]

Subversions:  You, Mii and D&D
Subversions

You, Mii and D&D

Sunday, April 1, 2007 6:30 a.m. In the years following my retirement from professional bass fishing, I’ve accomplished a great deal: I’ve survived Catholic grade school, gotten laid, graduated from college and even managed to watch all seven Police Academy movies in one sitting. Until recently, however, I had never once gotten up at the […]

2007 Short Fiction and Poetry Contest

2007 Short Fiction and Poetry Contest

WRITE ON VITAL’s 2007 Short Fiction and Poetry Contest Sponsored by: BARNES & NOBLE, Mayfair Mall Entry Deadline: June 25, 2007 Submission Guidelines: 1. Entrants may submit one original, unpublished piece of short fiction (max. 1,500 words) and one original, unpublished poem (max 1,000 words). Entries will be judged by professional editors and educators not […]

When The Illusion Drops

When The Illusion Drops

Gun control laws save 32 on Virginia Tech Campus
S/T

S/T

Finessing The Titanic’s Memory
Unintended consequences

Unintended consequences

By Jon M. Gilbertson Sweden apparently values a well-rounded education for its children. That’s probably why Emil Svanängen – the man who releases modestly constructed, eminently beautiful albums under the curiously affectionate name of Loney, Dear – was playing clarinet when he was 8, then playing piano and fronting a jazz trio in his teens. […]

A Few Questions Answered

A Few Questions Answered

By Nate Norfolk I’ve worked in a wine shop for almost nine years and there are many questions customers ask me over and over again. So I thought that there would be no better forum to answer these reoccurring quandaries than this article. I hope you find the information useful, and if you personally have […]

Not just another teen movie

Not just another teen movie

By Evan Solochek + Photo By Kat Jacobs FADE IN: INT. PIUS XI HIGH SCHOOL CLASSROOM SPRING 2006 A thin, dark-haired man in his early 30s stands before a classroom of disinterested high school kids. His name is Dominic Inouye and he is an English teacher. Normally he teaches AP English Literature but on this […]

April 2007

April 2007

Thoughts on “Low Numbers” Your “Strength In Low Numbers” [Covered, March 2007] piece was a good read, one of the more comprehensive looks at WYMS that has appeared in the local press. I started working there in late 1981, and saw my 21-year career end rather unceremoniously in April, 2004. In between I hosted talk […]

Cyann & Ben

Cyann & Ben

By Nikki Butgereit Sweet Beliefs, the third album from Paris-based quartet Cyann & Ben, could be a soundtrack to a film comprised of views from a car window on a psychedelic drive. The tracks pile vocals on top of synthesizer effects on top of organ and piano on top of guitar and drums. The effect […]

VITAL’s Guide to Companies, Art Spaces and Venues
VITAL Source co-publishers on WUWM’s Lake Effect

VITAL Source co-publishers on WUWM’s Lake Effect

On March 21, 2007, VITAL Source founder and co-publisher Mehrdad Dalamie and co-publisher and editor in chief Jon Anne Willow sat down with Lake Effect’s Jane Hampden to talk about what it’s like to make it for five years as an independent, alternative print publication in an increasingly aggregated, corporate-owned media world. Click here to […]

VITAL PHOTO CONTEST 2007

VITAL PHOTO CONTEST 2007

The Best in Show photograph will be featured on the cover of the June issue of VITAL, first and second place winners in each category printed inside the magazine. Other prizes awarded TBD. ENTRY CLARIFICATION: (updated April 6, 2007) Photo prints must be 8 x 10. Borders are acceptable and photos may be of a […]

The Days of Wine and Roses

The Days of Wine and Roses

By Russ Bickerstaff As anyone who has been anywhere near it could attest, there is little if anything romantic about alcoholism. And as quaint and idealized as the picture of Irish drinking culture has become in this country, there is little that separates an Irish alcoholic from a Russian alcoholic from an American alcoholic from […]

THE FAGGOT FILES

THE FAGGOT FILES

The Glass Menagerie

The Glass Menagerie

By Jill Gilmer It’s beginning to show its age… or is it? When Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie was first produced in 1945, it drew praise from audiences and critics for its portrayal of a man’s struggle to balance his family responsibilities with his longing for inner fulfillment. This theme, which had broad relevance in […]

The Voysey Inheritance

The Voysey Inheritance

By Russ Bickerstaff The forced perspective is ominous in every single detail and I’m not just talking about the set. Scenic designer Linda Buchanan has taken what probably is little more than glass, plywood and metal strips and turned them into something that brilliantly conveys a feeling of overwhelming immensity in the finite space that […]

Bob Mittnacht and the Crowning Glories

Bob Mittnacht and the Crowning Glories

By Blaine Schultz Tuning into WMSE on Tuesday nights for the Midnight Radio program might give you some advance warning of the influences that figure into Bob Mittnacht’s talents as a songwriter. Coming off somewhere between Garland Jeffries and T-Bone Burnett, Mittnacht and his band combine guileless lyrics with an organic rock sound the features […]

A Lie of the Mind

A Lie of the Mind

By Russ Bickerstaff Playwright Sam Shepherd is known for some pretty brutal drama. People go through intense stress. People get hurt. Sometimes things get weird. And, in the case of A Lie Of The Mind, sometimes things get REALLY weird. Windfall Theatre continues its 14th season with a thoughtful staging of one of Shepherd’s most […]

Macbeth

Macbeth

By Russ Bickerstaff It’s a bombed-out brick wall that looks like it’s just barely survived some sort of apocalypse. There are sweetly sick trees dotting the stage. There’s a decaying playground merry-go-round over to the left. Civilized civilization has been here and left. What else could this be but Macbeth? Marjorie Bradley Kellogg sets the […]

A Lesson From Aloes

A Lesson From Aloes

By Russ Bickerstaff Juxtapose three people in a domestic setting and you probably could end up launching a production of just about anything. Milwaukee Camber Theatre uses three actors and a domestic setting to launch a particularly moving bit of drama with Athol Fugard’s A Lesson From Aloes. All appears reasonably peaceful on the set […]

Van Morrison

Van Morrison

By Blaine Schultz Ducks don’t come much odder than Van Morrison. He refers to his biggest hit “Brown Eyed Girl” as “the money shot” when he deigns to play the tune live. Often times it is not on the set list and it is strange that a guy who doesn’t exactly banter with the audience […]

Girls on film

Girls on film

By Russ Bickerstaff Once again, winter ends with Women’s History Month, and in recognition of this the UWM Film Department presents its 3rd Annual Women Without Borders Film Festival at the Union Cinema. The festival celebrates film by and about women who have crossed borders of every kind. And as in the past, this year’s […]

Lucinda Williams

Lucinda Williams

By Blaine Schultz Having followed Lucinda Williams’ career since 1988, I find it no surprise that she has moved gracefully from cult artist to icon. She has maintained a consistently high level of songwriting and her choice of musicians and band mates has been impeccable. It doesn’t matter if she wears her heart on her […]

March 2007

March 2007

By Erin Wolf March 6th Air Pocket Symphony Astralwerks Antibalas Security Anti-/Epitaph Apostle of Hustle National Anthem of Nowhere Arts and Crafts The Arcade Fire Neon Bible Merge Patti Austin Avant Gershwin Rendezvous Bright Eyes Four Winds EP Saddle Creek Mary Chapin Carpenter The Calling Zoe/Rounder Cheeseburger s/t Kemado !!! Myth Takes Warp Ry Cooder […]

Strength in low numbers

Strength in low numbers

By Jon Anne Willow During any given week, over a million Milwaukeeans listen to the radio, according to MediaAudit, which surveys the market twice a year. Of those, a surprisingly hefty 145,000 listen to public stations, namely WMSE, WUWM, WHAD and WYMS. And while the number may not seem like much in comparison to the […]

South America’s outstanding wine oddities

South America’s outstanding wine oddities

By Nate Norfolk There is a glut of inexpensive South American wine and just about every other grape-growing region in the world. The best thing about this is that consumers have wider access to inexpensive wine. The down side is that a lot of the inexpensive wine is either just plain bad or redundant and […]

Strong medicine for the healthcare access crisis?

Strong medicine for the healthcare access crisis?

By Ted Bobrow When Governor Jim Doyle laid out his health care proposal during his State of the State address in January, he dramatically transformed the debate about health care in Wisconsin. He summed it up succinctly: “The simple truth is, the time has come for the wealthiest nation in the world to provide access […]

Consolidating control of the Titanic

Consolidating control of the Titanic

By Donald Kaul Admit it, you were fooled. You listened to that wimpy State of the Union address and you thought President Bush was in full retreat before an angry electorate. Yet again you misunderestimated the man. The retreat was merely tactical. Less than a week after the speech, he returned to the fray, guns […]

Cé

By Evan Solochek + Photo By Richard Galling With Milwaukee’s strong Irish heritage, it’s no wonder that traditional Irish music is a fixture in this city. For proof, just check out Irish Fest, the Badger State Feis, the Cream City Feis, the renowned Celtic Irish Studies Program at UWM and the numerous pub sessions that […]

Ad Specials

Ad Specials

Advertising and Media Services
I Got Hit By A Car

I Got Hit By A Car

Any Way The Wind Blows

Any Way The Wind Blows

Chipped

Chipped

Allen Toussaint  @ The Pabst Theater

Allen Toussaint @ The Pabst Theater

By Blaine Schultz After an quick instrumental tune to warm up, Allen Toussaint ran through a medley of some of the hits he wrote and produced for other artists – just in case you didn’t know who he is. In 2006 Toussaint collaborated with Elvis Costello on a post-Katrina album and tour that refreshed the […]

Almost, Maine

Almost, Maine

By Russ Bickerstaff As temperatures climb after some of the coldest days of the year, the Boulevard Theatre opens a wintery romantic comedy set in frigid rural Maine. Almost, Maine is a series of short dialogues between eight pairs of people who all have different relationships with love. It’s a pleasant evening in the intimate […]

From the flood waters

From the flood waters

By Jon M. Gilbertson Allen Toussaint is one of those legends whom not a lot of people know – by name, that is. They might, however, be familiar with songs he wrote: “Working In a Coalmine,” “Lipstick Traces (On a Cigarette).” They have probably heard songs he produced: the original version of “Lady Marmalade,” Lee […]

Finessing The Titanic

Finessing The Titanic

Honor Song

Honor Song

By Milwaukee’s theatre season has been host to a higher than normal concentration of single-person shows, and some rather lofty figures have been conjured to the stage this season including Charles Dickens (James Ridge in Milwaukee Chamber Theatre’s Dickens In America) and Harry S. Truman (Don Devona in Boulevard Theatre’s Give ‘em Hell Harry). Single-person […]

Tartuffe

Tartuffe

By Russ Bickerstaff Based on the original play by Molière, Kirke Mechem’s Tartuffe is one of the most successful contemporary American operas ever written. A competent realization of Molière’s classic tale, the Skylight Opera Theatre’s production closes this coming weekend. Set in ancient France, the story tells the tale of a wealthy man named Orgon […]

Frozen

Frozen

By Jill Gilmer A series of asymmetrical screens line the back wall of the set of Frozen. During the play, the screens project rays of blue and gray light, appropriate hues for this dark and disturbing story. But as the cast takes its bow, the screens change to a collection of light and dark still […]

Smokin’ Aces

Smokin’ Aces

By

Paris Ortiz

Paris Ortiz

By Blaine Schultz + Photo by Kate Engeriser Paris Ortiz’ fluid guitar sound has been integral to bands in Milwaukee from Psychedelicasi to Big Dumb Dick to his current group The Cocksmiths. If we believe the cliché that lead guitarists in heavy-leaning rock groups are typically as subtle as brontosauri, then Oritz is more like […]

Topdog/Underdog

Topdog/Underdog

By Russ Bickerstaff Playwright Suzan- Lori Parks weaves a certain alchemy out of the deceptively simple. Two brothers in a room with three cards. One of them is named Lincoln. The other is named Booth. The drama spills out like an equation breathing the calculus of human need. Topdog/Underdog conjures powerful complexity out of the […]

Translations

Translations

By Russ Bickerstaff Language rarely gets the center stage in any major theatrical production. Even in the best scripts, language is far too busy conveying meaning to call much attention to itself. With Translations, Irish playwright Brian Friel (Dancing at Lughnasa) has deftly coaxed language into the spotlight with charm and passion in a story […]

They Came From Way Out There

They Came From Way Out There

By Russ Bickerstaff With all the many different themes and subjects floating around local stages these past few years, it’s surprising that the paranormal hasn’t received much attention. The Milwaukee Rep rectifies this with a production of Jahnna Beecham and Malcom Hillgartner’s cabaret musical They Came From Way Out There. Authors of last year’s acclaimed […]

Pan’s Labyrinth

Pan’s Labyrinth

By

Volver

Volver

By

The Joke’s Over

The Joke’s Over

By

Your last/next month

Your last/next month

By Matt Wild Your last month has been rife with unexpected changes, moments of self-loathing and at least one severe car accident. The New Year – still so new! – has left you reeling. It would be easy, therefore, for us to look back and catalog your last month, to dredge up and analyze its […]

Liberty and injustice for all

Liberty and injustice for all

By Cole J. White If there is ever to be equality in this country, surely it must begin in our courts of law. If we are to believe all men are created equal, then shouldn’t they be judged equally as well? –Thurgood Marshall It has been 43 years since the passage of the Civil Rights […]

Cortney Tidwell

Cortney Tidwell

By Nikki Butgereit Cortney Tidwell’s Don’t Let Stars Keep Us Tangled Up is an imaginative blend of subtle vocals and electronic sounds that is altogether unexpected from an artist touted for her relationship to the Nashville music scene. Echo effects enhance the delicate, breathy quality of Tidwell’s voice. On the album’s title track, she sounds […]

February 2007

February 2007

By Erin Wolf February 6 The Apples in Stereo New Magnetic Wonder Simian/Redeye The Backyard Fire Vagabonds and Hooligans OIE/Redeye Bloc Party A Weekend in the City Dim Mak/Vice/Atlantic Fall Out Boy Infinity on High Island/Fueled By Ramen Patty Griffin Children Running Through ATO/RCA Rickie Lee Jones The Sermon on Exposition Boulevard New West Belinda […]

Puzzles and Games

Puzzles and Games

By Puzzle Answers Page 1 Puzzle Answers Page 2 Puzzle Answers Page 3

Golden Apollo

Golden Apollo

By Russ Bickerstaff Local playwright John Manno’s Golden Apollo is a clever fusion between contemporary aesthetics and ancient legend. Having opened a couple of weeks ago, the reasonably offbeat theatrical presentation’s debut run with Insurgent Theatre ends this coming weekend. While the Insurgent’s cast manages an ensemble performance that respectably fits the script, Manno’s Golden […]

Rockin’ Bones – 1950s Punk and Rockabilly

Rockin’ Bones – 1950s Punk and Rockabilly

By Blaine Schultz Everyone knows Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins, but when you think of rockabilly’s iconic image the person who comes to mind is Ersel Hickey. You might not know the name but trust me, odds are you’ve seen the photograph of this proto-rockabilly cat – all greasy pompadour, […]

Paradise

Paradise

By Russ Bickerstaff As complicated and as brutal as things have been in the West Bank over the years, it seems incredibly mundane to mention that people actually live there. This fact is important though, because without it, none of the bloodshed or brutality that’s gone on over the course of the past several decades […]

“I Love New Orleans” is the new “How Are You”
Check out the pix from VITAL’s 5th Birthday Carnival and Karaoke Ball!

Check out the pix from VITAL’s 5th Birthday Carnival and Karaoke Ball!

It was an amazing evening filled with twinkling lights, striped tents, cotton candy, popcorn, carnival games, music and of course, cocktails! Check out the pictures from possibly the year’s most photogenic party. Once again, special thanks to Time Warner Cable, WMSE and all our sponsors. We couldn’t have done it without you! Wanna see ’em […]

The Curse of the Golden Flower
What do Bono, Brangelina and Pamela Anderson have in common?
Marion Bridge

Marion Bridge

By Russ Bickerstaff Three somewhat estranged sisters come together and end up substantially closer as their mother passes away in Daniel McIvor’s Marion Bridge. The play, set in the pastoral stillness of Nova Scotia, has met with some considerable success since it first appeared on stage several years ago. The Boulevard Ensemble Studio Theater presents […]

Restoration

Restoration

Gorilla Theater: Berzerk!
Gorilla Theater

Berzerk!

By Russ Bickerstaff The Bucks won a close one against the Timberwolves at the Bradley Center on the evening of December 16. Across the street that night the late 19th century decay of the Tuner Hall Ballroom looked like something out of Escape From New York. Lights that were cast into a vast darkness mixed […]

Blood Diamond

Blood Diamond

By

Charlotte’s Web

Charlotte’s Web

By

The History Boys

The History Boys

By

The Good Shepherd

The Good Shepherd

By

Beyond the Beltway

Beyond the Beltway

By Donald Kaul Remember “earmarks”? They’re those awful things Democrats kept railing against during the recent election, shabby political deals made “in the dark of night” that funneled taxpayers’ money into the districts of powerful politicians. Perhaps the worst of a bad breed, you’ll recall, was the infamous $200 million “Bridge to Nowhere” in Alaska. […]

Why Do Fools Fall In Love?

Why Do Fools Fall In Love?

By Russ Bickerstaff Pop music master Roger Bean’s work returns to the Stackner Cabaret with another pleasant evening of 60s tunes in Why Do Fools Fall In Love? The man who put together such past favorites as The Marvelous Wonderettes, The Andrews Brothers and Lana Mae’s Honky Tonk Laundry manages his latest foray into the […]

The high cost of low maintenance

The high cost of low maintenance

By Jon Anne Willow Dear Readers, I have the good fortune to be in a family situation that most now consider old-fashioned for all of its modern details. My sisters, my best friend and our respective partners have taken up the old standard of extended family and applied it to the structure of our daily […]

Why the caged bird sings

Why the caged bird sings

If you had asked me a couple of years ago, I would have thought that “Extraordinary Rendition” was something that Barbra Streisand did at her shows; but the reality is decidedly more grim than a chorus line performance of Yentl. Extraordinary Rendition is, in fact, the name for our governments’ extrajudicial practice of kidnapping, detaining and utilizing third-party nations to torture individuals with “suspected terrorist links,” a practice that is destroying our nation’s moral credibility and eroding the foundations of our Constitution.

Rocky Balboa

Rocky Balboa

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Neil Young & Crazy Horse

Neil Young & Crazy Horse

By Blaine Schultz It’s all there in black and white – Neil Young’s black Gibson Les Paul and Danny Whitten’s white Gretsch ( well maybe he played the orange one that night). This album is about guitars. While bootlegs of both early and late Fillmore shows have circulated for years, it is great that Neil […]

Jayk

Jayk

By Evan Solochek + Photo by Dan Kocka With Robert Smith hair and a smooth yet commanding baritone that evokes a maturity and polish beyond his young age, Jayk is poised for big things. His debut album, everything ever, will be released any minute now, and yet Jayk has already landed a sponsorship deal with […]

Dreamgirls

Dreamgirls

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The Good German

The Good German

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Just like real life?

Just like real life?

By “Life here is painless, that’s what they choose,” the old Receiver of Memories tells Jonas in Lois Lowry’s book The Giver, awarded a Newberry Medal in 1994 yet remaining on many lists of banned books. And yet today, 13 years since its first publication, The Giver is still creating controversy. First Stage Children’s Theater […]

January 2007

January 2007

By Erin Wolf January 2 Carly Simon Into White Columbia January 9 Blinded Colony Bedtime Prayers Pivotal Recordings Ty Herndon Right About Now Titan/Pyramid/Universal Lang Lang Dragon Songs Deutsche Grammophon Lil Jon Crunk Rock TVT Erin McKeown Sing You Sinners Nettwerk Rich Schroder Your Kind Words Anova Recording Company Kenny Wayne Shepherd 10 Days Out: […]

The Broken West

The Broken West

By Heather Zydek Prior to last fall, The Broken West were The Brokedown, until a Midwest punk band claimed they came up with the name first. After the name change, the quintet released one EP (The Dutchman’s Gold) until Merge recently snapped them up. The band’s own MySpace page describes its sound as “ghettotech/regional Mexican/rock” […]

Gwen Stefani

Gwen Stefani

By Nikki Butgereit It’s hard to tell who’s copying who when everyone sounds the same, and Gwen Stefani has fallen into this trap with her second solo effort, The Sweet Escape. On the album’s first single, “Wind It Up,” you can sing the lyrics to the Black Eyed Peas’ “My Humps” to its bridge, and […]

He says…

He says…

By Terisa Folaron On January 27, 1945, Soviet troops liberated Auschwitz, the largest and most notorious of the Nazi concentration and extermination camps. On the same date in 2007, the United Nations will commemorate the first International Holocaust Remembrance Day, though the unanimous approval of the General Assembly’s resolution didn’t come without concerns regarding the […]

Unseasonal

Unseasonal

Born Yesterday

Born Yesterday

By Russ Bickerstaff Over the years, Milwaukee Rep resident acting company member Deborah Staples has played sparkling intelligence in a variety of different packages. In Garson Kanin’s Born Yesterday she’s playing a bright, hidden intelligence that makes for a fascinating centerpiece to the mid-century political comedy. Staples plays former chorus girl Billie Dawn, a beautiful, […]

Four years and a new day

Four years and a new day

By Dear Readers, This issue of VITAL marks the beginning of my fifth year as Editor. That, for the record, is longer than I’ve held any post-college job. I’ve mentioned before how I ended up here by accident at a time when I needed a new start, an opportunity to see what I was really […]

A Winter Harvest

A Winter Harvest

By Evan Solochek During the dreadfully short-lived Milwaukee summer, nestled between the bustling intersection of North Avenue and Kenilworth Place, local artists set up shop in the Beans & Barley parking lot. For many, it’s their only source of income and therefore their livelihoods depend on a strong summer return to get them through the […]

The Decemberists

The Decemberists

By Nikki Butgereit Those still afraid that The Decemberists’ move to Capitol Records from Kill Rock Stars indicates a possible sell-out need listen no further than the second track. For 12 glorious minutes, “The Island – Come & See/The Landlord’s Daughter/You’ll Not Feel The Drowning” moves through musical styles and moods ranging from 70s blues […]

Radio Birdman

Radio Birdman

By Blaine Schultz In the mid-1970s, Michigan native Deniz Tek moved to Australia to attend medical school. There he met Rob Younger, an Aussie who shared Tek’s attraction to the high-energy music of bands like the Stooges and MC5. Tek and Younger formed Radio Birdman, a group that pulled into the New Wave tsunami and […]

Built to last

Built to last

By Jon M. Gilbertson Any reasonably intelligent rock fan who lived through the 1990s can take a few seconds and remember an indie band that emerged from the underground and seemed this close to mainstream success. Pavement. Chavez. Sleater-Kinney. The Afghan Whigs. Guided By Voices. Not since the heyday of punk rock in the 1970s […]

Champagne and other delights

Champagne and other delights

By Nathan Norfolk Let’s get this straight. Just because it’s bubbly doesn’t mean it’s Champagne. Champagne refers to a French province northeast of Paris, the only place from where true Champagne comes. The rest, my dear readers, is just sparkling wine. Okay, moving on. Where do the bubbles come from? In the process of making […]

100 hours in America

100 hours in America

By In 1994, the Democrats lost control of a Congress awash in the same kind of scandals, unabashed cronyism, unmitigated fraud and unwarranted arrogance that were the Republicans’ downfall this past November. For years, there has been a slowly mounting chorus of voices clamoring for a change in what has been described as the Washington […]

John Sieger

John Sieger

By Blaine Schultz It would be very easy to take John Sieger for granted. It seems like the guy has been around forever, since the heyday of the R&B Cadets at Century Hall in the 80s to Semi Twang’s album on Warner Brothers to a move to Nashville and ultimately back to Milwaukee with his […]

A Cudahy Caroler’s Christmas

A Cudahy Caroler’s Christmas

By Russ Bickerstaff Stasch, Pee Wee, Zeke, Nellie and the rest of the Cudahy Carolers return again this Christmas as In Tandem Theatre presents another holiday season of regional musical comedy with A Cudahy Caroler’s Christmas. Having been unduly bounced out of the intimate performance space at the Walker’s Point Center for the Arts, In […]

Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple
Jonestown

The Life and Death of Peoples Temple

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Dickens In America

Dickens In America

By Russ Bickerstaff As respected as authors are onstage, they are rarely thrown directly into the spotlight. When they are given the stage, the results can be disastrous. It may be a bit extreme and overly dramatic to say that lead actor James Ridge has to achieve the single best performance of the 2005 – […]

A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol

By Russ Bickerstaff The Milwaukee Rep returns to another Christmas season with yet another production of Charles Dickens’ popular classic A Christmas Carol. With a cast of over 20 and enough scenery and props to comfortably furnish a rather large home, A Christmas Carol is an annual theatrical event attended by far more people than […]

Early Holidaze

Early Holidaze

33 1/3 Editor Loves VITAL Review

33 1/3 Editor Loves VITAL Review

The current issue of Vital Source, Milwaukee’s free monthly arts magazine, carries the first review (by Barry Wightman) of our series anthology. I like the way Barry has captured the spirit of the series by throwing so much of himself into the review More at: http://33third.blogspot.com/2006/11/greatest-hits-reviewed-in-milwaukee.html

My Morning Jacket @ The Riverside Theater

My Morning Jacket @ The Riverside Theater

By Caz McChrystal + Photos by Kat Berger The Riverside Theater (GO HERE to see more photos from the show) My Morning Jacket presented a perfect specimen of an elusive form at the Riverside Theater this past Tuesday night, the modern rock concert. But it is difficult to tell what a rock & roll concert […]

Even Writing It Down Doesn’t Seem Significant
Everything Feels Just a Little Bit Older
Kramer Hates Niggers!

Kramer Hates Niggers!

East Coast East Side

East Coast East Side

Not Now, Darling

Not Now, Darling

By Russ Bickerstaff With all the right treatment under the right conditions, life can be a late 60s British sex farce. One needs only gather the right adults together and get them to be a bit more fictitious than usual. No elaborate sets are needed. Costuming need not be extensive. The comedy comes naturally. With […]

Trudy Blue

Trudy Blue

By Jill Gilmer “Can I speak to them?” Ginger Andrews asks, referring to her family as she watches them weep at Ginger’s funeral. She poses the question to a fellow angel who is watching the funeral with her from their heavenly perch. “No,” the other angel replies. “That is what your life was for.” Talk […]

The Hold Steady

The Hold Steady

By DJ Hostettler Once upon a time back in the 1980s, there was a genre called “alternative.” It’s hard to believe these days, but back in the day, labeling a band “alternative” actually meant it was an alternative to what you’d hear on your local corporate top-40 radio station. Siouxsie and the Banshees didn’t sound […]

Four

Four

three

three

Playing With Fire

Playing With Fire

For The Next Thirty Minutes, The Part of Your Id Will Be Played By Kendall Yorkey
Rain

Rain

For E.

For E.

Smell My Neck

Smell My Neck

Check out VITAL’s blogs.

Check out VITAL’s blogs.

From politics to parenting, music to mayhem, VITAL has seven new blogs with a little something for a lot of different tastes. But you should click here and see for yourself.

American Hardcore

American Hardcore

By

33 1/3 Greatest Hits, Vol. 1
Matthew Schroeder

Matthew Schroeder

By Blaine Schultz + Photo by Kate Engeriser Matthew Schroeder, guitarist and department chair at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, has traversed the entire spectrum of music, from guttural electric with local rock groups Pet Engine and The Barbeez to Signal, his recently released debut solo album of original acoustic finger-style compositions. On November 18, […]

Look back and laugh

Look back and laugh

By Howie Goldklang I want to tell you a little story ‘Cause it makes me warm inside It’s about some friends growing up And all the things they tried I’m not talking about staple shit They went for something more I guess it was too much dreaming Too much to hope for One day something […]

A brief history of whiskey

A brief history of whiskey

By Nate Norfolk Whiskey is so important in Celtic culture that the word itself is derived from the Gaelic phrase for “water of life” – uisge beatha to the Scottish and uisce beatha to the Irish. There are four basic types of whiskey, named for their countries of origin: Irish whiskey, Scotch whisky, American whiskey […]

Re: The Milwaukee Music Scene (TM)
Re

The Milwaukee Music Scene (TM)

By Matt Wild For those wayward souls either out of the loop or too tired to care, let’s review some of our humble scene’s defining characteristics: permanent inferiority complex, constant denial and counterproductive discussion of said complex; also small but thriving, erratic yet vital, too few clubs and too many people (or vice versa), ambivalent […]

Dangerous ignorance

Dangerous ignorance

By Melissa McEwan Recently, Jeff Stein made an alarming revelation in the New York Times: most counterterrorism officials and Congress members to whom he’s spoken don’t know the difference between a Sunni and a Shiite. “For the past several months, I’ve been wrapping up lengthy interviews with Washington counterterrorism officials with a fundamental question: Do […]

Deep Roots

Deep Roots

By Blaine Schultz + Photos by Kat Berger “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it” Genesis 1:28 Popular music, semi-popular music and even obscure music all seem to run in cycles. Immigrants first arriving in this country from the British Isles brought folk ballads with them. African slaves carried their own […]

Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson

By Jon M. Gilbertson For anyone who loved Willie Nelson’s 1978 classic Stardust – the country legend’s first successful attempt to interpret truly great songwriters – the prospect of Songbird is mouthwatering. Not only is he taking on more contemporary tracks by the likes of Leonard Cohen and Gram Parsons, but he’s also getting assistance […]

Scissor Sisters

Scissor Sisters

By Nikki Butgereit Ta-Dah, the second album from the Scissor Sisters, is highly produced, uber-stylized and no less creative and fresh than their first. The songs are kitschy, cheesy and overwhelmingly disco, but they work. The perky catchiness of Ta-Dah is undeniable. “I Don’t Feel Like Dancing” is the ideal opener to an album that […]

Lloyd Cole

Lloyd Cole

By Blaine Schultz Lloyd Cole and the Commotions’ 1984 debut album, Rattlesnakes, garnered a good amount of airplay (both on college radio and MTV) and press. In the years that followed, this competent record would be lionized as a masterpiece. In hindsight, the dude had a ways to go. Twenty-plus years and a dozen albums […]

Joanna Newsom

Joanna Newsom

By Erin Wolf When one insists on being called a “harper” rather than a harpist and becomes peeved when told that one sounds “childlike” (“Bjork-ish,” too) even though the description is nail-on-the-head, it’s obvious one’s perception of oneself is a tad bit off-kilter. Some would call this stubborn, some would call it quirky; most would […]

Anders Parker

Anders Parker

By Frank Olson On his self-titled album, former Varnaline frontman Anders Parker displays a knack for capturing a lonely highway vibe not dissimilar to The Rolling Stones on their old country songs. Parker, though, is neither as engaging as Mick Jagger nor as good a songsmith as the Glimmer Twins, which, while not a criticism […]

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin

By Erin Wolf Polyvinyl must love Boris, seeing as the respected indie label is presenting a freshly remixed and remastered version of their original 2005 release, Broom. To give this album a review so late in the game is almost ridiculous, but the fact is that SSLYBY hasn’t been playing by the particular rules that […]

November Record Releases

November Record Releases

By Erin Wolf November 7 …And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead So Divided Interscope Bowling for Soup The Great Burrito Extortion Case Jive Foo Fighters Skin and Bones Roswell/RCA JJ Cale & Eric Clapton The Road to Escondido Duck/Reprise Josh Groban Awake 143/Reprise Kenny G I’m in the Mood for Love: […]

Dance

Dance

By CATCH AS CATCH CAN Janet Lilly hosts an evening of work by her, Sean Curran, Heidi Latsky and Peter Sparling with the Danceworks Performing Company from Nov. 10 – 12. 414-277-8480 or www.danceworks1661.org. BLESSED OFFERINGS Ko-Thi Dance performs its annual harvest dance concert Nov. 10 – 11 at Alverno College’s Pitman Theatre. 414-382-6044 or […]

Just the way it is

Just the way it is

By Jon Gilbertson On a late October afternoon, Hank Williams III is touring the East Coast and feeling poorly – not because of the fondness for John Barleycorn that supposedly afflicts all in his line, but because of the more banal bugs that don’t cure easily over a long stint on the road. He isn’t […]

November 2006

November 2006

By IN:SITE Insight I had no idea IN:SITE would be on the cover of VITAL! This is fantastic! Thank you so very much (Covered, October 06). I love the photo on the cover. It is exactly what IN:SITE is about: SITE-SPECIFIC temporary public art. I was so glad that the focus was on the artists, […]

Chickenshack 101

Chickenshack 101

By Jonathan P. Ziegler WMSE has always had a commitment to local music of all types. However, other than blues programming, the station never really had a long-term show that was 100 percent dedicated to roots music. The Chickenshack was started in the Summer of 1997 for the dual purpose of spotlighting historic/forgotten roots artists […]

Gem of the Ocean

Gem of the Ocean

By Jill Gilmer During a 20-minute scene in the second act of Gem of the Ocean, the audience finds itself in the belly of an African slave ship, consumed by the sights, sounds and emotions of human bondage. Water literally pours through the walls of the playhouse, as if the theatre itself were crying symbolic […]

Memory House

Memory House

By Russ Bickerstaff There are only two people in the cast: mother and daughter. Mother and daughter have an extended dialogue. The mother is baking a pie. The daughter is working on an essay for a college application. The play carries along for just over an hour. There is no intermission. This probably doesn’t sound […]

VITAL Seeks News/Politics and Music Writers!

VITAL Seeks News/Politics and Music Writers!

We’re looking for writers for CD and concert reviews, interviews, news features (not lifestyle) and political commentary. If you think you’ve got what it takes, contact us today by clicking the link below. You’ll be taken to a contact form. Fill in the subject line as follows: SEEKING WRITERS. In the body, include your interests, […]

Halloween Guide October 2006

Halloween Guide October 2006

By It’s that time of year again, when the air starts to sharpen, the leaves start to turn and everyone, if only for a night, gets to act like a child. Halloween is, indeed, a magical time of year. A palpable sense of folly and frivolity permeates the city as costumed kids fill the streets, […]

The Who

The Who

By Jon M. Gilbertson Strictly speaking, Endless Wire is the first full Who album in 24 years. But strictly speaking, it’s not an album made by the Who. And while it may be true that nobody is absolutely irreplaceable, the dearly departed Who rhythm section of drummer Keith Moon and bassist John Entwistle come close. […]

Between Stages

Between Stages

According to our new arrival
Stay Away From Me

Stay Away From Me

Salon

Salon

The Daily Kos

The Daily Kos

Direct Democracy for People-Powered Politcs
Box Office Mojo

Box Office Mojo

Internet Movie Database

Internet Movie Database

Rotten Tomatoes

Rotten Tomatoes

Pitchfork Media

Pitchfork Media

Tiny Mixtapes

Tiny Mixtapes

Dusted Magazine

Dusted Magazine

Toothpaste For Dinner

Toothpaste For Dinner

Get Your War On

Get Your War On

Milwaukee Indy Media

Milwaukee Indy Media

Testing Page for Evan

Testing Page for Evan

By Subhead here This is one paragraph. This is another. And another. This is bold.

A lifetime in color

A lifetime in color

By Evan Solochek “I don’t even know why you’re wasting your time interviewing me,” Saul Leiter says in a soft, weathered voice. “Really?” I ask sheepishly, “You know you’re kind of a big deal, right?” He just laughs. Leiter’s warm laugh, not to mention unwavering humility, would be a frequent guest during our half-hour conversation. […]

Test Article For Jon Anne

Test Article For Jon Anne

By Jenny Doe

Pegi Taylor

Pegi Taylor

By Blaine Schultz + photos by Philip Krejcarek Pegi Taylor is a performance artist and writer. And she herself has been a piece of art for the past 25 years as hundreds of photographers, painters and sculptors have used her as both inspiration and subject. But according to her, “Artists and the Model: A Quarter […]

October Records Releases

October Records Releases

By Erin Wolf OCTOBER 3   Beck The Information Interscope   Jim Brickman Escape SLG/Savoy   Lindsey Buckingham Under the Skin Reprise   Cities Variations Yep Roc   The Datsuns Smoke & Mirrors U.K. – V2   The Decemberists The Crane Wife Capitol   Evanescence The Open Door Wind-up   The Dears Gang of Losers V2 […]

The Places In Between

The Places In Between

By

The Eagle’s Throne

The Eagle’s Throne

By

Shortbus

Shortbus

By

The Science of Sleep

The Science of Sleep

By

High time for a high tide?

High time for a high tide?

By Lefty McTighe The 1994 national elections were a watershed moment in American political history. In the first midterms of Bill Clinton’s presidency, Republicans trounced Democrats by more than 4.7 million votes nationwide, triggering a 54-seat swing in the balance of power in the House of Representatives, and handing the GOP control of that chamber […]

Salad Days

Salad Days

By David Seitz When Wisconsin voters consider the proposed constitutional ban on civil unions and same-gender marriage on November 7, it will mark the first time the fate of unmarried domestic partners (lesbian, gay and heterosexual) and their families has been subject to direct legislation in our state’s history. While the legislature has long debated […]

October 2006

October 2006

By LEFTY: THINK FOR YOURSELF. I opened the August 2006 issue of VITAL hoping to find some interesting cultural happenings when I stumbled upon “The Distraction in Iraq” by Lefty McTighe. The article reinforced my view of Milwaukee as a bastion of the predictably ordinary. It’s as if Lefty sits in front of his TV […]

The Pernice Brothers

The Pernice Brothers

By Frank Olson Now that we know that The Pernice Brothers can make an album as solid as Live a Little, it’s time for them to show that they can do better. Live a Little would be passable as a debut album, but one expects 10-year veterans to develop a more distinctive (or at least […]

Jeremy Enigk

Jeremy Enigk

By Nikki Butgereit The new album from Jeremy Enigk, former singer and primary songwriter of Sunny Day Real Estate, is a melancholy trip to the depths of emo. Unfortunately, it never makes its way back from the pits. The album begins with the instrumental track “A New Beginning,” a jubilant symphony of violins and dramatic […]

Indigo Girls

Indigo Girls

By Jon M. Gilbertson As cult artists go, The Indigo Girls are perhaps halfway between Richard Thompson and The Ramones. Unlike Thompson, Amy Ray and Emily Saliers have had a couple of hits (although the big ones go back a decade and a half); like him, they have a dependable core audience. Like The Ramones, […]

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan

By Blaine Schultz With Modern Times, Bob Dylan finds himself inhabiting the itinerant bluesmen’s spirits he merely impersonated when he cut his first album in 1962. As with the masterful Love and Theft, Dylan immerses himself in American music forms, touching on blues, old-timey country and Tin Pan Alley pop, and lets his band rip […]

Jet

Jet

By Jon M. Gilbertson There was no denying that Jet’s 2003 debut, Get Born, was energetic. That distinguished both the Aussie band and their songs from Oasis, with whom they have otherwise shared numerous characteristics: brotherly consanguinity (the Cesters vs. the Gallaghers), a producer (Dave Sardy) and a fetish for wearing yesterday’s fashions as though […]

Needles and Pins

Needles and Pins

By Evan Solochek The ballroom of Turner Hall is filled to capacity. Patrons can barely squeeze past one another to reach the next vendor’s table. The temperature outside is in the low teens, lower with wind-chill, a shockingly cold day even for mid-November 2005. It is the sort of bone-shattering weather that keeps people bundled […]

Of guns, gays and gas.

Of guns, gays and gas.

By Lefty McTighe In case you haven’t been paying attention, fellow Wisconsinites, your GOP-controlled State Legislature has been hard at work for you this past December, tackling the pivotal issues that truly matter most. In a political trifecta that pushes all sorts of emotional buttons, the Republican leadership in both the Senate and the Assembly […]

Revealing light

Revealing light

By Evan Solochek Bruce Nauman has spent his life and career bending artistic conventions, one of the few living artists successful at avoiding labels. And regardless of how one feels about the work itself, he is inarguably viewed as one of the most innovative living artists of our time. Recently, Nauman made the top 10 […]

Babyshambles

Babyshambles

By Paul Snyder Stateside knowledge of Pete Doherty is little more than �that walking hypodermic needle that got Kate Moss hooked on cocaine.� In England, he�s revered as a romantic, tragic figure: always arrested for possession, always missing gigs, always getting his ass kicked, and always writing great songs along the way. He was part […]

Cat Power

Cat Power

By Erin Wolf Cat Power�s Chan Marshall has become something of a gothic folk legend, like the music she�s created over the past decade. Part indie rocker, part folk storyteller, part mystery, with complements of dark and brooding lyrics and extreme stage fright and self-doubt, Marshall rises above all her clouds with The Greatest. Going […]

Madonna

Madonna

By Jon M. Gilbertson When music industry observers can refer to an album that �only� went platinum as a serious failure, then it�s clear they�re talking about an artist who�s redefined the concept of success. In the last 25 years, that could only be Madonna, whose 2003 work, American Life, sold over a million copies […]

The Reigning Sound

The Reigning Sound

By It�s a cold November night when Greg Cartwright and his group The Reigning Sound take the Mad Planet stage. Cartwright clears his throat and apologizes for his hoarseness. But that�s not a problem, he sounds somewhere between Bobby �Blue� Bland and Paul Westerberg. In that perfect parallel universe, Cartwright�s songs are hits and writers […]

John Cale

John Cale

By Eric Lewin Postmodern music sure is ironic. �Progressive� bands such as Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Warlocks and the rest of the MySpace-endorsed shoegazers generally make their way by rethreading Velvet Underground�s effects and hypnotic hum, some pulling it off more ably than others. Even more ironic is that John Cale, Velvets� second-in-command behind Lou […]

Slow Man

Slow Man

By

Brokeback Mountain

Brokeback Mountain

By

The Matador

The Matador

By

Inner Space

Inner Space

By Eric Francis Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) Is there a room in your house suitable as a movie theater? I think there is, even if it’s a modest digital theater. This is the year of the Aquarius Odeon, to which the whole neighborhood can be invited regularly. It’s the spirit that counts more than anything, […]

Amy X Neuburg

Amy X Neuburg

By Paul Snyder The audience at the Milwaukee Art Museum on January 7 will probably have no idea what to expect of Amy X Neuburg�s performance. That�s okay. She doesn�t either. �I�m very nervous,� she says. �But I thrive on that.� That evening, �The Metaphor,� a piece written by Neuburg for chamber ensemble, voice and […]

Is this a dream?

Is this a dream?

By Nathan Norfolk Restaurateurs know there is money to be made at the bar, especially when it comes to wine. If you�ve ever noticed that the bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon you buy for fifteen dollars at the store goes for forty five dollars on a restaurant�s wine list, this is already clear to you. Do […]

Lefty  McTighe

Lefty McTighe

Six Milwaukeeans’ Best (And Worst) Holiday Memories

Six Milwaukeeans’ Best (And Worst) Holiday Memories

By Evan Solochek Tom Barrett (Mayor of Milwaukee) When I was 12, I served as an altar boy on Christmas morning. My mother woke me at 4:30a.m. for 5:30a.m. mass. We met my best friend and his mother and drove to St. Sebastian. I remembered being amazed at how many people would actually get up […]

Why Unity Matters

Why Unity Matters

By Phillip Walzak In a letter to the editor printed in the last issue of Vital Source (November 2005, Vol. 4, Issue 10, pg. 6) a left-leaning and clearly impassioned reader excoriated me for a mistake I made in a previous column. In the piece entitled “Political Math 101” (August 2005) I wrongly attributed to […]

Erin Wolf’s Road Trip Rules

Erin Wolf’s Road Trip Rules

By Erin Wolf When reality television asks, “Wanna be a rock star?” and slaps the title of ‘American Idol’ on your Hi My Name Is: tag, they fail to disclose miniscule bits of information otherwise known as reality. A musician is not pulled into each show by golden horses and whisked away into a crowd […]

Simple Joys

Simple Joys

By Evan Solochek As autumn quietly fades into winter and morning frost starts to take hold, Milwaukee holiday cheer abounds. Lights illuminate Wisconsin Avenue, snow blankets Lake Park in peaceful starkness. And if you can push past the madness of shopping, working late to “get ahead” before your never-long-enough holiday weekend and the chaos of […]

Brian Wilson

Brian Wilson

By Paul Snyder Aristawww.brianwilson.com The Christmas market is tricky. All the holiday CDs end up in the red cardboard bin at the front of Sam Goody. And, to be fair, Brian Wilson has had his chance. The Beach Boys’ 1964 Christmas LP did spin off the charming “Little Saint Nick,” which, on last count, had […]

The Dials

The Dials

By Erin Wolf Latest Flame Recordswww.thedials.us Chicago’s The Dials debut album Flex Time is an exciting encounter in the already well-behaved genre of dance-band pop/rock. Snarling like the throttled vocals of Sleater-Kinney and equaling their growly, growly guitars, yet jumping off of dance-y influences such as early Joy Division and Franz Ferdinand and pure poppers […]

Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane

Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane

By Blaine Schultz Blue Notewww.bluenote.com About a half-century ago, giants walked among us. They wrote and played music for extended low-key club dates, performing special concerts and releasing records periodically. Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane were two of these giants, and this recently discovered November 29, 1957 recording from the Library of Congress vaults is a vital contribution […]

The Brian Setzer Orchestra

The Brian Setzer Orchestra

By Kevin Krekling Surfdogwww.briansetzer.com It’s that time of the year again. A time for shoveling snow, mistletoe hookups, eggnog hangovers and Brian Setzer Christmas albums. The former Stray Cat is back again with his second holiday record in three years. And, what you get here with Dig That Crazy Christmas is pretty much the same […]

The Darkness

The Darkness

By Erin Wolf Atlantic www.thedarknessrock.com When The Darkness crash-landed on the stagnant rock scene two years ago, it startled hordes of music fans into stupefied wonder, creating either strong affinity or distaste. Cheeky hair metal can produce nothing but strong feelings. For those hordes still recovering from the initial shock of their first release, Permission […]

The Truth (With Jokes)

The Truth (With Jokes)

By

Ouisconsin: The Dead in Our Clouds
Ouisconsin

The Dead in Our Clouds

By

TransAmerica

TransAmerica

By

Studs Terkel

Studs Terkel

By Paul Snyder Studs Terkel can talk. This is unsurprising to those familiar with the Chicago legend’s broadcast career. Terkel’s voice could be heard on radio waves in the City of Big Shoulders as far back as the 1930s, when he would provide dialogue for soap operas and announce news and sporting events to the […]

The Gift of Wine

The Gift of Wine

By Nathan Norfolk During holiday crunch time, wine makes a perfect gift. Wine is festive and especially suited for celebrations. And it’s always great for that last minute what-do-I-get-my-boss-or-my-uncle situation. If you don’t know anything about wine, don’t be afraid to ask a wine merchant for advice. They want you to come back and buy […]

Embracing the Misunderstood

Embracing the Misunderstood

By Russ Bickerstaff Performance art has evolved into a true art form. Remember when pretentious yet often ridiculous artistes would do interpretive dances with paints and foodstuffs in an effort to make political statements, whether or not their audiences even had a clue about what they were trying to say? No longer – at least […]

Secret Lives of the Service Industry

Secret Lives of the Service Industry

By Erin Wolf Double lives— Superman was the prime example of this once astonishing phenomenon. By day he was the affably geeky Clark Kent; by chance he was the wünder-boy with a red cape and a mission to serve the people, whether stopping trains or scooping up ladies in peril. With a secret life stashed […]

The New Old South

The New Old South

By Phillip Walzak If you’ve been thinking our modern, enlightened 21st century American society is free of dubious political maneuvers that make it harder for our fellow citizens to vote, then you haven’t been to Georgia lately. Reaching back to the halcyon days of Jim Crow, the state of Georgia has approved new legislation that […]

November 2005

November 2005

By Thank You Vital Source For sponsoring that wonderful hour of music on WMSE. Jessica A. HatchAIG Life Brokerage Al Gore did not invent the Internet.I picked up a late copy of the August 2005 issue and, reading the article “Political Math 101” by Phillip Walzak, was appalled to find the author regurgitating the same […]

Industrial Nature

Industrial Nature

By Evan Solochek Nebulous shapes and architectural insight, the seemingly mismatched marriage of organic and synthetic, thrive within the sculptures of acclaimed artist Kendall Buster. Somewhere between abstract abodes and biological remnants, her large-scale creations entice both the eye and the body, and offer the viewer the rare opportunity to truly experience art. These mammoth […]

Neil Young

Neil Young

By Blaine Schultz Reprisewww.neilyoung.com Every record Neil Young releases is an enigma in waiting, and Prairie Wind, with its deft orchestral passages, swelling horns and bluegrass touches, is no exception. On Prairie Wind Young seems to say, “Let me make a record with people I enjoy playing with.” His father’s slide into Alzheimer’s and subsequent […]

Sigur R’s

Sigur R’s

By Eric Lewin Geffenwww.sigur-ros.co.uk When Tortoise and Low first wrote the term “slow core” into the hipster dictionary, the proverbial jury was left to ask, “Is this where rock has lead itself, or are these droning songs little more than a cop-out for bands who don’t want to try?” After Sigur Rós’ additions to the […]

Paul Weller

Paul Weller

By Paul Snyder Yep Rocwww.paulweller.com Yep Roc Records is hailing As Is Now as a return to form from the man who brought us Wild Wood and Stanley Road a decade ago. This is a puzzling statement, considering Weller’s never taken a drastic step away from the songwriting that anchored his 1990s classics. It’s just […]

Ry Cooder

Ry Cooder

By Barry Wightman Nonesuchwww.ryland-cooder.com Ry Cooder, the guitarist widely known these days for Buena Vista Social Club, in which he showcased pre-Castro era Cuban musicians, now offers the world the melodic and jumpy Chavez Ravine. That’s CHA-vez. Just as he provided a venue for aging Cubans before they were gone and forgotten, Cooder, in 15 […]

Rogue Wave

Rogue Wave

By Erin Wolf Sub Popwww.roguewavemusic.com When Rogue Wave appeared on the radar in 2003 with their barely recognized Out of the Shadow, they could have ridden the sizeable Kinks-revival waves that The Shins started churning. But that wasn’t quite in the cards for this California band when push came to shoving them into their next […]

The Universe In A Single Atom
Elizabethtown

Elizabethtown

By

Just To Keep the Story Lit

Just To Keep the Story Lit

By Paul Snyder It’s a longstanding debate over whether the God of Rock & Roll is a benevolent one. This God let Mark David Chapman loose in New York City on December 8, 1980 and sent Otis Redding’s plane into Lake Monona back in 1967. But the same God also pushed Mike Love out of […]

Barry  Wightman

Barry Wightman

Milwaukee Sound Environment Project

Milwaukee Sound Environment Project

By Haven Langhout Milwaukee is an excellent place for local music of all stripes and it wouldn’t be too far a stretch to say that 91.7 FM WMSE has had a lot to do with it. Since its unlikely birth as the broadcast service of the Milwaukee School of Engineering in 1981, WMSE has been […]

The Silent Players

The Silent Players

By Evan Solochek With roots in rock & rolls infancy, poster art has long been one of the most defining avenues through which underground music scenes have endured.  While in most cases the artists who create it never pick up a guitar or sing a note, they serve just as integral a role as the […]

Snapshots in Analog

Snapshots in Analog

By Blaine Schultz To quote the Velvet Underground, “those were different times”… It’s real easy to not get misty-eyed about the old days. Before desktop publishing and 24-hour Kinko’s became commonplace, crude music fanzines and gig posters were laid out by hand and mimeographed. Before laptop home studios and Gap ad campaigns, you could get […]

Melly LeBaron’s Indiana Song

Melly LeBaron’s Indiana Song

By Melly LeBaron We all have our favorite rock and roll songs. Some tunes become magnets, pulling us back to our past. Jammin’ songs make life downright bearable – sure, your moment of revelation from listening to a gritty rock and roll song may not last forever, but at least you’ll remember a great time […]

Saving the Music

Saving the Music

By Phillip Walzak In many ways, New Orleans is the heartbeat of this nation’s music scene. If indeed jazz is the only truly American art form, then the Crescent City is the womb from which it was born. Yet jazz is just one of countless musical genres with roots in New Orleans. Blues, funk, zydeco, […]

A Darkened Room, A Reel of Film + Me

A Darkened Room, A Reel of Film + Me

By Russ Bickerstaff A group of virtual strangers meet in a small, darkened room every other week for two months to watch an endless parade of film shorts and then discuss them. It sounds like a weak premise for a particularly un-engaging reality show, but for better or worse, it’s the standard template for how […]

The Coral

The Coral

By Paul Snyder The Coral’s “In the Morning” could’ve easily been the feel-good single of the summer. However, Columbia decided to give Jessica Simpson a bikini and a 60s classic, and well, here we are. Lee Hazlewood puts a few more dollars in his back pocket while the Coral’s coulda-been rests in the number-six spot […]

Heidi Spencer

Heidi Spencer

By “Anybody willing to go out on a limb/ Winter is calling and I’m calling you in.” From the opening line of her sophomore album, Milwaukee filmmaker and musician Heidi Spencer asks us to enter her world of long winters, starry nights and lovers who are leaving or already gone. It’s filled with the beauty […]

Death Cab For Cutie

Death Cab For Cutie

By Eric Lewin Death Cab for Cutie‘s Transatlanticism was the indie gorilla that kept hope alive for pop music; it seemed back on the upswing. A band with R.E.M.’s unique combination of indie smarts and pop sensibility had finally come home to roost. Even more hopeful is the notion that DCFC could match or, dare […]

Kanye West

Kanye West

By Kevin Krekling On his new album Late Registration, Kanye West proclaims “I think I died in that accident, ‘cause this must be heaven.” Boy, is he right. Ever since the release of his monster debut The College Dropout, Kanye has been everywhere. He went from the Grammy’s to Hurricane Katrina benefits and, most importantly, […]

Lunar Park

Lunar Park

By

Lovesick Blues: The Life of Hank Williams
Lovesick Blues

The Life of Hank Williams

By

The Beat That My Heart Skipped
Thumbsucker

Thumbsucker

By

Bradley A Wooten

Bradley A Wooten

Vital Source’s 2004 Holiday Events Guide

Vital Source’s 2004 Holiday Events Guide

The holiday season is upon us and the city is bright with twinkling lights and holiday spirit. Why not take a little time out of your holiday rush to enjoy the city’s many seasonal offerings? Vital Source has gathered together our second annual Holiday Events Guide. From shows to shopping, skating to sightseeing, there really […]

Radar Love

Radar Love

By Lillith Branwen We live in interesting times. Our schedules are packed, with every minute of our day taken up with something important. At the same time, we are more sedentary than ever before. We are in our cars or in front of our computers for long hours each day. When we have a little […]

The Monitor:
The Monitor

Technology Gifts for that Special Geek Each year it seems as though the hype for a few products jumps through the roof. Remember Cabbage Patch Kids, Teletubbies and Elmo? And for the over-kindergarten set, Trivial Pursuit, the Star Wars VHS box set and UGG boots have all had their time in the sun. But these […]

A Reality Check on the Values Voter

A Reality Check on the Values Voter

By Paul McLeary In the last few weeks, there has been much gnashing of teeth and rending of garments among the “reality-based community” about the great new albatross supposedly hanging around the Democratic party’s neck: The Values Voter. As with so many other dumbed-down media constructions (think “Security Mom” or “Nascar Dad”), the sheer intellectual […]

Commentary:
Commentary

By Laura Martin I have always been the type that fought for what I believe in, and this year, there was an inferno lit under my butt. I have watched the last four years as funding has been cut from our education system; I have cringed as the American people were told of a great […]

Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen

By John Hughes In the song “On That Day,” Leonard Cohen – arguably the wisest man in music – addresses September 11, 2001. Original perspective, even revelation, is expected from a writer such as Cohen, tangling with that subject. The song lasts all of two minutes and four seconds, is highlighted by the playing of […]

Rufus Wainwright

Rufus Wainwright

By Erin Wolf Want Two, Rufus Wainwright’s follow-up to last year’s Want One, is quite the veritable mobile of whirling sonic fancies. Like its predecessor, Want Two hops from cabaret tunes to operatic orchestrations. Borrowing influences from Latin, French and classical sources, Wainwright pens grandiose songs that are rightly focused around his beautifully satiating vocals. […]

Fu Manchu

Fu Manchu

By Jeremy M. Rottgen Fu Manchu’s Start The Machine roars with the intensity and consistency of a 502 engine. This is the kind of stuff Marshall stacks and hot-wired humbuckers were made for. This is Fu’s first release since being signed to DRT records. Longtime fans will most likely welcome it because pretty much every […]

The Occasion

The Occasion

By Erin Wolf The Occasion re-define the term “noise-rock.” With jangly tambourines, mellow vocals and garbage-can-drum tendencies, The Occasion’s self-titled debut is immense, reflecting the hills of desert sands that grace the cover of their album-completely enveloping and sensory-sweeping. Quietly pretty in spots with the incorporation of twinkly pianos, and psychedelically hard-hitting with enough guitar […]

Chronicles, Volume One

Chronicles, Volume One

By

The Secret Life of The Lonely Doll: The Search for Dare Wright
The Secret Life of The Lonely Doll

The Search for Dare Wright

By

The (Not So) Lost Art of the Short
Nina Simone moves Holly Blue

Nina Simone moves Holly Blue

by Nina Simone 21st Birthday April 5th, 1996 “Do you quiver, from your head down to your liver?” – Nina Simone The weather was beautful today. Cold, but the sun was shining on us like a goddamn hero. My senses were all standing on edge, soaking in every detail as I nearly became part of […]

The Needless Oppression of Ideological Gridlock

The Needless Oppression of Ideological Gridlock

By John Hughes I was viewing the movie Motorcycle Diaries recently, watching Che Guevara’s revolutionary consciousness incubate, and I became reflective. Sitting in the dark, I began to wonder what a Great Liberator would look like if he or she arrived in America in 2004. From what would that Che, or that Gandhi, or that […]

Lightburn  Designs

Lightburn Designs

Re-Branding the Brewers

Re-Branding the Brewers

By John Shivers Twelve years ago, I wrote a column for the local weekly that asked a simple question: can we build the park and lose the Seligs? Needless to say, it didn’t exactly make me a favored member of the Milwaukee Brewer press corps. Still, I believed that the then-heated issue of a new […]

Now What?

Now What?

By Tea Benduhn Part one of a series. We all have dreams. For those who count among theirs “making it” as artists, that dream usually has a “first” milestone. Publishing a novel. Making and showing a film. Opening a show in a major city. Releasing a CD. And it’s kind of amazing how many hard-working […]

Vital’s 2004 Giving Guide

Vital’s 2004 Giving Guide

At the holidays, we remember that is truly better to give than to receive. In that spirit, Vital Source offers a guide to giving in the Milwaukee area. Toys for TotsDonations of new toys.www.toysfortots.org Contact Sgt. Penny Knade 414-481-3860 American Red Cross (Greater Milwaukee Chapter)Monetary donations and volunteers.414-342-8680www.redcrossinsewis.org Blood Center of Southeastern WisconsinBlood donations and […]

The Monitor: Technology for All of Us
The Monitor

Technology for All of Us

By Lightburn Designs The holidays are just around the corner and that means two things – shopping, and spending quality time with Aunt Betty! If you are like me, you may not fully appreciate the art of dodging little tikes in the mall, walking eight blocks in a slushy parking lot or dealing with a […]

That was Easy…

That was Easy…

By Paul McLeary One might dare hope that during an election cycle where intelligence gathering and national defense are the big issues, the nomination and appointment of a new CIA Director would spur some serious-minded policy debate. As with so much else in American political life, however, the chasm between what should happen and what […]

Commentary

Commentary

By Peter Hart For many years, right-wingers have complained to no end about the “liberal bias” of PBS. Nowadays, it appears someone at PBS is listening. A new program called “The Journal Editorial Report,” featuring writers and editors from the archconservative “Wall Street Journal” editorial page, recently debuted on public television stations around the country. […]

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

By Erin Wolf Billy Graham, hang up your boxing gloves, Nick Cave is the new Mr. Fire and Brimstone. The latest addition to the Bad Seeds’ library, the double-disc Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus, is a heavy-hitter, changing things up by waving adieu to guitarist Blixa Bargeld and welcoming organist James Johnston of Gallon Drunk. […]

The Ex

The Ex

By Jeremy M. Rottgen When you think of The Ex, imagine mad scientists with guitars and drums pushing the raw sounds of their musical and political agenda through anything from punk to noise. Now imagine these scientists staying up all night in the lab, spreading their message relentlessly… for over two decades. Since their debut, […]

Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson

By John Hughes Willie Nelson has turned in a quietly elegant album that showcases his singing talent in its burnished, golden essence. It Always Will Be is perhaps not on the level of Nelson’s masterpieces, Red-Headed Stranger and Stardust, but it is among his top ten records (out of over 100). The title cut is […]

Reeve Oliver

Reeve Oliver

By Jeremy M. Rottgen In teen-angst TV shows like Dawson’s Creek or The OC, soundtracks featuring music that boosts the drama of adolescence are linchpins of the genre. From a songwriter’s perspective, the subject matter of those tumultuous years will never run dry. Reeve Oliver may not be as sappy as the aforementioned television programs, […]

No Plot? No Problem!: A High-Velocity, Low-Stress Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days
American Dream: 3 Women,10 Kids, & A Nation’s Drive To End Welfare
Cher Helps Liz Wagner Mend Her Broken Heart

Cher Helps Liz Wagner Mend Her Broken Heart

by Liz Wagner High school graduation brought with it the end of many things: long waits in hot lunch lines, crammed lockers, gym class and my first love. I had been dating the same guy throughout high school, and like the youngsters we were, we thought it would last forever. But school was over and […]

Wine Wisdom for the Holidays

Wine Wisdom for the Holidays

By Nathan Norfolk How do holidays turn into horror days? You’re shopping for kids only to realize you don’t know the difference between Shrek and Sponge Bob. You’re making food for a million in-laws, each with different dietary restrictions. You’re buying wine and you don’t know Bordeaux from Burgundy. That first glimpse of smiling cardboard […]

Catherine McGarry Miller
John  Shivers

John Shivers

Peter  Hart

Peter Hart

Anybody But Bush?

Anybody But Bush?

By John Hughes American electoral politics is not so much an organized debate over the supremacy of ideologies—a national, logical quest for the best governing ideas—but a rugged skirmish between two warring camps. It’s a ruthless wrestling for power. Oftentimes, the coalition with the most money wins the election. The media, often portrayed as liberally […]

Afghanistan

Afghanistan

By Paul McLeary “Our Nation is standing with the people of Afghanistan and Iraq, because when America gives its word, America must keep its word. As importantly, we are serving a vital and historic cause that will make our country safer.” “Since 2001, Americans have been given hills to climb, and found the strength to […]

John Jeske is He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Interviewed.

John Jeske is He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Interviewed.

By John Jeske & the Scribe Cleverness, thy sin is Ego! Any writer with even the slightest tendency towards thinking their own ideas are great can fall for this one. The staff of Vital was planning the October issue, when someone threw out the idea of interviewing a Witch for Vital Lives. It didn’t catch […]

Some Sage Advice for John Kerry

Some Sage Advice for John Kerry

By Donald Kaul Let’s face it, fellow liberals: Commander Kerry’s swift boat isn’t looking too swift these days. The shore is lined with people shouting advice to him: “Be tougher! Be more positive! Defend yourself faster! Don’t defend, attack! Don’t talk about so many issues! Broaden your agenda!” Good advice all, but easier to give […]

The Marlboro Man Ponies Up to Both Parties

The Marlboro Man Ponies Up to Both Parties

By Adrian Zupp Tobacco giant Philip Morris/Altria put on its political party clothes recently, but it may soon be dressing for a wake. Under fire from the Department of Justice and facing the imminent implementation of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), the folks who gave the world the Marlboro Man and all the […]

The Monitor: Technology For All of Us
The Monitor

Technology For All of Us

By Lightburn Designs In 1998, Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura was elected Governor of Minnesota, in one of the biggest political upsets of the late twentieth century. At the beginning of the race, Ventura had star power (as a long-time WWF mainstay), a simple, powerful anti-establishment rallying cry – No More Politics As Usual! – which […]

True Artists

True Artists

By Tom Smith Vera Deirdre has been lurking around Milwaukee for the last two years, dreaming up sonic reliefs of slow sad redemption with the deep, mournful clarinets of Daniel Fischer setting up the soaring catharsis of Rebecca Schoenecker’s sweet, melodic vocals. It’s a moving contrast. What’s special about this group is that they are […]

Sally Timms

Sally Timms

By Erin Wolf Touch and Gowww.tgrec.com Those familiar with Sally Timms’ work with the Mekons know her as an artist of creativity and charm, with a voice as sireny and sweet as a lullaby. Influenced by the Mekons’ drift into alt-country or “cow-punk,” Timms offers a genuineness to her solo efforts that is often lost […]

American Music Club

American Music Club

By Erin Wolf Merge Records www.mergerecords.com It’s official: American Music Club frontman Mark Eitzel now reclaims the Bleeding-Heart title for writing cutting and honest lyrics. Even under the long shadow of his Rolling Stone-bestowed designation of “Best Songwriter,” he helps to create an AMC album (the first since the band’s breakup in 1995) filled with […]

Bjork

Bjork

By John Hughes Atlantic www.bjorkweb.com It would be misleading to write that Bjork’s new disc is sort of an Icelandic spin on that Chant album that was such a phenomenon in the 1990s. Medulla is in no way churchy. I mention the comparison, though, because both albums demand that you listen with both ears. They […]

Mike Watt and the Secondmen

Mike Watt and the Secondmen

By Jeremy M. Rottgen Columbia Records www.wattage.com Dubbed a punk opera on Mike Watt’s spiel place, www.hootpage.com, The Secondman’s Middle Stand is quite a departure for the seasoned bassist. Busting things down to a trio with bass, drums and keyboard, the formula is simple, but the outcome is huge. The inspiration for the album came […]

Robyn Hitchcock

Robyn Hitchcock

By Jon M. Gilbertson Yep Roc www.yeproc.com William Burroughs complained that the English were capable of granting him hours of charming conversation without telling him anything personal about themselves. The English have never filed an official reply, but singer/songwriter Robyn Hitchcock—an English charmer since at least 1977 (when he formed the Soft Boys and introduced […]

Magical Thinking: True Stories
Magical Thinking

True Stories

By

The Stone Fields: An Epitaph For the Living
The Stone Fields

An Epitaph For the Living

By

Ghost In The Shell 2: Innocence
Ghost In The Shell 2

Innocence

By

The Motorcycle Diaries

The Motorcycle Diaries

By

Jeremy Rottgen Sneaks Backstage with the Misfits

Jeremy Rottgen Sneaks Backstage with the Misfits

By Jeremy M. Rottgen We used to cruise around in my friend’s car before and after school, listening to the Misfits before and after school. Yelling at the top of our lungs to every song was a cleansing experience after a long, institutionalized day. In 1998, the Misfits consisted of founding bass player Jerry Only […]

Liberal to Progressive

Liberal to Progressive

By John Hughes We live in a time when our country is becoming increasingly conservative, or at least anti-liberal. As I noted in a previous Wayward Son, 40 percent of the citizenry now identify themselves as conservative, versus 19 percent who call themselves liberal. And the reality is so much more than statistical; an acquaintance […]

Megan  Furcolow

Megan Furcolow

We Laughed, We Cried

We Laughed, We Cried

Brainstorming December story ideas in a recent Vital staff meeting, one person told a story about a holiday moment that stayed with him. Eventually, almost everyone took a turn. As the saying goes, we laughed, we cried. It occurred to us that most folks have at least one stand-out moment from the time of year […]

Christmas in Iraq

Christmas in Iraq

By Megan Furcolow Christmas Eve: Christian families gather and hold lighted candles while one of the children reads aloud about the birth of Jesus. After the reading, everyone sings over a bonfire of thorn bushes — if the thorns burn to ashes, it will bring good luck in the coming year. When the fire dies, […]

In Search of An Agenda

In Search of An Agenda

By John Hughes In recent months, Vital Source has been asking what we feel are four pertinent questions of nine candidates for Mayor of Milwaukee. Readers have had a chance to get a sense of the field, and the widely divergent styles and orientations of the would-be mayors. As the election now draws within just […]

Jimmy Leroy, Mall Mascot

Jimmy Leroy, Mall Mascot

By Alexander Ragir Jimmy LeRoy was there when the black-haired lady and her boyfriend left Bayshore mall and got on the bus. They stole a bra and pantyhose from Victoria’s Secret, and he saw it. “I knew something was wrong,” says Jimmy, scratching his head and dropping his hand over his face as if very […]

Measuring Mayor Norquist

Measuring Mayor Norquist

By Raymond Johnson As the final term of Milwaukee Mayor Norquist comes to a close, it is time to assess his impact on the city. I’ll leave it to others more qualified to weigh his affect on property taxes or schools, on government efficiency or city services. Here, per the name, I will be concerned […]

Iraq’s Catch-22

Iraq’s Catch-22

By Paul McLeary “That’s some catch, that Catch-22,” Yossarian observed. “It’s the best thing there is,” Doc Daneeka agreed. — Joseph Heller, Catch 22 Like much else in the Iraq today, the number of unemployed Iraqis remains a subject of some speculation. The chaos that still reigns on the ground more than six months after […]

Natalie Merchant

Natalie Merchant

By John Hughes NATALIE MERCHANTHouse Carpenter’s DaughterMyth Americawww.nataliemerchant.com Natalie Merchant has done a righteous thing. She has, of her own free-will, allowed her recording contract with Elektra to lapse, and her fame to diminish, for the sake of artistic control and integrity. What she’s done with her newfound freedom is establish her own record label, […]

Rickie Lee Jones

Rickie Lee Jones

By John Hughes RICKIE LEE JONESThe Evening of My Best DayV2 Recordswww.rickieleejones.com Rickie Lee Jones’ new CD The Evening of My Best Day feels like two separate outings rolled into one. The first three songs make up Outing #1, and they are not compelling. They sound like a reprise of her great album “Pirates,” diluted […]

The Fags

The Fags

By Brian Barney THE FAGSThe FagsIdol Recordswww.thefagsmusic.com Stumbling across the vast wasteland of CD wreckage that has become my desk as a music writer, I happened upon a true gem. The cover of The Fags self-titled freshman effort on Idol Records sports a fashionably androgynous being smoking a cigarette (or fag) that would prompt an […]

Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them
The Fortress of Solitude

The Fortress of Solitude

By

Ben  Merens

Ben Merens

Erin  Wolf

Erin Wolf

Laura  Martin

Laura Martin

Rob  McCuen

Rob McCuen

Bucketworks [Poietis Factorium Maximus]

Bucketworks [Poietis Factorium Maximus]

By The Uncultured Bacterium After wandering the parking lot, you settle on the only nearby entrance — a side door with no sign on it. Inside, you look over what seems to be the loading dock of a warehouse that goes a long way back. On the way in, you say hello to the guard […]

In Search of An Agenda

In Search of An Agenda

By John Hughes In February of next year, the people of Milwaukee will elect a new Mayor to preside over our city in what promises to be an era of accelerating change. With the role of leadership more crucial than ever, the agenda set during this election, which will frame the debate among voters, is […]

Eat, Drink, and Be… Healthy?

Eat, Drink, and Be… Healthy?

By Jan Wolfenberg With the holiday season fast approaching, thoughts are turning to festive foods and yummy treats. So often we think that foods that are fun, festive and delicious can’t also be healthy. Not true! Many people incorrectly assume that healthy eating is, by definition, low fat eating. My definition of a healthy food […]

(Not Just) Another Bar on Water Street

(Not Just) Another Bar on Water Street

By Raymond Johnson A new building is under construction on Water Street, and Milwaukeeans interested in contemporary design should smile. Mike Goldberg is developing a narrow slot of land at 1129-1131 N. Water St. into a restaurant/lounge named Terrace Bar to be operated by Nick Howell, founder of Cush and owner of Sauce. After running […]

Daisy’s Will:
Daisy’s Will

By John Hughes Daisy Cubias, poet, activist and educator, sat in her cozy Milwaukee living room and, amidst her tumble of heavily accented words, told me of murder in her native El Salvador. “They Just Vanished.” “My family was killed; my brother, my sister, my brother-in-law. This was during the 1980s. We didn’t see the […]

Power is Paradise… ?

Power is Paradise… ?

By Paul McLeary Earlier this year, political theorist Robert Kagan published a mostly harmless little book, Of Paradise and Power, that likely set neoconservative hearts aflutter. The thesis is pretty straightforward: After WWII, as the United States set about the task of becoming the global constable, Europe was given respite from its far-flung military adventures […]

When the Leaves Fall from the Trees

When the Leaves Fall from the Trees

By Ben Merens This month, SCP welcomes guest author Ben Merens. Lucky will return in December. If you are inspired by parenting and would like to contribute a future column, send Lucky an email at slightlycrunchymama@yahoo.com. My two-year-old daughter and I were talking recently about birthdays. Actually, the discussion began when she asked me to […]

Mojave 3

Mojave 3

By Erin Wolf MOJAVE 3 Spoon and Rafter 4AD Mojave 3 has practically perfected the catchphrase, “quiet is the new loud.” With their exit from the shoegazing outfit Slowdive, we find them putting on the airs of alt-country, creating a sound rivaling bands like The Cowboy Junkies and Mazzy Star. Though select, these UK natives […]

Cheap Trick

Cheap Trick

By Rob McCuen CHEAP TRICK Special One Big 3 Records Mention Cheap Trick in some circles and brace yourself for the smug salvos that are sure to be flung your way. What can I tell the clueless dorks who think the Trick are an old and tired joke? Special One, Cheap’s first offering in six […]

The Namesake

The Namesake

By

Reunion

Reunion

By

Alien – The Director’s Cut
Pieces of April

Pieces of April

By

Laura Martin knows: music is love.
Laura Martin knows

music is love.

By Laura Martin Music is love. Not a very popular David Crosby song, but an excellent summation of what music is to me. Everyone has those bands that they turn to in order to ease the pain of life or to celebrate the joy. For me, CSN&Y is such a band. A few years back, […]

Best Wines for Your Feast

Best Wines for Your Feast

By Nathan Norfolk Not only will there be turkey, there will be leftover turkey. This is often the sad reality of Thanksgiving: morphing from a holiday feast into weeks of monotonous poultry. Even the most dedicated carnivore can be reduced to thoughts of vegetarianism after his tenth cold turkey sandwich in half as many days. […]

Jeffrey  Langlois

Jeffrey Langlois

A Dance of Survival & Freedom

A Dance of Survival & Freedom

By Alexander Ragir In the 17th century, African slaves in Salvador (Brazil’s oldest city) were routinely shackled and beaten. But those slaves of 400 years ago were not as beaten down as they may have appeared to their Portuguese slave masters. Always coming up with ways to survive their oppressors, the slaves practiced combat moves […]

In Search of An Agenda

In Search of An Agenda

By John Hughes Early next year, The City of Milwaukee will elect a new mayor, to preside over this city during what promises to be an era of accelerating change. With leadership crucial during the next few years, the agenda set during this election, which will frame the debate among voters, is still emerging. In […]

Milwaukee’s Philosopher Magician

Milwaukee’s Philosopher Magician

By John Hughes Meet ‘Professor Oops’ On the Sunday afternoon of the Harley-Davidson centenary, with motorcycles thundering all over town, I found a quiet spot in the side yard of Sky Schultz, known to audiences as Professor Oops. At his Riverwest home tucked into an out-of-the-way cranny, the yard is a thing of wonder — […]

Milwaukee’s Best New Building is Invisible

Milwaukee’s Best New Building is Invisible

By Raymond Johnson One of the best new buildings in Milwaukee was completed last month, but you can’t see much of it from the street. In fact, if you go to 1990 N. Commerce St., there doesn’t seem to be a building there at all — just a small urban square with a lookout over […]

Thinking holistically about menopause.

Thinking holistically about menopause.

By Jeffrey Langlois Recently, one of my clients came to me seeking relief from the myriad discomforts of menopause. Like most women, she had questions about how to best manage her symptoms as her body goes through this most important change of life. I work with women to help them understand the options available to […]

Slanted Soapboxes of Media

Slanted Soapboxes of Media

By Paul McLeary Healthy Debate or Disheartening Trend? For years, and some might say decades, conservatives had been up in arms about what they perceived as the media establishment’s liberal bias — and not completely without cause. But a funny thing happened in the early 1990s to change all that. Rush Limbaugh broke into the […]

Warren Zevon

Warren Zevon

By John Hughes WARREN ZEVON The Wind Artemis Records www.warrenzevon.com Before Warren Zevon died in early September, he assembled an all-star cast of friends to help him craft his own epitaph — a final CD recorded in the aftershock of his fatal diagnosis. A songwriter’s songwriter, he maintained great integrity throughout his career, no matter […]

Elvis Costello

Elvis Costello

By Jon M. Gilbertson ELVIS COSTELLO North Deutsche Grammophon www.elviscostello.com As he grows older and perhaps wiser, Elvis Costello increasingly resembles another former enfant terrible from the UK: writer Martin Amis. Both sons of notable practitioners of their respective arts, both more famous than their fathers, they are almost embarrassingly skillful and variegated: Amis the […]

Nappy Roots

Nappy Roots

By John Hughes NAPPY ROOTS Wooden Leather Atlantic www.nappyroots.com Nappy Roots are the best musicians to come out of Kentucky since Joan Osborne, and a lot more fun. On this CD, like a champion racehorse at the Kentucky Derby, they burst out of the gate, grab an early lead, hold the pace despite some stumbles, […]

Marj Hahne

Marj Hahne

By Russ Bickerstaff MARJ HAHNE notspeak When the instruments and singing voices are left out of audio, all that remains is the music of spoken ideas. In her poetry CD notspeak, Marj Hahne presents a gently flowing symphony of ideas almost completely devoid of music. What little music there is serves more as a segue […]

June Carter Cash

June Carter Cash

By Brian Barney JUNE CARTER CASH Wildwood Flower Dualtone Records The heartbreaking beauty of June Carter Cash’s last record, Wildwood Flower, defies description. The tracks flow in an autobiographical movement, where the purest of instrumentation provides the background for songs that tell the stories of a life based on tradition, and values that escape the […]

Oh My God

Oh My God

By Brian Barney OH MY GOD Interrogations and Confessions Novo Records www.ohmygodmusic.com Since their reincarnation under their current moniker in 2000, Chicago’s art rock trio, Oh My God has been creating a national buzz, prompting kudos from the likes of VH1 and Rolling Stone Magazine without the support of a major label. Their third full-length […]

Brick Lane

Brick Lane

By

Never Mind the Pollacks

Never Mind the Pollacks

By

Being Thirteen

Being Thirteen

By

Masked and Eponymous

Masked and Eponymous

By

John Hughes Knocks on Heaven’s Door

John Hughes Knocks on Heaven’s Door

By John Hughes I was a bleak geek living in a house where the only art was a pair of framed oil portraits of Presidents Washington and Lincoln, and the only music came from my sisters plinking away dispiritedly on an upright piano, because they had to, for piano lessons. There were no plants in […]

Jon M. Gilbertson

Jon M. Gilbertson

Brian  Jones

Brian Jones

Jason  Keil

Jason Keil

In Search of An Agenda

In Search of An Agenda

By John Hughes Sure, it’s early in the race. But some lucky candidate could set the agenda for debate. Who will it be? Early next year, The City of Milwaukee will elect its first new mayor in well over a decade. The field of candidates is crowded and still growing. So far Tom Barrett, Vincent […]

The Healer Is In:
The Healer Is In

By John Hughes Twenty-four years ago, 40-year-old Randy Keltner was in a bad way. Years of corporate stress, a sedentary lifestyle and indifference to nutrition had taken its toll. He found himself going from doctor to doctor with complaints, suffering and malaise. He was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and sent home with, as he put […]

Lovelier Than Ever

Lovelier Than Ever

By Jason Keil Liv Mueller and Barb Endes have been hard at work this summer, putting the finishing touches on The Lovelies’ highly anticipated new album White Leather, their fourth release of smart, catchy, melodic rock due for release in late September. In a recent interview, Mueller shared that she’d been distracted, at least momentarily, […]

Welcome to Milwaukee’s Eighth Wonder — Pier Wisconsin!

Welcome to Milwaukee’s Eighth Wonder — Pier Wisconsin!

By Raymond Johnson Could there really be a better idea than to build a Great Lakes freshwater education center on the Milwaukee Lakefront, as proposed by Pier Wisconsin? Especially after a few years of our local water utility MMSD fouling up Lake Michigan by dumping (oops, “blending” ) raw sewage into our rivers? Those people […]

Therapy

Therapy

By Eric Francis For those of you planning to learn Chinese, or read War and Peace or dive into the Harry Potter series this fall, I have another idea for a project: Therapy. I have a friend who sometimes tells the story of a difficult period of his life, back around his college years. He […]

Hope Lives in Tonasket

Hope Lives in Tonasket

By Richard Walters In the wake of the Trade Center tragedy, the Bush administration pushed through Congress the so-called “PATRIOT Act” — probably the most mistakenly-titled piece of legislation in the history of the country. At the time, none dared oppose it — after all, it was called the PATRIOT Act, and to fail to […]

Annie Lennox

Annie Lennox

By Brian Barney Annie Lennox Bare J Records www.alennox.net Just when it would seem that Her Grace Annie Lennox had pretty much done it all as a ground breaking artist and diva, she opens yet another door to a room of musical treasure. Introspective and engaging lyrical content cuts straight to the heart early on […]

Inn

Inn

By Brian Barney Inn Inn Io Records With a sound the band itself describes as “tronic groove”, Milwaukee’s Inn has used calculative strategy and loose jam to create a truly unique sound. Their self titled debut release waffles between coffee house techno and an almost 80s club style, where Depeche Mode-like beats and a Pearl […]

Fountains of Wayne

Fountains of Wayne

By Brian Barney Fountains of Wayne Welcome Interstate Managers S-Curve Records www.fountainsofwayne.com With their third release to date, Welcome Interstate Managers, New York’s Fountains of Wayne has cemented their standing as one of the great all-time pop acts of recent years. Song writing duo Adam Schlesinger and Chris Collingwood, along with former Posie Judy Porter […]

Eliet Brookes

Eliet Brookes

By Brian Barney Eliet BrookesThe Miles Left Over Recorded poetry and spoken word do not get commercially released as often as they should. Look for it in a store and you’ll be sauntering through the same ghetto aisle that has been set aside for “comedy.” Luckily for those of us who wade through Adam Sandler, […]

Books and Islands in Ojibwe Country
Drinking Coffee Elsewhere

Drinking Coffee Elsewhere

By

American Splendor

American Splendor

By

Le Divorce

Le Divorce

By

Brian Jones Lays His Hands on Peter Gabriel

Brian Jones Lays His Hands on Peter Gabriel

By Brian Jones As sophomores in high school, my small group of friends and I spent most of our time trying to be as cool as possible. By “cool” I mean we knew we weren’t popular, so it was our goal to be as strange, and in our minds, cutting edge as possible. Nobody else […]

Cynthia  Vasques

Cynthia Vasques

Three Chords and Some Hard Questions

Three Chords and Some Hard Questions

By Richard Walters These are arguably the most difficult and frightening times within memory to be an American citizen. Not since the days of Kent State have we confronted so disturbing a landscape, in which our role as citizens is so much in question, or in which our moral compass seems to have been misplaced […]

Dreaming on Midsummer Nights

Dreaming on Midsummer Nights

By Ken Morgan THE FIRST DECADE: The Unsinkable Molly Brown…Guys and Dolls…Fiddler On The Roof… Brigadoon… Oliver… West Side Story… No, No Nanette… On The Town… South Pacific… Anything Goes… It’s not the oldest youth theater company in America. It’s not the biggest. But there is nothing else quite like it anywhere. Most people would […]

Vegetarianism as spiritual choice.

Vegetarianism as spiritual choice.

By Sanut Gloria Tarrer Humans are individuals. That is, we are an indivisible duality. And although body and spirit are divisible by label, and by energy and matter, they are still one and the same. The body is a vessel for the spirit, which grants the foundation of spiritual development, provided the body receives the […]

"I know what I want to do for the rest of my life."

"I know what I want to do for the rest of my life."

By John Hughes What do the Pfister, the Milwaukee Athletic Club, Comet and Fuel Cafes, the Hi-Hat, Sanford’s, Trocedaro, St. Bessie’s, The Social, Sol Fire, Sendik’s and the 300 Club at Miller Park all have in common? You might guess, with a group as wide-ranging as that — nothing. But the answer is Wild Flour […]

Dark horse running

Dark horse running

By Greg Sampson The end of June was all about Howard Dean. On Sunday, June 22, Dean appeared on Meet the Press, where Tim Russert attacked just about everything about him, from his stance on the war in Iraq to his health care policies to his “evolved” position on the death penalty. The following day […]

Morsels

Morsels

By Cynthia Vasques It has always amazed me that human beings can consume just about anything that crawls or oozes out of the earth. Who was that first prehistoric homo sapiens who picked up a disgusting snail and said to himself, “Mmmm, yummy- looking?” Or perhaps it was a Cro-Magnon future Frenchman who said the […]

Slicker than a snake on ice.

Slicker than a snake on ice.

By Bill Wandschneider I think the first American flag was perfect. You know, the one with a snake on it. And the reason, to me, is that we seem to love the con artist. Our CEOs are often in the news for doing something delightfully sleazy. We live in a country rich in unsavory history. […]

Al fresco dining: public art or urban eyesore?
Al fresco dining

public art or urban eyesore?

By Raymond Johnson One of the happiest developments in recent years is the explosion of sidewalk seating at restaurants and cafés in Milwaukee. It signals a renewed commitment to public life, or at least as close as we are able to achieve it in an age in which we are always and everywhere shopping. It […]

Cherrywine is (Almost) Fine

Cherrywine is (Almost) Fine

Cherrywine is (almost) fine. Hey, I just wanted to let you know that there is a typo in the last line (from June Record Reviews). It should read, “Bright Black is AN excellent debut album…” Other than that, it is an excellent review. -Thanks, Amy Redevelopment: a tough topic. Dear Matt & Jon Anne, I […]

The Pernice Brothers, The Decemberists, The New Pornographers

The Pernice Brothers, The Decemberists, The New Pornographers

By Jeremy Saperstein The Pernice Brothers Yours, Mine and Ours Ashmont Records www.pernicebrothers.com The Decemberists Castaways and Cutouts Kill Rock Stars www.decemberists.com The New Pornographers Electric Version Matador www.matadorrecords.com A long time ago, in a galaxy far away (well, suburban Chicago, anyway — which is like another galaxy), I bachelor-roomed in a worn old bungalow […]

Britta Phillips & Dean Wareham

Britta Phillips & Dean Wareham

By Jeremy Saperstein Britta Phillips & Dean Wareham L’Avventura Jetset http://www.jetsetrecords.com There’s an old joke about a guy who passes on his review of a buffet to a friend. “The entrees all tasted the same, the desserts weren’t much better than Jell-O with fruit cocktail and the sodas were flat,” he says. “Sounds pretty awful. […]

The Bad Plus

The Bad Plus

By Jeremy Saperstein The Bad Plus These Are The Vistas Columbia www.thebadplus.com Although it could be easily dismissed as a calculated and cynical move, I find it hard to dislike any band that presents jazz-trio covers of Nirvana’s über-punk anthem “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and Blondie’s “Heart Of Glass”, especially one who does them as […]

Bishop Allen

Bishop Allen

By Jeremy Saperstein Bishop Allen Charm School The Champagne School www.bishopallen.com One of my favorite songs is from a thrift-store record made by a Midwestern high school choir in the mid-70s. The chorus, sounding so sincere that it almost makes my teeth hurt, is a peppy cover of “Kites Are Fun”, full of optimistic voices […]

William Parker Violin Trio

William Parker Violin Trio

By Jeremy Saperstein William Parker Violin Trio Scrapbook ThirstyEar www.thirstyear.com There’s something so right about violinists playing jazz, especially when they can rock it like Billy Bang does on this CD. Evoking styles and songs as disparate as classical, jazz, old-time pop and blues, soundtrack and avant-garde skronk (sometimes all within the same song), the […]

Enough

Enough

By

Loot

Loot

By

The Legend of Suriyothai

The Legend of Suriyothai

By

Michael Seidel’s Neon Golden journey of out time

Michael Seidel’s Neon Golden journey of out time

By Michael Seidel It was Gothenburg. Truly it was, but whenever arrows of time are lobbed at the dartboard of that day, my mind gets tyrannical, wiping out the reality of place. It could have been anywhere: Anywhere International Airport. That’s it. Or at least we’ll pretend it is. It started like this: an ultra-modern, […]

Bill  Wandschneider

Bill Wandschneider

Richard  Walters

Richard Walters

Sanut Gloria Tarrer

Sanut Gloria Tarrer

Nathan  Norfolk

Nathan Norfolk

Stephanie  Simmons

Stephanie Simmons

Andrew  Muchin

Andrew Muchin

Raymond  Johnson

Raymond Johnson

Get Out of Town

Get Out of Town

By Jeremy Saperstein I think Wisconsin is the best state in the union in which to live. Okay, I’ll grant you that I’ve only lived in two others, but my search pretty much ended here. To quote myself, from a postcard I wrote to a pal back in Minnesota “Small towns, cheap beer – Good […]

Life’s Rich Pageant:
Life’s Rich Pageant

By Andrew Muchin The memory is nearly 40 years old, yet it’s vivid and intense: I’m seated with my father and grandfather in a wooden half-pew at the back of Anshe Poale Zedek Synagogue in Manitowoc. Both the men’s pews before me and the women’s to my right are filled with worshippers dressed in their […]

Good for What Ales You

Good for What Ales You

By John Hughes Cattail Ale, a Wisconsin-style mild ale, is Lakefront Brewery’s first release of a year-round beer in six years. “The Cattail Ale is a special formula we’ve been working on for a while to reflect a style of ale indigenous to Wisconsin,” says Russ Klisch, president of Lakefront Brewery. “We recognized the demand […]

Remembering the Park East:
Remembering the Park East

By Raymond Johnson Although the Park East freeway spur is not yet completely demolished, it is already beginning to be hard to remember exactly what it the spur itself was like. The area is brighter and less foreboding. And with the new McKinley Ave. taking shape, a sense of concreteness and inevitability envelops the project. […]

Three Steps to Natural Birth Control

Three Steps to Natural Birth Control

By Stephanie Simmons You have made the commitment to be healthier, use more natural products and be more aware of your body. Are you or your partner using chemical contraceptives? If you’re looking for a more natural option, the information here might help to unveil the mystery of female fertility so you can dump the […]

Tim Clausen Hears Voices

Tim Clausen Hears Voices

By John Hughes Tim Clausen, 43, is sitting motionless in his darkened East Side home, concentrating. Within my view are several stacks of books, towers of videos and CDs, an elderly upright piano, a forest of plants, and this lean individual, listening with both ears. He is listening to the voices of deep pain, a […]

Pondering the Legacy of Our Smirking Commander

Pondering the Legacy of Our Smirking Commander

By Mary McIntyre Before we offer ourselves up to be entranced by the beat of any more war drums, it would behoove us to assess the trustworthiness of our commander-in-chief. In response to the recent questions regarding the reliability of intelligence substantiating Saddam’s possession of illicit weapons that have yet to be found, Bush has […]

The “Thud” of Semantics for an Old Paperboy

The “Thud” of Semantics for an Old Paperboy

The “Thud” of Semantics for an old Paperboy To Whom It May Concern: Please inform Andrew Hollis (“Confessions of and [sic] Old Paperboy” May 2003) that the thud he heard on his front porch wasn’t the Sunday Journal, but rather the Sunday Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Also, if he did indeed deliver the paper in the […]

Arab Strap

Arab Strap

By Michael Seidel What I’ve always loved most about Arab Strap is their unapologeticness. Drinking, fucking and, well, just fucking up are all endlessly recurring themes throughout their oeuvre, but never, not once is there a ‘sorry’, nary a pinkie toe dipped in the stagnant pool of regret. Arab Strap understand and even embrace the […]

Cherrywine

Cherrywine

By Michael Seidel Bright Black marks Ishmael Butler’s emergence from musical hibernation. Butler used to lead Digable Planets – most known for the top 10 hit “Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)”, who released two stunning albums before snuffing itself out in 1996. That’s when Butler crawled into a cave of obscurity, shielded from even […]

Jay Farrar

Jay Farrar

By Jeremy Saperstein Terroir Blues (“terroir” is French word, by the way, literally translated as “soil”) is a much more finished work than Farrar’s first solo effort Sebastapol (which was still a great record. The consistency probably is helped by the first consistent group of Farrar has had with him since the apparent splintering of […]

The Mistreaters

The Mistreaters

By Jeremy Saperstein Some of Milwaukee’s favoritest sons travel off to the eastern metropolis of Detroit City and come back with an audio document that performs the improbable — it’s as raucous as a live show, but offers the tightness of polished radio fare. Which is not to say that this slab is genteel. Within […]

The Negro Problem

The Negro Problem

By Jeremy Saperstein Let’s start with the name: it’s meant as a knowing jibe — something to make politically-correctoids bristle. It oughta make you feel better that leader Stew is, indeed, black — and he’s making some of the finest literate and culturally-aware power-psychedelic-pop I’ve ever heard. The disc is like some sort of hideous […]

The Stratford 4

The Stratford 4

By Jeremy Saperstein An activist San Francisco who combine an echoey, distorted sound with tight songwriting and boy-girl vocals? Nah, it couldn’t be! The Stratford 4 formed from the same roots as fave rockers Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, but give us a dreamier, poppier sound that’s reminiscent of the shoegazer bands of the 80s and […]

Richard Thompson

Richard Thompson

By John Hughes Richard Thompson’s new CD The Old Kit Bag advertises that it contains “unguents, fig leaves and tourniquets,” presumably for the listener’s soul. It actually delivers better than that; emollients for melancholy, curatives for the blues. It delivers nothing less than the pure healing joy of delectable music. Thompson has been breathing life […]

L’auberge Espagnole

L’auberge Espagnole

By

Spellbound

Spellbound

By

Mary  McIntyre

Mary McIntyre

Michael  Seidel

Michael Seidel

Why Should I Care About Clear Channel

Why Should I Care About Clear Channel

By Jessamyn West “Clear Channel Radio is positioned to exploit the synergies of scale in a way no other company can duplicate. We reach over 110-million listeners every week, across all 50 states and through nearly every format.”– Clear Channel Annual Report I like to listen to the radio. My old car has an old […]

Get Ready for Pax Americana

Get Ready for Pax Americana

By John Hughes Is it far-fetched to believe there is a master blueprint for America’s future, a grand plan or design in the minds of our leaders? Conspiracy theories aside, there is, at least in international relations, the beginning of one, hailing from the (some would say “neo”) conservative end of the spectrum. Star wars, […]

Borrower Beware

Borrower Beware

By Bethany Sanchez PART TWO OF A TWO-PART SERIES In the first of this two-part series, last month’s installment on predatory lending described how Mrs. Green, a 72-year old Milwaukee widow got trapped into a high-cost loan offered to her by real estate “professionals” who were engaging in illegal activities. This month, we’ll talk about […]

Homeo-what?

Homeo-what?

By Jan Wolfenberg Homeo-what? Or, homeopathy demystified I am a homeopath. This means I practice the art and science of homeopathic medicine. I use these medicines first and foremost whenever faced with a health challenge. And so, in the columns I’ve been writing for Vital Source over the last few months, I naturally mention homeopathic […]

Rishi Tea’s founders subscribe to the leaf itself

Rishi Tea’s founders subscribe to the leaf itself

By John Hughes It is not widely known that Rishi Tea, perhaps the finest tea company in the world, winner of an unprecedented three consecutive Best Tea awards from the Specialty Coffee Association of America, is a six-year old Milwaukee-based venture, founded by three graduates of Rufus King High School. Joshua Kaiser, whose brainchild this […]

Will the Arts Building in Walker’s Point remain true to its name?

Will the Arts Building in Walker’s Point remain true to its name?

By Matt Czarnik Standing quietly, nestled among the rusted and busted, soot-stained leftovers from Milwaukee’s industrious history, and on the outer edge of the city’s lower Southside redevelopment projects just off 2nd St. in Historic Walker’s Point, is 133 W. Pittsburgh. In its early years it was a candy factory, then Bostrom, a seat cover […]

When Neocons Cook Intelligence: A Recipe for Disaster
When Neocons Cook Intelligence

A Recipe for Disaster

By Mary McIntyre The Iraqis have been given time to contemplate the high price they’ve paid for their “liberation” since the toppling of the Saddam statue in Baghdad. One month later, electricity is still not reliably available. Outbreaks of cholera caused by contaminated drinking water have been reported. Hospitals are unable to administer effective medical […]

At Swim Two Birds

At Swim Two Birds

By Michael Seidel “I stare of your face and I don’t know the first word to say.” With uncertainty — that’s how At Swim Two Birds’ record Quigley’s Point starts off. And that initial utterance sets the mood for the entire record. At Swim Two Birds is Roger Quigley, the vocal half of English cult […]

Buzzcocks

Buzzcocks

By Jeremy Saperstein Most often, career resumptions are bad. They’re vents to quicken the rise of “I can’t believe I used to like these guys” bile in the back of your throat, full of lackluster performances and tired songwriting as a bunch of can’t-grow-up dudes hit the state fair circuit in search of one more […]

Evan Dando

Evan Dando

By Jeremy Saperstein Me, I always thought the idea of Evan Dando was a great one — a pretty-boy pop singer with the right influences, impeccable taste in covers and a band that friends were always telling me I should check out. I did, and aside from some truly great moments (the ramshackle video for […]

Molly Johnson

Molly Johnson

By Brian Barney Those familiar with Molly Johnson’s past remember her as the founder of the art-rock band Alta Moda from the early 80’s and as the lead singer for The Infidels in the early 90’s. Following the footsteps of fate has led her to what is most likely her true calling as one of […]

Whirlwind Heat

Whirlwind Heat

By Brian Barney The first big thing to come from Jack White’s (of The White Stripes) new label is a hot little art-rock trio called Whirlwind Heat. At first glance, Do Rabbits Wonder? looks pretentious with mod Warholesque art work and songs entitled by color: "Black," "Tan," "White," etc. After a spin or two though, […]

Lucinda Williams

Lucinda Williams

By John Hughes The brilliant Ms. Williams, 50 year old alt-country chanteuse, angst goddess, poet and daredevil, has added nine great new songs to her legacy as one of the most underrated songwriters in a generation. World Without Tears was recorded live, and the results are incandescent. Never before has Lucinda sounded so raw and […]

Turning the Mind Into an Ally
Drop City

Drop City

By

Levity

Levity

By

A Mighty Wind

A Mighty Wind

By

Greg  Sampson

Greg Sampson

Andrew  Hollis

Andrew Hollis

Bethany  Sanchez

Bethany Sanchez

Brent  Gohde

Brent Gohde

Caroline E. Layde

Caroline E. Layde

Fatal Flying Guiloteens

Fatal Flying Guiloteens

By Jeremy Saperstein I’ve discovered the lost link between Captain Beefheart and Raw Power-era Iggy. They tell me these boys put on hellaciously fierce live shows, and I don’t doubt that, based on this record. Listening to it on headphones in a roomful of innocent fellow humans, I’m tempted to either go into a catatonic […]

MC Honky

MC Honky

By Jeremy Saperstein "Sonnet No. 3 (Like A Duck)" has an irrepressible beat that combines physical fitness records, orchestral stabs and Shakespeare, while "Soft Velvety ‘Fer" seamlessly melds a very disturbing series of telephone answering machine messages with a backing track that recalls the Beatles’ "Flying"; while "3 Turntables & 2 Microphones" could be a […]

White Stripes

White Stripes

By Jeremy Saperstein A college chum and I used to earnestly discuss how Guns’N’Roses were most certainly the future of rock. Paul Westerberg of the Replacements once said something like “Most bands stand outside and throw stones at the house; I think we have a chance to throw ‘em out from the inside”. I remember […]

Xerophonics

Xerophonics

By Jeremy Saperstein There’s a definite warm solace to be found in the fluorescent hell of work. Once you’ve arrived for another eight-hour sentence, the rhythm of the workplace begins to nudge you like a tide, making action and reaction easy as you work through the day. Coffee at eight and ten, lunch at noon, […]

Various Artists

Various Artists

By Jeremy Saperstein Man, there’s no reason I should like this as much as I do. OK, sure, it’s a tribute album not to a band, but to the (relatively) obscure 70s film Two-Lane Blacktop, and that’s a movie I have a strange place in my heart for. That conceit alone makes the work of […]

Various Artists

Various Artists

By Jeremy Saperstein It’s perverse to review this: there’s no identification on it (beyond label name), no titles or artists, and it’s rumored to have been removed from distribution for copyright reasons. It’s nigh impossible to find a copy (I got mine on the Internet at Turntable Lab – turntablelab.com/index1.html). Perverse, yes. So why review […]

Ignorance

Ignorance

By

What I Loved

What I Loved

By

Irreversible

Irreversible

By

Brent Gohde’s Funeral March

Brent Gohde’s Funeral March

By Brent Gohde I don’t know about you, but when I was sixteen, it was a virtue to be more morbid than the next guy. At lunch one day, I think it was Eric Thompson who posited the question of what song we wanted played at our funeral. If there was a vote, I think […]

ADULT.

ADULT.

By Haven Langhout ADULT. is the real-life couple Nicola Kuperus and Adam Lee Miller and a variety of undisclosed electronic music gear. Anxiety Always is their second full-length EP, their first being 2001’s Resuscitation. Like its predecessor, Anxiety Always features more songs about alienation and anxiety, but this album has a more human touch to […]

All Girl Summer Fun Band

All Girl Summer Fun Band

By Greg Sampson For a time I thought it unfortunate for the girls of All Girl Summer Fun Band that I remembered their 2002 self-titled release mostly for its lukewarm reception by many critics. I remember hearing the album myself, and while I found their music catchy and even pleasant, my overall reaction could not […]

Marc Broussard

Marc Broussard

By Brian Barney Marc Broussard first hit the stage at age five, joining his father, Hall of Fame guitarist Ted Broussard to belt out “Johnnie B. Goode.” Fifteen years later, he has become one of the brightest young talents to ever cause a record company bidding war. His legacy goes back to his grandfather, Albert, […]

Can we teach Iraq to live (and love) democracy?

Can we teach Iraq to live (and love) democracy?

By Paul McLeary Democracy, being the big, wonderful, scary beast of a political system that it is, can please some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time. For all the lip service paid to its’ being beholden to the will of the people, a democratic […]

Thoroughly Modernist Museum

Thoroughly Modernist Museum

By Ken Morgan It’s already been selected to receive a 2002 American Architecture Award from the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design. The Racine Art Museum opens its doors for the first time on May 11, 2003. A terrific example of contemporary architecture, it takes its place in Racine alongside 20th century architectural design […]

The "External Evil Winds" of Spring

The "External Evil Winds" of Spring

By Lygia Angel Treating allergies with Traditional Chinese Medicine A strong wind blows over a field of ragweed. Suddenly, you sneeze and your eyes start to itch. In Chinese medicine this “sudden onset” (a.k.a., acute allergic reaction) means an “External Wind Evil” has attacked your lungs. When environmental or seasonal allergens are present, the body […]

Dr. Judy Hall’s mission of medicine for the Iraqi people

Dr. Judy Hall’s mission of medicine for the Iraqi people

By John Hughes On a recent unseasonably warm Monday evening, I sat with Judy Hall on the front stoop outside of her home, and as the breezes cooled us we watched neighbor children ride bicycles up and down the city street. Judy, an M.D. and psychiatrist, told me about her recent 10 day visit to […]

Borrower Beware

Borrower Beware

By Bethany Sanchez PART ONE OF A TWO-PART SERIES A cautionary tale “Mrs. Green” is a 72-year-old widow, who has lived in her home for 28 years. When a home repair contractor knocked on her door in April 2000, Mrs. Green had great credit, and she had almost paid off her entire 30-year mortgage. The […]

Private Thoughts of War

Private Thoughts of War

By John Hughes One of the many stories of the Iraqi War and Reconstruction is the personal thoughts and feelings of rank and file Milwaukeeans. Beyond poll numbers, beyond anti-war demonstrations and radio talk shows, beyond politicians, pundits and headline grabbers, there are the common woman and man. In a series of five interviews with […]

A Poet’s Journal

A Poet’s Journal

By Russ Bickerstaff 04-09-03 The Bucks just won a game which brought them within one game of the playoffs. I don’t care. I’m wondering what happened to all the poets. I’m at the Y-Not II on the second Wednesday of the month and there are less than six of us there for the East-Side Milwaukee […]

Confessions of an Old Paperboy

Confessions of an Old Paperboy

By Andrew Hollis I found myself unable to sleep one night last week, which resulted in my wandering aimlessly around the house in the ghostly predawn hours. I finally settled in on the couch to watch an old black and white on the tube when I heard a muffled but distinct “thud” just outside my […]

Alexander  Ragir

Alexander Ragir

Bryan  Pfeifer

Bryan Pfeifer

Lygia  Angel

Lygia Angel

Naghmeh  Sohrabi

Naghmeh Sohrabi

Russ  Bickerstaff

Russ Bickerstaff

Anonymous  Author

Anonymous Author

Brian  Barney

Brian Barney

Haven  Langhout

Haven Langhout

J. Alan Wilder

J. Alan Wilder

Jen  Locke

Jen Locke

Jessamyn  West

Jessamyn West

Rebecca  Haack

Rebecca Haack

Jan  Wolfenberg

Jan Wolfenberg

Kelp  Chofs

Kelp Chofs

Paul  McLeary

Paul McLeary

The Uncultured  Bacterium
Eric  Francis

Eric Francis

Erin  Stalnaker

Erin Stalnaker

John  Hughes

John Hughes

Ken  Morgan

Ken Morgan

Matt  Czarnik

Matt Czarnik

Collections of Colonies of Bees

Collections of Colonies of Bees

By Brian Barney The latest from Collections of Colonies of Bees is comprised of musical murmurings that crescendo to eclectic swellings with acoustic guitars and analog keys. Each song seems to fade into the next with a fluid motion that mimics a boat drifting down a stream, occasionally bumping flotsam represented by sharply picked harmonics […]

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

By Haven Langhout What can I say? It’s a Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds album, but more mellow than ever this time around. I’m a big fan of Cave’s earlier work so I didn’t enjoy this album too much on first listen. But the more I listen to it the more I like it. […]

The Blow

The Blow

By Jeremy Saperstein The Blow is Khaela Maricich. Formerly known as Get the Hell Out of the Way of the Volcano, Maricich has released at least a pair of tremendously idiosyncratic records featuring her strong breathy vocals, and appeared with other artists from the K stable, including Phil Elvrum (The Microphones) and Calvin Johnson (K […]

The Belles

The Belles

By Jeremy Saperstein I’m pretty sure I’ve sworn off nice pop records a hundred times. Some sort of social consciousness bug invades my system and I swear I’ll never listen to simple lyrics of love again. But I always crack. Omerta is a fine record to crack to. The Belles are, surprisingly, only a duo […]

The Country Under My Skin

The Country Under My Skin

By

Four Against The War

Four Against The War

By

Accurate Key

Accurate Key

By

Gerry

Gerry

By

Kelp Chofs Takes GbV on The Road Less Traveled

Kelp Chofs Takes GbV on The Road Less Traveled

By Kelp Chofs Sweat. Grime. Arms. Legs. Face. Had the air-conditioning even been working in John’s ’80’s-something Toyota it may not have done much good on that sweltering day in the Summer of ‘97. John and I were bandmates (and still are) driving out of St. Louis toward a show in Iowa City. Were we […]

St. Thomas

St. Thomas

By Jeremy Saperstein I’ve gotta start this review with the same thing I’m sure every other review will start with: singer/songwriter Thomas Hansen sounds remarkably like Neil Young, in lyrics, delivery and musical construction. Okay, now that’s out of the way… If you’re already fond of the works of Mr. Young, the odds are good […]

Nuna

Nuna

By Jeremy Saperstein This Milwaukee trio delivers an extremely energetic and catchy disk that seems to defy pigeonholing under any convenient label. Because they’re a trio and their music offers many of the dynamic shifts that Nirvana (and the Pixies before them) did in their ascendancy, I’m sure most critics will identify them as grunge, […]

Greg Koch

Greg Koch

By Brian Barney When Greg Koch was in the third grade, he cut out a cardboard guitar, and while using a sewing machine foot controller as a makeshift wah, proceeded to emulate Jimi Hendrix. Yeah, sure, we all did that, but Koch kept the delirium alive and went on to become one of the best […]

Four Legs Good, Two Legs Bad

Four Legs Good, Two Legs Bad

By Paul McLeary The Bush administration’s use of the English language reads like something out of a dystopian political novel. Some of its recent concoctions, like The Department of Homeland Security; Rumsfeld’s “old Europe” bon mot; the Office of Information Awareness (OIA); the USA PATRIOT Act; Weapons of Mass Destruction; the Axis of Evil and […]

Rivers, Railways and a Greener Milwaukee

Rivers, Railways and a Greener Milwaukee

By Matt Czarnik Milwaukee, a city built on the edge of a Great Lake and fed by the convergence of three major waterways, each supporting its own diverse and extensive natural habitat of flora and fauna, is a land capable of creating and sustaining many forms of life. Follow the ancient formula that gave birth […]

Remedies for Spring’s Strains and Pains

Remedies for Spring’s Strains and Pains

By Jan Wolfenberg Spring is upon us, and for many, this means a sudden increase in physical activity. It’s common to greet the warm weather and bright sunshine with a generous portion of over-enthusiasm. We are all so eager to shake off the winter cobwebs and get outside! Whether gardening, golfing, or just spring-cleaning, the […]

The Kids Are Alright

The Kids Are Alright

By John Hughes These are violent and disturbing times. With war and terrorism looming over our heads, the economy slumping and personal depression seemingly at a new high, there is more than enough to worry about. Also, the roaring din of celebrity glitter and the avalanche of plastic entertainment can leave a person feeling estranged. […]

The Immigrant Student Reality

The Immigrant Student Reality

By Erin Stalnaker Proposed tuition hikes have UW students and faculty up in arms, and rightfully so. But the increase, while steep, is still only 7�o 9.4�depending on the campus and undergraduate or graduate status. So imagine the ire of students and parents alike if 2003-04 tuition rates increased 441�from $3,738 per year to $16,490. […]

The “Other” Baseball

The “Other” Baseball

By John Hughes There you sit, at Miller Park again. The new leaders – Payne, Melvin and Yost – have made a good impression on you, and so, as an act of faith, you have trekked out to the ballyard and paid dearly for parking, tickets, peanuts and Cracker Jack. You are seated in this […]