Tonight, as part of Sound Vision, the Hotel Foster hosts the vinyl release of Kyle Feerick’s new album. It features various local artists including Sean Williamson and Peter Thomas. I’m Not a Pilot will kick off this night of fantastic music. If you took in a film today from the Milwaukee Film Festival, make sure to bring your ticket stub for free entry to this show.

Wednesday brings us The Ragadors, Hewn (of Madison), and a band that has quickly become a local favorite, Kane Place Record Club. Doors open at 9pm and The Ragadors might just have something new up their sleeves, so check it out.

This Thursday the Hotel Foster will play host to another release party when the Delta Routine releases their newest album, Cigarettes and Caffeine Nightmares, with local band We Are Your Father and Hero Jr of Indianapolis. The buzz surrounding this album is as far reaching as England, so this is a show not to miss. The Delta Routine will soon be on the road, so be sure to check out their upcoming tour dates, some of which include Hero Jr.

Visit to look at movie reviews and show times. Details about Sound Vision can be found on the Facebook event page:


The crowd was gathered and murmuring early outside of the Miramar Theater Sunday night in anticipation of Hayward Williams album release show for his newest offering titled Haymaker. Though the winds danced with cold air, the night that was to come would prove worth the chilly wait. The night started out with an acoustic guitar and piano duo called Daniel and the Lion. These guys are originally from Wisconsin but have recently relocated to Nashville. It is easy to see their crisp, intelligent and highly rhythmic songwriting fitting in perfectly down in the home of the Grand Ole Opry. They delved into a few tunes from their newest record which is called Death Head (Side B). One standout was called “The Dark Red Waltz”; a tune which singer/guitarist Jimmie Linville said was about “Digging your lover out of the ground and dancing with her.” It was a haunted, creepily mid-tempo ballad; with a chorus that waltzed around the line, “On and on forever.” Linville showed restraint with his singing even while displaying a nifty vocal agility. Pianist, Daniel Pingrey, provided a nice backing with his stately and beautiful chord voicings. These guys flat out write great songs and deliver them with a humble passion. Check out their website here:

Next up were Miles Nielsen and The Rusted Hearts. Miles Nielsen is a seasoned performer who also spends part of his time playing in Cory Chisel & The Wandering Sons. They burst out of the gates with a tight, country-ish, spark of a number that was led by some gorgeous oboe melodies. They then followed that up with a song called “Tokyo.” The plot of this story dealt with two foreign exchange students who became hooked on heroin on the streets of, you guessed it, Tokyo. The band utilized deft dynamics to take the song to its zenith where Nielsen sang, “Where did we go wrong? Where did we go?” Next, Nielsen used his highly pliable vocal palate to sing an easy going tune that contained hints of Middle Eastern melodic movement. They then played the first two tracks off of their latest record which is titled The Rusted Hearts. The first song was the title track, “Rusted Hearts”. It was a ballad with barely contained rock and roll mayhem as its underpinning. The next song called “The Grain” had a highly infectious chorus that employed liberal amounts of soul harmonies and it had the crowd trying to sing along. The last tune they played was an A cappella number featuring an overwhelming five part vocal harmony throughout. Miles Nielsen and The Rusted Hearts play that sumptuous and uplifting feel good music. Here is where you can find this soulful music:

Hayward Williams then proceeded to the stage to bat clean-up. His opening words to the crowd were, “You guys are so polite.” Nattily attired in a simple black suit, Hayward opened up with a plaintive and pretty song called “What’s coming.” He and his armed & ready band then tore into the T-Rex shaking stomp of “Before the Storm. He also called up Miles Nielsen for the song which just added to its ferocity. Williams proved to be a coyly brilliant and inventive guitar player in that song and throughout the evening. After this Williams went into a song that he announced as “scary”, encouraging the crowd to make scary noises during a bridge of the song. The previously amazingly reverent crowd was more than ready to let loose and get silly. Next up was “Winter Bird” which he wrote with talented guitarist Dan McMahon (who also tore it up earlier as part of Miles Nielsen and The Rusted Hearts). Williams told the audience that it was “an ostinato (a constantly recurring melodic fragment) if you wanted to get technical” but if you did not want to be so music school about it you could just say it was riveting. The band then left the stage and let Williams play a short solo set. He played an outstanding song about his wife that rang true by the emotion in his voice. While his use of metaphor is deserving of lauding, his songwriting is distinctive because of its firm rooting in an enjoyable melodic realism. Williams did not only play songs from his new record, he played “Cottonbell” which was the title track from his previous release. The song sparkled with its current adornments. Next was the clever song “Paper Chains”; it is a sentiment we have all felt but it takes something special to craft a song that can get the feelings across. The penultimate song was “Dancing in the Dark” by one of William’s inspirations, Bruce Springsteen. The band blistered and swayed throughout it. Springsteen comes up a lot when Williams is written about; for this writer it is not that they have similar vocal tones, it is that their baritones both drip with a certain gravitas. At the close of the already fantastic night, Williams called everyone up from all three bands and they sang the ever appropriate Beatles song, “With a Little Help from My Friends.” Williams, Miles Nielsen and Jimmie Linville took turns taking the lead. The crowd roared with approval when they finished. This show was a perfect end to a weekend and a nice way to embark on the week ahead. Find Hayward Williams’ music here:


The recently recalculated band, Tiger Mouth, used the occasion of the autumnal equinox to bring their brash, swaggering tunes to the Up and Under Pub. The place was packed by their midnight set time and they proceeded to barrel right into the tunes. One early song was a 50’s type ballad that they wedged with a wildly aggressive sound. The juxtaposition was enough to get everyone in the establishment moving. They then followed this by going into “Don’t Let Me Down” by the “Fab Four” from Liverpool. The boys chose to forego note for note reverence in order to let them put their unique Tiger Mouth stamp on it. Next was a slow-paced love song called “Your Love” which had the hoi polloi searching out another soul so that they could shake what their mamas gave them. Next the band got back to the raucousness with an original tune that channeled the Allman Brothers through a Robert Randolph-esque groove. The organ player took the song right where the loud and kinetic crowd wanted it to be. Lead singer Brad Lee Curtis can howl and growl with the best of them but his voice is subtly soulful in an easy way. It’s a family affair, with his brother Greg tearing away on lead guitar, complimenting Brad’s vocals & guitar perfectly. And you can’t forget about Tiger Mouth’s dynamic bass player, Ryan Blundon, with his fiery mane & disposition to match. Finishing off their set with an encore because the crowd would not have had it any other way, they promptly strutted their way through The Rolling Stones’ “Jumpin Jack Flash”. The crowd strutted right along with them and then clapped the boys off the stage. Check out this band if you haven’t seen them yet, their next gig is the Riverwest Art Walk official after party at Stonefly this Saturday, October 6th!


“Anyone can wear the jacket, only they can wear the coat” An Inside Look at The Delta Routine’s Upcoming Album “Cigarettes and Caffeine Nightmares”

Gone are the days when we had to rely solely on the radio to hear our favorite band’s newest song before the album’s release.  In this time of almost instant gratification, the internet allows us immediate access, but it also floods the music industry with a lot of mediocre, one-hit wonders. This is why I’m grateful for talented, hard-working bands like The Delta Routine. Their third full-length record, “Cigarettes and Caffeine Nightmares” is set for release on October 9th (with an official release party on October 11th at the Hotel Foster) , and they continue to maintain their fun, distinctive sound while supplying us with fresh new hits to dance to.

Continue reading “Anyone can wear the jacket, only they can wear the coat” An Inside Look at The Delta Routine’s Upcoming Album “Cigarettes and Caffeine Nightmares”


Saturday was a busy day and night with events scattered all over town. After the WI Avenue bridge celebration, I headed over to Mad Planet to warm my feet up with some dancing. Mad Planet is one of those well known venues that has a lot of history, with many great bands passing through over the years. organized the show on this particular night so not surprisingly there was a decent crowd by the time I walked in at 10:30pm.



Saturday was the much anticipated Wisconsin Avenue Bridge Celebration in honor of the “Main Street of Milwaukee” finally having a working bridge again. Since it has officially been open a couple weeks, Art Milwaukee & Newaukee got permission to close it down one last time to throw a bash in its honor. This all day event was filled with art, music, yoga, a flotilla (boat parade), beer, food & more. Unfortunately the first day of fall was in full force with low temperatures, strong winds and even some rain. But that didn’t stop the thousands of people who showed up or the hundreds of dancing fans in front of the stages late into the night. After all, this is Wisconsin, right?

Continue reading WI AVE BRIDGE PARTY 9/22/2012: ROCKIN IN THE RAIN & COLD



Empires is a Chicago-based grungy-indie rock band who has been busy touring with national acts, recording & releasing their 2nd full length album and almost landing the cover of Rolling Stone recently. I had a chance on Tuesday to chat with lead singer Sean Van Vleet, in preparation for their upcoming show at Mad Planet on Saturday with local acts Ikarus Down and Fossils. The show was arranged by Jeremy Rogers of Do414 so it’s bound to be a fun night filled with great music. Sean & I talked for nearly a half hour about the exciting journey his band is on but more significantly to me, just music in general. It’s a sign of talent & character when a musician, let alone a frontman, talks to blogger he doesn’t know from Adam like an old friend he’s catching up with. City rivalry aside, you gotta love that Midwestern camaraderie.



This Saturday, October 22nd is the Wisconsin Bridge Celebration and Art-Walk event in downtown Milwaukee. The celebration is hosted by Art Milwaukee and NEWaukee with help from many local business sponsors. Over the past couple years, the bridges along the Milwaukee River downtown have been under construction leading to many detours and alternate routes. Luckily, construction is over, making time for a party! The Wisconsin Avenue bridge will again be shut down to traffic, but this time its to make room for lots of people, food, drinks, art and live music.

For local live music, there are two stages featuring music booked mainly by Made in Milwaukee. The main stage is sponsored by Heineken and will showcase local performances by Ethan Keller, Undercover Organism, I’m Not a Pilot, Kane Place Record Club and De La Buena. On a smaller second stage, sponsored by 88.9 Radio Milwaukee, will feature performances by Roxie Beane, Mike Brumm, Bryon Cherry and many others.

There will also be various activities going on along the river. Both east and west sides of the riverwalk will feature live artists and painters. Also, a Flotilla Boat Parade will be taking place at 1:00pm, judged by Mayor Tom Barrett, Alderman Bauman, Cecelia Gilbert and Hanna Swanson.

This event will be wrap up around 10:00pm but the party doesn’t stop there! Local Playlist is hosting the official after party at John Hawk’s Pub. The after party is also free and will feature performances by Ivy Spokes and a DJ set by Matt Future. Everyone is invited, see you there Milwaukee!

For more information about the bridge event and full list of activities follow the link below to the website.


Bayview Bash has become one of Milwaukee’s premier street parties, showcasing local bands, artists, organizations, and area businesses.  It was refreshing to see an emphasis on sustainability at this go-round, as this year boasted a “near-zero waste festival” tagline. There were well-placed spots to put your compost and recycle which was all being used. The city must have set some sort of record for “green parties” this weekend as the Rock the Green show was right down the road the same day. Win!

What didn’t make a lot of sense to me was the music lineup for the day.  IROCKZ rocked, as they have been a mainstay in the Milwaukee original rock scene for the last decade, but were put on the Rushmor stage at 1:15, while cover bands encompassed virtually the entire remainder of the festival.  From KISS, to Guns & Roses tribute bands to a one-man-and playing to ridiculous and equally horrible tracks, one felt like they were at a County Fair in a rural Midwest town, rather than a thriving, well respected area at the center of Milwaukee’s art hub. What a let down.

To finish out a beautiful sunny day, my friend’s car got towed during the festival right out of one of Bayview’s lovely neighborhoods…with my keys in it!  Apparently Saturday afternoon (after the tow lot has already closed) is a perfect time for parking checkers to turn up the heat on citizens with outstanding tickets and/or out of date stickers. I’m actually leading a petition on parking regulations right now, so if anyone wants to jump onboard the justice wagon with me…please let me know.

Parking checkers + cover bands = Unhappy Sean, but I still really enjoy this festival and know that it will work out the kinks. Looking forward to next year!


Whether the moniker is Conrad Plymouth, Field Report or just plain old Chris Porterfield, the constant is a dedication to well-hemmed storytelling and the craft of songwriting. Porterfield curated Field Report’s album release at Linneman’s Inn in Riverwest as a mostly acoustic night, and in the listening room the emphasis was undoubtedly on the listening. Porterfield frankly but politely gave the admonition toward the start of singer/guitarist’s Aero Flynn’s lead off set. Aero Flynn possessed a light floating voice which sailed over heavy minded tales of love, loss and the consequences that are inherent within that subject matter.