• The Best Shows I Saw In 2012

    Posted 02/03/2013 by cal

    When I started looking back on 2012, I definitely felt like it was amazing for records but not so amazing for live music.  If that’s true, it’s only because every year is great for live music, and 2011 will always be tough to beat.  And in terms of the Milwaukee scene, 2012 was easily the best year yet that I’ve been a part of, even if some of my favorite local bands (*cough cough ahem* CELEBRATED WORKINGMAN) virtually went into hiding.  Many highlights from unexpected bands, and of course some reliable greatness from perennial faves, make up this year’s list.  Read on for those highlights.

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  • The You-Phoria Guide To Festivals, 2011

    Posted 03/09/2011 by cal

    Now that festivals are big business again, even the hippies have gone hipster, and every year is a PR race to announce the most diverse and crowd-pleasing lineup.  The sense of community is all but gone now from the major three-day parties, and the pioneering spirit that created Bonnaroo is nowhere to be found.  This is already causing a decline in festival attendance and the cancellation of several formerly big names (10,000 Lakes and Rothbury spring to mind).  Still, for the music lover with eclectic tastes, there is an incredible bounty to be had.  Events succeed because with the demise of making records as a career, more and more bands are learning that they must be able to draw crowds playing live if they ever want to quit their day jobs.  Thus, while the big festivals may be on the verge of going dormant again, we concert-goers win by packing as much music as possible into the bulk ticket price.  But which ones are worth the hassle that IS festival life?  Just in case you’re still mulling things over for this year, here’s a handy guide.

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  • Primus: Congress Theatre, 10.02.10

    Posted 10/04/2010 by cal

    Another Chicago show, another mile-long line to get into the venue, and staff who give you wrong information about where you need to go (added bonus: it‘s raining).  I guess Wisconsin promoters are just universally better staffed and organized, or just actually give a shit about the fans.  My excitement about the show NOT being at the Aragon was pretty much unfounded, but the Oddity Faire cheered me up once I got inside, courtesy of the Chicago League of Lady Arm Wrestlers (CLLAW, duh).  Then, Portugal. The Man (Dumbest inside-joke punctuation usage in a band name ever?  Other contenders besides moe.?) came out and rocked the house like The Mars Volta with enhanced shoegaze properties and the opening sequence of “Heart Of The Sunrise” as its go-to jam template.  Prog tooth satisfied, ready for Primus 4.0.*

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  • 2009 In Music, So Far

    Posted 07/13/2009 by cal

    It’s nowhere near list season, but I guess it makes sense to at least do a quick rundown of some key releases of 2009 in the middle of the year. No one should have to wait until January to be told what to buy! At this point, I haven’t listened to most of this stuff enough to judge it anyway, but here’s what’s striking me so far…

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  • The Oddity Faire: A Completely Insufficient Review

    Posted 03/28/2009 by cal

    As Les Claypool’s traveling mini-fest tumbled through the Rave on March 20th, I faithfully stumbled in again, even though I keep wishing he’d pick a different venue. For a few different reasons, this event did not get all the attention it deserved from me, but I feel it is my duty to at least give the best recap I am able to.

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  • The You-Phoria Guide to the 2009 Concert Season

    Posted 03/06/2009 by cal

    The musical prospects of 2009 are quite honestly frightening. To begin with, barring my death, this will be the first time I’ll see Phish and U2 both in the same year; that alone virtually guarantees a landmark end to the aughts. But there’s a lot to get excited about, so I thought I’d run up a quick list (note: “quick” is a relative term) of potentials to shake us out of the winter doldrums if this 50-degree weather hasn't done it already.

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  • The Best Shows Of 2008

    Posted 02/04/2009 by cal

    When I started brainstorming this list, I was thinking "who the heck did I even see this year besides SC3?" As it turns out, as I've perused the archives, that's due to the dominant awesomeness of SC3 and NOT the lack of good shows this year. I had a brutal time trying to decide what meant more to me than what else, but here's how it all shook out…

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  • The Best Shows Of 2006

    Posted 03/21/2007 by cal

    Yep, 2007 is well underway. I really don't give a damn. It's still worth it to me to sum up last year in live music, even if it isn't worth it to anybody else to read the summation.

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