• The Greatest Metal Albums Of All Time

    Posted 08/19/2017 by Cal

    I could’ve done a straight-up “favorites” list like the black metal list I made earlier this year, but then there wouldn’t be the pretense of going up against the Rolling Stone list, the comedy of which is what prompted this list.

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  • 2015: Rap

    Posted 02/08/2016 by cal

    One of the main reasons I didn’t want to do a simple list this year is that number one has been so obvious all year. Why bother if there’s no suspense?

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  • 2015 So Far

    Posted 03/29/2015 by cal

    We're only three months into 2015 and there's a ton of exceptional music out already. It's hard to keep up. It was hard to draw a line on what to include in this piece. Nevertheless, in my continuing odyssey of trying to determine whether or not record reviews still have any value at all, I'm going to post this rundown of albums I've been loving so far this year, brief (in most cases) blurbs with links to listen or download (in most cases), making this whole process as easy and painless for you as possible, in an attempt to get you to pay attention to some things you might not otherwise hear. Yes, you!

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  • The Best Music Of 2014

    Posted 01/20/2015 by cal

    The Beast. Many, many words and numbers and links (and even a few playlists) concerning my favorite musicks of 2014. Enjoy.

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  • The Best Shows I Saw In 2014

    Posted 12/23/2014 by cal

    In an effort to impress upon people who need these things explained the ultimate meaningless of the numbers involved in these lists I like to write, there is a tie for number one this year. The shows were so completely different and earth-shattering that I couldn't possibly choose. BUT THEN NUMBER TWO SHOULD REALLY BE NUMBER THREE. Are you happy now?

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  • The Best Albums Of 2013

    Posted 12/29/2013 by cal

    2013: not as good as 2012 (musically speaking), but not nearly as bad as this boring list season would have you believe.

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  • The Best Shows Of 2013

    Posted 12/15/2013 by cal

    Enough has probably been said already about that one thing my wife was in, right? Because that was my favorite live music event of the year/coolest thing that has happened in Milwaukee possibly ever, but even on my own blog, I probably won't write about that band much any more. After today, that is; there was a performance prior to my wife joining the band that I don't feel guilty mentioning, and from now on you can just assume that the Altos are still my favorite band in town and everything they do is awesome, until they break up or kick my wife out of the band. Mmmkay? So not counting the Film Fest, here are my favorite shows of 2013.

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  • Death Blues: Cactus Club, 5/4/2013

    Posted 05/06/2013 by cal

    The Alverno Death Blues shows last November were magnificent productions, but I have to confess, sheepishly, that in purely musical terms I found them lacking.  The simplistic hypnotic drones didn’t contain enough dynamic to captivate me by themselves.  I got the feeling that most people there had never heard music like that before, but I had.  The unique overall experience and the sheer force of Jon Mueller's will bolstered the songs, and through that they became great.  Stripped of the accoutrements, I wasn’t overly excited about seeing them played again by a three-piece band, but the chance to relive the Death Blues experience wasn’t something I wanted to pass up; it never completely left my consciousness.

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  • 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 Best Music Of 2012

    Posted 01/21/2013 by cal

    I've finally finished, folks!  As the final strains of your next-door neighbor's crappy demo tape fade out, I can now say I've heard every single record produced in 2012.  Therefore, I can now present the definitive list of The Best Music Of 2012.  Yes, I know you are dying to see how your personal opinion matches up with the truth; you shall now have your answers.  I wish I could reveal how my own tastes line up with objective goodness, let you all in on what I'm a FAN of, an indulgence that is only permissible for music writers at this time of year; oh, to afford myself such a luxury!  But what a disservice it would be to you, my dear readers!  In the face of undeniable greatness, what is one man's opinion?  I do welcome any incorrect arguments you may have concerning omissions; please submit them in the comments section at the bottom of the page.

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  • Death Blues (No Time Like The Present)

    Posted 11/19/2012 by cal

    Death Blues is as much about what you bring as a member of the audience as it is about taste or smell or dance or music.  You are expected to have familiarized yourself with the concept somewhat beforehand: The time of your death is unknown, so make every moment count.  You are expected to be silent throughout the event (hooray!); the result is that the performance is as much in your mind as on the stage.  Through lengthy stretches of soundlessness, your thoughts are the show.

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  • Summerfest Day 8

    Posted 07/11/2012 by cal

    Thursday night was earnest white guy night at Summerfest, but before I get to the part with the swooning teenage girls, let’s talk about swooning Gen-X punk rock dudes who grabbed the opportunity to get nostalgic with The Smoking Popes.  They never tried to be the fastest, most aggressive band in the scene, leaving the obnoxious whiny vocals to Screeching Weasel in favor of clean, melodic singing and some of the catchiest pop music that could still be considered at all punk.  Now approaching a decade into their reunion, the Popes still don’t sound much different than they did in 1994; maybe a bit slower but still punchy, and freed from the tired notion of “sellout,” they can mash up a “Do You Feel Like We Do” jam with Jawbreaker’s “Do You Still Hate Me” and not worry about repercussions.

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  • Juniper Tar: Turner Hall Ballroom, 4/27/12

    Posted 05/01/2012 by cal

    Ever since Wilco went indie rock, the whole folk rock trend seems to have lost its way.  Hell, even My Morning Jacket went disco, and if all we’re left with is Fleet Foxes in the national picture, God help us. (I’m not even going to get started on Bon Iver.) But freed from the pressures of keeping up with a widespread scene, Milwaukee has kept the flame alive all this time, to the point where now it’s the dominant unifying sound of Brewtown.  Go figure; this is where the rural and the urban meet, a cultural melting pot with plenty of room to breathe.  It may be a sad thought, but with the passing of Levon Helm, there could well be a massive resurgence in roots music, but around these parts it’s been full steam ahead all along.  2012 will purportedly see new releases from The Championship and Field Report (start getting excited now), and Friday night, The First Waltz at Turner Hall Ballroom (naturally!), was in honor of Juniper Tar’s exceptional new album Since Before.  I don’t care if you’re sick of hearing about these guys.  They rule.

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  • "The First Waltz" Residency, Nights 2 & 3

    Posted 04/14/2012 by cal

    Last week I was either too busy or too lazy (I forget which) to do a recap of night two of this residency that’s racing to its conclusion all too quickly, and it wouldn’t be fair to skip a week.  So, let this be your official welcome to the new and improved You-Phoria, thanks to the dedicated work of the inventor and namesake of this site (and birthday boy)!  Act now, limited-time, Milwaukee Day offer: TWO Juniper Tar Hotel Foster “The First Waltz” Residency reviews for the price of one! (Actually, it’ll be up here forever; no need to rush.)

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