• Chris Cornell, RIP

    Posted 05/18/2017 by cal

    I don't know if anyone who will read this follows me on twitter, but if you do, you may be thinking 'He's never had a single nice thing to say about Chris Cornell in his life. Who the hell does he think he is writing a tribute?' I'll admit that at this moment I feel bad for talking shit about Cornell. Today is a sobering reminder that every single person you've ever made fun of on social media will die. But also, social media is not real life. I've said lots of nice things about Chris in real life. It's true that both the critic and the fan in me lamented the slow degradation one of the strongest voices of my formative years. Maybe it's a dumb impulse; think what you want. If you want to be a legend, die young; if you want to be a human being, live as long as possible. But this death, this timing, this everything...this is the worst.

    Read more...
  • 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?

    Read more...
  • David Bowie, RIP

    Posted 01/15/2016 by cal

    I can't believe I just typed "David Bowie, RIP". Such bullshit. I wonder if it will ever seem true.

    Read more...
  • 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!

    Read more... Pre-Disqus Comments (3)
  • King Crimson: The Vic, 9/26/2014

    Posted 09/29/2014 by cal

    In case you hadn't noticed, I'm a prog-nut from way back. Yes started me down the road, but it wasn't long before I became almost as obsessed with ELP, and since Greg Lake had been in King Crimson prior to forming that band, it was inevitable that I'd find my way to In The Court Of The Crimson King (as if the cover art alone weren't enticing enough). Crimson is different from all the other 70s prog giants in that over the course of its nearly half-century of on-and-off existence, it has never become an utterly lame anachronism. Robert Fripp has always been mindful of the Crimson legacy. Still, each successive reformation of the project brings an increasing threat of tarnish. For the few of us who care about such things, anyway.

    Read more... Pre-Disqus Comments (5)
  • 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.

    Read more...
  • AV Club Milwaukee, RIP

    Posted 11/09/2013 by cal

    At a time like this I really wish I'd hung onto that final copy of Vital Source. I've wished that before, though. The last page of it was all Matt Wild ranting about how the music scene here sucked and he was quitting his band because the only people who came to shows were friends who bitched if you didn't put them on the guest list, or something like that. I always liked that little column, but after reading that tirade I wanted to find Matt and throw a shoe at him or something. This is how you want to end Vital Source's glorious run? Just because your shitty band (I never saw Holy Mary Motor Club and have no idea if they were any good) never got famous, you decide to tear down the whole Milwaukee scene? As an idealistic moron myself, I hadn't yet gotten to the point where I could look at the art of writing in a purely rhetorical sense, and I was just starting to feel like I was becoming immersed in this scene and discovering all these incredible Milwaukee bands (whatever happened to Wooden Robot??).

    Read more... Pre-Disqus Comments (1)
  • A Requiem For LULU

    Posted 10/29/2013 by cal

    I never reviewed Lulu, the 2011 album that seemed to mark the low point of both Metallica's and Lou Reed's careers; it was such a shitstorm of media frenzy that it ceased to be music before the general public even had the chance to listen to it. Although I didn't find it to be a complete mess in every respect, there's nothing on it that I ever want to listen to again. But I do have a theory on why it exists.

    Read more...
  • Lou Reed, RIP

    Posted 10/28/2013 by cal

    Around this time of year, the merits of best-of lists start to be discussed in music-nut circles almost as much as music. All I know is if it hadn't been for my public library and two or three books proclaiming The Top However-Many Albums Of All Time, I might never have gotten into The Velvet Underground. There, underneath Sgt. Pepper's and Dark Side and maybe a few other classic rock bastions, was The Velvet Underground & Nico, without fail. When I think about it now, I'm a little perplexed as to why I liked it when I took the record out from the library and played it, because I hadn't really even gotten into punk rock yet. Yet to me, a 14-year-old in 1990 or so, despite its somewhat grotesque production values and the weirdo lady singer, it sounded contemporary. I had no historical perspective on music yet; it didn't occur to me to be shocked that it was 23 years old. I liked it, but I didn't get it.

    Read more...
  • 2013 Mid-Year Album Roundup: Rock

    Posted 07/31/2013 by cal

    Let's hear it for electric guitars!  Here's another round of overdue album reviews, including ones by Earl Greyhound, Eight Bells, The Men, My Gold Mask, Shouting Matches, Spectrals, Team Spirit, Temple, Their/They're/There, Tripwires and Turf War.

    Read more...
  • 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.

    Read more...
  • Michael

    Posted 06/28/2009 by cal

    One of the most common names in the history of the world, yet there was one man who possessed it so completely that he may as well have done away with his surname. So completely that now, it will be difficult to hear that name and think of anyone else. How can it be that we’ve suddenly been thrust into the era that comes after Michael?

    Read more...
  • Lux Interior: 1946-2009

    Posted 02/05/2009 by cal

    Few artists have had as deep an impact on the trajectory of my musical journey as The Cramps, a group which came to a definitive end yesterday with the death of founding singer Lux Interior. Like Captain Beefheart or Frank Zappa, I was drawn to Lux in my youth for his humor and shock value, but there was also just a visceral thrill in the echoey, punkish guitars and Lux's primal howling that grabbed me in a way I couldn't compare to anything else at the time. Over time I fell in love with his abiding passion for resurrecting the demons of true rock and roll and making it something my parents could hate and fear again. His gift for writing demented, clever rockabilly songs was matched only by his need to dust off forgotten classics from the 50's and bring them to a new audience, making them his own in the process. As a singer he was a cross between Elvis and a b-movie psychotic wolfman, reverb-drenched and over the top. He brought rockabilly back from the dead in the late 70's, and his influence has kept it alive ever since. I didn't even discover the Cramps until the mid-90's, but they instantly made everything else in my collection seem timid and boring. I listened to little else for months. At the time it was as much the intoxication, horror-film imagery and sexual perversion as the punk attitude, but now I listen to The Cramps for the pure soul and raw energy that still emanates from (almost) everything they recorded. And, Lux's crazed imagination can still make me laugh. "Spiders in my eyelids and ghosts in the cheese." 'Nuff said.
    Just last year, I finally located one of my holy grails: an original vinyl copy of The Cramps' first E.P., Gravest Hits. I brought it home, stuck it on the turntable, dusted it off and put the needle on. The glorious clang of "Human Fly" rang through the house. I got halfway through "The Way I Walk" before my downstairs neighbor called. "Cal, what the hell are you doing, man?" I hope he wasn't exaggerating with his claim that his pictures were falling off the walls. I didn't have it up that loud, after all, but the destructive yelp of Lux Interior is a powerful thing. He didn't write these next couple of lines, but he sang them the way I'll always remember them, his preemptive epitaph:
    "The rock 'n roll daddy has done passed on
    but my bones will keep a' rockin' long after I'm gone"

    Read more...
  • ATOMIC RECORDS...R.I.P.??!?!!

    Posted 12/05/2008 by cal

    First, the Milwaukee Shakespeare Company goes belly up. Now this? What's next, Fuel Café? The Cactus Club? WMSE???

    Read more...
  • Levi Stubbs, R.I.P.

    Posted 10/19/2008 by cal

    One of my all-time favorite singers passed away in his sleep on Friday. Levi Stubbs was the dominant voice of the Four Tops, the quintessential Motown group of the 60's. His passionate yelp lifted great tunes like "Bernadette," "I Can't Help Myself," "Reach Out I'll Be There" and "Standing In The Shadows Of Love" to classic status. Stubbs is also remembered fondly as the voice of Audrey II, the man-eating plant from the musical film Little Shop Of Horrors. Stubbs continued to perform with the Four Tops until the late 90's, when he began battling cancer and then suffered a stroke. His influence on R&B singers throughout the history of the genre is incalculable.

    Read more...

Syndication

Archive

Tags

MKE shows Phish Cactus Club Chicago SC3 Animal Collective U2 CWM jambase metal Wilco Pearl Jam Radiohead STS9 Umphrey's indie albums Alpine Valley Turner Hall Altos RIP Juniper Tar lists Summerfest Pabst CML Pitchfork Lolla Yeasayer Decibully Claypool 2015 Trey IfIHadAHifi the rave Buckethead Katatonia Zorn Tame Impala Primus WMSE Death Blues Sat. Nite Duets Umphreys Opeth Shining Open Mike Eagle Old Earth Anathema Swans McCartney Across Tundras 2009 Moss Folk Blut Aus Nord Death Grips Twin Shadow Scrimshaw Bon Iver Ariel Pink St. Vincent Delphines Lincoln Hall Garibaldi Bonnaroo Marc Ribot Ceramic Dog Northless Field Report Mad Planet Rothbury Young Widows Calliope Vhol Zatokrev Scarring Party Dogs In Ecstasy Black Eagle Child Bread Mothers Panda Bear Nick Cave Riverside Mogwai Twin Brother Summer Camp White Denim KPRC Hello Death Yes rock Championship Fiona Apple Neurosis Atlas Sound Burning Sons Hotel Foster Deerhunter Arcade Fire Borg Ward KGF CoCoB interviews Hampton 2008 2007 Soldier Field L.A. Witch Drugs Dragons Mueller Gorguts MoTA Ulver Agalloch Primordial Krallice Great Old Ones Panopticon Pyramids Ævangelist Blanck Mass Chelsea Wolfe Xiu Xiu Kendrick Enslaved Sigh Fuck Buttons FKA Twigs Grimes Bowie Moon Curse Kiings adoptahighway milo Midwives Piles Tay Butler Haz Solo Sufjan Siren Feck Grohowski Brokeback TVOTR Dead Apollo Vermouth Klassik bliss & alice Mount Eerie iamamiwhoami Forsyth Shabazz Palaces Godflesh FlyLo gauss Elbow Loop Running Vocokesh Space Raft Tapebenders MKE Day Volcano Choir King Crimson Mind Over Mirrors Laswell Lombardo DEJJ Vic DMB Catacombz Reggie's Elusive Parallelograms Beck Riviera Chris Forsyth Run The Jewels El-P Daft Punk Dirty Beaches Russian Circles Thundercat Black Sabbath Nirvana Fatty Acids Thom Yorke Metallica Lou Reed pop prog Linnemans Eric & Magill Earl Greyhound The Men Avett Brothers moe. Thievery Jon Mueller Promise Ring R.I.P. Jack White Wodensthrone Grizzly Bear indie rock Sugar Stems Lisa Ridgely Joe Crockett Wakarusa Bassnectar Sleigh Bells PJ Harvey Loyal Divide Kanye Danglers Hue Alpha Transit pink floyd Rush barrymore Pavement Malkmus 2010 experimental Madison tdmii Schlock 2006 Chris Cornell Soundgarden Al Lover Mr. Elevator LIttle Havana Waldoch Bill Mackay All-Seeing Eyes Foreign Goods Snoozy Moon Def Harmonic Chatham Rise PCWS Floorian Nest Egg Magas Flavor Crystals Doug Tuttle Ancient River Kikagaku Moyo Company Brewing Patti Oranssi Pazuzu Clouds Imperium Dekadenz Eye Of Solitude Klimt 1918 Ulcerate Perturbator Borknagar Chthe’ilist Dark Tranquillity Wormed black metal Mayhem Negura Bunget Emperor WITTR Ash Borer Faust Royal Trux Gary Wilson HEALTH Oneohtrix Ryley Walker Ragnda Richard Bishop Lightning Bolt Methyl Ethel Night Beats Earthless Bitchin Bajas NIS Circuit des Yeux Simulacrum John Medeski Matt Hollenberg Kenny Grohowski Floating Points Vessels Peptalk Kamasi Washington Mbongwana Star Vince Staples Deafheaven Mgla Solefald Jamie xx Black Wing Have A Nice Life Oneohtrix Point Never Larry Gus Lanterns On The Lake Dungen Killing Joke Foo Fighters Courtney Barnett Ezra Furman Kelley Stoltz Sufjan Stevens CHVRCHES Platinum Boys Tigernite K.Diver VBIV Emmitt James Renji Tall Ducks Testa Rosa Devereaux LBN667 Fredd33 Midnight Reruns Will It Burn Light Music Maritime Murderhorse Shroud Of Despondency Eaux Claires Lex Allen NAN Lorde Fredd33 MKE Psych Fest Wood Chickens Dapp Theory Andy Milne 75 Dollar Bill Acme Weird Al Jazz Estate Weiland United Center Psych Fest Mini Mansions Ttotals Holydrug Couple Holy Wave Porterfield Webster X Pizzle Colin Plant Christine Hoberg Piper Davis Torrice Albarakat Disappears DRKWAV Medeski Skerik Bjork Black Monolith Perfume Genius Mondkopf Timber Timbre Sun Kil Moon Medicine Cult Of Youth Emptiness Ishraqiyun RTJ D'Angelo Eyvind Kang Marissa Nadler Andy Stott Sun Glitters Thou TitD TV Girl Voices SD Laika Kinth Strange Matter Lotus Ash M-Nat Mortgage Freeman Canopies Antemasque DJ Quik Suga Free Happyness Blind Shake Ryan Adams RWPH JKB Metheny Breadfest Marcy Caley Conway Zebras LTT Bremen Cafe Fripp Milwaukee Theatre Disguised As Birds Bladerunner psych Beast In The Field Plastic Crimewave Syndicate SOYSV The Blind Shake AIHA Papadosio Rebecca Rego Cowboy Winter Linneman's Solar Motel Wereworm Ruined Costume Circle-A Victory And Associates rutabega Revenge Society Skategoat Bungle Patton Spruance Dunn Forest Swords The Field Altar Of Plagues Besnard Lakes Killer Mike Danny Brown BSBD MBV Hiatus Boards Of Canada Cloak Ox Chance The Rapper John Grant Grumbling Fur Dustin Wong Jesu Joey Bada$$ Jonwayne Junip Locrian Palms Pelican Sigur Ros Washed Out Carcass SND Soul Low Fable Heartthrob Myles Coyne Blessed Feathers JFlash Kid Millions Dana Coppa SPEAK Easy L&R AfP Leonard Cohen Sparks mkefilm Day Joy Pizza! Steven Wilson Dick's Eight Bells My Gold Mask Shouting Matches Spectrals Team Spirit Temple Their/They're/There Tripwires Turf War. Angel Olsen Woods Mikal Cronin Wire Savages Kller Mike Yo La Tengo Cult Of Luna TFOES Fen Intronaut Nero Di Marte October Tide Portal electronic ambient Beacon Dying Machines Jonas Reinhardt Pharaohs Umberto Xander Harris All Tiny Creatures Body Language Emma Louise Isaac Delusion Majical Cloudz Mood Ring Mozart's Sister Royal Canoe Tullycraft Femmes Sigmund Schubas Township Constellation Cornmeal Caravan Of Thieves MMW Diplo UV Hippo Outside Quarters Follakzoid Psychic Ills Sacred Bones Orpheum Mike Dillon canyonsofstatic Dead Kenny Gs Ciocarlia Atlas Moth Mission Of Burma Gojira Paradise Lost Daylight Dies Switchblade Les Discrets The Gathering ITTCT Fear Falls Burning 2012 Godspeed Baroness Converge Liars Kendrick Lamar Ani of Montreal Frank Ocean Lonerism Dirty Projectors Police Teeth Fanfare Ciocarlia Nervous Curtains Bottom Lounge Worrier TPDR Lotus Plaza Suckers Lower Dens post punk Hollows Royal Baths Bear In Heaven Smoking Popes Imagine Dragons El Valiente Avett Bros Death Cab BMO MCA Beastie Boys Call Me Lightning Trapper Schoepp Levon Helm Paul Cebar John Sieger Hugh Masterson sviib Sat Nite Duets Semitwang Coachella Forecastle Hangout Sasquatch Chili Peppers SCI moe Janes Pretty Lights MMJ Girl Talk Andrew Bird IMP Cloud Nothings Kumas Hot Tuna Stonefly Drake J.Viewz Cymbals Eat Guitars Today Is The Day The Roots Hank 3 Junius Jay-Z Fucked Up CunninLinguists Grails Destroyer Rosebuds Esoteric Crappy Dracula Riverwest Anthrax Testament Brief Candles Dick Dale Empty Bottle the wall Fib Seq RSD Wild Flag av club dreampop gothic King's Horses Terrior Bute yuck dirtbombs garage techno arkady ikarus down Summercamp muzzleofbees Lollapalooza PiL Yorke APTBS Future Rock Big Boi Janelle Monae The Books Beefheart National Acorn Nicki Minaj M.I.A. Broadrick Eminem GNL Howl Street Jaill Dusty Medical Dirtnap 88.9 Conrad Plymouth Fibonacci Ribot Charleston Congress mgmt dr. dog quasi bone thugs strange boys the knife Roger Waters Systemic Torment Willy Porter widespread panic umphrey's mcgee ott bluetech big gigantic lotus sub swara zappa plays zappa john butler trio 88Nine Aragon Majestic you-phoria features STP Miramar Festivals films Deer Creek reunions Atomic RushMor Chicago Theater BBC kibitzer high noon Zeppelin Double Door