Archive for October, 2008

Halloween Extravaganza!!!

October 30, 2008

Words by Jamie Baird

Halloween is easily one of the most fun holidays of the year. Any excuse to wear costumes, eat candy and throw parties all week rates high with most. It is also extra special for the annual tradition of bands donning musical costumes. For those of you in ‘witch’ Halloween would be 

incomplete without a good, old fashioned cover show, let me offer you these frighteningly fine choices…

Image courtesy of Myspace
The Cactus Club, along with Sky High Skateboards, is offering what is probably going to be one of the best shows of the year. Miraculously, The Misfits, Minor Threat, Negative Approach and Black Flag were all available to play this Friday night! Perhaps you know them better as Children in Heat, Get Rad, Dead Issue and Protestant.
Image courtesy of Mypace

Oddly enough, Creedence Clearwater Revival is playing two venues this Halloween. The Up and Under Pub is hosting the Halloween S”Cream Spooftacular” featuring The Situation performing the music of Cream and The Delta Routine covering CCR.
Image courtesy of Myspace
Back across town, in Bay View, a night at Frank’s Power Plant will treat you to CCR as translated by members of The Midwest Beat and The Elephant Walk. Kyle Denton of The Elephant Walk notes that not only will they be dressed up as a very convincing CCR, you will be delighted to hear all your favorites, with a healthy mix of deeper, more obscure tracks to make this set unforgettable. After midnight, expect to be wowed by The Who, a.k.a. Father Phoenix, who are reprising last year’s well-regarded performance.

If a more mellow evening is your style, Radiohead will be in Riverwest — Micah Olsan and The Tourists perform OK Compuer at The Gig.

While neither feature cover sets, there are two other happenings that I would be remiss not to mention. The Rave will be hosting the ultimate Halloween band, GWAR, in all their bloody glory. Also, Milwaukee’s favorite punk bar Circle A Cafe is going to be open ALL Halloween weekend with bands and DJs Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. This will be your only chance to hang out there until New Year’s Eve!

Finally, Mad Planet will be hosting their annual Halloween costume contest during their regular Friday Retro Dance Party, complete with prizes.

TGIT: Our Weekend Picks!

October 30, 2008

Photo of Fahri courtesy of Myspace

Yikes!’ is the only fitting word to use when describing this weekend in Milwaukee — holiday-centric shows and non-holiday-centric shows alike, the next few days should be packed with enough costume/music combination opportunities that the era of costumey glam rock will pale in comparison. For this reason, the weekly Fan-belt calendar is going to be in skim-mode in order to make room for the ‘more’ that is Milwaukee’s show lineup this weekend. Pay attention to the Halloween-dedicated post by Jamie Baird today for a few of her hand-picked holiday-specific shows, and check out this week’s TGIT to round out the rest. So, rockers, lace up those Chuck’s and shotgun a Coca-Cola, because you’re going to need to ride on that extra caffeine buzz to catch up to all that your city has to offer…

Thursday, October 30th

Cougar Den (CD Release), Call Me Lightning, Akimbo, Crocodiles, Novel, 7 p.m. @ The Borg Ward (623 W. National Ave)

Cougar Den sounds exactly what their name might bely. Hardcore mayhem, but calculated chaos, at that. New release keepondrifter will be available at the show. Also, word is, is that Call Me Lightning will be unleashing some new material of their own

Friday, October 31st

Industrial Halloween: Von Iva and the DEMIX, 9 p.m. @ Club Garibaldi (2501 S. Superior)

Experience the dark side of Halloween with San Francisco’s New Wave inspired Von Iva and Milwaukee’s ‘electronic mash-core’ of the DEMIX. Dance with the shadows over these mix-masters’ sleek and sullen beats. Creepy never sounded as chillingly smooth…

12 oz. Prophet, Sleep Tight Co., Quinn Scharber and the…, 9 p.m. @ Darling Hall (601 S. 6th Street)

These three Milwaukee bands are attending this Halloween party at Darling Hall as themselves, but undoubtedly, their audience will be hitting the costumes harder. Runny face-paint? Rash-y rubber masks? Eye-poking wings and lip-piercing fangs? No problem! This is one dance-party that will make all this disappear as ‘pop’ goes Halloween.

Saturday, November 1st

Masonry, Test-Site, Fahri, 10 p.m. @ Cactus Club (2496 S. Wentworth Ave.)

Had enough Halloween head-banging? Venture over to the Cactus Club to absorb the tuneful rock of Fahri. Cure your Halloween music hangover with effervescent melodies with a tough-as-nails undercurrents. With Masonry and Test-Site.

Margot & The Nuclear So and So’s, Wild Sweet Orange, The Celebrated Workingman, 8 p.m. @ Turner Hall Ballroom (1032 N. 4th St.)

A band named after the nine-fingered character in The Royal Tenenbaums could only be classified as quirky, and Margot & The Nuclear So and So’s indeed lay the claim to quirky pop. They grace the Turner Hall Ballroom stage along with Alabama’s Wild Sweet Orange and Milwaukee’s pop princes, The Celebrated Workingman.

The Goodnight Loving, Vancougar, Stolen Minks, Sugar Stems, 9 p.m. @ Club Garibaldi (2501 S. Superior)

The garage hits Club Garibaldi’s stage for a show not to be missed — Milwaukee’s Goodnight Loving and Canada’s Vancougar are both showcasing fresh, new releases. It’s totally the girls of Vancougar versus the boys of GNL on this one, but it’s not entirely sure what the prize is — most exuberant band wins everyone’s Halloween candy? It’s a possibility…


Interview: Possible Fathers

October 29, 2008

Photo lifted from MySpace
Words by Brian Whitney

It’s hard to really sing the praises of a quality garage band, mainly because the qualities that make the good ones good (playful sloppiness, singing-into-a-hairbrush level vocals, playing as fast as possible) are the same qualities that make the bad ones unbearable. The wheat is wheat, the chaff is chaff, and usually it’s pretty easy to spot the difference.

Milwaukee’s Possible Fathers definitely embody the positive end of the spectrum on their recently released EP, Doing The Dad Thing. The band consists of Freight bassist Jake Cohen on drums, with Willy Dintenfass and Tony Dixon of Big Fun alternating between guitar and bass. Although technically a side project, the group feels more like a legitimate entity than a diversion, and the band is as entertaining as the bands its members comprise. What follows is a frank discussion of music, food, and life.

Fan-Belt: Tell us about how the band started.
Jake: (eating vegan cheesesteak, inaudible)
Tony: Well, five months ago, we had our first practice…Yesterday we had our fifth practice, and today we played our first show.
Willy: Somewhere in there we found the time to record our first EP.

F-B: What’s the EP called?
Willy: Doing The Dad Thing.

F-B: What inspired the Dad theme of your band and record?
Willy: Having kids. (Laughter)
Tony: I’d just like to say, for the record, that I don’t like kids at all.

F-B: What do you prefer, kids or cats?
Tony: I guess kids. I have a nephew that’s pretty cool.

F-B: What bands have served as inspiration for Possible Fathers?
Jake: Freight.
Willy: Actually, based on last night’s practice, I think Freight that be a little too mathy for your drum skills.
Jake: Ouch.

F-B: What about favorite foods?
Willy: Ginger
Tony: Frozen Pizza.
Jake: Mashed Potatoes.

F-B: Wait, ginger?
Willy: Yeah, I have some right here, actually. (produces bag from coat of sugar coated ginger treats) These are fantastic. I just put this coat on for the first time since last winter, and I found them in the pocket.

F-B: Oh.

Possible Fathers plays Friday, Oct. 31 at The Dripping Station (2851 N. Booth St.) with The Slats, The Liarbirds, and E=MC Hammer.

Review: Of Montreal at Pabst Theater

October 28, 2008

Photo by CJ Foeckler/Pabst Theater

Story by Jamie Baird

Sunday night’s Of Montreal show at the Pabst Theater was the first time I had seen the band in eight years, since attending a show at a dive bar in Lawrence, Kansas. Touring as Of Montreal and Marshmellow Coast, the lyrical whimsy and play-acting was in full force, though more grade school-esque and DIY.

I had no idea how popular they had become. The packed house for this show was delightfully varied amongst age and lifestyle, and a large population formed up front to dance and catch every detail of the carnival on stage. Kevin Barnes is a truly a born performer – whether playing guitar, drums, dancing, screaming, preening or stripping; vocal control and instrumentation was executed as effortlessly as breathing.

Smart numbers like “Gallery Piece” and old favorites like “Gronlandic Edit,” “She’s A Rejector” and “Wraith Pinned to the Mist and Other Games” kept the show pumped with constant, sexy and buoyant energy (although I can’t hear “Wraith” any more without wanting an Outback steak!) A few too many slow psych-jams that didn’t translate well to stage almost lost me as an enthralled witness. The closing cover of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was brutal and I’d love to see more rawness like that in the main set.

A constant barrage of video, monitor cameras and constumed performers populated almost every song, showing a nice balance of fun home videos and cartoons that featured the artwork of David Barnes and Nina Barnes, which made for interesting, beautiful and relevant enhancements to the show. Other play-pieces throughout the show were more distracting and bizarre than welcome. For any shortcomings perceived, Of Montreal delivered a tight, professional and fun party that looked spontaneous and crazy, and left more than a few minds blown, I’m sure.

Interview: Gym Class Heroes’ Matt McGinly

October 26, 2008

Photo courtesy of Google Images

Interview by Laura Kezman

The bell rings and Gym Class Heroes runs another lap around the track. The hip-hop centered, indie rock-incorporated group recently released their fourth full-length album, The Quilt, in the beginning of September. While currently on tour promoting the new album, drummer and co-founder Matt McGinly recently spoke with Fan-Belt upon waking up on his tour bus in Denver.

Fan-Belt: Is the new album being received as well as you initially anticipated it to be?

Matt McGinly: I think with the success of “Cupid’s Chokehold,” which was never conceived to be a big radio hit song – we wrote in raised it in under four hours for under $200 – we kinda stuck to the same script of just writing music that put us first and made us the most happy, so that’s what we did for this record.

F-B: How was it working with Busta Rhymes?

MM: I remember going in and recording drums on that song and during the playback while I was recording my parts, hearing his vocals in my drum monitors. It was a pinch-yourself moment because I’m used to only ever hearing Travis’ voice. And the coolest part about it was that he actually approached us about being on that particular song, “Peace Sign/Index Down.”

F-B: What artist or band would you most want to work with in the future?

MM: Prince would be pretty cool; that’s definitely shooting for the stars. On a more humble level, maybe Alex Turner from the Arctic Monkeys, I think that would be a pretty cool match-up.

F-B: How does Gym Class Heroes today compare with the way you and Travis envisioned the band when you first started it?

MM: It’s definitely what I envisioned it in terms of being at the reigns, or at the steering wheel of the Gym Class Heroes car. No matter how much success we have, we always wanted to be the masters of our own. For us, we always maintain control in what we do and how we’re presented.
Gym Class Heroes played the Eagles Ballroom with The Roots and Estelle last Thursday.