Archive for November, 2009

Heavy metal cello descends on Cactus Club tonight

November 27, 2009

Alison Chesley, aka experimental/metal cellist Helen Money, is probably the only soundscape-producing, amplified racket-producing classical instrumentalist who can lay claim to working with artists as diverse as Bob Mould, Japenese post-rockers Mono, and Anthrax (yep, Helen Money–one degree of separation from the Married With Children cast and the WCW roster of the 1990s). If that’s not enough reason to check her out tonight at the Cactus Club, let’s sweeten the pot with local “surly high school orchestra” Group of the Altos and our favorite genius percussionist, Jon Mueller. ART! It all goes down tonight at the Cactus Club and starts around regular Cactus Club time (which probably means you’ll be able to catch some of the show after Mondo Lucha, so don’t let your attendance there stop you!).


Team Fan-Belt Recaps The Jesus Lizard, 11.24.09

November 26, 2009

The Yow in his natural state. Photo by Andy Junk

Words By:

Anthony Schwader (AS)
Abbie Amadio (AA)
Dan Agacki (DA)

(Note: Pretty much everyone from our humble little Fan-Belt crew attended Tuesday night’s ridiculawesome Jesus Lizard/IfIHadAHiFi show at Turner Hall, so it was decided we’d attempt a trainwreck of a combined, oral-history-style review of the show. Let’s see how this works out. –DJ)

AS: Let me start by saying this: The Jesus Lizard are a true testament to real rock and roll. Their music is deceptive, performed with mastery of spacing and tension that’s beyond the skillset of most anyone I’ve seen live. A fucking supersolid high energy burst of explosive control. This is time number four seeing them and each of their previous shows rank in my top ten. They are that good. Period.

DA: There’s no posing on this one. Straight confessional here folks. My teenage Jesus Lizard exposure was brief. Shot had just come out, and I tossed it off because it didn’t sound like Scratch Acid. Absurd, I know. Roughly ten years later I re-immersed my brain and came away with, basically, the opposite results. So, Tuesday’s show was a shot at redemption.

AA (who did her recap, in her words, “Twatter style”): David Yow just dove into the crowd less than a minute after walking on stage. (more…)

Mondo Lucha and The Scarring Party: Together At Last This Friday

November 25, 2009

Words by Erin Wolf

It’s that time again — time for the masked wrestlers of Milwaukee’s Mondo Lucha to fly through the ring on the floor of the Turner Hall Ballroom while musicians, roller derby skaters, burlesque dancers and other hodge podge entertainers from across the country dazzle the crowd even further. This time, Mondo Lucha gets the total holiday treatment with a visit from Santa and festive dance moves from the gingerbread breakdancers who are set to throw down some spins alongside Kid Millions. To further the dizzyingly adrenalized effects, Milwaukee’s very own creeptastic, doom and gloom musical pros, the Scarring Party, will act as the house band of the evening. An authentic cabaret-esque musical performance will truly be the tinsel on this Mondo Lucha be-decked extravaganza. Fan-belt talks to Scarring Party’s tuba player Isa Carini and multi-percussionist Chris Roberts about their one-time, impending performance alongside masked wrestlers this Friday.

The Scarring Party, “Follow It Down”

Electric Six Versus the Jesus Lizard

November 24, 2009

If Dick Valentine, vocalist of Electric Six, and David Yow of the Jesus Lizard were to be involved in a performance battle, Yow would probably win for voracity and venom, every bit won paid with sweat, while Valentine might suavely eek by with sheer cockiness. Whichever you prefer — insanely spastic rock fronted by an enigmatic rock legend, or a taboo dance party supplied by Detroit’s brashest new wave weirdos, this Tuesday night is the rare weekday evening where you can’t afford to be on the fence about your preferences. Word has it that the Jesus Lizard will be around for a very limited time, only, and with Yow on the recent mend with a show-induced injury, who knows how many wild spectacles he has left in him? Electric Six, although a spectacle of a different kind entirely, will provide a good alternative for those who relate to the phrase “fire in the disco” over “too bad about the fire”. Catch Yow uttering the word ‘disco’? That would definitely be a cold day in hell.

Electric Six plays at Mad Planet (533 E. Center) tonight along with Gay Blades and Millions of Brazilians. 10 p.m. 21+. The Jesus Lizard plays at Turner Hall Ballroom (1032 N. 4th) tonight with ifIHadAHiFi. 8 p.m. All-ages.

Recap: Cartilage Party/Sonic J and more, Borg Ward, 11.20.09

November 24, 2009

Photo of Cartilage Party via MySpace

Words by Jeb Ebben

One of my favorite things about the Borg Ward is its willingness to embrace the weird, to do the shows that simply couldn’t happen anywhere else. Friday’s show was definitely that—a diverse collection of misfit bands, all intent on making a raucous sound.

The night started off with the Peter J Woods Free Jazz Ensemble, an avant-garde, improvisational jazz trio led by Woods on electric bass, rounded out by This Specific Dream’s Patrick Haga on percussion and Frontier Radio’s Jason Wietlispach on sax. Their set started out slow, the rhythm section gradually building while Wietlispach belted out sax lines that never seemed to let up in intensity. There was almost a bit of disconnect between Wietlispach and the rhythm section, and it was obvious that Woods and Haga have a long history of playing together (they were both members of Mysterious Notes Found in Wreckage). The most interesting and dynamic interplay was between these two, who, spurred by only the slightest eye contact, would change direction completely, going from walking scales and soft, rumbling rolls to crushing doom. That’s not to say that Wietlispach was just out there soloing obliviously; the trio still functioned quite well as a unit, and he is an amazing player–I just wish that the sax felt a little more integrated. A lot of my favorite bits were from Woods, who seamlessly incorporated noise and other non-jazz elements, occasionally beating on a cymbal over the soundhole of an old acoustic guitar. At the peak of the set’s intensity, Woods began barking and gurgling into the microphone, creating reptilian, demonic textures weaving between the sax’s piercing, I-can’t-believe-he-hasn’t-passed-out-from-lack-of-oxygen high sustained notes. This ferocity lasted the rest of the set, until there was nowhere else for it to go, exploding like a light bulb in a power surge. (more…)