Thursday, April 23, 2015

CONCERT REVIEW: Todd Rundgren (The Pabst Theatre, Milwaukee)


In popular music, there are a handful of different career arcs that artists tend to follow, stories that seem to repeat themselves time after time, and Todd Rundgren fits into precisely none of them, instead carving out a unique path that’s led him through a little bit of everything. He’s equally noteworthy as both a producer, with classics albums from Grand Funk Railroad, New York Dolls and XTC among his many credits, and a performer, dabbling in diverse genres from power pop to prog, and while he never quite achieved the same level of lasting mega-fame as some of his contemporaries, he’s remained remarkably prolific, releasing his 25th studio album, Global, just this month, and still enjoys a rabidly loyal following, who eagerly packed into the Pabst Theatre tonight to experience it live.

Considering the Runt’s mercurial reputation, it was difficult to know what to predict walking in, and the first surprise came when Dâm-Funk, the Stones Throw Records electro-boogie maestro that was publicized as the tour’s incongruous warm-up act, provided less of an opening set and more of an opening song, a version of his throwback slow jam “I Wanna Thank You for (Steppin into My Life)” awkwardly reworked to introduce Rundgren, who emerged with two dancers in tow and launched into “Evrybody”, Global’s lead-off track. The song, a dissection of modern life complete with Miley Cyrus name-check, is one of the record’s more conventional rockers and afterwards he seldom picked up a guitar again, leaving it to one-man band Dâm-Funk to provide the electronic textures that make up most of the rest of the album.

Rundgren’s current taste for EDM produces some truly strange results, an uneasy mix of new wave hooks, big beats and the boundless, quasi-spiritual positivity of rave that can either tip in favor of well-crafted pop, like the funky “Skyscraper”, or cringe-worthy message songs, as with the ponderous “Holyland”. There was also, of course, a handful of oldies for the die-hards (mostly middle-aged ladies, mostly dancing in the aisles), including the stylistically appropriate Utopia cut “Secret Society” as well as a medley of his 70s solo classics, like “Can We Still Be Friends” and “Hello It’s Me”, all updated with Global’s retro-futurist sheen. If altogether uneven, there were certainly moments of inspiration throughout the exhaustive two-hour show, and if it’s a curious direction for his career to take, well, what else would you expect?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

PLAYLIST: Mondo Radio (04/22/15)

Here's the playlist for this week's pledge drive edition of Mondo Radio, which you can download or stream here. This episode: "The Sound of Money", featuring music about cash and talk about why should contribute some of it to keep WMSE spinning!. If you enjoy it, remember to also follow the show on Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter!

Artist - Song - Album
Barrett Strong - Money (That's What I Want) - The Complete Motown Collection
James Brown - I've Got Money - I Got You (I Feel Good)
The Trashmen - Money (Live) - Teen Trot
The Minitmen - Rollin' In Money - Wyld Sydes, Vol. 5
The Beatles - Money (That's What I Want) - Rock 'N' Roll Music
Monty Python - Money Song - Monty Python Sings
The Kinks - The Moneygoround - Lola Versus Powerman And The Moneygoround, Part One
ABBA - Money, Money, Money - The Definitive Collection
M - That's The Way The Money Goes - New York, London, Paris, Munich
The Flying Lizards - Money (That's What I Want) - The Flying Lizards
Rubella Ballet - Money Talks - Anarchy In The U.V.
Pet Shop Boys - Opportunities (Let's Make Lots Of Money) - Please
Bronski Beat - Love & Money - The Age Of Consent
Shadee - I Just Need More Money - I Just Need More Money
Lee Rosevere - Bad Money - Backtime
Falcao And Monashee - Money - Fools
Holger Czukay - Oh Lord Give Us More Money - Movies
Holger Czukay, Jah Wobble, Jaki Liebezeit - Where's The Money? - Full Circle
The Pop Group - Blood Money - Y
Cosmic Psychos - No Money - Fifteen Years, A Million Beers
The Avengers - Money - Died For Your Sins
Dark Chocolate Chips - Let Me Spend Money - Colonial Solutions
King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard - Danger $$$ - Willoughby's Beach
Oozing Wound - Bury Me With My Money - Earth Suck
Niney & Slim Smith With The Destroyers - No Money, No Honey/Nevada Joe - Joe Gibbs Scorchers From The Early Years 1967-73
Dennis Brown & Big Youth - Money In My Pocket/A So We Stay - Joe Gibbs Scorchers From The Early Years 1967-73
The O'Jays - For The Love Of Money - Ship Ahoy
L.T.G. Exchange - Money Mad - Susie Heartbreaker
Sugarhill Gang - On The Money - Sugarhill Gang
Blackalicious - Deception Part 1: Don't Let Money Change Ya - Deception
DJ Babu Feat. Homeliss Derilex - Cash Money - The World Famous Beat Junkies, Vol. 1
London Posse - Money Mad - An England Story
Wiley Feat. Leah Miller - Music Not The Money - 100% Publishing

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

CONCERT REVIEW: Lyres, Drugs Dragons & Fox Face (The Cactus Club, Milwaukee)

Boston garage rock legends Lyres make a rare Milwaukee appearance at the Cactus Club, showing off some new life in a band that's long been more or less dormant.


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

PLAYLIST: Mondo Radio (04/15/15)

Here's the playlist for this week's edition of Mondo Radio, which you can download or stream here. This episode: "This Town", featuring recent Milwaukee music and more. If you enjoy it, remember to also follow the show on Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter!

Artist - Song - Album
Ramma Lamma - Hot Stuff - Ice Cream
Ramma Lamma - Street Trash - Ice Cream
Indonesian Junk - Crimes - Crimes (Single)
Indonesian Junk - Now That It's Over - Crimes (Single)
Platinum Boys - Candy - Future Hits
Platinum Boys - Cruisin' USA - Future Hits
Dogs In Ecstasy - Buzz - Dat Cruel God
Dogs In Ecstasy - Celeb Friends - Dat Cruel God
Appleseeds - Free Time - Appleseeds
Appleseeds - Leavin' Town - Appleseeds
Soup Moat - Uptowner Girl - Enjoy Your Hobbies
Soup Moat - Comfy One - Enjoy Your Hobbies
The Hussy - Yr Stupid - Way With Words EP
The Hussy - Way With Words - Way With Words EP
The Delphines - Careless - Careless (Single)
The Delphines - Strut - Careless (Single)
NO/NO - X.O. - X.O. EP
NO/NO - Red Flag - X.O. EP
Nigel Cromwell With Baby Blue - How Long Has It Been? - Currently Not In Fashion
Daycones - Cult - The Cruel Echo
Daycones - Marsupial Bridge Occurence - The Cruel Echo
Catacombz - Gorilla - II
Catacombz - Wolf Apartment - II
Sleepcomesdown - Retracer - Cured By The Blur
Sleepcomesdown - Float Like An Echo - Cured By The Blur
Space Raft - Anything Is Possible - Space Raft
Space Raft - Rescue Mission - Space Raft
Sat. Nite Duets - On My Honor - Los DJs
Sat. Nite Duets - Personal Day - Los DJs
The Fatty Acids - Interlude - Boléro
The Fatty Acids - Airsick - Boléro
Faux Fir - The Windings - Fashionable Life
Faux Fir - Compact Disco - Fashionable Life
Juiceboxxx - Let's Go (Andy Petr Remix) - Let's Go EP
Rio Turbo - Go Daddy - Rio Turbo
Rio Turbo - 20/20 - Rio Turbo
Chants - Infinite Jets - I Feel Like I Feel It
WebsterX (Feat. Siren) - Doomsday - Doomsday (Single)
Chants - The Warm Room - I Feel Like I Feel It
Stacian - Orbit - Songs For Cadets
Stacian - Absenta - Songs For Cadets
Luxvid - Slow Burn - Luxvid
Luxvid - X - Luxvid

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

PLAYLIST: Mondo Radio (04/08/15)

Here's the playlist for this week's edition of Mondo Radio, which you can download or stream here. This episode: "Ballroom Blitz", featuring glitter and glam rock. If you enjoy it, remember to also find the show on Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter!

Artist - Song - Album
David Bowie - Moonage Daydream - The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars
David Bowie - Suffragette City - The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars
Sweet - Ballroom Blitz - Desolation Boulevard
Sweet - The 6-Teens - Desolation Boulevard
Slade - See Us Here - Play It Loud
Slade - Dapple Rose - Play It Loud
Cockney Rebel - Sebastian - The Human Menagerie
Cockney Rebel - Mirror Freak - The Human Menagerie
T. Rex - Monolith - Electric Warrior
T. Rex - Raw Ramp - Electric Warrior
Mick Ronson - Only After Dark - Slaughter On 10th Avenue
Mick Ronson - Growing Up And I'm Fine - Slaughter On 10th Avenue
Computer Sex - In The City Of The 7th Sun - Body Electric
Mud - Rocket - Mud Rock
Mud - Dyna-Mite/The Cat Crept In/Tiger Feet (Medley) - Mud Rock
Sweeney Todd - Roxy Roller - Sweeney Todd
Sweeney Todd - Let's All Do It Again - Sweeney Todd
Hello - New York Groove - New York Groove ... The Best Of Hello
Suzi Quatro - Shine My Machine - Suzi Quatro
Suzi Quatro - 48 Crash - Suzi Quatro
Wizzard - You Can Dance The Rock 'N' Roll - Wizzard Brew
Wizzard - Buffalo Station-Get On Down To Memphis - Wizzard Brew
Mott - Too Short Arms (I Don't Care) - Shouting & Pointing
Mott - Collision Course - Shouting & Pointing
New York Dolls - Looking For A Kiss - New York Dolls
New York Dolls - Trash - New York Dolls
Jobriath - Good Times - Creatures Of The Street
Jobriath - Sister Sue - Creatures Of The Street
Lou Reed - Vicious - Transformer
Lou Reed - Hangin' 'Round - Transformer
Roxy Music - Virginia Plain - Roxy Music
Roxy Music - If There Is Something - Roxy Music
Eno - Baby's On Fire - Here Come The Warm Jets
Eno - Cindy Tells Me - Here Come The Warm Jets
Sparks - Thank God It's Not Christmas - Kimono My House
Sparks - Hasta Mañana Monsieur - Kimono My House

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