Thursday, May 31, 2012

FEATURE: Juice in a Can: Juiceboxxx Gets Hyped with Thunder Zone Energy Drink

With just a few days left for Juiceboxxx fans to contribute to an Indiegogo fundraiser for his record label, Thunder Zone, and an energy drink of the same name, I caught up with the high-octane rapper to talk about how the effort is going, his upcoming LP and what heavily caffeinated beverages have to do with music and culture.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

FEATURE: A History of Soul: Otis Redding

James Brown may have been known as the "hardest working man in show business", but the industrious, indefatigable Otis Redding arguably gave him a run for his money.   

PLAYLIST: Mondo Radio (05/30/12)

Here's the playlist for this week's edition of Mondo Radio, which you can download or stream here. If you enjoy it, you can also follow the show on Facebook and Twitter.

Artist - Song - Album
The Jaynetts - Sally Go 'Round The Roses - 7" Single
Lee Hazlewood - So Long, Babe - These Boots Are Made For Walkin': The Complete MGM Recordings
Lee Hazlewood - Your Sweet Love - These Boots Are Made For Walkin': The Complete MGM Recordings
Leonard Cohen - Suzanne - Songs Of Leonard Cohen
Leonard Cohen - So Long, Marianne - Songs Of Leonard Cohen
Harry Nilsson - Remember (Christmas) - Son Of Schmilsson
Harry Nilsson - Ambush - Son Of Schmilsson
Mott - See You Again - Shouting And Pointing
Mott - Career (No Such Thing As Rock 'N' Roll) - Shouting And Pointing
Roy Orbison - Dream Baby - The All-Time Greatest Hits Of Roy Orbison
Jerry Lee Lewis - Let's Talk About Us - 7" Single
Bruce Springsteen - Stand On It - 7" Single
Jerry Lee Lewis - To Make Love Sweeter For You - 7" Single
Roy Orbison - Blue Bayou - The All-Time Greatest Hits Of Roy Orbison
Dunn & Rubini - Diggin' It - Diggin' It
Bobb Trimble - Your Little Pawn - Iron Curtain Innocence
Bobb Trimble - One Mile From Heaven (Short Version) - Iron Curtain Innocence
Big Star - Kangaroo - Third/Sister Lovers
Big Star - Stroke It Noel - Third/Sister Lovers
The Thirteenth Floor Elevators - Baby Blue - 7th Heaven: Music Of The Spheres - The Complete Singles Collection
The Thirteenth Floor Elevators - May The Circle Remain Unbroken - 7th Heaven: Music Of The Spheres - The Complete Singles Collection
T. Rex - Cosmic Dancer - Electric Warrior
T. Rex - Life's A Gas - Electric Warrior
The Kinks - This Time Tomorrow - Lola Versus Powerman And The Moneygoround, Part One
The Kinks - Waterloo Sunset - Something Else By The Kinks
Nirvana - Wings Of Love - The Story Of Simon Simopath
Nirvana - Pentecost Hotel - The Story Of Simon Simopath
The Beach Boys - God Only Knows - Good Vibrations
The Beach Boys - Heroes And Villains - Good Vibrations
Belle & Sebastian - Sleep The Clock Around - The Boy With The Arab Strap
Belle & Sebastian - Seymour Stein - The Boy With The Arab Strap
Pulp - TV Movie - This Is Hardcore
Pulp - A Little Soul - This Is Hardcore
Neil Young - Roll Another Number (For The Road) - Tonight's The Night
Neil Young - Speakin' Out - Tonight's The Night
Creedence Clearwater Revival - Feelin' Blue - Willy And The Poor Boys
Creedence Clearwater Revival - Effigy - Willy And The Poor Boys
Wilco - She's A Jar - Summerteeth
Wilco - A Shot In The Arm - Summerteeth
The Jayhawks - Hide Your Colors - Mockingbird Time
The Jayhawks - Cinnamon Love - Mockingbird Time

CONCERT REVIEW: Lest We Forget Memorial Concert (Turner Hall Ballroom, Milwaukee)

With 13 reunited Milwaukee bands from the late 70s and early 80s, including Die Kreuzen, Lest We Forget offered a rare glimpse through time for younger listeners, but for those on the scene in those years it was more, a chance to swap memories and mourn the friends and colleagues they've lost since. Well, perhaps mourn isn't the right word. Mourning doesn't usually involve kicking out so many jams.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

FEATURE: An Oral History of Die Kreuzen, Part 3

We've come to the third and final chapter in the oral history of Die Kreuzen, who will be reuniting this Saturday at Turner Hall. My sincere thanks go out to Dan Kubinski and Keith Brammer for taking the time to talk. If you need to catch up, parts one and two can be found here and here.

IMAGE: Promo Flyer #5

FEATURE: An Oral History of Die Kreuzen, Part 2

Part two of the oral history of Die Kreuzen, featuring the voices of singer Dan Kubinski and bass player Keith Brammer. In case you missed it, part one can be found here.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

PLAYLIST: Mondo Radio (05/23/12)

Here's the playlist for this week's edition of Mondo Radio, which you can download or stream here. If you enjoy it, you can also follow the show on Facebook and Twitter

Artist - Song - Album
Jeff The Brotherhood - Hey Friend - We Are The Champions
Jeff The Brotherhood - Cool Out - We Are The Champions
Black Lips - Starting Over - 200 Million Thousand
Black Lips - Bone Marrow - Arabia Mountain
Davila 666 - Tan Bajo - Tan Bajo
Davila 666 - Obsesionao - Tan Bajo
Nobunny - Breathe - First Blood
Nobunny - I Was On (The Bozo Show) - First Blood
Hunx And His Punx - Don't Cha Want Me Back? - Gay Singles
Hunx And His Punx - Teardrops On My Telephone - Gay Singles
Shannon And The Clams - Baby Don't Do It - Sleep Talk
Shannon And The Clams - The Cult Song - Sleep Talk
The Hives - Find Another Girl - Veni Vidi Vicious
The Hives - Statecontrol - Veni Vidi Vicious 
The (International) Noise Conspiracy - I Wanna Know About U - Survival Sickness
The (International) Noise Conspiracy - The Subversive Sound - Survival Sickness
Harlem - Friendly Ghost - Hippies
Harlem - Number One - Hippies
The White Stripes - Let's Build A Home - De Stijl
The White Stripes - You're Pretty Good Looking (For A Girl) - De Stijl
Datura Seeds - Volume - Who Do You Want It To Be?
Die Kreuzen - Rumors - Die Kreuzen
Die Kreuzen - All White - Die Kreuzen
Dead Kennedys - Chemical Warfare - Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables
Dead Kennedys - Stealing People's Mail - Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables
The Avengers - Teenage Rebel - Died For Your Sins
The Avengers - The End Of The World - Died For Your Sins
The Clash - Clash City Rockers - The Clash
The Clash - I'm So Bored With The U.S.A. - The Clash
The Damned - See Her Tonite - Damned Damned Damned
The Damned - 1 Of The 2 - Damned Damned Damned
The Cramps - Human Fly - Bad Music For Bad People
The Cramps - Drug Train - Bad Music For Bad People
The Jam - Down In The Tube Station At Midnight - 7" Single
The Jam - In The City (Live) - Dig The New Breed
Buzzcocks - Why She's A Girl From The Chainstore - A Different Kind Of Tension
Buzzcocks - Love You More - Singles Going Steady
The Jam - So Sad About Us - 7" Single
The Jam - The Night - 7" Single
Madness - My Girl - One Step Beyond...
Madness - Night Boat To Cairo - One Step Beyond...
The English Beat - Twist & Crawl - What Is Beat?
The English Beat - Tears Of A Clown - What Is Beat?
The Specials - Enjoy Yourself - More Specials
The Specials - Rat Race - More Specials
Eric Blowtorch & The Dread City All-Stars - God's Will Be Done - God's Will Be Done + 3
Eric Blowtorch & The Uptown Prophets - Brooklyn Blues - God's Will Be Done + 3
Cornershop - Sleep On The Left Side - When I Was Born For The 7th Time
Cornershop - Funky Days Are Back Again - When I Was Born For The 7th Time
Gorillaz - New Genious (Brother) - Gorillaz
Gorillaz - Faust - G Sides 
Air - You Can Tell It To Everybody - Love 2
Air - Cherry Blossom Girl - Talkie Walkie

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

FEATURE: An Oral History of Die Kreuzen, Part 1

In advance of Die Kreuzen's highly anticipated reunion show this Saturday at Turner Hall, I am very excited to present the first installment of a three part series chronicling the Milwaukee band's uncompromising, trailblazing career, as remembered by vocalist Dan Kubinski and bassist Keith Brammer. Stay tuned for parts two and three!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

CONCERT REVIEW: The Black Keys & Arctic Monkeys (The Bradley Center, Milwaukee)

I get why the Black Keys would end up playing the enormous Bradley Center for the Milwaukee stop of this tour, they're one of the biggest rock acts in the country, and they've got the Arctic Monkeys in the opening slot as an added draw, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

FEATURE: As Good a Story as Any: Unarius's The Arrival

The low budget 1969 film The Arrival is a mind-bendingly cosmic tale, a psychedelic and spiritual science fiction journey that touches on everything from reincarnation and prehistoric man to intergalactic warfare. The thing is, depending on who you ask, it's all based on a true story.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

PLAYLIST: Mondo Radio (05/16/12)

Here's the playlist for this week's edition of Mondo Radio, which you can download or stream here. If you dig it, you can also follow the show on Facebook and Twitter.

Artist - Song - Album
Deerhoof - Qui Dorm, Només Somia - Deerhoof Vs. Evil
Deerhoof - Let's Dance The Jet - Deerhoof Vs. Evil
Cornelius - Bird Watching At Inner Forest - Point
Cornelius - Breezin' - Sensuous
The Go! Team - Yosemite Theme - Rolling Blackouts
The Go! Team - Back Like 8 Track - Rolling Blackouts
Malcolm McLaren - Eiffel Tower - Swamp Thing
Malcolm McLaren - Boom Boom Baby - Swamp Thing
ESG - Dance - Dance To The Best Of ESG
ESG - Erase You - Dance To The Best Of ESG
Bow Wow Wow - C-30 C-60 C-90 Anda! - Grlz: Women Ahead Of Their Time
Maximum Joy - Stretch - Grlz: Women Ahead Of Their Time
Talking Heads - Found A Job - More Songs About Buildings And Food
Talking Heads - I'm Not In Love - More Songs About Buildings And Food
Omen - Termination - Warning Of Danger
Shonen Knife - Animal Song - Burning Farm
Shonen Knife - Burning Farm - Burning Farm
Devo - Mongoloid - Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!
Devo - Come Back Jonee - Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!
Quintron - Place Unknown - Are You Ready For An Organ Solo?
Quintron - The Beach - Are You Ready For An Organ Solo?
The B-52's - Rock Lobster - The B-52's 
The B-52's - Lava - The B-52's
The Stranglers - Dreamtime - Dreamtime
The Stranglers - Big In America - Dreamtime
Adam And The Ants - Picasso Visita El Planeta De Los Simios - Prince Charming
Adam And The Ants - Prince Charming - Prince Charming
The Human League - Are You Ever Coming Back? - 7" Single
Depeche Mode - Blasphemous Rumours - Some Great Reward
Depeche Mode - Master And Servant - Some Great Reward
The Human League - Jam - 7" Single
Yazoo - Nobody's Diary - You And Me Both
Yazoo - In My Room - Upstairs At Eric's
Kate Bush - Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) - Hounds Of Love
Kate Bush - Cloudbusting - Hounds Of Love
Blur - Country House - CD Single
Blur - One Born Every Minute - CD Single
Super Furry Animals - God! Show Me Magic - Fuzzy Logic
Super Furry Animals - If You Don't Want Me To Destroy You - Fuzzy Logic
Arctic Monkeys - D Is For Dangerous - Favourite Worst Nightmare
Arctic Monkeys - Riot Van - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not

Monday, May 14, 2012

CONCERT REVIEW: Quintron & Miss Pussycat w/ Cave and Catacombz (The Cactus Club, Milwaukee)

It's always a pleasure when Quintron & Miss Pussycat come to town. In addition to making some kick ass music, they seriously know how to put on a show. The New Orleans husband and wife duo seems incapable of phoning it in or keeping it simple, mixing up puppets, invented instruments, comedy and a whole lot of energy into one indescribably fun whole. On their own, they make for a memorable night out, but of course it's also a big bonus when there're some other good bands to fill out the bill, as was the case here.

I've covered local openers Catacombz several times in the past, and frankly I'm tired of writing nice things about them. It's all true of course, how they're spacey and loud and one of the best bands in the city, but it just gets tedious. I would try writing something bad about them, just for sport, but that sounds like a lot of work, and I don't like work.

Next up was Chicago's Cave, who've had a bit of a personnel shakeup with the recent departure of keys/synth player Rotten Milk. There's always been enough going on in Cave, so many dense, intricate layers, that the remaining parts still make for a totally rocking whole, but they do sound a bit less cosmic without Milk's serenely psychedelic overtones. His absence subtly shifts the focus to Rex McMurry's juggernaut drumming and the guitar attack, leading them to sound slightly more like shredding proto-metal than their classic psych (big leap, I know).

Then the lights went out and it was time for Miss Pussycat's puppet theatre. If you think you're too cool for a puppet show, then you've never seen a puppet show this cool. It's all so perfectly pitched: the skilled but charmingly DIY aesthetic, the splashes of Day-Glo color, and the mind-melting Adult Swim-style humor. This time out, she's performing the story of a plucky bear who goes to space in search of a planet him and his buddy can party on. It's great, my only complaint being that it's too short, but the end of that segment just gives way to the Mr. Quintron portion of the evening.  Banging out jumpy, rollicking dance rock on a Hammond Organ tricked out to look like the front end of a classic car, and flanked by his homemade drum machines, he creates a ruckus that sounds a bit like the B-52's only with more sweat and more sleaze.

After a satisfying run of great tunes, including such highlights as an extended, funky freakout on "Place Unknown" from 2003's Are You Ready for an Organ Solo?, technical problems cut the set a bit short, but if people wandered away lamenting the abrupt ending, no one had anything but praise for what had come before it. Hopefully they'll be making it back to Milwaukee before too long, and if they are coming to a theatre near you, do yourself a favor and go experience the spectacle for yourself.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

PLAYLIST: Mondo Radio (05/09/12)

Here's the playlist for this week's edition of Mondo Radio, which you can download or stream here. The station is in the midst of its Spring Membership Drive, so please consider making a donation, however small, by calling (414) 799-1917 or visiting Remember, we can't stay on the air without your generous support. And as always, you can keep up with the show by finding us on Facebook and Twitter.

Artist - Song - Album
Inner Circle - Everything Is Great - 7" Single
Willie Hutch - All American Funkathon - 7" Single
Johnnie Taylor (The Soul Philosopher) - Shackin' Up - 7" Single
Willie Hutch - And All Hell Broke Loose - 7" Single
Johnnie Taylor (The Soul Philosopher) - Standing In For Jody - 7" Single
Bee Gees - Jive Talkin' - 7" Single 
Donna Summer - Journey To The Center Of Your Heart - Bad Girls
Donna Summer - Walk Away - Bad Girls
Bee Gees - Winds Of Change - 7" Single
Herbie Hancock - Rockit - Future Shock
Herbie Hancock - Future Shock - Future Shock
Bad Livers - Git Them Pretty Girls - Delusions Of Banjer
The Stone Roses - She Bangs The Drums - The Stone Roses
The Stone Roses - Waterfall - The Stone Roses
Happy Mondays - God's Cop - Pills 'N' Thrills And Bellyaches
Happy Mondays - Donovan - Pills 'N' Thrills And Bellyaches
Nightmares On Wax - Mega Donutz - A Word Of Science: The First And Final Chapter
Nightmares On Wax - Playtime - A Word Of Science: The First And Final Chapter
DJ Magic Mike - Make The Car Go Boom! - Bass: The Final Frontier
DJ Magic Mike - To The Fans I - Bass: The Final Frontier
The Orb - Little Fluffy Clouds (Dance Mix Mk I Edit) - CD Single
The KLF - What Time Is Love? (Pure Trance 1) - 12" Single
The Clifters - Django - An Outbreak Of Twangin': Phantom Guitars, Vol. 2
The Boys - Polaris - An Outbreak Of Twangin': Phantom Guitars, Vol. 2
The Saints - Husky Team - An Outbreak Of Twangin': Phantom Guitars, Vol. 2
Ahab & The Wailers - Neb's Tune - An Outbreak Of Twangin': Phantom Guitars, Vol. 2
The Blackjacks - The Red Dragon - An Outbreak Of Twangin': Phantom Guitars, Vol. 2
The Hearts - Black Eyes - An Outbreak Of Twangin': Phantom Guitars, Vol. 2
Rob E.G. - Jezebel - An Outbreak Of Twangin': Phantom Guitars, Vol. 2
The Eagles - The Desperadoes - An Outbreak Of Twangin': Phantom Guitars, Vol. 2
Neal Hefti - The Batusi - Neal Hefti
Neal Hefti - Just A Simple Millionaire - Neal Hefti
Neal Hefti - My Fine Feathered Finks - Neal Hefti
Tony Eira - The Battiest Car Around - 7" Single
Link Wray & The Raymen - Batman Theme - Rock 'N' Roll 'N' Rumble
Tony Eira - Here Comes The Batmobile - 7" Single
Neal Hefti - Mr. Freeze - Neal Hefti
Neal Hefti - Jervis - Neal Hefti
Neal Hefti - Batman Chase - Neal Hefti
The New Colony Six - Mister You're A Better Man Than I - Breakthrough
The New Colony Six - Some People Think I'm A Playboy - Breakthrough
The Box Tops - Cry Like A Baby - The Best Of The Box Tops: Soul Deep
The Box Tops - Sweet Cream Ladies, Forward March - The Best Of The Box Tops: Soul Deep

Monday, May 7, 2012

FILM REVIEW: The Avengers

The Avengers, directed by nerd-king Joss Whedon, is something of a coup for Marvel. Not only is it the biggest in a long line of well-received films based on their classic characters, it's also the culmination of a rather ambitious effort that aims to have the lucrative Marvel movies better reflect the comic book universe that spawned them. Though it may seem commonplace now, one of the company's most forward thinking contributions to the medium was their development of a cohesive, consistent world, a mirror of our own, which all of their creations share. It lends the fantastic adventures of colorful heroes a sense of reality, and pulls individual story lines and series into one grand, sprawling narrative. Of course, that's the intellectual appeal; it also provides an excuse for characters, who normally wouldn't meet, to come together and beat the crap out of each other.

So starting with 2008's Iron Man and continuing in Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger, Marvel has been setting the stage to bring earth's mightiest heroes together, teasing audiences with cameos by Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury. Comic book movies are always forced to walk something of a tightrope, to strike a balance between geeky fanboy expectations and mainstream accessibility, and here the sheer number of beloved superheroes involved just multiplies those pitfalls. Thankfully though, Whedon and company have pulled it all off, creating an ideal summer blockbuster by sticking to what already made the characters iconic and relatable, and by avoiding needless reinvention.

Like many of the big-budget action flicks from the past few years, The Avengers is long, but even though it stretches to nearly two-and-a-half hours, it never feels bloated or poorly paced. Between bringing all the main players together and forging them into a team before sending them into action to fend off an alien invasion led by the conniving Loki, there's a lot of ground to cover, and the film clicks through it at a snappy pace. Despite its busyness, it doesn't sacrifice characterization, nailing the somewhat thorny philosophical differences represented by the individualist Iron Man (played once again to smarmy perfection by Robert Downey, Jr.) and Chris Evan's duty-bound Captain America, and also by introducing a Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) who may or may not be learning how to coexist with his violent alter-ego, The Hulk.

The only character who remains disappointingly two-dimensional is Hawkeye, who plays a rather large part in the action (including the climactic battle through the streets of New York), but is never given much of a personality or even a cool looking suit. They could have given him more of a back story, or indeed any back story at all, especially since much of his teammates' exposition was already fleshed out in previous films, but as it stands his presence feels like a bit of an afterthought.  It's a minor disappointment, one that will hopefully be rectified in future films, which, thanks to The Avengers now have the possibility of including any number of awesome Marvel Team-Up scenarios (personally, I want a Spiderman/X-Men or maybe a Ghost Rider/Punisher crossover). If that wasn't enough to get you excited about the future, stick around through the main credits for a glimpse of the next major villain. I don't want to ruin the surprise, but if you're geeky enough to know who it is, you will be very psyched to see him.

You could probably save yourself a few bucks and skip the 3-D version, but you'll want to see this one on the big screen. Marvel has been on an impressive streak over the last decade (which DC, even with the groundbreaking new Batman franchise, simply hasn't kept up with), releasing the kind of fun, universally appealing films we all look for as warm weather sets in. The Avengers doesn't break that trend. In fact, it takes it to a whole new level.

FEATURE: More Than a Pretty Face (Though It Helped): Anna Karina

Though she's most well known as the wife, muse and leading lady of Jean-Luc Godard, Anna Karina's life and career holds more of interest beyond her association with the filmmaker. In fact, over the years, there's little the iconic Danish beauty hasn't tried her hand at.   

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

PLAYLIST: Mondo Radio (05/02/12)

Here's the playlist for this week's edition of Mondo Radio, which you can download or stream here. If you like it, you can also follow the show on Facebook and Twitter.

Artist - Song - Album
Mclusky - No Covers - 7" Single
Mclusky - To Hell With Good Intentions - Mclusky Do Dallas
Nirvana - Dive - Incesticide
Nirvana - Hairspray Queen - Incesticide
Melvins - Eye Flys - Gluey Porch Treatments
Melvins - Heater Moves And Eyes - Gluey Porch Treatments
Flipper - Shed No Tears (Live) - Blow'n Chunks
Flipper - Love Canal (Live) - Blow'n Chunks
Dicks - Sidewalk Begging - 1980-1986
Dicks - Gilbeau - 1980-1986
Cosmic Psychos - Custom Credit - Fifteen Years, A Million Beers
Cosmic Psychos - Dead Roo - Fifteen Years, A Million Beers
Jerry Vale - Where's The Playground Susie? - Where's The Playground Susie?
Aphex Twin - Vordhosbn - Drukqs
Aphex Twin - Kladfvgbung Micshk - Drukqs
The Bad Plus - Flim - These Are The Vistas 
Terry Riley - In C - In C
Kraftwerk - Musique Non Stop - Electric Café
Kraftwerk - Tour De France Étape 1 - Tour De France Soundtracks
Trans Am - Futureworld II - Futureworld
Trans Am - Positron - Futureworld
Tortoise - TNT - TNT
Tortoise - Almost Always Is Nearly Enough - TNT
Cibo Matto - Spoon (John McEntire Remix) - Sampler
Cibo Matto - Beef Jerky - Viva! La Woman
Built To Spill - Strange - Ancient Melodies Of The Future
Built To Spill - Time Trap - Keep It Like A Secret

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