Wednesday, July 31, 2013

PLAYLIST: Mondo Radio (07/31/13)

Here's the playlist for this week's edition of Mondo Radio, which you can download or stream here. This episode: "Apocalyptic Bore", featuring krautrock, prog and psych. If you like what you hear, be sure to also follow the show on Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter

Artist - Song - Album
Can - Deadlock - Soundtracks
Can - Don't Turn The Light On, Leave Me Alone - Soundtracks
Faust - Jennifer - Faust IV
Faust - The Sad Skinhead - Faust IV
Ton Steine Scherben - Durch Die Wüste - Wenn Die Nacht Am Tiefsten...
Ton Steine Scherben - Samstag Nachmittag - Wenn Die Nacht Am Tiefsten...
Amon Düül II - Apocalyptic Bore - Vive La Trance
Amon Düül II - Jalousie - Vive La Trance
Yoko Ono - Mind Train - Fly
Fungus Brains - Creepy Crawl - Fungus Brains
Prúdy - Pod' So Mnou - Zvoňte, Zvonky
Prúdy - Čierna Ruža - Zvoňte, Zvonky
Magma - Malaria - Magma
Magma - Sohïa - Magma
Henry Cow - Nine Funerals Of The Citizen King - The Henry Cow Legend
Henry Cow - Teenbeat Reprise - The Henry Cow Legend
Gong - Tropical Fish: Selene - Camembert Electrique
Gong - Tried So Hard - Camembert Electrique
Disappears - Not Romantic - Guider
Disappears - Revisiting - Guider
Catacombz - San Pangea - Mother Tongue 2
Catacombz - Long Pretty Fingers - Mother Tongue 2
The Mushroom Club - Broken Receptors (Cannabinoid) - EP 1
The Mushroom Club - Rainbow 2 (Heroin Picnic) - EP 1
Brian Jonestown Massacre - Panic In Babylon - Aufheben
Brian Jonestown Massacre - Viholliseni Maalla - Aufheben
Black Moth Super Rainbow - Psychic Love Damage - Cobra Juicy
Black Moth Super Rainbow - The Healing Power Of Nothing - Cobra Juicy

CONCERT REVIEW: Steely Dan (The Riverside Theatre, Milwaukee)

A sold-out crowd of devoted fans eagerly enjoys every minute of Steely Dan's lengthy, hit-driven performance at the Riverside.

FEATURE: Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom: The Pioneer of a Genre

Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom was by no means the first wildlife series seen on television, but it quickly became the leader of the pack.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

ALBUM REVIEW: Ka - The Night's Gambit

It goes without saying that life in the inner city has always been a central subject for rap, ever since its earliest iterations in the bombed-out South Bronx of the late 1970s. As with any topic though, individual artists approach it from a myriad of angles; some turn the streets into a nihilistic cartoon, unapologetically embracing a criminal lifestyle (or at least the trappings of one), while others search for root causes, pointing with righteous indignation at police and politicians. Assuming the MC in question has got the skills to back it up, there's nothing inherently wrong with either approach, but there's more truth in synthesizing the two, as Ka does on his superb new The Night's Gambit

Ka, Brooklyn born MC and former member of the Natural Elements crew, has been at it since the early 90s, carving out an impressive underground reputation but largely remaining off the radar of the mainstream. By all outward indications, that suits Ka just fine; there's very little ego on The Night's Gambit, being more concerned with the realities of urban survival than impressing anybody. There's some gritty, noir-ish romance here, right from the dope-slinging album opener "You Know It's About", but balancing it out is an omnipresent sense of guilt, anxiety and paranoia. The toughness of a track like "Soap Box" may sound enticing, but moments later the ominous "Peace Akhi" reveals the pain lurking underneath.

The unflinching, just-the-facts monotone of Ka's delivery is perfectly suited to the subject matter, the voice of someone who's seen it all and has the scars to show for it, but just as important is the production, all slow burn, borderline abstract beats abutting evocative samples culled from Bruce Lee films and The Wire. As tense as the album is, it's not a difficult listen, thanks to his mastery of head-bobbing hip hop fundamentals. Ka pays tribute to his influences on the crate-digging finale, which name checks countless rap classics, from Paid in Full, Criminal Minded and Strictly Business to Ready to Die and Illmatic. The Night's Gambit may not be among them, but it comes close. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

PLAYLIST: Mondo Radio (07/24/13)

Here's the playlist for this week's edition of Mondo Radio, which you can download or stream here. This episode: "Happening Thing", featuring new (and newish) rock and pop. If you dig it, be sure to also follow the show on Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter!

Artist - Song - Album
Raw Geronimo - Manic Cruiser - Dream Fever
Raw Geronimo - Faustine - Dream Fever
The Tablets - Vladimir - Tablets
The Tablets - Stranger's Light - Tablets
Chocolate Chips - Fed Up With Myself - Cancel My Appointments
Chocolate Chips - Feel For The Industry - Cancel My Appointments
The Fatty Acids - Unscreened - Torrential Zen
Sat. Nite Duets - Conjugal Visit - Torrential Zen
The Ex-Bombers - Happening Thing - The Tightwire
The Ex-Bombers - Le Sux - The Tightwire
The Pharmacy - At The Top Of The Ivory Stairs - Stoned And Alone
The Pharmacy - Bring You Down - Stoned And Alone
Harlem - Cloud Pleaser - Hippies
Harlem - Friendly Ghost - Hippies
The Hussy - Way With Words - Way With Words EP
The Hussy - Wrong Right (E. React Mix) - Way With Words EP
Widowmaker - Ain't Telling You Nothing - Widowmaker
The Delphines - Panic (Live) - WMSE Live
The Delphines - Hit Me Up (Live) - WMSE Live
King Tuff - She's On Fire - Garage Swim
Mikal Cronin - Better Man - Garage Swim
JEFF The Brotherhood - Wood Ox - Hypnotic Nights
JEFF The Brotherhood - Changes - Hypnotic Nights
Ty Segall Band - I Bought My Eyes - Slaughterhouse
Ty Segall Band - Wave Goodbye - Slaughterhouse
Dan Melchior Und Das Menace - Green Lightning Dust - Das Menace: Unreleased/Rarities
Dan Melchior Und Das Menace - Deep Fried Circuits - Das Menace: Unreleased/Rarities
Dirt - Dagger(s) - Single
Dirt - {Ø} (Empty Sets) - Single
Dead Waves - Break Apart - Kill The Youth EP
Dead Waves - Happy - Kill The Youth EP
Big Eyes - Back From The Moon - Single
Big Eyes - I Don't Care About Friday Night - Single
Shannon And The Clams - The Cult Song - Sleep Talk
Shannon And The Clams - The Woodsman - Sleep Talk
Hunx - Hairdresser Blues - Hairdresser Blues
Hunx - When You're Gone - Hairdresser Blues
Nobunny - Breathe - First Blood
Nobunny - Motorhead With Me - First Blood
The Creeping Ivies - House Of Ivy - Stay Wild
The Creeping Ivies - Black Cat - Stay Wild
Cheap Time - Push Your Luck - Cheap Time
Cheap Time - Over Again - Cheap Time
King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard - Danger $$$ - Willoughby's Beach
King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard - Dustbin Fletcher - Willoughby's Beach
Black Lips - Raw Meat - Arabia Mountain
Black Lips - Time - Arabia Mountain

CONCERT REVIEW: Melvins & Mudhoney (Turner Hall Ballroom, Milwaukee)

The Melvins' 30th anniversary tour pulling into Milwaukee is cause enough for excitement as it is, but our being one of only two stops to also feature fellow grunge godfathers Mudhoney made this a night not to be missed.

CONCERT REVIEW: The Ex-Bombers, Chris Head and the Honchos & Soulfoot Mombits (Stonefly Brewing Company, Milwaukee)

Touring behind their debut album The Tightwire, a gutsy vinyl-only release on Cavetone Records, Charleston, Illinois' the Ex-Bombers encounter some of the inevitable consequences of keeping your music offline.

FEATURE: Milwaukee Art Museum Challenges Notions of Identity and Race with '30 Americans'

Hanging through September 8, the Milwaukee Art Museum's 30 Americans takes a provocative, and at times playful, look at contemporary African American identities. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

ALBUM REVIEW: Juiceboxxx - Beyond Thunder Zone

Never one to be caught standing still, it's probably unwise to press play on any new Juiceboxxx release with too many assumptions or expectations. The Milwaukee bred MC has a history of jumping feet first into new sounds and, respectfully, wrecking up the place, absorbing the best of rap, punk, dance and, as on last year's I Don't Wanna Go Into The Darkness LP, classic heartland rock a la Bruce Springsteen into his signature style of amped up American music. Beyond Thunder Zone, his new free mixtape, adds a heavy dose of the Beastie Boys and other 80s/90s hip hop staples, but, as always, it's Juice's personality that comes through.

Out now on his Thunder Zone Entertainment label, the 15 tracks naturally allude to what he's been listening to lately, but effortlessly synthesize it with all that's come before, and with his off-kilter flow and lyrics, which as usual center around living life to the max and hard lessons learned on the road. His sense of humor has caused many to write him off over the years, but thankfully it's still intact, most obviously on the SNL inspired closer, but also infused into more introspective tracks like "Never Surrender Forever" and the Big Star sampling "Hold On". The balance between partying and pathos is spot on, and in either mode, Juiceboxxx shines. 

It's a confident, invigorated collection from start to finish, and Juice had quite a bit of help getting it there, calling in a cadre of talented collaborators including Fat Tony, Schwarz and White Fang among others (even the artwork comes courtesy of Lil Ugly Mane). The most crowded track, "Pump It (Remix)" is probably the mixtapes's best, a bona fide monster of a summer party jam, but between other standouts like the infectious "1-900 JUICEBOY" and the catchy Wyclef Jean take-off "Gone Till November", the whole is built for repeat listens. Who knows where Juice will go next, but if you can expect anything, it’s that it’ll be well worth following.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

PLAYLIST: Mondo Radio (07/17/13)

Here's the playlist for this week's edition of Mondo Radio, which you can download or stream here. This episode: "Surrender to Silence", featuring ambient, downtempo and other mellow vibes. If you like what you hear, be sure to also find the show on Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter!

Artist - Song - Album
Brian Eno - Deep Blue Day - Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks
Brian Eno - Under Stars - Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks
Keith Mansfield - Energy Fields (B) - The Video Connection
Keith Mansfield - Energy Fields (A) - The Video Connection
Tangerine Dream - Movements Of A Visionary - Phaedra
Tangerine Dream - Sequent C' - Phaedra
Bitchin Bajas - Zone 4 - Tones/Zones
Bitchin Bajas - Zone 1 - Tones/Zones
Cyberchump - Sighs Of Life - Flutter And Flow
Cyberchump - Neon - Flutter And Flow
Walking Wounded - It All Depends On Love - Walking Wounded
Lee Rosevere - Phase Of Prisms - Backtime
Lee Rosevere - Above The City, Under The Stars - Backtime
Glass Boy - The Parker Posey Encounter - Jenkins
Glass Boy - Danish Lakes - Jenkins
Polygon Window - Portreath Harbour - Surfing On Sine Waves
Polygon Window - Quino-Phec - Surfing On Sine Waves
File Under Toner - Favorites - This Is The End, Beautiful Friend
File Under Toner - Sex Machine - This Is The End, Beautiful Friend
Boards Of Canada - You Could Feel The Sky - Geogaddi
Boards Of Canada - Diving Station - Geogaddi
Black Moth Super Rainbow - Happy Melted City - Drippers
Black Moth Super Rainbow - Changing You All - Drippers
Panda Bear - Drone - Tomboy
Panda Bear - Benfica - Tomboy
Flying Lotus Feat. Niki Randa - Hunger - Until The Quiet Comes
Flying Lotus Feat. Laura Darlington - Phantasm - Until The Quiet Comes
Cuttooth Feat. Bridie Jackson - Peace - Cuttooth
Cuttooth Feat. Hitomi - Old Tape Machine - Cuttooth
Portishead - Humming (Live) - Roseland NYC Live
Portishead - Mysterons (Live) - Roseland NYC Live
DJ Shadow - Building Steam With A Grain Of Salt - Endtroducing.....
DJ Shadow - What Does Your Soul Look Like (Part 4) - Endtroducing.....
Chrome Sparks - Gates To Heaven - Sparks EP
Gil Scott-Heron & Jamie Xx - Home - We're New Here
Gil Scott-Heron & Jamie Xx - My Cloud - We're New Here
Chrome Sparks - Marijuana - Sparks EP

Monday, July 15, 2013

FEATURE: An Inevitable Cult Classic: Valley of the Dolls

Sometimes the films that achieve cult classic status can be kind of surprising, but looking at 1967's Valley of the Dolls, it's plain to see that this particular film was more or less destined to become a midnight movie staple.

CONCERT REVIEW: Prince Rama, Catacombz & Moss Folk (Mad Planet, Milwaukee)

Eccentric sister duo Prince Rama fittingly cap off a night of surreal psychedelic variations, including opening sets from Milwaukee's own Moss Folk and Catacombz.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

PLAYLIST: Mondo Radio (07/10/13)

Here's the playlist for this week's edition of Mondo Radio, which you can download or stream here. This episode "Dance What 'Cha Wanna", featuring disco, house and funk. If you're feeling it, remember to also find the show on Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter!

Artist - Song - Album
Loleatta Holloway - Love Sensation (Original Tom Moulton 12" Mix) - Love Sensation
Loleatta Holloway - Dance What 'Cha Wanna - Love Sensation
Dan Hartman - Instant Replay - Instant Replay
Dan Hartman - Double-O-Love - Instant Replay
ABBA - The Visitors (Crackin' Up) - The Definitive Collection
Player [1] - A Menacing Glow In The Sky - Single
Player [1] - Space Invaders - Single
ABBA - Lay All Your Love On Me - The Definitive Collection
Donna Summer - Can't Get To Sleep At Night - Bad Girls
Donna Summer - Sunset People - Bad Girls
The Backsters - Techno Jive - Get On Your Back!
Ralphi Rosario Feat. Xavier Gold - You Used To Hold Me (Kenny Jason Mix) - Trax Records: The 20th Anniversary Collection
Z Factor Feat. Screamin' Rachael - Fantasy - Trax Records: The 20th Anniversary Collection
Frankie Knuckles - Rain Falls - Beyond The Mix
Frankie Knuckles - Sacrifice - Beyond The Mix
A Guy Called Gerald - I Feel Rhythm - Automanikk
A Guy Called Gerald - I Won't Give In - Automanikk
Hercules And Love Affair - Feels So Right (Solution) - DJ-Kicks
Hercules And Love Affair - Love Don't Come Easy (Power Dub)(DJ Duke Presents Freedom) - DJ-Kicks
Chromeo - You Make It Rough - Business Casual
Chromeo - Don't Turn The Lights On - Business Casual
Zapp - Doo Wa Ditty (Blow That Thing) - Zapp II
Zapp - Playin' Kinda Ruff - Zapp II
Cameo - Freaky Dancin' - The Best Of Cameo
Cameo - I Just Want To Be - The Best Of Cameo
Prince - Uptown - Dirty Mind
Prince - Do It All Night - Dirty Mind
Michael Jackson - Get On The Floor - Off The Wall
Michael Jackson - Burn This Disco Out - Off The Wall

CONCERT REVIEW: Summerfest Day 10 & 11 (Summerfest, Milwaukee)

The final installment of the A.V. Club Milwaukee's Summerfest 2013 coverage, including my thoughts on legendary blues guitarist Buddy Guy's flamboyant set from the fest's penultimate night.

Monday, July 8, 2013

ALBUM REVIEW: Cuttooth - Cuttooth

Northern UK producer Cuttooth operates in a crowded, but ill-defined, field, one alternately referred to as trip hop, electronica or downtempo, depending on where you are and your patience for the cumbersome specificity of genre. Suffice it to say that the blunted boom bap, ethereal voices and soulful samples found on his new self-titled LP, out now on the Dutch label 4 Lux Recordings, will feel somewhat familiar to those well acquainted with the more abstract end of modern electronic music, but while the album doesn't present much that could be considered new, it's still a sterling example of the style.

At times recalling Portishead, Massive Attack and the more luxurious side of Dan the Automator, the record's eleven tracks unfold with a certain organic grace, slowly spinning the warm, ever-present analog crackle of well-worn vinyl into suites of birdsong, sumptuous strings and exotic female vocals. As great as the crisp but natural production is, those international featured guests bring a lot to the table; standout track "Breathe Deeply" wouldn't be nearly as sultry or cinematic without the contribution of the Montreal based Sarah Linhares and Japanese singer-songwriter Hitomi adds an alluring fragility to "Old Tape Machine" and "Illusion Symptom."

At a mere 25 minutes, the album certainly doesn't wear out its welcome, indeed by the time it evaporates back into thin air, it leaves you wanting more, a fact which, along with the uninterrupted fluidity with which it flows from track to track, makes repeat listens almost inevitable. Cuttooth (known by day as Nick Cooke, by the by), is a relatively new name on the scene, having released his solo debut Elements on Psychonavigation records in 2011, but judging by this assured, thoroughly enjoyable addition to his rapidly expanding discography, he's most definitely one to keep an eye on.

CONCERT REVIEW: Summerfest Day 7 (Summerfest, Milwaukee)

The A.V. Club Milwaukee's coverage of the seventh day (god rested, we're not so lucky) of Summerfest, including my take on a disappointing outing from the Go-Gos. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

PLAYLIST: Mondo Radio (07/03/13)

Here's the playlist for this week's edition of Mondo Radio, which you can download or stream here. This episode: "A Digital Tenderness", featuring synthpop, new wave and more. If you like what you hear, be sure to also follow the show on Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter!

Artist - Song - Album
Devo - (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction - Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!
Devo - Too Much Paranoias - Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!
Elton Motello - Falling Like A Domino - Pop Art
Elton Motello - Pocket Calculator - Pop Art
Silicon Teens - Chip 'N' Roll - Music For Parties
Silicon Teens - State Of Shock (Pt. 2) - Music For Parties
Colour Radio - Bound For Life - History In 3 Chords: Milwaukee Alternative Bands 1973-1982
Soko - At The Cinema - History In 3 Chords: Milwaukee Alternative Bands 1973-1982
St. Bernard - Hey Miss Walker - Single
Einstein's Riceboys - Morbid Orbit - Civil Rice
Einstein's Riceboys - Massacre Of Love - Civil Rice
Adam And The Ants - Digital Tenderness - Dirk Wears White Sox
Adam And The Ants - Zerox - Dirk Wears White Sox
Fischer-Z - Lies - Word Salad
Fischer-Z - Pretty Paracetamol - Word Salad
Billy Hancock & The Tennessee Rockets - Please Don't Touch - Shakin' That Rockabilly Fever
Ultravox - Blue Light - Systems Of Romance
Ultravox - Maximum Acceleration - Systems Of Romance
Laid Back - So Wie So - Keep Smiling
Laid Back - Elevator Boy - Keep Smiling
Yazoo - Bad Connection - Upstairs At Eric's
Yazoo - Bring Your Love Down (Didn't I) - Upstairs At Eric's
The Human League - Love Action (I Believe In Love) - Dare
The Human League - The Sound Of The Crowd - Dare
The Cure - Three - Seventeen Seconds
The Cure - Play For Today - Seventeen Seconds
Wire - Follow The Locust - A Bell Is A Cup...Until It Is Struck
Wire - The Finest Drops - A Bell Is A Cup...Until It Is Struck
Depeche Mode - Soft Touch/Raw Nerve - Delta Machine
Depeche Mode - Soothe My Soul - Delta Machine
New Order - Crystal - International
New Order - Here To Stay (Radio Edit) - International
Cut Copy - Blink And You'll Miss A Revolution - Zonoscope
Cut Copy - Pharaohs & Pyramids - Zonoscope
Prince Rama - We Will Fall In Love Again - Top Ten Hits Of The End Of The World
Prince Rama - No Way Back - Top Ten Hits Of The End Of The World
Happy Elf - You Foxy Lady - Alone
Happy Elf - Alone - Alone
The Complainer - Are 'Friends' Electric? + Cars Medley - The Shrine The Second: Ultimate Hits Collection (The Very Last TC (Album. This Is It))
The Complainer - Do You Really Want To Hurt Me (Short) - The Shrine The Second: Ultimate Hits Collection (The Very Last TC (Album. This Is It))

CONCERT REVIEW: Summerfest Day 5 (Summerfest, Milwaukee)

The A.V. Club Milwaukee's coverage of the fifth day of Summerfest 2013, including my impressions of Nashville garage punk trio Cheap Time.

CONCERT REVIEW: Meat Puppets (U.S. Cellular Connection Stage/Summerfest, Milwaukee)

The career of influential alternative act Meat Puppets has detoured into some pretty dark places, but that all seems to be behind them now.

CONCERT REVIEW: Brother Ali (Harley-Davidson Roadhouse/Summerfest, Milwaukee)

Controversial Rhymesayers recording artist Brother Ali puts on an impressive performance in the middle of a lineup packed with his illustrious label mates.

CONCERT REVIEW: Summerfest Day 2 (Summerfest, Milwaukee)

The A.V. Club Milwaukee's coverage of the second day of Summerfest 2013, including my take on rapper Talib Kweli's amazingly under-attended performance.

CONCERT REVIEW: Diplo (Miller Lite Oasis/Summerfest, Milwaukee)

Super producer and Mad Decent label head Diplo rips the decks for a massive audience, but the inherent Summerfest annoyances take their toll.

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