Thursday, October 31, 2013

PLAYLIST: Mondo Radio (10/30/13)

Here's the playlist for this week's special pledge drive edition of Mondo Radio, which you can download or stream here. This episode: "Scary Monsters, Super Creeps" - the 2013 Mondo Radio Halloween Horrorshow! If you enjoy these spooky sounds, be sure to also find the show on Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter, or, even better, consider making your contribution to our Fall Membership Drive!

Artist - Song - Album
The Cords - Ghost Power - Back From The Grave, Vol. 1
Larry And The Blue Notes - Night Of The Phantom - Back From The Grave, Vol. 1
The Sonics - The Witch - Introducing The Sonics
Halloween - Evil Makings - Halloween
Bert Weedon - Ghost Train - An Outbreak Of Twangin': Phantom Guitars, Vol. 2
Dr. Frankenstein - Theme For "The Mad Thinker" - The Cursed Tapes
N/A - "Monsters Crash The Pajama Party" Radio Ad - N/A
The Mummies - The Fly - Play Their Own Records!
The Mummies - The House On The Hill - Play Their Own Records!
John Zacherle "The Cool Ghoul" - Hurry Bury Baby - Single
John Zacherle "The Cool Ghoul" - Dinner With Drac - Single
Los Holys - Campo De Vampiros - Más Rock And Roll
Los Sleepers - Zombie - Más Rock And Roll
The Cramps - Human Fly - Bad Music For Bad People
The Cramps - Goo Goo Muck (Single Mix) - Bad Music For Bad People
Dummy Club - Teenage Corpse (Live) - Lest We Forget - Our Night To Remember
N/A - "Teenage Psycho Meets Bloody Mary" Radio Ad - N/A
The Creeping Ivies - Black Cat - Stay Wild
The Creeping Ivies - Rock N Roll Ghost - Stay Wild
N/A - "Women And Bloody Terror/Night Of Bloody Horror" Radio Ad - N/A
Tankard - Zombie Attack - Zombie Attack
Bad Brains - Fearless Vampire Killers - Bad Brains
Tense Experts - Cemetery Secrets - Tense Experts
Misfits - Halloween - Legacy Of Brutality
Die Kreuzen - Halloween - Century Days
N/A - "Spirits Of The Dead" Radio Ad - N/A
Soup Moat - Goblins & Trolls - WE RAWISH
Moira Scar - De/Monster/A-Tiff - Scarred For Life
Moira Scar - Tarantula Tangoid - Scarred For Life
Russ Huddleston And Robert Smith Jr. - Portrait Of Evil - Manos: The Soundtrack Of Fate
Russ Huddleston And Robert Smith Jr. - Prayer To The God Of Primal Darkness - Manos: The Soundtrack Of Fate
Fantômas - Der Golem - The Director's Cut
N/A - "Mansion Of The Doomed" Radio Ad - N/A
The Specials - Ghost Town - This Are Two Tone
Holger Czukay - Witches' Multiplication Table - On The Way To The Peak Of Normal
Goblin - L'Alba Dei Morti Viventi - Zombi
Goblin - Zombi - Zombi
N/A - "Zombies: Dawn Of The Dead" Radio Ad - N/A
Manfred Hübler & Siegfried Schwab - Necronomania - 3 Films By Jess Franco
Manfred Hübler & Siegfried Schwab - Ghosts Or Good And Bad Onions - 3 Films By Jess Franco
Perrey-Kingsley - Spooks In Space - The In Sound From Way Out!
Dylan Palme - Intro To Horror - Zombies Ate My Neighbors
Dylan Palme - Leatherface Ate My Neighbors Too - Zombies Ate My Neighbors
FB5K - Gh00lz Of Br00klyn - Microhorror Compilation, Vol 1: Part 1 - The Crypt
Anti-Cheat - Zombie Town - Microhorror Compilation, Vol 1: Part 1 - The Crypt
N/A - "Simon, King Of The Witches" Radio Ad - N/A
Comateens - The Munsters Theme - Just Can't Get Enough: New Wave Halloween
Ministry - Everyday Is Halloween - Just Can't Get Enough: New Wave Halloween
David Bowie - Scary Monsters - Vampires Of Human Flesh
N/A - "The House That Screamed" Radio Ad - N/A
Ian Brown - Thriller - Single
Gorillaz - Ghost Train - G Sides
Kyoto - Criaturas De La Noche - Single
Kyoto - John Carpenter - Single
N/A - "Friday The 13th" Radio Ad - N/A

FEATURE: Toro y Moi Trades Chillwave for Pop and House

In advance of his upcoming Milwaukee gig, I catch up with Chaz Bundick, also known as Toro y Moi, to talk about touring, his graphic design work and going pop.

Read the full piece here.

CONCERT REVIEW: Sat. Nite Duets & Jaill (Polish Falcon, Milwaukee)

Fun-loving local group Sat. Nite Duets take over Riverwest's favorite old-man bar to celebrate the release of their infectious new album Electric Manland.  

Friday, October 25, 2013

FILM REVIEW: She Said Boom: The Story of Fifth Column

It's always a treat when an obscure but important band gets the feature-length music doc treatment instead of some overexposed, already-iconic rock star, and Toronto post-punk outfit Fifth Column certainly fit the bill as underappreciated trailblazers, having had a huge impact on the direction of queercore, riot grrrl and other scenes, only to end up more or less overlooked. Giving them some welcome big-screen recognition is Kevin Hegge's entertaining documentary portrait, She Said Boom: The Story of Fifth Column, which makes a compelling case for why their music needs more reevaluation and attention, even if the film itself could stand to dig a little bit deeper.

Formed at the dawn of the 1980s, the arty, all-female Fifth Column, along with a loose collective of like-minded musicians, experimental filmmakers and zine publishers, took its inspiration from their utter alienation from mainstream culture, especially its strict sexual norms and the sense of endless conflict it fostered; even their name comes from military terminology for a group of agents who secretively destabilize an entrenched regime. Hegge does a good job of coherently unpacking their many complaints with their patriarchal North American surroundings, as well as the battles between band members themselves, whose dramatic quarrels over differing artistic visions actually proved good for their creativity.

The soundtrack is what really sells She Said Boom, but the documentary is visually engaging as well, kinetically splicing together live footage, clips from film projects and original interviews, memorably with founding member G.B. Jones and director Bruce La Bruce, a frequent collaborator. The film does have flaws, mainly a distinct lack of context, particularly surrounding their time with K Records and their place in the broader 1980s underground, which makes it seem deceptively as if the band's adventures were unfolding in a bubble, and at a mere 64 minutes, there's certainly room for more background. Still, while not that thorough, it's an enticing introduction

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

PLAYLIST: Mondo Radio (10/23/13)

Here's the playlist for this week's edition of Mondo Radio, which you can download or stream here. This episode: "Catch a Buzz", featuring recent rock and/or roll. If you like what you hear, be sure to also find the show on Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter!

Artist - Song - Album
Dan Melchior Und Das Menace - Green Lightning Dust - Das Menace: Unreleased/Rarities
Dan Melchior Und Das Menace - A Wizard Doesn't Need A Computer - Das Menace: Unreleased/Rarities
Dark Chocolate Chips - Fat Mama Kick - Salut
Chocolate Chips - Pure Gold - Salut
Free Pizza - Ducks - Kool Is The Rool
Free Pizza - Come Close To Me - Kool Is The Rool
Go Genre Everything - Giant Robot - Domestic Dreams And Robots
Go Genre Everything - Dream Of Eternal Youth - Domestic Dreams And Robots
Dogs In Ecstasy - Celeb Friends - Dat Cruel God
Dogs In Ecstasy - Buzz - Dat Cruel God
JEFF The Brotherhood - Staring At The Wall - Hypnotic Nights
JEFF The Brotherhood - Dark Energy - Hypnotic Nights
Spaceships - Ride Out There - Spaceships EP
Spaceships - Painz - Spaceships EP
Mass Production - Time Bomb - '83
The Hussy - Wrong Right (E. React Mix) - Way With Words EP
The Hussy - Way With Words - Way With Words EP
The Delphines - Shake Appeal - Single
Thee Oh Sees - Devil Again - Garage Swim
Cheap Time - Kill The Light - Garage Swim
Sat. Nite Duets - Whipped - Electric Manland
Sat. Nite Duets - Born To Walk - Electric Manland
King Tuff - Keep On Movin' - King Tuff
King Tuff - Hit & Run - King Tuff
Gap Dream - Feast Of The 1st Morning (Live) - Live At WFMU On The Evan Funk Davies Show 10-24-12
Gap Dream - Generator (Live) - Live At WFMU On The Evan Funk Davies Show 10-24-12
Ty Segall - Inside Your Heart - Twins
Ty Segall - Ghost - Twins
San Pedro El Cortez - Castañeda - Creaturas
San Pedro El Cortez - Tierra Del Sol - Creaturas
Sexy Water Spiders - Nascar - Black Gold
Sexy Water Spiders - Spirit Dome - Black Gold
Sleepcomesdown - Float Like An Echo - Cured By The Blur
Sleepcomesdown - In Fever Dreams - Cured By The Blur
Catacombz - Booyea - Mother Tongue 2
Catacombz - Transactive Memory - Mother Tongue 2
Technicolor Teeth - Magick Sunlamp - Teenage Pagans
Technicolor Teeth - Aunt Deborah’s Story - Teenage Pagans

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

COMEDY REVIEW: Eugene Mirman, Kristen Schaal & John Hodgman (The Pabst Theatre, Milwaukee)

Though alluring enough on their own, comedians Eugene Mirman, Kristen Schaal and John Hodgman team up for a short tour, delivering even more bang for your buck.

Read my full review here.

FEATURE: It's Not Just You, Balinese Witches Are Crazy: Mystics in Bali

In the West, the Indonesian occult is a pretty exotic, esoteric topic, but, thankfully, no prior knowledge of Southeast Asian witchcraft is required to enjoy Mystics in Bali, the blood-soaked 1981 cult classic from exploitation filmmaker H. Tjut Djalil.

Read the full piece here.

Thursday, October 17, 2013


When Baltimore filmmaker John Waters bestowed the name "Divine" on his friend Glenn Milstead during their first cinematic collaboration, the 1966 short Roman Candles, it was never meant to stick, but with a brash drag alter ego to escape into, the shy, bullied Milstead found a whole new path as a performer, one that would blaze colorfully, but all too briefly, through the worlds of film, theatre and music. Divine's was a remarkably unique life, full of dualities, redemption and unapologetically trashy behavior, making him an all but irresistible documentary subject, and while director Jeffrey Schwarz latest effort, I Am Divine, is a snappy, affectionate portrait, it mostly succeeds by staying out of its protagonist's way.

Producer-director Schwarz has built something of a cottage industry chronicling interesting gay lives (Vito, Wrangler: Anatomy of an Icon) and there's an experienced efficiency to the way he packs 42 years of anecdotes and identity crises into 90 minutes, from Milstead's lonely childhood to his falling in with Waters and the drugged-out coterie of Dreamlanders freaks, and on to his incandescent stardom and untimely demise. There are plenty of engaging original interviews from friends and co-conspirators, particularly Waters, who always makes for an entertaining talking head, but Schwarz also leans rather heavily on clips from Divine's films and talk show appearances, though considering his flair in front of a camera, that's not exactly a drawback.

The documentary isn't all surface, delving into his sexuality, the struggle to live down the Pink Flamingos-inspired image as a dog shit-eating maniac and get the respect he deserved as an actor or his distant relationship with his family, but there are times when you wish the offstage Divine, the quiet, generous man his friends knew, got a little more screen time. While it could be more intimate, the film has fun with the high points, the international infamy and glamorous celebrity hobnobbing, while keeping things grounded in the ultimately very human story of a repressed young man who found a way to escape, and did so spectacularly. There's a reason the name stuck.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

PLAYLIST: Mondo Radio (10/16/13)

Here's the playlist for this week's edition of Mondo Radio, which you can download or stream here. This episode: "The Scorcher", featuring reggae, dub and dancehall. If you dig it, be sure to also follow the show on Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter!

Artist - Song - Album
Errol Dunkley - The Scorcher - Joe Gibbs Scorchers From The Early Years 1967-73
The Pioneers - Long Shot/Jackpot - Joe Gibbs Scorchers From The Early Years 1967-73
Bob Marley And The Wailers - My Cup - Soul Rebels
Bob Marley And The Wailers - Soul Rebel - Soul Rebels
Desmond Dekker & The Aces - Israelites - 7" Single
Keith Hudson - Tribal War - Furnace
Keith Hudson - Furnace - Furnace
Desmond Dekker & The Aces - My Precious World - 7" Single
Liberators - Why Can't It Be - Enemies Are Coming
Liberators - Grey Skies - Enemies Are Coming
Peter Tosh - Igziabeher (Let Jah Be Praised) - Legalize It
Peter Tosh - No Sympathy - Legalize It
Psycho Tribe - A Sin Is Sung - Wendy, I'm Home
Wayne Wade - Doctor Bird - Evil Woman
Wayne Wade - I Kiss The Rose - Evil Woman
U-Roy - Runaway Girl - Dread In A Babylon
U-Roy - Silver Bird - Dread In A Babylon
The Ethnic Fight Band - Portobello Road Dub - Out Of One Man Comes Many Dubs
The Ethnic Fight Band - Out Of One Man Comes Many Dubs - Out Of One Man Comes Many Dubs
Augustus Pablo - Up Warrika Hill - Original Rockers
Augustus Pablo - Tubby's Dub Song - Original Rockers
King Tubby & Friends - Tubby Get Smart - Dub Like Dirt 1975-1977
King Tubby & Friends - Bag A Wire Dub - Dub Like Dirt 1975-1977
African Head Charge - Family Doctoring - My Life In A Hole In The Ground
African Head Charge - Far Away Chant - My Life In A Hole In The Ground
Lee Perry Presents The Mighty Upsetters - Black Belt Jones - Heart Of The Dragon
Lee Perry Presents The Mighty Upsetters - Hold Them Kung Fu - Heart Of The Dragon
The Congos - Ark Of Covenant - Heart Of The Congos
The Congos - Can't Come In - Heart Of The Congos
Toots & The Maytals - Funky Kingston - Funky Kingston
Toots & The Maytals - Pressure Drop - Funky Kingston
Jimmy Cliff - Viet Nam - Reggae Spectacular
Jimmy Cliff - Time Will Tell - Reggae Spectacular
Papa Levi - My God My King - An England Story
Jah Screechy - Walk And Skank - An England Story
Tippa Irie - Complain Neighbour - Is It Really Happening To Me
Tippa Irie - The Telephone - Is It Really Happening To Me

FEATURE: The A.V. Club's Guide to the 2013 Milwaukee LGBT Film/Video Festival

I turn to programmer Carl Bogner for help narrowing down the 2013 Milwaukee LGBT Film/Video Festival's jam-packed schedule to just a handful of must-see movies.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

FEATURE: Not the Same Old Symbolism: Buñuel's L'Age d'Or

With its bold but playful attempt at a pure surrealist film language, Luis Buñuel's 1931 dreamlike romp L'Age d'Or proves immune to conventional interpretation.

EVENT REVIEW: Radiolab Live: Apocalyptical (The Riverside Theatre, Milwaukee)

The popular public radio science program takes over the Riverside Theatre for and elaborate stage show about endings, which proves to be good from start to finish.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

ALBUM REVIEW: Sleepcomesdown - Cured by the Blur

When digesting an album, it's usually pretty easy to differentiate between those elements that you enjoy and those that you don't, to subconsciously weigh those subjective pros and cons that ultimately tip a listener's scales in one direction or the other, but sometimes a record's greatest strengths are also its greatest weaknesses. Take Cured by the Blur, the latest from Milwaukee psych group Sleepcomesdown, which offers up a sound that's confident and cohesive in a way that's hard not to like, but could ultimately do with a little less consistency and a little more risk-taking.

Heard individually, each of the album's 12 tracks have a lot to recommend them, diving head first into dizzy, strung-out psych bolstered by some punchy, insistent post-punk drums and space-filling effects, but experienced together over the course of 47 minutes, the approach begins to suffer from the law of diminishing returns, robbing standouts like "Float like an Echo" or the title track of some of their impact. It's never dull; thanks mainly to the driving rhythm section, Cured by the Blur always feels like it's going somewhere, but, in the end, the scenery never changes.

It's hard to fault a band for trying to fully explore a sound or create a sustained atmosphere, but a little more dynamics of the sort hinted at by the short, relatively ambient tracks that bookend the album would have let in some much-needed air. If you're the type of person who loads up their iPod and listens on shuffle, then a download is well worth the investment, as there are plenty of standalone gems to be found, but if you prefer to enjoy things straight through, those moments can get obscured by the blur.

FEATURE: Milwaukee Writer Tea Krulos Unmasks the "Real-Life Superhero" Movement with "Heroes in the Night"

I catch up with local author Tea Krulos to find out more about his new book Heroes in the Night, which delves into the secretive and eccentric world of real-life superheroes.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

PLAYLIST: Mondo Radio (10/09/13)

Here's the playlist for this week's edition of Mondo Radio, which you can download or stream here. This episode: "Vision for the Future", featuring techno, house and more. If you enjoy it, please be sure to also find the show on Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter!

Artist - Song - Album
The Courier - Play It Fair (Ground) - Got The Vibes - The Complete Collection
The Courier - Clean It Up - Got The Vibes - The Complete Collection
UltraCat - Funk The Floor - Single
UltraCat - Orbiting The Earth - Single
Casetofoane - Spatiometric - Electromagnetic
Casetofoane - Waha - Electromagnetic
Zachary Wilson - Deficit Blvd. - Endless Breakfast
Zachary Wilson - Light Travels - Endless Breakfast
El Chicano - Cubano Chant - Revolución
Chrome Sparks - Cosmic Claps Of Love - Sparks EP
Chrome Sparks - Luna Luxor - Sparks EP
Corporate Control - Bad Taste - Ten Dry Nails
Corporate Control - Lush - Ten Dry Nails
Jake Allison - We Got The Funk - Summer In The States
Jake Allison X Strong Suit - The Deluxe - Summer In The States
The Carrier Wave - Sky Eyes - 4X4 Acid Stompers
The Carrier Wave - Tastes Like Hairspray - 4X4 Acid Stompers
Morphamish - Bottums Up - Get My Fix EP
Morphamish - Low Slung - Get My Fix EP
Simian Mobile Disco - Skin Cracker - Delicacies
Simian Mobile Disco - Fugu - Delicacies
Green Velvet - Leave My Body - Green Velvet
Green Velvet - Land Of The Lost - Green Velvet
Egyptrixx - Recital (A Version) - Bible Eyes
Egyptrixx (Feat. Trust) - Chrysalis Records - Bible Eyes
Gil Scott-Heron And Jamie Xx - I'll Take Care Of U - We're New Here
Gil Scott-Heron And Jamie Xx - Ur Soul And Mine - We're New Here
Jean-Jacques Perrey & Luke Vibert - Vision For The Future - Moog Acid
Jean-Jacques Perrey & Luke Vibert - JJPLVDNB - Moog Acid

COMEDY REVIEW: Comedy Bang! Bang! Live! & The Birthday Boys (Turner Hall Ballroom, Milwaukee)

Host Scott Aukerman brings the live version of his popular podcast/IFC TV show to the Turner Hall stage, complete with some very special guests. Hilarity ensues.

CONCERT REVIEW: Dogs in Ecstasy, Cave & Catacombz (Riverwest Public House, Milwaukee)

Dogs in Ecstasy, one of the best bands in the city, celebrates the release of their debut album, Dat Cruel God, with a little help from their equally talented friends.

FEATURE: Weird Shit, All Right: Alive From Off Center

At the height of the MTV era, PBS got in on the video revolution, throwing cash at a bunch of avant-garde performers and artists with open-ended instructions to explore the boundaries of television. The results were predictably stoner-friendly and surreal.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

PLAYLIST: Mondo Radio (10/02/13)

Here's the playlist for this week's edition of Mondo Radio, which you can download or stream here. This episode: "Just Like Honey", featuring shoegaze and neo-psychedelia. If you like what you hear, be sure to also find the show on Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter!

Artist - Song - Album
Ride - Seagull - Nowhere
Ride - Decay - Nowhere
The Stone Roses - I Wanna Be Adored - The Stone Roses
The Stone Roses - Bye Bye Badman - The Stone Roses
The Jesus And Mary Chain - Just Like Honey - Psychocandy
The Jesus And Mary Chain - Something's Wrong - Psychocandy
My Bloody Valentine - When You Sleep - Loveless
My Bloody Valentine - I Only Said - Loveless
Slowdive - Spanish Air - Just For A Day
Slowdive - Waves - Just For A Day
Big Walter - Bloodstains On The Wall - Blues As Big As Texas, Vol. 1
Spacemen 3 - Starship - Transparent Radiation
Spacemen 3 - Transparent Radiation - Transparent Radiation
Love And Rockets - The Light - Earth, Sun, Moon
Love And Rockets - Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven - Earth, Sun, Moon
Inspiral Carpets - Sun Don't Shine - Life
Inspiral Carpets - She Comes In The Fall - Life
Spiritualized - All Of My Thoughts - Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space
Spiritualized - I Think I'm In Love - Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space
Blonde Redhead - 23 - 23
Blonde Redhead - Dr. Strangeluv - 23
Technicolor Teeth - Is It Warm Enough For You - Teenage Pagans
Technicolor Teeth - Kiss Lighter FM - Teenage Pagans
The Mushroom Club - Cannabinoid - EP 1
The Mushroom Club - Rainbow 2 (Heroin Picnic) - EP 1
Daycones - Make Due - Timescape Psalm
Daycones - Pickpocket Queen - Timescape Psalm
Black Moth Super Rainbow - Blurring My Day - Cobra Juicy
Black Moth Super Rainbow - Like A Sundae - Cobra Juicy

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