Friday, August 18th, 2006
Almost Always Never
What Made Milwaukee Famous were smart in picking their name – besides being instantly memorable and music relevant (it’s taken from a Jerry Lee Lewis song title), it’s an obvious conversation starter. So for the record, they are not from Milwaukee, they are from Austin, Texas.
I’m probably a little late on the wagon with these guys – they originally released their debut Trying To Never Catch Up in 2004 but I didn’t hear them until I received a promo of the reissue forthcoming on their new label Barsuk (with a new/different tracklisting) next Tuesday. Add in an impressive appearance at Lollapalooza and I’m now happily quite immersed in this disc.
And it’s definitely an eclectic listen, as much angsty new wave as anthemic classic pop – sometimes in the same song – but still remarkably consistent and cohesive thanks to Michael Kingcaid’s deceptively elastic and versitile pipes. That’s pipes as in voice, not, like Zamfir pipes. All the lines of influence you can draw will surely lead back to the late ’70s and early ’80s, but What Made Milwaukee Famous’ record collection is a lot deeper than many of their compatriots who you could say the same thing about. Highly recommended and growing more so with every listen. The San Francisco Bay Guardian has a profile of the band. Update: Thanks to Mike for pointing out that WWMF have just been added as support for The Long Winters’ upcoming tour which includes an October 4 show at Lee’s Palace.
MP3: What Made Milwaukee Famous – “iDecide”
MP3: What Made Milwaukee Famous – “Sweet Lady”
Video: What Made Milwaukee Famous – “Selling Yourself Short” (MOV)
eCard: What Made Milwaukee Famous
MySpace: What Made Milwaukee Famous
Andd the following are all at the Mod Club: Holy Fuck, Shout Out Out Out and Land Of Talk on September 22, Joanna Newsom finally comes to town on October 4 – her new one Ys is out November 14 – and Badly Drawn Boy is there on October 14 previewing material from his new album Born In The UK, which is out October 17. The first video from said album just came out – check it out.
NME reports that we can expect a flurry of Peel Session collections to start coming our way later this year for bands such as Pulp, Gene and House Of Love. It’s unclear whether it’ll be a collection per band or just compilations featuring many artists, but look for the on or around October 18. I’m a little surprised, though pleasantly so, that HoL is going to be included since they’ve already released a Peel Sessions disc. I imagine that this next one will cover the post-Bickers era stuff which usually gets unfairly dismissed. Babe Rainbow was a good record, dammit. Audience With The Mind… okay, not so much. And while I won’t say definitively that the reunion which yielded the alright but could have been better Days Run Away is over, no news from a famously volatile band in almost a year isn’t usually good news. Pity. Via For The Records.
And just a note to all the Toronto alternative/indie comedy fans (aka those in attendance at last night’s Eugene Mirman gig at the Horseshoe) – it doesn’t matter how funny you, or your boyfriend/girlfriend or your mom thinks you are , you’re almost certainly not. And trying to outwit, outfunny or otherwise go toe-to-toe with the touring professional comics is just going to end badly for you… so please don’t try. Otherwise the show was hilarious punctuated with moments of utter awkwardness thanks to certain people. You know who you are. James.
np – The Concretes / In Colour