Mellower with age, Bob Mould still plays fast and loud

Written by Bill Lamb,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 04 September 2014 10:28

Bob Mould. — PHOTO: Courtesy

When thinking of gay artists in popular music, the alternative rock genre rarely comes to mind. However, 53-year-old out artist Bob Mould can fairly lay claim to being an elder statesmen of alt rock. He was a co-founder of legendary punk band Hüsker Dü and, through his later band Sugar and a series of well-received solo albums, he’s been a guiding light in the alternative rock community for 25 years.

In tune online: Live Nation, Yahoo stream a concert a day

Written by The AP Monday, 04 August 2014 09:13

Live Nation's partnership with Yahoo to stream one live concert every day is a rare win for music fans. The series, which began with the Dave Matthews Band in mid-July, offers free, high-quality concert footage in a way that helps the companies providing it, since selling ads is more profitable than concert promotion.

The deal opens up a new revenue stream for Live Nation, which reported second quarter earnings Thursday that fell short on profit but beat Wall Street's revenue expectations. And for Yahoo, premium video ad prices could be a cure for its plunging display ad rates.

Review: No monkey business in 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes'

Written by The Associated Press Friday, 11 July 2014 10:58

Digital characters have by now long populated our movies like unwanted house guests. Some of these CGI inventions, like Gollum in "The Lord of the Rings," have been pleasant, even precious company. But most have disrupted our movie worlds - and not just as monsters tearing our cities apart, but as awkward distractions to our cinematic realities. The name Jar Jar Binks will forever be followed by solemn head shaking. Never forget.

But in "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes," the tables have turned, and not just because apes now rule a world where all but 1 in 500 humans have been wiped out by a so-called simian flu virus. No, the biggest uprising in the sequel to 2011's "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" is by those digitally created, nonhuman characters which have finally and resoundingly come of age.

Hep girls who can hit still face discrimination

Written by Bill Lamb,
Contributing writer
Saturday, 14 June 2014 14:59

Kim Thompson, the drummer for Fred Armisen’s band, which plays on TV’s Late Night With Seth Meyers. - Photo:

More than 70 years ago, woman drummer Viola Smith rattled the music establishment when she wrote an editorial for the jazz magazine Down Beat declaring that “hep girls” could hold their own in any jam session. The piece, title “Give Girl Musicians a Break!,” expressed the frustration that she faced as a woman playing instruments that society believed women were not capable of playing as well as men.

Review: Petty’s rock ‘n’ roll triumph

Written by DAVID BAUDER,
Associated Press writer
Wednesday, 13 August 2014 14:37

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, “Hypnotic Eye” (Reprise)

Tom Petty isn’t singing about himself on his new tune, “Forgotten Man,” but he can’t be blamed for thinking like that.

Mile of Music brings Americana artists back to Appleton

Written by Bill Lamb,
Contributing writer
Sunday, 27 July 2014 03:36

Hugh Bob and the Hustle. - PHOTO: Courtesy

Appleton becomes Americana Central during the weekend of Aug. 7–10, when the Wisconsin city hosts the second Mile of Music Festival.

Natalie Merchant coming to Pabst to support her first album in 13 years

Written by Bill Lamb,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 10 July 2014 13:11

Natalie Merchant. — PHOTO: Courtesy

Nearly 13 years ago, Natalie Merchant released Motherland, her last album of all-new material until this May. Motherland was released in the wake of 9/11, and, although recorded before the attacks, it was dedicated to the victims of the terrorist attacks that day. Merchant’s latest album, simply titled Natalie Merchant, is a sequel of sorts.

Hudson plans to ‘Jenniferize’ Chicago Pride Festival audience

Written by Gregg Shapiro,
Contributing writer
Saturday, 14 June 2014 14:42

Jennifer Hudson’s story is the stuff of legends. The Chicago native’s meteoric rise from American Idol competitor to Oscar-winning actress is a once-in-a-generation story. We knew she could sing, but when she stole the movieDreamgirls from Beyoncé, she entered the stratosphere. Personal tragedies (the murder of family members) and triumphs (remarkable weight loss) followed. Hudson has persevered through whatever life has thrown her way and continued to turn out memorable work and performances. Her third album Driven, soon to be released, is expected to show yet another side of the star.

Summer Set Festival brings EDM north of the border

Written by Bill Lamb,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 07 August 2014 07:04

Bassnectar headlines the Summer Set Festival. — Photo: Amorphous Music

Only in its third year, Wisconsin’s Summer Set Music and Camping Festival has quickly become a top destination on the summer music scene. Spread across three days — Aug. 15–17 — the festival features music from the electronic and jam band genres.

Phox blends different genres with harmonious results

Written by Matthew Reddin,
Staff writer
Friday, 25 July 2014 03:33

Phox. — Photo: Partisan Records

Bands generally work best when their members share a unity of vision. Phox is the exception, in some ways – their differences form synergy, not strife.

The other side of Summerfest: Interesting acts that might get lost beneath the headliners

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 26 June 2014 16:49

Naima Adedapo. — Photo: Courtesy

As a Summerfest-goer since 1968, I have seen my share of legendary acts and a sizable slice of contemporary music history on Milwaukee’s lakefront. 

The Manhattan Transfer looks back at 45 years of four-part magic

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Saturday, 14 June 2014 14:28

The Manhattan Transfer

By all accounts, Tim Hauser is a lucky man, and luck has helped propel The Manhattan Transfer, the group he founded in 1969, on an impressive career trajectory as the country’s best-known jazz vocal group.