Author : Joey Grihalva

  • BLAX returns with new album ‘Be Well’

    By Joey Grihalva Milwaukee rapper BLAX is back with a new album — Be Well — produced by Reason. It premiered today on the national hip-hop website HipHopDX.com. Born Adebisi Agoro, the wordsmith became known as a spoken word poet in the early 2000s. Agoro is also an original founder of the defunct but beloved Milwaukee hip-hop band Fresh Cut Collective. In 2010, Agoro moved to New Yo.... Read More
  • Platinum Boys hit the road, new album on the way

    By Joey Grihalva It’s shaping up to be a big spring for Wisconsin music. By the time beach weather arrives we’ll have new records from Whips, WebsterX, Midnight Reruns, and one of Milwaukee’s choicest rock outfits, Platinum Boys. The P-Boys second full-length — BUZZ — is a fantastic follow-up to their 2015 debut, Future Hits. A few singles, the Junior Varsity EP, plus a consistent to.... Read More
  • The mystic, wandering, rebel love of Abby Jeanne

    It’s a warm spring night in 2015. I’m at a house jam in Milwaukee’s Riverwest neighborhood. In the middle of the session, a young woman named Abby Gurn walks in. She exudes a tough, take-no-shit kind of cool. Abby — known by her stage name Abby Jeanne — smiles and takes a seat near one of the speakers. She closes her eyes and the music washes over her. It’s not long before she takes.... Read More
  • Seasaw emerge as a premiere indie act

    By Joey Grihalva On February 16, I attended my first concert at the Back Room @ Colectivo  while the cafe was still open. Fun fact: the Back Room is setup as such that you can hear the music if you’re hanging out in the cafe. However, what you miss by not being in the Back Room is an intimate atmosphere with great acoustics. Madison based folk-pop duo Seasaw opened the show on the 16th. Ha.... Read More
  • School uniforms and the crises in public education

    In 2014, Darienne Driver became the Acting Superintendent of Milwaukee Public Schools. By most measures Driver inherited a struggling district. She has since boosted attendance in most regions, improved literacy across grade levels, and overseen a record amount of scholarship money earned by graduating seniors. MPS’ first female superintendent has garnered support from the school board, whic.... Read More
  • The Fatty Acids weird, winding road

    By Joey Grihalva When I moved back to Milwaukee in late 2013, the most talked about local band was The Fatty Acids. The psych-rocking four-piece — at that time a sextet — were fresh off the release of Boléro, their third full-length and one of the best Wisconsin albums in recent memory. Almost a year later, my girlfriend and I went to the Polish Falcon ballroom for Canopies’ Maximize Y.... Read More
  • The rebirth of Twin Brother

    By Joey Grihalva Ever since he was old enough to drink, West Allis native Sean Raasch has been playing music in Milwaukee area bars and clubs. He first made a name for himself as one half of the band Jackraasch — “an angsty, sloppy, rockin’ two piece” — with drummer Tyler Nelson. The duo became known for power chords, upbeat songs, shout singing, and plenty of partying. In 2012, Raa.... Read More
  • Siren slays at sold out show

    By Joey Grihalva Katie Lafond is no stranger to the big stage. She's performed (as Siren) all over the country alongside her partner Sam Ahmed (WebsterX), anchoring his signature hit "Doomsday." Even before becoming the New Age Narcissism (NAN) collective's secret weapon, she was playing to thousands of people with just her guitar and breathtaking voice, including her own sets at Summerfest and .... Read More
  • The genius behind bliss & alice

    By Joey Grihalva It is unwise to employ the term “genius” loosely. Gratuitous use can degrade its meaning and discredit your judgement. That said, I find Brandon Thomas — also known as bliss & alice — to be a genius. Since his debut project — Poetry Volume One - The Shit Talker Tape — was released in 2014, he has been heralded as a hip-hop virtuoso. Thomas can be understood.... Read More
  • The future of Milwaukee hip-hop

    By Joey Grihalva For the bulk of its existence, hip-hop has been a culture and a music championed by youth, much to the chagrin of parents. This paradigm is shifting now that hip-hop is nearly a half century old. As I discovered talking with young Milwaukee hip-hop artists, many of their parents love hip-hop and some are even performers themselves. “When I was young my mom played so much Mo.... Read More