Tag Archives: jamie breiwick

Behind the curtain with the mysterious maestro Thane

By Joey Grihalva

At the end of the summer I noticed an article by Tarik Moody of 88Nine Radio Milwaukee promoting a three-track EP Gravity by a producer named Thane. As soon as I heard Thane’s soulful blend of jazz, electronic, hip-hop and R&B I was in awe.

I immediately thought to myself, “Who the f*ck is Thane?” I like to think that I pay pretty close attention to the Wisconsin music scene, but Thane seemingly came out of nowhere.

Less than a month later the mysterious Thane released a debut full-length album, Topia. The exceptional 12-track record features guest appearances by local and national artists including Mick Jenkins, Amanda Huff, BJ the Chicago Kid, and one of 2016’s breakout stars, Anderson .Paak.

It is rare for a debut album from an unknown talent to be so fully formed, with such a distinct, assured and progressive sound, yet that is precisely what Thane has accomplished with Topia.

'Gravity' EP artwork
‘Gravity’ EP artwork

Determined to uncover the identity of this up-and-coming maestro, I searched for clues. I could only find one picture of Thane on the Internet and it is of a tall, young man whose eyes can’t be seen. Local jazz musician Jamie Breiwick appears on both the Gravity EP and Topia.

My first guess was that Thane is a former student of Breiwick’s. When I reached out to Breiwick he debunked my hunch and passed along a phone number for Thane’s manager. An interview was set up for a Friday night at Colectivo on the Lake.

Going into my interview with Thane and his manager Jake Kestly I was nervous. I had no frame of reference except for the music. Thane appeared to be nervous as well. It was one of his first in-person interviews.

SMALL-TOWN ESCAPISM

Thane grew up and still resides in the small town of Pewaukee about 20 minutes west of Milwaukee. He describes his home as having a “strong music environment.” As a child he took piano lessons and picked up a brass instrument called the euphonium, which is similar to the baritone but with an additional valve. In middle school he played in the jazz band and kept it up in high school for a few years. Thane continues to play the euphonium and incorporates the instrument in his production.

Like many young musical minds, Thane was aided by an older sibling with good taste. His brother Jake, who is two years his elder and now his manager, turned Thane on to hip-hop and electronic artists like Kendrick Lamar and Flying Lotus. Jake initially bought production equipment for himself, but according to Thane, “he kind of sucked.” Thane first tried digital production at age 15 within a couple of years he had crafted over 600 beats.

“For the first two or three years I would go home and make music until the late hours of the night, almost every single night,” says Thane. “It was kind of an escape from reality.”

thanephoto_2
Thane

While Thane and Jake’s parents didn’t quite understand the boys mission, they were always supportive, allowing them to work into the wee hours of the night, despite the loud, often repetitive sounds coming from Thane’s room.

The brothers attended private, Christian schools throughout their childhood. It was difficult to find like-minded people. Listening to and discovering music was their primary means of entertainment.

“There was nothing else to do. There weren’t any parties or anything to go to in our town. We had a few friends that were really into it. So we’d talk about music and get really excited and go to shows at Turner Hall and in Chicago,” says Jake.

Topia is an expression of how the Kestly brothers navigated their adolescence. Rather than an overtly positive (utopia) or negative (dystopia) existence, “Topia” is about a neutral understanding of your reality it is what you make it.

The concept is also a commentary on the individual versus their environment. The first words heard on Topia are actually a clip from a Ted Talk by a neuroscientist who is discussing how the brain works that suggests we have more power over our fate than we might think.  

NATIONAL AMBITIONS

As Thane’s production skills developed, Jake approached him about putting together an album. Thane was only 17 at the time. The logical first step for a producer would be to create a SoundCloud or YouTube page and put up a few beats. Maybe reach out to a local rapper/singer to collaborate on a track.

But from the beginning, the Kestly brothers aimed to create a conceptual album that featured national talent. With no direct connections to the Milwaukee music scene, the Kestly brothers set their sights outside of the city for potential Topia collaborations.

Jake who worked as an intern at 88Nine Radio Milwaukee during the early stages of Topia reached out to artists all over the globe. The artists who ended up on the album were people who vibed with both the concept of the album and the music Thane created.

'Topia' artwork
‘Topia’ artwork

The beat for “Responsibilities,” a stand out track featuring BJ the Chicago Kid and Anderson .Paak, was not originally intended for the album, but an impromptu selection when BJ wasn’t feeling the groove of the initial beat.

When my girlfriend and I first heard the recorded version of “Responsibilities” we looked at each other and she said, “I’ve heard this before.” We are almost certain Anderson .Paak performed the song at the Soundset Music Festival in Minnesota this May. When I told the Kestly brothers this their eyes lit up.  

“I wouldn’t be surprised, because he really loved the track. His manager contacted us and said he was jumping up and down when he finished recording it,” says Thane.

The other featured artists on Topia include Chicago rapper Mick Jenkins, LA singer Low Leaf, London poet/rapper Kojey Radical, Boston ambient musician Solei, plus a few “SoundCloud artists,” meaning musicians similar to Thane, who have music online but not much presence elsewhere. They include Memphis-based Jay Stones and Milwaukee singer Marxus. Instrumentation is provided by Thane (keys, guitar, euphonium), Jamie Breiwick (trumpet), Earl Turner (saxophone) and Aubrey Ellickson (violin).

‘STREETS OF MILWAUKEE’

On my favorite Topia track “Metropolis” we first hear dramatic strings, the sounds of cars driving by, then Amanda Huff’s voice. Next a beat drops and then disappears before haunting synths come in and a vocal sample says, “These are the streets of Milwaukee, something many of you have never seen.”

Later on “Metropolis” a frenzied drum beat drops and we hear Kanye West say, “That’s the main thing people are controlled by, their perception of themselves. They’re slowed down by their perception of themselves.”

Thane confirmed my suspicion that “Metropolis” is commenting on how Milwaukeeans tend to have a chip on their shoulder. Kanye — a Chicago-native — was an interesting choice to convey the message, considering the Kestly brothers have followed the Chicago hip-hop scene closer than Milwaukee’s. They admit that the Milwaukee music scene is becoming more receptive to collaboration than when they started. Jake cites the Strange Fruit Festival that took place in August as a successful example of the Milwaukee hip-hop, jazz, soul, and R&B scenes blending.

“I’m pretty familiar with everybody in the Milwaukee scene at this point,” says Thane. “I like Milo a lot, I like King Courteen, and Kiings are pretty good. Melvv is a big producer in Madison right now. Trapo and IshDARR are dope too.”

Thane
Thane

Since the release of Topia the Kestly brothers have been contacted about potential collaborations. Thane is being selective about who he works with. He is also not ready for a live performance just yet. Thane has an introverted nature and at 20-years-old he is entering the public eye after years of isolation in his bedroom studio.

When the time comes for a live performance, the Kestly brothers hope to create something visually dynamic and possibly interactive. They are inspired by Flying Lotus’ live show and the LA/Philly artist Ryat. They also have a lot of ideas for music videos but don’t want to rush the process.

A shroud of mystery still hangs over Thane. I was never given his real first name. A few things came up in conversation that they wouldn’t go into detail about. Jake is working on the next step in their business, but wouldn’t reveal what it was. I do know that Thane is currently a student at Carroll College and they’ve come up with a concept for the next album.

We’ll have to wait and see what the next moves are for this small-town Wisconsin music prodigy.

Click here to listen to/purchase Topia.

FULL-INTERVIEW

I met with Thane and his manager/brother Jake Kestly at the Colectivo on the Lake one Friday night a few weeks back. What follows is a transcript of our conversation.

WiG
First of all, I’m a big fan. Love the record. And to be honest it kind of came out of nowhere. So the obvious question is, where did you come from?

THANE
I’m from Pewaukee, Wisconsin. Kind of near Pewaukee Beach.

WiG
Growing up what were you listening to? What were you influenced by?

THANE
I’ve always had a strong music environment. I started piano lessons when I was little and then I picked up this brass instrument called the euphonium and I’ve been playing that for a long time. Since maybe third or fourth grade. I really started getting into “good music” per say around eighth grade or so, my brother was getting into it so I did too.

WiG
Older brother?

THANE
Yeah. [Points to Jake.] He was listening to Kendrick Lamar, Flying Lotus and stuff like that. I used to listen to more rock, and there’s still a little bit of influence from that…

WiG
What kind of rock?

THANE
Like bad stuff. Nothing terrible…stuff like Train. Pop rock stuff. But then my brother started listening to good stuff and I’d always be driving around in the car with him going to school so he was always playing that. I didn’t like it at first but he kept on playing it and then I got into it. That’s how I started to expand my tastes.

As far as electronically producing, I started that when I was 15 going on 16. I’m 20 now, so I’ve been working on it for a little while. Jake actually tried his hand at it first with FL Studio and he kind of sucked.

[Jake and Thane laugh.]

And he bought this cheaper MIDI keyboard and a machine micro and so we had all that stuff in the house and a year later I picked it up. I gave it a try and I really liked it. I’m more tech oriented too so I was having fun with it. As I advanced I got some monitors and got a better set up.

WiG
Are you primarily doing everything digitally at this point or playing instruments yourself?

THANE
The thing with my music is that I usually make a building block, maybe a bassline that I like, then I’ll create a beat around that on the digital workstation. Then I add keys, then either I record instruments I play or if I can’t I’ll bring someone in. Like how we brought in Jamie Breiwick. He’s a phenomenal trumpet player in the Milwaukee jazz scene. I remember my brother showed me him one time and we contacted him and asked him if he would like to be on a song and he was into it. So yeah, I like to combine electronic with different jazz elements and strings.

WiG
In high school were you coming to Milwaukee to see shows? Or down to Chicago?

THANE
Me and my brother went to Chicago a lot. I haven’t recently just because I’ve been super busy, but we would go to the Metro quite a bit. We went to see a lot of local hip-hop shows.

JAKE
Were you at the Mick Jenkins and Earl Sweatshirt one?

THANE
Yeah.

JAKE
Yeah we’d see a lot of the Chicago hip-hop acts there. More importantly we would see the energy in the scene that was going on there and we were inspired by that. Vic Mensa’s homecoming show was a big one.

WiG
Is Pewaukee closer to Chicago than Milwaukee?

JAKE
No it’s about 20 minutes west from here. It’s kind of out in the country but it’s a very quick trip to Milwaukee.

WiG
You said you were a piano student Thane. Did you play music in high school, like in band?

THANE
I didn’t do it all four years but I did band with the euphonium. Do you know what a baritone is?

WiG
Yeah.

THANE
It’s like a smaller tuba. The difference between the euphonium and baritone is that the baritone has three valves on top that you play and the euphonium has an extra one on the side, that’s the only difference.

WiG
Are you familiar with a guy who was in the Milwaukee music scene but has since moved up north, he was a pretty heavy electronic producer named Lorn?

JAKE
Brainfeeder?

WiG
Yeah.

THANE
Oh yeah. I like his music a lot.

WiG
He moved out to the woods by Eau Claire. I know he’s made music for videos games. Could you see yourself getting into that? Are you a gamer yourself?

THANE
I used to be, but I haven’t in like three years. Maybe, but I don’t think it would be as cinematic. Do you know who Jon Brion is?

WiG
Yeah, the producer.

THANE
I like him a lot. Lorn’s style is a little different, I don’t know how to describe it.

WiG
It’s really dark, more minimal. Your stuff has the strings and horns and uptempo keys.

THANE
For sure, I like the minimal stuff though.

WiG
The production on Topia is really polished and clean. How did you get it mixed and mastered? What was the process like?

THANE
It was a really long process. We actually started the development when I was like 17. I had been making beats and getting better and my brother was like, why don’t we make an album?

WiG
Had you put anything out prior to the EP?

THANE
No.

WiG
So you were just making music for you?

THANE
Yeah. We came up with the concept. It was originally called “Utopia,” but we cut it to “Topia” because conceptually we wanted it to be an environment that you’re not trying to break out of. It’s not a utopia or dystopia…

WiG
So not overtly positive or overtly negative?

THANE
Yeah. You kind of make what you want out of the environment that you’re put into. I’ve made over six hundred beats and we went through and picked maybe five. The other ones were added on later. The ones that we started with kind of fit a certain sound we were going for. Then we built on those.

The guy who mixed the record, he’s not our engineer anymore, but he was a friend of my brothers, a friend of a friend. He did it in his mom’s basement. We had a pretty limited budget at the time so it seemed like a pretty good deal. And then we slowly built it as more ideas came.

WiG
How did you link up or land the features? Because you’ve got some big names including Anderson .Paak, Mick Jenkins and BJ the Chicago Kid.

THANE
We reached out to them before they got big but Jake did more of that on his end, so I think he can explain that.

Jake Kestly and Earl Turner with Kendrick Lamar backstage at The Rave in 2012.
Jake Kestly and Earl Turner with Kendrick Lamar backstage at The Rave in 2012.

JAKE
Basically we kind of operate and always have like A&Rs to an extent, I like to think. I was on to Kendrick years before he blew up and I was telling people he’d be huge. So I kind of have an ear for stuff like that. We reached out to a lot of people that we vibed with, people we thought were really talented and would make a good addition to our project. We hit up a ton of different possibilities and the ones that came through are people that vibed with our concept. It was a really long process of going through who would fit and who wouldn’t.

THANE
And it was figuring out the music business as we went along and how complicated it is. The funny thing too about the “Responsibilities” track is that one initially had another beat. It was almost too electronic-y so BJ didn’t like it as much because he wasn’t feeling the groove, so I was quickly trying to find one that worked with the sound of the album and had more of a soul influence to it. Then I quickly sent over that one and it turned out great. So that beat wasn’t intended to be on the album. It’s kind of funny how that worked out.

WiG
I saw Anderson .Paak at the Soundset music festival in Minnesota this past Memorial Day and my girlfriend and I are almost certain he performed “Responsibilities.”

[Both of their eyes light up.]

THANE
Really?

JAKE
That would be sweet.

WiG
Did you hear any reports?

JAKE
No. But I wouldn’t be surprised because he really loved that track.

THANE
His manager contacted us and said that he was jumping up and down when he recorded it.

JAKE
Since that time it took a while to get all the materials ready for release and come up with a plan. That took longer than expected and during that time Anderson .Paak inked a deal with Aftermath and I think there’s something within that contract that didn’t allow him to promote it on his social media at the point when we released our record, unfortunately. But I wouldn’t be surprised if he performed it because he did really vibe with the end product.

WiG
And it was done by Memorial Day?

JAKE
Oh yeah.

WiG
I’m almost positive. Because the first time we listened to “Responsibilities” my girlfriend and I looked at each other and she was like, “I’ve heard this song.”

JAKE
That would be super cool.

THANE
That’s very cool.

JAKE
Him and BJ have a really good chemistry. That was something that was cool too, we were one of the first people to get them on a track together. That was before they met and before they were on Compton, we put them together. There was a piece about those two in The Source a couple months ago.

WiG
Did they record together for that?

JAKE
Nah, we got BJ in February of 2014. We’ve worked on this project for a long time. But then we got Anderson in April of 2015. We had the BJ hook and we knew we wanted something soulful. At first we were trying to get GoldLink because we thought that would be dope. We were really vibing with The God Complex, but that didn’t pan out. And then we said what about Anderson .Paak? I heard him first on the Watsky album. He did production and had some vocals on it and I was really impressed. Then I heard “Suede” which came out later that year. That’s the first single on the new NxWorries, which just came out today. I was super impressed with that and I knew he was something special and I convinced Thane that we try and pursue him.

WiG
Who are some of the other people? I’m not familiar with Jay Stones…

JAKE
Thane found him.

THANE
I found him on SoundCloud. I really liked his voice and delivery and thought he’d fit well over my type of beat. He’s one of those SoundCloud artists that doesn’t have a really big presence in any scene but he was totally down with it. I really like how it turned out, it’s one of my favorite tracks on the album.

JAKE

This is a weird comparison but for some reason his style reminds me of Jamiroquai. He’s got that type of futuristic funk vibe.

WiG
It’s interesting that the genre designation on Apple music is “Funk” for the album.

JAKE
We gave them a bunch of stuff to choose from and that’s what they ended up going with.

WiG
Do you feel good about that?

JAKE
I mean it’s kind of a blend, we had no genre in mind. When he was making it we never said, “Oh, we’re going to make an R&B album.” We just took a bunch of elements and put them together. I guess funk is appropriate…

THANE
I definitely didn’t set out to make a funk record, but there are funk elements. It’s just kind of all the stuff that I like Modge Podged together.

WiG
Do you listen to Rhythm Lab Radio on 88Nine?

THANE
Yeah.

WiG
Because I feel like the album fits perfectly in the myriad genres and sounds that Tarik plays. And he’s been a supporter of the album, right?

JAKE
Yeah he played “Responsibilities” a couple weeks ago, which is pretty dope.

THANE
Jake actually used to intern at 88Nine.

JAKE
Yeah, we played Topia for a few of the DJs early on and they were rocking with it.

THANE
Him and Barney…

JAKE
Justin and Tarik were the main ones listening and then Jordan just came in.

WiG
So you were an intern at 88nine?

JAKE
I did a couple years ago.

WiG
So is that kind of the goal, to work in the music industry?

JAKE
Yeah we were just discussing this project that we’re working on. I don’t really want to talk too much about it. It’s not really a label, but we do want to get further in the music and do something bigger with it.

WiG
Topia is all you production-wise. And there aren’t any other tracks that you’ve produced for other artists,  but do you see yourself starting to do that? Have you been contacted by other artists to make beats for them?

THANE
Yes. I’m trying to be pretty selective right now. I haven’t done anything yet. Should I tell him about the remix thing?

JAKE
Don’t tell him too many details.

THANE
You can just tell him.

JAKE
Okay, so we got contacted by a fairly respectable label out of Los Angeles to do a remix on spec for one of their artists. They seemed interested in Thane to an extent. We just submitted it and have yet to hear back. What were we talking about? Labels…oh yeah, collaborations. So when stuff like that comes up it’s a just matter of whether Thane vibes with the artist. It’s about natural collaborations.

THANE
I’m pretty familiar at this point with everybody in the Milwaukee scene. I’ve listened to a lot of local music. If there’s an artist that I really like in the local scene that reaches out I would probably collaborate.

WiG
Who are your favorite musicians in the local scene?

THANE
Any genre?

WiG
Sure.

THANE
I like Milo a lot. I like King Courteen. I like Kiings, they’re pretty good. I don’t know if you know who Melvv is?

WiG
How do you spell it?

THANE
Melvv. He’s in Madison. He’s a pretty big producer.

JAKE
I personally fuck with Trapo.

THANE
Trapo and IshDARR are pretty dope. Most of NAN to a certain extent.

JAKE
Gotta shout Jamie out.

THANE
Of course Jamie. I found Marxus too…

WiG
Where is he from?

JAKE
He’s from Milwaukee. He hasn’t released any material yet. You can explain how you found him.

THANE
I always search the “Milwaukee” tag on Bandcamp. That’s how I find new music. I listened to his one track “X” and thought this guy had some really sick pipes. We emailed him and asked if he wanted to vocally contribute. Initially he just did backing vocals but we dug it so much that we featured him on “Summer in Paris.” Now we’re collaborating on more stuff. He’s going to be on some new material. He was backing on a lot of the other tracks like “The Arrival” and “Gravity.” You can hear some of his ad libs on those tracks.

WiG
Yeah, it seems like when you have official featured artist on the track I can still hear other artists adding little elements.

THANE
The main two backing on “Gravity” are Marxus and Amanda Huff. I remember hearing her on some compilation tape and I thought she was really cool.

WiG
I think one of my favorite tracks on the album is “Metropolis.”

THANE
Oh really?

JAKE
That’s one of mine too.

WiG
Yeah I love that one and you use some interesting samples. There’s an audio clip about “the streets of Milwaukee” and then you hear Kanye talking about people being slowed down by their perception of themselves. I’m wondering if that’s sort of a commentary about Milwaukee and how people here tend to have a chip on their shoulder?

THANE
That’s exactly it and that’s kind of what Topia is about. You see Chicago and you see how collaborative  everyone is there. And then you see Milwaukee, and it’s getting better, but especially when we started it felt very separate. Some people were doing their thing and some people were doing another thing over there. People have a chip on their shoulder and don’t want to collaborate as much. I think it’s one of the reasons why scenes like Chicago and LA are thriving more than a scene like Milwaukee. But Milwaukee is doing much better than it has in the past.

WiG
And the intro track “The Arrival,” who is speaking in that clip about neurons?

THANE
My brother actually found that, it’s from a Ted Talk.

JAKE
I helped out with the concept of the album. I remember hearing that back in a psychology class my freshman year of college. I was really fascinated by this neuroscientist talking about how we are more in control and we’re more powerful in regards to our fate than we allow ourselves to be. It’s a lot about positive thought. A lot of what Topia is about is taking your environment and the stuff that we may perceive as really positive or really negative, and just realizing that it’s this neutral thing that is for your making. That was kind of the whole idea of Topia. Individual versus environment. A lot of those things are there throughout, examining the idea of how in control are we when it comes to our goals and dreams.

THANE
If you can tell he’s more articulate with this stuff. He’s the communications major. I’m more of the introvert hermit. Sorry if I’m coming off in a certain way, that’s just how I am.

WiG
No no. I mean the music is introspective and I feel like it’s geared towards putting it in the headphones and vibing out.

THANE
Especially the first two or three years that I was working on it I literally went home almost every day and made music until the late hours of the night. It was kind of an escape from reality.

WiG
Does that sort of speak to how I haven’t seen your name on any shows? Is it because of your introverted nature?

THANE
I don’t really want to do shows, at least not yet.

JAKE
I’m trying to get him to.

WiG
Have you done any?

THANE
No.

JAKE
We want to do some cool audio visual stuff for it too, but that’s not ready at this point.

WiG
In terms of a music video?

JAKE
Well, I help serve as creative director and I get really inspired by what Flying Lotus is doing with three screen layers and making electronic based performances a little more interactive. We’d also like to bring in some live instrumentation and he’s honing in on some other instruments. We want to wait until he feels more comfortable and then we get some concepts together for a live show.

WiG
So having it be not just a concert, but like an experience?

JAKE
Yeah. That’s kind of how we approach creating records and that’s what we’d like to translate into the live setting.

WiG
You familiar with Video Villains?

JAKE
Yeah I just had a meeting with Adam the other day about something that I can’t really talk about. But yeah, they’re tight.

WiG
Are you familiar with this audio movie art installation that came out I want to say 2010. It was originally an installation in New York where the artist/producer had multiple speakers in a space and you would stand there and listen to this audio film happening. It was narrated by an actor and it was a movie told through the music of New York rappers like Ghostface Killah, Nas, and Biggie. It was super cool and the way you incorporate audio clips, I feel like it would be really cool if you did something like that.

[NOTE: The project I was refering to but couldn’t remember details about is called “City of God’s Son” by Kenzo Digital. You can listen to it by clicking here.]

JAKE
We’re totally into the idea of performance art. I’m really into what is happening in LA with Ryat. They blend a lot of film and incorporate it into the music making it this whole art experience. They’re doing some of the best stuff in terms of visuals.

WiG
I’m not familiar, I’ll have to check them out.

THANE
They’re Brainfeeder right?

JAKE
Yeah.

WiG
Who else are you inspired by and listening to right now?

THANE
I like electronic artists like Flying Lotus and James Blake that have more of a barrier breaking sound.  This probably doesn’t make any sense but I listen to a lot of like chill music.

WiG
Ambient sort of stuff?

THANE
No, no. Like Norah Jones, Nick Drake. Jordan Rakei, Nick Hakim. Those are some of the artists I listen to the most right now.

JAKE
Nick Hakim has one of the best EPs out. We tried to get him too, but he’s not really a collaborator. He’s out of DC, really good.

THANE
His voice kind of sounds like Jason Mraz, vocally. But the beats are more neo-soul.

JAKE
Dwele almost. Jill Scott kind of.

THANE
It’s really dope.

WiG
All the strings and keys and horns on the album, is that people you brought in?

THANE
Yeah mostly.

WiG
So you’re moreso the composer?

THANE
Yeah me and my brother. They’ll be the basic beat that I make and then we add live instruments, which either I’ll play or we bring a collaborator and they add stuff. I’m trying to learn more instruments to add to my arsenal. I’m honing in more on the guitar, piano, and I’m getting better at the euphonium,  expanding my sound more. As far as trumpet and violin I think we’ll still be collaborating with Jamie Breiwick. The violinist is someone from Carroll College, Aubrey Ellickson.

JAKE
You should mention Earl too.

THANE
Oh yeah. The saxophonist is a high school friend that we’ve known for a while. He just comes over and lays some sax down.

WiG
What’s his last name?

JAKE
Turner.

THANE
He has no music presence  in terms of putting anything out.

JAKE
We’re trying to get him to get on the jazz scene here but he’s pretty busy right now.

WiG
It seems like you’ve contributed a lot of ideas with the production…

JAKE
Yeah I executive produced Topia…

THANE
When I make a beat he’s always the one who’ll tell me if it’s garbage or not. He’s really critical of my stuff. The rare times that he says, “It’s pretty tight” or whatever, then I know I have a good one.

WiG
That got me thinking, if you’re contributing so much why isn’t this like a duo, sort of like Kiings?

JAKE
I don’t want my role to be that. I enjoy being behind-the-scenes. I like being able to have the creative and conceptual control and contribute the way I do. My role as manager I enjoy as well. It’s not really a big thing for me. He’s the talented one as far as the music itself goes.

WiG
Are you the only siblings?

JAKE
Yeah.

WiG
What high school did you go to?

JAKE
We went to private Christian schools all throughout.

[Thane groans.]

JAKE
That was interesting because there weren’t really like minded people around us. I remember trying to get jam sessions going, trying to find like-minded people when it came to music, but it was really difficult to do. Topia too is somewhat about how we were never in an environment with like-minded people, so how do we create that? It’s this multi-layered idea that both describes the process itself,  like a commentary on the things that we see, and a general commentary on the individual versus their environment in an abstract, conceptual way.

WiG
So was music sort of an escape for you guys?

THANE
Oh yeah definitely.

JAKE
For sure.

THANE
It still is.

JAKE
I would go on the Internet and Bandcamp and stuff like that and just search because there was nothing else to do. There weren’t parties or anything to go to. So music was the fun shit that we did. We had a few friends that were really into it too. We’d talk about it and get really excited and go to shows at Turner Hall and in Chicago. That’s kind of what we did.

WiG
Did you go to that Flying Lotus show when he played the Miltown Beat Down final?

JAKE

I don’t know if I was at that one, but it was after he released Until the Quiet Comes and Thundercat was there.

WiG
How old are you?

JAKE
22. I just graduated college.

WiG
Cool. Is there anything else you’d like to add?

JAKE
He’s working on the next project.

THANE
Yeah. I’m like one song deep with a friend of mine from high school actually.

JAKE
I wouldn’t even say that she’s included in the project just yet…

THANE
Probably don’t want me to share too much of it…

JAKE
Yeah no, because we’re figuring out the sound. But it’s in the works.

WiG
So you’ve already moved on to the next thing?

JAKE
It’s going to be different though.

THANE
It’s going to be really cool. We came up with a very unique idea. I’m pretty excited to start flushing it out.

WiG
And how has the reception been for a Topia so far?

JAKE
It’s been expected but unexpected. We planned and we were doing it in a proper way, trying to execute it in a very orderly way. And so we would have expected it to have a good reception. We were grinding for a minute to try and get all the press spots beforehand, but we only got a few. But then just how the other blogs caught on, the way it built the way it did was kind of unexpected. The ripple effects of who’s been contacting us has been unexpected.

WiG
You feel like you want to keep pushing that project or move on to the next thing?

JAKE
Since he’s not ready to do shows we are still working on promoting it in the ways that we can. We’re a very small team. I have a few friends that kind of help with the social media stuff. But we’re ready to push ahead and focus on the concept for the next record. When opportunities like this come up we do them. We have a bigger thing coming up in a month or so that we’re doing. We have a music video too that we’re not sure if we should do or not.

WiG
For a song from Topia?

JAKE
Yeah yeah.

THANE
For the song “Minor Movements.”

JAKE
We may shoot if the time is right. But there’s a bunch of ideas in terms of putting visuals to a lot of the tracks. So it’s just a matter of us finding the time to do it and the right videographer. We’re not going to close any doors but right now we’re kind of off Topia.

WiG
Gotcha.

JAKE
Again, I really dig that jazz piece that you wrote. It was interesting as hell. As a huge jazz fan it was cool to read. I had no idea that Milwaukee had that type of presence at one point.

WiG
Yeah and I feel like it’s getting better.

JAKE
Yeah it is. That’s the one thing I got kind of irritated with, that Milwaukee is mad talented when it comes to jazz but you wouldn’t know it. Me and my ex-girlfriend would go to Mason Street Grill every weekend and watch these guys play and shit was just crazy. You would have never thought because it doesn’t really get promoted. It would be really cool if all these hip-hop and jazz scenes melded even more. I went to Jay Anderson’s Strange Fruit Festival and that was a super cool curation. I definitely hope the Milwaukee scene keeps doing more stuff like that, keeps blending and collaborating.

WiG
I feel like that’s what Topia is sonically. It’s such a blend of jazz and hip-hop and soul. The second article in my jazz series is coming out in two weeks and it’s about the present and I’m sure I’ll end up mentioning Topia in terms of Jamie being featured on it.

JAKE
I’ve been a fan of Jamie’s since I heard of him on Bandcamp [CHECK] back like my sophomore year of high school. I reached out to him at one point when we were making the album and he responded and was enthusiastic about collaborating. To me he’s like the essence of what jazz is supposed to be in terms of the freedom and soul.

THANE
You see a lot of electronic stuff that they call jazz, but it’s a lot of watered down stuff. I used to be in the jazz band in middle school and I thought it was really cool to be a part of that. I’ve always liked jazz, my brother even more so than me. So it just made sense to have a strong jazz element and presence on the album.

WiG
Do you guys know BADBADNOTGOOD?

THANE
Yeah.

JAKE
I dig them too. I feel like jazz is slowly becoming trendy again. You have the Kamasi Washington thing, ever since Kendrick dropped To Pimp A Butterfly I was very excited about that. It’s not just jazz samples, it’s legitimate jazz musicians playing on there.

WiG
Yeah I feel like that was a turning point.

JAKE
And then Chance the Rapper has his own variation. On Acid Rap it was more like a ragtime influence, like on “Juice.” On Coloring Book it’s more of like that southern, Louie Armstrong vibe. It’s cool how hip-hop is incorporating real jazz.

WiG
Do you go to college now?

THANE
Yeah. Working and going to college at Carroll. I was at school all day and he just picked me up from there before we came here.

WiG
What are you studying?

THANE
Business marketing and a web design minor. Staying busy.

WiG
Alright, cool.

Wisconsin Sound #5

MILWAUKEE FILM FEST GUIDE

Official MKE Film Fest 2016 poster.
Official MKE Film Fest 2016 poster.

Returning for its 8th installment, the Milwaukee Film Festival is simply one of Wisconsin’s finest cultural institutions. This year 282 films will be screened between September 22 and October 6, plus a number of panels, speakers, guest appearances, post-film conversations, education screenings, and happy hours. In the spirit of this column I’ve compiled a guide for the best of the festival’s music-related films.

I must admit that my adoration for the Film Fest is colored by the fact that I met my girlfriend on the red carpet walking out of the Opening Night party two years ago. As such, the Opening Night party is a can’t miss event. This year Milwaukee’s premier music collective—New Age Narcissism (NAN)will perform at the party on September 22 in the Kenilworth Building.

The next night—September 23—you can catch three videos from NAN members at the Milwaukee Music Video Show (9:45 p.m., Oriental). There will be 16 entries in total, from the likes of Canopies, Busdriver, Group of the Altos, WC Tank, Devil Met Contention, Fox Face, Rio Turbo, and more, plus a video premier from Maritime.

A Song For You: The Austin City Limits Story
A Song For You: The Austin City Limits Story

The centerpiece of the fest’s music movies is the much beloved Sound Vision program, which features eight films his year. They include subjects such as the blues (I Am The Blues), a legendary writer and producer (Bang! The Bert Berns Story), a soul singer’s triumph over cancer (Miss Sharon Jones!), a viral sensation (Presenting Princess Shaw), PBS’ long-running concert program (A Song For You: The Austin City Limits Story), an Afghan girl rapper (Sonita), a notorious Madison alternative recording house (The Smart Studios Story), plus the dance party tradition that is Jonathan Demme’s seminal Talking Heads concert film Stop Making Sense.

Speaking of film fest traditions, the Alloy Orchestra will accompany the classic 1927 sci-fi silent film Metropolis. Alloy Orchestra’s performance will be inspired by the Milwaukee Art Museum’s upcoming “Haunted Screens” exhibit.

Two Trains Runnin’ is not the first documentary about the summer of 1964 to play at the Film Fest. Rather than focus on the Freedom Riders who bused into the segregated south to register voters, Two Trains Runnin’ tells the story of a group of young blues fans who also head into unfriendly territory in search of mysterious blues musicians, with hopes of bringing their music out of obscurity.

The Violin Teacher
The Violin Teacher

An aspiring classical musician blows his audition for the Sao Paulo Orchestra and finds his calling teaching the youth of Brazil’s largest favela in The Violin Teacher. This film is part of one of the fest’s newest programs, Cine Sin Fronteras, which showcases the rich and vibrant Latinx diaspora.

Christopher Darling is a Milwaukee-made dark comedy tracking the escapades of a self-destructive leader of a modestly popular rock band. Local actor John Glowacki takes on one of his most interesting roles in Scott Cary and Martin Kaszubowski’s feature debut.

Afghanistan’s first rock band are scheduled to play with Metallica on a San Francisco-based Iranian radio station in Radio Dreams. Things don’t go as planned in this droll comedy as the staff waits for a jam session that may never happen.

Carmin Tropical
Carmin Tropical

Carmin Tropical is an edge-of-your-seat murder mystery noir centering on a Mexican transgender nightclub singer investigating her best friend’s death.

Closing Night film, Morris from America, centers on an American boy living with his dad in Germany who relies on his love of hip-hop to cope with his outsider status.

Apart from the music-minded films, there are many excellent features and shorts to see. For theater locations and showtimes pick up a Film Fest program or visit their website. The box office is now open and located inside the Oriental Theatre.

Think of the MKE Film Fest as the first part of a double feature, considering the (31st) Milwaukee LGBT Film Fest follows right after from October 12 to the 23. In the next issue of WiG I’ll have a guide for its music-related films and events.  

And though it’s not officially part of the Film Fest, members of the Ruby Yacht label will be performing in the Moon Room at nearby Landmark Lanes on September 22.

SUPPER CLUB JAZZ AT COMPANY BREWING

During my first visit to our nation’s capital my friend took me to the Bohemian Caverns, a renowned jazz club. We arrived in time for the late set by a trio from Paris. The plates had long been cleared, but the (now-closed) Bohemian Caverns featured dinner as part of their entertainment experience.

miles-davisCompany Brewing in Milwaukee has brought this time-honored tradition to the Riverwest neighborhood. Their Supper Club Jazz series features a free performance and an exclusive menu on Wednesday nights. They also have special editions of Supper Club Jazz every so often on the weekend.

While jazz has been relegated to background music in hotel lobbies and restaurants around the country, Company’s series is reminiscent of jazz’s heyday. The performance is the main attraction, along with an artful meal prepared by head Chef Rosy Rodriguez.  

“We wanted to have live jazz be a part of what we do at Company Brewing, but we wanted to do it the right way,” owner George Bregar tells me.

“We reached out to Jamie Breiwick to pick his brain. He was very helpful in that he knows the jazz scene really well and knows what it needs. Then we brought in Jay Anderson for some extra positive energy. Personally, I like it so much that we schedule our brew nights around it,” adds Bregar.

The first Supper Club Jazz special edition took place in April. It was a tribute to Miles Davis featuring the illustrious Russ Johnson on trumpet, easily one of my favorite concerts of the year.

“The Miles Davis show was the archetype of what the series can be,” says Bregar. “We had a full dining room of people eating, but there was also this jazz show happening that definitely delivered.”

The second special edition performance took place on September 10. It was a tribute to saxophonist Ornette Coleman, an innovator of the free jazz movement of the 1960s. Lenard Simpson played saxophone along with Jamie Breiwick on trumpet, Tim Ibsen on bass, and Devin Drobka on drums.

A Tribute to Ornette Coleman (PHOTO - Mahdi Gransberry)
Lenard Simpson (left) and Jamie Breiwick (right) perform at A Tribute to Ornette Coleman (PHOTO – Mahdi Gransberry)

For the Ornette Coleman show my girlfriend and I made dinner reservations. The entree for the Supper Club menu was lake trout. Since we had gone to Seven Seas on Nagawicka Lake for fish fry the night before, we ordered off Company’s standard dinner menu. The roasted pork shoulder with Puerto Rican rice and plantains was incredible.

Our delicious meal was matched with a fantastic live performance. As the band took the stage host Jay Anderson brought a painting of Coleman and hung it onstage. The painting was done by an Iowa artist named Wayne Deutsch and brought by Kevin Lynch, former jazz writer for the Journal Sentinel. The band, dubbed The Century Quartet, performed Coleman tunes including “Dee Dee,” “The Blessing,” “Broadway Blues,” and an original arrangement by Breiwick dedicated to trumpeter Don Cherry.

img_7259This Friday—September 23—will be the third Supper Club Jazz special edition. Though it is being presented on the day of John Coltrane’s birth, rather than pay tribute to the jazz icon, 88Nine’s Tarik Moody (producer of the Unlooped series) presents “Jazzmatazz 414 – Hip Hop to Bebop,” a tribute to hip-hop classics performed by Milwaukee jazz musicians.

Other upcoming Supper Club Jazz performances at Company Brewing will feature MRS. FUN, Rick Aaron, Caroline Davis (NYC), Eric Jacobson, Neil Davis, Stomata, and Mitch Shiner. Special editions will be led by Cecilio Negron Jr., Reel Feels (NYC), and Andrew Neesly. Plus, Jamie Breiwick’s Lesser Lakes Trio will do two live recordings, the first of which is tonight—September 21.

AM/FM POP-UP NIGHT AT FORMER HOTEL FOSTER SPACE

Two issues back I wrote about the closing of the Hotel Foster (or “HoFo” as it is lovingly referred to). For five years HoFo was one of the best bars and occasional music venues on Milwaukee’s East Side. It hosted many unforgettable performances, especially during the 2014 Milwaukee Film Festival.

amfmrevord
John Revord’s AM/FM.

John Revord, owner of Boone & Crockett and one of the original owners of HoFo, will reopen 2o28 East North Avenue for one night on September 24. It turns out HoFo’s liquor license doesn’t expire until the end of the month. Revord reached out to his old business partner Doug Williams and they came to an agreement that will bring one night of live music, specialty cocktails, tap beers, DJs, and projected art to the space.

The night is being called “AM/FM.” When I first saw the event I was suspicious about its resemblance to the online magazine “amfm” produced by Milwaukee-native Ciera McKissick, to which I have contributed. I wondered if it might be one of McKissick’s events. When McKissick stumbled upon a Milwaukee Record article about the event she actually thought they were writing about her project.

Ciera McKIssick's amfm magazine logo.
Ciera McKissick’s amfm.

Initially McKissick was perturbed and started a Facebook conversation about it on a friend’s wall. As the feed grew Revord became aware of it and reached out to McKissick. Revord says he felt bad and was unaware of McKissick’s project, which has been based in Chicago for about two years. They talked and decided to work together.

“The event aligns with the things I do, so it was no question to collaborate,” McKissick wrote me in an email. “It actually turned into a dope opportunity. And I have been saying for quite some time that I wanted to do an event back home since it had been so long. I think this was the universe’s way of making that a reality.”

The bar is currently empty, stripped of the decor that defined the Hotel Foster. McKissick will be curating a pop-up art gallery in the downstairs space, with a live painting element on large canvas upstairs. She has reached out to some of her former Milwaukee artist friends including Mikal Floyd-Pruitt, CK Ledesma, and the From Here to Her collective.

The music lineup for the event includes DJs Asher Gray, Why-B, and Slim Brit, with performances by Whips, Rusty Pelicans, and a secret band. Video Villains will project visuals. Revord and Chef Mitch Ciohon’s Gypsy Taco truck will become Weezy Burger for the night and will be parked out front. All told, it will be another eclectic and electric night at 2028 East North Avenue.

FREESPACE RETURNS FOR A SECOND YEAR

All-ages venues are a key component to a healthy music scene. While Milwaukee’s music scene is the most vibrant it has been in decades, a dearth of all-ages venues limits its potential. Much of this is due to our antiquated, restrictive liquor laws, which could be changed. (Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge.)

Freespace
Freespace

Last year saw the demise of three important all-ages DIY spaces: the Cocoon Room, Lucky Cat and Borg Ward. However, 2015 also saw the rise of FREESPACE, a monthly (mostly) hip-hop showcase and interview series featuring up-and-coming youth musicians and established artists. It was recently featured on FOX6 and WUWM’s Lake Effect.

FREESPACE is the brainchild of high school English teacher Vincent Gaa and hip-hop artist WebsterX (Sam Ahmed). It provides an opportunity for youth to learn from and interact with professional musicians, as well as their peers. In its first year FREESPACE brought in renowned artists like IshDARR, Wave Chappelle, and Lili K., plus youth artists like Vital E$$ence, Riqo, and LeanBeatz.

The FREESPACE team also includes KaneTheRapper (Darius Briggs) and artist Janice Vogt. I emailed Vogt about what stood out for her from the first year of FREESPACE and what she is looking forward to in year two.

freespace“What amazes me the most about FREESPACE is the community. We’re all a huge team – Kane has referred to it as family, which I like – and we support each other, appreciate each other and hold one another accountable. I never thought FREESPACE would become so tight knit. It’s a blessing!”

“We are looking forward to pushing more limits and breaking more barriers! There is so much to tackle. At the same time, we’ve been taking opportunities and learning lessons as they come, so while we have visions for the coming months, I think we will leave more than enough room for surprises,” wrote Vogt.

FREESPACE returns tonight—September 21—with Von Alexander, Ar Wesley, and Wayward. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. inside the Jazz Gallery Center for the Arts in Milwaukee’s Riverwest neighborhood.

VINCENT VANGREAT APPEARS AT GOLDA MEIR SCHOOL AND ERIC ANDRE LIVE!

Back in April the second annual Arte Para Todos festival took over four Milwaukee neighborhoods over a four-day weekend, bringing almost 100 music acts and artists to 24 venues. The festival began in 2015 as a way to raise awareness and resources for struggling art and music programs in Milwaukee schools.

As one of the organizers of Arte Para Todos 2016 my primary responsibility was coordinating our in-school performance series—six concerts and Q&As with local musicians just for students. We originally had an in-school lined up at Golda Meir but it fell through. Administration asked if we could reschedule for the beginning of this school year. Assistant Principal Deb Causey even put in an artist request—her former 6th grade math student Vincent Wallace-Haygood, better known as hip-hop producer/rapper Vincent VanGREAT.

Vincent VanGREAT performs at Golda Meir School.
Vincent VanGREAT performs at Golda Meir School.

In my first feature for WiG I wrote about Queen Tut and six of the best Wisconsin hip-hop releases of 2016 so far. VanGREAT’s long-awaited album UnGREATful sits squarely among the six. The SAFS Crew member’s joyful spirit and hunger for success can be heard throughout the 15-track project, which includes well-crafted live instrumentation. For his performance at Golda Meir on September 16 VanGREAT brought his drummer and keyboard player.

Before he addressed the middle and high school students VanGREAT was greeted by his former teacher backstage. It was beautiful to see a teacher embrace her former student and hear VanGREAT share his journey with the students at Golda. They responded with tons of enthusiasm. One aspiring rapper was even invited onstage to freestyle.

“That was awesome. The kids had a lot of energy. Honestly, we never had musicians come to our school and perform for us. I’m very grateful that they had me here and this auditorium is beautiful,” said VanGREAT after the performance.

Vincent VanGREAT and Eric Andre.
Vincent VanGREAT and Eric Andre.

A few days before the Golda Meir in-school performance VanGREAT was invited to appear on Eric Andre Live! Originally tapped to be a guest on the Milwaukee stop of Adult Swim’s wildly subversive and hilarious anti-talk show The Eric Andre Show, VanGREAT had a scheduling conflict and was instead added to their show in Pontiac, Michigan.

“I had a ten minute segment up there with him. He was asking all types of crazy ass questions and doing a bunch of crazy stuff. Then he started crowd surfing and I just used that time to steal the show and get the crowd turned up. It was an epic experience,” said VanGREAT.

VanGREAT will perform at Cactus Club on September 29 as part of their hip-hop showcase series “MKE Live,” and again at Cactus Club on November 11 in support of AUTOMatic’s album release show.

NEW MUSIC FROM LEX ALLEN, AUTOMATIC, AND SYLVAN ESSO

lexkim

WiG favorite Lex Allen released a new song entitled “Keep It Movin” last week. The track is produced by Q the Sun and engineered by Daniel Holter from Wire & Vice. It has more of a deep, dance club feel than previous soul-pop offerings from Allen. The song was written as Allen was coming out of the depression he fell into following his mother’s passing. Allen says about the song, “The message is to tell people to push through any situation and see the brighter things to come, while shaking their ass happily.” Listen to it here.

Milwaukee hip-hop duo AUTOMatic recently announced they will be putting out their first full-length album in four years. Marathon will be out November 11, with a release show at Cactus Club featuring Vincent VanGREAT, El Shareef, and DJ Optimist. The first single, “Talkin Bout Love,” is out now. The track “identifies the need for more love in this world and takes time to express love for people of all walks of life.” Listen to it here.

Okay, electro-pop luminaries Sylvan Esso are not technically a Wisconsin band. The duo is based in North Carolina. However, producer Nick Sanborn is a Middleton-native who cut his teeth in beloved Milwaukee band Decibully. Not to mention, Sanborn first met singer Amelia Meath when they were sharing a bill at Cactus Club. For those reasons we will continue to hold Sylvan Esso as one of our own. Their incredible debut album remains one of the best records of the last decade. During their live performances last summer they introduced a badass new song entitled “Radio.” A year later a recorded version is out and it is fan-fucking-tastic. Listen below.

NEW VIDEOS FROM RUSTY PELICANS, DAD, AND LORN

September 15 saw the release of two Milwaukee hip-hop music videos. One is for the song “We Like” from local hip-hop legends the Rusty Pelicans, off their recently released album Apartment 7, which is another one of the six best Wisconsin hip-hop projects of the year so far. The video is directed by Kelly Anderson.

The other hip-hop video released on September 15 is the first visual offering from one of Milwaukee’s most intriguing new characters, Dad. The lovable father figure crashes a Civil War reenacted for his Mammyth produced track “17th Century.” The video is directed by Dad and edited by Cellar Dweller.

Underground electronic mastermind Lorn—who relocated from Milwaukee to the woods somewhere outside Eau Claire a few years ago—released a new video for his song “Anvil,” off his 2015 album Vessel. The animated video is set in the year 2100 and fuses Japanese and Belgian comic influences, providing haunting visuals for Lorn’s visceral sound.

The video is directed by Hélène Jeudy and Antoine Caëcke (aka Geriko), with design and animation by Antoine Caëcke and Hélène Jeudy, plus character animation by Anthony Lejeune and Manddy Wyckens.

BON IVER PERFORMS ON THE TONIGHT SHOW

The pride of Eau Claire, Bon Iver, appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on September 14 to perform the song “8 (Circle).” Watch the performance here. The song is off Bon Iver’s forthcoming third album 22, A Million, which was debuted in its entirety last month at the Eaux Claires Music and Arts Festival

WiG RECOMMENDED EVENTS [click hyperlinks for more info]

SEPT 21: Freespace (all ages) with Von Alexander, Ar Wesley, and Wayward at Jazz Gallery Center of the Arts.

SEPT 21: Supper Club Jazz at Company Brewing with Lesser Lakes Trio (live recording).

SEPT 21: NO/NO + Fire Retarded + The Rashida Joneses at Bremen Cafe.

14352078_10210898853177170_5166804781792231411_oSEPT 22: Milwaukee Film Festival Opening Night party featuring New Age Narcissism and Rio Turbo at the Kenilworth Building.

SEPT 22: Ruby Yacht label night featuring Scallops Hotel, Antilia Raid and s.al in the Moon Room at Landmark Lanes.

SEPT 23: Jazzmatazz 414 – Hip Hop to Bebop featuring Klassik, Mike Regal, Ar Wesley, Olen Franklin, Afton Johnson, Quinten Farr, B-Free, and Jay Anderson at Company Brewing.

SEPT 24: AM/FM pop-up night at former Hotel Foster site with amfm Magazine, Video Villains, Whips, Rusty Pelicans, a secret band, plus DJs Asher Gray, Why-B, Slim Brit.

SEPT 24: WebsterX’s Golden Gala birthday bash at secret all-ages location.

SEPT 24: Tacocat w/ Dude York + The Pukes at Cactus Club.

SEPT 25: CHVRCHES at The Riverside Theater.

SEPT 25: Count Bass D // Q the Sun // Jay Anderson at Bremen Cafe.

SEPT 29: MKE Live ft. Mike Regal, Vincent VanGREAT, 3rd Dimension, Camb Music, Cleo Fox II, Sam Rothstein, DJ Markus X.

SEPT 30: Sat. Nite Duets record release at Villa Terrace with Negative/Positive.

SEPT 30: New Boyz Club EP release at Company Brewing with Hello Death, Fox Face, and Sista Strings. (More on New Boyz Club in my upcoming feature in this issue of WiG.)

SEPT 30: Bremenhain: DEEP DARK DANCE at Bremen Cafe.

OCT 1: B-Free album release at Company Brewing with Abby Jeanne, D’Amato, Kyndal J., Klassik, and DJ Moses.