Tickets now on sale: Radio Milwaukee Music Awards Dec. 3

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Something special is happening in Milwaukee’s music scene. There’s more talent, more collaboration — and in the end, better music — than ever.

We invite you to celebrate all of this at the 8th annual Radio Milwaukee Music Awards on Dec. 3, presented by Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin.

We’ll be handing out awards — please vote for your favorites — and digging live music by some of our fine local talent: Klassik, Greatest Lakes, Siren, No No Yeah Okay and DJ Kiki Champ.

Among the awards we will be presenting:

  • Album of the Year
  • Band of the Year
  • Song of the Year
  • Music Video of the Year

…and more

Vote for the Radio Milwaukee Music Awards

Tickets are $10 and available NOW! Purchase here!

88Nine is proud to support Milwaukee’s music scene. Every hour, we play at least one song by Milwaukee musicians. Every Thursday at 5:30pm, we host 414 Music Live —  a performance by Milwaukee musicians in front of a live audience, and broadcast live on the air.

What: Radio Milwaukee Music Awards
When: Dec. 3, 2015  7pm
Where: Radio Milwaukee studios, 220 E. Pittsburgh, Milwaukee
Tickets: $10, on sale now

Greatest Lakes




No No Yeah Okay




Kiki Champ



88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Voting ends Sunday for 2015 Radio Milwaukee Music Awards

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Time is running out to vote for the 2015 Radio Milwaukee Music Awards, presented by Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin. Each year we honor Milwaukee’s music-makers and we need your vote. Voting ends Sunday, Nov. 22!

Vote for your favorite Milwaukee Album of The Year, Band of The Year, Music Video of The Year, and more.

The awards will be handed out at awards show on Dec. 3 at our studios in Walker’s Point.  You can find more inforomation about the show here and get your tickets here.

In many ways, contemporary music has gone back to the days of the single.  iTunes and digital media sources have place more and more emphasis on just getting that one song you like.   However the art form that is the full length album, still is the measure of a truly great band.  The Album Of The Year award recognizes the best full length release of the year. (Sponsored by Pabst Blue Ribbon)




Working in radio we listening to a lot of songs.  A lot on songs!  But when a hit comes a long, you just know it.  The Song of the Year Award recognizes that one song, that stands out among the rest of the album’s selections as THE hit. (Sponsored by Wire & Vice – the studio at The License Lab)

Many great bands in our region have gained nation and international notoriety in the past few years. As we here at 88NINE continue to champion the great work that all the bands in Milwaukee do, we want you to pick your favorite. (Sponsored by Cascio Interstate Music)?

Working with a group of creative individuals can be difficult and trying at times.  Any one who’s ever been in a band knows this.  But at least you’ve always got your mates to back you up, and stand beside you.  Creating on your own, can be a more free and open process. But at the end of the day, the music you release is yours and yours alone.  The Solo Artist of the Year award recognizes the work of those brave individuals who do it all alone. (Sponsored by Koss Stereophones)

It takes more than just a great group of musicians, a top notch engineer and a talented mastering guy to make a great album.  It’s got to look good too.  Every year we recognize the artists, who catch our eye and capture our attention in the ALBUM ARTWORK AWARD category. (Sponsored by Milwaukee Home)


Downloading an MP3 has changed our relationship with our music.  Bands today can distribute their music around the globe without the help of a major or even an independent label.  The web has become the largest distributors of unsigned music on the web.  This award recognizes the Milwaukee releases who did it all on their own. (Sponsored by the Milwaukee Bucks)



We here at 88NINE do not suffer from delusions of grandeur. We recognize that the Milwaukee Music we play each hour of each day, is just the tip of the MKE musical iceberg.  Some artists do not fit our program style, others write great songs, but have yet to find an engineer or producer who can bring their vision to life on record.  And some we just miss.  This award is given to the best Milwaukee record we missed out on this year. (Sponsored BMO Harris Bradley Center)

MTV doesn’t play music videos anymore, but YouTube can make you an over night international sensation.  When Milwaukee bands hit the web with an impressive video, the sounds of our music scene have the power to hit all corners of the globe.  The MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR award celebrates Milwaukee artists who invest time, energy, and often hard earned money, into creating a high quality music video. (Sponsored by Enterprise Films)

You can view the videos here.


The winner of the Music Ambassador Award* will be selected by Radio Milwaukee, not a public vote. This award goes to a person in the music industry who has gone above and beyond to promote Milwaukee’s music scene.

Past winners include Tom Crawford of WMSE, Peter Jest of Shank Hall and Made in Milwaukee.

This is the first year for the Humanitarian Award*, also to be selected by Radio Milwaukee staff, not by public vote. We will choose a person who is deeply committed to educating youth, developing their musical talent and creating opportunities for careers in music. (Sponsored by Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin)

A panel of local music leaders will select the Critics Choice Award* for Album of the Year. The panel includes music writers, venue owners, radio staff and others. (Sponsored by Peck School of the Arts)

*These awards are not listed in the ballot


88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Listen to WebsterX’s Radiohead-inspired EP ‘KidX’

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This past Monday, WebsterX and Q The Sun from New Age Narcissism came by the studio to discuss their new EP “KidX” — inspired by Radiohead’s classic album “Kid A.”

Today, WebsterX dropped the EP via Vice’s music channel Noisey.

The three-song EP,produced by Q The Sun,  uses samples from Kid A. Accompanying the release of the EP, WebsterX teamed up with Ian’s Pizza for a limited edition “WebsterX Pizza.” The ingredients: pesto, parmesan, mozzarella, chicken and macaroni. There will also be a release party tonight (11/17) beginning at 8pm at Hotel Foster.

WebsterX pizzs

Radio Milwaukee’s (from left) Jordan Lee, Makenzie Boettcher and Justin Barney digging into Ian’s special WebsterX pizza.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Polica debuts new music, coming to Milwaukee April 15

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The last time Polica played Milwaukee was at Cactus Club this past April. During the show, they tested out new music for a new album before they hit the studios.  

A couple of days ago, Polica announced their new album, "United Crushers," will be released March 4, 2016. It's a follow-up to their 2013 album, "Shulamith." 

Polica also shared the first single/video from "United Crushers," entitled "Lime Habit."

Watch it below.



Polica will be also heading on the road to support the album and will be making a stop at Turner Hall Ballroom on April 15. You can grab tickets here.

"United Crushers" tracklisting:

01 Summer Please
02 Lime Habit
03 Someway
04 Wedding
05 Melting Block
06 Top Coat
07 Lately
08 Fish
09 Berlin
10 Baby Sucks
11 Kind
12 Lose You

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Win pair of tickets for Mumford & Sons in Madison April 22!!!

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We have a pair of tickets to see Mumford & Sons in Madison on Friday, April 22 at the Alliant Energy Center Coliseum.  Tickets are General Admission. An Arrow Through The Heartland tour w/Blake Mills.

Mumford & Sons Ticket Giveaway


88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Milwaukee’s WebsterX to release Radiohead-inspired EP, ‘KidX’

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If you are a fan of WebsterX, you may have seen the hashtag #whoiskidx on social media. Yesterday, WebsterX unveiled the mystery surrounding that hashtag with a video teaser (below) and website. Next Tuesday (Nov. 17), he will be releasing an EP inspired by Radiohead’s "Kid A" called "KidX." The three song EP was produced by NAN’s Q The Sun.

WebsterX will host a KidX ‘Listening Disco’ this coming Saturday at a location to be determined. There will be video games and a coloring station with black and white versions of the KidX artwork.



88Nine Radio Milwaukee

88Nine’s Jordan Lee shares his favorite, essential Allen Toussaint songs

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Legendary musician and composer Allen Toussaint has passed away at the age of 77. He is definitely one of the pioneers of R&B in New Orleans. One of his biggest fans is our program director, Jordan Lee.  

As some of you may know, Jordan curated the Alverno Presents: Jones Uncovered show, a tribute to Quincy Jones.  But you probably didn't know the show was almost going to be "Toussaint Uncovered." 

So we asked Jordan to share some of his favorite and essential Allen Toussaint songs. 

"Allen Toussaint is more important to American music than we have given him credit in popular culture.  He is responsible for so many songs, that we all collectivly know and love, but don't always remember he wrote.  Songs like  'Workin’ In The Coal Mine,' 'Night People,' and “Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley.'  

Many of his other songs were more reflective, delivering messages of social protest and racial uplift: 'Yes We Can,' 'Freedom For The Stallion,' and 'Who’s Gonna Help Brother Get Further.'




88Nine Radio Milwaukee

‘Crusty Adventures’ with Milwaukee’s Brett Newski

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Conde Nast has nothing on Milwaukee musician Brett Newski.

Dude gets more stamps in his passport in one year than most of us will collect in our lifetimes.

The definition of vagabond, Brett is in the midst of a world tour that would make U2 blush. Sometimes things go swimmingly. Other times, morale hits crushing lows. Thankfully, Brett takes it all in stride. He has the sense of humor to rise above the low points. 

Through it all, he shoots videos of his "Crusty Adventures" and posts them weekly.

Here's the latest episode — from Scandinavia:





Tell us what you think. If you like it, we'll share more!




88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Erykah Badu shares “Phone Down” from forthcoming mixtape, ‘But You Caint Use My Phone’

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It has been quite a spell since we have heard brand new music from Erykah Badu.  She recently dropped a response song to Drake's "Hotline Bling."  Last week she announced that she will be dropping a new mixtape called But You Canit Use My Phone around Thanksgiving.

This evening, Badu shared a track from the mixtape called "Phone Down."  Take a listen to the track below!



88Nine Radio Milwaukee

With the debate in town, here’s your guide to music in politics

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Ronald Reagan used “Born in the USA,” by Bruce Springsteen. (The Boss was not happy.)

Donald Trump used “Rockin’ in the Free World,” by Neil Young. (Young supports Bernie Sanders.)

John McCain used “My Hero,” by The Foo Fighters. (Dave Grohl was “infuriated.”)

As the Republican candidates take the stage in Milwaukee tonight (Tuesday), what better time to examine the use of music – approved or not – by politicians.

Wisconsin’s own have had their share of controversy.

In January, Governor Scott Walker took the stage in Iowa to the song “I’m Shipping Up to Boston,” by Dropkick Murphys, the Celtic punk band from the Boston area. Let’s just say their response, via Twitter, was kinda strong. 

Walker also angered John Mellencamp when the Governor's recall campaign played "Small Town." Mellencamp let Walker know he supports collective bargaining and union rights.

When Rep. Paul Ryan ran for Vice President in 2012, his campaign intro song was “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” by Twisted Sister. Dee Snider, the band’s frontman issued a statement saying “I emphatically denounce” Ryan’s use of the song.

A few of the current candidates also have had their run-ins:

Boston vs. Mike Huckabee (“More than a Feeling”)

Rush vs. Rand Paul (“The Spirit of Radio,” “Tom Sawyer”)

Axwell and Ingrosso vs. Marco Rubio (“Something New”)

And, so you don't conclude musicians only have gripes with Republicans, then-candidate Barack Obama ruffled feathers in 2008. At rallies, his campaign used the song “Hold On, I’m Comin,” by Sam and Dave. But Sam Moore had not endorsed Obama. “My vote is a very private matter between myself and the ballot box," he wrote. (Turns out Moore played at an inaugural ball for Obama and later at the White House.)

Controversies aside, MSNBC put together a list of songs the candidates used when they announced their runs for the presidency. 


Sen. Ted Cruz
Aaron Tippin – “Where the Stars and Stripes and Eagle Fly”

Sen. Rand Paul
John Rich – “Shuttin’ Detroit Down

Dr. Ben Carson
Eminem – “Lose Yourself”
Irving Berlin – “God Bless America”
Katherine Lee Bates and Samuel A. Ward – “America the Beautiful”
Julia Ward Howe – “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”

Mike Huckabee
Montgomery Gentry- “Where I Come From”

Rick Santorum
Santorum for President – “Take Back America”

Senator Lindsey Graham
James Brown – “I Got You (I Feel Good)”

Jeb Bush
Pitbull – “Rain Over Me”
Zac Brown Band – “Homegrown”

Donald Trump
Neil Young- “Rockin’ in the Free World” 

Gov. Bobby Jindal
Garth Brooks – “Callin’ Baton Rouge” 

Gov. Chris Christie
Bon Jovi – “We Weren’t Born to Follow”


Sen. Bernie Sanders
Woody Guthrie – “This Land is Your Land”
Irving Berlin – “God Bless America”

Martin O’Malley
Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers – “I Won’t Back Down”
U2 and Mary J. Blige – “One”
Journey – “Don’t Stop Believin’ ”

Hillary Clinton
Sara Bareilles – “Brave” 


Want to learn more about music in political campaigns?

Read this article in Rolling Stone

Listen to a recent NPR Diane Rehm Show

Watch this video from Wisconsin Public Television:





88Nine Radio Milwaukee