Bright Eyes share lush new single ‘One And Done’

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Bright Eyes has shared “One and Done,” the third single released in anticipation of the band’s forthcoming new album, set for release sometime this year.

Afloat in a swirl of eerily prophetic lyricism, “One and Done” is a picture-postcard from the crumbling Anthropocene. In his gravelly monotone, Conor Oberst details the familiar view: “This whole town looks empty but we knew it wouldn’t last/ Behind bulletproof windows they’re still wiring the cash/ Whatever they could scrape up, whatever that they had/ There’s a lot of mouths to feed through this famine.” A stringent flurry of haunting strings, arranged by Nathaniel Walcott, coalesce with Flea on bass and vocals from Miwi La Lupa.

Bright Eyes | Photo credit: Shawn Brackbill

“One and Done” is armed with the same interior claustrophobia as the band’s previous single, “Forced Convalescence,” and falls in line with a number of recently released tracks that seem to confirm the zeitgeist of 2020 as a kind of dystopian stuck-ness. But at least it’s pretty lovely.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit
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Waxahatchee will do five live stream performances for the #ReviveLiveMKE series

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It’s a good year to be a Waxahatchee fan. Earlier this spring Katie Crutchfield released her group’s latest album, the exceptionally soulful “Saint Cloud.” And although like every artist right now she’s been unable to tour, she’s announced the next best thing: a series of unique live streams.

Every Monday in June, Crutchfield will play a live stream spotlighting a different Waxahatchee record as part of the Pabst Theater Group’s #ReviveLiveMKE series. Proceeds from each ticket purchase benefit the artist and the Pabst Theater Group venues. The complete dates are below; you can also check out our quarantine conversation with Crutchfield in case you missed it.

Courtesy Waxahatchee

Monday, June 1 – American Weekend
Monday, June 8 – Cerulean Salt
Monday, June 15 – Ivy Tripp
Monday, June 22 – Out In The Storm
Monday, June 29 – Saint Cloud

All performances start at 8 p.m.

Single tickets are available for purchase, as are packages that include all five shows. A 24-hour rebroadcast of each performance will also be available for purchase starting at 11 p.m.

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Milwaukee’s top DJs didn’t rush to the challenge and the results have paid off

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There are so many levels to what a hashtag challenge is and has become in the world of social media, so I will spare you the boring details of its origins. I want to focus on the #dontrushchallenege and how DJs across the globe, and recently Milwaukee, have utilized this fun social media game as a way to pass the time as they wait for physical DJ gigs while in quarantine.

What is a hashtag “challenge?” It’s quite simple. Someone does something fun like a dance, you mimic that dance or “one up it” using social media platforms like Tik Tok or Instagram and you hope that people will follow suit. Fast forward, back in mid March as quarantine became our reality, a young college student used a simple but catchy song by Young T & Bugsey featuring Headie One called “Don’t Rush” as the background music to her joining her friend for a game of dress up. Weeks if not days later, the song and the video become a global phenomenon and the song reaches peak success on the radio and streaming chart because of it. Below you can see an example of this fun trend.

I know what you’re thinking. What does this have to do with DJs and DJing? It has everything to do with us. Like the club goer waiting to be able to enjoy their local spots to dance and be seen, DJs are also on pause to provide that music for them. So, they came up with their own version of the #dontrushchallenge and called it the #dontrushdjchallenge. DJs are searching for many way to pass the time and have fun while quarantined and this is challenge is no exception. The most famous of the DJ challenges is this one below featuring Shaq, Babey Drew, Skratchbastid, Jaycee, Step1, Chris Villa, DJ Puffy, DJ Aktive, Ease, Lazyboy and Jazzy Jeff.

The challenge has also spanned the globe, from Canada to Spain. Now it was Milwaukee’s time to shine and they did not disappoint. This collection of DJ’s is the some of best, young and legendary talent this city has to offer. DJ Aztek, DJ Bizzon, Swade Trackz, Kid Cut Up, Nu-Stylez, Doctor B and Four7 thank you for holding it down!

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Whitney will play a live stream for the Pabst Theater’s #ReviveLiveMKE series

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Last week the Pabst Theater Group kicked off its #ReviveLiveMKE live stream series with a performance from indie-rocker Japanese Breakfast. Now the organization has announced its second headliner: Whitney will play a live stream on Thursday, June 4, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance, and $15 before May 28.

“All proceeds from tickets purchased through support Pabst Theater Group venues, National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) and the artist,” according to the Pabst Theater. “Offering live stream shows is a crucial step in reviving the Pabst Theater Group’s business, given the tremendous impact the entertainment industry has suffered from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Olivia Bee

In a statement, Whitney said they were trying to “help our favorite independent venues out until life regains a semblance of normalcy.”

A 36-hour rebroadcast of the performance will be available for purchase after the stream ends.

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The Midwestern supergroup Gayngs return with new song ‘Appeayl 2 U’

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It has been 10 years since the Midwestern group Gayngs led by Ryan Olson and Bon Iver’s released their debut album ‘Relayted.” Today, the collective returns with a new song titled “Appeayl 2 U.”

Back in 2010, Gayngs featured a roster of 22 musicians including Dessa, P.O.S, Har Mar Superstar, Megafaun, Solid Gold, The Rosebuds and members of Polica.

Gayngs were scheduled to play tonight at one of First Avenue’s 50th-anniversary shows, but due to the pandemic, those shows were canceled. So instead, they decided to release this song.

The new song features vocals from Velvet Negroni, Naeem Juwan, Dua Saleh, Sophia Eris, G Star, Lady Midnight, booboo, Moise and J Plaza.

Check out Rhythm Lab Radio’s special ‘GAYNGS Deconstructed,’ where we deconstructed the supergroup into their individual components.

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Why you might find a live album more comforting than a live stream

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I haven’t been able to get into live streams. I get why musicians are doing it, and I support them, but they are missing a key piece of the live performance, which is the audience. I didn’t really realize this until a couple things happened recently that put it into perspective for me.

The Sylvan Esso live album “With” came out. They took all their songs that they usually do as a pair and they deconstructed them. Then they reconstructed them with a full big live band. I usually don’t listen to live albums. I think a lot of people do this, and it’s true of me. As listeners we create boundaries. Weather we mean to or not. I don’t think we do it intentionally, but we create boundaries.  There are entire genres we write off. We like what we know and stick with that. We can’t listen to everything. So we pick and choose. Then we make up or we hear someone give an opinion that justifies that decision. I used to never listen to live recordings because, “It just doesn’t sound as good as an album.” Or “They have recorded the perfect take on the album, anything else is a watered down version of that.” So I didn’t listen to live recordings all that much. I had a few that I liked. Like Sam Cooke Live at the Harlem Square Club and LCD Soundsystem’s “The Long Goodbye.” But that was about it.

But I love Sylvan Esso. I know all the songs by heart. I have seen them live a bunch and they put on a great show. So I listened to the record. And I felt it. Amelia Meath has a special kind of energy on stage and it’s great to hear.

Then I watched this documentary on The Grateful Dead. It’s on Amazon and it’s very good if you’re trying to get into them, or just wanna know what everyone is talking about. That is a band that lives on live performances. And that’s exactly the point. Jerry Garcia said that he wanted to make something temperamental. The idea was that it was there when it was happening. You lived in that moment. And it was special because you were in that moment.

I also ordered a Nick Cave album from Rush Mor: “Your Funeral…My Trial.” When I went to go pick it up, Dan threw a bootleg copy of a concert that the Bad Seeds played in Germany in 1996.

And on Bandcamp day Kevin Morby released two jams from his upcoming “Oh Mon Dieu: Live in Paris” album that will be coming out soon.

I started to put together From the Music Desk, my weekly show that runs on Sunday night’s from 8-9 and I put together a couple of these live songs at the end. Then I was feeling the spirit and I made a playlist of my own. The playlist is all my favorite artists playing my favorite songs. Audience applause between each song, it’s like my own personal concert that is being played just for me.

And, honestly, I don’t even love concerts. I love them when they are good, but they are mostly bad, like any art form. And most of the time I am thinking about where I’m going to park or how much I should or should not drink, or the social dynamics of who I’m with and I hardly even get to think of the show. But in listening to these live recordings you can hear how important the audience is to a performance. So many quarantine live streams have felt hallow and empty because that invisible transfer of energy from the audience to the singer and from the musicians back to the audience is lost. 

The musical equation has two parts, the artist and the audience. Right now we are missing half of the equation, but the live album lets you hear that magical transaction and how it bends and curves. It’s captured that energy and it’s a great time to pop open the lid to that jar, and take back a bit of what we’ve lost.

I truly encourage you to make your own personal best-concert-of-all-time. It’s a worthwhile exercise.

Here are some of my favorites:

Sam Cooke – “Live at the Harlem Square Club”

I have played “Twisting the Night Away” from this album at some point during every DJ set I have ever done. And that’s because it plays so well. Sam Cooke is universally regarded. My mom and dad loved Sam Cooke. In the ’60s he was a crossover act. He was a black artist that white people also loved. A lot of the performances are intended for a white audience. Live at the Harlem Square Club was not. Live. In Harlem. In 1963. You hear Sam Cooke with his hair down a bit. He doesn’t go wild or thrash or anything like that. He’s just loose. It’s a party.

Tiny Tim – “Live at Royal Albert Hall”

They released this one for Record Store Day last year. I gasped when I saw it on the list. Not because I knew that this was an excellent live performance, but just the fact that it exists. Tiny Tim was a novelty act in the ’60s who eeked out a very thin career by pulling a ukulele out of a paper bag and singing “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” on the Johnny Carson show every now and again. In fact, he was such a late night favorite that he got married on live TV on “The Tonight Show.” He basically swung from one novelty act vine to the next and I thought it would be just as much of a novelty to own a Tiny Tim Live album. But I made a mistake. I made a video saying how much I wanted it, and I think made a weird little market for the very few that got sent to Milwaukee stores, so every store in Milwaukee was fresh out on Record Store Day. Luckily a friend in NYC text me and asked if I copped cause he saw a copy in Brooklyn. I said I haven’t and he shipped it. Shout out Tim Sondermen. When I got it I put it on just to say that I’d spun it, but after giving it a round I was fully hooked. Tiny Tim is known for his falsetto, but in this recording you hear his speaking voice, which is an absolutely astounding baritone. He’s at Royal Albert Hall in 1963, which is the mecca for performance there. He has a full live orchestra. Not just the uke. They add grandeur to each song. And one thing, that you will never get on a studio recording. He sets up every song. Not unlike a radio DJ. Most of his songs are old vaudeville tracks so he will say something like, “1929, was the start of the depression. A little song came out of the radio. So many sang this on CBS.” Gives you the date, the singers, the radio station they sang it on. The liner notes. Live.

Fela Ransome-Kuti and the Africa ’70 with Ginger Baker – “Live!”

Afrobeat really is the way to understand live music. The genre itself is about getting into that groove. The other albums on this list are good live performances of songs, Afrobeat isn’t necessarily about laying out a song like that, it’s spends 15 minutes finding the beat. You’ve got to lost track of time and submit to the sound. Most of the Fela albums do a great job of catching the improvisations and free wheeling nature of the genre, but this is an especially fun one. It’s in 1970. A peak time for Fela. He’s kind of just started to figure out the genre and it’s fun to hear him play with it. And then it also features wild man Ginger Baker, who was the drummer for Cream, and was so obsessive about percussion that he moved to Africa to be even closer to the heart. This album is two masters discovering their powers.

LCD Soundsystem – “The Long Goodbye”

LCD Soundsystem said they were breaking up, so they booked one last show at Madison Square Garden. Or did they book Madison Square Garden and then say they were breaking up? Honestly, I don’t care, because they gave us this recording. It marked the end of an era. There was a dress code! Attendees had to wear either black, white, or black and white. It was special. And you feel it.  Every song is filled with a collective elation of the moment and tragedy that it’s passing. The band got back together and I’ve see them since, but there was a hot minute where me and my buddies almost packed up my moms Toyota Corolla and drove to NYC for this. But even though we didn’t we have this. It captured all the feelings of the moment.

Talking Heads – “Stop Making Sense”

This is the one you have to say. You just kind of can’t mention live albums without it. And for good reason. A live show involves good sequencing. Stop Making Sense has motion as a show. It starts bare bones and with every new song a new instrument is introduced. Like Afrobeat, which Byrne will recognize heavily as an influence, it takes the bassline and builds up until you are fully lost in the sauce.

Jonathan Richman – “Having a Party with Jonathan Richman”

Jonathan Richman went to the Bahamas in the ’80s. He tells the story on one of these live albums. And before that he was playing very angular rock with The Modern Lovers, and while he was in Bermuda he saw some of the street performers singing and they were just loose. They didn’t care. They were free. So Jonathan Richman became free. He ditched The Modern Lovers and started a solo career. The career hasn’t gone very well. He’s sold a million more albums with The Modern Lovers, BUT, real ones know that his solo career was the right move. He stopped being so rigid and became happy. In these live recordings you hear the sound of joy. A man enjoying what he is doing. He’s loose. He’s cracking jokes. You hear the laughs. And everyone is happy.

Tom Waits – “Nighthawks at the Diner”

This isn’t a live album; it’s a studio album of new material with a live audience. Or a live album in a studio. Either way, it’s something in between. “Nighthawks” is a performer understanding himself. Tom Waits is the guy in the corner of the bar playing a piano and cracking some jokes. So that’s what he did. Having a little live audience lets him tell some stories and crack some jokes and it let’s those land. It’s a performance and he gets that.

Sylvan Esso – “With”

Sylvan Esso is a duo. Amelia Meath on vocals and Nick Sanborn on knobs and twisters. For this album they pulled apart the songs, gave the bits to more traditional instruments and had them all play together. I like that this live recording lets in a lot of crowd noise. They aren’t playing in a small room and they let you know it. I read once, probably in a tweet, that Amelia has BDE. And if you seen them you know. She’s liquid on the stage. She feels on the energy. She drinks it up. Including so much of the crowd that is fueling her gives you an insight to that dynamic and let’s you feel it too.

Grateful Dead – “Europe 1972”

There is no air in this recording. No crowd noise or atmospherics. It’s kind of a feat of fidelity in itself. It is recorded cleaner than most studio albums.

There is a kind of safety in throwing an album on and just letting it go. The Dead were a music festival before music festivals existed. Still when they play they play in gigantic blocks. Hours at a time. This used to sound like hell to me. But that’s because I was uptight about it. Now I just throw this one on and let it ride. Hours go by. Get in the zone.

Little Richard – “Live in France 1966”

I will cede this one to my favorite music writer Hanif Abdurraqib, who wrote a touching reflection of Little Richard on the day of his passing, ending with this quote, “This is a still shot from Richard’s Paris 1966 concert. Please spend some time with it today if you can. It is one of the best live concerts of all time that can be accessed on the internet. He is covered in sweat, ascending past ecstasy and reaching some greater, holier plane.”

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Pabst Theater Group announces a live stream concert series, featuring Japanese Breakfast

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The Pabst Theater Group has announced a live stream concert series as part of an effort called #ReviveLiveMKE, “an initiative that offers new ways for patrons to support its concert venues.” The series kicks off this Thursday, May 14, at 6 p.m. with a live stream from indie rocker Japanese Breakfast that promises a mix of new songs and covers.

Tickets are $20 and all proceeds support Pabst Theater Group venues and the artist and members of their touring crew. “Additional live streaming shows will be announced in the coming weeks, as well as the potential for rebroadcasts of past live shows at Pabst Theater Group venues,” according to the press release. “Offering live stream shows is a crucial step in reviving the Pabst Theater Group’s business, given the tremendous impact the entertainment industry has suffered from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Japanese Breakfast | Courtesy of the artist

“For entertainment fans that want to make sure independent concert venues and artists survive this pandemic, purchasing live stream tickets is truly one of the best ways to show support,” the Pabst Theater Group’s Matt Beringer said in a statement. “Reconnect with concert buddies and plan a virtual night out. It’s a great way to support our venues and relive the live concert experience we are all missing right now.” 

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Grace Weber’s Music Lab receives grant funding from Presidential Scholars Foundation

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These Milwaukee DJs are making sure your quarantine is poppin’

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After a long week, do you missing going out grabbing a drink and dancing to your favorite DJ? Well, these Milwaukee DJs have you covered with their live streams. We also hope to keep you posted on more amazing streams happening in our city, so stay tuned.

DJ Bizzon

Let’s start with our very own DJ Kenny Perez. For the past few weeks, he has been DJing every Friday during lunch from 1-2 p.m. You can watch him on Facebook, Twitch and YouTube.

Then starting this Sunday from 8-9 p.m., you can catch Kenny for Sundown Sundays via his Mixcloud page. He will be spinning House, EDM and classics.

This Saturday, May 16, from 3-6 p.m (New time in respect to the event remembering Hunter Kottke). It will be the first-ever live DJ stream (shot by Chris Haase) from a roof in Milwaukee. The event is called Boiler Roof: Isolation Edition via Facebook Live. It will feature Rutger Krueger, creator of the Quarantine Conversations Podcast & Quarantine Sadness mix series, DJ Dex creator of The Platform mix series and Cristian Vega (Screaming Tuna). They will be accepting donations to benefit the Milwaukee Industry Tip Jar.

Then one of the city’s busiest DJs, Bizzon is broadcasting online several times a week.

On Fridays from 8-10 p.m., you can catch him for QuaranTURNUP. Then Sundays from 12 -2 p.m. for Stay@Home Soul Sunday Brunch. And on Wednesdays from 5-7 p.m., join Bizzon for Wayback Whens-Day Happy Hour. You can watch all of these live streams via Facebook, Twitch and Instagram.

Then on Wednesdays at 5 p.m., join the Non-Pop! team for a live stream of DJs, live painting and more via Instagram Live.

Thursdays at 9 p.m., you can join Rutger Krueger for a quarantine conversation, where he talks to industry folks like DJs, venue owners, videographers and more via Facebook Live.

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Halsey is the latest Summerfest headliner to reschedule for 2021

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As it continues to look increasingly unlikely that any major concerts will take place this summer, the concert postponement announcements continue to roll in. Earlier this week the Dave Matthew Band announced that it was rescheduling its entire summer tour, Summerfest included, for next year, and today Halsey followed suit.

The pop star’s July 3 concert at Summerfest’s American Family Insurance Amphitheater has been rescheduled for July 3, 2021.

Halsey | Courtesy of the artist

“As I’m sure many of you predicted, we are unfortunately going to have to reschedule the upcoming 2020 summer tour,” the singer wrote in a statement. “There’s nothing more important to me than the safety and health of my fans. We’re excited to announce summer 2021 dates with the same venues.”

Tickets for her 2020 tour will be honored at next year’s tour, and refunds will also be available at point of purchase for those who want them.

“Thank you for understanding,” Halsey wrote. “Touring is my favorite thing in the world and I can’t wait to see you again soon.”

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