The Lumineers take a chance on Milwaukee, and Hannah Mrozak finds her audience

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Each Thursday morning on Radio Milwaukee we -- the Journal Sentinel's Piet Levy and 88Nine's Jordan Lee -- talk about the music coming into and the music coming out of Milwaukee on Tap'd In

On this week's episode, we're sharing the story behind tonight's intimate Lumineers concert at the Pabst Theater, and tipping our hat to Hannah Mrozak, a Milwaukee singer on the rise. Stream this week's episode and read about it below.

The Lumineers | Courtesy of the artist

Tonight The Lumineers will play the Pabst Theater, which is the smallest Milwaukee venue they've ever played (their first show in Milwaukee was originally scheduled for the Pabst but moved to the Riverside Theater after their popularity exploded). So why is such a popular band playing such a modest venue? As Piet explains, it's a warm-up show for the group's summer tour, and it speaks to the band's relationship with the Pabst Theater Group that they looked to the venue to host a show like this.

Hannah Mrozak
Hannah Mrozak at 88Nine

Then we turn the conversation to Hannah Mrozak, an artist you may have heard on 88Nine (or perhaps you've seen her perform on our stage). She's been performing since she was a young girl, and has accumulated a lot of awards and local recognition, but her career really went into a higher gear when she appeared on "The Voice" last year, where she was on Adam Levine's team and advanced far in the competition.  

Mrozak has since joined an all-female a cappella group, Citizen Queen, who are touring with Pentatonix. They'll be opening from them at Fiserv Forum on Tuesday, June 18, and they've also signed a deal with Pentatonix's RCA records. We talk about the moment that a cappella is having right now.

Stream the episode below.

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Tap'd In's 2019 Milwaukee summer concert preview

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Each Thursday morning on Radio Milwaukee we -- the Journal Sentinel's Piet Levy and 88Nine's Jordan Lee -- talk about the music coming into and the music coming out of Milwaukee on Tap'd In

On last week's show we looked beyond Milwaukee to take a look at Piet's recent piece previewing some of the big outdoor concerts and festivals around the state this summer. But this week we're keeping it closer to home, looking at some of the big shows coming to the city this summer. Stream this week's episode and read about our picks below.

Ariana Grande

A couple of our picks are playing the BMO Harris Pavilion, which over the last few years has established itself as a destination for big shows even outside of Summerfest. Vampire Weekend will headline on June 8, and although the new album has polarized fans, Piet voices hope that the group's new expanded lineup will lead to a better live show than he's seen from them in the past. Chicano Batman opens, too, which sweetens the deal.

Father John Misty will co-headline a show with Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit at the BMO Harris Pavilion on June 16, and while Piet admits he finds Misty's recent records insufferable, he highly recommends his live show.

Fiserv Forum is keeping a busy schedule this summer, too, with New Kids on the Block, Pentatonix, Carrie Underwood, Sean Mendezs, and perhaps most noteworthy of all Ariana Grande on July 5.

Phish will be back near Milwaukee at Alpine Valley for a string of shows at Alpine Valley, July 12-14, and they're not the only destination event at Alpine this summer. Alpine Valley has booked eight shows this year, which is its fullest schedule in quite a while. Dave Matthews Band, Jimmy Buffet, Hootie and the Blowfish and The Who are among the highlights.

We also give some love to Wu-Tang Clan, who are to rap music what Phish are to jam music. They'll be at the Riverside Theater Aug. 3.

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Tap'd In's 2019 Wisconsin summer concert preview

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Each Thursday morning on Radio Milwaukee we -- the Journal Sentinel's Piet Levy and 88Nine's Jordan Lee -- talk about the music coming into and the music coming out of Milwaukee on Tap'd In

This week we're looking beyond Milwaukee, however, to take a look at Piet's recent piece previewing some of the big outdoor concerts and festivals around the state this summer. Stream this week's episode and read about these festivals below.

Paul McCartney / pixabay.com

Among the highlights we discuss are Appleton's Mile of Music, a music marathon spread across 70 venues, almost all of them free. It's a true South by Southwest experience, where even bars that aren't normally music venues will host music.

We also look at the Los Dells Latin music festival, Aug. 31-Sept. 1 in Mauston; the Blue Ox Music Festival in Eau Claire, featuring a ton of bluegrass music and headliners like The Infamous Stringdusters and Trampled by Turtles; and Greta Van Fleet's June 4 concert in Madison and Paul McCartney's June 8 show in Green Bay.

And Piet's piece also nods to some of the state's many country festivals, among them Country Fest, June 27-29 in Cadott; Country Bloom, July 11-13 in West Salem; Country Jam July 18-20 in Eau Claire; and Country Thunder, July 18-21 in Twin Lakes. Wisconsin country fans are well accommodated this summer.

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Riverwest FemFest returns and Present Music bids farewell to Kevin Stalheim

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Each Thursday morning on Radio Milwaukee we — the Journal Sentinel’s Piet Levy and 88Nine’s Jordan Lee — talk about the music coming into and the music coming out of Milwaukee on Tap’d In

This week we're saying hello to Riverwest FemFest, which returns for its fifth year this weekend, and biding an affectionate farewell to Present Music's Kevin Stalheim, who ends his run as the company's artistic director after a remarkable 37 seasons. Stream the episode below.

Present Music Promotional artwork for Stalheim Time/Courtesy Present Music

Running from May 26-June 2, Riverwest FemFest might as well be called Milwaukee FemFest at this point, since it takes place at venues across the entire city. Highlights this year include a comedy showcase, an experimental electronic spotlight, a spoken word showcase and a film and video showcase, as well as days worth of music. The schedule is a wonder to behold.

And we close the episode by previewing Present Music's "Stalheim Time" tribute to its departing artistic director, which will present works of composers important to Stalheim, who for decades advocated for alternative and forward-leaning composers.

It'll be followed by an afterparty featuring music from Semi Twang, Robin Pluer, Mrs. Fun and Sigmund Snopek.

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A better way forward for Milwaukee all-ages venues

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Each Thursday morning on Radio Milwaukee we — the Journal Sentinel’s Piet Levy and 88Nine’s Jordan Lee — talk about the music coming into and the music coming out of Milwaukee on Tap’d In.

This week we return to an importance topic we’ve discussed often on the show: the challenges facing all-ages venues in Milwaukee. A 2003 city ordinance makes it difficult for small venues to host shows, but there have been recent signs that the status quo may be changing. Can the city put its all ages woes behind it? Stream the episode below.

The all-ages event FREESPACE at The Jazz Gallery

At the root of the city’s all-ages restrictions is a 2003 ordinance, which prevents venues from selling alcohol at all-ages shows unless they are a designated art gallery or have a stage that is at least 12,000 feet – far larger than what most small clubs can realistically accommodate. And since alcohol sales are how most venues make their money, that all but prohibits them from hosting all-ages events.

It’s hard to overstate what a hindrance that is to the local music scene, as well as the city as a whole. Even a popular artist like IshDARR can struggle to find venues they can play here, since his fanbase is largely underage. And although a teenage band like Negative/Positive can play a show at a 21+ venue, their fans and friends are unable to attend.

But as Piet reports in the Journal Sentinel, there’s newfound hope. Ald. Nik Kovak, head of the Common Council’s licensing committee, has shown interest in accommodating bars that want to host all-ages events, and new venues like Cudahy’s X-Ray Arcade and The New State have committed themselves to assuring that fans of all ages can attend.

Is Milwaukee finally about to turn this crucial corner? For more, be sure to listen to this week’s podcast above.

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88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Four famous artists from major bands to play solo shows in Milwaukee

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88Nine Radio Milwaukee

From Billy Joel to Paul McCartney, it's a record year for big shows in WI

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88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Our big takeaways from the Summerfest 2019 lineup

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88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Local releases that we're snagging on Record Store Day 2019 in Milwaukee

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Milwaukee releases for Record Store Day 2019

Photo courtesy of GGOOLLDD

GGOOLLDD

WMSE’s fifth annual Record Store Day seven-inch will feature two songs from GGOOLLDD. Side A includes an unreleased track called “Piece Of Mind” and Side B will have GGOOLLDD’s newest digital single, “Success.” There are 300 copies available, which you can find at Acme Records & Music Emporium, Bullseye Records, The Exclusive Company (East Side location) and Rush-Mor Records on Saturday.

Abby Jeanne and Saebra & Carlyle

These two Milwaukee artists came together to press a split seven-inch for Record Store Day, featuring two unreleased songs. One side features Abby’s “Jacul8or” and the other is Saebra & Carlyle’s “1234.” There are also only going to be 300 copies of this record available at Hi-Fi Cafe, Rush-Mor Records, Exclusive Company’s East Side and Greenfield locations, Luv Unlimited and Bullseye Records. As a bonus—Saebra & Carlyle will be doing a 6 p.m. Record Store Day show at Milwaukee's Exclusive Company.

Violent Femmes

Yes, we still consider the Violent Femmes a Milwaukee band. Limited to 2000 copies, the 35th anniversary reissue of "Hallowed Ground" has been cut from the original stereo tapes by Kevin Bartley at Capitol Mastering, and pressed on dark green vinyl for Record Store Day this year.

Wisconsin Vinyl Collective 

The third volume of the Wisconsin Vinyl Collective will be out on Saturday. This is always a compilation that we look forward to. The 2019 album consists of previously unreleased recordings from Wisconsin artists including: Michael Perry and the Long Beds, Bascom Hill, Kerosene Kites, Derek Pritzl and the Gamble, Lost Lakes, Madison Malone, Christopher Gold, The Belle Weather, LASKA and Craig Baumann.

[Read more: All the 2019 releases for Record Store Day and where to find them in Milwaukee]

Local music to see on Milwaukee Day

Direct Hit! at X-Ray Arcade in Cudahy

We've talked a lot on this podcast about how our city needs more all-ages venues. Well, the X-Ray Arcade in Cudahy is a new one. And what better day to support the venue than on Milwaukee Day? X-Ray Arcade’s head honcho/Direct Hit frontman Nick Woods takes his own stage for the first time. Rational Anthem and '83 Wolfpack are also on the bill. Get more details about the show here. And of course, everyone is welcome.

Milwaukee Day Showcase at The Cooperage

Celebrate Milwaukee outdoors on the river at The Cooperage with Platinum BoysKlassikJoseph HuberLauryl Sulfate and her Ladies of Leisure and host/poet Kavon Cortez Jones. On top of the music and poetry, they’ll also have yard games on The Cooperage’s patio for your enjoyment. The show will also host booths from a number of local non-profit organizations. Get more details here.

MKExpanded Milwaukee Day showcase at Cactus Club

Cactus Club is putting on a fantastic local hip-hop showcase with performances by Genesis Renji,
Camb, Nile NileSharrod SloansMo’CityShun MillionsJ-Lamo and Spaidez. Get more info. here.

Milwaukee Day party at the Pabst Milwaukee Brewery

Join Breaking And Entering at the Pabst Milwaukee Brewery & Taproom for a matinee show featuring TigerniteMidwest Death Rattle and Beach Static, with a bonus afterparty DJ set by BestFriends. Find more details here.

 

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Our Summerfest 2019 lineup predictions

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2019 Summerfest headliner predictions

chaka khan summerfest milwaukee

Chaka Khan on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" Photo by Randy Holmes courtesy of ABC

So far, we know that Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg, Schoolboy Q, Lionel Ritchie, Bon Iver, Jennifer Lopez and The Killers are going to be headlining Summerfest in 2019. We think we can take a guess at a few others.

Chaka Khan

In February, Ebony announced Chaka Khan and Michael McDonald's co-headlining tour. It was the only outlet that listed a Summerfest appearance, on July 3. It could have been an error, but hopefully it was them spilling the beans on the truth.

The National

The National will be at Northerly Island in Chicago June 28. We can't imagine Summerfest would book them to compete for the crowd on the same day as Bon Iver on June 29, but we know the National isn't booked anywhere on June 30. So they could play the Big Gig then. Or it's possible that some of the members of National will make a guest appearance with their friend and Eaux Claires collaborator Justin Vernon during Bon Iver's set.

Brandi Carlile

Brandi Carlile has a good history of playing Summerfest and she'll be in the area around June 29 when she also plays Northerly Island in Chicago. Her books seem to be open before and after that date. Hopefully she takes a short trip up north to play a Summerfest set.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee