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David Wax Museum go all-out at Studio Milwaukee

Three side-by-side photos of a man playing a guitar-like instrument, a woman playing an accordian, and a man playing a saxophone with another man playing drums behind him.
Erin Bagatta

Touring is insanity. So when an artist makes time for a Studio Milwaukee Session in the middle of criss-crossing the country — or planet — our appreciation is limitless, no matter what form it takes.

In just the past few weeks, we’ve had the full range of sessions, all of which delivered big time for crowded rooms of Radio Milwaukee members. There was Ondara flying solo for an acoustic visit, Danielle Ponder’s powerful performance with guitar accompaniment, and The New Pornographers stopping by with a trio of key members from their full lineup.

But there really is something incredible about a stage full of instruments and skilled musicians to play them. That’s what we had when David Wax Museum visited us for a Studio Milwaukee Session ahead of their Thursday night show in the Back Room @ Colectivo.

I counted nine instruments at the ready: a bass clarinet, saxophone, drum kit, keyboard, bass, violin, acoustic guitar, accordion and jarana, a Mexican guitar-like instrument David Wax picked up on his travels (one of many, as we found out later). They made good use of them all in a joy-filled set that went out live on 88Nine and included three songs from their just-released album, You Must Change Your Life, plus a bonus performance just for those of us in the room.

After the first two songs, the band took a breather (I can’t believe their wailing woodwindist Alec Spiegelman didn’t need more) so the jumpsuit-clad David Wax and Suz Slezak could chat with our Dori Zori about … so many things. The husband-wife duo talked about their musical-romantic-parental-business partnership, touring with kids, the pain of leaving your garden behind to play music, heated pizza debates and much more.

Listen to the full Studio Milwaukee Session using the player at the top of the page, and make sure you’re here for our next one — we have some biggies in the works for this summer — by becoming a Radio Milwaukee member.

Set list

  1. "You Must Change Your Life"
  2. "Best Lover"
  3. "Luanne"
  4. "Born With a Broken Heart" (non-broadcast performance)
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