We’re making Studio Milwaukee history next week. Be here for it.
Your favorite artist is performing at a thousand-seat theater tonight. You have tickets. But, right now, you’re 15 feet away as they play a set for you and a few dozen other people. When they finish, you walk over to a merch table to pick up their latest album or a shirt or a sticker. Maybe they’re hanging out and have time for a quick autograph or selfie.
It’s the music fan’s dream experience. And it happens at Radio Milwaukee.
We call them Studio Milwaukee Sessions, and before I worked here they were my favorite part of being a Radio Milwaukee member. In 2014, the session with Spoon (a multiple visitor to our studios) was my four-week-old son’s first concert. In 2016, Brett Dennan brought a level of joy and fun to our space that I didn’t think anyone could duplicate — until this year, when Rubblebucket made Studio Milwaukee history with the first princess hat on stage.
Yes, you can hear the sessions on 88Nine. It’s a nice way to experience them. But those memories I just mentioned wouldn’t exist had I just listened in my car or at the office. Plus, after we’re done broadcasting, many artists will hang around for one more song. That’s how I heard my favorite track from Wednesday’s new album and why Urban Heat’s magnetic frontman Jonathan Horstmann was able to totally cut loose after playing nice for the on-air portion.
There you go. Two more great memories (of many). Our Radio Milwaukee members get to make them just about every week because invitations to attend these sessions in person are reserved for them.
Next week is different. It’s the beginning of our Fall Drive, and we are dead set on adding more members than ever before. So we’re doing two things we’ve never done before in Radio Milwaukee history:
- Five straight days of Studio Milwaukee Sessions
- All free and open to the public
I won’t get into the behind-the-scenes stuff, but the work required to schedule, communicate, confirm, set up and put on just one of these sessions is intense. Five in five days? Forget about it. All around our Walker’s Point studios, sleep is being sacrificed, emails and Slack messages are flying, and everyone is very excited.
We’re doing all of this to give you the best sessions possible so you can see what our members experience throughout the year. That includes welcoming our new partner Discourse Coffee to the space so you can grab a beverage ahead of their official opening in January.
We think that, by the end of one session or three or maybe all five, you’ll be excited to pop open your phone and become a member on the spot (we’ll also have a membership station set up in case you need a hand). Take a look at the schedule below, put as many as you want on your calendar, and we’ll see you next week.
All sessions start at noon and are first come, first served. Doors open at 11:30 a.m.
Monday, Oct. 2: Grace Weber
Weber is a soulful performer with a sound that touches on hip-hop, R&B, and gospel. After a handful of independent releases, she gained widespread notice as a co-writer and guest singer on Chance the Rapper's Grammy Award-winning 2016 album Coloring Book. In 2020, she released the EP How Did We Get Here and followed it up with 2023's Paperflower.
Tuesday, Oct. 3: Buffalo Nichols
Since his earliest infatuations with guitar, Buffalo Nichols has asked himself the same question: How can I bring the blues of the past into the future? Nichols looks intently at the genre’s origins, which harken back to complicated and dire circumstances for Black Americans. With this in mind, Nichols says there is a missing link, which he’s often used as a compass.
Wednesday, Oct. 4: Slow Pulp
Listening to Slow Pulp can feel like being in a room with someone who’s known you so long that they can read your every micro-expression and pinpoint exactly how you’re feeling before you can. The indie rock four-piece got their start in Madison and have the ability to bring sonics and lyrics together, bottling the specific tension of a feeling you’ve never quite been able to find the right words for.
Thursday, Oct. 5: Grace Potter
After her 2019 album Daylight earned Grammy nominations for Best Rock Album and Best Rock Performance, Potter set off on a thrilling new era in a career that’s included seven acclaimed albums; sharing the stage with the likes of The Rolling Stones, Robert Plant, and the Allman Brothers Band; and playing nearly every major music festival (in addition to launching her own festival, Burlington’s Grand Point North).
Friday, Oct. 6: The Lemon Twigs
In addition to their long-running love of glam and theatrical power pop, Long Island brothers Brian and Michael D'Addario looked to the influence of both mainstream and outsider folk artists for their new set of songs, evoking Simon & Garfunkel on some and Moondog on others.