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Five things we're thankful for in Milwaukee music this year

There's a lot to be thankful for in Milwaukee's music scene in 2018.

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

Here's a countdown of just five of the many people we'd like to thank in Milwaukee music this year.

5. Indie promoters

Specifically, we want to give a shout out to Kelsey Kaufmann of the artist-run Cactus Club. She's done really impressive work this year, not only in expanding the programming of Cactus Club, but in working with artists and getting them booked at a variety of other venues. She's also been starting some important conversations about our music scene, like in her great op-ed about the need for more all-ages venues in the city.

For that reason, we also want to shout out WebsterX, Janice Vogt and all the people working on opening The New State, a new venue and music community space for artists of all ages.

4. Breaking and Entering

Allen Halas at Breaking and Entering has a passion that always comes through in whatever he's sharing about Milwaukee's hip-hop scene—and he shares a lot. Breaking and Entering is on top of everything.

3. The Fiserv Forum

We've seen several shows at the Forum at this point and every one has blown us away. The sound, the sight lines, the production...did we mention the sound? It's all so impressive. We're thankful that Milwaukee has this new state-of-the-art space where the concerts and booking are only going to get better from here.

2. Just great music coverage

We want to shout out the Milwaukee Record and the Shepherd Express in particular for their music coverage this year. Writing goes a long way in elevating the artists of our music scene. Evan at the Shepherd is so thorough with his features and hip-hop roundups. And there has been so much creativity at the Record with their series like the Milwaukee music rewinds and Pubic Domain, where they ask artists to reinterpret music in the public domain to name a few.

1. Milwaukee musicians

The artists, of course, are always our number one. It's around the time of year where we're trying to pick our top albums of 2018 and this is the toughest choice we've ever had. That's not a bad problem to have though. There has been so much creative innovation and collaboration this year. We're hearing music in 2018 that has never been possible before in Milwaukee because of more access to equipment, technology and education and because of more crossovers, collabs and a more inspirational and ambitious music scene. Milwaukee's artists have really stepped it up this year, which continues to make us excited for what's next and keeps us jamming to what's current.

Thank you to everyone who makes Milwaukee's music scene what it is and happy Thanksgiving!

88Nine Senior Director of Programming | Radio Milwaukee