Hello. Welcome to the Milwaukee Record, your newest source for Milwaukee music, culture, and gentle sarcasm. Enjoy!
Okay, some explanation is probably in order. The Milwaukee Record is a new venture from former A.V. Club Milwaukee city editor Matt Wild (that’s me), and former A.V. Club Milwaukee writer Tyler Maas. Focusing on the very best of Milwaukee music, culture, comedy, dining, film, art, and sports, the Milwaukee Record aims to be the city’s go-to destination for smart, opinionated, and irreverent arts and entertainment coverage. We’ll be bringing you in-depth features, cantankerous editorial pieces, and oodles of local album and show reviews. Plus, we promise to post funny pictures of Bob Uecker. It’s going to be amazing. Enjoy!
More? Fine. Let’s talk about how this site came to be. Soon after A.V. Club Milwaukee was cruelly put down behind the garage dropped off at a nice farm in the country last December, Tyler and I knew there was a large, terrifying hole in local arts and entertainment coverage. (Think of it like that ’80s movie The Gate, starring a pre-E-cig Stephen Dorff.) Sure, there were plenty of great publications doing great work, but there lacked a single, cohesive site with a single, distinct voice. Where were the local album reviews that went beyond 100 words and a Bandcamp embed? Where were the editorials calling bullshit on the latest “placemaking” and/or “makeplacing” fiascos? Where were the ill-considered travelogues to exotic locales like Franklin and South Milwaukee? Where were the goddamn pictures of Bob Uecker every day at 5 p.m.?
Where indeed. So, following a series of drunken conversations and public fistfights, Tyler and I decided to join forces and create the kind of site we felt Milwaukee deserved. A site that would be opinionated in the best sense of the word, a site that wouldn’t rehash press releases or flip out every time Milwaukee showed up on a list of “Best U.S. cities to groom your cat,” a site that would celebrate the good things and mercilessly mock the dumb things. (Anyone know how that “Put Milwaukee on the creative map by blowing up a car” thing turned out?) Above all, we wanted to create a site that would put its money where its mouth was: Think Milwaukee is a world-class city? (It is, in case you’re wondering.) It’s time to act—and write—like it.
So what can you expect from the Milwaukee Record? We’ll be picking up where A.V. Club Milwaukee left off (features, reviews, Uecker), but we’ll also be taking things to a new and occasionally absurd level. For starters, we’re thrilled to be working with Honeycomb Productions on exclusive video content. Today, you’ll find the first installment in our “Run Of The Mil” series, which features some steamy green screen action and an “interview” with Mr. Baseball himself. (First one to guess where the MAD Magazine gag comes from wins…well, something.) Next week, prepare yourselves for the first entry in our monthly “Prop-a-Ganza” series, where bands spend $100 at American Science & Surplus and make a music video using their loot. We couldn’t be happier with these videos, and we couldn’t be more excited to be working with Kurt Raether and his team to bring you stuff you won’t find anywhere else in town.
What else? How about exclusive album streams? This week we’ll be hosting a new comp from Top Five Records, The Sound Of Young Milwaukee, on our Bandcamp page. The comp—featuring new and unreleased tracks from Jaill, The Fatty Acids, Surgeons In Heat, Soul Low, and more—will be officially released Saturday at The Hotel Foster, but you’ll be able to hear it here first. If that wasn’t enough, early next week we’ll be debuting two new songs from one of the city’s very best bands. Again, you won’t be able to find them anywhere else but here.
Up on the site today is our first “Tracklist,” a regular Monday morning list that rounds up anything and everything related to Milwaukee. (And before you sneer at the idea of us doing lists, please note that we actually bother to write stuff to accompany said lists.) Today, we talk to the brains behind the upcoming Milwaukee Day, and get some pointers on how to best celebrate this glorious, area code-based holiday. (April 14 = 4/14 = 414.)
And dig this: On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, we’ll be counting down the 50 best Milwaukee albums of the 2010s (so far). You’ll notice we said “best,” and not something like “top” or “notable.” Why? We believe it’s no longer enough to just round up a bunch of local albums at the end of the year and say “Here’s some nice local music. Great job, Milwaukee!” Enough incredible music has been released in Milwaukee over the past four-plus years that it can be ranked, dammit! Again: Think Milwaukee has a world-class music scene? (It does, duh.) It’s time to act—and write—like it.
Some other things of note:
• Yes, the Milwaukee Record will soon have an in-depth, curated, and deeply awesome events calendar. It’s not ready yet, but it’s on the top of our to-do list. Stay tuned.
• Yes, the Milwaukee Record will be more than me and Tyler. We’ll be bringing on a host of writers—some familiar and some new—once the dust settles.
• You’ll notice a few of our sections are a bit under-populated at the moment, or, in some cases, not populated at all. They’ll be filling in during the next few weeks. Expect some early tweaks to our homepage, too.
• Our official launch party is set for Friday, May 9 at the Cactus Club. The Fatty Acids, Midnight Reruns, and Soul Low will be on hand for all your musical needs. Milwaukee Record t-shirts, beer koozies, and limited edition collector plates—each with a certificate of authenticity from The Franklin Mint—will be on hand for all your merch needs.
• As with any new website, there are bound to be technical issues and glitches in the first few weeks. Let us know if anything looks weird or goofy, and thanks for your patience.
Speaking of thanks:
• Thanks to Catherine Brautigam of Lone Shoe Graphics for our devastatingly handsome logo. Hire her, Milwaukee.
• Thanks to Troy Freund of Troy Freund Photography for the devastatingly handsome promo shot of two less-than devastatingly handsome dudes. Hire him, Milwaukee. (And shop at Acme Records, the site of our photo shoot.)
• The Milwaukee Record would not be possible without the generous support of our advertisers. A huge thanks to these businesses for believing in what we’re doing: Pabst Theater, Potawatomi Bingo Casino, Alverno Presents, Linneman’s, Blackbird, Anodyne, WMSE, and The Album Factory. Patronize them, Milwaukee.
So there you have it: the Milwaukee Record, your newest source for Milwaukee music, culture, and gentle sarcasm. If you’re so inclined, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram. Spread the word. Share the shit out of stuff. Get chippy in the comments section. Go nuts.
Why? Put simply, Milwaukee has grown up. The Milwaukee Record is here to give the city the arts and entertainment coverage it deserves. Let’s get started.