With Downtown Dining Week set to run June 2-9, Milwaukee Record decided to spend the next eight days devoting at least some of our bandwidth to covering local dining, both downtown and beyond. Before all is said and done, we’ll have posted interesting, uplifting, disgusting, weird, and all-around mouthwatering things. Buckle up.
Food permeates various elements of Milwaukee life. It enriches our festivals, helps neighborhoods develop their own identities, employs residents, and inspires tourists to come our way. Food also has a loose-but-evident connection to Milwaukee music, even down to what bands call themselves. As we prepare to serve you the first course of Food Week coverage tomorrow, enjoy this light and harmless appetizer.
While childhood lore specifically warns against eating apple seeds, they can’t be that bad for you. Similarly, Milwaukee-Chicago punks Appleseeds don’t seem palatable up front. But despite their hard and sharp casing, they’re absolutely fit for consumption. In fact, they’re great.
2. Brat Sounds
Allegedly not pronounced like the delectable pork tubes, rather what a poorly behaved kid might be called, Brat Sounds can only do one thing to avoid being referred to as a sausage: move far, far away from Wisconsin.
3. Cherry Pie
No doubt named after one of the only hits Warrant ever managed, this perennial WAMI nominee and firsthand witness to Matt Wild’s on-stage humiliation has been doling out heaping portions of hair metal favorites long after anybody expected them to.
Cinnaminiatures in all their inherent silliness only seem to surface to release lo-fi Halloween- and Christmas-related songs, making this lighthearted passion project something of a seasonal treat. Moreover, they have a release called Haunt’s Catsup.
Kind of disgusting, unavoidably messy, and an indulgence only reserved for special occasions (immediately followed by bouts of shame for what you’d just ingested), Fudgy is an apt name for the hilarious young project featuring members of Crappy Dracula 2 and Scrimshaw. Warning: contains nuts.
HoneyBee is a perfect name for something capable of producing something so sweet. At just 18 years of age, Megan Schmidt has been churning out pure and deceptively simple songs for her project at a worker bee’s pace. Since putting out The Hollow Tree EP last year, Schmidt has added some band members and promises a more positive turn with the next HoneyBee release, thus signaling even sweeter things are on the way.
7. Honey Creek
Uh, this band also has “Honey” in its name. We kind of exhausted all our honey and bee puns with the last one.
8. Iron Pizza
With the implied metallic strength of iron and the accessible informality of pizza, Iron Pizza exists to confuse, weird out, and somehow still provide artistic sustenance to a city that is slowly coming around to the band’s acquired taste. The no-wave oddity probably isn’t something most people want every day, but intense cravings every now and then are normal.
9. Lamb’s Legs
Post-punk noise weirdos Lamb’s Legs recently released the post-punk, noisy, and weird A Dozen Torsos Within Spitting Distance, recorded at the dearly departed Borg Ward. The album’s title may be less than appetizing, but the band’s music is a meaty, no-bullshit treat.
10. The Meatcurtains
Yeah, yeah, we know what this really means.
11. The Olives
Even though The Olives’ time as a band expired early last year, it will take a long time for the group to go bad. With members now populating Fox Face, Static Eyes, and Trash Scout, it’s great to see The Olives are being used in other recipes of enjoyable bands.
12. The Pukes
What? Puke was at one point food. Gross, maybe, but that’s just a fact.
13. Soup Moat
The mere visual of a Medieval moat brimming with piping hot soup—a “Soup Moat”—is pretty indicative of the wonderfully weird, hilarious, and just plain good band bearing its namesake. Recently, Gloss Records offered up a buffet of new music in the form of a Soup Moat and Iron Pizza split cassette.
14. Sugar Ransom
Tireless troubadour Sugar Ransom puts the “sweet” in “bittersweet,” spooning out sad-but-scathing songs in the always-tasty Americana mold. Her voice is one of the city’s best: unaffected, piercing, and, like her name, addictive.
15. Sugar Stems
If there’s a Milwaukee band more aptly named than the Sugar Stems, we’re not aware of it. Also fitting is the fact that the band’s 2010 debut was titled Sweet Sounds Of The Sugar Stems. Over the course of three full-length albums—including 2014’s Only Come Out At Night—the Milwaukee power-pop purveyors have been positively sticky sweet, effortlessly tossing off infectious tunes like candy from a float.