Every Friday, Off The Record looks to other Milwaukee publications (and beyond) for bits of news we missed throughout the week.
• Remember when WMSE’s Rockabilly Chili Fundraiser was the only light in an otherwise dark, depressing Milwaukee winter? Times have changed: by our count, there are approximately 8,000 things going on this weekend alone, including the Arte Para Todos festival, a handful of shows somehow not affiliated with Arte Para Todos, and, um, 2 Live Crew at Silk Exotic. Still, Rockabilly Chili remains one of the best ways to shake the winter blues, with or without trying some ghost-pepper chili. For the 13th annual blowout on Sunday, March 1, WMSE will gather more than 50 local restaurants, cafes, and caterers together under the roof of the Kern Center to duke it out for the best meat and vegetarian chili in the city. The Milwaukee Fire Department will go head to head for best fire house chili, the delightful Chili Pepper Races will return, and live music will be provided by Split Lip Rayfield. One day remains to purchase discounted advance tickets. DO IT.
• Need more piping-hot chili info? OnMilwaukee chatted with WMSE’s Tom Crawford about this Sunday’s fundraiser, living in Milwaukee, and bird watching.
• The location of the new Bucks arena still hasn’t been confirmed, but the names of the firms that will design it have. The Journal Sentinel reported that Kansas City-based Populus, along with local companies HNTB and Eppstein Uhen, will be saddled with the burden of designing something that everyone will inevitably bitch about.
• Milwaukee Magazine did what it does best and went deep on the Dontre Hamilton shooting. The excellent piece by Corrinne Hess looks into the events leading up to shooting, the continuing fallout, and its implications for Milwaukee. It’s this week’s must-read.
• Speaking of (decidedly lighter) excellent longreads, OnMilwaukee put together a terrific piece on the city’s proud beer-making history and the colorful brewers behind it.
• The Journal Sentinel’s Mary Louise Schumacher wrote a lovely piece on artist/crafter/filmmaker/publisher Faythe Levine, who recently left Milwaukee for Birmingham, Alabama. “In the nearly 14 years that Levine’s called Milwaukee home,” Schumacher writes, “she contributed as much as almost anyone to the cultural landscape, including some art museum directors, powerful curators and high-profile artists.” Damn straight.
“Most of Levine’s income wasn’t generated in Milwaukee. She tended bar at the Palomino a few nights a week to make ends meet, but her most significant freelance and consulting work came from arts organizations in other cities. Here, she frequently got calls from major art groups seeking to ‘pick her brain’ for free.
‘At first it was flattering, and then it became offensive,’ she says, adding that she was hit up for ideas especially in the last three or four years. ‘There are other cities where this is just unacceptable.’
• Milwaukee Magazine delivered the good news that Bay View’s premiere sausage slinger The Vanguard will be open for brunch starting March 1.
• Rapper IshDARR released a new, club-ready single, “Too Bad.” According to the Shepherd Express, IshDARR’s full-length debut, Old Soul, Young Spirit, is set for a March 4 release.
• We talked to a few of the organizers of this weekend’s can’t-miss Arte Para Todos festival, and OnMilwaukee talked to another. Jeff Redmon makes the cut for the website’s ”Milwaukee All Star” thing.
• The Skinny premiered Group Of The Altos’ trippy video for “Forgiveness Rules,” a standout track from the near-perfect album R U Person Or Not. The clip was directed by band member Heather Hass.
• The Pfister Hotel selected its seventh Artist in Residence this week. According to the Milwaukee Business Journal, painter Todd Mrozinski will soon set up shop in a studio located on the first floor of the hotel, and will attempt to capture “the essence of the place and of the guests within it.”
• Summerfest announced its fifth Marcus Amphitheater headliner for 2015: Kings Of Leon. We patiently await the inevitable “Weird Al” announcement.
• Yelp Milwaukee visited Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge for the latest installment of its “Meet Milwaukee” video series.
Meet Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge – “Attention to Craft Means Attention to Detail” from Meet Milwaukee on Vimeo.
• OnMilwaukee revealed the sad news that Arab Fest will be a no-show for Milwaukee’s summer festival season. Organizers stressed that finding volunteers to run the festival was the reason for packing up their bags, not poor attendance.
• The Milwaukee Business Journal reported that yes, the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame is still a thing; yes, it still wants to open in Milwaukee sometime in 2016; and yes, it recently got into the bobblehead designing business with a figure of former UWM Panther Demetrius Harris.
• CMJ premiered the full stream of Platinum Boys’ debut full-length album Future Hits. It’s gooooood. Enjoy the weekend, Milwaukee!