On select Fridays, Off The Record looks to other Milwaukee publications (and beyond) for bits of news we missed throughout the week.
• Fuck Black Friday, right? This “holiday” sends rabid consumers to big box retailers and reduces a discouragingly vast portion of humanity to primal hunters, with discounted electronics and single-serving coffee makers as their prey. Chaos, fights, and usually at least one death by trampling ensues. But the savings, man! It’s an altogether disgusting affair, but nobody has put the Black Friday hatred most rational humans feel to music. Until now. Constantly-touring Milwaukee singer-songwriter Brett Newski has set this exercise of societal devolution to music with his, “Black Friday Totally Sucks,” which Uproxx premiered today.
• Keeping in the trend of Milwaukee musicians speaking out about other people’s stupidity, Nick Woods of Milwaukee pop-punk band Direct Hit! was asked by Noisey (Vice‘s music blog) to write a guide to not losing money on the road. The column (which is a great resource to bands looking to tour) came as the result of the singer/guitarist/road warrior going on a rant about two-person outfit Pomplamoose somehow losing money after earning close to $120k in one month on the road. Woods (whose band returns from the road to play a hometown show at Borg Ward December 12) even has math equations and grocery shopping suggestions.
• It’s safe to say nothing from Direct Hit!’s on-tour grocery list is on the menu at any of the 19 restaurants Milwaukee Magazine’s veteran food writer Ann Christenson covers in her “Best New Restaurants” feature, the cover story of the magazine’s December issue. Her quick-yet-thorough meandering through the abundance of outstanding establishments pushing Milwaukee’s ongoing restaurant renaissance is rendered even more mouthwatering in the print edition with Adam Ryan Morris’ dazzling photos, and some great illustrations.
• Voting for 88Nine’s “2014 Radio Milwaukee Music Awards” is now closed. The finalists for eight categories have been announced and winners will now be decided upon by a panel of judges (our own Matt Wild among them). You can see who wins in person (and see performances by GGOOLLDD, The Delta Routine, and more) at the awards show, which takes place at 88Nine’s Walker’s Point studio Thursday, December 4.
• Speaking of the 88Nine studio, Twin Brother recorded a live session at the station prior to the release of its gorgeous and gutting Swallow The Anchor this summer. The trio’s set of four stripped-down, radio-friendly songs was made available on Twin Brother’s Bandcamp page this week for a pay-what-you-want toll. If you’ve been sleeping on this band, there’s officially no reason to do so anymore.
• After many months and a significant amount of construction, the long-closed Avalon Theater will finally re-open next month. Journal Sentinel writer Tom Daykin reports the two-screen theater in the heart of Bay View will officially open its doors December 15, with the screening of the Hobbit trilogy. Yes!
• Also at JS, Piet Levy has a feature on long-gone Grafton, Wisconsin recording studio, Paramount Records. Jack White’s Third Man Records is reviving music recorded in the studio during the 1920’s and early ’30s with a box set.
• OnMilwaukee‘s Lori Fredrich uncovers a story about 11 craft brewers posing nude in a calendar. Sales of the “Brew Men Calendar” will benefit the Movember Foundation. If you want to promote prostate cancer prevention AND see the asses of some dudes from Three Sheeps Brewing Co., this is arguably the best way to do both at once.