Atomic Valentine salutes closing musical landmark
Atomic Records is a major force in the history in Milwaukee's rock and roll scene of the past three decades. Now that Atomic will be history, local musicians think that owner Rich Menning deserves a 100 megaton send-off.On Saturday, Feb. 14, the Miramar Theater hosts Atomic Valentine, a live musical tribute to Atomic Records featuring Mark Waldoch, Eric Blowtorch, The Mighty Deer Lick, The Etiquette, Sometime Sweet Susan, Cherry Cake, The Lovelies, Boy Dirt Car and Liquid Pink. The show starts at 6:30 p.m.
The concert is organized by Damien Strigens -- former Lovelies drummer and part-time Atomic employee. Strigens says bands were so eager to be a part of the event that he had almost no work to do in assembling the line-up.
"This thing has come together pretty darned quick and easy," he says. "It started on New Year's Day when I was at the Bay View Polar Plunge chatting with (fellow musician) John Lyman. We got to talking about Atomic and the state of the music industry, etc. We asked each other if anyone had put anything together. We thought someone had to be doing something.
"We all know how integral Rich and Atomic have been for the local music scene over the past two decades. Something had to happen."
Strigens said he contacted his former bandmate Liv Mueller first.
"I went home, logged on to Facebook, and one of the first comments I saw was from Liv from The Lovelies. I chimed in and said 'Hey Liv, how 'bout a Lovelies reunion for Atomic as sort of a 'thank you' show for Rich?' She thought it was a cool idea so I forwarded it to (bassist) Barb (Endes) who lives in Brooklyn. She was super-psyched. So I asked a few others and it has snowballed mainly from other people's suggestions."
Strigens notes that many of the participating bands recorded songs in 1987 for Atomic Records' LP / CD release, "Badger A Go Go." Liquid Pink, Boy Dirt Car, Cherry Cake and The Blowtorch were all on the Milwaukee compilation, which borrowed its name from a similar project from 20 years previous.
Others -- like The Lovelies, Sometime Sweet Susan and Mark Waldoch -- worked -- or had members that worked -- at Atomic.
"Pretty much everyone has been on board for this -- no hesitation from anyone," marvels Strigens.
"Never would I have imagined bands such as Liquid Pink, Sometime Sweet Susan, even my old band The Lovelies coming together for one night to play for something like this. It's really a testament to how much that little store meant to this city."
Wow... cool show! As long as I get to hear Sometimes Sweet Susan do Beam, talk to Liv from the Lovelies (been a long time... Way to long) and perhaps hear a cover of 7 Days... I will know that Atomic remains as great as it once was! Bringing this all together.
Thank you Rich Menning for Atomic Records. I dug it and my son now digs it. Losing it is a bummer. Mike Hester
Czelt | Jan. 28, 2009 at 11:59 a.m. (report)
Cannot wait for this show! Nicely done, Damian.
I'd like to see the Lovelies one more time!!! Nostalgia-fest
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