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The cover to NO/NO's first EP, "Drag" was found in the public domain. Originally titled "New Romantic Photo Shoot" 1981.
The cover to NO/NO's first EP, "Drag" was found in the public domain. Originally titled "New Romantic Photo Shoot" 1981. (Photo: Unknown)

NO/NO is not The Delphines (but it used to be)

One of my favorite bands to come out of Milwaukee in the past couple of years was The Delphines, which handled dreamy, poppy shoegaze and fuzzed out rock and roll with a youthful, too-cool-to-care attitude, best experienced in a small, dark club.

The band's shows were frequent and album releases were fast and furious, but also quite abbreviated. An EP here, a cassette single there. Even a YouTube-only release (one of my favorites). In my 2013 interview the band admitted it wasn't terribly interested in full-length releases.

"When we started the band we didn't want to do albums," lead singer Harrison Colby had said.

Eventually the band produces a full-length album called "Hush," but shortly afterward the band quietly broke up.

Disappointment followed. How could we allow this to happen? This band felt like it was composed of sun-bleached driftwood, waiting for a match to drop and set fire to the music scene. It was a band that made Milwaukee's music scene vibrate.

So I was surprised this morning when my phone lit up with a message from The Delphines about a new release:

Three fourths of The Delphines (Harrison [Colby], Lucas [Riddle], and Jeremy [Ault]) have made a new band called NO/NO with singer Cat Ries and just released a new EP.  Drag is available for free on their bandcamp

With curiosity I clicked through and hit play. NO/NO is not The Delphines 2.0. The new sound incorporates more synth and pushes the fuzz into more of a New Wave territory, but it still holds the same achingly disaffected vibe.

Within 30 seconds I dropped everything and got in touch with Colby.

Apparently the marriage of former singer Jami Eaton was the driving reason behind the divorce of The Delphines. "We found all this out mid-way through the recording process for Hush so it was kind of a rough album to finish, mainly because we knew we wouldn't be able to continue after it was done." Colby said. "She couldn't commit to the band nearly as much as before."

There was a brief m…

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The Bublr Bike in its full glory.
The Bublr Bike in its full glory.
The newest kiosk is located at Red Arrow Park.
The newest kiosk is located at Red Arrow Park.
I threw my bag and solar charger in the Bublr basket and took one for a spin.
I threw my bag and solar charger in the Bublr basket and took one for a spin.
The very first kiosk is located at Discovery World.
The very first kiosk is located at Discovery World.
The basket comes with a built-in lock.
The basket comes with a built-in lock.
The lock wraps around the basket and into the bottom. When it's inserted, the key pops out.
The lock wraps around the basket and into the bottom. When it's inserted, the key pops out.

Ev'ryday I'm Bubln': First look at Bublr Bike Share

Midwest BikeShare announced its second kiosk opening today, and the city is abuzz about it (or maybe it's bubbling about it?), so I had to check it out. After signing up online and plunking down the membership fee (you can save $10 on your yearly pass with discount code: bublrnow), I went to checkout my first bike. While there, I saw Kevin Hardman, the launch director for Midwest BikeShare.

"Looking good," I told him. "I love the name: Bublr. It's friendly. It makes this program sound fun."

The name Bublr was derived from the Wisconsin-centric slang for "drinking fountain," which helps localize the program within the community.

"We wanted to make it sound easy," Hardman said, who mentioned that even the term "bike" can be intimidating. "Don't ride a bike, ride a Bublr."

So I did.

The checkout process was easy. Just insert the card you used to sign up, and follow the on-screen instructions. If you haven't signed up online, you can pay a daily fee at the station.

"Some of the instructions need slight updating," Hardman noted. "We're still working to make it more user friendly."

The main problem is that even when you have a membership, the screen still incorrectly says you'll be charged a daily fee, which is not true.

"Soon we'll be mailing out keyfobs," Hardman said.

Keep your card in your wallet; these keyfobs will replace the need to interact with anything besides the bike you want to borrow. Just wave it over the sensor of the bike you want and "beep beep beep," the bike is yours to ride.

The Bublr bikes are designed to be more upright and sit the rider in a comfortable position. The seat height can be adjusted with the flip of a lever. Each bike comes equipped with fenders, skirt guards, chain guards, a rack, a built-in lock and a bell.

I had a bag with me, so I threw it in the basket at headed out.

The inital start was a little different than my preferred bikes. With the upright fork, it felt a little twitchy. I attributed part of this to my bag in …

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One of the 44 Fake A$$ Rappers: Alpha Fo Fum
One of the 44 Fake A$$ Rappers: Alpha Fo Fum (Photo: Kristopher Pollard)
Gold Felice & The Midwest Ugly 3Way Crew wearing KPOLLY tees.
Gold Felice & The Midwest Ugly 3Way Crew wearing KPOLLY tees. (Photo: Kristopher Pollard)

Kpolly brings "Fake A$$ Rappers" to reality

After 10 years, Milwaukeean Kristopher "Kpolly" Pollard’s unique pen and ink illustration style should be recognizable to most of the city’s residents. His work has been shown at HotPop and Lucky Star, but most people will probably recognize those child-like, yet demonically black, oversized eyes due to their prevalence in the 2013 Milwaukee Film Fest ad campaign (Princess Leia has never looked so creepy).

Now Pollard has a Kickstarter that he would like you to back. Or not. It doesn’t matter now, because with 21 days to go the project was officially funded.

"I’m shocked and super grateful that I’m fully funded after only 6 days," he says.

It’s an art book called "Fake A$$ Rappers" and it contains 44 pages featuring a collection of 22 imaginary rapper portraits, and will include a brand new, never-before-seen rappers made especially for this printing. In addition to the portraits, each page gives rapper stats, like first album, seminal song and sample lyrics.

"I was never super into hip-hop, but I started finding it more and more interesting and entertaining," says Pollard, noting that after watching Kanye West perform on Saturday Night Live, an idea sparked. "He had this incredible set and outfit. It was all very visual and amazing. While drawing the series I got incredibly into hip-hop, reading about it and listening to as much as possible. I’m a big fan now."

Until now, the "Fake A$$ Rappers" series has only been shown for limited runs throughout Milwaukee. However, since the project has grown in scope, a new medium was necessary.

"The book seemed like the best venue for them, especially since I’m adding so much more content ‘about’ the rappers," says Pollard. "Their albums, songs and sample lyrics. It’ll be a lot of fun."

While the project has already been funded, you can still pre-order a copy of the book and take advantage of the other benefits the Kickstarter rewards have to offer. The smallest donation level ($20) nets you the b…

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Teams raise funds and walk to help support children and families in need.
Teams raise funds and walk to help support children and families in need. (Photo: Next Door)

Walk with Next Door to help children and families in need

Struggling with poverty is a difficult challenge, especially when children are relying on you to provide them with a stable, healthy life. But helping families in need can be as easy as putting one foot in front of the other.

Next Door Milwaukee will hold its 25th annual Walk for Children on Saturday, May 17th from 8:30 a.m. to noon. The kickoff will start at the Milwaukee Community Medical Center at 5310 W. Capitol Drive.

The two-mile walk will begin at 10 a.m. and will include festivities such as live entertainment, fun activities, prizes and food for all registered participants.

The purpose of the walk is to raise funds and awareness for Next Door's early education and family programming services.

There will also be special guests including walk leader Keith E. Wandell, the chairman, president and chief executive officer of Harley-Davidson, Inc., and former Green Bay Packers running back Ahman Green.

"We are so happy to welcome Mr. Wandell as our Walk Leader and Mr. Green as our special guest and thank them for their commitment to our 25th Annual Walk for Children," said Next Door Executive Director Carol Keintz. "We appreciate the longtime support from Harley-Davidson and all of our sponsors for this event to raise funds for our early education programming."

For more information about Next Door and to register a team for the Walk for Children, visit nextdoormil.org/NextDoor/Walk-for-Children.htm or email Kimberly Nerone at knerone@nextdoormil.org.

If you have something else planned for May 17th, there are still plenty of ways to help. Next Door is currently in the middle of their book drive. They are looking to collect 5,000 new or gently-used children's books—particularly infant-toddler picture books—by May 15th, which will then be distributed to over 1,600 children.

Beyond the walk and the book drive, Next Door welcomes more volunteers.

Next Door works with thousands of children and families throughout the city of Milwaukee to give central city families the skills …

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