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Galactic heated up the Turner Hall stage.
Galactic heated up the Turner Hall stage. (Photo: Melissa Miller)

Galactic brings a little New Orleans to Milwaukee

Galactic, a jazz/funk/hip-hop band from New Orleans, opened its tour in Milwaukee tonight with an enthusiastic crowd at Turner Hall. It will perform on Friday night at First Avenue in Minneapolis and on Saturday night at Park West in Chicago.

The show was overall high energy and inspired a lot of movement by audience members in front of the stage. This is always a good thing to see in Milwaukee, a city often accused of being filled with unenthused show-goers.

Galactic originally formed in 1994 as an eight-piece, but over the years has been pared down to a sextet. It hosts rotating vocalists, including Corey Glover, formerly of Living Colour and, most recently – and at Thursday night’s performance – singer Maggie Koerner.

Koerner, who performed about half of the numbers tonight, was indeed a highpoint of the performance. Her renditions of Dr. John’s "Quitters Never Win" and the Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter" were highly engaging. 

Her cover of James Brown’s "It’s A Man’s World" was particularly appealing because she dedicated it to all the ladies in the house. She also rocked the band’s original song, "Heart Of Steel."

The New Orleans-based band did not once mention the cold Wisconsin weather, which was surprisingly refreshing. It was gracious and thanked the audience but otherwise had little banter with the crowd.

They were clearly more focused on the music and delivered almost two hours of non-stop crowd pleasers.  

New Orleans is a magical place for many and often absorbs those originally planning to spend a short period of time there. Such was the case with members of Galactic.

Two of the members, guitarist Jeff Raines and bassist Robert Mercurio, moved to New Orleans to attend college and became caught up in the local music scene which included The Meters and The Dirty Dozen Brass Band. 

They teamed up with notable drummer Stanton Moore and never left Crescent City. Since then, they have consistently released records since 1996. Over…

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Check out The Tin Widow.
Check out The Tin Widow.

"Ten Bells" has a new name

For a couple of weeks now, the space that was once Ten Bells, 703 S. 2nd St., underwent major renovations and currently has a completely fresh, vintage-y look and feel.

Managing partner Samuel Berman says, after weeks of contemplation, he and the other partners settled on "The Tin Widow" for the new name.

"We wanted a name that represents how the place feels," says Berman.

I stopped in last night for the second time and found it to be very warm and relaxing with ambient lighting, dark wood and faux fireplaces. The only downside? It made me nostalgic for my grandma.

Then again, that’s a good thing.

Tyler Mason: chef and co-owner of Wayward Kitchen Co.
Tyler Mason: chef and co-owner of Wayward Kitchen Co.
The interior is clean and spacious.
The interior is clean and spacious.
Cream City brick. A Milwaukee tradition.
Cream City brick. A Milwaukee tradition.
The bar is accessible from two sides.
The bar is accessible from two sides.
Wayward Kitchen has a good sense of humor.
Wayward Kitchen has a good sense of humor.
Bathroom art. And more local art is in the works.
Bathroom art. And more local art is in the works.

First Look: Wayward Kitchen Co.

During the late-afternoon lull, I stopped in at Wayward Kitchen Co., 1407 S. 1st St., and spent time chatting with owners Tyler and Megan Mason. The couple quietly opened the bar and restaurant last month after completing major renovations to the structure that formerly housed Mona’s nightclub. 

The space – which is divided into two sections separated by a bar that’s accessible from either side – looks and feels completely different, with exposed cream city brick, modern light fixtures and light-colored walls. They will soon add local art.

Coincidentally, Tyler cooked in the same space 17 years ago when it was a pub and grill called Who’s On First. Tyler and Megan were both born and raised in Milwaukee and they currently live in Bay View.

Prior to opening Wayward Kitchen, Tyler cooked at the Milwaukee Ale House in the Third Ward and simultaneously ran the Grafton location for three years.

Wayward Kitchen serves lunch and dinner six days a week – it’s closed on Mondays – and will serve brunch starting Saturday, Feb. 1 from 11 a.m. to 5 or 6 p.m. in the evening.

"We want to offer brunch to people who got a late start to their day or those who served brunch themselves," says Megan.

The menu is "new American" and will change regularly. The "new American" concept includes foods that originally came from other cultures but over time became American favorites.

The dinner menu features "smalls" that are priced at $5-$9 such as Korean fried chicken wings, chorizo fried rice and chicken tortilla soup. "Mains" feature braised beef short ribs, pork verde and cauliflower and orecchiette gratin ranging from $14 to $19. 

There are also six kinds of tacos ($6-$8), burgers ($10-$12), sandwiches ($10) – the grilled meatball with provolone and pesto looks appealing  – and salads. ($6-$8.)

"Everything is made from scratch here – from the ricotta to the ice cream," says Megan. "It’s a small menu but everything is really good."

Megan and Tyler – who s…

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Liver, sans onions.
Liver, sans onions. (Photo: shutterstock.com)

Love your liver

Welcome to Healthy Living Week at OnMilwaukee.com! The resolutions are made, now the real work begins. But we're here to help get you – and keep you – on track with stories about medicine, diet, exercise, spiritual and emotional health, and more. Healthy Living Week is brought to you by Pairdd: easy gluten-free cooking at your fingertips.

Recently, I have been making a conscious effort to drink less alcohol. I decided to do this, primarily because my kids are ‘tweens now, and I want to be careful about the message I send regarding beer and booze consumption.

It occurred to me that, since I’m watching my intake anyway, I might as well take extra good care of my liver at the same time. After all, that guy’s gotten quite the workout over the years. 

I thought about going to a health store or co-op and buying a bunch of herbs, but after some minor Internet research, I realized that being kinder to my liver didn’t mean I had to spend money and most of the recommended practices were very doable.

So, here is a list of super easy ways to love up your liver. You might want to hold off on the hootch for a few days, too. But hey, no judgments either way.

Drink less coffee. Like alcohol, caffeine is not your liver’s comrade, either. I admit I am not quitting coffee – or even cutting back – during my informal liver love-in, but this might be plausible for others.

Drink lots of water. This is easy enough. For some people, having a bottle of water at their desk or stashed in their bag helps get more water down the hatch, but others, like myself, prefer to occasionally wander over to the tap and down two or three glasses at a spell. Either way, wet your whistle more often and your liver will love you.

Add lemon to your diet. You can easily combine this with your water drinking by tossing a wedge of lemon into your agua, but it can also be consumed in tea or, if you dare, straight up. In any case, lemon stimulates bile production which helps release toxins…

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