By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Aug 18, 2004 at 5:26 AM

{image1}Milwaukeeans have come to know singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Michelle Anthony as the co-leader of Capital 8. But with that group now consigned to history and a solo disc ready to launch, Anthony stands alone in the spotlight.

And as her new disc "Stand Fall Repeat" (Burn and Shiver Records), recorded with former Wilco member Jay Bennett, shows, she's ready to be there. And she's ready to put the past away, too.

"It's over," she says succinctly. "Done. I just visited our Web site and it's gone. Nada. I knew it was coming, but I guess I didn't know how soon. I'm sad that we never had any sort of farewell party. We just fizzled and died. Frankly, that just sucks."

"We were a band for five years, and I guess it was just time for everyone to move on."

After releasing a fine disc, "Payola," on Sparkler Records, in November 2002, Capital 8 took a break last year while Anthony assembled the band Stick Pony as a means of bringing her own material to the stage at local clubs. By last autumn, she was recording what would become "Stand Fall Repeat." In order to do that, she had to trim her Capital 8-related work, including serving as the band's booking agent and publicist.

"I'm sure each of us would give a different reason for why our band broke up," she says. "There are at least 20 I can think of, and all of them are typical reasons that bands break up. The good thing, though, about our break up is that we're all still friends and I'm happy for that. We all support each other in our new pursuits."

Anthony's new pursuits involved creating Stick Pony, landing a management deal with the L.A.-based Presto Management and hooking up with Bennett and Alex Moore to produce the disc, which was recorded over nine days.

"I'd already worked with Jay during the West of Rome record, so it wasn't like going into the studio and meeting someone for the first time," Anthony says. "It was much more laid back. In fact, I think he recorded us in pajamas one day. He's kind of funny that way. I think he kind of lives and breathes music and everything else is an afterthought. He gets super excited with, for example, a great drum fill, or chorus or whatever. It's cool to see someone that's just that engrossed in all aspects of music -- performance, recording, writing, etc."

It certainly helps that there is a lot to get excited about in Anthony's roots pop rock and roll, from her melancholy melodies to her warm, all-American voice and from her ability to master material both uptempo and mellow.

Songs like "All This Time" are so spirited, so firmly entrenched in American rock/pop traditions that after just a few listens you'll feel like you've known it all your life.

Anthony has been working hard to get the word out and has played gigs recently in Los Angeles, New York, Kansas City, Mo. and St. Louis and there are record release parties slated for Austin, Texas, Chicago and Milwaukee (Sept. 10 at Shank Hall). To accomplish all this, she's assembled three versions of Stick Pony.

"There's kind of a continuous change in the band," she admits. "I would guess that if we get busier, the lineup will continue to change. All of the musicians in Stick Pony are in other bands, and it's just pretty difficult to coordinate the schedules of six busy people."

But with Anthony's star in the ascent, one suspects she won't have trouble finding musicians willing to commit on a full-time basis.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.