By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Aug 29, 2006 at 5:15 AM
Milwaukee’s Michelle Anthony, who relocated to Austin, Texas a few years back has finally issues her long-awaited second disc. The seven-song “frozenstarpalace” mini-LP -- officially released on Oct. 3 -- follows Anthony’s acclaimed solo debut, “Stand Fall Repeat.”

Produced by Barry Goldberg, who has worked with the likes of Smashing Pumpkins and Fleetwood Mac, “frozenstarpalace” was recorded in Milwaukee, Austin, Chicago and Los Angeles. But the record has a Milwaukee vibe, according to Anthony.

“During the time leading up to the move I really felt trapped by the Wisconsin winter,” she has said. “The foreboding winter has found its way onto this record. Most of the album was written over the course of a year, as a cohesive set of songs.”

But despite the inspiration, Anthony’s shimmering voice brings a ray of sunshine to her country and folk-inflected rock and roll. And despite the fact that the songs were written together, Anthony says a few simply couldn’t make the final cut.

“We decided to cut four songs,” she says.” The songs were well-played, mixed and mastered and sounded very good, but of those four, two of them lacked a certain soul that the other songs have, one felt too slow for the album and the last was a song we re-recorded from ‘Stand Fall Repeat’ that just didn't fit well with the final seven songs.”

Anthony has the luxury of making exactly the record she wants, too, since she doesn’t have a deal with a big label. And she says that’s OK with her.

“Trying to put out records is expensive, but so is owing someone else royalties, points, your life, etc. The people that work on our records like each other and want to work together for the sake of the music. It's not a 'job' to any of us.

“I'm content with the method I'm using to record and make music. Every time I go into the studio, the music keeps getting better and that's promising to me.”

But there would certainly be some advantages to a contract, right?

“It would nice to have help in the booking department, and we are actively looking for someone there. As far as a label, it would be nice to have additional financing, but I'm not pushing to get on some label's roster just for the sake of being on a bigger label. Right now, we have a direct relationship with all the people we work with -- PR, radio, management, distribution, media, etc. and I like that. It's grassroots.

“I'm sure there are a ton of advantages to being far removed from the whole business side of putting out a record, but I don't know what that feels like, so I can only talk about the grassroots method. “

That method means Anthony never really stops working, either. At the moment she is in the studio, working toward disc number three and keeping an eye on future gigs; as well as working to keep her two bands – one based in Milwaukee and the other based in Austin – polished.


“We're recording off and on here in Austin at Congress House Studios; that place has a great vibe and we hope to finish the next album there,” she says. “I'm guessing it'll be done next summer. (And) we're hoping to be back in the Midwest in October or early November for a show.”
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 an episode of TV's "Party of Five," 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 OnMilwaukee.com 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 can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.