Some Milwaukee bands are really going places. The Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) has partnered with 91.7 FM WMSE for a pretty revolutionary project. Beginning Wednesday, public transit commuters will be privy to live, local band footage via the Transit TV network on the MCTS buses.
It's like Milwaukee's own mobile MTV, if MTV still played music videos.
Bands such as Paul Cebar Tomorrow Sound, Desert Sound Ensemble, El Gordo, Rusty P's, The Barrettes, Lisa Gatewood, The Trusty Knife, Robert Allen Jr. Trio and Mike Mangione get nine two-minute spots on 340 MCTS buses.
WMSE took studio footage from its weekly Local / Live show each Tuesday at 8 p.m. It partnered with Civilian Edit, a film, video and audio production house in the Third Ward, to produce music videos for the buses.
"We've been presenting local artists performing live in our studio for eight years now," said WMSE Station Manager Tom Crawford. "We're thrilled that not only can the public get a glimpse of what happens behind the scenes with our new video component, but that MCTS will be presenting some of the best performances to their riders, who might not be aware of this resource. It's a really great opportunity for Milwaukee artists to be seen and heard."
Perhaps the coolest part about the launch is that it's going national. These Milwaukee-made spots will also air on bus lines in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles and Orlando (and there's a lot of people riding in those cities). A program like this has never been done before on a major public transit system.
OnMilwaukee.com staff writer Julie Lawrence grew up in Wauwatosa and has lived her whole life in the Milwaukee area.
As any “word nerd” can attest, you never know when inspiration will strike, so from a very early age Julie has rarely been seen sans pen and little notebook. At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee it seemed only natural that she major in journalism. When OnMilwaukee.com offered her an avenue to combine her writing and the city she knows and loves in late 2004, she knew it was meant to be. Around the office, she answers to a plethora of nicknames, including “Lar,” (short for “Larry,” which is short for “Lawrence”) as well as the mysteriously-sourced “Bill Murray.”