By Julie Lawrence Special to Published Dec 26, 2005 at 5:24 AM

The members of Milwaukee's Eighty-D would like your attention, please. Since 2001 they have been touring all over the country, playing with bands like Less Than Jake, the Lawrence Arms, The Queers, even Henry Rollins. They've been invited to record in Napster's Studio in L.A., but what they'd really like is some local love.

Recently signing with local label Snapdragon Records, Eighty-D is ready to focus on the home front. But according to drummer John Barnes, Milwaukee's proving to be a tough market.

"Milwaukee seriously needs to stop catering to the 'I'm drunk and I want to hear cover tunes' audience," says Blaze. "We need to work much harder at bringing new, original music into our scene."

Eighty-D, the pop-punk trio comprising Barnes, Ike (bass, vocals) and Bill Lemorande (guitar), is doing its best to combat what they see as our city's cover band crisis and secure a fan base at home.

"The label's support definitely helps, but we still have to work really hard to get out music out there. It's difficult when cover bands get paid 10 times more than an original act."

But with a solid debut full-length -- "Black and Red" -- under their studded belts, these Brew Town rockers are ready to reward listeners with smart, catchy punk anthems that nod to bands like Alkaline Trio and Bad Religion with thoughtful lyrics addressing everything from parties to politics. But one thing they promise -- they won't whine to you about girls.

"Does every song need to be about how much you hate your ex-girlfriend?" Barnes asks.

They may not want to talk to you about heartbreak or romance, but they are willing to talk about the future. So what does 2006 hold for Eighty-D?

"Oh, we've got plans!" says Barnes. "If all goes well, in a few months we're looking to drive ourselves insane again and record another full-length album." "Black and Red" was recorded here in Milwaukee with Shane Olivo at Bobby Peru's Recording Studio.

In the meantime, they perform at Snapdragon Records' "After Christmas Party" at Waukesha's Mainstage on Friday, Dec. 30. Joining them for the show are I Voted For Kodos, The1985Bears, Until I Bleed Dry, Drive By Alibi, Ceteri, Rainy Day Ollie, Headbox, Koala Taxi, The Gas Rats and Ayla Rae. It's an all-ages show that starts at 3 p.m. Tickets are $8 in advance or $10 at the door.

Eighty-D's Web site is

Julie Lawrence Special to 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 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.”