By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jun 04, 2009 at 11:32 AM

As if local musicians like Chris Tishler, Rob McCuen and Paul Wall didn't have enough to do, the trio has reformed its band Animal Magnets for what may or may not be a one-off show this week with The Plexi 3 and Van Gloria at Points East Pub.

The band -- which also includes Cliff Ulsberger and Joel Beskow -- plays Saturday, June 13.

Wall is a member of Trolley, The Nice Outfit and The Exotics, Tishler fronts Chief and The 5-Card Studs, McCuen has been in Plasticland, White Hot Tizzies and other bands and Beskow is a veteran of Wanda Chrome and the Leather Pharoahs.

We asked McCuen about this whole reunion thing and about whether or not Animal Magnets have a long-term future ... So, what brings the band back together?

Rob McCuen: Let me start by saying that I am rarely keen on this whole notion of bands doing reunions. Generally, they reek of desperation, anti-climax and mid-life crisis. Plus, of course, you always run the risk of dimming whatever legacy you may have enjoyed "back in the day."

This wasn't really a factor with us because we were so low profile, hardly anybody remembers us anyway. We only did about four shows back in '95 or so, but we developed a small but extremely dedicated fan base right from the onset.

The Magnets never really broke up, we just sort of quietly drifted off into the sunset to chase new pursuits. We're all very busy guys.

If I had to pinpoint the motivation behind our reformation, I would have to say Melissa (who does "The Melissa Show" on Wednesdays) from WMSE was the chief catalyst. She was always an Animal Magnets super-fan and she was just relentless whenever she would encounter one of us.

Ultimately, I guess you could say that she just wore us down to the point where we just decided, "What the hell? We've all kept our chops together and from the first rehearsal on, it was obvious that we can still bring the ROCK.

OMC: Is this the start of a second life for the band?

RM: If anything, and I know everybody says this, we all swear it's even better now than it was then. We're all tight buddies and it's just been a ball. The original idea was that this show was going to be a one-off, but it looks like the amended master plan is to do two or three shows a year until one of us dies.

OMC: Is everyone still doing their other projects?

RM: Oh, hell yeah. Everybody but me, that is. I broke up the White-Hot Tizzies about nine months ago and have just been sort of biding my time, practicing my drums on my own and plotting my next move. I don't want to jinx it, but I may be joining a Chicago-based band that sounds like Debbie Harry fronting the Ramones. Everyone else is insanely busy with their various acts.

OMC: Any plans for a new Animal Magnets recording?

RM: I desperately want to capture this line-up on wax and towards that end, we are planning to record the show live, which I feel is this band's essence. So, yeah, I'd say the chances are pretty strong that there will be some kind of record released.

I can say with absolute certainty that Cliff, Chris, Paul and Joel collectively really know how to bring out the blood, guts and muscle in my songs. Talk about some seasoned veterans! And they're all dashingly handsome bad asses who aren't afraid to wear mascara.

Mercury Crossing launches new CD

Local power trio Mercury Crossing officially releases its new six-song EP, "Red July" -- which follows a pair of full-length efforts over the past three years -- with a gig on Friday, June 12 at Shank Hall.

The band -- formed in 2005 by singer and guitarist Sheri Roloff -- released "Human Aquarium" in 2006 and followed with "Social Graces Set Aside" the following year.

Opening the show are The Pugilists and The Amateur Astronaut.

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 has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.