By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Sep 14, 2009 at 8:15 AM

Madison quintet Steez has blazed trails of funk across the Midwest, picking up a devoted fan base along the way and also nabbing titles at the 2008 and 2009 Summer Camp Festivals, the Rothbury Festival, and the 10,000 Lakes Festival.

The band is wrapping up a Midwestern tour to celebrate the release of the its first studio disc, "Creepfunk Crusade," recorded at Madison's Bear Sound studio with producer Andrew LaValley.

Starting out in Chicago, Steez hit Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, New York, Minneapolis and a few other towns, playing songs from the CD, which was released Aug. 13 on Mason Jar Records and is available at the band's gigs and at all the major Internet digital music outlets.

Thr tour closes with the band's Sept. 18 gig at the Up and Under Pub on Brady Street.

"We've been rocking the Up and Under for the last couple of years," says singer and guitarist Steve Neary, who along with reed man and violinist Andrzej Benkowski, hails from Brew City.

"(We) have had some of our most packed and rowdy shows there. It is essentially a hometown show for the both of us, although we have lived in Madison since going to college here."

The other members, keyboardist Matt Williams, bassist Chris Sell and drummer Rob Bessert are originally from the Fox Valley.

The record's name derives from the band's self-described "creepfunk" sound, which it calls, "a high energy, danceable variety of funk -- one uniquely laced with electronic and improvisational sensibilities."

If you miss Steez at the Up and Under this week -- or if you go and you need another fix -- the band returns Oct. 17 for a gig at Mo's Irish Pub Downtown.

Some other gigs on tap this week include:

Metal band Epicurean is joined by Edguy and Luna Mortis for a Monday, Sept. 14 gig at The Rave.

Five days later, the same venue hosts another metal gig with Whitechapel, Trivium and Darkest Hour. The headliners of both shows are part of the Metal Blade Records stable of bands.

Legendary alternative rock band Alice in Chains rocks The Rave on Sunday, Sept. 20. AIC is on the road supporting its new disc, "Black Gives Way to Blue," which features a guest appearance by Elton John.

Stephen Kellogg & the Sixers and label-mates Carbon Leaf are touring together as part of a co-headlining bill. The buses pull up at Shank Hall on Thursday, Sept. 17 for an 8 p.m.

Both bands have new discs on Vanguard Records. Kellogg's label debut is "The Bear" and Carbon Leaf's latest is "Nothing Rhymes With Woman." Cover is $20 and Toby Lightman opens.

On Friday, Sept. 18, country duo Sugarland plays the Bradley Center.

Get a sneak peak at the new Early Day Miners record when the band plays at The Mad Planet on Saturday, Sept. 19. "The Treatment" -- being hailed as this great band's "pop album" -- comes out Sept. 22 on Secretly Canadian.

Wisconsin ex-pat band We the Living returns to the Badger State on Saturday, for a show at the Miramar. The band, now based in Nashville, is prepping a new EP and kicked off its tour on Sept. 8.

Maybe you prefer to get up close to former Stranglers frontman and punk stalwart Hugh Cornwall, who hits Shank Hall on Saturday as part of a tour for his latest solo disc, "Hooverdam," released on Sept. 8 on Invisible Hands Music.

This weekend is also Alverno's annual Global Union Festival. The two-day event at Humboldt Park in Bay View features Mucca Pazza, Los de Abajo and Marseilles' Watcha Clan on Saturday, and Red Baraat, Hanggai and Ethiopian singer Minyeshu on Sunday.

Get the complete dish here.

On Sunday, you can catch singer/songwriter Brooke Waggoner at the Cactus Club, where she'll most certainly play tunes from her upcoming sophomore effort, "Go Easy Little Doves." She's joined by Denison Witmer.

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.