Ben Kweller's been the can-do kid for so long that maybe we've started to take his precocious pop talents for granted. So, it's good that he's reminding us.
Kweller, who plays at Turner Hall on Wednesday, Feb. 18 with the fab-o Watson Twins, has a new record that is nothing like you expect and he's keeping the inspiration flowing with his Web series of short works.
"Changing Horses" (ATO Records) finds Kweller exploring his country side, with some great songs rooted in acoustic twang and sweetened with some tasty pedal steel guitar. Kweller's songwriting skills are ramped up as he works in a genre that's a bit off his normal path.
Kweller is also into season two of his Web show, "One Minute Pop Song," a self-produced program he began in 2006.
This season, filmed in his hometown of Greenville, Texas, premieres exclusively on AOL Music's rock site, Spinner.com.
Tickets for the show are a steal at $17.50 since you also get the .fetching and talented Watson Twins, whose "Fire Songs" was one of the best records of ought-8.
The all-ages show is non-smoking and starts at 8.
In other Pabst/Riverside/Turner Hall news, Wilco kicks off its 2009 tour with a pair of 8 p.m. shows at the Pabst, Tuesday and Wednesday, April 14 and 15. Ticket details coming later this week.
In case you hadn't heard, Neko Case returns to The Pabst on Saturday, April 25 at 8 p.m. as part of the tour for her upcoming record, "Middle Cyclone." There was a great profile of Case by Daniel Menaker in yesterday's The New York Times Magazine. Check it out.
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 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 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.