By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Feb 11, 2004 at 5:18 AM

{image1}People around town still talk about seeing U2 at The Palms. And while we won't compare the Pennsylvania quartet Laguardia to the aforementioned one from Dublin, we will remind you that small local clubs like the Cactus Club often host bands on the rise and you'd do well to keep an eye on their schedules.

One such band, Laguardia, visits Bay View this week while touring in support of its debut disc, "Welcome to the Middle," released by Universal and produced by Brad Wood, who has worked with Liz Phair, Tortoise and Sunny Day Real Estate, to name but a few.

With Wood at the controls, the result is a smart, airy disc, but both band and producer made an effort to bring a spark to the 10-track record and they've succeeded.

"We made such an effort to bring the live show to tape," said singer Joshua Ostrander. "We tried so hard to not overproduce the sounds. We didn't want to use four guitar tracks or five keyboard tracks when one or two would do. And I wanted my vocals to be totally dry and singular."

Harmonies swirl and keyboards provide depth, but a stomping rhythm section and an atmospheric mix bring to life tracks like the poppy "Bull Ride" and the Radiohead-ish "Roseanna."

Laguardia plays Thurs., Feb. 12 at the Cactus Club on Russell (2496 S. Wentworth Ave.). Denali, Klipspringer and Pinebender also perform at the 9 p.m. show.

Loud rock bands like Poison the Well nowadays can be dubbed either emo or metal, but we prefer "screamo," to describe this Florida quintet, which was called one of the 25 metal bands to watch (by Spin magazine), one of the 25 greatest live bands ever (by Revolver magazine). The same folks at Revolver also called the band's third album, "You Come Before You" (Atlantic Records), recorded in a small Swedish town, the 19th best album of the year, thanks not only to it's full-on aural assault but also because it bares some of Poison the Well's diverse influences. One member cites his two major musical loves as The Smiths and Slayer. Poison the Well join The Bled, Murder by Death and The Kinison for a Friday the 13th show at The Rave, 2401 W. Wisconsin Ave., at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10.

Two days later, you can catch the return of Chicago industrial rockers Kill Hannah at the same venue with Sweden's The Sounds and IMA Robot. Showtime is 7 p.m. and tickets are $12.

Catch newly-signed Fall Out Boy when they play at The Rave, Wed., Feb. 18 with Mest, Matchbook Romance and Madcap. The Chicago-based band recently inked a deal with Island Records and Alternative Press calls them one of the bands you need to know for 2004. The metal band is preparing to record its first disc for Island, but is still hoping you'll check out last year's "Take This to Your Grave."

Trade screaming amps for pressed pants and pompadours at Vnuk's in Cudahy (5036 S. Packard Ave.) on Sat., Feb. 21 when Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys roll back into Milwaukee. The popular purveyors of western swing are still hyping last year's "It's Time," released on Yep Roc Records. Showtime is 8:30 p.m., Milwaukee's Uptown Savages open and admission is $10.

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 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.