Palmer Street practice room, late '80s, maybe 1990. Across the hall were two guys -- a bassist and a drummer -- who were there all the time practicing. They didn't really have a band yet, but they had a name: Little Blue Crunchy Things.
Within a year or two, they'd found singer Noah Tabakin and LBCT was on its way to becoming one of the hottest draws in Milwaukee clubs, along with Wild Kingdom.
With its blend of rock, funk and hip-hop, Little Blue Crunchy Things drew a rabid young following. Though the band split up in 2000 it reunites every once in a while and does so again this weekend for a 9 p.m. show Saturday. Cover is $12.
Relive some great memories, or get a lesson in Milwaukee's 1990s music scene and catch up with LBCT members, many of whom have gone on to other things.
Tabakin, for example, is a member of Chicago's acclaimed marching band Mucca Pazza and Ken Fitzimmons is in Irish rock outfit The Kissers. Drummer Bill Backes has remained in Milwaukee, performing with bands like The Lovelies and The Cocksmiths. Get the full scoop tonight at Shank.
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.