By Julie Lawrence Special to Published Dec 18, 2007 at 7:58 AM

Milwaukee is once again awash with musical activity. We've got a couple bands visiting from Madison and a couple record release shows happening, so listen up and let the / WMSE Local Music Podcast guide you through your weekend.

Madison's Flame Shark has a solid grip on writing folksy, yet impassioned songs with melodies that dance around in your head for days. Catch the band as it kicks off its tour at Points East Pub this Saturday, Dec. 22. Vinny Bex Dae and Skyline share the bill.

Sunspot is another Madison export that started out doing the pop punk thing at the dawn of the new millennium. The band's evolved into a slightly heavier sound these days and has a new record called "Neanderthal." Catch the trio at the B.B.C.'s Upper Level venue Saturday night.

The Lackloves pride themselves on providing "all the power and twice the pop" and their live show at Linneman's Riverwest Inn this Saturday, Dec. 22. should prove to be nothing less. They're back in the recording studio, promising the new record, "Cathedral Square Park," is going to surface in January.

The Response is happy to present Milwaukee with its first official full-length record, "With Friends Like You, Who Needs Enemies?" See the seven-year-old band headline Turner Hall Ballroom, this Saturday, Dec. 22 with Fable & The World Flat, From The Headline and Kid, You'll Move Mountains. Look for an interview with the band tomorrow on

Julie Lawrence Special to staff writer Julie Lawrence grew up in Wauwatosa and has lived her whole life in the Milwaukee area.

As any “word nerd” can attest, you never know when inspiration will strike, so from a very early age Julie has rarely been seen sans pen and little notebook. At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee it seemed only natural that she major in journalism. When offered her an avenue to combine her writing and the city she knows and loves in late 2004, she knew it was meant to be. Around the office, she answers to a plethora of nicknames, including “Lar,” (short for “Larry,” which is short for “Lawrence”) as well as the mysteriously-sourced “Bill Murray.”