The Mad Planet nightclub – a Riverwest landmark at 533 E. Center St. – is being sold, but, says Frank Straka, who is buying it with his fellow Riverwesterner Neso Malinovic, "nothing much will change.
"The plan for Mad Planet is business as usual," Straka says. "Friday nights will still be retro and Saturdays will remain the same with The Get Down once a month, the ‘vs.’ nights and bands. We want have more events on Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday nights. We plan on updating the drinks at the bar. Otherwise, things will be the same and the transition will be seamless."
Straka says the sale is not yet closed, but he expects to "have everything signed in the next few weeks."
Rosemary Silagy moved to Milwaukee from Chicago around 1990 to open The Mad Planet, which has long been a hive of live music (Arcade Fire played there years ago), cutting-edge DJs and retro dance parties.
Straka and Malinovic know they are buying a piece of Milwaukee nightclub history.
"That is why we really don't want to change it," he says.
Incidentally, The Mad Planet hosts one of those "Vs." nights this weekend and this one is really the debate that has consumed my entire life since about the age of 12.
Spoiler alert: The Jam wins, with The Clash a fraction of a nanosecond behind.
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.