There is so much going on in Milwaukee music these days that it's hard not to feel like we're at a high-water mark right now.
Despite the fact that Pezzettino is leaving Brew City for the County of Kings soon, Kings Go Forth is ripping it up and spreading the good name of Milwaukee up and down the eastern seaboard. And Jaill's got a national (Sub Pop) release, too.
Milwaukee got a nice plug yesterday, too, on the blog of Mark Knopfler keyboardist Guy Fletcher -- they played the Riverside last night. And Fletcher was wowed by the backstage food ...
"The catering at the venue today is well worth a mention as it was rated by all as the best EVER in our history of touring the U.S. There were two young local chefs who prepared dishes such as shrimp étouffée and New York strip steaks with mashed potato also an unusual sauteed fiddlehead ferns, only available for two weeks in the year. To top it all off there was a young coffee maker, Sam from Alterra coffee, who was preparing coffees to order in a most spectacular way. It was discovered that he competes in coffee making contests, no wonder, it was simply the best coffee I've ever had. Check the froth designs out."
Read the whole thing here.
And all kinds of great local records have arrived recently, including EPs from Conrad Plymouth, Juniper Tar and Chris DeMay, among others.
Damian Strigens, who drums for Conrad Plymouth, assures me that his band Testa Rosa has some great new material and what I've heard has been stellar. Ryan Stang tells me that Dustworks has been regrouping and recording new material, too.
Luckily, Pezzettino won't leave without saying goodbye first, which she does on Saturday, May 1 at the Eagle's Nest (Jackpot Gallery), 825 E. Center St., in Riverwest, at 7 p.m. She'll be joined by drummer Nez and bassist Allen Cote.
On the national tip, this morning The Riverside announced an Aug. 4 gig with The National and The Antlers and its sister theater, The Pabst, will host Hanson and Rooney on Aug. 12.
I tweeted a couple weeks ago that The Durango Grill, 1007 N. Old World 3rd St., has live music and booking manager Matt Koch tells me that he's been mixing it up since he started there.
"The owners at The Durango Grill decided to go in a completely different direction music style wise, and I've been busy reworking everything," he wrote in an e-mail. "Basically, they won't be having any rockabilly/roots country music at all anymore, just smaller acoustic solo/duo acts that do early '90s rock in the vein of Nirvana and Dave Mathews."
Bands play on Thursdays from 9 until midnight and there is no cover. Coming up are Matthew Haeffel on May 6, Mike Brumm on May 13, Burgundy Ties on May 20 and Uncle Larry's Billy Judge Baldus on May 27.
There are a couple developments on the local jazz scene, too. Jamie Breiwick -- who recently released a CD -- has launched a blog to celebrate Milwaukee jazz, which, says Breiwick, needs to be more appreciated.
"I think the general public's impression of the jazz scene in Milwaukee is bleak. With the collapse of several very visible jazz-related icons in Milwaukee including the Hal Leonard series, The Red Mill, no jazz at Summerfest, that impression could easily be ascertained. However, I believe the truth of it is that the jazz scene in Milwaukee is very much alive and well, promising even. Milwaukee's musical roots are deeply seated in jazz and many of us in the younger generation are well aware of that fact and do not want to see jazz 'die' as so many have put it in various media outlets."
You can find the blog here.
The Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, 1584 N. Prospect Ave., hosts a pair of concerts at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. on May 6 to celebrate the launch of its Jazz Institute. On the bill are Charles McPherson and Milwaukee ex-pat Brian Lynch. Tickets are $22.
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.