Last year when singer-songwriter Peter Mulvey did his bike.concert tour of Wisconsin, he blogged about it almost daily for OnMilwaukee.com. This year, he expanded his route and brought a filmmaker along for the third annual tour.
Although Mulvey is riding a recumbent bike, he's not sitting down on the job. Mulvey wrapped up the tour Sept. 26 at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, Mass., after a 101-mile trek from Cambridge, Mass., and 17 days, 11 shows and 1,110 miles after he started out Sept. 9 in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Mulvey ferried out from Milwaukee, across the lake to Michigan, with his guitar and 13 new songs from his latest disc, "Letters from a Flying Machine," released in August on Signature Sounds.
The disc, recorded "in Peter's house in Milwaukee, various hotels and basements" and at a Massachusetts recording studio -- the Milwaukee-based Mulvey lived in Boston for a number of years -- is Mulvey's 12th and features "What's Keeping Erica?," a song co-written by and performed as a duet with Paul Cebar and the quirky "Vlad the Physicist."
"This record is meant to be listened to all the way through," Mulvey said. "The songs and the stories work in a specific sequence, to allow me to get at my central topic: when all is said and done, what is it that lasts?"
One thing that lasted for Mulvey was the recording of the record.
"Most of my records take three days," he said. "This time I was engaged in the process of making this record for three-and-a-half months. It was almost like painting, refining each part until I got it right, and then building another layer on top of it."
We're not sure how Mulvey is getting to his 8 p.m. gig at The Pabst Theater on Friday, Oct. 9, but we know that it'll be worth it.
Some other gigs on tap this week include:
Since Minneapolis' all-woman quintet Sick Of Sarah was named "best emerging artist" at Summerfest 2008, the group has returned to Milwaukee regularly. The group, which often gets compared to Sleater-Kinney and The Breeders, returns to Shank Hall on Wednesday, Oct. 7. Also on the bill is The Action Design.
Cincinnati's Over the Rhine plays at The Pabst on Thursday, Oct. 8 with singer, songwriter and pianist Vienna Teng opening. Teng's latest disc, "Inland Territory," wowed even David Letterman, who said there was "not a dud" on it.
Meanwhile, over at Turner Hall that night, Daytrotter.com hosts Dawes, Suckers, Christopher Denny and Maritime at 8 p.m.
On Friday, Chicago's Oh My God introduces Milwaukee to its latest disc, "The Night Undoes the Work of the Day," at the Cactus Club. In 2007, the band suffered a terrible van crash, but even that hasn't kept the group off the road.
Across town, at Turner Hall, on Friday, Drug Rug plays with Portugal. The Man and Hockey. Complex named Drug Rug's second disc, "Paint the Fence Invisible," its album of the week, describing it as, "Sonny & Cher x Bikini Kill x the Beatles x The Zombies." Meanwhile, Portugal. The Man's latest, "The Satanic Satinist," shot to the top 10 of CMJ within weeks of its release.
Chicago rock outfit Chevelle also had some quick chart success with its latest disc, "Sci-Fi Crimes," which debuted at No. 6 on Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart and in the third spot on the digital albums chart. The band plays Saturday at The Rave at 7 p.m. with Halestorm and After Midnight Project. Also performing in the building that night is Uncle Kracker, starting at 8.
Midwest rocker making good in New York, Darrin James, brings his eponymous band to Bremen Cafe on Saturday. James is on the road supporting his latest disc, "The Lovely Ugly Truth," which is part blues-infused rock, part Elvis Costello-style pop.
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.