The on-again off-again Semi-Twang is on-again and playing at Shank Hall on Friday, Nov. 26 at 8 p.m.
Opening the show is The Delta Routine, a band that includes Nick Amadeus, son of Twang's extraordinary stickman Bob Schneider.
Cover is $10 and the band promises new material from the band's long-awaited -- and I mean LONG-awaited -- second record. It's a follow-up to 1988's "Salty Tears."
If you want to get into the spirit early, visit Twang mastermind John Sieger's song-a-day blog, "Tune Du Jour."
Yup, the diligent Sieger is dishing up a song a day on his new blog. That's a tall order.
"I've heard of other people doing it and kind of resisted," Sieger tells me, "because it seemed like it would be copying someone else's idea.
"But I'm sitting on so many dang songs, I can't get 'em out any other way."
You might think the pressure of cooking up a tune a day might get to be too much, but not so says Sieger.
"I am going into the archive," he admits, "but I wrote one a day last month and was feeling omnipotent, song-wise. I locked myself in the powder room every morning with no ecape till I had a new song! Works like a charm."
Sieger's explanations of the songs are nearly as entertaining as the music itself. Here's his blurb for today's song, "A Twenty-Two or a Forty-Five," a swampy little solo acoustic folk number that conjures early Dylan.
"This song is a day old," says Sieger in the blog. "It's a demo, just me and my guitar gently weeping. It is nowhere near a finished or polished performance, but I like the feel. Never fired a gun myself, in fact I've done things to raise money for handgun control in the past. I'm no fan the NRA, the people who brought you John Lennon's death, not to mention countless thousands of others. And yet, when you put a gun in a song, it sort of adds narrative heft. Gangsta Folk.
"This guy lives in a tough little factory town and walks around under a cloud of resentment. Maybe he'll go postal -- you can sort of tell he doesn't like his boss. Maybe he'll move to the country and join the Tea Party. He makes a good song character. I'm going to work on my finger picking and get a definitive version to post at a later date."
"It's really fun to just write a little something about a song every day," says Sieger, who has a little studio in his home, where he records the songs.
It's fun for us, too.
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.