By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Apr 23, 2004 at 5:24 AM

{image1}Like most local bands, Stall is finding that the second time is the charm. After getting over the joy of having the chance to record and the rush of having to complete it fast, most bands find the groove on number two.

For Stall, which has been active on the club scene since 1996, disc number two, "Very Donna," which is released April 24, is the first time the band has really gotten a chance to show what it can do in the studio.

"When we recorded the first CD ("100 Years of Caring") we were just getting to know how each other

played, what type of sound we were lookin for," says guitarist and singer Andy Potocic. "The first CD was very pop oriented, musically and lyrically. "Very Donna" is a bit darker, yet still has the melodic sound that we want to keep. I think it is a bit harder."

Luckily, the band's quirky, well-crafted songwriting remains intact, even if the recordings are that much more polished. Think of Semisonic with more of an edge. Or The Replacement on their least ramshackle day.

In fact, says Potocic, the process allowed Stall, which also includes Kelp Chofs on bass and vocals, drummer John Wythes and the newly-enlisted Vince Clore -- formerly of Jimmy and the Saints -- on guitar, to get things right.

"Chairman of The Bored" was produced by Kirk McFarlin and "See Gray" and "Two Tone" were produced by Gary Tanin. Both are exceptional producers," Potocic says. "The vibe was laid back because we had no money concerns or

time restraints. We were able to pick apart the songs one by one."

{image2}After a year in the studio recording "Very Donna," the band is eager to get back out on the road and perform for new crowds.

"We try to get out of town as much as possible," Potocic says, "mainly (in) the Midwest. The response is usually very positive so we must be doing something right."

Indeed, Stall has gained airplay on a number of stations across the country, including on the influential KROQ in L.A. They've showcased twice at the invitation of the National Association of Campus Activities, which usually leads to coveted college gigs, and the band's music has been featured on MTV's"Undressed" series.

Never afraid of a little work, Stall isn't taking any time off, Potocic says.

"We already started the demos for the next CD," says Potocic. "We have about 31 songs ready to go. And we'll do a lot of touring."

But, Potocic says, Milwaukee's music scene is in a good place right now and Stall is happy to be a part of it.

"There are more types of music out there and plenty of great bands to see: The Lackloves, Way to Fall, Moonshine Sway, Heathrow, The Response. Just to name a few. But there are also a lot of bands thatpeople aren't aware that they are playing around town. I think people should check out more live music and I think they will be pleasantly surprised."

You can check out Stall when they celebrate the release of "Very Donna," Saturday, April 24 at 10 p.m., at BBC, 2022 E. North Ave., with Chicago's The Handcuffs.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

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.