For the past 12 years, The Vans Warped Tour has torn through the States, and even parts of Canada, each in what feels like an interactive manifestation of a two-month-long skate video.
Its the largest showcase of punk, ska, emo, indie, metal and hip hop (yes, there have been a few) bands ever, and this year, Milwaukees own Snapdragon Records is making sure Brew City bands get an extra large, extra sugary piece of the punk rock pie.
We have done the Milwaukee date on the tour several times, but weve never been invited to do more that that, says Snapdragon founder Kristan Harris. This year is our first year that we will get a chance to branch out to other areas. We are doing 32 dates as a label and three of our artists are playing select dates.
Pop punk bands Eighty-D and I Voted For Kodos are both playing on June 17 in Milwaukee and June 18 in Minneapolis. I Voted For Kodos is also slated for July 30 in Chicago, as is hardcore outfit Until I Bleed Dry. Until I Bleed Dry continues on to represent Snapdragon on August 6 in Old Bridge, NJ.
We are starting to grow and we are really excited. The fans and bands are happy to have a label represent Milwaukee this year, says Harris.
Harris launched Snapdragon Records in 2002 as a means of helping bands - his own included - get a little rock recognition, and what started then as a one-man, DIY effort has grown into a successful seven-band label. The Red Letter Diaries, a power pop band from Oak Creek, is the latest addition to the Snapdragon Family, officially signing on in February 06.
My goal is to get everyone in Milwaukee involved in music, even if its not us - I just want to help our scene thrive. I really would like to push for getting our music -- and other bands that deserve it -- regular radio play at local stations that are keen on helping the scene. I think that everyone needs to chip in their part, from making WAMI open to any band, to getting local bands to open for national acts on the same stage.
In celebration of its four years in the Milwaukee music scene, Harris is hosting the Snapdragon Records four-year Anniversary Show on Saturday, May 27 at the Miramar Theater. Its an all-ages show (drinking with I.D.) featuring a handful of current Snapdragon bands - I Voted For Kodos, Red Letter Diaries, Flagship Rebels, Until I Bleed Dry -- Snapdragon alumnus, The Response, as well as other Wisconsin bands -- The Big Mcgaffers, Those Royals, Ceteri, Koala Taxi and The Autumn Fire. The show is $6 in advance and $8 at the door.
Snapdragons Web site is snapdragon-records.com.
OnMilwaukee.com staff writer Julie Lawrence grew up in Wauwatosa and has lived her whole life in the Milwaukee area.
As any “word nerd” can attest, you never know when inspiration will strike, so from a very early age Julie has rarely been seen sans pen and little notebook. At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee it seemed only natural that she major in journalism. When OnMilwaukee.com offered her an avenue to combine her writing and the city she knows and loves in late 2004, she knew it was meant to be. Around the office, she answers to a plethora of nicknames, including “Lar,” (short for “Larry,” which is short for “Lawrence”) as well as the mysteriously-sourced “Bill Murray.”