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Sorry, no cover of "I Dig a Pony" here, but maybe if you shout it out at the gig...

Mike Benign Compulsion celebrates a new CD of "mostlys"

Mike Benign is a well-known face on the Milwaukee music scene, thanks to his bands Umbrella Man, Arms & Legs & Feet, Blue in the Face and, these days, the Mike Benign Compulsion.

He's also undertaken at least one other collaboration recently, which you can read about here.

But you might not recognize Mike on the cover of The Compulsion's fourth record, "Kid," which is out tomorrow. Well, you will if you knew Benign as a, well, kid.

The cover of the record is a salute to the Beatles' "Let it Be" sleeve and the images of the band members – bassist Paul Biemann, guitarist Joe Vent and drummer Mike Koch – are all '70s school photos.

Inside, the music is as incisive and melodic as ever, full of the kind of guitar-fueled pop that you'd expect from fans of Elvis Costello and The Attractions and Squeeze.

The record, Benign has noted, is "an album of mostlys:"

  • Mostly a collection of character sketches, with a few songs of desperation and self-loathing – including the title track – thrown in to keep everyone honest
  • Mostly recorded and mixed by Shane Hochstetler at Howl Street Studios, but for the four tracks mixed by Danny Shaffer
  • Mostly featuring the bass playing of Paul Biemann, the band's newest member, except for "What You Do To Me," which features former Compulsion bassist Brian Wooldridge
  • Damian Strigens' album art, which mostly parodies an album cover from a rather legendary band (though not the one depicted on track 6 of 'Kid')"

In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that I have been in bands with roughly half the musicians named in this article and have likely played on the same bill as most, if not all, of the others.

But don't let that dissuade you from attending the CD release party Friday, May 19 at 8 p.m. at Red Dot in Tosa. The reunited Ball Turret Gunners open the show and cover is a mere, paltry $5.

More here.


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