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Uncle Larry rocks out at the Summerfest Refugee Stage last Thursday afternoon.

Discovering Uncle Larry

A funny little thing happened last Thursday, as the editorial staff of OnMilwaukee.com fanned out around the Summerfest grounds for a live blog of opening day: we all fell in love with a Milwaukee band called Uncle Larry.

It's funny how it happened, actually. I was wandering around the grounds, and toward the end of our blog, I took a seat at the Refugee Stage to see what these guys, wearing headbands, short shorts and jacked-up tube socks, were up to. Not only did I not leave, the rest of the staff joined me for this high-energy show.

Musically, Uncle Larry describes itself on its OnMilwaukee.com band page as "in your face aggressive pop that's like a laser beam into your brain and a stage show that just keeps on giving."

On its MySpace page, it says it's a "rollicking roller coaster of rip-roaring rambunctiousness! Festooned and costumed, these guys are action-figures come to life, Get ready to have your head blown off by a sight-and-sound extravaganza you have to see to believe!"

I'll agree with both descriptions. I'll also agree with their influences, Nirvana, Weezer, The Rentals, The Vasalines, Silverchair, Sonic Youth and The Pixies. They're raw, unpretentious, silly and perfect summertime jamming music.

Anyway, I'm glad we could give Uncle Larry a little publicity last week, and I was especially happy that frontman Billy Judge Baldus e-mailed me to thank us for the "ink" and to offer to drop off a CD, which we gladly accepted.

I'm listening to the "The Life & Times of Frederick Caesar" as I write this, and I think Uncle Larry is even better in the studio than they are live (though their show was pretty fun, stage dive and all).

And Baldus is a really nice guy, too. Molly Edler is planning on a doing a real interview with him before they play in RW24, a 24-hour bike race in Riverwest on July 24, but we're all thinking we need to hire Uncle Larry to be the official OnMilwaukee.com house band. It could work, too, if our office wasn't above a bank.

It's always fun to discover new local music, especially in the serendipitous way like we found Uncle Larry at Summerfest. That show already earned them another Summerfest gig, Baldus told us. Who knows? Maybe we'll see Uncle Larry headlining the Marcus Amphitheater next year.


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