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WLUM-FM 102.1 morning host Jon Adler interviews The National at Lollapalooza in Chicago last year.
WLUM-FM 102.1 morning host Jon Adler interviews The National at Lollapalooza in Chicago last year.

WLUM broadcasts live from Lollapalooza

The WLUM-FM 102.1 staff will get out of the studio this weekend to broadcast live from the Lollapalooza 2014 music festival in Chicago.

The station will have live coverage on the radio and online at Additional Lollaplaooza content will be available on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram from 2 p.m. Friday to the end of the day on Sunday. Coverage on Saturday and Sunday will start around noon each day.

FM 102/1 will be joined on air and online by Cage the Elephant, Foster the People, Fitz & the Tantrums, Broken Bells, Interpol, Grouplove, Young the Giant, Chvrches, Phantogram, and other acts from the music festival.

STATE FAIR: It has been a number of years back when Journal Communications ran a studio from the grounds, and other local TV stations would offer live programs from the fairgrounds in West Allis. I remember watching a broadcast of WISN-TV’s "Howard and Rosemary" back in the late 1970s.

If you are interested in watching live broadcasts, or just live reports from the grounds, many of the Milwaukee area radio and TV stations will be on the grounds during the Wisconsin State Fair, which started today.

Counting Crows performs at The Riverside Theater in Milwaukee on Wednesday, July 23, 2014.
Counting Crows performs at The Riverside Theater in Milwaukee on Wednesday, July 23, 2014. (Photo: Benjamin Wick)

Counting Crows brings full house to its feet

Adam Duritz and his hair ruled the stage.

The Counting Crows lead singer led the close-to-sellout crowd in a nearly 2-hour-set Wednesday night at the Riverside Theater in Downtown Milwaukee.

From "Round Here" on the album "August and Everything After" to "Long December" on "Recovering the Satellites," the band's hits were sung along to with an audience that appreciates the folksy/blues sound of  musical storytellers sharing experiences of life and love.

The lighting display got to be a little too much for the room, but the affects worked well to keep the stage looking engaged and active. Members of the band played multiple instruments that ranged from accordions to organs and ukuleles.

Duritz commands on the stage, as the main storyteller, the band’s leader and orchestra director of the audience itself. His hair was so impressive, it deserved its own place on the bill.

Counting Crows has been releasing a new song every couple weeks before the release of the new album, "Somewhere Under Wonderland." The band played a couple of those new songs, notably "Scarecrow" and "Palisades Park."

If you were a fan expecting to hear everything that made the 1990s cool, this wasn’t the show for you. If you wanted to be entertained by a finely-tuned band performing an interactive show, that’s what you got out of the concert on the historic stage.

Walking on the stage to "Lean on Me" performed by Bill Withers, the band was cast in blue, hitting it hard and early with "Round Here" and a great renditions of "Untitled  (Love Song)," that had the crowd yelling "arms wrapped around my neck" and mumbling the rest of the words as a taxed brain was on the hook to come up with the rest of the lyrics.

Sure, we all knew the chorus to "Omaha," but the rest of the concert had me wishing I’d take the time to be familiar with some of the deeper cuts on the older albums. Maybe that was the point. Remembering Duritz with his arms soaring on into the main space of the theater, more tha…

Anime film "Appleseed Alpha" was released on DVD, digital and Blu-ray today.
Anime film "Appleseed Alpha" was released on DVD, digital and Blu-ray today.

"Appleseed Alpha" sets up animated world in spectacular detail

If about a quarter of the way through you forget you're watching an animated feature, the film did one of two things very well. Either the story pulled you in with well-developed characters in exciting situations, or the animation is just that good.

Both are true of "Appleseed Alpha."

It is as stunning in its animated detail as it is an entertaining story.

"Appleseed Alpha" is the third full-length animated film, following "Appleseed" and "Appleseed Ex Machina." The "Alpha XIII" broadcast series was re-edited into two films as well.

What is different here, in this prequel, is that it tells the story of the main characters -- soldier Deunan and bioroid Briareos, who used to be her boyfriend – in a time after the war ended. All too often stories about soldiers of fortune end when the final battle is won. We never get to see what happens to the winners and losers after the fighting is ended. In "Appleseed Alpha," we realize that both sides never won the battle of World War III.

In the other two films, we find our couple in Olympus, working in the structured military command. In this film, they are mercenaries only living in the moment, doing what they need to survive. By the end of the film they have purpose … they’ve found a reason to keep going, just to see if Olympus even exists.

The detail spent on the lighting, the renditions of the backgrounds, the textiles of clothing and the camera perspectives are breathtaking. There has been decades of technological development in the world of CGI crammed in these last few years. In this animated film, first available on DVD, digital and Blu-ray today, we get to see these animation skills at its best.

I had the opportunity to review the Sony Home Entertainment Blu-ray over the weekend.

As with Japanese anime, the films developed for the western world have a pace or feel that we’ve come to expect out of most of the average movies we like … think of the common summer blockbuster. But the Appleseed world is a story…