music

Photo courtesy of FREESPACE

Many high school English classes stress reading the classics of the Western Literary Canon: things like Romeo and Juliet, Wuthering Heights, or The Odyssey. But Pulaski High School English teacher Vincent Gaa wanted to give his students some material that they would connect to because it was based on their own interests.

"If you throw some Marx in front of a kid, they're not going to care," says Gaa. "I think the best teaching techniques are leading by example."

Fine Arts Quartet

Every month, Bonnie North chats with cellist Robert Cohen for On That Note. Often the conversations take place on Skype because Robert is in some far-flung place where he is performing, either on his own or as part of a group. This month, Cohen came by the Lake Effect studio to talk face to face, along with violist Juan-Miguel Hernandez, the Fine Arts Quartet's violist.

Alex Marks / Merge Records

When Wye Oak released their break-through record, Civilian, they followed their tour with a separation. Bandmates Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack moved from Baltimore to opposite sides of the country. Wasner now lives in North Carolina and Stack in Marfa, Texas, but the move has not slowed down the band. In fact,  Wye Oak thrives off their limitations.

Bob Good

You may not think you know musician Alex Meixner, but there’s a good chance you’ve seen him perform. If his name doesn’t sound familiar, you might know him from some Hormel Pepperoni commercials. 

Dare to Care Records

There have been a handful of French-Canadian musicians who have successfully made the transition from French-language recording artist to singing in English.  Celine Dion, say.

But when Dion - who was immensely popular as a Francophone musician - made the leap, it came with huge controversy in her native Quebec, where language is often a politically charged issue.  Montreal native Béatrice Martin hopes that in her transition, she gathers many new fans in the United States, while holding onto the loyal listeners she's earned while singing in French.

Herb Alpert, His Trumpet and Other Delights

Jul 16, 2016
Flickr

Please note: This interview originally aired in June, 2013.

It's been said that you can recognize trumpeter Herb Alpert within the first three notes of a song.

The Milwaukee area has a rich musical history whose earliest contributors helped unify emerging immigrant communities using polka and waltz. In the late 20th Century, the sound of Milwaukee music was often characterized using the punk garage band stylings of the Violent Femmes or the heartland rock of the BoDeans. But when you think of the blues, Milwaukee may not be the first city that comes to mind. One local band thinks that's about to change.

Jake Cunningham / Chromatic Publicity

It's been nearly a year since Julien Baker released her debut record Sprained Ankle, and she's already found a devoted and passionate following. In a matter of months, Baker went from a regular opening act to a consistent headliner, playing for audiences of individuals who each have a unique connection to her music.

Photo by Maayan Silver

Musician Jack Spann was previously featured on Lake Effect a few months ago to talk about his work with David Bowie and going solo.  The New York-based musician is practically at home in Milwaukee with his latest album, Time Time Time Time Time, pulled together with the support of local producer Gary Tanin. 

Sing Me a Story

Hundreds of thousands of people are going through the turnstiles along the Lake Michigan shore at Summerfest this week, and many of them will see headliner shows at the Marcus Amphitheatre. But these concert-goers most-likely won't notice an unassuming RV parked near the entrance to the amphitheatre.

Mitch Teich

Brookfield native Nora Collins is not long past her 22nd birthday, and she’s already been a songwriter for eight years. The country and Americana musician had recorded and released four albums while still living in Wisconsin.

But life has changed more recently with a move to Nashville and a deal with a publishing and talent development company there.

AUTOMatic

Milwaukee hip hop artist Darius Windom is one half of the duo, AUTOMatic. The group writes its own songs that pay homage to the golden age of hip hop. 

Robin Laananen

When Jessica Lea Mayfield began writing music at the age of eleven, she never would have guessed that in four short years, Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys would discover her. Her White Lies EP, released when she was fifteen, caught the attention of the indie rock veteran and he helped her develop the roots to an early career in music.

Bonnie North

If your idea of accordion music begins and ends with the tunes featured on the Lawrence Welk show, Guy Klucevsek would like to broaden your horizons. He's a world-class accordionist who has founded bands and even entire record labels around the oft-forgotten reed instrument.

Amanda Marsalis / Jagjaguwar

It's not often we see indie musicians embrace country music in the way Angel Olsen does. The Asheville-based singer-songwriter made her name writing folk and country songs that center on the unique, wavering vibrato of her voice.

Along with collaborations with members of Wilco and Cap'n Jazz, she has recorded and toured with Bonnie "Prince" Billy and the Cairo Gang.

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