Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Cranberries come to The Pabst Theater

Famous for her near-yodel type singing, Dolores O'Riordan was the voice of The Cranberries. They took a seven year hiatus, and now they are back. They perform in Milwaukee on November 27th. Pabst Theater tickets are on sale next week.

O'Riordan did some solo work in the past few years. This show will feature both Cranberries songs and Dolores' material. What people will most want to hear is Linger, and Zombie.

The Cranberries' singer reminds me of a Milwaukee Rock band that has been around for the past ten years, Binky Tunny. When Binky started singing in her late teens, she had a Cranberries shade to her voice. That was short lived, and thankfully Binky Tunny found her own voice. Binky Tunny played an acoustic show at Conways a few weeks ago. It was surprising to see how many fans packed the place, just to see a stripped down version of the band. They are about to release their next disk, titled The Black Sheep Chronicles.

Friday, September 18, 2009

AC DC Coming to the Bradley Center in Milwaukee

On October 14th, The Bradley Center will be shaking to the thunder from down under. AC/DC will bring their current tour to Milwaukee. Bradley Center tickets for that show are bound to sell out. A quick glance at their tour dates reveal that they do sell out the venues they play in. It may take up to the week of the show for the event to sell out, but it will happen.

The Bradley Center is certainly one of the bigger venues on their current tour. I just popped over to the Ticketmaster site, and they only have upper rows in the back of the venue available. There will be a huge walkway on the main floor for this show. The center section is basically gone for this one.

The guys in AC/DC have the craziest accents. When you combine the Aussie, and Scottish background, it's amazing what you come up with. Add a few decades of drinking and you have a slurring mass of a dialect.

My wife likes AC/DC. When she heard about the show coming to the Bradley Center, it didn't interest her in the least. She claims that it will make her sad to see all the aged rockers in the seats. It's a reminder that she is not getting any younger. We're not old, but we are not 21 anymore. What was more amusing was the Amazon package that came to the front door this week. It had three of the classic AC/DC disks inside. She bought them, instead of spending the dough to go to the show.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Secure in My Basement A Drummer Learns All Over Again

Wanted: Rehearsal space. Must be secure, cheap, and warm in winter. This ad is fictitious, but a common site if you are a working musician looking over the want ads. A solid practice space is something to hold on to at all costs.

There are building owners across Milwaukee who take a risk and build out spaces for musicians. The buildings are generally in so-so shape. They are sometimes in a transition period, going from bad to good, or vice versa. That's when you can catch a property owner willing to accommodate the artists.

My least favorite space was an old sausage factory on the banks of the Milwaukee river, at Humboldt street. It was unheated, and there were no bathrooms. It was dank, dark and scary. Our space was big enough for two drum kits, but only one band. I paid $50 per month in order to play my drums alone, when the band that shared the space wasn't rehearsing. In the months that I was in that space, I never saw the other band. I had lots of alone time. The building is long gone.

I spent a couple of years rehearsing in Cudahy. We rented a space in a home that was once filled with cats. Imagine the smell. My bass drum still stinks, 12 years and lots of scrubbing later. It was the perfect place to play, aside from the cat piss smell. To the west of the building, there was a parking lot. To the south, a vacant lot, and to the north a busy street. Nobody ever complained, and we had eight musicians blasting away.
Nothing compares to playing in your own home. If you have a flash of creativity, you can run downstairs and bang away on the drums. If you get the chance to host the band for rehearsals, you don't have to do the hauling.

I just acquired a full-volume practice space that is ten minutes from my home. I get to play my drums as loud as I like, and as hard as I want to, for the first time in years. In the past, I had to use Hot Rods, and only got the time to work the set. I had no opportunity to be creative, because we practiced in places that couldn't handle full volume rehearsals. Now, it's just me and my drums. It's been a long, long time baby, and I'm back.