Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Boy Dirt Car Turns 30 at Club Garibaldi

Boy Dirt Car
Boy Dirt Car is coming up on 30. 30 years of industrial sounds coming out of Milwaukee, created by Eric Lunde, Darren Brown, Dan Kubinski and Keith Brammer. Currently, the band includes other members of Milwaukee's music scene, but that's no surprise. The band is like a magnet to those who appreciate the freedom to make noise and experiment musically.

Their anniversary show is tomorrow night at Club Garibaldi's. Opening for the band is Peter J. Woods, The Demix, and Zerobeat. The show starts at 9pm. If you want to get a taste of Boy Dirt Car, they are scheduled to play live at 11am on WMSE the same days as their show, May 26th.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

And Now A Word From Tom Petty About Paying Your Dues

Tom Petty

I liked what Tom Petty had to say about those somewhat famous American Idol winners. He worries that those instantly famous singers may have missed out on something that could actually help them down the road. I'm talking about the dues, he called it "the training." Specifically, he thinks that the long, hard road to success will make one better prepared for the good things, and the bad. That's the road he took, so I guess I can understand where Petty is coming from. Still, there are always going to be artists that take a rocket ride to the top, fully prepared to do the hard work, but as lucky as a lottery winner. In the case of American Idol winners, we will all see what turns out for each and every one of them.

American Idol Contestants Worthy of Moving On

I live next to a woman who joined her high school choir, tried out for all the plays, hired a vocal coach, and decided to skip college for music school. By the time she signed up for an American Idol tryout, she had been singing for almost seven years, and had a degree in music. She had been in one band in those seven years. That band worked the East Coast for two years, playing in bars and clubs. She certainly had a top notch and trained voice. She made it all the way to the local finals, but was told that "we already have a soul singer for this season." Sadly, she didn't make it to Hollywood. Is this the kind of person that Tom Petty is worried about?

I think that he's talking about those odd Sanjaya types, who quit high school to "focus on a singing career." Where will that kid be when he's in his 50's, with no diploma, no training, etc. I have worked with musicians that have dropped out of high school. All they have is their music. Life can be very frightening for them. They go from odd job to odd job, and from band to band. They quite their jobs to tour, and start all over when they get home. They try to keep all the plates spinning. If they do make it big, they might have stronger appreciation for what they have earned, but who is to say? Tom Petty made it to the top in one of many ways. There will always be artists that don't pay their dues.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Cleaning Vinyl Records | Album Cleaning Methods

Cleaning vinyl records

How to clean a vinyl record was the title of the video. My interest was piqued because this person was about to use a very unconventional method. Before I get into that, I thought I would do some research into how to truly clean an old or dirty record. Mind you, I’m doing this post while playing an old Eagles album that was thoroughly abused by me back when I was a kid.

Record Cleaning Machines

Is using a record cleaning machine the best route to take? I say yes, if you have hundreds of albums that need a serious cleaning. Machines that clean records cost about $200, so you have to have one serious music library, or some urgent need to get your disks back to pristine condition if you spend this kind of cash. Basically, these machines go through a multi step process of vacuuming, washing, brushing clean, and finally drying of the album. Your job is to clean out the brushes after every run through. That’s the best way to keep things in working order, and doing the best possible job. There is a product out there that costs one third of the price, and does a pretty good job of cleaning vinyl. It’s basically a reservoir that holds cleaning solution, and brushes that work the groves of the album.

Cleaning Albums By Hand

I recommend using a cleaning solution made for albums. Most products come with a brush. Be sure to place the album on a non-scratch surface like a "shammy" cloth. The key to doing a good job when cleaning by hand is to give the album a double run through. The first time you use the brush and solution, you will most likely see dirt. Clean the brush, and run through the steps again. I suggest that if you still see dirt on the second run, do it one more time. Be sure to apply the solution to the brush, not the record.

Unconventional Way to Clean a Record

I watched in horror as the guy cleaning his record applied a layer of wood glue to the album. He spread it out in an even layer, with a piece of painters tape applied to the end. The tape would be used later to pull the dried glue off the disk. Yes, this guy covered the album evenly, waited 12 hours for the glue to dry, and then carefully peeled the glue off. He claimed that the glue method pulls dirt away from the album. He recommended using a cleaning solution to spot check for any residual glue. I say stick with the conventional album cleaning products.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Songs About Milwaukee

Would there be songs about Milwaukee if we didn't brew beer? I think so. Aside from Jewel's Milwaukee song, which ones are truly known far and wide? If you are from this town, you may remember the channel 12 song called Hello Milwaukee. If you can't get it out of your head, you are not alone. I played this video a while back, and the tune stuck like glue. You should thank Frank Gari for that one. Gari wrote that little number, and some of the most famous news show themes that you have ever heard.

The more famous song is really not about our city, but our beer. Jerry Lee Lewis did one of the better versions of this tune. Glenn Sutton wrote the song while working at Columbia Records. It was created in just one night, but helped to get Jerry Lee Lewis onto the country music charts. I think that the key to writing a song about Milwaukee, is to avoid using that word as the rhyming word. After all, what rhymes with Milwaukee?