Friday, August 28, 2015

Follow the recording this weekend on Twitter and Instagram!

Let's not bury the lede: we now have our Twitter and Instagram accounts set up, just in time for this weekend. Find us and follow us--both have the name @UnintimidatedSW! And what's this weekend? Well, it's pretty busy for us:

This weekend the bands of UNINTIMIDATED will arrive in two-hour increments at Howl Street Recordings and bash out the protest music they have been working on for the last few months. This whole thing started as a Facebook post, of all things, in which i (DJ) was lamenting the fact that so many people express their "activist" side by simply sharing an outraging Scott Walker article, huffing and puffing about it, and calling it a day. Recognizing that as armchair activism, i was resolved to do SOMETHING more outwardly active, but when you work 45 hours a week and live paycheck to paycheck, you don't have a lot of time to give. This is an issue we ALL face, of course, so it boils down to: what's your niche? What can you do to make a difference? Well, my friends and i are musicians, so let's make music.

We don't expect these songs to change the course in Wisconsin--at least not by themselves. Heck, we're noisy punk rock bands by and large, so there's not even a wide audience for our music on an everyday basis. But here's the thing--real change doesn't happen on a large scale without multiple tiny, little changes happening at once. So here we are, making our tiny, little change. Maybe we'll raise a few bucks for Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin. Maybe we'll pay for some meals for the needy. Hopefully, these songs will inspire others to make little changes in their lives, even if that little change is to be more vocal about how upset we are at the direction of our state. If everyone does their small, little part, maybe that could snowball into something. Wouldn't that be nice?

We'll be updating regularly via Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and here, so follow along!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Meet the Bands: IFIHADAHIFI

This project would obviously not be possible without the amazing punk and indie bands contributing. So let's meet the bands of UNINTIMIDATED: Wisconsin Musicians Against Scott Walker, one by one.

Eh, these guys are ok. Whatever.

Well, hell--what can i say about my own band? We've been doing our thing since 2000, which was when Bill Clinton was still in office. Three presidential administrations, you guys! We're very loud and we're very noisy. I guess i'll let my friend Chris from the Chicago band Burn Permits and the Seattle band Police Teeth handle this one:

Like an unholy Midwestern man-wich of Cheap Trick and Brainiac, ifihadahifi has been breaking teeth and taking names for well over a decade, with seemingly no plans to grow up and head off to the glue factory. And god bless them for sticking around, as their mix of synth bleeps, guitar noise, and fist in the air anthemic choruses has only been getting better and better with each release.

Yeah, i'll accept that.

IfIHadAHiFi recorded our own little sharp poke in Walker's ear (actually, i doubt he's ever even heard it) when we recorded "Imperial Walker" in 2011 at the previous Howl Street Recordings locale, raising over $500 for Russ Feingold's Progressives United PAC. A tiny drop in the bucket, but a donation all the same. It's also a pretty accurate distillation of what we do--extremely noisy indie rock with hooks buried way below the chaos. So check it out below, and if you're into it, check out some of our other releases. There ya go!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Order a shirt, help us help Planned Parenthood & feed the needy.

As you may be aware, we've been doing a pre-order of t-shirts that we'll be ordering early next week, and will do the same on a monthly basis, printing them to order, in order to build up a little nest egg to get the UNINTIMIDATED CDs and DVDs (that we're recording and filming THIS WEEKEND!) pressed. We've had a few sales so far--thank you to the early adopters! To the rest of you, just remember that they're gonna look pretty damn sweet:

I mean, come on, you guys. Need some more motivation? We, of course, have had a couple people questioning what we're doing with any money that comes in past the costs for this project. A valid query! We've been discussing the best places to donate, and we have so far narrowed on the following. Any money earned by this project over its cost is going to:

1) Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin. It's kind of a no-brainer. We are obviously furious at Scott Walker and the Wisconsin GOP's aping of the national smear campaign that's been afoot as well as the attempts to defund PP, all on the basis of some BS videos that were edited together to make everyone think that Planned Parenthood is selling dead baby parts. WTF, you guys.

Planned Parenthood obviously does loads of amazing stuff to promote women's health: breast and cervical cancer screenings! Pap and HPV tests! Birth Control! And yes, dear god, should the need arise, they also provide abortion services. GASP OH THE HORROR. Of course, that's where the persecution and efforts to defund Planned Parenthood on a national scale come in. Unfortunately, Planned Parenthood's funding in Wisconsin has already been slashed by Scott Walker, having started with the infamous 2011 budget that cut off 12,000 women who do not have health insurance from getting preventive health care.

That's more than wrong--that's straight-up evil. So yeah, we're gonna do Planned Parenthood in Wisconsin a solid and raise 'em some cash, hopefully. We have very modest goals in mind for this project, but you never know--we could make a difference if we get enough people behind us!

We're also going to raise money for:

2) Local soup kitchens in the Milwaukee area. We have a specific one in mind, but because they must stay non-partisan (for good, understandable reasons), we won't mention their name unless they give us permission. That said, we very much want any extra money that comes in from this project to go to immediate use for those impacted the most severely by Scott Walker's politics. That's low-income women who need critical medical care. That's low-income everyone who need to eat but are having trouble affording food or shelter. 

That's also public schools across Wisconsin, obviously, and if we figure out where we want to donate money toward that cause, we'll let you know! But for now, Planned Parenthood and efforts to feed Milwaukee's needy are where it's at. We'll do our best to make all of this as transparent as possible.

Speaking of which -- we'll be sending the first order of t-shirts to Hype Screen Print at the beginning of September, and will be shipping them as soon as we get 'em back from Scott. You can order them at our Bandcamp site, which is where the DVD/CD set will be ordered from as well, when we're ready to set that up! But first, we have to do the recording and filming, which--holy crap--is this weekend!

We're psyched.

NOTE: Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin is in no way affiliated with UNINTIMIDATED: Wisconsin Musicians Against Scott Walker. We are merely raising money and donating for them. We have not been in contact with Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin at all, so hopefully they don't mind us raising some cash for 'em.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Meet the Bands: LADY CANNON

This project would obviously not be possible without the amazing punk and indie bands contributing. So let's meet the bands of UNINTIMIDATED: Wisconsin Musicians Against Scott Walker, one by one.

Man, these bands have all been full of burly dudes so far. Howsabout we mix things up a bit? Good thing we have a bunch of awesome ladies contributing to this project as well--notably for this post, Martha Cannon, AKA Lady Cannon!

Lady Cannon tags her music as "Americana" and "folk" on her Bandcamp page, and classifies her tunes as "Midwest Softcore," but a listen through her Whiskey Dear EP reveals layers far more complex than those easily-pigeonholed genre tags. Sure, there's plenty of acoustic guitar and lap steel, but the spacey, airy production and occasionally noisy guitar effects bring to mind the not-quite-shoegazey vibes of Mazzy Star playing jazz standards in a foggy dive bar somewhere just off the warehouse district of whatever town you happen to find yourself in. It's sultry, smokey, and kind of magical.

"My Evil Girlfriend Bought One Ticket Instead Of Two" (c'mon, awesome title) could very well distill the essence of Cannon's songwriting into just under five minutes of haunting, kinda sad, kinda smirking piss-takes at those who would underestimate her. "I'm sorry about my wicked side/I know you don't like when i stay out late/I know you're thinking 'where have you been dressed like that on a Tuesday night?'" I somehow get the feeling she's not sorry, though. Call me crazy.

"But guyyyyys!" You say. "I thought this was a punk comp you were putting together!" Punk is what you make it, ya goofs.

What's Lady Cannon going to bring to UNINTIMIDATED? We haven't the slightest, but we'd be willing to guess it'll deliver a lot of fire under all that smokey exterior. Meanwhile, click the embed below if you're into having spells cast on ya.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Here's Some More Galoot County For Ya

Jeff Moody is the vocalist for UNINTIMIDATED band FowlMouth, but he's also an accomplished cartoonist, having spent years writing comic strip record reviews under the Stripwax banner. He's picked up his pen once again to bring us Galoot County, the finest in Wisconsinite Republican satire. Here are two new ones.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

We've Got T-Shirts. Or, More Accurately, We WILL Have T-Shirts.

So, you've been saying to yourself, "self," you says, "i'm really into this whole UNINTIMIDATED project, and i'd really love to help them get this thing produced, but how? I am but one person! Oh, if i could only help them in some way!"

Hey, want a shirt?

OK, don't worry, all you "but i want to be able to wear it at work!" worrywarts -- we've got you covered too:

Today, we're launching the BandCamp site for the UNINTIMIDATED project: This is where the DVD/CD/zine and download will be sold online, but for now, we're hoping to raise some funds for the pressing by moving these sweet shirts. 

Because we're trying to keep costs manageable, we're running this like a pre-sale. We'll take orders through the end of every month, then that month send them to our printer to run them off and send them to us. So please be patient with regard to shipping time! Hopefully if these take off we'll be able to stock some eventually, but for now, we'll be printing them to order in monthly batches. Expect them to ship around the mid-month after you order. 

And who's doing the printing, you ask? Our man Scott at Hype Screen Print in Detroit, MI! They'll be printed on sweatshop-free Tultex shirts and will be available in unisex and women's sizes, white ink on black shirts. All proceeds from the shirts will go toward the pressing of the UNINTIMIDATED DVD/CD/zine, and everything this project raises above costs will go to charity. 

Shirts are $15 plus shipping. Don't have $15 but want to toss us a few bucks to help out anyway? Go to and get yourself a download of IfIHadAHiFi's 2011 anti-Walker anthem, "Imperial Walker!" A $1 minimum donation will net you a copy of that jam, but you can set the purchase to toss us however much you want. (And you'll get the download right away. Instant gratification!)

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


This project would obviously not be possible without the amazing punk and indie bands contributing. So let's meet the bands of UNINTIMIDATED: Wisconsin Musicians Against Scott Walker, one by one.

Oh hai! Been a few days since we posted last. It's been a crazy few days, but let's get back into it. So far, we've had lots of super-loud, aggro sludge and noise-rock bands. Howsabout we diversify with something over on the indie-pop side of things? Behold thee mighty Midwest Death Rattle!

The shimmering pop tunes of the Death Rattle are finely crafted nuggets built first and foremost on solid songcraft and canny arrangements that wouldn't be possible if not for the truly impressive musicianship on display on each of the nine tracks that comprise their debut self-titled release. Each member of this band has a Jedi-like mastery over their instrument, each playing their role in a sound flavored by sprinkles of Modest Mouse, some Flaming Lips psych tinges, a humble dash of lounge act vermouth, and hooks, hooks, hooks.

Have i mentioned how fun this band is to watch live? I mean, you can channel Freddy Mercury crooning over Bootsy Collins and Gene Krupa all night long, but if there's no showmanship, no energy, no fun, who the hell cares? Not saying Midwest Death Rattle are going to be hosting any gear bro clinics anytime soon, but these guys throw off so many good vibes while showing off their chops on stage, it's hard not to get swept up in the sunshine. For a band with the word "death" in their name, they sure are one of the liveliest batches of shredders you'll run into. Every Death Rattle show is a guaranteed smile-fest, whether you're grooving to the songwriting or just basking in the vibe.

Not that they're hippies or anything. They'll straight-up rock your ass off. Don't believe me? Their shit is embedded below. Crank it yourself and dig the fact that we've got some popsters classing up the joint with some party jams up here in UNINTIMIDATED land. Bet you didn't think hating on Scott Walker could sound like a house party.

Also, they're apparently avid bowlers, judging from that photo. What's more Wisconsin than that?

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Meet the Bands: SOUP MOAT

This project would obviously not be possible without the amazing punk and indie bands contributing. So let's meet the bands of UNINTIMIDATED: Wisconsin Musicians Against Scott Walker, one by one.

There's a certain brand of musician in the Riverwest community of Milwaukee that plays a certain kind of music--a slopdish of mashed influences tossed into a casserole of thrash, grunge, punk, free jazz, and what the hell, let's throw in an 80s movie soundtrack chorus here and there, why not? They're not the first band from this crazy arty corner of town to take such a spastic approach--Strange Matter, you are missed!--but it's hard to think of one that's done it better than the mischievously schizophrenic Soup Moat.

Initially the brainchild of drummer Scott Emmerich and bassist Frank Knaebe, Soup Moat in recent years has expanded to include guitarists Jason Jolly and Nathan Riddle, who have ably filled out the wacky sludge madness, adding equal parts Melvins and Ween (well, ok, more Melvins, but). The Enjoy Your Hobbies 7" features Soup Moat in three-piece mode, blowing through six tracks in roughly seven minutes. That's one minute per inch!

Yup, the song Soup Moat contributes to UNINTIMIDATED will likely be one of the shortest of the project, but it'll also likely be one of the most insane, and that's why we're stoked to have 'em. Because sometimes when the people running your home state are thoroughly violating its every tradition, nook, cranny, orifice, what have you, sometimes an insane outburst of redlined frustration is just the scrubbing your brain needs. Soup Moat are the steel wool scouring pad for your soul, and Enjoy Your Hobbies is the bleach. Blast it at full volume.

No, We Didn't Watch the Debate Tonight.

I had band practice, and come on, i'm not gonna miss band practice to watch a bunch of angry wannabe silverbacks talk about hating women and minorities for ninety minutes.

My friend Lindsey found this, though:


Interview on BustED Pencils is live!

We spoke to Tim Slekar and his co-host for the evening at BustED Pencils about UNINTIMIDATED, the political nature of punk music, and what aggravates us the most about Walker's attacks on public education in Wisconsin. Dig it right here:

Milwaukee Punks are Unintimidated By Scott Walker

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Podcast Interview on BustED Pencils Coming Up!

We're going to be appearing on an episode of BustED Pencils shortly--we're doing the interview tomorrow at 10 PM, and we believe that it's going to be airing live at that time. If not, you'll be able to hear it shortly after at

The BestED Pencils hosts are Dr. Timothy Slekar, the Dean of the School of Education at Edgewood College in Madison, WI, and WJJO on-air talent Randy Hawke. They talk about a variety of education advocacy topics, very often with a political bent. Needless to say, they're not stoked about the gutting of public education in Wisconsin. They're also super into punk rock, so it should be a really fun conversation. We're looking forward to it!

Of course, on Thursday the Fox News carnival features the GOP Presidential Clown Car vomiting its contents all over your television, as the first GOP debate airs 8 PM CDT. A few videos have circulated explaining the top 10 candidates who will be participating; this one is the most accurate in our estimation:


It's sure to be an enlightening 90 minutes!

Sunday, August 2, 2015


This project would obviously not be possible without the amazing punk and indie bands contributing. So let's meet the bands of UNINTIMIDATED: Wisconsin Musicians Against Scott Walker, one by one.

We assure everyone that the presence of burly bearded dudes on our first two bands is a mere coincidence of reverse alphabetizing. In any event, it would have felt weird doing this project without Tyranny is Tyranny, a band named after a chapter in A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn, and whose terrific new album, The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, sports a title inspired by a book by political activist, author and filmmaker Naomi Klein. Guitarist/vocalist Russell Emerson Hall is in the midst of a long career of using music as political speech; his previous ensemble, The United Sons of Toil, performed on the Wisconsin capitol steps in Madison during the 2011 Act 10 protests.

Tyranny pulls much of their musical influence from the similar noise-rock veins mined by Volunteer, though Volunteer's immediate punch-the-face approach is replaced here with a more deliberate slow burn of riffs, builds, and dynamic shifts (the better to let bassist M. Guy Ficcioto's trumpet exhale over the occasional lulls in the tempest). Indeed, Tyranny is Tyranny's shows of late have almost felt structured like movements in a noise-rock symphony, one seven-minute epic leading into the next like interlocking pieces to a larger, more grandiose work. And these men have ideas and ideals that match the sweeping scale of their music. The 14-minute "Victory Will Defeat You" is a thesis for the band's entire reason for being, extolling the listener to stand and face the fire:
Peace has cost you your strength. 
Victory has defeated you. 
Unity weaned on rhetoric, 
Enforced by arms.  

A band of action, for sure, and one we are privileged to have appearing in our project. You can find all their releases at, released by Phratry Records of Cincinnati, Ohio. Get into it.