Monday, October 12, 2015

Oh Dear God, Milwaukee's Getting a GOP Debate

Oh, son of a bitch:
The Milwaukee Theatre will be the site of a Republican presidential primary debate on the evening of Tuesday, November 10th.
FOX Business Network (FBN) will partner with the Wall Street Journal to host the debate.
The debate will focus on jobs, taxes, and the general health of the economy, as well as domestic and international policy issues.
I'm half-tempted to wander downtown that day just to witness the shitshow out on the streets. Trump, Carson, Bush, Fiorina and like 25 other candidates all descending on the Milwaukee Theatre? Fuck me. What's the over/under on one of them touring the Miller Brewery to show their concern for working class Wisconsin industry? (You know it'd be Miller and not Lakefront; these guys wouldn't be caught dead at a small business if their carcasses were drop lifted in by the Trumpicopter to make them look "small time.") What will keep the security detail busier: keeping us commonfolk away from the candidates, or keeping Scott Walker out of the building? ("GOD DAMMIT, NO ONE TOLD ME I WAS GONNA HAVE HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE FOR ONE OF THESE! I NEVER WOULD HAVE DROPPED OUT!")

The big question is: will Waukesha County have the nerve to brave the scary Milwaukee downtown in order to come see their heroes? After all, they may run into brown people outside the Theatre. Heaven forbid!

Meet the Bands: DRILLERS

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.

You probably haven't heard of Drillers, and there's a reason for that, other than the fact that they're an obscure Wisconsin punk band like all the obscure Wisconsin punk bands on our little compilation. Drillers are a collection of friends from Milwaukee, Madison, and Western Michigan who until recently recorded and performed as part of a collective of musicians called The Book-Burners. After that group called it quits, a few of them decided they wanted to keep recording and playing together, so they did. It's as simple as that, really.

Visiting The Book-Burners' Bandcamp site is to be deluged by recording after recording, which was the Burners' M.O: write songs, record them in the home studio, throw 'em up, repeat. Immediacy was the objective; of the five Book-Burners, whoever was available generally ended up on the recording (they lived in five separate cities, after all). Waiting for everyone to be in the same room wasn't generally in the cards; the song needed to be shared, and shared it was, timelines be damned. The result was a sweeping discography of raw, low-fi nuggets of musical pearl formed from grit covered in just a bit of smooth. A rare physical document surfaced in 2013 with the release of People's Songs, a vinyl release on Milwaukee's Latest Flame Records. The album was produced in the same manner as all of their recordings: in their own studio on their own terms. Economical, bare-bones, and absolutely urgent.

That sense of working-class urgency has carried on into the first recording from Drillers, "Starving," recorded during the UNINTIMIDATED sessions on the last weekend of August. The challenge of setting up in a recording studio and churning out a completed tune in two hours was tailor-made for these guys, and they more than rose to the task. "Starving" is a thinly not-at-all-veiled threat directed at a certain executive in Madison regarding what may happen to him if the Wisconsin middle class continues its downward spiral toward irrelevance. Let's put it this way--when the "Starving" singer/drummer Bradley explained to us what they had planned, he asked us, "is cannibalism too taboo a subject to tackle on this record?"

Provocation? God forbid we have some of that on our punk compilation. You may not know who Drillers are right now, but get this comp in the right hands when it becomes a real, physical thing, and who knows how well-known they'll become? If they don't catch on with musical audiences in Wisconsin, they should at least get on the radar of Scott Walker's security detail.