THE LISTENING ROOM
Sponsored by East Wisconsin Savings Bank
Avenue Community Relations Director
Maybe it’s the fall weather, or maybe it’s the nostalgia inspired by our new Mile of Music Flashback series…but I find myself wanting to slow down and revisit some favorite music lately. Normally, I’m chasing new music and feeling pulled down more musical directions than I can manage. It’s a great problem…so much music, so little time.
In the last week I’ve spent a good amount of time in my car. Rolling down the highway between decent radio stations, I reached into my console and found the “Less is More” cd by Milwaukee-based Listening Party. I love this album front to back. I love the catchy simplicity of the title track. I can hear how much fun these guys are having in the rollicking rhythms of “Train.” I feel the nostalgia in “Ruthie” and “Disco” – both tunes that honor grandparents of band members. Then there’s “Bones,” “My Old Self” and “Rocky Road,” all songs that are very easy to love on first listen – which for me can also mean they burn out quickly. But these songs just get better and better to my ears. And while I hate choosing favorites, I think I found one on this disc in “Old American” – the vocals are warm and comfy like the right scarf on a cold autumn day.
These guys have become favorites – I can hear them on The Avenue and have seen them a lot live. But in my car, with the opportunity for focused listening, I found an even deeper appreciation for this album. And I found myself pondering the lyrics and before I knew it, it had repeated 3 times and I still wanted more. Check out their music and live schedule here listeningpartymusic.com
Listening Party “Train” https://youtu.be/ANMoRX5IUlM
Listening Party “Bones” https://youtu.be/ZVvONBMHe3g
The Mile of Music Flashback series got me thinking back over my own Mile of Music 6 experience. It’s easy for it all to become a blur, but I kept coming back to a couple of performances that felt almost magical, not only for the music but the dreamy atmosphere created during the performances. One of those performances was by another Milwaukee-based artist, Abby Jeanne. I caught a partial set and was definitely left wanting more. Unfortunately the performance I tried to see at Mile was rained out, but I was inspired to see her live in her hometown. I found her on-stage energy joyful and completely intoxicating. And I can’t sum it up any better than Shepherd Express did, “Milwaukee wailer Abby Jeanne has a robust, jazzy voice that rivals the greats – Ella, Amy, even Janis. Her music plays like a talent reel, shuffling through bluesy torch songs, moody trip-hop experiments and unhinged rockers, the constant thread being Jeanne’s go-for-broke determination and her refusal to let the world wear her down. What an absolute thrill it is hearing a singer this powerful just cut loose, free of any genre restraints.”
She’s headlining a show at Turner Hall in January. Learn more here abbyjeanne.com
Abby Jeanne “Be in the Sun” https://youtu.be/s-HkJx3am9Q
More videos here http://www.abbyjeanne.com/videos-1/
And in this same vein, I almost accidentally saw Pip the Pansy’s performance in The Alley at MoM6, and I’m so thankful I did. Enchanting, magical, trippy, dreamy, a kaleidoscope of colors. And now I’m hooked and so are many others. When she returned to Appleton (from Atlanta) last month, a whole crew of local devotees showed up adorned in Pip-style flower adornments and hair styles. I love floating away to “Royal Blue Daydream” listen here https://youtu.be/jK6WWYDHaBM
What are you listening to? Click here to let me know!