Missed the Milwaukee Music Awards Celebration at Mad Planet, We Got You.


Last night at Mad Planet, we had our 2009 Milwaukee Music Awards Celebration, and it  was amazing. Great performances from Codebreaker, Quinn Scharber and The, Fever Marlene, Figureheads and more. Oh you weren’t there.  For whatever reason, you couldn’t be there. Well, we and our friends at Bucketworks got you covered.  Thanks to our friends at Bucketworks, you can watch most of the celebration online. They came down and video stream the celebration live last night.  So if you missed, you can see it for the first time and if you were there, re-live the moment over and over (unless you were really drunk and was acting kind of crazy).


Sound Travels Friday: Covering The Globe

soundtravels_logo13Here we are, at the end of another busy work-week, one of my favorite moments for a few reasons, not theleast of which being Sound Travels. This week, with the theme of cover songs in mind, I gathered one last batch of five for you and came up with some interesting material. If you missed the original airing, here it is again…

Sound Travels : Global Covers Friday


1. L.C.Y.S.O. : “The Sound Of Silence”…I am sure Simon & Garfunkel wouldn’t have thought their original would ever make this kind of sense. As I said on last week, I am a big fan of the steel drums and the symphonic approach of bands that feature the instrument. Caribbean, yet regal and oddly courtly, this song actually sounds alright in this version

2. Usha Uthup : “I Will Survive”…I don’t know that I’ve heard a more different cover than this Indian version of the Diana Ross classic. Although I have long since retired the original, and can no longer stand to hear it, I still like the song…in the hands of Usha who gives it a spin of the exotic.

3. Paris Connection : “Who’s That Lady”…again with the old school versions as we change gears and go reggae with a version of the Isley’s 1973 classic.

4. Susan Cadogan : “Fever”(live)… then to hit you up with a song from a protege of legendary reggae producer Lee Perry, who found this talent working at the library in Kingston, Jamaica. Here she smokes the version popularised by Peggy Smith, adding a slower feel and a hotter, sultrier vibe to the whole affair.

5. Bunny Rugs : “Be Thankful”…and this version of the classic driving song has long been a favorite of mine as I once again prefer this over the original. The reason is the better bass response and the chilled out reggae re-fit makes slow-rolling with…”…diamonds in the back / sunroof top / diggin’ the scene with a gangsta lean” seem like the perfect thing for a summer that, last I checked is anticipated, but still far from these cold days. Daydream on…

And thanks for tuning in to Sound Travels this week, join me next week as we begin March and celebrate Women’s History Month with a week of music from female artists from around the world.

Feel free to inspire me with your travellers’ inclination, hit me up with your ideas here…

2009 Milwaukee Music Award Winners


We just finish the on-air presentation of the Milwaukee Music Awards, and here are the winners. Click here to see the other nominees.  Don’t forget about the Milwaukee Music Awards Celebration at Mad Planet. Bucketworks will be video streaming show live from their site as well (in case you can’t make it).

Earwig Award for catchiest song
Winner: Rusty P’s “Foundation”

Best New Artist
Winner: Kings Go Forth

Best Dance Track
Winner: Codebreaker “Fire”

Power Pop Tart Award for power pop song of the year
Winner: Quinn Scharber and the… “Latest Flame”

Club DJ of the Year (Listener Choice Award)
Winner: Kid Cut Up

Best CD Packaging & Artwork
Winner: Rip Off Artists “Esque”


TNT Award for Artist Most Likely To Blow Up
Winner: Kings Go Forth

414 Music Award for In-Studio Performance
Winner: Stealin’ Strings

Memorable Concert (Listener Choice)
Winner: Kings Go Forth @ Bay View Bash

The 88Nine Music & Community Service Award
Winner: Figureheads


Song of the Year
Winner: Kings Go Forth “One Day”

Album of the Year
Winner: The Lackloves “Cathedral Square Park”

Artist of Year (Listener Choice)
Winner: Kings Go Forth

Thursday’s Top 5: MKE Music Discoveries

imagesSince 88nine went live and we started broadcasting two years ago, we have developed a reputation for playing Milwaukee music. In the process, countless local acts have come calling, with cd’s, records and details about how they fit into the scene here in Milwaukee. And in turn, we’ve debuted music from many of these acts right here on 88Nine, helping the rest of Milwaukee realize the kinds of talent in their midst.

For many, the dearth of quality music comes as no surprise while I think even more had been unaware of much of it at all. For us here at the station, its been a mixed bag of foreknowledge and surprise here; as artists we were familiar with, experienced the success that we had always sorta’ expected and even more still hit us up with music that impressed us enough that we’re on front street daily, singing their praises.

It’s that kind of inspiration that guides our station, and culminates today in our  2nd annual Milwaukee Music Awards, which Scott Mullins and Jordi will delve into later on at 4pm. To this award ceremony, we’ve added a celebratory aspect to the event and I know that I’m gonna see many of you all at Mad Planet tonight. In the meantime, we really want to showcase Milwaukee music. That leads me to today’s Top 5 Countdown— Milwaukee Music surprises, or put another way…bands who caught us off guard, stormed the castle and rule the roost. Here’s what Scott & I came up with…

*bold, indicates what got played


The Wooldridge Brothers “Mash Up Dreams”(Scott) vs. The Trusty Knife “Flash In The Pan”


Rusty P’s “Foundation” vs. John Seiger “Warm Welcome In A Cold Town” (Me)


The Buskers “Wha Wha Song” (Scott) vs. LMNtlyst “Summertime”


The Rip Off Artists “Wishful Thinker” vs. Prophetic “Big Dreamer” (Me)


The Championship “Liar Liar” (Scott) vs. Nabori “Guayacan”

*Honorable Mention… Kings Go Forth, At Latl, Growing Nation, Sona, The Figureheads, Quinn Scharber, Codebreaker and all the other Milwaukee artists who help make this station a truer reflection of the community that we live in.

Tune in next week for a Top 5 Countdown for the most underrated or overlooked female artists, as Scott and I honor the work of women in this first week of March. BTW y’all March is Women’s History Month… so tune in to hear the Top 5 Countdown, only on 88Nine. And hit us up with any ideas for future To 5’s… share the inspiration!

** There is no iMix for this week’s Top 5 Countdown.

President Obama celebrates the legend that is Stevie Wonder

Our nation’s President, Barak Obama presented the counties highest musical honor to the legendary song master Stevie Wonder. The Library of Congress’ Gershwin Prize is our countries top pop music award. It celebrates the work of an artist whose career reflects lifetime achievement in promoting song as a vehicle of musical expression and cultural understanding.

It’s so inspiring for me as a musician and as an American, that while in the midst of financial crisis, international turmoil and a handful of headaches in Washington, our president and our nation are taking time to focus on all the good too. Who deserves this award MORE than Stevie Wonder???? Many may be equally as deserving, but I too must quote our nation’s president when I say that Stevie Wonder is the “soundtrack of my youth”.

I was fortunate enough to finally see the great Stevie Wonder when he came to Milwaukee this past summer. A show that made “act-a-fool” with excitement and energy. My friend Aleshea’s (then) unborn bay girl was movin’ it too! It was like going to church or a dream. The energy was intoxicating. At the show , Wonder spoke a lot about his dream for our country, and how Obama was a big part of that dream. Not only an African-American president, but a culturally aware one too.

This award has got me excited about what is to come from the children that are my son’s age. What kind of music are they going to bring to our world?

Here are some amazing vids of Stevie! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Wonder’s performance will be broadcast Thursday on PBS stations as part of a White House series on the arts.

Sound Travels Wednesday… Version Galore

soundtravels_logo12Another edition done and now here are the details for Sound Travels, Global Covers of Pop Songs. Hope you enjoyed it, if you missed it, you can catch it in its entirety here…


1. Orlando Julius & His Modern Aces : “My Girl”…A perfect start with music from Nigerian great Orlando Julius, who was amoung the very first to bring American style soul music to his country in the late 60’s. I have a piece of vinyl that sounds like early Motown, in a raw African style. Most of the lyrics are in the local language, except for this delicious cover of The Temptations 1964 hit.

2. Sylvie Vartan : “Son Of A Preacher Man”…and speaking of the 60’s, here’s Bulgarian chanteuse Sylvie Vartan who made a name for herself on the French rock scene back in the day. A huge star really, she not only rocked the French scene with some of the hottest stage moves for her day but she was also married to French star Johnny Hallyday. This cover of the Dusty Springfield hit, is hot!

3. Hydroponic Soundsystem : “Microphone Fiend”…hip hop covers are sorta rare really, but if any style works in it’s re-arrangement, it’s reggae. Here we have an excellent crew from Houston, The Hydroponic Soundsystem with a version of the Eric B & Rakim classic. Feel the vibes.

4. Viviane N’Dour : “Goor Fit”…and this is a cover I’ve had for a while, and though perhaps not a classic song, the version is nice. Viviane, incedentally, is the sister of African pop star Yousour N’Dour…and proves the apples don’t fall too far when they’re from the same trees.

5. Esau Mwamwaya : “Boyz”…and if you can’t tel already, Esau is a favorite of mine these days, and this Malawi native has a great voice and sensibility with music, his cover of M.I.A.’s “Boyz” is partly a mash-up but still works in this mix I think. If you don’t have his latest release, The Very Best Mixtape, you are really missing out on what may be one of the better releases of late.

6. Señor Coconut : “Around The World”…It’s rare that the cover sounds better than the original, but this may be one such version. El Coconut is kitchy to say the very least. His formula seems to be making electro Latin covers of popular tunes. Fraftwerk, Art Of Noise and here, Daft Punk. While I’ve not been a fan of much of his work, I still listen when his releases arrive because occasionally this chicken lays a golden egg.

I hope that you have enjoyed today’s Sound Travels, tune in on Friday for the final round of Global Versions of Popular Tunes, I’ll have some more interesting covers for you. And if you  are ever touched by the spirit of a place and want to Travel there, tell me now, and I’ll do my best to fulfill that request in sound.

Videos: This is Why Milwaukee is Hot (in the Winter)

Milwaukee nightlife is getting some sizzle as of late thanks to at least couple of events.  Are you tired of the same Top 40 Dj spinning the same songs you hear on air all day? Want to see something completly different? Want to experience Real Milwaukee?

A couple of events going on in Mil-Town is putting us on the national map!  The Get Down at Mad Planet, and the Miltown Beatdown Hip Hop Olympics.  The Get Down is the funkiest DJ nights in town, the state, the country!! 88Nine RadioMilwaukee broadcasts The Get Down the 2nd Saturday down at Mad Planet in Riverwest. The Get Down holds up to its name because people really Get Down.  Check out this little video courtesty of Fan-Belt.

If that doesn’t get you hyped, you are in a coma.  Next up is the hottest competition in Miltown.  It is the Miltown Beatdown Hip Hop Olympics.  Sometimes it is hard to find cool Hip Hop events in the city, but that is changing.  The Miltown Beatdown Hip Hop Olympics is a battle between Milwaukee’s finest  Hip Hop producers. It is held every Wednesday through March at the Jackalope Lounj in the 3rd Ward.  Here is a little sample of what you have been missing.

Video by Darren Cole/Alphabang Productions and Darren Leone/LS Productions

FYI, The battle continues tonight at 10pm. Don’t Be Late.