Music Culture 

Lots of thoughts lately and not lots of posts. I’m here to change that.

You should see the chapter about the Milwaukee Music Scene!

You should see the chapter about the Milwaukee Music Scene!

I read a lot but I also read into things a lot. Dangerous habit on social media but I’ve also been commenting way to much on shit that I have no business commenting on. SO I figured I’ll take it to the blog. Maybe less people will read it but hopefully more people will understand me. We are what we are: A Polka Hip Hop Band. But if you step back and consider the members in the group the uniqueness of it all means so much more to us. We are an interracial music group in the most segregated metropolis in America. We are mixing genres of music and pulling it off with varying degrees of success; granted as a group we are just getting started. But all of us have been performing and writing and creating music, poetry and art for years before we ever met. And we are all scraping by. Part of it has to do with the fact that this is also one of the poorest cities in the nation.

So then I read this interview with a rapper who is moving to LA. And hear someone making the same complaints so many have been making for so long. But here’s the thing the problem is much deeper than just a radio station not giving you play. (To my knowledge we haven’t had play on 88.9 either but then I don’t know if they have our cd. Somehow we have been played on local station 91.7  and maybe it being a college station things get circulated differently.)

THE PROBLEM.  It’s really the culture of the city though it isn’t just the music scene. Try writing poetry and discover how fractured everything is here and then laugh because everyone knows there is no money to be made in poetry…. unless you are putting together a CV for grad school somewhere. But music, art and film? I can’t imagine how this disjointed cityscape, fractured from institutionalized racism and economic paranoia could do more then ever serve as a transfer station for raw talent.

(It doesn’t help when promoters are focusing solely on the dollar and not on the art but that is another blog for another time.)

I feel like that is what Milo missed a chance to say in his interview. But maybe it’s in his music and I haven’t heard that track yet (though I’m looking now). I know a few others who have had to move on to make it in music because it unsustainable here to just be a musician or a rapper. The Milwaukee Machine that Milo talks about is really more or less just a façade to keep a few people distracted from some of the larger issues. But would that message resonate with anyone outside of a few people in the community? I know he must feel it if he’s leaving for greener pastures even if he didn’t say it. The culture of a place is a reflection of that place’s reality. And if the music scene will not allow talent to thrive here then it reflects the inability of many other to thrive.

As for the music…..would I say he is as dope as The November Criminals? No, of course not, don’t be silly. But he is talented and we wish him well.  🙂

Personally, I am blessed to know people from the city and the region who are invested in making things happen here. From Pinkerton at Deadman’s Carnival to the painfully under played Jaems Murphy to comedy mentor and road warrior of the Hobbit Trail Brendan O’Day  and the poetic thundering of deep feelings that is Mario The Poet. The folks I’ve come across who are working to make a living at entertaining people and performing their craft for them is inspiring and in many ways sustaining.
Catch us at Cactus Club June 6th with Tapebenders and Jaems Murphy!