Feb 21, 2013
Door Time: 8:00 PM

Day: Thursday, February 21, 2013
Door Time: 8:00 PM
Age: 21 and over
Advance Ticket Price: $10
Day Of Show Price: $10
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What Made Milwaukee Famous
What Made Milwaukee Famous has been a stalwart of the Austin music scene since their inception in 2003. The three original members, Michael Kingcaid (vocals, guitar, keyboards), John Farmer (bass), and Jason Davis (guitars, vocals), each bring a diverse range of influences to the table, allowing them to seamlessly shift between genres at the drop of a hat. With the release of their first two records, Trying to Never Catch Up and What Doesn’t Kill Us on Seattle’s Barsuk imprint, the band has been touted for their abilities to channel strong musicianship and diverse song-writing into instantly, addictive hooks. Their “elegant pop” (Billboard) has landed them on the bill at a number of the mammoth festivals including Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits, Sasquatch, SXSW and Lollapalooza, highlighted by a taping on PBS’s prestigious Austin City Limits with Franz Ferdinand. They have also shared the stage with the likes of Arcade Fire, The Black Keys, The National, Snow Patrol, The Walkmen, TV on the Radio, and the Pretenders to name a few; a testament to their musical diversity and mutual respect with other artists in the industry.

What Made Milwaukee Famous has returned with their third full-length album (due out January 2013) that picks up right where they left off, uniting powerful, anthemic hooks with lush instrumentation. WMMF has enlisted a who's who of the Austin music scene with guest spots by Kelly Doyle (Robert Ellis) on lead guitar, Evan Jacobs (Tacks the Boy Disaster, Polyphonic Spree) on keys, and Cully Symington (Okkervil River, Cursive, The Afghan Whigs) on drums to round out a fresh new sound for the band. Their new album tentatively titled, You Can't Fall Off The Floor, was recorded at Good Danny’s studios in Austin, TX and co-produced by Danny Reisch (White Denim, Shearwater). Guest musicians Kathleen Edwards and Matthew Vasquez (Delta Spirit) lend their talents, along with Austin staples Dana Falconberry, Warren Hood, Mike Harmeier (Mike and the Moonpies), Gary Newcomb (Lil' Cap'n Travis), Aaron Sinclair (Frank Smith, The Lot Six), and Mike Booher (Zykos). With the impending release of WMMF’s newest installment, they are poised to satiate their passionate devotees with exciting, new material and their rivetingly energetic, live shows.


Instant Empire
Instant Empire

When Instant Empire sat down to name their new 2012 release, Heavy Hollow, the band was struck by a sobering realization: these new songs were big. Really big. And if they are being honest, that realization scared them a bit. Such sentiments are often accompanied by a healthy dose of vulnerability.

Unapologetically exposed and emotionally earnest, Heavy Hollow is a record full of big songs dealing with big issues. Six songs: each shooting for the stars, each bearing the proverbial heart on its sleeve. The net result is a band hitting its stride, building on the success and hard work of its previous efforts, and coming together to perform epic anthems about the struggles of living life in a worthwhile manner.

Instant Empire coalesced its final "big band" line-up in 2011. Fueled by the powerful vocal styling of Scotty Saunders, the band creates a dynamic brand of indie rock that is both heavy on the hooks and emotionally charged. Guitarists Lou Kucera and Sean Connaughty weave a layered sonic web that keyboardist/percussionist Doug Chase criss- crosses with texture and nuance. A rhythm section consisting of Aaron Stone on bass and Matt Grizzell on drums propels the band from one impassioned song to the next with tightness and urgency.

In 2011, the band released its three-song debut EP of "powerful-yet-intricate indie pop" (Reverb) to regional acclaim. The Denver Westword said the EP was "so strong, in fact, it leaves you wanting more." After debuting their final line-up at the Underground Music Showcase, the band began work writing and arranging the new tunes that would become the basis for Heavy Hollow.

What a difference a year makes. By early 2012, the band was knee deep in the production of Heavy Hollow. The record represents a real leap forward for the group. Advance praise for the record states that Instant Empire's sophomore effort "will pull you under right away . . . and won't let you up for air until the disc is over" (Colorado Music Buzz).

The propulsive first single, "Counting Backwards," manages to combine the story of a young woman's inner struggles with majestic, sing-along music that instantly hits home with listeners. "Canyons" finds the band at its melodic best and ready for a larger audience. Meanwhile, "Appalachian, Part II" tells a cautionary tale of darkness and betrayal and is anchored by a wickedly inventive rhythm section. The record closes with "Missing Elderly," the band's most emotionally resonant powerhouse to-date.

Like the songs themselves, 2012 promises to be a big year for Instant Empire. Be sure to follow the band's progress at its website, instantempireband.com, or on Facebook and Twitter.


Kayla Marque
Kayla MarqueIndie pop rock from Denver, CO