Milwaukee Film Fest – Rock Docs

We’re super excited for the upcoming Milwaukee Film Fest. We’re doubly excited to be help presenting a couple different film series. The 1st:

Lemmy Tell You About Music, Man: Music Documentaries about Senor Kilmister, David Byrne & Other Great Music Makers

Like we said, we are absolutely thrilled to help present this series of fantastic music documentaries. The six films in the Lemmy Tell You About Music, Man series pretty well reflect our programming philosophy, meaning as a whole, the series features everything from Metal to Gospel. We’ll be telling you about all the films individually, but since we named the series after the dude – the metal god-devil – here’s a little bit about Lemmy.

Lemmy – A film that needs no subtitle. There’s Lemmy, and there’s everyone else. He’s about a singular musical figure as singular musical figures get.

A documentary as distinctive and uncompromising as the grizzled subject it details, Lemmy casts new light into the life and works of one of the longest and hardest-rocking lead singers in the history of heavy metal: Motörhead’s iconic Ian ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister. The biggest names in rock and roll (Slash, Ozzy Osbourne, Henry Rollins) all contribute to this definitive portrait of a rock god. Wired says, He looks like a biker, swears like a sailor and lives the only way he knows how: like a rock ‘n’ roll machine.

We’re right now planning and scheduling an interview with the directors of this film when the get into town. Let’s just say that if their film has even half the personality of its directors, or 1/8th the personality of the film’s subject, this is a film that you will never, ever forget. It will live and breathe in that space in the brain reserved for raunch and debauchery…the part of the brain that leads you to not follow stupid rules.

Seriously, you are going to love this film. An no, you don’t have to be a metal fan to dig into Lemmy. Just as last year you didn’t have to be a metal junkie to thoroughly enjoy Anvil: The Story of Anvil, this film, and the films protagonist, are perfect for the big screen.

Ridge Cinema 2: Friday, October 1st – 7:15pm
Oriental Theater: Saturday, October 2nd – 7:30pm


Two weeks for tickets!

We’re a mere few weeks away from our 9th Annual Food Slam event, and if you’re still on the fence about attending (we do have a few tickets left), allow me to woo you a bit with this bullet-pointed list. Because everyone loves bullet-pointed lists. Except numbers. They want you to love numbered lists.

  • Food Slam is essentially an all-you-can-eat buffet for folks who don’t want the caloric burden of full-plate chow sessions. Each restaurant brings a small, tapas-sized portion for you to sample. Which means you could potentially sample it multiple times before it equals one full trip to a normal buffet.
  • Have you ever been been in a conversation where people are talking about a hot new Milwaukee restaurant, but you’ve never been there so you feel like a clueless schmuck? Attending Food Slam will not only allow you to become familiar with some hot new (and old) Milwaukee restaurants, it will also give you a specific dish to talk about. Who’s the embarrassed schmuck now, other-people-in-the-conversation?
  • Your entire $30 ticket is a tax write-off. Nothing appeals to recession-era American more.
  • Your entire $30 ticket supports 91.7 FM WMSE. Bonus!
  • There’s a rather hefty auction of items from area businesses and artist: art, music, gift cards, apparel, and cleverly assembled theme packs that tend to draw some serious bidding wars. Who doesn’t love a good bidding war?
  • Did we mention that, if you win an auction item, that counts as a donation to us also? Double-play!
  • When was the last time you got to eat and drink in an art museum?
  • We have the best DJs on the airwaves, and three of them will be soundtracking the evening. Bootleggers are welcome.
  • The event ends early. Which means you can come to Food Slam, eat a bunch of really great things, have a few drinks, win a few cool auction items, and still have an entire Friday night out ahead of you. Because everyone knows the nightlife here in Milwaukee doesn’t really get started until around 10 PM.

Seeing as how my highly-convincing list has you jonesing for a Food Slam ticket, I give you the online link (click here) to purchase one (or ten). You can also get them by mail or in person. (See here.) And while we do usually have tickets available at the door the night of the event, we’re not sure they’ll last that long. Better safe than sorry.

Tomorrow, I’ll start digging in to some of the restaurants who will be serving up plates of awesome at Food Slam, as well as some of the auction items we’ll be featuring. Check back, mis amigos!

John Legend + The Roots + Bill Withers

(Note: Through Wednesday, I, dwellephant, will be filling in for Sonic Diet’s Editor and CEO, Erin Wolfe. Think of it less as a substitution, and more along the lines of, well, actually, I guess it is a substitution after all.)

First there was the album I was definitely looking forward to. Then th

The Full Symposium Schedule

We’ve told you about the general idea of the Symposium. We’ve introduced the key-note speaker and a couple of the session experts. Now let’s get straight to the whole day, all the topics and presenters. And don’t forget to pre-register and answer the question, “What do you hope to learn from the symposium?”

Coffee, Bagels and Donuts – 9:30am

First Session Topics 10:20am to 11:10am
1. Getting Gigs. Learn the process bookers use to select bands. Learn what they’re looking for in a performer and the best methods for approaching venues for potential gigs.

Expert Panel:
Marc Solheim, Booking Agent; Turner Hall, Pabst Theater and Riverside Theater
Scott Ziel: Owner, Pursuit Live agency and Booking Agent; Summerfest

Moderated by: Ryan Schleicher, Promotions Director; WMSE

2. Basement Tapes. What does it take to record a good demo? How do you build the best basement studio for the least amount of money? What do you need to do Before you get to the professional studio? What happens during the recording process?

Expert Panel:
Billy Ciccarelli, Recording Engineer; WMSE

Moderated by: Dan Niedziejko, Drummer and home studio builder

3. I’m Sick! Musicians face special challenges in navigating the maze that is Health Care Policy. Learn about programs available to help musicians gain health care insurance, emergency health care and other low cost health care choices available.

Expert Panel:
Alex Maiolo, founder; Health Insurance Navigation Tool (via SKYPE)

Moderated by: Cody Christenson

Second Session Topics 11:20am to 12:10pm
1. Building Community Resources. Milwaukee Artists Resource Network is active in the arts community. MARN works to assist and advocate for all artists, providing FREE business of music classes, arts advocacy and an opportunities bulletin board. Learn more about how MARN can help you build your network and resources in Milwaukee.

Expert Panel:
Melissa Musante, Executive Director, Milwaukee Artists Resource Network

Moderated by: Tuc Kreuger

2. Equipment 101: It’s one thing to own your Les Paul; it’s totally another to keep it in good repair. Your vintage Marshall stack may sound great today, but is it going to sound great tomorrow? Learn some basic skills you can do to prevent expensive repairs and unnecessary damage to your gear.

Expert Panel:
Jeff Benske, Owner; Top Shelf Guitars and multi-vendor authorized repair expert
Jon Blick, Owner; Blick Engineering

Moderated by: Dan Niedziejko, Drummer and drum restorations

3. Sympathy for the Devil Record labels: What do they really do and can they do it for you. Learn more about the real function of a label and the pros and cons about signing to one.

Expert Panel:
Bruno Johnson, Owner; Okka Disk

Moderated by: Tom Crawford, Station Manager, WMSE

LUNCH BREAK: 12:20pm to 1:30pm

1:30pm to 1:40pm Information on Pablove. The mission of The Pablove Foundation is to fund pediatric cancer research and advances in treatment, educate and empower cancer families, and improve the quality of life for children living with cancer through hospital play, music and arts programs. This foundation was founded by Milwaukee native and Dangerbird Records founder Jeff Castelez.

Third Session Topics 1:45pm to 2:35pm
1. This is Where I Belong Find out how to make a passion for music into a lifelong career. From playing in a touring band to teaching music to others, learn about how to live your life in  music.

Expert Panel:
Scott Schoenbeck, bass player Dashboard Confessional
Erica Breitbarth, Choir teacher at Reagan High School, winner; Wheaton Conservatory of Music Concerto Competition and freelance Conductor/Director/Singer

Moderated by: TBA

2. Press Darlings! Being a professional musician means more than just writing catchy pop tunes. Learn about developing your band’s style, image and presentation. Also, developing your web presence, using social media and how to get the media to notice you.

Expert Panel:
Fred Gillich, Owner & Designer; Too Much Metal For One Hand
Ryan Matteson, Muzzle of Bees Blog & Podcast, and Director of Public Relations on Social Media for Pabst/Riverside/Turner Hall Ballroom

Moderated by: Ryan Schleicher, Promotions Director; WMSE

3. Jazzbos and Classical Hep Cats Jazz, that singularly American art form, is alive and well. The same is true for classical music int he modern world. Be a part of this discussion about current trends in Jazz and classical music. Also, discuss opportunities and resources in the Jazz community.

Expert Panel:
Steve Peplin, Musician, Composer and Teacher
Scott Tisdel, Musician, Milwakee Symphony Orchestra & Prometheus Trio

Moderated by: Chris Stawski, DJ “Dr. Sushi”; host of WMSE’s Free Jazz Barbeque

Fourth Session Topics 2:45pm to 3:35pm
1. Contracts, Band Agreements and the Legal Stuff There comes a time in the life of a band or musician that legal questions bubble up to the top. What percentage of songwriting credit does the drummer get? How can I tell if that contract is fair? What are my legal rights if someone rips off our songs. Learn all this and more.

Expert Panel:
CJ Krawczyk. Attorney at Law; Kravit, Hovel & Krawczyk s.c.

Moderated by: Jeff Schwartz

2. Selling Out As the world becomes smaller through technology and media outlets merge and converge, new outlets and opportunities for getting your music into the ears of listeners. Learn how to license your music for television programs, commercials, fashion shows, movies and more.

Expert Panel:
Darren Wilsey, Musician and Author; The Musicians Guide to Licensing Music
(via SKYPE) —  NOTE: Limited copies of Darren’s book will be available for sale at the check in desk and is always in stock at Boswell’s Books on N. Downer St.

Moderated by: Ryan Schleicher, Promotions Director WMSE

3. On the Road Again Going on tour requires more than jumping in the van. Whether you’re playing Budokon or CBGB’s; learn how to plan and execute a successful road tour without killing the bass player, crashing the van, losing money, getting sick and breaking up the band.

Expert Panel:
Pete Jest, Owner, Alternative Concert Group and Shank Hall
Jon Mueller, Owner Crouton Music and Musician, Collection of Colonies of Bees

Moderated by: Tom Crawford, Station Manager; WMSE

The Symposium – Licensing

Before we get to today’s post, don’t forget to pre-register for the FREE Radio Summercamp Educational Musicians Symposium. We want to hear from you regarding what you’d like to learn this Saturday.

Licensing can be a sticky proposition for a lot of musicians. Some claim licensing music equates to selling your soul. Others believe licensing is a way to “expose your music to the world while getting a nice paycheck that allows a musician to continue pursuing music as a career.” We have our feet firmly planted in the latter. Why? Because music is more important to life than narrowing it’s scope to your headphones or car stereo. Movies, TV shows, conferences and even sporting  events are made more enjoyable because of music’s inclusion (although baseball games suck when they blast that garbage hard rock every three gall damn seconds). What would the movie Dead Man have been without Neil Young’s score? It would have been silent and boring. In Wilsey’s case, would the drama and intrigue of a legendary show like 90210, regardless of your television viewing or music listening preferences, been as potent without Wilsey’s creative, structured inclusion of music? No. The answer is no and to argue otherwise is silly.

Music is important in a lot of different ways. Music is exposed in through a lot of different mediums. We were, in fact, elated when we first heard Yo La Tengo during a Volkswagen commercial. Why, because it meant that previously overlooked-by-the-masses music was streaming into mass consciousness AND it meant that one of our favorite bands of all time was getting a nice paycheck.

All preaching aside, though, the primary symposium objective is to take knowledge from people who have been through the music business rigmarole and transmit that knowledge to young or less experienced musicians. Darren Wilsey is perfect in helping to achieve this primary objective.

Wilsey is a multi-faceted artist who as accomplished a great deal of success writing music in various ways, and for a variety of outlets. His bio:

Darren Wilsey is an award-winning composer, songwriter and music producer. He has written and produced music for numerous independent films and network television. His music has appeared on such shows as Ghost Whisperer (CBS), Sex and the City (HBO), Queer as Folk (Showtime), Punk’d (MTV), Queer Eye for the Straight Guy (Bravo), Dane Cook’s Tourgasm (HBO), Road Rules (MTV), Skin (Fox), Life With Derek (Disney), Breaking Bonaduce (VH1), Snowboarding World (NBC Sports), Beverly Hills 90210–The Complete First Season (Paramount Entertainment), and Melrose Place–The Complete First Season (Paramount Entertainment).

He is a two-time grand prize winner of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest and has been a featured composer and music producer in publications by SONY Media, Sibelius, and Yamaha.

Darren Wilsey was a classical guitar major at The Manhattan School of Music. He also studied piano and music composition at The Juilliard School of Music. He received an M.F.A. from The University of California at Irvine, majoring in music composition and technology.

He currently lives in Orange County, CA with his wife and two busy little boys.

Darren also wrote one of the definitive books on licensing, titled, The Musician’s Guide to Licensing Music: How to Get Your Music into Film, TV, Advertising, Digital Media & Beyond.

Pretty successful, right? You might say, “Well, he went to great schools that offered greater opportunities.” We’ll respond with, “Yes, he did. BUT, his education is more a testament to his willingness to work hard than it is a reflection of any sort of pre-determined privilege.” More importantly, Mr. Wilsey knows the ins and outs of one of the symposium’s topics. Darren will be presenting remotely via SKYPE and will be covering the following topic.

Selling Out! As the world becomes smaller through technology and media outlets merge and converge, new outlets and opportunities for getting your music into the ears of listeners.  Learn how to license your music for television programs, commercials, fashion shows, movies and more.

Expert Panel: Darren Wilsey, Musician and Author; The Musicians Guide to Licensing Music (via SKYPE)

Moderated by:  Ryan Schleicher, Promotions Director WMSE

This panel happens during the final round of panels happening from 2:45pm – 3:30pm, but we highly encourage you to attend panels throughout the day, as well as Victor DeLorenzo’s key-note speech happening at 3:45pm.

The Symposium – Health Insurance for Musicians

Photo of Punk Rock Orchestra by Jeffrey Goldsmith © 2005.

On Saturday at The Symposium, we’ll have twelve different breakout sessions centered around topics important to any musician looking to make a career out of music. One of those topics is:

I’m Sick! Musicians face special challenges in navigating the maze that is Health Care Policy.  Learn about programs available to help musicians gain health care insurance, emergency health care and other low cost health care choices available.

Nationwide, one of the organizations doing the most to help musicians with health insurance is the Health Insurance Navigation Tool, or HINT. Founded by the Future of Music Coalition with Alex Maiolo and Chris Stephenson, “HINT provides informed, musician-friendly support and advice to musicians who need information about health insurance, for free.”

HINT doesn’t provide health insurance, but they are a resource offering advice from musicians, to musicians, regarding health care options. Here’s what they have to say:

Make an appointment to get personal advice from health insurance experts who are also musicians. We see this project as a safety net for those musicians who remain uninsured because of lack of support or clear information. Those musicians who reach out for help will get it. With this small step we hope to bridge the gap between confusion and need.”

Leading this breakout session on Saturday will be none other than HINT founder, Alex Maiolo. We’ll be using SKYPE to remotely connect with Alex, so hopefully we don’t have any tech glitches. Hopefully Mr. Maiolo will be able to ease some of our musicianly anxiety about that tough decision revolving around getting out in the world or staying in town at our whatever job just so we don’t lose health insurance. This is a huge barrier for a lot of bands, especially bands that have families and children to raise. Health insurance should not be what keeps musicians from chasing their dreams. Hopefully with HINT’s advice, we’ll all learn that health insurance can’t keep us from our goals, or happiness.

The Symposium – Victor DeLorenzo

The Radio Summer Camp Symposium is right around the corner, so make sure you pre-register and help us understand what information you would find valuable.

Today we’re honored to tell you a little bit more about the Symposium’s Key-Note Speaker, Victor DeLorenzo. On top of being the drummer for one of the most famous bands ever, and certainly the biggest to ever come out of Milwaukee, Mr. DeLorenzo is an accomplished educator in the music field. Rather than us just telling you about Victor and why his knowledge should be disseminated widely, we’ll let another music educator tell you why. That educator is Dr. Martin Jack Rosenblum (also an accomplished musician in his own right), Senior Lecturer at the Peck School of the Arts music department. Here’s what Rosenblum had to say about DeLorenzo.

“Victor DeLorenzo has lectured in my History of Rock and Roll classes at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Peck School of the Arts, Music Department; the class is in the area of Music History and Literature, and enrolls well over five hundred students a semester.

Mr. DeLorenzo spoke on the history of oral tradition music and how it impacts upon popular culture, and the students not only learned but were witness to a rare breed of presenter – one who has, indeed, impacted upon music as well as culture and who is articulate about both.

It is very unusual to be able to be an artist, especially one who has altered the nature of both music as art as well as its cultural presence, and also to be capable of lecturing on these subjects as a historian.

Victor DeLorenzo is a prominent figure and as such carries immense authority, true, but is also able to articulate within the context of a college course that which is pedagogically intact. It is not hard to be an inspiration, given DeLorenzo’s credentials, but it is difficult to be instructive, informative and decidedly linear as well, as is Mr. DeLorenzo. Teaching at the college level is something that Victor DeLorenzo accomplishes with ease and perfection.

His ability to relate important content is unsurpassed and the form he chooses, that of immanently educated narrative, replete with the drama of factual items coming to life, is awe-inspiring. He teaches with the flair of one who understands that theater, that is reaching an audience with generous entry, causing immediate comprehension, is diligent form; and that this technique is filled with the material of an educated historian is what makes Victor DeLorenzo stand out from artists as well as teachers as an accomplished lecturer.

There is seriousness, humor, proper academic deployment of fact, and an uncanny ability to communicate with precision while still keeping subject matter alive. Victor DeLorenzo lectures with the power of the important artist that he is, tempered by the educated scholar that he is as well, and the result is the perfect learning environment.

He created this environment of learning in a number of my classes, and the students, though this was a few years ago, are still discussing the classes he conducted. He absolutely reached them intellectually and emotionally, and therefore produced a memorable experience that was enduring.

Mr. DeLorenzo is a speaker: There are few who can equal his ability as a lecturer, and fewer yet who are able to instruct with such valid objectivity and originality of inspiration equally combined.”