RSC Club Shows – Cactus Club

This week we’ll be featuring music from all the bands playing club venues during Radio Summer Camp. Today we feature shows happening at the AV Club Milwaukee Stage at the Cactus Club. Don’t forget, full festival passes are only $25, and online pre-sales end Thursday at 10:00am.

Friday, July 16th:

Collection of Colonies of Bees
– The instrumental Milwaukee band that has set the bar for all others in Milwaukee, COCOB blends guitars, drums and bass with keyboards and their signature Mac to achieve a “dynamic attack of sonic maximalism.” It’s this attack that led COCOB to Volcano Choir, a collaboration with Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon whose first release was released last year on powerhouse indie lable JagJaguwar. Below, check out the first of four movements from their latest release, Birds.

Listen: Flocks: I

All Tiny Creatures
– “Stacked melodies, distorted organs, stretched chords, reimagined vocals: Collections of Colonies of Bees/ Volcano Choir multi-instrumentalist Thomas Wincek drops his Emotional Joystick handle for the glorious themes of All Tiny Creatures.”

A perfect way to lead into COCOB, All Tiny Creatures (Hometapes) have released the EP, Segni, which they’re telling us is “a prelude to [their] debut LP—which will feature vocalists Justin Vernon (Bon Iver), Megafaun, and Ryan Olcott (12 Rods, Mystery Palace)—due in early 2010.” Below, listen to the closing track from Segni.

Listen: Street Lights Ten Thousand Feet

Castle Thunder
– Very little is yet known about this upstart Milwaukee band, but part of Radio Summer Camp is unveiling unknown talent to music fans in Milwaukee. Check them out on Local/Live this Tuesday, July 13th. Then, get there early on Friday to catch their live set.

Saturday, July 17th:

Samantha Crain
– “Consider some of the songs on Crain’s palette: the slightly grunge-flavored rocker “Equinox,” the Bonnie Raitt-style, blues-heavy “Santa Fe” and the garage-band-sounding “Two-Sidedness.” Not many artists can pull off such a musical feast, yet Crain does so while keeping it all genuine.” Nancy Dunham, The Washington Post

Samantha Crain is a firecracker! Watch just one of her live shows and you’ll be hooked on the intensity, the raw output of emotion and most importantly, the songs. Take a listen to the aforementioned “Two-Sidedness” to hear just what we’re talking about.

Listen: Two Sidedness

The Loom
– Sometimes bands have perfect bio/press info on their websites; The Loom is one of those bands: “The New Yorker recently described The Loom as ‘the beloved Brooklyn sextet who have lately been guiding their chamber-folk sound to decidedly louder sonic territory,’ while the website wrote recently of their live show that, ‘To say that The Loom’s performance was a revelation would be to understate the significance of this unit.  They combine musical talent, strong writing, and an abundant amount of band camaraderie into an intense amalgam.’”

Not much more we can add to that, other than, DAMN! we want to see the live show described above. Listen below to a track from the band’s debut LP, At Last Light, while keeping in mind that the band promises “a decidedly louder sonic territory” on their forthcoming album, Teeth. You can hear a couple of the forthcoming tracks at the band’s website.

Listen: Song for the Winter Sun

Heidi Spencer & the Rare Birds
– Unheralded Milwaukee musician…you know  what, just go read Heidi’s interview with the AV Club Milwaukee. She touches on a lot of different issues, including how her forthcoming album – to be released by Bella Union – features songs that have graduated to “moody” compared to her earlier, much sadder records. But until we get a taste of the new album, check out a track from Heidi’s 2005 release, The Luck We Made.

Listen: While Away

Strand of Oaks
– Just a wail of a voice that grabs the attention of anyone within 100 feet, Philadelphia’s Tim Showalter has in the last year developed quite a strong fan base in Milwaukee. After last year’s appearance at Radio Summer Camp, Tim also played an intimate house show in March of this year that further cemented his place as one of Milwaukee’s favorite national acts. Expect another great show full of both heart-wrenching and sometimes just plain weird songs from the on-the-rise songwriter. Check out the Strand of Oaks session, and hear below a track from his 2009 debut LP, Leave Ruin.

Listen: Dogs of War


The Music of Radio Summer Camp: Day 1

A music festival is, naturally, about the music. It’ s about other things, too (community, education, food, etc), but the music is front and center where it should be. So this week and next stay tuned here for the music of Radio Summer Camp. We’ll posting 2 – 5 MP3s each day to give you a better idea what to expect. Today are two tracks from the two artists playing the RSC Warm-Up show on August 19th at Shank Hall.

Jason Isbell & the 400 UnitStreelights

Strand of OaksEnd in Flames