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What Made Mil-Rock-ee Famous

By Lizz Kannenberg in Arts & Entertainment on Jul 20, 2007 6:40PM

The weekend is here, and for many that means packing up the available vehicle and getting out of the city. If camping or fishing or what have you aren’t your style, make a city-to-city musical jaunt up to Milwaukee. Kick it off with a mix of solid Mil-town artists like the Violent Femmes, The Promise Ring, and The Obsoletes for the 90 minute ride and get ready to discover that Milwaukee’s music scene proves that it’s more than “Chicago’s northern-most suburb.”2007_07_madplanet.jpg

The center of the Brew City’s indie scene is arguably the Cactus Club. Located in the uber-trendy hipster haunt of Bay View, the Cactus has been attracting both local and national independent-leaning acts for over a decade. Alumni of the self-described “super shithole” include the White Stripes, Interpol, and Queens of the Stone Age. Closed for remodeling until August 9th, the Cactus Club promises to continue the tradition of cold, cheap beer and dirty rocknroll on the south side of Milwaukee.

Stonefly Brewery, formerly Onopa Brewery, is a cavernous space in the emerging Riverwest neighborhood of Milwaukee that also attracts national indie-pop acts and adds the occasional jam band to the mix. Hipsters and hippies alike enjoy the outstanding house brews and better-than-decent bites while enjoying such recent shows as Two Gallants, Earlimart, and Thunderbirds Are Now!

Mad Planet has picked up some of the all ages slack that ensued after the closing of the legendary Globe East punk club about 5 years ago. Also located in Riverwest, Mad Planet is a dirty pool-hall-cum-rock-club that won’t go out of its way for anyone (you have to leave the show and run down the street for a beer if it’s an all ages affair because the club doesn’t have an all ages liquor license), so if you’re gonna hang here you’d better be ready to throwdown. Upcoming shows include the Detroit Cobras, the Black Lips, and David Yow of the Jesus Lizard.

Linneman’s Riverwest Inn rounds out our musical tour of Milwaukee with one of this writer’s favorite bars anywhere and a brand new music room to attract some of the best acoustic and rock acts in the Midwest. Enjoy local microbrews like Capitol and Lakefront on the cheap in the homey confines while enjoying such upcoming shows as Sunday Morning Chameleon.