Flashback Friday: ByeGosh Fest brought 3Oh!3 to Oshkosh

You were possibly, most likely, there. Reeve Union Board of UW Oshkosh has given students plenty to celebrate and bringing 3Oh!3 to campus is up towards the top. The Ready Set and The Millennium out of Eau Claire, WI shared the bill on Cinco De Mayo to conclude the 2016 academic year. Bye Gosh Fest has had a ramping history of creating untouchable opportunities for regional, local and student openers to make a lasting impression.

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First on the bill, The Millennium, is no stranger to UW Oshkosh having played at the two-stage WISCO! Music Festival held every March inside the student union in years passed. While students (that’s you) moseyed in for free cotton candy, caricatures, pedal Go-Karts and pictures, act one of three put pick to string and stick to snare at 3:30 PM sharp to guarantee a celebration that would not fall flat.

Class of 2016 kids mere days away from cap and gown gave the nod of approval to RUB for yet another show day of clear skies and temperatures warm enough to melt your snow cone. The speaker cones broadcasted five brand new EP releases for The Millennium and some clever covers with lyrics overlapping from song to song. Kyle, known as “Feather,” out of Hudson, WI shared some insight to the Eua Claire act’s experience playing around Wisconsin.


“My last band played WISCO! the first year. That was two-three years ago, and we played it last year. We play in the Twin Cities, Minnesota area, not as much in Eau Claire. Aside from that we play in Chicago. We don’t normally get to come to Eastern Wisconsin as much with the exception of Oshkosh and we just played in Green Bay for the first time.”

When asked about the type of following that The Millennium has come to enjoy after several music video releases tip-toeing into the tens of thousands of views, Feather says “There’s people from Chicago here today that I’ve seen and from other places, and they scream the words. Half of our show is the audience. We play all the original songs but we like to throw covers in here and there.”

With 3Oh!3 being an exciting headliner for a campus event and having a history with Katy Perry, The Millennium picked a fine day to debut a Katy Perry medley. Kyle says if she were to have showed up he thinks he could of kept his cool and not gone fan girl.

Catching up with Sean and Nathaniel of 3Oh!3, the duo are getting the word out about their new album Night Sports. Sean says “If you like the earlier stuff it’s very much that, just me and Nat having fun in our basement.” As for playing in Oshkosh, “Growing up in Boulder we grew up in a college town so playing colleges just makes sense for us.”

Nathaniel says of Wisconsin, “My history of being in Wisconsin is very rich, I love being here, we’ve been here a lot of times. We’ve played Warped Tour in Milwaukee, we’ve played in Madison, we just played a Bernie Sanders rally in Milwaukee. We have loved the city of Milwaukee from day one.”


The stage for Bye Gosh has not, however, been the same from day one. Over the years the event location has moved from place to place, including behind Reeve by the long-gone Nelson/Clemons Hall space that the Horizon Village Suites now occupy. The Traveling Suitcase cut their teeth with originals like “Show Me Your Teeth” in 2012.

Something to Do out of Milwaukee WiSKAnsin and Reel Big Fish made made opener Mad Chad Taylor’s chainsaw juggling even more SKAwesome than usual for 2013.

2014 brought the spotlight to former guard for the Titan’s Men’s basketball squad MA Johnson for a live hip-hop showcase, nowadays having three songs in the catalog that mention UWO. Paul Robert and the Hall of Famers were the other ensemble to mesmerize the campus community with vibrant reincarnations of decades of rock classics as Megan Clarke dropped jaws with her poignant drummer chic solos on the 4-piece kit to introduce Mike Posner to the Titans.

Plans to move outside by the Rec and Wellness Center called for two years of enacting contingency plans to shift the setting indoors due to rain and got the fair weather that Bye Gosh fans were waiting for to make a farewell show to remember in 2015. Dylan Finley of the UW Oshkosh Music Major got some shine with the help of DJ 10 Speed to warm the audience up for YouTube sensation Timeflies, also Bryce Vine.


Michael Lokken

Remember that time Nappy Roots came to Neenah?

Cranky Pat’s – Neenah 5/12/16 9:30 – 1:00 $20 cover

With two decades of discography planted in the ground and yet again reaping the benefits of what they have sown with another instance of their mega hit “Good Day” making the silver screen as a feature song in Disney’s summer hit The Secret Life of Pets, Nappy Roots is deeply ingrained in classic Hip-Hop and pop culture. All five current members including newly added 808-Blake of SKMA were present for an unprecedented visit to Neenah, WI at Cranky Pat’s Pizza this past May, the 12th to be exact.


Cranky’s programming recently taken up by FACE Entertainment’s very own Adam, host and opener kept the blood flowing for a 9:30 PM start to the night. Since the early 2010s between Neenah and Appleton Adam heads up more than 40 shows a year under the title of Bo 1 Katt the Imposter bringing names like Krayzie Bone, Bubba Sparx, Obie Trice, Petey Pablo and Kutt Calhoun around. Lineups of this nature come to Cranky’s every few months and according to Adam this was “the 3rd bomb ass Hip-Hop party in a row.”

His own routine as an emcee was nothing to overlook either. What stuck out to me were moments where his material used backing tracks stacked with vocal emphasizers to highlight reprises that are easy to memorize so that I could join along in shouting ‘It’s Time to Get Down’ as the show was getting started. Adam was one of six on the bill to call the Fox Valley home turf.


Cranky’s may serve thin crust but the sauce was laid on thick with no shortage of entertainers to ensure that not only the hungry audience was satisfied but the headliners got something homegrown to take away from a visit to Neenah. R.Braille, who has been “following Nappy Roots since 2001” joined Bo 1 Katt to give a taste of his own style with the Wisconsin bloodline laced into his routine, hustling cuts and blitzing through a handful of material with help from David, DJ IRS.

IRS was brought in by the efforts of Stream of Consciousness, a self-proclaimed “product of the 80s.” Stream had me clocking in his verses at speeds exceeding that of a DeLorean going into time travel and put down the fastest spitting of the Fox Valley that night. Out of the half dozen billings he has been a part of at Cranky’s he says “the shows have gotten better and better every time.” DJ IRS and Stream of Consciousness closed out an impromptu finishing move as the last act before clearing the stage for the solid hour + of Nappy.


The image that sticks with a Nappy Roots Not Regular Tour visit besides the occasional line formation dance routine, passing off verses like hot potato and giving a line of Kentucky Bourbon shots out from on stage, is a rooster with a big ball of hair as the album cover art for the 40 Akerz Project. I wasn’t chicken to keep up with the action but over the course of the evening the sensational persistence of syllables and crisp tunes fried off the split ends from my soul’s afro and I had to simply just hold on to my hat. I took my hand at seeing just how clued in the internet was to these guys these days by cueing up Shazam mid-show in attempt to catch a song title and sure enough, “Set It Out” popped up on my iPhone screen like it was reading a radio broadcast.

After the show the five members Skinny Deville, Ron B. Clutch, B. Stille, 808-Blake and Fish Scales and their road technician stuck around to be personable. Scales says that starting this year the North Mid-West is the Roots’ location of choice at this phase of the spring season, now just over a full week on the road away from home and days after the latest Roots release to get packaged and distributed. In his own words, it’s all part of “figuring out the game.”

_MG_0646_MG_0590Fish Scales hints at more 40 Akerz yet to come in the same style as in-between releases like “Concrete Pavement” dropping as recent as this past New Year. Doning slick dreads and shades, Ron Clutch says that the 40 Akerz Project has been in the making “for the record, 2 years.” Adam says bringing the Kentucky natives to the Fox Valley was an effort “more than like 4 and a half years in the making.” As for visiting other Wisconsin cities Clutch says “we just left Watertown, we were in Madison. Wisconsin shows a lot of love. Y’all got more respect and understanding sometimes for hip-hop than a lot of other places you would think has love and respect.”

Much respect to Cranky Pat’s, FACE Entertainment and all those involved in coordinating. I was surprised that a small pizza parlor serving 125 ticket buyers could be the destination to throw down for a music group that has logged millions upon millions of views on YouTube, but the unique L-shaped architecture for a double-ended bar really works. If you hear Cranky’s and only think restaurant pizza you are missing half of the picture because right now the listing has one of the better sound and lighting rigs for a Valley venue with a menu. Cranky Pat’s has locations in Neenah, Green Bay and Oshkosh and serves oven fired thin crust pizza past 2:00 AM on weekends. After the show eased down by 1:30 AM there was still plenty of time to munch while members of Nappy Roots stood by their merch table. Thursdays on 905 S. Commercial St. are a 3:30 AM close.

Worth mentioning, Father Focus Confucius, of the Dead Rabbits Crew made a special birthday weekend visit coming in to perform from La Crosse. No fluff involved in his style, he sports the walk and the talk of representing what it means to be hip-hop to the core, making roasted marshmallows out of tycoons like G-Eazy. Evan Ramsey from down the block rocked a four song set of both his own original production as well as waveforms coming in from Minnesota. When the right combination of pace and space between sentences aligns you have Ramsey’s ‘Intergalactic.’ Utilizing the power of Maschine to construct an album crafted with a title like “Robots & Skateboards” where can you go wrong?


Wrapping up here, Hector Biggz with BiGGeR ProDuctionZ coming in to “rise grind and shine for 7-figure dreams” might have been what coaxed a group to roll in and out on a limousine and buy Grey Goose bottle service because big spending was not out of the picture. 7-figures is easier said than done but for Nappy Roots if you were to count riches in terms of play counts then just skim through YouTube again to see what kind of millions matter to this scene.

-Michael Lokken
UW Oshkosh most eligible Bachelor of Music

Mozaic Speaks

John Schaeffer (MozaicMKE) is a hip-hop/rap artist originally from Milwaukee and currently resides in Oshkosh, WI.


Schaeffer has been under the name of Mozaic (MozaicMKE) since January of 2015. His strong presence coming out of the gates with both tracks and music videos has had us curious at Music Speaks. Things started before the name came, John had been writing since High School and things picked up after moving back to Oshkosh from Milwaukee. John got on board with Keagan Dittle, Keag, who together have a handful of co-releases, frequently perform on the same bill and will share the stage again this month July 29th at Peabody’s Ale House
1. [https://seansmart.bandcamp.com/track/new-testament-feat-scumbag-kea-mozaic]
2. [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqcP5Uo5eXE]
3. [https://soundcloud.com/mozaicmke/evil-empire].

Tell us a little about yourself

I go by the artist name “Mozaic” which was most fitting for who I am as a person, diverse. Whether it be my personality, choice of music, views and overall outlook on life.

When it comes to my music I put out the fun side, ugly side and every different aspect of myself that when put together creates the image of who I am, and people relate to that.

My father being mixed (african american & white) has a big influence on who I am and what has molded me into the person and artist I am today. I’ve seen a lot of sides to the spectrum to a lot of my peers who have not, and I feel blessed being able to have an expression from both sides of the field.

Performing and hip-hop is in John’s blood. Father Roderick Schaeffer, more famously known as DJ Rock Dee, is one of the shimmering pieces of the array that makes up the mosaic that is Mozaic. Roderick tragically passed away this time of year in 2008. Milwaukee radio hosts and journalist saw the makings of an everyday icon in Rock Dee. Most sources will highlight his roles as a host for 88Nine Radio Milwaukee [http://radiomilwaukee.org/], a seasoned turntablist both traditionally and digitally, a two year stint as a founding member of Disciples of a Lyrical Rebellion which was a precursor to Arrested Development, performing with Gumbo as seen on TV, for serving time in the military, as being a father of five and his career move to New York to later start two brands that still run strong. Left frustrated and driven to carry on his father’s legacy, it is here and now in the Fox Valley and Milwaukee, WI that Mozaic is making more than just his fans and family proud.

Early influences

My father (DJ Rock Dee)
A Tribe Called Quest
Bone Thugs N Harmony

The hip-hop arena is far broader now than it was coming into the millennium when Tupac wasn’t considered throwback or Bone Thugs N Harmony vintage and Eminem was at the cutting edge. Mozaic’s wide-stanced flavor when mixed with TRiLL GATE$ production can lay on trap rap triplet rhyme schemes over high-hat trills real thick and turn a corner on the next collaboration planting stand-up limericks and lyrics alongside record scratches and horn samples that echo the sounds of the past like a slice of A Tribe Called Quest pie in its contrapuntal prime. TRiLL GATE$, Mike Reagl, original vision, CSYSYK and a select few other producers each generate a magnetism that bring out different pieces of Mozaic’s assortment of approaches.

When the production disappears and we’re left with nothing but words you get a real sense for Mozaic’s flow. Chaos is one of my favorites. Take a listen. [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYg1-gvZspI] This track is what kicks off the Mozaik MKE YouTube campaign that lured and hooked my attention with a deep weighty voice double through a gripping monologue.

John put me right in his shoes with another center-stage homily through an interlude called “Fatherless” from his debut EP “Peace by Piece.” It features little more instrumentally than a creeping orchestral swell to usher in a haunting retrospective about coming to terms, slam poet style, with the challenges of growing up without small time celebrity father DJ Rock Dee [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHpegNTnHPk].

A day in the life goes a little something like. . .

Wake up, go to work… Music, Music, Music. I’ll listen to music at work, indirectly getting paid to be a musician (*to self – should I be saying that? *laughs)

John is constantly listening through new records and he’ll get through a lot during a full work shift doing double duty with headphones on alongside the daily grind.

Speaking of which, what’s playing on your iTunes right now?

A lot of what I listen to is from Milwaukee and Chicago. Let’s see. . .

Kendrick Lamar – Untilited Unmastered
Chance the Rapper – Chance 3/Coloring Book (its gospel)
Supa Bwe – Dead Occasion [Chicago – https://soundcloud.com/supabwe]
Mick Jenkins – The Waters
D’amato – Counterfeit Paradise [Milwaukee – https://soundcloud.com/damatolovesyou]

– also –

J Cole
School Boy Q

How about a favorite instrument to hear in a track?

Piano and Saxophone – while thumbing through a catalog of instrumentals, what catches my attention most is if these instruments are involved. Anyone who makes music can admit that it’s quite hard to elaborate on the creation of a song and it’s really more of a feeling. These two instruments touch my soul more than I’ve found in any other instruments.

What’s the most interesting show you’ve been a part of?

The TrueSkool 10 year anniversary held at the 88.9 radio Milwaukee station. TrueSkool is a hip-hop youth school based out of Milwaukee,WI which teaches the elements of hip-hop to the youth. The 88.9 radio Milwaukee radio station was kind enough to host the 10 year anniversary and packed the house out. The show was filled with students and top local hip-hop musicians who dedicated their time and talent to be a part of not only the show but the TrueSkool 10 year anniversary album which also featured me on. The night consisted of nothing but love, addressing poverty and turning around the environment into a positive one.

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John’s father Rock Dee was a host for 88.9. A two part video from the event is available here: [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSyFj9bFvTk].

In mentioning additional shows from the pat year Mozaic said Reptile Palace, Barley & Hops, Oblio’s, Peabody’s and Stitches (RIP) come to mind first.

When it comes to getting on stage what’s going through your mind?

I tune out the world but be present for the event. I’ll get butterflies whether it’s packed vs. 4 people in the room.

Those moments before getting on the stage, standing right in-between excitement and nerves. When that happens I know it’s going to be a good show.

Then a different personality (Mozaic) takes over. Any artist can tell you that it’s more of a feeling. Just breaking down those walls.

When it comes to nailing a freshly written track John says it comes natural to “write a track and the words are there”.

Your music videos have been great to watch. Tell us about 1999.

1999 was something totally different, a party song. 1999 is about the college years, being at those house parties every week.

What would you say is your biggest claim to fame?

Imitation Diamonds (music video). It’s created a buzz and been picked up by major blog sites.

Imitation Diamonds [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpO_X3JKnAA] is the most recent music video to come from Mozaic and company. Credits include Zed Kenzo, direction under Alex Belville and Wes Tank with an instrumental coming from Eclipse that tirelessly trudges along like a chain gang. It was reposted by big major blog sites from Milwaukee to New York City [https://mishkanyc.com/our-story] and has earned the distinct honor of being selected as a finalist for the LA CineFest.

Earlier in the year I caught a preview of the track at the UW Oshkosh WISCO music festival and I distinctly remember John saying “you’re going to fall in love with this girl’s voice.” [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pk8RwHY93Zw]. The half hour set was broadcasted live on the UW Oshkosh Titan TV cable channel.

Any hidden talents that we don’t know about?

I can pull my inner belly button out into an outtie (*demonstrates – laughs)


What’s in the works right now for you?

Releasing a music video for my single featuring Cullen Sampson Titled “Beautiful Death”
“Liquer Du Sang” single: [https://soundcloud.com/mozaicmke/liqueurdusang]
Releasing my Full length Album in December 2016 titled “Sometimes Author”

Michael Lokken
UW Oshkosh BM
Photos courtesy of Mozaic – Artist – Facebook


A True Rolling Stone: Darrell Taylor

Recently I spoke with Darrell Taylor, your class act 21st century wandering troubadour of blues and soul. We caught up on everyday musician topics, long nights on city sidewalks entertaining passer-byes, Oshkosh and Appleton from outside eyes and also logged some session hours in my makeshift studio. A recording is available towards the tail end of this feature.

Stage name:
Darrell Taylor and the Floorwalkers, Hunting for Elephants in America (Darrell, Rob, Clarke)

Places of Residence and Regular Visits: Appleton, Oshkosh, Florida, New Orleans, San Diego, Phoenix and Georgia.


Describe your #style in 140 characters or less.
Well first off I’m more of a singer than guitar player. I’m an old soul so I’m bluesy jazzy with a splash of folk and punk but I still stay relevant and still get phone numbers handed to me from time to time from females and other musicians.

Explain the Floorwalkers (7) and what separates your group gigs from your solo efforts.
The Floorwalkers are more of a jazz/punk sound and as far as myself I try and dabble in a lit bit of everything. I don’t like to put myself in a box. I like to play whatever my soul feels at the moment.

What’s your typical audience:
Friends/family, pedestrians, coffee shop customers, bar goers are usually my biggest onlookers. It’s nice to have everyday people support with constructive criticism.

Local musicians too, everyday people, pretty well-rounded, a little bit of everybody, parents walking with their kids. Appleton, Oshkosh, oh everywhere on Main, a lot of friends that I see out there playing. Kyle Menga, The Hookup, Stephanie Hall.

Inspirations, past and present:
My biggest past influences were and still continue to be Otis Redding, Bill Withers, Van Morrison, Sly and the Family Stone, Al Green, the Seeds, Jimi Hendrix and Sam Cooke. My present inspirations are Alabama Shakes, Bruno Mars, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Nightsweats, the Makeup, Kyle Megna and the Monsoons, Stephanie Hall, The Heavy and Gary Clark Jr.

As for getting started in the first place Darrell says:
When I was 5 yrs. old I had Michael Jackson cassettes that I’d play and have those Mickey Mouse sing along tapes.” Darrell would mimic the videos. Then he says he got to thinking. . . “what if we took miles davis and merged them with the sex pistols. Not be like netflix ‘if you love this then you’ll really love this’”

I gather that the main outlet for these energies has been making impromptu performances spaces become memorable for listeners. Let’s talk street performing. Tell us about what experiences you may have from playing outside in public.
I’ve had many experiences good and bad which is common with any street performer with the worst being no one comes around to watch or drunks heckling you and taking away from the experience and as far as best I’d have to say drawing a big crowd singing along dance and just enjoying themselves also when a parent comes up with their kid and says my son/daughter wants to be like you it’s great to feel as if you’ve inspired someone or touched someone’s soul. . . I always wanted to be a doctor but my grades were never good enough but in my mind making music is just like being a doctor because it makes people feel good and let’s people put their worries and problems on the shelf for a bit and relax. . .


Darrell and his jam friends have a Summer street date in Oshkosh coming up with the Downtown Farmer’s Market as a part of the 4th annual Main Street Music Festival. The Summer is not just the best but in some ways the only time to make something out of busking in an area like the Fox Valley.

Tip culture varies over the setting, be it to a restaurant, bar, Uber driver or a musician at an Open Mic that can change over the seasons. An Uber ride through the snow warrants a higher gratuity the same way a complimentary coffee on a cold day at a restaurant makes leaving a few extra dollars less of a strain.

As for free music on the street? Well, no one asked them to play, why pay? At least they are getting their music heard. This is not the soap box for the starving artist but us readers have a good idea about what makes a day out on the front lines worthwhile and what can make it not so great. Not getting haggled or having to surrender to conversations being too loud, getting a business card with information for a possible gig, impromptu collaborators joining in on a song, video getting taken and shared on Facebook all have their place in making our day.

Getting ignored by person after person  scared to look you in the eye in fear of getting judged for not stopping to listen or drop a dime. . .that can be frustrating. Not only that, but a performer has to stay in one spot for quite some time to make even a modest profit. Darrell, tell us a little about your experiences:

I’ve had many experiences good and bad which is common with any street performer with the worst being no one comes around to watch or drunks heckling you and taking away from the experience and as far as best I’d have to say drawing a big crowd singing along dance and just enjoying themselves also when a parent comes up with their kid and says my son/daughter wants to be like you it’s great to feel as if you’ve inspired someone or touched someone’s soul. . . I always wanted to be a doctor but my grades were never good enough but in my mind making music is just like being a doctor because it makes people feel good and let’s people put their worries and problems on the shelf for a bit and relax. . .

That’s a great message. What’s the longest block of time you’ve had to spend to make a satisfying amount of tips? The shortest?
As far as how long I’ve sat in one spot to make decent tips I’d say about 4-6 hours with the shortest being a half hour – forty five minutes. . .

What are you rocking right now for your hollow body? How long have you had it with you?Currently I play a Hohner International acoustic guitar that was given to me by a close friend after my 1972 Gibson was stolen.

Let’s try an impromptu lyric session. I say “she’s a real go-getter, keeps her boyfriend’s sweaters, never really cared for the Varsity letters. . .”
it’s his mind it’s his soul that keeps her around, she fell in love with the boy when he was jammin’ downtown.”

Great! I feel that. We just collaborated right there. Speaking of which. . .

Tell us about some musicians you’ve enjoyed playing with over the last year.
The Hookup, Swamp Water Boogie, Pam the Bear and Eargasm. As far as locations I’ve performed in Appleton, Oshkosh, New Orleans, Pensacola Florida and San Diego. . . different vibe in each city.

Words of encouragement for newbies?
I’d have to say enjoy your craft, keep an open mind and always appreciate the ones who take time to listen. . . stay relevant and as much as you put into your craft is what you get in return. 
It gets better. Grind it out. Always try to keep a regular job on the side. Music is a pretty expensive hobby right now.

For Darrell it’s roofing.

Where can we most likely catch you playing?
You can catch me playing in the Appleton/Oshkosh area as well as in New Orleans and Florida. . .to be honest wherever I lay my hat is where I’m jamming . . .I’m truly what you would call a rolling stone.

With traveling, Darrell mentions time spent in LA, getting familiar with Capitol records, was once offered a contract and spent time making decisions about what is important. Things seem plenty interesting these days.

“I was playing at the house last night, someone brought out a xylophone, piano, bass”

Darrell mentioned a member of a favorite local band too at the party. He had a few to plug as his favorites as well:

Kyle Menga and the Monsoons, Jordin Bass, The Hookup, Stephanie Hall, Tyler McConnell, Unity the Band, RockSteady, Mike Rumans and anyone in his clique

Thoughts on the Oshkosh music scene?
There are lots of musicians in Oshkosh, hope more get together and play, the summertime will let people branch out. Playing outside is pretty cool, in a college town. I’ll come home with a pocket full of numbers.

There are plenty of varieties of styles and textures that seem to stay forever timeless, others may be overlooked. What is your favorite instrument to observe?
Mandolin, you don’t see it too much. Especially hip-hop and mandolin, coolest things since when Kanye came out with that Kacy Hill girl.

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For a separate session Darrell brought in a trio of jam buddies under the name of Hunting for Elephants in America and we recorded two tracks for mandolin, guitar and vocals. I got a better idea of what Darrell meant by liking the mandolin. The first track we recorded featured the mandolin and the lyrics sounded familiar. I remember months prior when I met Darrell he was just starting to put the words together. We were having a late night ad lib session and “Patience and Cigarettes” received its full writing treatment in the meantime. The second song we recorded was with the same instrumentation. Please enjoy a taste of what our afternoon sounded like: 

RECORDING – Patience & Cigarettes

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Kenxi Dupey, A Star on the RIND.

Kenxi Dupey has now signed with Sinister Guitar Picks!

RIND Entertainment announced earlier this week that Kenxi Dupey, guitarist for the Fox Valley-based all-girl rockers Eminence, signed an Artist Agreement with them stating, “I signed with RIND Entertainment to have the opportunity to grow further as a musician and start making a brand for myself.” This announcement sparks a new chapter in this young artist’s career. It won’t be long before that brand is everywhere.

When I contacted RIND Entertainment, Tom Hooks let me in on how they found her, and why they decided to bring her into their already impressive list of artists.

“When we first met Kenxi at April Anarchy we instantly became fans and friends. Later that year we had Eminence play a show for us and I got to see first hand how professional this star was.

We continued to stay in touch and earlier this year we went to see Eminence play at Rock For Wishes. After that show I posted a picture of Kenxi and what I call a Hairplosion on my personal media sites. It got more likes and shares than any other picture I have ever posted. It was then that I could tell that the world was starting to see what I already knew, that this girl was going to be a star.

Being a friend who knows the music business we felt that Rock is Not Dead Entertainment would be a good fit for Kenxi and we couldn’t be happier or prouder to have this rising star working with us and look to a great future for her as many great things have already happened, but there is so much more in the works… Stay Tuned.”-Tom Hooks, RIND Entertainment

It’s becoming apparent that not only has Kenxi blown the minds of her audience, she seems to have blown away the industry as well. And not just a guitarist either. Kenxi has been a Cellist for 11 years running. Along with guitar and cello, she has an arsenal of talent when it comes to many other stringed instruments. She’s a one-woman music machine. I’ve had the pleasure of watching Kenxi rock out with Eminence, and I’m anxious to see what she does next.

Now, starting down the road to her solo career Kenxi is collaborating with other artists, even creating a video for the song “Close My Eyes Forever”. In My opinion, Ozzy Osborne and Lita Ford should be proud to see how Dakota Malinowski of Killing Rapunzel and Kenxi Dupey made it their own. Tom Hooks has wanted this collaboration from day one. Kenxi said that, “My agent, Tom, claims he saw this in his mind right from the start so we made it happen!” Sure enough, Tom knows his stuff because these two voices together make for a serious force to be reckoned with. You can see for yourself below. Tom tells me that the entire project was recorded and edited in about 5 hours by Emmitt Raczkowski from ER Studios.

“After two weeks of individual prep work we ended up recording the video and song in about five hours in the studio.” – Kenxi Dupey

Collaborations aside, Kenxi has aspirations and goals for her solo career. “I am currently working on my solo acoustic set, which as of now consists of covers however I hope to change that very soon,” she told me in a short interview. I, for one, can’t wait to hear what she has in store for all of us.

Along with RIND Entertainment Kenxi sparked interest from Sinister Guitar Picks. Sinister, known for being the best sounding picks in metal, recently signed Kenxi on as an official Sinister Endorsed Artist. Although they couldn’t be reached for comment at this time, Sinister Guitar Picks is no slouch when it comes to choosing who they endorse.

You can catch Kenxi next Saturday, May 28th, playing a show with Cold Kingdom, VIA , Modern Echo, They Never Say No, and Adam Domack at Hijynx. And she doesn’t stop there. She went on to mentioned, “I also have some really cool opportunities coming up this summer involving The Voodoo Fix, and Brother Grey. You guys will definitely want to stay tuned!” I know I’m hooked. Join Music Speaks Magazine, RIND Entertainment, and Sinister Guitar Picks as we continue to follow Kenxi’s erupting career. That being said… Keep Rockin’ and we’ll see you at the show!

STEEZ, the ‘Funk’ in Funkadelic!

Steez, Creepfunk, and what to do with the ‘D’.

They call themselves Creepfunk, but the Madison-based band known as Steez has been putting the funk back in Funkadelic. With a colorful stage presence, beats that cause instant sway, and jams that’ll have you dancing late into the show, Steez fills the room at the Mirimar Theatre and Majestic Room in Madison on the regular. It’s no surprise either. Once you get that first note in your ear, there’s no stopping the funk from taking over. This year they’ll be playing Brat Fest at Willow Island in Madison on May 29th, and I for one, will not miss this show.

Steez has a flow, and show, about them that reminds me of George Clinton and P-Funk. They jam smooth and true as the music seems to flow directly from the very soul of the music itself. Forming into shapes, colors, and moods. Steez isn’t all business though, songs like “S my D” you know they’ve got a solid sense of humor.

S my D, it’s a song that begins ever so funky with a bouncy Talk Box intro. Before you know it, you’re cruising the hallways with a hop in your step as the bass shows you how to walk, and the sax shows you how to talk. It’s a funk-tastic groove that sets the mood to the likes of George Clinton, and P-Funk.

Trouser Snakes is another great tune. Heavily driven by the Keys and Bass, this is one jam you won’t want to pass up. Heavily encased in electronic tones, Trouser Snakes feels like riding along within a story. Each turn brings you another piece of the puzzle. I can see why so many people get into the jam session that is Steez.

You can find them, and their music here on their Reverb Nation page. Also on Facebook here.

“The band’s humble beginnings include getting banned for life from a venue after their first ever live performance, maneuvering a moped accident involving a parked car, and cruising the Midwest in the inspired 35 foot band bus, ‘Big Brown.'” – Steez

It’s impressive that these young musicians have captured such an essence of Funk. They’re groovy, they’re funky, and it’s easy to get lost in the music. If you really dig tunes you can dance to, and want to feel what it’s like to jam the night away, take a listen to Steez. They don’t just have good jams, their sense of humor, and laid back attitude will help you relax so you can enjoy the rest of your life. Don’t forget to catch them May 29th at Brat Fest in beautiful Madison, WI.

WiFEE and the HUZz BAND!

Hot Rods, Saxophones, and Cool Cats. WiFEE and the HUZz Band has it all.

WiFEE and the HUZz BAND is an all you can eat buffet. From their big band image to the tauntingly burlesque vocals, the entire outfit oozes musical prowess. With your first glimpse at their classy threads you know you’re about to see a show-stopping band. Take a load off, tip your hat to the barkeep, and take a listen. It’s not very often you come across big bands anymore. Most groups prefer to stay with the standard lineup – guitars, bass, drums, and vocals – but WiFEE and the HUZz Band are all about the big show. With their staggering 10-piece band, it’s all bright lights, flashy suits, and extravagant hairstyles as this group of incredibly talented artists fill the stage. If it’s hard facts you prefer when making decisions about music, then let’s talk awards. Just last year WiFEE and the HUZz Band won Best Band of 2015 from The Eclectic Ear. This year is just getting started and Stephen Cooper, the HUZz, took home Best Reed Player.

Recently on April 17th Stephen Cooper walked away with a WAMI for Best Reed Player. you have to give the guy his credit. He is one very cool Sax player. “Anytime you put that cat in the mix, you know he’ll lay down the heat,” we were told by one of their dedicated fans. The group didn’t grab the Best Horn Band award they were nominated for, but it’s all good. Stephen and the boys know how to rock n roll, so I wouldn’t be surprised see many more opportunities in the future.

Stephen isn’t the only member of this band that knows his stuff though. Singer Ruby James is not just a pretty face. Her career, and struggles, as a solo artist have given her alluring skills to accompany the nine other members of WiFEE and the HUZzBAND. Ruby has had a long road to a successful career in music. Originally writing sad songs as a rocker. She almost packed it in for good when she lost her grandfather.”I didn’t want to write anymore,” she told On Milwaukee. It was a rough road, but when she landed at the Holiday Music Motel in Sturgeon Bay, a special motel dedicated to songwriting festivals, she was met with an alternative route. Stephen, struggling to keep things going himself, it was seemingly Fate that brought these two lost musicians together.

It’s a story of struggle, close calls, and of course, love. Just as the name suggests, WiFEE and the HUZz are married. They got engaged just weeks after they met at the Holiday Music Motel. It was the beginning of a collaboration in music that many fans were eagerly awaiting. Incorporating Adam Mackintosh, Greg Roteik, Barrett Taske, Chris Scheer, Mike Underwood, Tommy V, Kurt Shipe, Greg Garcia, Dan Zaffran, Melanie Jane, and Pat Macdonald they took their musical romance on the road. They’ve been captivating audiences, and filling the house ever since. You can check out their full schedule here at their website, or catch them on Face Book. If you haven’t heard of WiFEE and the HUZz BAND, then you’re in for a treat. We’ll see you at the show!

David Bowie, the Masterpiece Called Blackstar

One of the worlds greatest artists has something to say.

David Bowie, one of music’s greatest contributors, and most creative minds, released his latest, and final album on January 8th, 2016. Bowie had been vigorously brawling against cancer’s ever growing grasp on his health. Taking things one day at a time, fighting for every syllable, Bowie defied every crushing blow the universe could throw at him with grace. He was determined to see his final parting gift to the world released, and he did just that. No more than two days after the release of his final contribution, David Bowie passed into the great beyond. Leaving us with his ominous, yet intriguing creation of farewell rhythms, and words of final truth, known as Blackstar. He gave us shock and awe with Ziggy Stardust. Bringing issues to the surface was his unintentional gift right from the beginning.

“I’m just an individual who doesn’t feel that I need to have somebody qualify my work in any particular way. I’m working for me.” – David Bowie

Being an artist, he had no choice, but to express himself, and the world around him, as he perceived it. It was colorful, joyous, and sometimes dismal. He had a knack for drawing the unexpected picture. In all his years as an artist, that unexpected image has never faded away. Bowie used his last recording opportunity to paint one final masterpiece. A bit dark at moments, but he effortlessly urges beauty to reach out from underneath the darkness.

Right from the beginning Blackstar has a desperate despair looming over head. Each chord seems to draw out emotions of sorrow, relief, and regret. In true Bowie tradition, he forces us to see what we don’t want to see. The vulnerability of our own humanity. Blackstar, the title track, itself flows with a raw sense of desperation. Talking about execution, loneliness, and being at the center of it all. You can really get the sense that this track echoes his most inner thoughts. The song reminisces about a resurrection. The entire track is overpowering with emotion, but that’s not where is ends.

It’s clear throughout the whole album that he knew this was the end. Each track pulls you deeper into the world of David Bowie. You can easily find yourself spinning out of control as you lay sprawled out on the living room floor. Both sound, and emotion dance around as life, and all it’s daily troubles melt into the obscure droning of instruments.

“For about ten years, he took a holiday but I can’t blame him. He’s worked so hard all his life.” Tony Visconti recalls in an interview with The Sun.

Lazarus, my personal favorite tune off Blackstar, seems more like a message in a bottle than just a neat song. Lazarus talks of stardom, struggle, and personal acknowledgment. There’s a quite smile creeping underneath overtones of memoir-like dramatic-isms as Bowie cruises in and out of each beautiful verse. Bowie has stayed true to his fans, and himself, with this wonderfully striking album.

It’s not all slow sadness and sorrow on Blackstar though. ‘Tis a Pity She Was a Whore struck me right into a dancing mood with it’s slightly more upbeat tempo and . The opening lyrics grab your attention as Bowie sings about getting a face full of fist. The billowing horns throughout the entire album tell the true story. A fight scene, a man losing his way, a thank you, and a departure. Every instrument oozes raw emotion right alongside David’s heavily colored lyrics. As a musician, David Bowie deserves not just our respect, but our admiration for the hard work and raw creativity he poured into this final release. Right up to the very end of his life he has given us original art that can be appreciated by all walks of life.

A true farewell masterpiece of a lifetime. I believe, Blackstar will go down as one of David’s greatest albums. It’s an emotionally driven, creative piece that raises the listener above his/her normal patterns of thought. David Bowie takes us into his heart, and shows us a different perspective. His insights, messages, and emotional provocativeness run rampant from track to track. He seems to take our emotions by storm, and present his side of what it means to say goodbye. The music community will forever miss David Bowie, but his visual, and musical creations will live on, and continue to influence countless generations to come. David Bowie, thank you.

The Erin Krebs and Jeff Johnston Jazz Duo.

Modern Elegance With A Touch of Nostalgia.

I haven’t heard a duet that gives listeners the feeling of true elegance, and raw emotional power in decades. However, the Fox Valley’s very own Erin Krebs and Jeff Johnston Duo is a duet of musicians that can’t be overlooked. Together they made it possible, once again, to experience a Jazz and Blues duet with breathtaking beauty. Erin Krebs and Jeff Johnston teamed up musically a few years ago. Writing and playing music together has led to live performances that create beautiful arrangements of colorful Jazz that floats through the air riddled with sparks of intense primal blues undertones.

When I heard Erin sing for the first time, it was live. I had just moved to town and didn’t really know anyone at all. As a musician myself, I was looking for where the music was playing in my new home. I had been wanting to catch Jeff live since I had heard some really great things about his skill as a guitar player. So when I heard he was going to be at a wine bar I liked, I jumped at the opportunity. The night started out fairly ordinary. I was just sitting at my table having a drink, and then, there was jazz. Sweet, soft guitar that sung with such conviction I had no choice but to spin around in my chair, and provide my undivided attention. From underneath this beautiful arrangement, arose a tremendous voice that reminded me of Aretha Franklin. I decided right there and then, this is where the music is.

I remember Erin talking with me, at one of their many nights at Uncorked in Neenah WI. She told me that the first time she heard Jeff play his guitar, she “needed to get to know this guy”. Jeff had been well known in the Fox Valley music scene as a guitar player that can really jam. It turned out that, not only were they a duo on stage, but a duo in life. These two have really found a way to share everything they love about music, and it shows. When they play together it’s like magic. Music and emotion lose their borders as you slide seamlessly into the groove. It’s always a pleasure to hear Erin and Jeff live in any setting. And it’s no coincidence they put on a beautiful show. Jeff has played in the past as both a professional musician for hire, as well as with dedicated projects over the years. He is truly no stranger to the stage, even siting in from time-to-time with outfits like the Jazz Orgy. Erin isn’t new to performing either. She has been a jazz vocalist for many years, and even plays the flute quite well. With all of their vast experiences in music combined, Jeff Johnston and Erin Krebs have definitely found an impressive niche together.

Erin has also been working on a solo album. Although “Love Always Wins” features Jeff on only a few of the  tracks, Erin is joined by many other great musicians from the Fox Valley area. Stephen Cooper on the Sax, Mark Martin on Piano, and Brian Gruselle plays the Hammond Organ. Drew Hicks, Justin Zopel, and Andrew Mertens on Bass share duties filling in the rythm section. James LeFevre, Mike Malone, and Mike Underwood on Drums give it all a smooth backline. Recorded, Mixed, and Mastered right here in Appleton by Tony Anders at Studio H. The album contains many original Jazz, Blues, and R&B tunes that I’m sure will not leave you wanting. You can find out Erin’s complete live schedule at www.erinkrebs.com, or www.facebook.com/erinkrebsmusic.

I can say with a great deal of certainty that you will not be disappointed when you make a point to catch Erin Krebs and Jeff Johnston live. Whether it be together, or at a solo gig, they will make your night out worth it.

Stream of Consciousness

Stream of Consciousness, hardened by society and driven by truth.

Stream of Consciousness, or Stream, has been in the hip-hop game for a while now. With years of stage experience, and a library of material, his version of hip-hop takes a very real approach. His words are not about bitches and hoes, drugs or guns, or violent hate of any kind. As a politically-driven artist he speaks the things that his fans are already thinking. He speaks of corruption, greed, and powerful men taking advantage of those less fortunate. His rhymes are well developed, clever, and are backed with powerful emotions, fused directly with facts we see every day, but fail to notice. His album, The Pentagon Papers, will have you hanging on every syllable, raging for redemption, and screaming for justice. Stream of Consciousness doesn’t just flow rhymes, he directs your mind down the path of righteousness with knowledge. The definition of his name, sums up his personal style.

Stream of Consciousness – A literary style in which a character’s thoughts, feelings, and reactions are depicted in a continuous flow uninterrupted by objective description or conventional dialogue.

It’s no big surprise to anyone that politically-driven lyricists are mused by the world around them. They see the suffering of corruption in the world, and feel obligated to do something about it; and that’s just what Stream of Consciousness is all about. He’s got something to say, and he uses his stage to tell you all about it.

Stream has shared the stage with some really impressive acts. Not only does he share his message of truth, and unity on stage, but he has also been featured on mix tapes like Emcees 4 Peace. For Stream, it’s not about bringing down the establishment, it’s about promoting peace. So, whether you agree with his political views, or not, let his music speaks for itself. Check out the Stream of Consciousness Sound Cloud page here.

With more than twenty tracks on just his Sound Cloud page alone, you can be sure Stream has a lot to say. But that’s not all. He’s a true worker when it comes to his music, and live performance. I got the chance to see Stream perform at The Reptile Palace in Oshkosh this past fall. The entire performance took me for a ride. I wasn’t expecting the level of crowd engagement, energy, or movement I saw on stage. You can literally see the passion pouring out as Stream puts everything into his set. I was blown away by both his lyrical content, and his ability to captivate the audience with his words. As a performer myself I can say that this man gives 110% during his entire set. Luckily, you can see all this for yourself on May 12th.

Stream of Consciousness will be joining Nappy Roots here in Neenah, WI on May 12th at Cranky Pat’s, 905 S Commercial St, Neenah, WI.

The show details are:

Cranky Pat’s Live Music and Face Entertainment Presents: Nappy Roots with special guest Juda Priest from Wu Tang Zu Bulliez. This is really going to be an amazing show with Stream of Consciousness, Sheol Dynasty, R.Braille, Evan Ramsey, and BiGGeR ProDuction’Z.
Music powered by Face Entertainment and hosted by Bo1katt the Impostar
5/12/16 9:00pm
$20 *Tickets on sale
-Hard copy tickets are available in Cranky Pat’s Pub. This is a 21 & over show so please bring your ID, and drink responsibly, but remember to have a good time. Cranky Pat’s will be running a drink special that night as well in celebration of this great show. $2 – 16 oz. PBR & Busch Light.