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October 2003

City Talk, a new program on 89.7, WUWM-Milwaukee Public Radio, began airing September 28 and will focus on Milwaukee’s cultural and ethnic diversity. The weekly, half-hour magazine format show is hosted by veteran producer Robyn Cherry and airs Sundays at 6 p.m. and Thursdays at 1 p.m. Cherry recently told OnMilwaukee.Com, “Those of us who live and work here often talk about Milwaukee as a melting pot of cultures. Yet those cultures rarely turn up in the Milwaukee media. We believe that there are a lot of interesting stories that need to be told.” Riverwest will be featured in an upcoming segment of the show. ……………………… In other exciting radio-related news for the city, a new community-based radio station for Milwaukee is in the works. A group of people including long-time Riverwester Tom Broadie is part of a group of people active in community issues and the arts who have offered to turn WYMS-FM, the Milwaukee Public Schools’ station, into “Radio for Milwaukee,” a new window into Milwaukee concerns, music and diversity. The project is being spearheaded and supported by local community leaders such as Julilly Kohler and musicians Peter Buffett (Narada Records) and Joe Puerta (Grammy winning member of Ambrosia & Bruce Hornsby and the Range). The group’s goal is “to employ community radio to help Milwaukee reach its potential as one of America’s most livable cities.” The group received the go-ahead from the school board and is now working to put plans in place. Check out their website at www.RadioforMilwaukee.org. ……………………… If Crime and Judy were at all wearied by their road trip to the east coast, they weren’t showing it last month at Onopa Brewing Co. Though short (about 40 minutes), their set featured an energetic performance from the band. Tight as a musical unit from two weeks on the road, they were relaxed as people, with co-lead singer Angelique putting down a heckler and telling the crowd about getting dissed in Chapel Hill for liking Pabst Blue Ribbon. A fun night, for both the band and the audience. The set featured the majority of Crime and Judy’s new EP, Vendetta Chants, as well as several brand new songs. The Vega Star opened the show, and Riviera played afterward. ……………………… Singer-songwriter Chris Smither, always a treat to see in concert, was in town to play at Gil’s Cafe recently. The receptive audience included other singer-songwriters and music aficionados Peter Mulvey, John Seager, and Paul Cebar. ……………………… Center Street was the hot spot for several CD releases parties in Riverwest recently. The Lovelies held their CD release party at Mad Planet September 20, for the trio’s latest recording, “White Leather.” The female band played to a packed house on a rocking night. (Mad Planet has been scheduling other bands recently as well – see the Community Calendar.) Onopa hosted the party for Mahogany Throttle’s new CD, “Traverse,” September 25. Members of the three-person band live in Riverwest and in an interview with OnMilwaukee.Com, guitarist David White offered the following description of the neighborhood: “It’s the epicenter of independent music in Milwaukee. It’s cheap rent, but it’s also where I would venture to guess that 80 percent of the musicians that are really consistently out there that are pushing the boundaries of new and exciting music have some connection to Riverwest. If you were to pick up the Cactus Club and put it in Riverwest, it would fit right in, and that way people wouldn’t have to drive over the Hoan Bridge drunk. The allure to Riverwest is that it is the most diversified community in Milwaukee, and it has its problems just like any other borough in any other major city in the U.S. The people who are here are involved in the arts. We wouldn’t have the same energy if we lived in Shorewood. Star Wars has Mos Eisley, we have Riverwest.” Nicely put, David. ……………………… Bremen Cafe’s open mic on Monday night has grown to standing room only capacity some nights. To respond to the growing demand, the cafe has decided to run two open mic nights a week, Mondays and Thursdays. ……………………… As the full moon rose over the trees, more than 500 people gathered together on September 11 for a commemorative candlelight vigil at the last Gordon Park Grooves concert. TV cameras and reporters swarmed the stage as George Martin of Peace Action asked the children “What does peace mean to you?” Their answers were simple: Love, respect, kindness, no guns or war. Afterward, under a perfect starlit summer night, the mellow crowd swayed and danced to the grooves of Paul Cebar & The Milwaukeeans. Peace should always be this easy. Linneman’s addition, complete with a new stage, is open and rocking. The new super-sound-proofed addition has bumped Linneman’s up to the second largest music venue in Riverwest, after Onopa. Check out the cool fresh air — no more “smoky sweat lodge!” Neighborhood groups are invited to try it out for community meetings, especially early in the week on Monday or Tuesday nights. ……………………… “The Sierra Tarahumara: Photographs by John Ruebartsch” remains open at Walker’s Point Center for the Arts, 911 W. National Avenue. In addition to the exhibit, Ruebartsch is leading a photography residency for students at El Puente Alternative High School, and also will be on hand for a free film screening and panel discussion to be held on Saturday, October 11 at WPCA. “The Voices of the Sierra Tarahumara,” a documentary film co-produced by Ruebartsch, raises issues relating to cultural survival of indigenous people in North America. ……………………… Tom Tolan was interviewed about his book, Riverwest: A Community History, on Milwaukee Midweek, a half-hour show that airs Wednesdays at noon on WMSE, as well as on WUWM’s At Ten show last month. If you haven’t read the book and would like to order one, it can be purchased at Woodland Pattern, the Riverwest Co-op, the Garden Market on Sundays, or through our website, riverwestcurrents.org. Proceeds benefit COA Youth & Family Centers.