Milwaukee Heads South

By Matt Martell

Mass exodus. A caravan of musicians traveling from their hometown in the heart of the Midwest deep into the heart of Texas. It may sound like a farfetched plan but that is precisely what happened this year at South By Southwest’s Milwaukee Home stage. Various Milwaukee musicians, from bands to hip hop artists and even DJs, created a united front to bring a slice of Milwaukee’s somewhat overlooked music scene to the forefront of one of the music industry’s most prestigious festivals…

Kane Place Record Club
“In My Bones”

Kane Place Record Club strikes some where between theatrical sounds and that good ‘ol indie sound that we have all grown to know and love. This tune is a fun up and down jaunt through everything that KPRC offers, including the energy that they bring to the stage.

Vic & Gab
“Let You Down”

“We are proud to represent Milwaukee at SXSW. Milwaukee is an amazing city and it has treated our band so graciously so it’s nice to give a little love back and represent Milwaukee in Austin. Milwaukee has inspired our music by providing a platform for our band. Milwaukee is very encouraging of its music scene, so just having support is inspiring.  This will be our first time playing SXSW so we are really excited for the 18 hour drive adventure we have ahead of us.”

Boy Blue

Though this track may read like synth-pop at first, don’t let yourself be fooled at first listen. Boy Blue brings their high energy dance pop to the floor but also leaves space for their anthemic builds and crowd friendly tunes.


“This was the first year I drove down to Austin, or even really taken a road trip, so it was exhausting and yet simultaneously exciting to see the country that way. Physically seeing the amount of miles between the people that we’re able to connect with musically and as performers, makes it that much more real and exciting. That gets lost behind computer screens and on airplanes. It reminded me that there is still work to be done, but we’re on the right highway.”

Fever Marlene
“Medicated Friends”

The thing to love about Fever Marlene is their self termed “garage rock revival” sound. But that is totally apparent in this track. What is even greater is the way they touch on that set of vintage sounds and blend it together with just a touch of dance music and futuristic textures as well as the wonderful simplicity in their lyrics.

Midnight Reruns
“There’s an Animal Upstairs”

It could be said that Midnight Reruns also can be placed in that “garage rock revival” sound but likely more influenced by Smashing Pumpkins, Weezer, and the like. Plus the energy you hear in Graham Hunt’s vocals does not disappoint. See them live and you will know.

Hugh Bob and the Hustle
“Milwaukee Man”

When it comes to Hugh Robert Masterson, the only thing that can come to mind is roots,
Americana, folk, and Heartland rock, a term often sonomous with Tom Petty or Bruce Springsteen. But Hugh Bob and the Hustle have a unique sound, with storytelling an essential part of these songs. The stories being told will make you smile, bringing a little something for everyone.