Tuesday, July 31, 2018


July 1, 2018
"Outside Man" performed by Post Social-WSPC PREMIERE
"Won't Get Fooled Again" performed by The Who
"Solara" performed by The Smashing Pumpkins-WSPC PREMIERE
"Over And Out" performed by Nine Inch Nails-WSPC PREMIERE
"Plastic Hamburgers" performed by Fantastic Negrito-WSPC PREMIERE

July 2, 2018
"The Glass House (We Never Saw It Coming)" performed by Maxwell-WSPC PREMIERE
"Afraid" performed by Todd Rundgren
"The Main Monkey Business" performed by Rush
"Michael" performed by Prefab Sprout
"All We Have Is Now" performed by The Flaming Lips
"Five Years" performed by David Bowie

July 4, 2018
"The Star Spangled Banner" performed by Jimi Hendrix
"4th Of July" performed by Aimee Mann
"4th Of July" performed by James Iha
"4th Of July" performed by X
"Fireworks" from "Schoolhouse Rock"

July 5, 2018
"Beautiful White" performed by The Pursuit Of Happiness
"Kisses Start Wars" performed by Ryan Adams and the Cardinals
"I Live" performed by Jason Falkner
"Walking Down Your Street" performed by The Bangles
"Never My Love" performed by The Association

"Summer of '76" performed by Astral Drive-WSPC PREMIERE

"August 10th" (live) performed by Khruangbin-WSPC PREMIERE
"The Night I Heard Caruso Sing" performed by Everything But The Girl
"Hold On" performed by Steve Winwood
"Brother" performed by The Kinks
"Pigs (Three Different Ones)" (live in Mexico City) performed by Roger Waters

July 7, 2018
"Radio, Radio" performed by Elvis Costello and the Attractions
"On The Radio" performed by Cheap Trick
"I Of The Mourning" performed by The Smashing Pumpkin

July 8, 2018
"Breaking Up The Girl" performed by Garbage
"Frederick" performed by Patti Smith
"Dancing Barefoot" performed by U2
"General Public" performed by General Public
"I Got You" performed by Split Enz

July 9, 2018
"El Matador" performed by Los Fabulosos Cadillacs

"Cosmic Slop" performed by Funkadelic
"Slide" performed by Slave
"Abandon City" performed by Utopia
"Don't Kill The Whale" performed by Yes
"Cities In Dust" performed by Siouxsie and the Banshees

July 10, 2018
"Absolute" performed by Scritti Politti

"Last Train To London" performed by Electric Light Orchestra
"Sorcererz" performed by Gorilaz-WSPC PREMIERE
"Quand Les Larmes D'Un Ange Font Danser La Neige" performed by Melody's Echo Chamber-WSPC PREMIERE
"New Dominions" performed by Johnny Marr-WSPC PREMIERE
"About You" performed by Paul McCartney

July 11, 2018
"Keep A Little Soul" performed by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers-WSPC PREMIERE
"Come On To Me" performed by Paul McCartney-WSPC PREMIERE
"I Don't Know" performed by Paul McCartney-WSPC PREMIERE
"Summertime Magic" performed by  Childish Gambino-WSPC PREMIERE
"Feels Like Summer" performed by Childish Gambino-WSPC PREMIERE

July 12, 2018
"Poor Boy" performed by Belle and Sebastian
"Enchanted" performed by Prefab Sprout
"Let Me Back In" performed by Rilo Kiley
"Coax Me" performed by Sloan
"My Ultimate Form" performed by Gentle Brontosaurus-WSPC PREMIERE

July 13, 2018
"Ceremony" performed by New Order

"Siva" performed by The Smashing Pumpkins
"Love Gun" (live 1981) performed by Rick James
"White Lines" (live 2004) performed by Duran Duran
"Endorphinemachine" performed by Prince with The New Power Generation

July 15, 2018
"The Package" (live at Red Rocks) performed by A Perfect Circle
"Big Swifty" (live 10-26-73) performed by Frank Zappa
"Bring On The Night/When The World Is Running Down" (live Paris 1986) performed by Sting
"Impossible Germany" (live) performed by Wilco
"Level Five" (live in Japan) performed by King Crimson
"Soma" (live Arizona 7-14-18) performed by The Smashing Pumpkins

"Low" performed by Lenny Kravitz

July 16, 2018
"Dirty Work" performed by Steely Dan"
"Public Servant" performed by Todd Rundgren
"Master And Servant" performed by Depeche Mode
"Mission: Submission" performed by TV Eyes
"Salvation Road" performed by The Kinks

July 17, 2018
"Fuck You/Gonna Get Over You" (live) performed by Sara Bareilles
"Better Off Dead" (live Russia 1979) performed by Elton John with Ray Cooper
"Not The Same" (live) performed by Ben Folds
"Moments Of Pleasure" performed by Kate Bush
"Rook" performed by XTC

"Siva" (live Arizona 7-12-18) performed by The Smashing Pumpkins

July 20, 2018
"Sweet Home Chicago" (live Chicago 1990) performed by Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy, Jimmie Vaughan and Robert Cray
"In Need Of Reason" performed by Kainalu-WSPC PREMIERE
"For What" performed by Wood Chickens-WSPC PREMIERE
"What Shall We Do Now" performed by Pink Floyd
"Procedural" performed by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

July 22, 2018
"Paraphernalia" performed by Miles Davis
"The Blooming" performed by Oddisee
"It's Your World" performed by J Dilla
"Black Beacon" performed by Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Adrian Younge-WSPC PREMIERE

July 23, 2018
"OYAHYTT" performed by The Coup-WSPC PREMIERE
"Push Back" performed by  Fantastic Negrito
"May Day (There's A Riot Goin' Down)" performed by Stew for "Passing Strange"
"Free Your Mind And Your Ass Will Follow" performed by Funkadelic

July 24, 2018
"Echoplex" (live rehearsals July 2008) performed by Nine Inch Nails
"Dance Yrself Clean" (live Madison Square Garden) performed by LCD Soundsystem
"Ceremony" (live) performed by Radiohead

July 25, 2018
"5 More Days Til Summer" performed by Lenny Kravitz-WSPC PREMIERE
"La Di Da" performed by The Internet-WSPC PREMIERE
"Muzzle" (live 7-16-18) performed by The Smashing Pumpkins

July 26, 2018
"Savor" performed by Post Social-WSPC PREMIERE
"Daughter" performed by Pearl Jam
"Dear Mr. Fantasy" (live) performed by Traffic
"Mad Man Moon" performed by Genesis
"The World's On Fire" performed by Gentle Brontosaurus-WSPC PREMIERE

July 27, 2018
"My Advice" performed by James Iha
"The Bird" performed by Anderson .Paak
"So I Can Love You" performed by The Emotions
"No One Escapes" performed by Astral Drive-WSPC PREMIERE
"August Twelve" (live 5-2018) performed by Khruangbin

July 28, 2018
"Love Comes And Goes" performed by Stillwater
"When You Dance, I Can Really Love" performed by Neil Young
"That's The Way" performed by Led Zeppelin
"Crazy On You" performed by Heart
"South Side Of The Sky" performed by Yes

July 29, 2018
"Partners In Motion" performed by Wild Nothing-WSPC PREMIERE
"Wish" performed by The Fixx
"I Dreamt We Spoke Again" performed by Death Cab For Cutie-WSPC PREMIERE
"God's  Favorite Customer" performed by Father John Misty-WSPC PREMIERE
"Losing It" performed by Rush

July 30, 2018
"Get It Up" performed by The Time

"Fascist Christ" performed by Todd Rundgren
"What God Wants Part 1" performed by Roger Waters
"A Twisted Sense Of God Part 2" performed by Fine Arts Militia
"Jesus Thinks You're A Jerk" performed by Frank Zappa

"Pull Out The Pin"
"Walk Straight Down The Middle"

July 31, 2018
"'Til It's Over" performed by Anderson .Paak-WSPC PREMIERE
"Heartbeat City" performed by The Cars
"Katy Be Mine" performed by Tony Carey
"Thru The Eyes Of Ruby" performed by The Smashing Pumpkins
"Forever In My Life" (from "Sign O' The Times" film) performed by Prince

Saturday, July 28, 2018


JULY 11, 2018
1. "Morgan"
2. "My Ultimate Form"
3. "track1.mp3"
4. "Wicker Park"
5. "Hobo Signs In The Liner Notes"

1. "Rise" performed by Johnny Marr
2. "You Make Me Crazy" performed by Utopia
3. "Morningside" performed by Sara Bareilles
4. "I Think I'm Paranoid" performed by Garbage
5. "At Home" performed by Slow Pulp
6. "Sands Of Time" performed by Fleetwood Mac
7. "All Come True" performed by World Party
8. "Essential Services" performed by Sloan
9. "Solara" performed by The Smashing Pumpkins

1. "Summer Of '76" performed by Astral Drive
2. "Blue Sky Mine (Food On The Table Mix)" performed by Midnight Oil
3. "Deadbeat Club" performed by The B-52's
4. "Humility" performed by Gorillaz featuring George Benson
5. "Sex In The Summer" performed by Prince
6. "Need A Little Time" performed by Courtney Barnett
7. "Since I've Been Loving You" performed by Led Zeppelin
8. "Fix It" performed by Ryan Adams and the Cardinals
9. "Fingerprint File" performed by The Rolling Stones


Released October 22, 2012
Released January 23, 1977
Released September 15, 2017
Released June 9, 2017
Released July 27, 1993


JUNE 29, 2018

The night was sweltering and not solely due to the weather!

The evening of Friday, June 29th already suggested the long, hot summer we would ultimately have in Madison, WI as the temperatures were already exceedingly high and the humidity was what the local meteorologists would describe as "oppressive." Even so, nothing was going to keep me away from joining in the celebration of this night's full release of "Major Congrats," the 4th album from Madison, WI's independent band Post Social, the collective made up of Shannon Connor, Mitch Deitz, Sam Galligan and Brendan Manley.

It had been the better part of two years since I had last seen the band perform and the release of "Major Congrats" also  marked their first album in a two year period, their longest stretch of time away, especially for a band that has routinely showcased their prolific nature. So, for me, seeing the band again was an imperative...oppressive weather or not.

This time, the location of the band's performance was at Communication, a new DIY venture, located upon Madison's east side in what appeared to be a reconfigured house space, now designed for local artists and musicians to display their work and artistry. And most notably, the venue is a sober space, a most welcome quality to the city in which alcohol is ever present.

Upon exiting my thankfully frigid car and entering into the sun drenched, soupy atmosphere of the outdoors, I found my way to Communion, easily and successfully located via the beautiful Andrei Tarkovsky quotation upon the window, and entered the blessedly air-conditioned space to immediately find Post Social bassist Sam Galligan, who was soon joined by Wilder Deitz, Mitch's brother as well as a seasoned local musician/composer/band leader in his own right of the Wilder Deitz Singers. It was a pleasure to have some moments to speak with Sam, as I had not even seen him in nearly two years. Still cutting an increasingly imposing and mysterious frame, he always surprises me with how conversational he actually is once we do get to talking. And to that end, it was also a pleasure to at last meet Wilder Deitz in person and engage in a conversation that I am already looking forward to continuing.

Soon thereafter, I was so pleased to see and greet Post Social's Shannon Connor, Dash Hounds' singer/songwriter/guitarist Alivia Kleinfeldt and of course, Post Social's drummer Brendan Manley's parents, Steve Manley, the owner/proprietor of Madison's B-Side Records and Anita Sattel, educator/artist and without question, one of the warmest, kindest people you wold ever be graced to meet and be befriended by.

It was during my conversation with Anita when the first of the night's two opening acts began to perform on the tiny stage set-up in the room adjacent to the area that housed all of the artwork. While we spoke through the very first song, we indeed entered the other room and within moments, I was more than thunderstruck.

Rosalind Greiert: Vocals, Guitar
I can only imagine what it may feel to be the opening performer of a concert event, even for ones as smaller scaled as tonight's. People arrive with the anticipation of seeing the main act generally. So for the performers who are tasked with satisfying an audience that typically did not arrive to see them, I would imagine that obstacle must be daunting to say the least. In the case of the evening's first artist, a solo performer known only as ROZ on the bill, but is in actuality Rosalind Greiert of the Madison, WI based band Heavy Looks, took to the diminutive stage and armed with her guitar, her richly powerful voice and flowing raven hair, she unquestionably blew me away.

As I previously stated, I missed her first song but by moments into the second song, I was hooked completely. With her growling guitar work and her incredibly captivating voice, ROZ demanded the fullness of your attention and held it tightly with a superior ease and skill that simultaneously showcased her unquestionable gifts with melodies, gorgeous harmonics and some fierce rock and roll grit, which felt to suggest having some roots within the alternative music period of the 1990's .

In fact, I often found my mind drifting to images and songs of Liz Phair throughout her performance. This is not to suggest that her music necessarily sounded like Phair's--it doesn't. But there just felt to be a similar sense of unfiltered, unapologetic force to her seemingly confessional material, that at times punctured me emotionally with some choice lyrical lines or even with the grace of her vocal delivery.
Bathed in mood lighting which consisted of shades of purples and oranges to augment her songs, ROZ mesmerized me from beginning to nearly the end. where she presented a final selection that just about knocked me flat. She began by giving the audience a choice. Would we like to hear her perform a song by either The Cranberries or by...Liz Phair? (My musical feelings concerning the '90s and Phair were correct!) So, of course, I raised my hand for Liz Phair (with all due respect to The Cranberries). But, The Cranberries won the audience vote and ROZ proceeded to unleash a solo performance of The Cranberries' now iconic "Zombie" to stunning perfection, just nailing the equally iconic vocal stylings of the late Dolores O'Riordan! 
Once she concluded and thanked us for listening, I immediately approached the stage to shake her hand and ask her a most important question: "Please tell me that you have an album!"

Unfortunately, she did not as she had essentially forgotten to bring merchandise. But, she informed me, that she is hoping to begin recording a new solo album, one that would actually not just feature her and an electric guitar but one that was exceedingly more studio driven and lush in sound. The best of luck to her for her future endeavors but for mine, I need to immerse myself in her band Heavy Looks!
Adam Flottmeyer: Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards
Grace Olsen: Guitar, Vocals
Dallas Reilly: Bass Guitar
Josh Reindl: Drums
Shortly after ROZ's set, the members of the night's second act, Like A Manatee, entered the stage and began setting up. In what felt to be the last minute, regardless of whether it was or wasn't, Adam Flottmeyer, the chief singer/songwriter of Like A Manatee, entered the stage last and began arranging himself among the instruments, wires and microphones in a bit of nervous energy as his somewhat rumpled appearance and  hair gave off the impression that he had been ensconced in the throes of creation in the studio and suddenly remember that he had a gig to get himself to.
It was precisely that specific energy that fueled the band's songs as the music of Like A Manatee felt to explore permutations of relationships gone wrong and the emotional upheaval left in their wake. With full nerve endings exposed, making for a collection of funky, fragile confections on which Flottmeyer's voice and lyrics suggested a musical space somewhere between The Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne's and a less unhinged Daniel Johnston, Like A Manatee created an infectiously  melodic and psychological amalgamation.

As each song was performed, I found myself envisioning  Flottmeyer madly piecing together songs all by himself in some sort of home studio configuration and his supportive bandmates fleshing the material out by providing solid harmonics and occasionally slinky rhythms to give the material even more movement, tender grace and sometimes, emotional torment.
Granted, at first, I think I was still caught in the ROZ afterglow, so these songs had a bit to punch through to really grab my full attention. But about mid-set, as the songs began to find a certain irresistible groove and flow, I was disarmed by a palpable innocence on display. An innocence that did not suggest any sense of naivete, so to speak. But one where the inner emotions and their presentation within these songs were not disguised by any sense of theatrics but delivered with an straight forward authenticity that was akin to something...rather, childlike, perhaps. Maybe that is not the correct word, on its nose.

When I say "childlike," what I mean is unfiltered. And it is that quality that inspires me to try and check out the band's recordings on a deeper level.

Shannon Connor: Guitar, Vocals
Mitch Deitz: Guitar, Vocals
Sam Galligan: Bass Guitar
Brendan Manley: Drums
Wilder Deitz: Keyboards, Percussion
And now, the main event. Something that I have been especially anxious to witness, not only because it had indeed been nearly two years since I had last seen Post Social perform, but also now because they were armed with their most aggressive, forceful album to date. It is music that is begging to be performed in a live setting. In fact, I even questioned if the smallness of the performance space would be enough to house the music the band created this time around.

This evening's performance would, of course, solely feature music from the band's "Major Congrats," which they did indeed play most of on this celebratory night...and I  have to say it, for as many times as I have seen the band perform, I can easily say this may have been the very best that I have ever seen them.
Much like the album itself, where Post Social have allowed themselves to keep growing, changing and evolving, as live performers, they have also followed suit. The already extraordinary guitar work between Mitch Deitz and Shannon Connor is even tighter as well as continuously impressive and imaginative. The rhythm section of Bassist Sam Galligan and Drummer Brendan Manley, already formidable, is becoming nearly untouchable. And what impressed me most on this night was to hear how their live singing performances have elevated as well, with adherence to the tighter vocal harmonies as heard upon the album.
What I loved the most, and as always regarding this band, has been their strict attention to the needs of the songs themselves, leaving ego and attitude completely out of the way. I really appreciated how Mitch Deitz, adjusted his singing style in real time on the song "Sand Wand," for instance. To sing within a studio setting as opposed to a live performance, I would assume, would and sometimes should contain different approaches as the song may require different needs in either setting. It was as if Deitz was seeking and searching, still figuring out what works best for the song regarding if he should sing in either higher or lower registers. It was fascinating to me to watch and made me so appreciative of how serious these young men are with their craft as these songs translated heroically from studio to live settings.
And yet, Post Social is not all about self-important darkness and seriousness as their friendship is easily apparent as well as the clear enjoyment they receive from performing. Yes, by the set's conclusion, they were drenched in well earned sweat but they had a blast delivering their music so enthusiastically. Easy smiles were witnessed and to that end, Wilder Deitz looked to be having the most fun, just basking in the sheer enjoyment of being able to play with his brother and his friends
In regards to the venue itself, it should be noted that while Post Social's set was easily the loudest of the three acts of this evening's event, I was amazed at the sound quality within Communication as nothing ever felt to be lost inside some distortion or sonic wash. There was space and clarity even during selections where the band propelled a veritable (and aforementioned) sweat soaked fury, yet another reason I am very anxious to return to this space and support not only the local artists and musicians, but a local business that works in conjunction with said artists and musicians, especially as larger and more corporate entities are making their way into Madison with a lack of regard for the community that already exists.
Again, that is precisely what made this evening the warmest for me, and it is the same thing that I have always been impressed to regard and I have since found that what I have seen has proven to be more than sustaining and even inspiring. It is indeed that sense of community that warmed me.

To again see how these musicians are not in competition with each other but fully support each other. How intently they watch each others' performances and cheer them onwards after every set. To witness how these artists are seriously committed to performing in local spaces, knowing how businesses and artists can support each other. And to just see families and friends venturing outwards to see musicians at work and play. There is simply not one moment that felt to be distant or impersonal, jaded or disregarded.

For me, this is what is making the Madison community in regards to the arts and music so unique, and I do realize that I still have only seen a small piece of it. But even so, something extremely special is happening right here in this city that so many are just fully unaware. Yet, do allow me to express to you that glistening lights are definitely being shown and I wish to keep being able to witness them and bring reports back to all of you readers and listeners out there.

For these people deserve any and all attention that should flow in their directions.
all photos by Scott Collins

Sunday, July 15, 2018



Shannon Connor: Vocals,  Guitars, Bass Guitar, Keyboards
Mitch Deitz: Vocals, Guitars
Sam Galligan: Bass Guitar
Brendan Manley: Drums, Percussion, Guitar, Bass Guitar

Ritt Deitz: Acoustic Guitar on "Sand Wand"
Wilder Deitz: Keyboards on "Sticky Hands"
Isaac De Broux-Slone: Drums on "From Distance"

All music by Post Social
All lyrics by Shannon Connor/Mitch Deitz

Mastered by Justin Perkins at Mystery Room

Produced by Ricky Reimer at Science Of Sound, located in Madison, WI
Released June 29, 2018

If I possessed a magic wand, I would wave it around with the ability to enter the music of Post Social into everyone's consciousness.

For the better part of these past four years, I have been supremely enchanted with the music of the Madison, WI based band Post Social whose textured, nuanced yet euphorically composed, produced and performed indie rock not only invigorated my musical spirit upon the very first listen of the first album, the band has also pushed open the doors of my perception regarding the artists that populate the continuously exciting, inviting and wholly impressive Madison music community.

From their mesmerizing self titled debut (released  December 6, 2014), to the DIY post punk rock aesthetics of their second album "Young Randolphs" (released October 3, 2015) and the stunning, widescreen dreamworld of their third album "Casablanca" (released July 30, 2016), what Post Social has achieved for me extends far beyond just making good songs or albums. It is indeed the sheer unadulterated joy in which these four your men create as well as the seriousness they place within their art. There is no ego involved. No evidence of jadedness. Only devotion to the song itself. And those qualities are not only what enlivens my love of this band (plus their contemporaries in this community), it has often equaled or even eclipsed the work of long established artists that I listen to and cherish.

For a band that is typically prolific and without any shortage of new material, it has indeed been two long years since the release of "Casablanca" due to their increasing life responsibilities with college, day jobs and musical commitments to additional Madison bands plus also adjusting to the grim realities of an increasingly politically fascistic era in the band's home state of Wisconsin plus the nation at large.

"Major Congrats," Post Social's long gestating fourth album, is more than worth the extended wait as they have conceived and formulated an album experience that not only builds upon all of their past releases, especially "Casablanca"...it quite possibly exceeds them. Armed with a palpable aggression, a tightly focused force and an unprecedented lyrical directness, the band sounds hungrier than ever as they have created a release that almost feels like a briskly thrown speedball straight down the middle hitting every single target in its formidable path.

With "Casablanca," I remarked that it sounded as if Post Social had created their own version of "Led Zeppelin III" (released October 5, 1970) as they widened their musical canvas, flowing to musical avenues not yet traveled. With Major Congrats," I first felt as if they had possibly created their version of Led Zeppelin's untitled fourth album (released November 8, 1971). but upon more listens and even reading the lyrics on closer inspection, I think that a better comparison would be The Who's monumental "Who's Next" (released August 25, 1971). With "Major Congrats," Post Social has returned with a roar.

Functioning as an album overture, "Major Congrats" kicks the doors open with the raging, hard driving "Outside Man," on which the guitars of Mitch Deitz and Shannon Connor charge and snarl ferociously while the superior rhythm section of bassist Sam Galligan and drummer Brendan Manley keep the song propelled at light speed. After an instrumental preamble that endures for nearly three minutes, Deitz's lead vocals enter the fray with a stern warning.

"Don't shake hand with an outside man
Who'll run you down and run you out  
Don't look down on our small towns
They'll vote you out and vote you down..."

As with past albums, Mitch Deitz's lyrics are indeed open to interpretation, for I am unsure if they are meant to directly confront a specific political figure occupying our state Capitol building  or even the other pseudo-political figure occupying the Oval Office or else something or someone more metaphorical but his delivery is nearly feral in its urgency. And when Deitz hits his speaker shaking howl of "Don't....Look....DOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWNNNNNN!!!" he has created his Roger Daltrey /"Won't Get Fooled Again" moment perfectly. Trust me. The hairs on the back of your neck will rise.

From that aforementioned howl of defiance, we dive into a howl of despair without taking a breath, as the band launches into the relentless inner turmoil of "Creeping Up," a paranoid, self-lacerating ode of feared failure with Shannon Connor taking his first set of lead vocals and lyrics on the album.

We next receive a bit of a breather with "Sand Wand," whose languid feel, via Connor's slide guitar as well as the nearly sitar styled swirl of Connor and Deitz's electric guitars, perfectly delivers a sound that feels to match its own title. But don't be fooled. "It's not a pretty picture/It keeps me up all day," sings Deitz. "I wear it on me/ It wears down on me...But it's sustainable/Making me stable."  What we have is a song that may suggest tranquility, yet it is tension filled. There are demons abound but at least for now, they are being precariously held at bay. 

Floodgates open with the arrival of "Before It Starts," a propulsive storm of a song starring Connor's empathetic yet anxious vocals threatening to being overtaken by the band's furious pace, which drummer Brendan Manley continuously threatens to push even faster.

"Put my trust in the Liberal Arts
It's over before it starts
I know I can't make plans if I don't understand
Where I'd be with a real degree, if you'd wanna be with me
The deal is I'm feeling rough
Think I've had it with this stuff

I want to be so sincere
But I just sink when your near
And it gets worse for every mile 
I might be cursed
It's so worthwhile"

Here is where Shannon Connor really begins to showcase a greater lyrical depth than ever before as "Before It Stars" speaks directly to an existential worry of life speeding past you before you have had a chance to properly engage with it and in the process, potentially losing those closest to your heart as well as yourself. While the foursome are clearly working like the Devil musically and having a blast with it, Connor shows a nearly John Lennon or Paul Westerberg-esque approach by inserting content that sounds so nakedly personal yet it is subjectively hidden in the song's whirlwind attack, giving the album a hefty emotional pull at the conclusion of its first four tracks, only to find some respite, however brief, in its fifth selection.

After the album's opening warning to not look down, we are asked to do just that in the album's next track, entitled "Look Down." With a lyrical and vocal presentation that, to my ears, suggesting nothing less than Brian Wilson, Connor treats himself to a beautifully melodic inner pep talk. "Don't give up on yourself/Don't worry if you feel like you're somebody else/There's more time than you think, get something to drink and out of the house," he sings and in encouragement, his bandmates bash along confidently.

With its primitive drum machine beat, minimal keyboards and shimmering guitars, the oddly titled "Popeye," feels like an extension of tracks like "Green Screen" and "Haunt Me" from "Young Randolphs."  This track allows the band to settle into a relative sonic calmness but again trying to keep those demons of loneliness, insignificance and failure at bay.

"Take a picture of your life now as you turn the lights down 
You keep on flinching
You keep your distance
Sit and watch that paint dry, lonely way to get by
Keep your patience, you're still waiting"

With the melodic power-pop waterfall of "Savor," Post Social ascends to a newfound level of grace. "Missed the meaning, ask again," sings Mitch Deitz and as his aesthetic, I am still unsure as to what this song might actually mean. But in some cases, it doesn't matter what it means when you know how the song makes you feel. And for me, this song in which the band hits some gloriously tight choirboy harmony vocals, makes me feel as if I am soaring and flying.

The aggression returns with the punk rock temper tantrum that is the brutal "Better Off Dead" during which Shannon Connor, armed with his crying slide guitar, laments "I'm fucking up somehow." The foot stomping dust continues to be superbly kicked around with the crashing yet groove fueled "Imaginary Prize." And with the stunning, exquisite "Hold This Side Close," Post Social makes a rare return to the sound that made me fall in love with them upon their first album, that inexplicable blending of textures and rhythms that recalls The Police, Tortoise, Real Estate, Television and 1980's era King Crimson. Yet this time, the lyrics match the brutality of our current landscape as Connor sings, "Each generation is more sadistic." 

The album reaches its harshest levels with the slashing "From Distance" starring Mitch Deitz's stinging guitars and augmented by Brendan Manley supplying a growling bear of a bass guitar performance and special guest star Isaac De Broux-Sloane of the Madison, WI based band Disq performing the drums, and sounding as if he has left Manley's drum kit cymbals in shards.

The album's penultimate selection entitled, "Never Coming Back" is shattering. Just plain shattering, so much so that I actually seriously considering reaching out to Shannon Connor due to the effectiveness of his devastating lyrics, singing and acoustic delivery which showcased not simply a heart worn upon its sleeve but of nerve endings completely exposed to the world.

"I'm so tired of who I am
Force myself to accept the plan
Cut me off a little slack
Say I'm never coming back..."

Again, comparisons to both Paul Westerberg and John Lennon are considerably earned as Connor has opened a new venue for his lyrical approach, one that feels to be simultaneously frightening and resoundingly brave. In doing so, Post Social as a whole only allows itself to extend themselves creatively, revealing a new emotional playground to write songs within.

"Major Congrats" comes to a close with the slow burn of "Sticky Hands," which features eerie keyboard work from Wilder Deitz of Madison's Wilder Deitz Singers R&B/jazz organization (plus also being Mitch's brother), was written, recorded and finalized in merely one day! Again, Mitch  Deitz's lyrics are open to interpretation as the song could either function as a weary sense of resignation or as prophetic commentary as the song allows the album to double end upon itself as the figure of the "Outside Man" returns.

"Outside man
You're the friend I never knew I had
You're the friend I wish you really weren't
But I'm holding on to find your worth

Someday you'll learn..."

With the rising tension as found in Wlder Deitz's organ, Mitch Deitz's tight harmonies and the building groove within the rhythm section, Brendan Manley's drums bring the song to full explosive psychedelic fury before allowing the ashes to fall and the smoke to completely clear, leaving just what in its wake?

Post Social's "Major Congrats" is a tougher, darker experience than any of the band's past three efforts. In comparison to the often ethereal "Casablanca," this new album is bracingly grounded, defiantly more streetwise and often existentially angst ridden, thus eliciting a sense that these young men have some distinct wounds that need licking and healing or even further, they are each trying to make sense of a world that is indeed much darker and exceedingly more angst and anxiety ridden than when they released their first album as high school teenagers. With "Major Congrats," all four members of Post Social feel to be entering this new life chapter and phase in our cultural history as a veritable gang of four, a band of brothers meeting each experience together, supporting each other along the way.

As the members are at the start of their 20's, it should be noted that despite the youth of their ages, Post Social is not a young band. Mitch Deitz, Shannon Connor, Sam Galligan and Brendan Manley are now veterans, seasoned songwriters, signers, producers and musicians who thankfully and beautifully approach their material with the joyousness of that very first time. As dark as "Major Congrats" actually is, it is also wondrous to hear the sheer euphoria at work just hearing these people playing and creating together.

Beyond the unadulterated fun, there is a seriousness to their art that has been incredible to observe from the sidelines, as well as through listening. I am still amazed with just how good they were on that very first album. Yet, what has impressed me even more over the years is to see how they refuse to rest upon any laurels and simply repeat themselves ad nauseum. Post Social is always looking towards what they next song could potentially be, always ensuring that the song itself remains the star and not just any one member.

After creating two albums entirely upon their own, it felt correct to these new songs that they return to working with Producer Ricky Reimer within an official studio setting rather than at home. For musicians who typically craft their albums all by themselves, it served these songs best to have guest musicians join in the collaboration. To that end, just look at Sam Galligan himself, a fearsome and frighteningly fluid bassist who knows that if by not appearing upon a song will serve the song the very best, he will do so and without any sense of ego whatsoever.

And even with these conceptual changes, it shows how good this band actually happens to be as they keep allowing themselves to grow from album to album and with "Major Congrats," they have proven themselves to have grown as singers as well as songwriters. Shannon Connor in particular has made a revelatory leap for himself as he continues to strengthen his guitar skills certainly, but this time, his songwriting has opened itself up tremendously as the confessional nature widens the emotional palate of the songs. This quality makes him serve as a perfect counterpoint to Mitch Deitz's gregarious yet enigmatic rock star and they are both superbly anchored and pushed by Galligan and Brendan Manley's formidable, sweat soaked performances.

The very best thing that I can say about Post Social is that while their musical influences are refreshingly wide and varied, they are never obvious, making them that rare band who sound like no one else other than themselves as they gradually create their own musical language and universe. In doing so, they stand apart from their contemporaries while also defying expectations along the way.

From the very beginning with me, they defied my expectations of what a band in high school could actually sound like. Now years later, and growing so accustomed to their sound, "Major Congrats" threw me quite a number of considerable curve balls, fully defying my expectations as certain sonic qualities I love about the band are either in extremely short supply, or have been transformed into something entirely new or have been abandoned altogether. What was once crystalline is now like a punch in the face. What was once youthful abandon is now tracked with honest pain, worry, concern, and confusion over what just may arrive next in life.

In a year during which all manner of musical artists have seemingly picked up a gauntlet and challenged themselves to push their gifts and their art further, Post Social's "Major Congrats" fully represents that conceit as they have crafted one of the best albums I have heard in 2018. Major congrats are indeed in order for these young men who fully deserve any and all great attention they receive.

I'll look for that magic wand to ensure that it happens for them.

Saturday, July 7, 2018


The way I see it, it should just be a full fledged tradition.

Today, July 7th, 2018, marked my return "home," so to speak, as this weekend marked the 6th annual WLHA Resurrection/Reunion event as hosted and broadcast upon WSUM-FM, the grand student/community radio station housed on the University Of Wisconsin-Madison campus. For an event such as this to occur once or twice,  it could be conceived as an anomaly, something of which there are no  guarantees that anything of the sort would happen again. Now certainly, there still are no guarantees but now that six years of this reunion event have transpired, with generations of former UW-Madison DJs returning to the camps for this event year after year,  the regularity makes me feel that perhaps all official parties should make this official and permanent. 

Regardless of the future, for me, this event, which provides not only a chance to reunite with my friends, all of us initially linked only through our shared love of music and radio, also allowed me to further understand the tiny role I hold in the longevity of this station, which has undergone a few name changes but has remained as part of this campus for seven decades!!!!

Yes...seven decades of student radio has existed upon this campus and I am still p;inching myself to realize that I was a small piece during a small section of its time. This is something to be celebrated, no matter how may times WSUM allows this event to happen. To be in the company of my friends, Lisa "The Grue" Grueneberg, Kelly Klaschus and Sue Whittaker,  is nothing less than a blessing. To continue to meet past DJs is absolutely priceless and illuminating, as they walked the exact same paths as I, Kelly, Sue and Lisa.

And now, here are some images from the day, an extremely early start to this year's radio adventures for us as I hit the airwaves at 6:30 a.m. Usually, I tend to write down every single song that the four of us play throughout our respective shows. The level of activity, socializing, laughing and trying to work with state of the art technology that has now aged enough to the point where it doesn't work as smoothly as it did when these events began today actually prevented me from doing so this time.

But, that being said, The Grue's 90 minute serving of glorious, beautifully bouncy, perky power pop from artists like The New Pornographers, The Records,  The Apples In Stereo, Pixies, solo Frank Black and her #1 favorite, XTC, enlivened my spirit tremendously...almost as much as being witness to The Grue's brilliant smile.

Kelly & Sue once again contributed the formidable wit and the warmth of their infectious hilarity  as well as their impeccable musical taste as they play local Madison musicians of the past including Fire Town, Willy Porter and Marques Bovre and the Evil Twins as well as classic alternative rock selections from The Violent Femmes, Husker Du and of course, their trademark closing jam by The Swanky Modes from the cult comedy film classic "Tapeheads" (1988).


As for me, here's what I played (even with the unpredictable, temperamental nature of CD player #2).

1. "Turn Me On" performed by The Tubes 
2. "It Is Not Meant To Be" performed by Tame Impala
3. "Divide" performed by The Amazing
4. "The Trap" performed by Johnny Marr
5. "At Home" performed by Slow Pulp
6. "I Live" performed by Jason Falkner
7. "The Wake Up Bomb" performed by R.E.M.
8. "Breaking Up The Girl" performed by Garbage
9. "Reach Out" performed by Cheap Trick
10."You Can See Me" performed by Supergrass
11."Every Little Thing" performed by Flesh For Lulu
12."Love And Sex" performed by Prince
13."Colors" performed by Beck
14."Seen And Not Seen" performed by Talking Heads
15."Older Than I Am" performed by Kainalu
16."Evan Finds The Third Room" performed by Khruangbin
17."New Language" performed by The Pursuit Of Happiness
18."Let's Do This" performed by Todd Rundgren with Moe Berg
19."Outside Man" performed by Post Social

 The Grue & Savage Scott, July 7, 2018
WSUM studios

As always, tremendous thanks must be given to Kevin "Casey" Peckham and Kevin "Nivek" Ruppert for miraculously organizing this event for the 6th year in a row and for being so passionate, tireless and devoted to honoring the history and legacy of student radio n the UW-Madison campus...and for doing so with equal parts humor and love. For this event is indeed a labor of love. 

 Kelly (left) & Sue (right) with Savage Scott
WSUM studios, 
July 7, 2018

Until year 7...friends and music, music and friends...

Thursday, July 5, 2018



"...I've thought of having children
But I've gone and changed my mind
It's hard enough to watch the news
Let alone explain it to a child
To cast your eye 'cross nature
Over fields of rape and corn
And tell him without flinching
Not to fear where he's been born

Then someone sat me down last night

And I heard Caruso sing
He's almost as good as Presley
And if I only do one thing
I'll sing songs to my father
I'll sing songs to my child
It's time to hold your loved ones
While the chains are loosed and the world
Runs wild..."

-"The Night I Heard Caruso Sing"
music and lyrics by Ben Watt

performed by Everything But The Girl (1988)

I have a friend who happens to be a prominent DJ in a major city. While we have not ever met in person, this DJ and I have formulated a very nice bond through social media and all manner of kind words and honest feelings have been delivered and reciprocated. Very recently, this DJ suffered a tremendous personal loss, one of the very hardest I would believe that any of us woud ever have to undertake...and truthfully, one that I personally fear greatly as I have not experienced it for myself as of yet but know very well that the time is nearer than further away. 

Anyhow, this DJ made a few mentions upon social media--not terribly many but enough where real world friends chimed in with their condolences and notices that they would be in contact shortly to assist with any needs. I sent a message or two of condolences myself and I plan to reach out again very soon. Yet, what was fascinating to me about this particular and extremely painful period for t his DJ was that this person continued to perform their on-air radio shifts without fail, and on a couple of occasions placed social media notices or photos during those shifts to express how much this time was personally needed and how healing it was...even if only for the time on-air spinning songs to the city, and via the internet, to the world. Once again, the music helped to heal.

I do realize that I am being cagey to the identity of this person and that is purposeful as to protect privacy. And besides, the identity of this person is not the point of this posting for you, and truthfully for me as well. The point is the again express the healing power that music has even when the thought of hearing or listening to music may be the furthest thing from our minds due to whatever pain we may be experiencing.

Yesterday was the 4th of July, America's Independence Day and while as an African-American I have had at least some conflicted feelings towards the day itself considering the history of the nation and the truth of how we know it came to pass. This year was truly a time when I was just unable to fathom any reason to celebrate as we have a racist, would-be fascist in the highest office of the land and children are being stripped from their parents to be locked in cages.

And then, I remembered this song by Everything But The Girl, whose lyrics are represented at the top of this piece, a song that is entirely about the redemptive power of music during times that feel socially and politically insurmountable, dire and even fatal.  No, music is not some miracle cure. Of course it isn't but its power to match a mood, to soothe a spirit ,to lift a soul is just inexplicable.

Lately, I have been experiencing an especially large windfall of new 2018 music from the likes of Johnny Marr, Jim James, Father John Misty, Melody's Echo Chamber, Gorillaz and especially Kamasi Washington to older titles from Wu Tang Clan and Todd Rundgren to music created here in Madison, WI ad in every single case, the music has not only proven itself to be as magical as it  has ever been, the new 2018 music in particular, has sounded urgently inspired.

It has been said that during socially turbulent times, the difficulties, tension and traumas of the period have produced greater works of art. As the world events of 2018 are more precarious, it is feeling that even if the music itself is not directly addressing the terror of the times, there is a newfound intensity to my ears, an intensity with the creation itself, a tension that feels as if time is not on our side and because of that, not one moment can be wasted upon anything less than the absolute best that can be created and shared.  It feels that the flames of inspiration itself have been re-ignited.

With that being said, my own levels of inspiration are feeling especially ignited as I wish to spend this month composing a few pieces that celebrate two different bands; one younger and local, the other, older and foreign. It just feels right to try and write pieces that are not only celebratory but ones filled with the gratitude of being someone who has been so moved and enriched by what they have so painstakingly created and performed. I can only hope that they turn out the way that I envision them and that they are received as positively as possible.

And then, this coming weekend, it is time again to return "home," so to speak with the 6th annual WLHA Resurrection/Reunion Weekend as broadcast on WSUM 91.7 FM student/community radio in Madison, WI, directly alongside my friends once again. Spinning songs, sharing memories and catching up feel imperative to the times in which we are living, for we need to be sustained in the arms of our families and friends and truthfully, whenever music can serve as that connective tissue, the bonds feel even stronger.

I believe that right now, at this point in time, we need music more than ever and because of that, we, as a society, need to value it immensely for it can no longer just serve itself as some kind of empty accessory. For all that music has given and continues to give to us, we can honor it by treating it with the reverence hat it deserves, especially now when the world feels as if it will spin from it own axis into points unknown.

If anything, perhaps just think about my DJ friend who still continued to show up for work during a profound personal tragedy because, I would imagine, the music pushed her to keep taking those day-by-day steps-by-steps. The music is here for us. To inspire, to recharge, to aid and to heal so we can all continue for as long as we are able to continue.

And as always...PLAY LOUD!!!!!!!!