Clare McCullough

Frankie and the Witch Fingers

Frankie and the Witch Fingers’ wiped the sweat out of their eyes. It was a hot summer night as they ducked into Milwaukee’s Cactus Club for sound check. Later that night, they would be an endless source of power between the anthem and the poetic. This headline show put on by Hear Here Presents gave the hot July night something to scream about.

They elevated their energy by starting with a bliss-ridden vibe mirroring King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. Their guitars supported a singer who together achieved psychedelic perfection in their song, “Realization.” Their guitar is the main star. Its momentum is clearly felt by their drummer, Nick Aguilar, “When I see people moving, it’s my love language.” He told me, in between the background elation of his fans’ post-mosh revelry. 

But just beyond the curtain, two more bands tapped their feet. They all waited for their chance to take the stage.

At the end of their show, they thanked Hot Garbage, who opened for them. Hot Garbage, based out of Toronto, was dope dope dope. The bass and the drums existed almost independently from the guitar and keyboard, playing with extreme contrast. They incorporated an enticing tone that reminded me of Meatbodies. Alex Carlevaris, the lead on Hot Garbage, said he wrote “for no one and for nothing.” 

Fellow Kinsman is a Milwaukee band I have been meaning to see for years. Their music had clear influences of Miles Davis. Nate Kinsman, the lead singer, and guitarist told me they will release a new album in the Fall of 2022, which was “a long process but a good one.”

Spectacullah: your New Favorite Album

The inauguration of Cullah to the office of established name takes place as small wood violets bloom in the north woods. It is impossible to go down streets of Milwaukee without Cullah’s voice drifting out the open doors of the residents of Riverwest (a vibrant small neighborhood that represents the infusion of eccentric socialist intellectuals, DIY punk anarchists, and afrofuturistic creatives). Cullah has not only created and released a truly awesome amount of tunes; they have traveled the distance. From Milwaukee’s own Cactus club in Bay View, and to as far north as Sweden and as far south as Chile; Cullah’s cultural footprint has been painstakingly engraved. It’s alright if you haven’t heard of Cullah before. Like Milwaukee, he has been underrated and sometimes even written off (not enough “it” factor he was told). His iconoclastic courage told him that only he could tell his story. Therefore, he has kept total creative control of the production of his work. You can see the singular vision of the artist unify in Spectacullah.

Spectacullah has shown off Cullah’s unwavering and broad talents, as well as pulling his sound from the things most personal to him. “I Want you to Be Kind to Yourself” is written to his mother, who has been experiencing health problems. Cullah’s new album represents the month that he was born in. To that season of new growth -he has pledged to dedicate the fully-formed creation, execution, and manifestation of his virtuoso. To understand his capabilities you only need to listen to “Love You Gotta Be” this particular song incorporates three different key signatures and the wild heart of his sister’s songwriting. To only call him technically talented- that would be underselling. To call him the next greatest artist – that would be only logical. album art – BigShotRobot

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