The engine of communities across the USA is creativity. If not for the makers, the communities would be less vibrant, the human experience less enriching, our daily lives less full. Commonstate is a tribute to creative thinkers in every community who believe that a culture of creativity is a better culture for all.

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Articles by Nicholas Pipitone

Co-founder, Editor-in-Chief,

A story and a vision: My conversation with documentary filmmaker Erik Ljung

“I was literally watching the Olympics at home when Sherman Park happened. My buddy plays for team Nigeria in basketball and I was watching and scrolling through Instagram and I saw an activist that I follow was posting videos of people smashing cop cars. I thought, where is this happening? A little later he posted more stuff and I was like, holy shit. This is in Milwaukee. So I flipped on the news and just grabbed my camera and raced over there.”

Talking to The Posies about life, harmonies, power pop and tacos

In the pantheon of pop/rock music there are only a handful of iconic duos – those whose voices mesh together seamlessly, whose songwriting and approach perfectly complement each other, who sang as if some kind of magic wand tapped them on the vocal cords at birth and made it so. There is Lennon & McCartney, Simon & Garfunkel, Phil and Don Everly, and I submit, Ken Stringfellow and Jon Auer of the Posies.

The brilliant pop songs of Michael Rault and "sounding like the 70s"

There was a something happening in the late 60s and early 70s where bands – and a whole bunch of them – found their own voice very quickly. When you consider that Led Zeppelin came out of the woodwork with a sound no one had heard before, taking traditional blues and blowing the cover off of it making it their own, they in many ways didn’t invent hard rock; they invented a sound that can only be described, simply, as Led Zeppelin.

Ian Abston

This is a story that, at it’s essence, is all about making friends. It seems simple enough, meeting people, getting to know them, finding common ground, having a few drinks, and exchanging contact information. But the way Ian Abston tells it, if you’re a newbie here in Milwaukee, it is something that’s very...

Sundays, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and ... a cult?

In the hall of fame of days, Sunday is a first balloter. Plans and obligations be damned, Sabbath day. I’m going to mindlessly surf twitter and there’s nothing you can do about it. Get out here, Raisin Bran. I’m going to add a few scraps to the Keurig cup landfill. Let’s go.Eventually of course, the remote wanders into my hands. It does that all by itself, approaches me like it knows I want to know what’s on.

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