My good friend and award winning editor Barry Poltermann once told me a story about movie pitches in Hollywood. He told me that if you’re in a meeting...
One of my favorite quotes is by artist and photographer Chuck Close, who famously said, “Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get...
August 6th was adult contemporary night here in Milwaukee as suburban couples and twenty somethings hopped in their SUVs to the Fiserv Forum to hear John...
My 19 year old son and I were walking out of the theater after Quentin Tarantino’s new film Once Upon A Time … In Hollywood and he was clearly dejected...
If you’ve attended an event hosted by Milwaukee Film, there’s close to a 100% chance you’ve run into or at least seen Kristopher Pollard.
We moved our daughter to Brooklyn, New York recently and it was a joyous and profoundly sad journey. So, of course, I had to write about it.
It was a typically warm summer night in St. Louis, and Phil Sklar and Brad Novak pulled up to Busch Stadium to take in a ballgame. They love baseball...
Welcome to the Super Bowl of the United States of America. Where “All things to all people” has now reached it’s full self-actualized potential...
The end of the year is a time when sites inundate us with “best of” lists. But here at Commonstate, we’re going to do things a bit differently...
Let’s go back a year or so, late fall. A group of about 30 employees of Flowers For Dreams meet at one of their homes in Chicago and are sitting around...
The whole thing started out as a treasure hunt of sorts, an ambitious and industrious young woman named Ashley Town was on a quest. She had written a book.
I saw an activist that I follow posting videos of people smashing cop cars. I thought, where is this happening? I was like, holy... this is Milwaukee.
The “discovery” functionality on Spotify can be a harsh mistress. I’m not sure I love it, and it rarely loves me back. People are constantly recommending
I worked at JC Penney in 1982. Employee #750. Yes, I still remember. My department was ground zero for the sales of hundreds of Sony Walkmen...
When I met Dan Atkinson in his studio on Vliet Street, I was fully expecting to discuss his work making planters out of cream city brick. And, while we...
Imagine this bizarre fantasy: Aliens from another galaxy finally decide to show themselves, and they lower their frisbee-like spaceship towards Milwaukee.
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...
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...
If Lebron James joined the Milwaukee Bucks, it would change the course of a franchise -- most likely from “up and coming” to “arrived.” But how would...
Harmony guitar parts and beautiful layered melodies are popping out of the speakers in my Volkswagen and I sadly cannot take my hands off the wheel...
Ian McCullough, Aka Cullah, Wrote One Of The Greatest Songs About Being A Full Time Musician I’ve Ever Heard
Ian McCullough has released 11 albums since 2006. Every one of those albums was released on his birthday, April 27. This is not by accident...
At night, the most iconic part of Milwaukee’s skyline rests in the background in the dark. You can see its shape, lifeless, and sometimes the moon...
In the hall of fame of days, Sunday is a first balloter. Plans and obligations be damned. I’m going to mindlessly surf twitter and there’s nothing you...
I’m hanging out at The Vanguard in Bayview, waiting for Nick and Ryan from Milwaukee’s Midwest Death Rattle to join me. Looking over the menu...
This adventure started innocently enough; I wanted to buy a birthday gift for my wife. She is fond of these bird paintings we had seen at various...
The mismatched mix of tables and chairs in the dining room at La Merenda is slightly unexpected as your host/hostess walks you to your table.
The Cal-Neva is a casino in downtown Reno, Nevada on 2nd Street. And as I walk through the doors I imagine the hardened gamblers, cowboys...
There’s an old Nordic Folk song titled “Varulven” which, translated to English is “The Werewolf.” It’s a Little Red Riding Hood type of story...
The mission of Commonstate is to champion creative thinking in every community, in every field. Filmmakers, musicians, fine artists, chefs, public servants and architects alike are at home here. And just because you don’t make art doesn’t make you less...
Steve Kodis, one of countless immensely talented people who have willingly traded in a bit of freedom for a lot of responsibility.
I’m sitting in the back of Buckley's sipping bourbon waiting for Drew Britton to arrive. Drew has just returned from the Slamdance Film Festival.
As the Eagles claimed their “World Championship” crown after the Super Bowl, the saber rattling began around who led the pack in this year’s commercials.
When photographer Kelly Bolter said she would meet me in Wauwatosa, I threw out the names via chat of a few of these newer establishments...
Zach pointed out a few of the product designers in the store when I visited; Kinto from Japan, Most Modest out of San Francisco, Good Thing from Brooklyn. And, if you want to see a pair of Raen sunglasses or a TOPO Designs backpack in person, Commonplace is your spot.
I was standing in the recording room at the Exchange Recording Complex on National Avenue, with Brian Wooldridge. He’s pulling his Epiphone Coronet out of its case and I’m salivating at the sight of it; the Coronet has always been one of my favorite guitars, double cutaway, the iconic Epiphone “E” on the pickguard, the grit.
I’m 51-years-old and have worked out my whole life. I enjoy it. I’ve belonged to every club you can imagine. Getting my 45 minutes to an hour of exercise on a regular basis is important to me. I pretty much work out to maintain my dad-bod and stoke my fake sense of confidence that I have a semblance of fitness.
Have you met Steve Landish? He’s the guy who runs the bar at Kindred on Kinnickinnic Ave. By all accounts, at least in the three or so times I have talked to him, Steve is kind of brilliant. He talks about ingredients, how they work together, and generally is hush-hush about exact quantities he puts into the drinks. Go with it.
Mike Alt, sitting to my left, looked over at me, grinning. Then he laid down this gem: “I went to about 8 or 9 thrift shops before I came here tonight.”