Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Mile Five -- 15 New-To-Me Artists I Must See

Photo credit: Post-Crescent
It's here. It's here. It's finally here. My favorite festival of the Wisconsin summer: Mile of Music! These are four days where Appleton,Wisconsin welcomes artists from around the globe to perform along the funtastic mile that is College Avenue. Musical revelry rules the first weekend of every August in the Fox Valley's most forward-facing city. I spend weeks (months) annually preparing for it since discovering the festival three years ago.

To that end, I have scoured the interwebs and streaming services to further discover artists that are performing at Mile 5. There are so many great performers that it is impossible to convey in written form the quality of musicianship scheduled for Mile 5. They're all deserving of note. However, with only four days to take it all in, I've had to prioritize the new-to-me artists that I am most hoping to see. Without further delay, and roughly in order of priority, are the bands I'm most hoping to catch at Mile 5.

Terra Lightfoot. Her song "Never Will" is probably my favorite song of all from artists performing at Mile 5. I'll absolutely lose it when Terra picks those first few jangly notes of "Never Will" on her Gibson SG.

Never Will

Smooth Hound Smith. I listened to their entire online catalog three times just to see if they had a song I didn't like. Nope. Not one.

Stopgap Woman Blues

Fast Romantics. Anthemic riffs taking me back to the 80's. Plus, they're Canadian and we like Canadians, eh?

This Is Why We Fight

Julia - I've got to post two videos from Fast Romantics because this one with Fred Astaire, holy shit.

Oops. They don't offer a lot of internet optic candy. But they do box your ears with sonic rock and roll!

Dope Dreams

Swear & Shake. Missed 'em at Mile 3. They couldn't make it to Mile 4. I'm not going to miss them at Mile 5.


Desert Noises. Kind of a big deal to see these guys since I was a fan of theirs before Mile of Music was even conceived. Rock music from Provo, Utah. Did you even know that that existed? It does. Desert Noises proves it.


Boom Forest. Local boy makes good and comes home. Boom Forest, "the spiritual wailings of John Paul Roney" grew up and learned music near Baraboo, Wisconsin, he's now a Nashville-based artist producing ethereal folk and haunting melodies. Beautiful stuff.

Splitting Wood

Strange Americans. Denver rock and rollers that captured my attention at first power chord.

No Punches

Arts Fishing Club. When I explored the list of new artists performing at Mile of Music this year, Arts Fishing Club was the first one I thought belonged on this list. Their video selections on YouTube are so-so, but I was captivated by their self-titled debut LP. Check it out here.

I See You | Around The House

Calliope Musicals. Winner of the Band of the Year Award at the 2017 Austin Music Awards during SXSW, I cannot watch videos of this band and not think they'll be extraordinary.

Live Experience Album Trailer

I Am The Polish Army. Not too different of a story from Boom Forest, only instead of Baraboo, Appleton, and instead of Nashville, Brooklyn (singer/songwriter Emma DeCorsey grew up in Appleton). This band is all sorts of intriguing.

David Bowie

Bishop Gunn. When you here it, you immediately think, "These guys must be from Natchez!" and you're absolutely right.

Bank Of The River

The Blisters. Alright. I'll confess. I'm intrigued by The Blisters' drummer: Spencer Tweedy, son of Jeff and co-member of Tweedy. But I've listened to The Blisters enough to know that they don't need the help of anybody to make it on their own.

Through You

Good Night, Gold Dust. Hard for me to pin this band down. Their sound varies from folkish to glam rock. No matter, labels need not apply. I like them (even if they are from Minnesota).

Towards The Sun

GGOOLLDD. You might be thinking, "GGOOLLDD? Surely, Mike, GGOOLLDD is not new to you!" and you'd mostly be right. But the problem is I've never seen GGOOLLDD well. I always see them from a quarter mile away at Summerfest and even then only for a few songs. I'd really like to at least once see them well and I think that will be possible at Mile 5.

Dance Through The Winter

I know there are many other worthy artists to catch at Mile 5, and we'll see as many as we can, but these 15 are the ones that have caught my attention and I'm greatly looking forward to catching their shows.

Peace. Love. Music. ROCK! See ya.

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