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The best kept secret in music


"Clementine show review from kikis majical music reviews. Sep. 23, 2006"

eptember 23, 2006
Clementine/ Lesser Birds of Paradise/ Juniper Tar; September 23, 2006; Jackalope Lounj, Milwaukee

Until I actually saw Jason from Juniper Tar I wasn't even sure we were in the right place. The Jackalope Lounj was a decidedly odd place to have a show, especially for a band as quiet as the Lesser Birds of Paradise as part of a great lineup. A crowded hipster hangout in Milwaukee's historic third ward, it didn't even seem much of the crowd was actually there to see the show until the last band, Milwaukee's Clementine, took the stage. We have the Jackalope's Trista to thank for this great show with no cover (!)

The Lesser Birds of Paradise new record Space Between is a revelation, its beauty so subtle as to be easily overlooked on first listen, but repeated listens reveal it as a smart and gorgeous work, destined for my year-end list. What was amazing about this show was that despite the crowded conditions on stage, the Lesser Birds managed to recreate many of the record's odder sounds. The gentle howls that open the record turn out to be a pair of musical saws, bowed by drummer Greg Thomas and guest Benji Shulman (who also played a mean harmonica). The song titles on the record turn out to be near as interesting as the songs themselves, a title like Claire Danes. If You Ever Get a Nose Job I Swear to Jesus I'll Hang Myself just one example. They were just as quote-worthy during the show (thanks to Michelle for writing them down); following the lovely. Do You Remember When (We Overthrew the Government)? lead singer Mark Janka said, That song was about revolution and office supplies, this one is about sex and spiders. Strange thing is, he was right about both, the former with its line Katherine, do you remember when we overthrew the government? We had two seaworthy boats and ten thousand Post-It Notes.�

One of the best moments came from guitarist Tim Joyce, his chilling version of �You Are My Sunshine� expands on the promise of the lines Conor Oberst quoted in �The Calendar Hung Itself� (quite possibly my favorite Bright Eyes song). Despite the buzz of chatter through the whole set, I was able to concentrate on their lovely music surprisingly well, and it was well worth it. Perhaps because they can be so quiet, I didn�t really like them the first time I saw them opening for Josh Ritter, but they won me over opening for both the Wrens and Chris Mills. Enough so that this time they merited their own trip, and it occurs to me they would be a perfect band for a basement show.

With drummer Tuc Krueger out of town for the weekend, tonight Juniper Tar consisted of just lead singer guitarist Jason Mohr. Playing solo, he had an even harder time being heard over the crowd. Still, he worked his way through a lovely set, his sweet, heartbreaking voice (which occasionally hints at Jay Farrar) lent gravity to his own songs and some well-chosen covers. I look forward to seeing the full band again soon, but till then it was great to see Jason and Juniper Tar�s other guitarist Aaron Schleicher who ran sound tonight.

It says something about the lack of crossover between the Milwaukee and Madison music scenes that even though Clementine has been a band since at least 2004, I�d never heard of them till they were on the Chris Mills/Bishop Allen bill when they played Milwaukee in August. Full of energy, most of it courtesy of co-vocalist/percussionist Cathy Reince, their set was completely engrossing, and I had no problem staying till the end, even though they played past two and we had an hour and a half drive ahead of us. Equally distracting and entertaining, the odd films running behind them for their entire set went well with their music. The music was still the focus; they combined a Modest Mouse sound with plenty of maraca and tambourine, resulting in a unique sound. The highlight may have been keyboardist James Dahmann, not only does he have a lovely voice; he was totally hot, bonus. I will definitely make a point to see them again soon.

Bottom Line: start time 10 pm end time 2:10 am worth the drive? an excellent free show in a new venue, I just wish people had been quieter reason to see the Lesser Birds again? I was too chicken to tell them how great the record is grade A-

Jason Mohr
Benjy Schulman
Greg Thomas
Tim Joyce
The Lesser Birds of Paradise
James Dahmann
Clementine - kikis majical music reviews

"Clementine draws best from other bands; interview for Nov. 10, 2004"

Clementine draws best from other bands
By Jason Keil

Published Nov. 10, 2004 at 5:22 a.m.

Musician Dale Reince has provided bass lines for several of Milwaukee's local bands, including The Inevitable End and Chocolate Fantasy Girls. But there were times he would stay up late with his journal and acoustic guitar churning out his own songs. They weren't complex; just nice simple melodies inspired by movies, friends, family and everyday life.

Reince started seeking other musicians to bring these melodies to life and had to look no further than friends in other bands, including Matt Schmeling and Alexander Boyes from The Inevitable End and James Dahlman from The Panic. Rounding out Clementine, his tight group of six musicians, is Brad Nault and Cathy Schlieve.

"Everybody here knows each other because of Cathy," Reince divulges on a blustery fall afternoon. Schlieve must feel like Clementine's answer to Kevin Bacon.

It would seem that when Clementine was formed in April 2004, the band's name was inspired by the free-spirited and tangerine-colored hair of Kate Winslet's character in the film "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind."

The members also act a little like Joel Barrish, the character in that film played by Jim Carrey, who is thrust into doing things that he wouldn't normally do because of Clementine. For example, Dahlman, who plays drums in The Panic, plays keyboards in this band. Reince, also a bassist, plays lead guitar and sings in Clementine.

Even the songs Reince writes take on a whole new meaning when the other five members add their ideas to his. This is the first band he has been in which his role as primary singer/songwriter has started going places.

"For me, (the band) was just a way to get my ideas and songs I had written quietly in my house," Reince explains, "I wanted to see what everyone could add to them. We were friends before, so we can really understand each other and a lot of ideas get through... It comes together pretty effortlessly."

"We all get to do these great things we don't normally do but we still have a passion," Schmeling adds.

"Without us really pushing it, (the music) is just moving itself," Dahlman says.

"I really value their input," Reince says.

The mood and the lyrics really add an emotional weight to Reince's songs, which are influenced consciously by the simplicity of '60s sing-along oldies and the layers contained in '70s rock like Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd. They are also subconsciously influenced by modern artists such as Modest Mouse and Guided by Voices.

Clementine, once regarded as a temporary project, has started to take on a life of its own, receiving praise on WMSE and at live shows, where it becomes instantly apparent that the six members really respect each other as friends and musicians. Everyone checks their egos at the door and goes with the flow, doing their best not to force success.

"There really isn't the tension here that there is in other bands," explains Dahlman.

Reince adds, "Writing songs, you get a certain perspective and a certain way you want things to end up. Sometimes it's hard to swallow, but with (Clementine) it's been really good ... We've had the experience to know how to work with each other."

Trying to get everyone together to practice poses a challenge for six musicians who also play in other bands, but Reince understands.

"I think (the other bands) are just as vital as this band," he says. When Clementine gets together to perform, it becomes a memorable event, as opposed to something you want erased the next day by the technicians of Lacuna Inc.

Clementine performs Nov. 26 at the Cactus Club with El Oso and Those Royals and Dec. 11 at Mad Planet with Hester Mofet, This Holiday Season and The Sugar Skulls at 5 p.m. Clementine's Web site is
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"Clementine review from The Shepheard Express. Dec. 28, 2006"

by Brian Barney

December 28, 2006
The music of Milwaukee’s Clementine is almost as diverse as the backgrounds of the band’s members. Careers like massage therapy and firefighting make up the day jobs of this group of indie-poppers, whose musical mission statement is to have fun. Perhaps the range of personal life choices helps shine a light on their eclectic original material. Bands like Modest Mouse, the Flaming Lips and Neutral Milk Hotel come to mind for music that is quirky and catchy. A Clementine show is a bit like watching a Beck retrospective, with upbeat, slightly ambient, danceable songs. - Shepheard Express

"Clementine on the Rise; interview for the Shepherd Express. Jan. 26, 2006"

by Jason Keil

January 26, 2006
What started out as a side project has quickly blossomed into something more spectacular than the six musicians that make up Clementine could possibly have imagined. Guitarist Dale Reince, a musician in various other local bands, helped form Clementine to breathe life into the songs he had been writing, culling the talents of bassist Al Boyes, keyboardist James Dahmann, guitarist Brad Nault, percussionist-vocalist Cathy Reince and drummer Matt Schmeling. But word of the band's excellent live shows and solid songwriting quickly spread outside Milwaukee's indie music circle and the crowds grew and grew, with fans standing shoulder to shoulder, bobbing their heads to catchy tunes that have been compared to the likes of the Shins, Pavement and Modest Mouse.

Clementine's 2006 began with a bang when they started recording their first full-length album at the legendary Chicago Recording Company, the studio where bands such as Wilco and the Smashing Pumpkins have worked. As the band continues to gain momentum, fielding offers from various labels to distribute the upcoming record, Reince remains as unpretentious and grounded as ever. He recently spoke with Noize about the band's work to move comfortably into the spotlight.

Noize: How was recording in Chicago?

Dale Reince: Chicago was a fairy tale for us. It was the biggest thing that we'll accomplish. It was so exciting and so freaky at the same time to walk in the Chicago Recording Company and work in a place that has turned out artists like Michael Jackson and other major label artists. We're not really used to having people waiting on us hand and foot and setting up stuff. When we first started recording one of the songs, I'm sure you could feel the tension in the air, because you're working at a million dollar studio and you don't want to waste anybody's time, but you're not sure how to act either. We learned a lot being musicians in that studio.

N: When you first started Clementine, it was supposed to be a side project for you and the other members of the band, but now it seems the group is moving quickly into the forefront. Why the violent shove?

DR: Wait a second? Is that how you see it, a violent shove? When we first started, this was a project that we had no idea would go anywhere. We had all been in other musical groups that we love. We had no idea people would be as accepting as they are. We get a lot of interest. I don't know where people hear about us. If people spread the word, that's great. I still think we're just normal people playing music. I think we're just fortunate and very lucky. We never set out to go anywhere. We have goals, just not far-fetched ones. We have to figure out how to set up a tour. We're barely wet behind the ears. How do you see it? Do you see it as a push in a certain direction?

N: It seems that you're trying to get exposure because you took out that ad in Punk Planet[Jan/Feb 2006 issue].

DR: I am the type of person who feels like if there are resources out there, use them. I look at the magazine all the time and their rates are very, very cheap for a band like us that has limited exposure around the world. I'm the type of person who will look through a magazine and see an ad for a band and look [them] up and find out more about [them], and I think there's at least one person who will do that and listen to one of our songs and pass it along. We are some nobody band from Milwaukee, why not take out an ad and get some exposure! Nothing bad is going to happen. It's not a plot to take over the world. If you don't have label support or a good marketing team behind you, it's going to be harder to pull things like this off.

N: You're so humble, Dale!

DR: My big secret is I really enjoy it when people come up to me and say "I heard your band on the radio." You can't help but feel good about what you're doing. At the same time, I know where I came from. I know things that I do and the energy I put into it and I know the energy people put into their projects. I write words and play music. I never thought people would pay attention. I don't want to be that asshole guy. I've complimented people and have gotten the cold shoulder or the blow-off. I'm not a cocky guy and I'm fortunate for all the good things that happen to us.

N: What would you say would be th ultimate goal for Clementine?

DR: I think right now the ultimate goal is to be in a band and try to tour for a couple weeks. I would like to sit back and take it in and say, "We did it." I don't know if we'll be edified at the end. I think it's funny because when we started out we had no goals and now we are being forced to some decisions. What are we going to do? What are we striving for? What do we want to accomplish? I think the less we talk about this as a band the better off we will be in the long haul because none of us like a lot of pressure. We all want to play music because it's enjoyable, not because it's thi - Shepherd Express


Full length debut album currently in progress. Estimated done date, late summer/fall 2007.

Clementine promo demo 2007
Clementine Live at WMSE 2005
Clementine 2005 self titled ep
Clementine Live at Cactus Club sept 2004

Currently being played these radio stations:
NPR 89.7 various shows including Saturday at the cafe.
91.7 wmse
88.9 radio Milwaukee
102.1 fm


Feeling a bit camera shy


The music of Milwaukee's Clementine is almost as diverse as the backgrounds of the band's members. Careers like massage therapy and audio engineering make up the day jobs of this group of indie-poppers, whose musical mission statement is to have fun. Perhaps the range of personal life choices helps shine a light on their eclectic original material. Bands like Modest Mouse, the Flaming Lips and Neutral Milk Hotel come to mind for music that is quirky and catchy. A Clementine show is a bit like watching a Beck retrospective, with upbeat, slightly ambient, dance able songs. (dec. 28 2007 shepherd express article)