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Band Alternative Punk


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Recently, Fight Songs For Idiots (F.S.F.I.) opened for Bottle Rockets at Point’s East Pub, where the dust had hardly settled on some backroom remodeling. Sparing no expense or time, the plywood bar was finally nailed into place just minutes before F.S.F.I. took the stage. Ignoring (or perhaps thriving on the makeshift nature of the venue), F.S.F.I. displayed their quirky, self-deprecating songs that emphasize their punk and cowpunk influences and have made them a must see no matter who they play with. Also appearing on the bill were Moonshine Sway. - Riverwest Current

"Brew City Sludge"

Fight Songs For Idiots is one of those beautiful rarities of true old school punk. Members Tom T (bass), Pat ONeill (guitar), and drummer Chris Lehmann have done hard time in acts such as The Teds, 19 T Shirts and the infamous X-Cleavers. Original material barks out with a cow punk attitude that shines with aspects of ska, and hardcore, grazing on the borders of alternative country chewing the cud of teenage angst into a fine powder to sprinkle on the oatmeal of Sid Vicious.

Their live performance is akin to a January facewash in a New York, back alley inflicted by the street gang you always wished to join up with. Although the band does do some covers, the material is the kind that prompts those in the know to exchange meaningful glances of appreciation. Vocals are handled by all members showing the ability to place perfect harmonies where needed without any over indulgence. Their 2004 EP entitled “What the Frank” is a true testament to obvious influences ranging from Hüsker Dü to Johnny Cash. If you own a pair of Doc Martins and love to stomp them on the floor after a few too many PBR's, F.S.F.I. is a sure bet. You can check 'em out this December on the 16th at Linneman's or on the 18th at the BBC in Milwaukee. - Maximum Ink Magazine

"Now thats a Show!"

Now Thats A Show!

By Wheres the Music

Published Oct. 11, 2007 at 9:33 a.m.
Category: Music

I wanted to wait a week before posting this so I wasn't running off of the emotion that can sometimes skew the view of an event if it's written about to quickly after seeing it. With that said one week later I still am mentally pogo-ing from the Supersuckers show w/FSFI at Vnuks on Oct. 4th, this is what rock and roll is all about. There were no distractions, no posing or any of the cliche' schtick that most of todays bands feel is more important than the music. Let me start at the start...

I got there on time, I have seen FSFI; which stands for Frank Says (insert dirty word that starts with F) It, in the past and was really impressed each time so I wanted to catch their set. Vnuks started to get crowded pretty early, this was really great to see. At 8:30 FSFI took that stage and set the tone for the entire night ( I bought their CD's so now I know the names to some of their songs) They ripped into "A girl like you", a song I have seen them open with in the past, and they never looked back. I know they are refered to as Cowpunk and I guess I see it but I really just consider them midwestern pop punk (in the same vien as the Replacements or Soul Asylum). Between comments on family vacations and "death to posers" the tandum front man set up of Pat on guitar and Tom on bass really works well, these guys obviously know their stuff but never flaunt it. My only compliant, "play a longer set boys" the people were into what you were doing! They closed ther set with a really poppy tune called "Promised You" that starts with a wall of drum beats from drummer Lucky, and just left the crowd wanting more.

FSFI quickly cleared the stage and the Supersuckers wasted no time filling it. Damn near 2 hours of music from the boys from Seattle was to follow. I would liked to have heard some more of the country flavored stuff, but with the high level of energy that was flowing from FSFI and the first 5 Supersuckers songs, I think it was probably too great of a risk to slow things down at that point. I was thrilled that the Supersuckers acknowledged the songs from their B-sides album "Devils Food" as being true gems and not throw aways (quite honestly I feel it's their strongest album to date). It seemed as though they were making it a point of covering songs from almost every album, that to me shows true respect to you audience. One of the highlights was the Supersucker playing the 666 version of "Creepy Jackalope Eye" the country jazz begining that leads into the all hell breaks loose ending. I must say I was disapointed that "East Bound and Down" and "Double Wide" were not on the set list but "Pretty F'd Up" and "the Evil Powers of Rock 'n' Roll" were fine substitutes. By the way Rontrose Heathman is one of todays finest gutarists, the man can play everything. and Eddie, well what can you say that hasn't been said.

A main stay at a Supersuckers how has always been the fake encore, an homage to bands who aren't in it for accolades but are in it for the music. The show finished out with "Born with a Tail" allowing all to "salute" the Supersuckers in their favorite way "It's time to fly that middle finger , the little digit ....." you know the rest.

- On Milwaukee.com

"Lack Of Music Appreciation"

The lack of music appreciation in this town is getting old!

By Where's the Music

Published June 25, 2007 at 8:38 p.m.
Category: Music

It's friday night (last friday to be exact) and I'm going through my pre-band night anticipation, tonight I'll be seeing 2 of my favorite bands (one national act and one local act) playing together. They'll be playing at a great club to see bands at (Vnuk's in Cudahy), it's a big room so I'm not super worried that it will sell out but I want to get there early just the same.

The bands in question are the Drams from Denton Texas and FSFI from Milwaukee. The Drams consist of three quarters of the great cowpunk band Slobberbone and 2 member of a Texas band named Budahpest One. To start off I'll be honest, I was a huge Slobberbone fan while the band was together, never missed a WI show and traveled to Chicago and the twin cities to catch as many of their shows as possible. I was bummed to see the band end but was happy to hear they more or less reformed as The Drams, their performance on friday was nothing less than Alt-country at it's finest. From their up-tempo rockers like Unhinged to thier more psychedelic country tunes like Septembers high I challenge anyone to present a band that can cover the spectrum while keeping you engaged with musicianship you just don't see anymore. Opening for the Drams last friday was Milwaukee's own FSFI, this is a band I partially got turned on to as a Slobberbone fan, The guitar player/singer and drummer used to be in a band that opened for Slobberbone (that name escapes me) many years ago and then added the XCleavers bass player and became FSFI. I'll still never understand why these guys aren't the biggest thing in Milwaukee today. This is a flat out great rock band with well crafted songs that reminds me of the Replacements in their Tim/Pleased to Meet Me era. They write some of the catchiest songs you'll hear on or off the radio these days (does anyone really listen to the radio these days anyway?) Needless to say this was a great night of Rock and Roll from 2 bands that had an obvious respect for the music, each other and the audience (at least what there was of an audience), with 2 great bands like this playing there were less than 50 people at this show. This leads me to the gist of this blog.

For over 20 years Milwaukee has produced some of the best rock bands and hosted some of the greatest rock bands in the US, and for the life of me I can't understand why they come here; and for those who are from here, why they stay here. The support for truely innovative and original rock music in this city is the most pathetic in all of the midwest. To make matters worse the people at Summerfest are reinforcing this by booking almost 80% of the non-headlining slots with cover bands. This city is becoming a joke when it comes to music, many local bands are constantly talking about how they are treated like royalty in Chicago, the twin cities, even Green Bay and Sheboygan compared to Milwaukee. But there will be a line to get in to see a Ratt and Motley Crue cover band. People are constantly complaining about the sad state of music but then won't take a chance on a $3 cover charge to see original music. Maybe L7 was right "The masses are asses".
- On Milwaukeee.com


FSFI is putting the finishing touches on their first full album that will be out this spring and are currently talking with local labels for distribution. FSFI has a self released 4 song CD titled "Screaming White Trash". FSFI's music can be heard regularly on WMSE (91.7), occasionally on WLUM (102.1) and another EP is available from a live on air performance at WMSE . FSFI has a my space site with mp3's at myspace.com/franksaysfuckit



Formed by former members of "Those X Cleavers", "Womens Liberace" and "The Teds", FSFI came together to play a last minute gig at Spoof-fest as Husker Du in the fall of 2002. Since that time FSFI has evolved into a tight, boisterous, melodic wall of sound. Considered one of the cornerstones of the Milwaukee Cowpunk scene (a term they're not real comfortable with) FSFI have logged many miles and many shows under their belt. From their earlier days opening for bands such as Slobberbone, The Drive By Truckers, Two Cow Garage, Jason and the Scorchers, The Bastard Sons Of Johnny Cash (even one show when a live goat joined them on stage) to more recent shows with bands like the Supersuckers, The Drams, Agent Orange, The Bottle Rockets, The Mother Truckers and Brian Vander Ark (of the Verve Pipe) FSFI continues to build it's audience one fan at a time. FSFI likes to refer to it self as a rock band (not real crazy on the whole genre tag thing) and it is hard not to notice the midwest sound in their music. Influenced by bands like the Replacements, Cheap Trick, Soul Asylum and Social Distortion (yes they know their not from the midwest) FSFI makes it apparent that they want their audience to have as much fun as they are. This attitude has made itself obvious both in the clubs and at higher profile gigs like Summerfest Encore, The Bayview Bash, Center Street Days and a showcase set they played at the infamous Club Lingerie in L.A.