Friday, June 28, 2013

Local Music Happy Hour: Calliope

Here at Fake Plastic Tunes, we have a couple of favorite things: talking about music, and day drinking. Thus, in an effort to combine these things, we introduce our new semi-regular segment, Local Music Happy Hour, where we talk to some local (primarily Milwaukee) bands, drink beer, and then introduce them to you, the internet.

For the first edition of our "Local Music Happy Hour", FPT sat down with Al Kraemer, frontman of Milwaukee band, Calliope. We discussed their self-titled album, performing live, chicken/egg scenarios, and, briefly, hair product.

Calliope's music has been described (by themselves and others) as progressive oldies or future blues, but it's ultimately psychedelic classic rock. When asked how he would describe the band's sound, Kraemer opened with, "Well, we're not a rap band." After extensive research, FPT would like to confirm that Calliope is not, in fact, a rap band. Point one for self-awareness.

To say that Calliope is classic rock is not to discount their creativity, however. The album, overall, is interesting both musically and lyrically. A heavy blues influence can be heard throughout, 60s guitar riffs, Jim Morrison-esque vocals, and a youthful energy that keeps the classic from sounding stale. When asked about the inspiration behind the album, Kraemer explained, "We wanted to show people we could play some songs." A noble goal, and a mission successful.

Likewise, Calliope's live performances are the farthest thing from stale. The energy on stage is magnetic, and makes it impossible for the crowd not to have fun. Each show seems to leave all involved sweaty and soaked in Hamms, regardless if it takes place in summer heat or a frigid Wisconsin winter.

We asked Kraemer which he preferred between writing and recording vs. performing live. "It's a double-edged sword. The feeling you get when you finish a new song is really exciting, especially when everybody else is really excited about it... Playing live is the release. It's the chicken to the egg, man. Which came first?" We reminded Kraemer that he just stated that writing comes first, because that makes sense, and then toasted our beers to chickens. This was the first discussion of the chicken/egg metaphor, and the only one that even kind of made sense.

As for discussion of hair product, we will let you ask Al Kraemer himself how he keeps his locks looking so luxurious. You can catch Calliope in Milwaukee:

6/30 - BREADFEST - Quarter's
7/2 - Summerfest - Cascio Groove Stage @ 7:30
7/26 - Mish Mash Fest - Art Bar

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