2496 S. Wentworth Avenue, Milwaukee, WI | Booking Inquiries

Event Details

Tue 12/14/21
7:30PM
18+
$10 ADV // $12 DOS

Liam Kazar • Dusk

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Liam Kazar

(Kansas City, MO)

Liam Kazar makes joyful rock songs so irresistible they feel timeless. Just ask Jeff Tweedy. “I love everything about Liam. His voice, his songs, the way he plays instruments, his smile, his cooking… Everything,” says Tweedy. ”Whenever I hear one of his songs for the first time I almost immediately start thinking to myself, ‘oh yeah! This song! I love this song.’ It’s a magic trick very few people can pull off: making something brand new sound like a cherished memory.” But on Kazar’s debut album Due North, out August 6 via Mare Records, the LP’s 10 tracks are full of so much charm, wit, and heart it can’t be a sleight of hand.

The Kansas City-based, Chicago-raised musician and acclaimed chef/founder of the Armenian pop-up restaurant Isfahan, describes the making of Due North as a personal revelation, where the more he wrote the more his songs showed what kind of artist he’s always wanted to be. While he’s consistently been a dream bandmate over the past several years, performing with artists like Tweedy, Steve Gunn, Daniel Johnston, and more, making his own songs presented a chance to finally find his own voice. But figuring out how to step out was a rewarding challenge. “This record kind of all stemmed from a conversation I had with Jeff,” says Kazar. “I showed him some of my earliest songs I was working on and he told me, ‘It sounds like you’re writing for the people in your bands, you’re not writing for yourself.’ He was completely right. I was not writing songs for myself.” With that needed insight, Kazar decided to start from scratch and write songs that felt like himself.

Single “Shoes Too Tight” was a clarifying moment for Kazar in this journey. Originally a slower acoustic ballad, Kazar slowly tinkered with a synth sound and happened upon the song’s bouncy chord progression. “That was probably the closest to an aha moment that I had of ‘Oh, this is me and this is what I’m into,’” says Kazar. The finished product is an undeniable jam with a swaggering exuberance that channels Richard Swift and David Bryne. Soon after, Kazar switched gears for the yearning and delicate “On a Spanish Dune” which showcased his emotional resonance as a writer. With lush synths and wistful acoustic guitars, he sings, “Everybody’s asking me / What you gonna do, gonna be / I couldn’t tell you if I tried / I’m just a poem with an open line.” Though completely different songs, Kazar used these two earliest offerings as guides for what would come next. “ Those two songs were my North Star that I was following for this album,” says Kazar. “This is what it sounds like when I write for me.”

Dusk

(Appleton WI)

Dusk is a group that walks the shadowed path. It’s well known in the rural pastures of Wisconsin, where all of the members of this group were raised, that the traditional music of the common people is Polka, but the most respected form of musical expression is Country and Western. Dusk walks cleanly between these two worlds; pulling influence from both but most strongly associating with Rock & Roll and Rhythm & Blues. They bring with them a strong, informed, melodic statement that draws a line between themselves and the trend of bubble gum pop and country-influenced mall schlock.

The group consists of vocalist Julia Blair on Wurlitzer electric piano, Colin “Wild Man” Wilde on drums and percussion, Amos Pitsch on bass guitar and vocals, Tyler Ditter on lead guitar, and Ryley Crowe on rhythm guitar, pedal steel, and vocals. Amos also doubles as a member of Appleton, Wisconsin punk band Tenement. The group is often compared to 60’s garage and R&B groups like NRBQ and THE LOVIN SPOONFUL, early 70’s country rock pioneers THE FLYING BURRITO BROTHERS, and at times the primitive rock and roll sound of a group like THE VELVET UNDERGROUND.

They hint at all these things, even as something in their music seems to breathe modern air. It’s a feeling that few musicians that attempt to nod to prior generations can capture without bastardising the very music that they intended to salute. Dusk have done it well, and in their music, you’ll find this plain truth among many exciting secrets.

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Cactus Club
2496 S. Wentworth Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53207
414-897-0663
Hours
  • WED & THURS: 4:00 PM—12:00 AM
  • FRI: 4:00 PM—2:00 AM
  • SAT: 11:00 AM—2:00 AM
  • SUN: 11:00 AM—10:00 PM
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CLUB RULES: No sexism, no racism, no ableism, no ageism, no homophobia, no transphobia, no fatphobia, no hatefulness.

Cactus Club is committed to creating a welcome and inclusive environment. Predatory behavior is not tolerated. All gender expressions are welcomed and affirmed.

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