As much as some Milwaukee radio stations boast about supporting local music, it’s still almost unheard of for a local band to receive regular airtime, especially on commercial stations. Even FM 102.1, the city’s alternative rock station, restricts Milwaukee bands from cross-pollinating with the national acts that make up the bulk of their playlist, relegating them instead to just a few goodwill segments that permit local music.

FM 102.1 made a rare exception, however, for Fever Marlene, the first Milwaukee group they’ve given regular rotation to since re-branding themselves as an “independent alternative” station a year ago. To the station’s credit, they play Fever Marlene’s “Red Fire” without aggrandizing their efforts to support a Milwaukee band. They just slip the track into the playlist between, say, a classic Nine Inch Nails cut and the new Fall Out Boy single. Striking a stylish balance between the cool composure of ’80s British groups like the Stone Roses and the Jesus and Mary Chain and the visceral immediacy of the White Stripes, “Red Fire” could easily fool listeners into assuming Fever Marlene are the latest Spin-approved big thing out of New York, not a local duo still courting record labels.

Two noncommercial stations, 88.9 and 91.7, have also rallied for the group, and all the airtime has helped them amass an impressive following for a relatively green local band. While other local acts host their CD release parties in small clubs, supported by other acts, Fever Marlene will headline their own CD release party at the spacious Turner Hall on Friday, June 8, sans openers (although guest musicians, including members of The Gufs and Northern Room, will join them on stage). Doors open at 9 p.m. The group’s debut album, Civil War—a record filled with affable, Big Star-esque power-pop, often with a tender, electronic ambiance that “Red Fire” doesn’t hint at—will also be available at Atomic Records, Exclusive Records and

Edited by Lullabyatnite84 on 24 Jul 2007, 21:13

Sources (view history)

Shepherd Express Milwaukee Magazine

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