The Vitrolum Republic is back with the Milwaukee Ballet, debuting new music and performing live with new choreography by Darrell Grand Moultrie.
The Ballet writes, “We continue our legacy of pushing the boundaries of dance by inventive choreographers in this aptly named contemporary series. Versatile choreographer Darrell Grand Moultrie returns with a new work set to the Americana sounds of local band The Vitrolum Republic. This triple bill also features a world premiere from Genesis 2019 winner Aleix Mañé and Extremely Close by internationally celebrated choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo.”
We are excited to be partnering again with the Milwaukee Ballet, where dance offers a new and exciting artistic element to our aesthetic. With the success of our partnership two years ago, returning to perform live offers new opportunities and we are thrilled to be working with Darrell Grand Moultrie to create a new experience for everyone.
The show runs from March 26-29th and is at Uihlein Hall. Tickets are available here.
We are proud to announce that Isaac Sharratt of The Milwaukee Ballet will be choreographing 3 movements of dance to music off of our most recent album, For the Lovespun Ramblings and Ghosts in Our Shoes, as part of their MXE Milwaukee Mixed series at the Pabst Theater.
“Once per season, Milwaukee Ballet presents a dynamic program of new, contemporary work at the historic Pabst Theater. Bold, evocative, and captivating, this contemporary show highlights the athleticism and artistry of our dancers in the intimacy of the famous Milwaukee venue.”
“Watch what happens when the talents of five choreographers from Milwaukee Ballet’s Company fuse with a diverse group of local musicians. This Made-in-Milwaukee performance is the perfect mix of high octane energy, exhilarating music, and athletic dance.”
The show runs for 4 nights from Feb 8th to the 11th. Tickets can be found here.
To support the run, The Vitrolum Republic will be performing on 414 Music Live on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee on Feb 1st at 5PM. You can catch that show free in person at the 88Nine studio and on air.
We are excited Isaac has selected our music and we couldn’t be more thrilled about the collaboration!
Four years ago, when we started recording what would become our new album, For the Lovespun Ramblings and Ghosts in our Shoes, one of our desires was to also press the album on vinyl. The medium is very important to us; we borrow our name from Victrola gramophones after all. But there is a tactile feel to a record that doesn’t exist in any other format. It inspires active listening. The way you interact with the packaging, explore the artwork, putting the record on your turntable and dropping the needle requires you to be present in the moment. This album is special to us, and we wanted to create an experience that makes this album special to you too.
In that vein, when we approached the design for this record we wanted to make the vinyl edition something special. Printed on premium materials with a silky matte finish with accents, such as our name on the front and titles on the back, which are embossed and stamped with gold foil. The album sleeves feature additional art and lyric sheets found only on this release. The records themselves are 180 gram and cut at 45 RPM making for some of the highest quality sound possible. The album has also been remastered for this release providing a more nuanced mix that brings out additional detail in the recordings.
To celebrate the vinyl release of For the Lovespun Ramblings and Ghosts in our Shoes, we have lined up a show at Anodyne on Bruce St. in Milwaukee with our friends DICKIE from Chicago. The show is Friday March 25th at 8PM. Advanced tickets and details can be found at Anodyne’s website. We hope to see you all there!
It’s been an incredible year for The Vitrolum Republic and we wanted to thank all of you for being a part of it. Most importantly, this year saw the release of our latest studio album, For the Lovespun Ramblings and Ghosts in our Shoes. We played a bunch of really great shows with some incredible bands including a fantastic intimate show for Sofar Sounds Milwaukee. In addition to being a finalist for 88Nine Radio Milwaukee for Independent Release of the Year, we were also listed in The Milwaukee Record’s list of the best 25 albums of the year and the Journal Sentinel’s best 10 albums of the year.
In addition to our album, we also made a couple of videos showcasing our recording process. “For the lovespun…” An Introduction shows us at The License Lab studio recording Storms Call Me Out, while Mångata shows us doing field recording for natural sounds and live instrumentation that ended up in the closing track to the album.
In the next couple months, we will be releasing For the Lovespun Ramblings and Ghosts in our Shoes on vinyl as a 45 RPM 180 gram double LP in special edition packaging. We have our test pressings, and they sound incredible. We’re planning a vinyl release show for that, so follow us here and on social media for details.
The Vitrolum Republic has been nominated by 88Nine Radio Milwaukee for Band of the Year and our newest album, For the Lovespun Ramblings and Ghosts in our Shoes has been nominated for both Album of the Year and Independent Release of the Year! We’re completely honored and humbled by the nomination. Voting has been ongoing for the past month and closes on November 22nd. You can cast your vote for us and a lot of other great Milwaukee bands at radiomilwaukee.org.
Our album release show at Company Brewing with Grasping at Straws on November 6th was incredible. Thank you to everyone who came out and making the night truly special. In promotion for that show, we had the privilege of sitting down with Bonnie North on Lake Effect on WUWM. If you missed it, you can listen to that interview and in-studio performance at WUWM.com. We also had a great conversation with Sid on Local Lunchbox on WMSE. You can listen to that interview (starts at around 30 minutes in) at WMSE.org.
We’re busy lining up some new shows for this winter so keep an eye on our Facebook page and website for some announcements.
Today we are proud to announce that The Vitrolum Republic’s latest studio LP is finished. The album is called For the Lovespun Ramblings and Ghosts in our Shoes, and is the culmination of nearly four years of effort. It takes our acoustic folk roots to a more modern sound by way of experimentation both in the studio and on the stage over the past decade in Milwaukee’s music scene. New instrumentation, both acoustic and electric, coupled with extensive use of looping during live performances inform a more complex production for our sophomore release.
The lineup is the same over the past 4 years, featuring Jordan Waraksa on fiddle, guitar and vocals, Nick Waraksa on piano, accordion and ukulele, Chuck Lawton on guitar, banjo, bass and supporting vocals, and Benjamin Schaefer on percussion. Songwriting for this album was a collaborative effort from the start with each of us bringing our unique musical background and experiences to bare. The themes in this album are simultaneously universal and intimate, touching on love and loss and the journey we all take to find our way on a chaotic sea to the individual islands of our home.
The album is now on sale on iTunes, Amazon MP3, Bandcamp and most other digital outlets. Our CD Release event is on November 6th at Company Brewing with Grasping at Straws for those who want a physical copy of it.
Over the past week, we’ve gotten some great press for the album that we’d like to highlight. Tyler Maas from the Milwaukee Record writes:
"At a time with infinite sub-genres featuring the word “rock” and most folk acts congealing in an overused mold of contrived themes, it’s refreshing when a band like The Vitrolum Republic can push elements of folk down an unfamiliar path, heap in classical influence, and project it through an indie rock lens to forge something you won’t hear anywhere else in Milwaukee, and something that’s well worth the four years it took to arrive."
And Piet Levy from the Journal Sentinel and TAP Milwaukee writes:
"Four years in the making, the “gypsy noir” group follows up on its intriguing debut with greater ambition, resulting in one of the most beautiful listens from a local band this year."
We’re honored to receive such praise and we hope you all feel the same about this record. Looking forward to seeing everyone at our CD Release next month!
Back in April, The Vitrolum Republic was invited to perform at Sofar Sounds: Milwaukee. Here is some video from that show. Special thanks to Sofar Sounds: Milwaukee and all of the volunteers who make these shows such an incredible experience for both musician and patron alike.
Earlier this year, The Vitrolum Republic was honored to be profiled by Doc|UWM‘s documentary series, Cream City Soundcheck. Each year, a few lucky Milwaukee-based musical acts get interviewed as they tour some of the great businesses that make our city unique. For us, we got our hair trimmed and coiffed at Bay View’s Stag Barbershop, followed by a fascinating demonstration of how hats are made at The Brass Rooster. An in-store musical performance at the haberdashery mixed with a show we performed at Hotel Foster rounded out the documentary.
We had an fantastic time, and the students who created the piece were amazing. The folks at The Milwaukee Record had some great things to say about the video as well:
"Still, when it comes to music videos, there’s no greater honor that can be bestowed to a Milwaukee band than the vaunted Cream City Soundcheck. Despite being made by UW-Milwaukee students, the professional quality productions expertly intertwine live performances, band commentary, and stunning imagery of local landmarks that are both distinct and significant."
Even though we’ve been somewhat quite here on our site and on-line presence this year, know that we’ve been hard at work on a new full length album. It’s full of some great material, some of which we’ve been featuring at our recent live performances and in the previous videos we produced last year. We’re making a push to get this new album wrapped up in the next few months and we look forward to booking some great shows in 2015.
Thanks everyone and have a great new year!
Close to two years ago, we began writing material for a new album. It was exciting for us as not only had Benjamin Schaefer just joined us on percussion, we entered the process with a blank slate. Full of ideas that had been placed on the back burner in the time following the release of For Highbrow Sideshows and Rowboat Serenades, we were eager to explore the sounds that a new collaborative process would create. Lady of Stone is the first of many new songs that were born out of that initial writing process.
Last summer, we got the opportunity to shoot a music video in the historic Riverside Theater, and selected Lady of Stone. Rather than performing to a pre-recorded soundtrack, we elected to capture the performance live, working with the Riverside’s sound engineer, Simon Bundy. Video production and editing was handled by Blend Studios. The result is a beautiful video that captures the essence of our music, the textures of our aesthetic, and serves as a new introduction to The Vitrolum Republic. We can’t wait to share with you where we go from here.
Greetings, visitors to The Vitrolum Republic. We are pleased to unveil our updated website containing new ways to get our content out to you. Take a moment to browse around our site; a lot of the same sections are there now, but our new site allows us to get updates out to you quickly. We have a much better tour calendar that allows you to subscribe to our performance dates, and a mailing list that allows you to subscribe to site updates.
In addition to the redesign, we also have some new content! First off is a music video for a new song called Leonard and Leroy. This video was shot within the historic Pritzlaff building in Milwaukee. We also took the time to organize a photo shoot in that setting, playing off of Milwaukee’s industrial past and cream city brick aesthetic.
The video and photo shoot were both done by Lucian McAfee Photography. Collaborating with Lucian and fellow photographer Josiah Werning was an incredible experience. They brought an artistic vision to the shoot that not only complimented our music, but also showcased the beauty of the Pritzlaff building and her history. It was a dynamic setting that helped set the mood for the pieces and was captured beautifully in the accompanying video.
There is a lot more to come for the band and this site. We have more audio and visual goodies in the pipeline leading up to the release of a new album that we’re currently working on. It’ll all be worth the wait!