NYE with Eric and the Happy Thoughts and The Wax Museums in Milwaukee

Eric and the Happy Thoughts at the Cereal Factory, photo by <a href=
Eric and the Happy Thoughts at the Cereal Factory, photo by Canderson
posted Wednesday Dec 31st, 2008

As the cosmic flushing of time comes to close yet another year and 2009 rings in, you probably have been bouncing ideas around the caverns of your brain for some New Year's resolutions. But as we all know deep down, New Year's resolutions are a complete waste of time, and something most of us only go at halfheartedly and by the time Spring rolls around we're back in the old habits we vowed to resolve, only to feel defeated and riddled by the monotony that sadly defines us. So, let me propose this: How about a short-term, simple, and most of all, a resolution that doesn't truly resolve anything? Instead of saying you're going to quit smoking, or picking your nose in public, why not try something like eating more cookies, or wearing a certain t-shirt more often, or only pissing in garbage cans, and instead of making a change for the better forever, just do it for a little while. It's a lot easier that way.

A perfect resolution this year, if you're anywhere close to Milwaukee would be to catch the New Year's Eve shows. There's two awesome line-ups, one is an early show at Twin Towers and another later at The Vault. The early show is free, boasts a pretty packed bill and gets underway at 5PM with The Zygoteens, who will be performing their live set. Playing rambunctious, gritty, Back From The Grave-type slop, this Milwaukee 3-piece sounds pretty promising. Next up is another Milwaukee upstart band International Date Lines, this one though is a girl group (plus a couple of dudes) that play darling harmonic turns about "going steady" and boys, running close to the sort of saccharine tonal snap you hear from Nikki Corvette. Then to ruffle the smoothed vibe left behind by the two opening acts, Gut Reactions are set to destroy everyone's merriment with the brash, and slashing style they are known for playing. Their set will stick out like a boner in boxer shorts, undoubtedly.

After a set by the twangy Midwest Beat comes the real treat of the early show, Eric and the Happy Thoughts. Blazing the same timeless trail of bubblegum infused pop with the modern flavor of a perfectly primitive recording style, Eric & the Happy Thoughts, features at the helm one half of the excellent and now defunct, Romance Novels, and the more recent bedroom-recorded duo, Cave Weddings. Just releasing their debut single on Bubbledum Records this month, Eric & THT are clearly on to something big, and their live show is a straight-up party.

After the early show, shoot over to The Vault where the party continues. Headlining is the brilliantly cartoonish Denton, Texas band Wax Museums. Releasing their debut full-length this year on Douche Master Records and a recent single on Fashionable Idiots, these guys' calculated formula of knuckle-headed punk and spastic live sets proves dumber is always better, in every case. Also playing the late show are chuggy hardcore act, Thruthdealer, the indie-bearded Teenage Cool Kids, and the energy drink-fueled disco act Juiceboxxx. It'll be a fun night and you'll have a chance to get that New Years resolution out of the way early.