Last November, we announced the sad news that our Milwaukee outpost—the last man standing of the once-strong myriad A.V. Club clan—was ceasing operation when Onion Inc. closed its remaining print markets. That meant we were losing the talented Matt Wild from our staff ranks, though he has continued to contribute to the national site in the time since.
But the people of Milwaukee are a resilient bunch, and last week it was announced that Matt and one of his writers, Tyler Maas, are launching a new local pop-culture site called the Milwaukee Record (“Music, Culture, Gentle Sarcasm” goes the motto on its Tumblr.) It launches April 7 and will pick up where Matt’s fine work for A.V. Club Milwaukee left off, which is as Matt describes “providing in-depth album reviews, cranky opinion pieces, and journalistic eye-rolling every time Milwaukee makes an online list of ‘Best cities to wear sweatpants’ or whatever. Oh, and there will be plenty of random pictures of Milwaukee’s prodigal son, Bob Uecker.”
Matt went on to tell us:
One of the things I thought A.V. Club Milwaukee did really well was offer an honest, critical voice in a city where most coverage of music, culture, and art amounts to little more than empty boosterism. Milwaukee’s music scene, for example, has been ridiculously strong in the last few years, but too often local media gives new albums by local bands nothing more than the “50 words and a Bandcamp embed” treatment. What we did at A.V. Club Milwaukee—and what we'll continue to do at the Milwaukee Record—is treat these albums as, you know, actual albums, and give them the full music-critic treatment. If something is great, we’ll say so; but if something stinks, we won’t praise it just because it’s local.
The same goes for city issues in general: Just because it’s local doesn’t make it great. During my run at A.V. Club Milwaukee, a local ad agency launched an incredibly stupid and cynical Kickstarter campaign that wanted to “put Milwaukee on the creative map” by blowing up a car for a short film. The local A&E media dutifully reported on it, but A.V. Club Milwaukee was the only outlet that bothered asking how blowing up a car would put Milwaukee “on the map.” As if Hollywood would instantly come calling because some yokels in Wisconsin blew up a Dodge. Needless to say, I can't wait until something equally stupid comes along that I can cover for our new venture.
Milwaukeeans can find it at milwaukeerecord.com starting April 7. It will be great.