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Big Black The only band from Evanston, Illinois that was truly part of the Milwaukee scene. I first contacted Steve Albini after dropping off some Couch Flambeau LPs at Vintage Vinyl in Evanston, Illinois. Steve had left me a copy of a Big Black album (with a handmade galvanized steel cover with BIG BLACK burned in acid on the cover) and his phone number. He'd heard the Flambeau album and wanted to play a Milwaukee show with us. We played a few shows with Big Black opening but it was clear that they were meant to headline, which they soon did.

I remember talking to Steve in the Cafe Voltaire basement dressing room about some comments he had made in Chicago (not important now) and he explained what was going on and as we headed up the stairs to the bar, Tony Selig walked over and poured a drink on Steve. And Steve just stood there with rum and coke running down his shirt and pants and he said, "This has been happening a lot lately..." I think later that night he and Tony were playing nice and not spilling drinks on each other.

And then there was the firecrackers. Two bricks of Black Cats, laid in front of the stage and lit just before they started. The firecrackers were going off in rapid fire with bits of paper and smoke all over the place. Then, with everyone's ears ringing, the band would kick into the first song...


Big Black posters:

Big Black at Cafe Voltaire (September 14, 1985) Version 1 poster possibly by Richard LaValliere. With Boy Dirt Car and Ricardo Pizzaro (Richard LaValliere, formerly in the Oil Tasters and Haskels).

Big Black at Cafe Voltaire (September 14, 1985) Version 2 poster possibly by Steve Albini or Scott Schanke. With Boy Dirt Car and Ricardo Pizzaro (Richard LaValliere, formerly in the Oil Tasters and Haskels).

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