What Made Milwaukee Famous
The members of What Made Milwaukee Famous found each other when Michael Kingcaid (vocals/guitar) and Drew Patrizi (keyboards) placed an ad in the Austin Chronicle looking for "serious, like-minded individuals." Many musicians might not have answered such a vague and non-descript ad, but luckily John Farmer (bass) and Josh Vernier (drums) did. Despite their diverse musical backgrounds and tastes, the foursome immediately clicked. They rehearsed for six months before making their debut at the city's Flamingo Cantina, turning what could have easily been a ho-hum night into an auspicious occasion. By early 2004, they had been named as one of Austin's "band most like to succeed" and continued to build a name for themselves. Their debut, Trying to Never Catch Up, was released in June 2004 and instantly started a buzz both in and outside of Austin. The album was a delicious collection of post-punk and indie pop-leaning gems that highlighted the band's fondness for unwieldy hooks. By year's end, What Made Milwaukee Famous once again landed on the critic's lists, but this time in the categories of Band of the Year and Album of the Year. With momentum behind them, What Made Milwaukee Famous performed a scorching set in their hometown during the renowned SXSW music festival in March 2005. A week-long festival devoted to discovering new music, SXSW attracts people from every aspect of the music industry as well as "run-of-the-mill" rabid music devotees. The band's show set the industry a-buzz and they ended up being one of the most talked about bands of the event. Aside from having been name-dropped in publications such as Billboard and Rolling Stone. What Made Milwaukee Famous also picked up a fan in BBC Radio DJ, Steve Lamacq, who played the band on his show. That September, when Nine Black Alps were forced to cancel their Austin City Limits appearance, What Made Milwaukee Famous were asked to fill in, becoming one of the few (true) independent bands to be featured on the syndicated show.