Something to Do Gave Us a Thing to Do

Milwaukee’s beloved rock & ska band Something to Do played the historic Shank Hall Wednesday evening. They opened for New York ska rockers The Toasters, who were among the original American second wave ska groups to emerge from the early 1980’s.

Something to Do formed in 2003.Singer and bassist Nate Tredinnick admires how far Milwaukee’s music sphere has been taken since their formation.

“It’s so much better. When we started it was hard to play in Milwaukee and we played outside of the city a lot at first,” Tredinnick said, “and then a scene popped up in the last five years, and it’s been really rad.”

The band has toured extensively the Midwest, predominantly playing throughout Wisconsin and its surrounding states.

“We played in the south and on the East Coast. We all have jobs and that makes touring hard. I look at the Toasters and I’m blown away how they can go for three or four weeks. I don’t know how people do it. I’m guessing they don’t drink.”

“Design for Living” is the band’s fifth LP, which came out last year. Featured off the record are the danceable singles “I’ve Made A Huge Mistake” and “Richard Spencer Punched in the Head;” the latter lyrically ridicules the titular American white nationalist’s platform. Other songs are similarly laced with idiosyncratic pop culture references, including “Paul Newman Hates You” and “Not So Sweet Caroline.”

“The album’s longer,” Tredinnick said. “Usually we struggle to get to thirty minutes on an album but this one’s forty-five. We learned fifteen songs pretty quickly and almost recorded it live. It was actually a bit divisive; we had a couple fights which we never really had before.”

Something to Do plays with Dogbad at Tonic Tavern April 4th as part of Breaking & Entering’s “An Evening With” concert series. Their next show following that is in Madison at Crystal Corner Bar on April 20th. The group is also working on some new songs and music videos.

“So much new product!” Tredinnick exclaimed as the Toasters began playing.

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