Press Releases, News, and Other Features

12/16/2020  - AMAZING NEWS

MKE a Scene has officially partnered with Outpost Music! 

Craig Baumann and his cast of helpers have agreed to take 100% of the profits we make from ‘Sleighin’ it’ for a great cause. Outpost Music already plays an integral part in helping get instruments into the hands of underprivileged kids who want to express themselves with the sound of music. They repurpose, sell, and gift the entire spectrum of instruments to the Milwaukee community for those who long for music but do not have the means.  Every cent MKE a Scene takes in for this album will go towards helping trumpets, guitars, clarinets, and more into the right hands.   

Along with this, Outpost Music has a ton going on!!! Not only do they have a wide range of guitars and amps, but they also offer lessons for all instruments, practice rooms, and a program that helps gift guitars to veterans.  Craig and Outpost even operate a non-profit themselves, hosting a benefit concert aimed at helping impoverished areas in Jamaica called @JamforJamaica.  

Please go check them out in person or online  at 

Thank you Outpost Music!  

How will you MaKE your scene?

12/11/2020 - Feature with Shepherd Express by Allen Halas 

Milwaukee Bands Benefit MKEAScene with ‘Sleighin’ It’

Local bands chime in for charity with "Sleighin' It" 

The holiday season, especially this year, can be a trying time, but Milwaukee’s music community is coming together for a great cause with the holiday compilation, Sleighin’ It, as part of new organization MKEAScene. The project was the brainchild and footwork of Eric Johnson of Hot by Ziggy and Biju Zimmerman. Fourteen Milwaukee-based acts from a variety of genres took on traditional holiday classics, reinterpreting them with their own distinct sounds. Once the concept was developed, it quickly gained momentum. 

“Hot By Ziggy was playing a show at Café Benelux, and Alex Meylink of Stillwave Studios was there. I asked him about a compilation album, and he was like ‘I’m on board, let’s do it’ before I even got the words out of my mouth” said Johnson. “He was on board for recording anybody, however many bands, and scheduling it all.” 

The most impressive aspect of the recording is the variety of sounds that take on the traditional holiday tracks. The soulful blues of Shonn Hinton and Shotgun, the big band feel of The Door Stoppers, and the punk attitude of M545 all play nicely with one another on the compilation. There’s also a new take on The Ramones’ “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight)” by Scott Starr of Fever Marlene. Logistically, getting the compilation together during the pandemic was easier than the two had anticipated. 

“I reached out to Shonn Hinton, and asked if he wanted to do a Christmas song, and he quickly replied that he already had it recorded” said Zimmerman. “Things like that made it fun to work on.” 

The compilation is part of Johnson's MKEAScene organization, which was founded this past July. The group looks to give back to the youth of Milwaukee’s mental health needs based on community feedback, rather than focusing on a specific cause that may not be the most meaningful to its beneficiaries. ‘Sleighin’ It’ is the organization’s first project, with proceeds benefitting setup of initial infrastructure. It’s a cause that Johnson holds near to him before creating the group.

“I just wanted to work with kids again. I figured this was the best time to start this. My fiancée Hillary really pushed me to do it” said Johnson. “Through art and music, we look to fight mental illness at a young age and spread awareness as well.” 

You can purchase Sleighin’ It by making a donation of $10 or more on the MKEAScene website. Proceeds will go towards a local music charity.

Link to the article here:

12/9/2020 - The Morning Blend
MKE a Scene was featured on The Morning Blend with Tiffany Ogle and Molly Fay on TMJ4. The opening music was Shonn Hinton & Shotgun's song 'New Born King' video below 

12/1/2020 - Feature with On Milwaukee by Molly Snyder

Local bands chime in for charity with "Sleighin' It"

Fourteen Milwaukee bands and a local recording studio donated their time and talents to create a new holiday album called “Sleighin’ It.” 

Each band chose their favorite wintry tune and then did their own version of it. 

"We picked the bands and they picked the song,” says co-organizer Biju Zimmerman. “The songs turned out better than we expected, especially considering the short timeframe. The creativity is amazing.” 

All of the tracks on "Sleighin' It" are below and nine of the 14 were recorded free of charge at Stillwave Studios: 

"Let It Snow," Hot By Ziggy 
"Wonderful Christmastime," Brave You 
"O Come, O Come Emmanuel," Dislocation 
"Merry Christmas (I Don't Want To Fight Tonight)," Scott Starr (of Fever Marlene) 
"Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer," The Door Stoppers 
"New Born King," by Shonn Hinton & Shotgun 
"Happy Christmas," by Spare Change Trio 
"Little Drummer Boy," by Ice Island 
"Happy Xmas (War is Over)," by Complex Machine 
"Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas," by June Gloom 
"Christmas Burger," by Telethon 
"Not So Silent Night," by Lost Orange Cat 
"Feliz Navidad," by M545 
"Every Other Day," by Tigera 

To download the album, listeners set their own price – starting at $10. All of the proceeds will go to Mkeascene and another to-be-determined charity. 

“Sleighin’ It” is the first project by Mkeascene, a not-for-profit organization that started up earlier this year dedicated to improving life for young Milwaukee people with mental health issues.

“We wanted to do something to give back to Milwaukee. All of the artists were so energetic to do this,” says Eric Johnson from Mkeascene and the band Hot By Ziggy, which has a track on the album. 

Johnson started the organization in June with his fiance, Hillarie Sandberg, and friends Greg Zupek and Andrew Klain (also in Hot By Ziggy). A fifth partner in the project, Alex Kultgen, passed away this summer. Initially his unexpected death stalled the organization’s early development, but eventually, his memory inspired the first steps. 

“We’re doing this in memory of Alex and for kids and families in Milwaukee,” says Johnson. "The album turned out perfect. It's fun to listen to and it even had me shed a few tears."

Link to the article here: 

12/10/2020 - Press Release

New Non-profit, MKE a Scene, Generates Holiday-themed Album with 14 Milwaukee Bands

Album donations from website support efforts to bring awareness to mental health issues in our youth

MKE A Scene’ partnered with Stillwave studios to record and produce alternative Holiday Tunes from all your favorite local MKE bands. 14 artists from the community have joined forces to create an album of their favorite holiday songs, with their own creative twists. For a minimum donation of $10, you can download the album Sleighin' it! - A MKE Christmas. All album donations go to support efforts to bring awareness to mental health issues in our youth. 

“This is our first major project for ‘MKE a Scene.’ I'm so happy how the songs turned out and am proud of all the local musicians that, without hesitation, donated their time and resources to make this happen,” says Eric Johnson, founder of ‘MKE a Scene’. 

‘MKE a Scene’ is a Milwaukee based non-profit dedicated to supporting efforts that bring awareness to mental health issues in our youth. With every child just wanting to be heard, we are here to help their voices to make their own scene. Through Art, Music, and film, 'MKE a Scene' is giving children and young adults the creative space to safely express their thoughts, emotions, and struggles. Handing over the reins to their own creativity, we are guiding a new generation to stand up and lead the way through directing and producing music to help bring light to the issues they think are causing youth so much pain. 

To make a donation and download the album Sleighin' it! - A MKE Christmas go to

Below is the list of artists and songs from the album Sleighin' it! - A MKE Christmas 

  1. Brave You - Wonderful Christmastime 
  2. Shonn Hinton & Shotgun - New Born King 
  3. The Door Stoppers - Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer 
  4. Scott Starr from Rev Pop - Merry Christmas (I Don't Want To Fight Tonight) 
  5. Hot By Ziggy - Let It Snow!! 
  6. Dislocation - O Come, O Come Emmanuel 
  7. Spare Change Trio - Happy Christmas 
  8. Ice Island - Little Drummer Boy' 
  9. Telethon - Christmas Burger 
  10. June Gloom - Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas 
  11. Lost Orange Cat - (Not So) Silent Night 
  12. M545 - Feliz Navidad 
  13. Complex Machine - Happy Xmas (War Is Over) 
  14. Tigera - Every Other Day 

How will you MaKE your scene? 

Contact: Eric Johnson