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SHOW: Saturday, March 8th @ Riverwest Public House

Pushmi-Pullyu (3-8-2014) Poster

The time has come for a return!  This may be a short-ish set, but we’re looking forward to showing you the beginnings of the new Pushmi-Pullyu.  We’ve got a couple (read: 2) old favorites, as well as a few brand new tunes we’ve been shedding lately.  Come on out.

Cover $5, 21+ [FB Event]

The Saturday Giant (COLUMBUS, OH)
The City Pines [Formerly Heartland Wails] (MILWAUKEE)

This Is Jamie

Jamie Yanda

This is Jamie.  He’s our new guitarist.

Jamie Yanda is a killer musician who heads up the primarily Milwaukee-based band Temple.  He’s really stepping out of his comfort zone, both stylistically and creatively.  It’s been a pleasure working to integrate Jamie into Pushmi-Pullyu, and even though we’re  in the early stages of practice, things are looking better second-by-second.

We have two shows currently confirmed for Milwaukee, and we’re all excited to debut a bunch of new songs.  You can see us here:

08 March 2014 @ Riverwest Public House (w/ The Saturday Giant, TBA)
11 April 2014 @ Linneman’s Riverwest Inn (w/ Animals In Human Attire, The Fatty Acids)

Shows in Madison are in the works, too, so stay tuned!

Never Love A Stranger is DONE!

Pushmi-Pullyu - Never Love A Stranger

After nearly a year of work and several years of writing, Never Love A Stranger is done!  Right now, you can stream the album for free on Arts Extract (linked below).  The album will be out on CD and Cassette on Mine All Mine Records.


CD – $8
Cassette – $6

Here’s what Arts Extract’s Scott Gordon has to say about the album:

Madison’s Pushmi-Pullyu has evolved over the years from a sparse electronic-pop solo project to a full-band vehicle for John Kruse’s wandering, frequently morose songs. The five-piece comprises Kruse on keyboards, glockenspiel and vocals; Corey Murphy on keyboards; Luke Annear on drums; Tom Teslik on guitar; and Sam Ludwig on saxophone. Stream the band’s first album, Never Love A Stranger, for free in its entirety until its release on July 2. The album is available through Mine All Mine Records, and the band will celebrate with a July 24 show at the Memorial Union Terrace.

Check it out while you can, and thanks to Arts Extract for the feature!

Stream Now



Thursday, July 18th @ 8:00PM
Riverwest Public House (MKE): $5, 21+
Pushmi-Pullyu (MADISON)
Lady Cannon (MILWAUKEE)
Lisabi (BRAZIL)

Wednesday, July 24th @ 8:00PM
Memorial Union Terrace (MAD):  FREE, ALL AGES
Pushmi-Pullyu (MADISON)
Icarus Himself (MADISON)

Let’s finish this damn album!

Backstreet Boys

A lot has happened in the last several months.

Without going into all the boring details, we’ve run out of excuses to delay this album we began way back in August of 2012.  As of two weeks ago (March 4th, 2013), all studio recording on Never Love A Stranger is complete!

All that’s left is mixing, mastering and production of the physical album.  While we’d love to do vinyl, we’re going to live within our means here.  That means CD, digital download, and perhaps a limited edition tape.

I know that I, personally, am so ready to get this material out there.  I’m ready for my friends and family to hear what we’ve spent so much time working on.  Some of these songs began their lives nearly five years ago without ever being set in stone.

Now, that doesn’t mean I want to throw this material out there to get rid of it.  I know that’s how a lot of artists feel releasing music that’s been brewing for a while.  As I listen to the in progress mixes of the album, I can say with all honesty that this is some of my proudest work.  After performing some of theses pieces 50+ times, I still don’t hate them yet, and I’m proud of what we as a band have been able to accomplish.


While we don’t have a firm release date yet, expect the album no later than May 2013.  The art and exact specifications for physical production are being worked on now, so expect an album art and packaging reveal in the coming weeks.

The whole album clocks in at around 45 minutes, and the track list might still change a bit.  Some of the songs flow together, so we still need to decide if they’ll be separate tracks or not.  We might also cut South Africa.  But that’s the general gist of things.

Here’s the personnel:

John Praw (vocals, harmonium, glockenspiel, trumpet, vocoder, ambient sounds)
Corey Murphy (keys, noises, gang vocals)
Luke Annear (drums, noises, gang vocals)
Tom Teslik (guitar, delay pedals, noises, gang vocals)
Sam Ludwig (saxophone, noises, gang vocals)

Recorded by Brian Nolan at House Arrest Studios in Madison, WI.

We hope to have a beautiful album to show you soon.

John Praw & co.


Stars & Letters’ Awesome Moth-in-Vial Limited Edition Album
Mixtapes|Heartbreaks Features “In The Bleak Midwinter”
Sister Crystals’ Amazing New Single “For So Long”
Rahsaan Roland Kirk Blowing Minds in 1969
3-Way Singles Club, Vol. 18

New Single: In The Bleak Midwinter

Pushmi-Pullyu - In The Bleak Midwinter

Ladies and gentlemen, have we got a treat for you!

As we near the completion (finally) of Never Love A Stranger, we’ve decided to kick off the new year with this brand new single.  “In The Bleak Midwinter” was originally made for our live performance on a WYOU winter telethon.  The telethon required us to perform at least one Christmas song, so we chose a classic carol with words written by the English poet Christina Rossetti sometime before 1872.  Twisting the words a bit, we turned a Christmas carol into an anytime love song.

The track was recorded at House Arrest studios in Madison, Wisconsin by Brian Nolan (who you may know from American Hi-Fi).  The cover photo was originally taken by Nikki Gibson and edited by John Praw.


Progress on An Overdue Album, + December Shows

Pushmi-Pullyu - Never Love A Stranger Album Preview

What have you been doing all this time?

Yes, it’s been a while since we’ve posted stuff here.  If you want to see updates from us more often, Like us on Facebook.  To answer the question, though, we’ve been up to a lot.

The band has been in a weird place, but in a good way.  Our main focus is on the album.  A lot is yet to be set in stone, but you can bet that the art will be similar to that pictured above.  You can click on that picture, or click here, to download a free preview of the album.  The track list is pretty much set to be a representation of our live show.  If all goes according to plan, we will finish recording this week.

We have had our fair share of setbacks, so I’ll be extremely happy to get “Never Love A Stranger” out there.  For a few months, Tom was on tour with another band.  Our recording engineer had a baby.  Our jobs and holidays got in the way.  Some of us moved farther away.  There are other excuses, but we’re all really excited to be nearing the home stretch here, and the quality of the album material is shaping up better than I could have ever guessed.

When are you playing?  Why aren’t you playing so often?

Good question!  You can always find our upcoming shows on our Gigs page.  We have two shows coming up this month.  On December 21st at the Dragonfly Lounge, we will be playing with Noxroy (MAD), William Z. Villain (MAD; feat. P-P alum Ben Cameron) and Soul Low (MKE).  That show will be the first day of winter, and thus, the kick-off party for the Lost City Winter Series.  The Lost City Music Festival is very much a product of the people in this band, so the Winter Series means a lot to us.

For the second show, on December 29th at Mad Planet in Milwaukee, we will be playing with Blue Boy (CHI), Animals In Human Attire (MKE; feat. P-P alum Myles Coyne) and Ivy Spokes (MKE).  That show will be awesome.

To focus on the album, we’re not playing so frequently.  We also made the decision to no longer be involved with shows we aren’t dedicated to.  We’ve all played and organized too many shows that don’t really matter to us, so we’re done with that.  Instead, we’ll be playing shows that we can really invest ourselves in.  Also, we’re busy as crap.  All of us are in other bands, and two of our members live over an hour away from Madison in different directions.

Okay, enough talking.  Goodbye.  Take it easy.

You too, buddy.

<3 Like us on facebook, dummy.

Back To The Studio

We’re off to the studio again.  Today, we’ll try to record the second half of the album.  So far, we’ve (mostly) finished recording Where We First Sat, Morning Undone, Birthday, Howl and Past.

Once we have the studio set up, we’re going to rocket through some of these remaining tracks.  The big two will be the Fried Chicken Suite (the first 3-4 songs that run together in the album), and Bleak Midwinter / Lost Ponds, which also run together.  Hopefully, that will go quickly so we can get to South Africa and Bitch Sister.  If we can get all of that done tonight and tomorrow, we’ll be set.

Tom leaves on tour where he’ll be backing up his friends’ band in two weeks, so there might be a little recording project to hold us over until his return (in nearly 3 months!).  Look for news of that soon.

And we’re off!

~ John Praw

FIFTY Shows!

Wow.  As of last Wednesday on the Terrace, Pushmi-Pullyu has performed FIFTY times.  This includes all shows since our first back in October of 2008 in a basement on the corner of Mills and Milton.  In that time, we’ve undergone a lot of changes.  What once started as an ambient-influenced electronic pop project has become some weird blues-inspired experimental rock group.  After ten months off in Norway, we completely replaced the electronics in favor of full-on instrumentation.  Over the past (almost) four years, our lineup has included the following variations:

John Praw (solo)

John Praw
Corey Murphy

John Praw
Corey Murphy
Myles Coyne

John Praw
Myles Coyne

John Praw
Corey Murphy
Luke Annear

John Praw
Corey Murphy
Luke Annear
Tom Teslik

John Praw
Corey Murphy
Luke Annear
Tom Teslik
Sam Ludwig

Holy cow, is that a lot of permutations.  I think I can safely say that this is by far the best version of the band there has been.  We somehow turned solo electronic pop songs into heavy-hitting rock songs with sax solos.  I don’t really know how we did it, but making a conscious effort to remove the electronics bit-by-bit was the best decision we’ve made as a band.

As we move forward, we look forward to finishing our first full-on legitimate album (not counting South Africa, the collection of songs and sketches released before I moved to Norway), which will be titled “Never Love A Stranger.”  People are moving, our recording engineer is having a baby, and Tom’s going on a two and a half month tour with another band, but that won’t stop us from completing the album.  We will definitely be cutting back on the number of shows we play in the coming months, but we look forward to seeing you when we do play.  Expect some special versions of the band while Tom is away (this train ain’t stoppin’!).

Thanks again for all the love and support, and for listening to our songs.  Here’s to 50 more shows!

<3 John Praw Kruse

Local Love Fest 2012 – Our Pons Cover


Recently, we were invited by the folks at Detune Audio and Sooper Dooper to participate in Local Love Fest 2012.  This was the second year for Local Love Fest, which has Madison artists covering Madison artists, and it was a really great experience for us as a band.  Tom wasn’t able to be there for the recording process, but none-the-less, it gave us an idea of how we want to record our upcoming album.

At any rate, check out the stream above.  The guys at Detune did a pretty great job, and the physical CDs by Sooper Dooper are really awesome.  Since the CDs were only available at two Local Love Fest 2012 shows, we’ve decided to let you stream our cover for free.

This song is a tribute to one of my all-time favorite local bands, Screamin’ Cyn Cyn & the Pons, who sadly are no more.  While they were around, the Pons were one of my main influences.  They were incredibly kind and inviting, and I’m glad to call them my friends.  Here’s to you, Pons!

~ John

This Is Tom

This is Tom.  He’s our guitarist.

First Show(s) Of 2011

The year is coming quickly to a close, and that means we must prepare ourselves for the next.  It was a big year for Pushmi-Pullyu.  Perhaps not externally speaking, but internally, the band has come a long way.  We’re doing things I never thought we’d be able to do, and a big part of that is the addition of our drummer, Luke.  I’ve known Luke for a while because we both studied Norwegian (more officially “Scandinavian Studies”) at UW – Madison.  Luke graduated a year ahead of me, and quite by coincidence he ended up being a TA for one of the classes I took this semester.  I asked him if his old band – Sophia’s Revenge – was still doing anything.  It turns out those guys have moved on, and Luke was without a regular band.  It didn’t take me long to suck him into ours.

Our first show of 2011 will be January 8th with The Munitionettes, as well as a couple other bands.  You can find more information on that event here.  The Munitionettes are really great (in fact, I might be mixing their upcoming album).  The show will be at the awesome Lothlórien Coop in Madison.

Then, sometime in February, we’ll be playing with our good friends Screamin’ Cyn Cyn & the Pons.  They are, essentially, the band that got me into local music in Madison, and they put on the best show in town.  By far. You can find information on that in our “Gigs” section when the details are nailed down.

Happy New Year,

John Praw

This Is Luke

This is Luke.  He’s our drummer.

Scramble, Scramble, Scramble

As some of you know, my house was struck by lightning a few weeks back.  Because of this, I have no choice but to go  without a computer of my own for a while.  my old one – which happened to be the one I used to do all of my work – was completely fried.  Luckily, everything was backed up on an external that survived the strike.

So now I’m stuck scrambling to get everything done on time.  It kills me not having a dedicated machine of my own, but for now, I’m making do.  Luckily, I now live with Corey, my long-time partner in crime.  Check out some of his music here and here.  Corey and I are hard at work settling into our new house and getting the live Pushmi-Pullyu show in shape.  Our first sets back will likely be a bit on the short side, but there is still plenty we can do.

Hopefully, we’ll have a nice solid show for you guys very soon.  In fact, our first show back after over a year of inactivity in Madison is in three days!  Come check us out in Jamie Yanda’s basement in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on Friday, August 20th.  Information on that show can be found here. The show is all ages.

Nine days after that – Sunday, August 29th – you can catch us at the Frequency here in wonderful Madison, Wisconsin.  While you’re there, you can play some bingo in between sets.  You can find information on that show here. The Frequency is a 21+ venue.

Both shows are FREE!

~ John Praw
P.S.  We might be booking shows IN OUR LIVING ROOM this year.  Stay tuned for more on that.

Preparing For A Reboot

Though I’m not certain of the exact date, next month will probably mark the first time Pushmi-Pullyu has played live in over a year (our last show was August 2nd, 2009 on WSUM).  In the last year, the ideas behind this project have changed quite a lot and quite often.

The reason for the hiatus was my year spent in Norway.  During that time, I wrote a lot of songs and learned a lot of things.  Over the course of that year, a lot of thought went into the future of Pushmi-Pullyu.

So what are we doing now?

First, Corey and I are preparing for a new live act.  Most of the songs in the set have been chosen, and it will hopefully be a fun time.

After finalizing the live set, there’s the matter of releasing some stuff.  The year in Norway has left us with a large amount of material.  Part of that includes a full-length album of Castles covers, titled The Art Of Being A Black Hole.  This is currently scheduled to come out sometime next month, alongside Castle’s own new EP, Malice Striker.

We are also aiming to release a Pushmi-Pullyu album sometime before the end of the year, possibly a 2xLP.  More information on that will be available when the time comes.

One more thing: I’ve been working on a lot of remixes and mash-ups as part of this project as well.  Check out our music page to stream and/or download some of our sounds, including our Passion Pit mashups (for a limited time only).

Enjoy the new site, and see you soon!

~John Praw