words by Cal Roach
Memorial Day is behind us, so we can say it’s officially summer, right? Okay, not really, and it doesn’t exactly feel like it this week either, but even without Riversplash, school’s out and we’re basically there. Summerfest schedules are out, Locust Street Festival lineup was just released, so much on the horizon that you might forget to pay attention to what’s going on in the immediate future. That’s where we come in! Read on.
Ring in the weekend tonight (Friday) with Bay View Gallery Night! You can catch over 50 local artists at “over 27” local businesses displaying their wares, from photography to painting and even live music, like Lova Nova at Tonic Tavern, Heavy Hand and Absolutely at Café Lulu, Sat. Nite Duets and The Fatty Acids at Club Garibaldi and Drugs Dragons and Phylums at Cactus Club. Check out three floors of art on display at Hide House as well as tons more at the various neighborhood galleries. You can view the full lineup here.
There’s another great musical choice tonight as well: Langhorne Slim, celebrated troubadour of country, folk and all things Americana, will be at Turner Hall Ballroom. The former Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Player has made his name touring around the country and making new fans at the major festivals and even landing a national television ad (relax–everybody’s doing it!). Joining Slim will be Springfield, MO indie rock band Ha Ha Tonka, who received plenty of accolades for last year’s Death Of A Decade.
Or, if you’re up for something a bit heavier, you could go to Club Anything for an eclectic night of loud music that won’t necessarily always feature guitars. That’s right, it’s Milwaukee’s favorite heavy wooden (that’s their made up genre, no ours!) band, The Danglers. This band has been gigging around town since the 90s, and there’s a reason they’re still at it: they’re usually awesome. Joining them will be Sleestak, a doomy, stoner-y band that will definitely feature guitars, and Murder Love God, an industrial/rock-hodgepodge band that may or may not be named after a Johnny Cash box set.
Cactus Club is also the place to be Saturday night for one of the most unique nights of local music you’re likely to encounter. If you haven’t heard of Hello Death yet, we suggest clicking the band name there, which will take you to a Soundcloud page full of hauntingly infectious tunes. That might be all you need to convince you, but you’ll also get to experience the mesmerizing walls of sound of Black Eagle Child, named by Linky McLinkster just now as one of Milwaukee’s top five performers most likely to blow your mind. Also playing: Eau Claire’s Adelyn Rose.
Otherwise, skip on over to Riverwest for The New Red Moons at Linneman’s. This band plays a somewhat twangy, jangly pop verging on rockabilly-lite, which sounds kinda lame but it really isn’t; what these guys lack in grit they make up for in perfectly-arranged songcraft and the impressive vocal talents of frontman Joe McIlheran (the kind of singer who gets nominated for a WAMI and actually deserves to be), who sounds like a cross between Andrew Bird and Rufus Wainwright. Also playing: The Vitrolum Republic and Bethesda.
You may be familiar with the progressive rock dino-band called Yes, the band with all those psychedelic album covers painted by Roger Dean, which is still touring these days with a singer plucked from a Canadian tribute band. As fans of the group know, the real voice of Yes is Jon Anderson, who will bring his one-of-a-kind songs and pipes to the Pabst Theater Sunday night. You’re sure to hear lots of old classics (don’t count on “Owner Of A Lonely Heart,” though) in addition to material from a couple of albums he’s released over the past few years.
Next Tuesday: you get done with work, come home, eat some dinner; really nothing going on at all as far as we know. That’s right, we live under a rock, but just in case something happens that evening that might cause you happiness or sadness in a political sort of way, you may be up for a drink or two, so why not head to Cactus Club? They serve beer and liquor there, and also, IfIHadAHifi is playing! Yep, the show has been christened “Rock, Rap & Recall” and also features local hip-hop luminaries Logic & Raze and, well, hopefully another act as well to fill in that lonely “TBA” designation. You needn’t be politically inclined to enjoy this show, trust us.