words by Cal Roach
It appears the “warm” winter weather is pretty much behind us for the time being, folks. But there’s no significant snowfall in the forecast yet, so you’ve still got no excuse not to get out and enjoy the nightlife, and best of all, you can enjoy the warm, comforting sounds of WMSE any time from the cozy confines of your home.
You may have heard that Wilco is in town? If you managed to snag a ticket for this Riverside Theater show, you’re probably in for a treat. The band thought enough of Milwaukee to shoot the cover of its 2009 self-titled album at Mader’s, and all reports from Wilco’s last two-night stand in town were rave reviews. Few modern groups combine such a high caliber of heart-wrenching songs and individual instrumental prowess as Wilco, so be prepared for an impressive night of music.
If you’re in the mood for something not quite so tame, consider hitting the always-reliable Cactus Club tonight for what promises to be an incredibly loud show. Two of our fair city’s most reliably awesome noise bands, Fahri and King’s Horses, will test the structural fortitude of your earplugs. Both bands have a trove of as-yet unreleased material that they’ll surely be featuring at this show, which is exciting in itself. Joining them will be jangly indie duo Crazy Fox & Baby Cowboy, perhaps not quite so loud but surely entertaining nonetheless.
If you’re in need of a warm-up Saturday night, there’s no better act in town than Paul Cebar and his Tomorrow Sound to invoke warmer climes. The broad spectrum of rock and roll, blues, jazz, soul and world musics this band rolls out will conjure up varying degrees of temperate and tropical heat, and even if you can’t place the origin of the tunes, you’ll be too busy dancing to notice what the actual temperature in the room is. Plus, if you’re lucky, Cebar will play his recent single, “Summer Starts Right Now;” that ought to take your mind off the weather.
Also on Saturday, the Bay View Brew Haus will host Milwaukee’s premier all-girl sorta-punk band, The Barrettes. “Sorta,” because although the attitude is punk to the core, you don’t often hear French horn or cello in this genre, nor the dizzying prog-y tempo shifts these gals pull off. If you haven’t heard this band’s 2009 debut album, A Whole Lotta Melodica, you are missing out on a truly unique musical experience, and a bunch of terrific songs that aren’t just notable for being weird. Check ‘em out live; they’ll probably have some CDs to sell you, to boot. Also playing: Ripley Caine, Venus In Furs and The Locals.
File under: ‘tis the season…On Sunday, Rosebud Cinema Drafthouse is giving you a couple of stellar movie-going options, both family-friendly and both actually great movies. First at noon, it’s National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, which you should probably see on the big screen at some point if only for the scene when Chevy Chase finally gets his obscenely gaudy lighting display to turn on. Then at 6:30, it’s Vincente Minnelli’s classic holiday musical Meet Me In St. Louis. Sure, TCM will probably show it a few times over the coming weeks, but how can you pass up Judy Garland singing “The Trolley Song” and “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” in an actual movie theater? That’s right: you can’t. (Also Monday – Thursday at 8:30 and 6:30 p.m., respectively)
Finally, get ready for a wild week on the WMSE airwaves as Milwaukee bands play live on the air to support the station’s Kickstarter project to save the outdated in-studio recording equipment. Kick off your Monday evening right with Burning Sons on Buzz’s Garage, then crank your stereos up on Tuesday around 8 p.m.; Head On Electric pulled off an appropriately sloppy/awesome stint as a Nirvana tribute band back on Halloween weekend, and be playing Local Live with (presumably) a selection of their own tunes. Wednesday, The Fatty Acids will visit during Rich Mars’ show, and then Thursday, Jules will host Brief Candles around 7:30 p.m. Some of the city’s absolute best bands, only on WMSE, and it will only continue to happen if you donate what you can to the Kickstarter project before December 22nd!