words by Cal Roach
Well, here you are on the Internet, which is the perfect place to be considering we’re right in the middle of WMSE’s Online Winter Drive. It’s time to make up the deficit left over from the Fall Fund Drive so the station can keep bringing you the best free-form radio programming on the planet, so please give what you can! Also, keep reading and clicking right here on this page to see what good ol’ Milwaukee has in store for you throughout the upcoming week.
When you hear the band name Castle Thunder, you probably think “prog rock,” right? Wrong. Think, instead, indie pop that alternates between delicate and beat-driven, not exactly complex but definitely eclectic. At least, that’s what you’ll hear if you check out the two tracks the band has put up on its Bandcamp page so far. Word is the group will have an EP available soon, which means the fantastic start to the year in MKE music just keeps rolling along in fine style. See them tonight (Friday) at the Riverwest Public House with alt-folk troubadour Wolfgang Schaefer and the barely-half-a-year-old Liar’s Trial.
Again, you might have Fresh Cut Collective pegged as hip hop just due to the name, but again, you’d be wrong, sorta. That’s definitely one of the dominant aspects of the group, but there’s a lot more going on, ranging from soul to rock to jazz to funk and whatever else you might find in the typical kitchen sink. Whatever you call ‘em, expect a high-energy, good-timey vibe from these fun-loving cats at Cactus Club on Saturday. Plus, each of those aforementioned hyphenates applies to the other two groups on this bill, the prolific Fatty Acids and up-and-coming Kane Place Record Club.
If you’re looking for something a bit more subdued on Saturday night and you love the sound of Irish fiddle music, you really have no choice but to head over to the Irish Cultural and Heritage Center. World-renowned, Grammy-nominated artist Liz Carroll will delight your ears with her virtuosic fiddle playing, along with frequent collaborator Cormac McCarthy (no, not the playwright–the other guy) on piano. Y’know, because St. Patrick’s Day is only a month away, and you’ve got to start getting into that Celtic groove now!
Aren’t you happy you won’t need to waste any more Sundays watching football for several months? This week, to fill the void, stop by the Todd Wehr Conference Center between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. and take a gander at the multitude of wares available at the WMSE Collector & Gear Show! We’re talking about rare vinyl and CDs, gear, instruments, collectibles and more, featuring a hand-picked list of local luminaries across the musical spectrum. Chances are if you’re reading this blog, you’ll feel like a kid in a candy store at this event.
We’re not going to comment on the current relevance of metal legend-turned-media-hog Dave Mustaine, but onstage with Megadeth the guy has always been a magnetic presence, and you are pretty much guaranteed an opportunity to bang your head furiously to lots of classics from the band’s 80’s/90’s heyday if you go to The Rave on Sunday night. Plus, there’s an even mightier legend in the building for this edition of the long-running Gigantour: the ageless godfather of punk and metal, Lemmy, still playing his blistering, timeless version of evil rock and roll with Motörhead. Joining these two beasts will be Lacuna Coil and Volbeat.
Wednesday night brings the February installment of Milwaukee’s ever-popular live storytelling extravaganza, Ex Fabula. This month, the event returns to Stonefly Brewery, because it’s important to get a few locally-made beers in you to inspire the courage to tell your story in front of curious onlookers and -listeners. The theme of the evening will be “How We Met,” and you never get tired of telling that story, do you? Face it: if somebody is willing to get up in front of a crowd to reveal such personal details, it’s gotta be worth hearing.
On Thursday nights, when the weekend is so close you can almost taste it, sometimes you need to start that whole unwinding process a little early, so strap on your balls-out rock party attitude and head to Linneman’s this Thursday for some loud, obnoxious local music guaranteed to give you a head start on everyone else in terms of weekend enjoyment. There’s a reason you keep hearing more and more about stoner-krautrock powerhouse Catacombz lately: they are an extremely powerful live act, and have to be experienced to be believed. Joining them will be Head On Electric, who just released their debut album, Sleep Slaughter Sheep on Milwaukee’s one Dusty Medical Records, a few weeks ago. Rounding out this primo triple-bill is garage/punk combo Slow Walker.