words by Cal Roach
We try to keep you up to date on our favorite local shows every week, but it’s not so often that we get to tell you about one that gets a mention at Pitchfork! Read on for that big news (as if you hadn’t already heard!) as well as lots more great stuff coming up in the next several days.
One of the most exciting events in local music that we’ve seen in a long time is about to happen, folks: The Promise Ring is getting back together! And it’s not just a one-off show like back in 2005; who knows how far it’ll go at this point, but so far the band has revealed five tour dates for this year, and it looks like anything’s possible for the future. Don’t miss the kickoff show tonight (Friday) at Turner Hall Ballroom if you can help it! You can bet folks will be talking about this sold-out show all year, not least of all because the opening band is The Celebrated Workingman, fresh off a brief hiatus and probably itching to show off their new guitarist and rock your socks off.
Otherwise, if you can’t make it to Turner Hall, relax; you’re not out of luck by any means! Sat. Nite Duets are riding high on praise for their debut full-length album, Summer Of Punishment, which came out in January. But as good as that album is, it only hints at the excitement of the band’s live shows, where you’ll notice a lot of hardcore fans singing and yelling along to their favorite tunes. Their secret to success is being catchy but unpredictable, which means even if you’ve seen ‘em before, it’ll be a new experience each time. Catch them tonight at Cactus Club with two other Milwaukee bands, Faux Fir and All These Runners.
Turner Hall will host another virtually-guaranteed winner on Saturday when the celebrated Minneapolis hip-hop collective known as Doomtree comes to town. You can expect P.O.S. and the rest of the posse to be bouncing on and off the stage all evening, and plenty of punk rock-inspired aggression, including but not limited to the group’s inspired mashup of Fugazi and Wu-Tang Clan, 13 Chambers (Wugazi) (if we’re lucky), which they released last year. Click here for the full lineup of performers.
For a somewhat more family-friendly outing, head over to the Zoofari Conference Center at the Milwaukee County Zoo for Carnival Milwaukee! This benefit for the Urban Economic Development Association of Wisconsin is a fresh take on the February festivities, featuring local restaurants showing off tasty foods from culinary traditions all over the world, as well as a performance by Milwaukee’s own worldwide musical mélange De La Buena. Plus, attendees are encouraged to come in costume; how often do you get a chance to dress all crazy in February?
Or, if comedy’s more your thing, Ron White will bring his uncouth scotch-and-cigar routine to the Pabst Theater Saturday night as well. He may have made his name with the Blue Collar Comedy shtick, but White has always had a bit more up his sleeve than the profanity and redneck-isms of guys like Jeff Foxworthy and Larry The Cable Guy. Don’t let his suit fool you–this isn’t highbrow stuff by any means, but it’s clever and actually funny, and besides, it might be fun just to see how drunk he gets over the course of the set.
On tap Sunday night: Frank’s Power Plant will be hosting local, um, “outlaw” country group God’s Outlaws. With .357 String Band disbanded, you need a different rowdy bunch of twangy bastards to get hammered to, and this might be the one. Expect to hear songs you’ve forgotten about, songs you couldn’t possibly forget about, and songs from way before your time, all predating the pop-country uprising of…well, whenever that happened.
More Twin Cities rap comes our way Thursday when Prof takes the stage at Mad Planet. While not as well-known as his Doomtree/Rhymesayers neighbors, Prof has garnered acclaim for his substantial lyrical talents, which lean way more towards dance party than the sober socially-conscious stuff the Minneapolis scene is known for. Get there early for our own premier hip-hop collective, KingHellBastard, who just released the excellent The War Room (which you can listen to here). Also playing: The Night Krawlers.