words by Cal Roach
Dunno about you, but we’re still recovering from Milwaukee Day; was that fun or what? You can’t have too many reasons to celebrate how great our city’s music scene is these days. Saturday, as everyone knows (RIGHT???), is Record Store Day, another great excuse. Remember the days when great bands would pass through town and cram into a corner of the record store and play? Record Store Day is the last refuge for this type of thing to happen, apparently, and there are some great Milwaukee acts lined up this year. Read on for more on RSD and other happenings over the coming week.
Tonight (Friday), as is often the case, there’s a great show happening at Cactus Club. You can get your fix of droning indie rock with the likes of quasi-local Technicolor Teeth, who just released their debut album, Teenage Pagans, in February. Yay, reverb! Yay, feedback! Yay, distortion! Oh, and also, great songs! Plus, you’ll get to see a rare, live appearance by Red Stuff, the awesome psych/garage project featuring WMSE’s very own Tom Wanderer. AND, feisty psych screamers Moss Folk. AND, Milwaukee’s own Hairolina, which we can find very little information about, but judging by the band’s Facebook page, showing up early might be worthwhile.
For a much less noisy night of music, you could head to Potawatomi’s Northern Lights Theater to check out soul goddess Mavis Staples. They say rock and roll keeps you young, but apparently, so do R&B and gospel music, because you would never guess from her performance that Mavis is 72 years old; she may not have her full range but that smoky-smooth voice is still intact. If you haven’t already, you should check out last year’s You Are Not Alone, somewhat of a comeback album (produced by Jeff Tweedy) that managed to spread Staples’ signature sound to a new faction of listeners.
We don’t even need to tell you which record store to go to; our city is fortunate enough to have a bunch of great ones! Just be sure you go to one. Okay, hold on; it would be pretty silly of us not to mention The Exclusive Company, considering several of our very own illustrious DJs will be spinning records at the East Side and Greenfield locations! Plus, you can see live performances by Sammy Llanas and Peter D’Amor (Greenfield), or Brief Candles and others at the Farwell Avenue location (check here for the full list of DJs and performers).
For the second weekend in a row, Milwaukee is hosting a dude who built his own instrument (anybody catch That 1 Guy last week?). This week Saturday, you can catch Pat MacDonald and his homemade cigar-box guitar (a Lowebow) along with local singer/songwriter melaniejane as a duo known as Purgatory Hill. They play a bluesy, swampy brand of folk music that combines politics and humor with the Lowebow’s mixture of bass and slide guitar sounds, plus a wide variety of cover tunes not necessarily chosen for their widespread popularity. It’s a far cry from McDonald’s old one-hit-wonder band Timbuk3, and generally a uniquely entertaining live experience. (10:30 p.m. at Café Lulu)
Also on Saturday: Brief Candles will pack up their gear after their set at Exclusive and head on over to the Riverwest Public House for a full-volume set. We’ll never tire of telling you that this is one of Milwaukee’s most captivating live acts. They’re joined by relative upstarts Scrimshaw, composed of Crappy Dracula and The Trusty Knife members. We’ll just call them gleefully weird, and leave it at that. Also playing: Boston psych-rockers 28 Degrees Taurus and dream-poppers Night Fruit out of Cambridge, MA.
If you’re free Sunday night and up for a weird movie, the UWM Union Theatre will be showing Vincent Gallo’s cult classic Buffalo ’66 at 7 p.m. It’s one of those films that makes you feel extremely uncomfortable the whole time, but somehow arrives at a somewhat satisfying bit of closure in the end. It also wins our prestigious award for best use of Yes’s “Heart Of The Sunrise” in a motion picture, which almost makes this a must-see piece of filmmaking all by itself.
For all you carnivores out there (okay, omnivores too), you could find much worse ways to spend a Sunday than SloPig Milwaukee. Starting at 6 p.m., The Intercontinental will turn into a smorgasbord of pork products and spiked punch. You’ll be able to sample from fifty different pork-based dishes; it’s the very definition of pigging out. You can take a look at the schedule here and view all of the event’s partners. We’re pretty sure there’s no vegan option at this event, unless you just want to get drunk.