words by Cal Roach
March was crazy warm, April was sort of back to normal Wisconsin spring, and May is starting off like summer already. Gotta love the unpredictability of life in Milwaukee! We’ve got some extremely unpredictable lineups in terms of local shows for you this week, as well as an unusual number of cinematic prospects, so read on if you’re looking for fun and adventure over the coming week.
Start your weekend off right (Friday) at Cactus Club, where you can catch one of the craziest local bills we’ve seen in a while. But if you dig WMSE, we know you’ve got eclectic musical taste! Topping this one: Altos, hot off the release of their stupendous self-titled record. Guitars, trumpets, violin, viola, keyboards, vocals; don’t be surprised if you see a glockenspiel, but whatever happens, this is one of the best live bands in town. We could say the same for Northless, who released one of the heaviest albums this town has ever heard, Clandestine Abuse, last year; make SURE you bring earplugs! You’ll also need those for Burning Sons, old school hardcore done right: fast, economical and pissed off.
Across the street at Club Garibaldi you can get a free CD with entry, as it’s Lisa Ridgely & The Fainting Room’s EP release party! Expect country-tinged rock with great harmony vocals and the slick guitar work of Ryan Elliott (also of Great Lake Drifters). Plus, joining the party will be Field Report (formerly Conrad Plymouth), fresh off a tour with Megafaun and prepping for an album release of their own within a few months or so, and whatever you call his band, frontman Christopher Porterfield is one of the most compelling performers in town. Plus, you get an opening set by Chris Demay, completing the folk-rock singer/songwriter triumvirate! We suspect there may be some intermingling of players at this show.
Tonight is also the beginning of the Milwaukee Underground Film Festival, so if you’re more in the mood for some crazy short movies, head over to the UWM Union Theatre at 7 p.m. for a program that includes ten films (hence “short”, unless this event goes until late Saturday morning. We’re pretty sure it doesn’t.) with titles like When Walt Whitman Was A Little Girl and The Voice Of God. The event continues on Saturday at 5 p.m. at the Walker’s Point Center for the Arts, when they will somehow cram in 20 films prior to the next installment at 8! The fest wraps up on Sunday at the Peck School Of The Arts Kenilworth Studios with showtimes at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Saturday night there’ll be an interesting little show at the dinky little Circle A Café in Riverwest. Ever heard of that public radio show called Sound Opinions, where Chicago music critics Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis try to be the Siskel & Ebert of CDs? Well, DeRogatis also moonlights as a drummer in a punk band called Vortis, who will be releasing a new album soon and are trekking up to Milwaukee to promote it. Also playing: the very unique garagey, psychedelic sounds of MKE’s own Red Stuff, whose latest release, a single from last year (click the band name to listen on Bandcamp), is a must-hear pair of tunes.
Otherwise, you could head to Turner Hall Ballroom for their ever-popular Beer And A Movie (BAAM!) series. What better way to spend a Saturday night than tipping a few back and watching The Goonies?? Hey, if you missed out on Cinemtic Titanic last weekend, this could be your chance at a similar experience; no way a room full of Gen-Xers keeps their mouths shut watching this flick after a few beers! Imagine all the childhood traumas that might come rushing back to you when you see some of these classic scenes for the first time in nearly thirty years! Yep, it’s Corey Feldman and Sean Astin before they became vampires and hobbits; what could go wrong?
Since we’re on a movie kick this week, you could do yourself a real favor and go to the Oriental Theatre on Tuesday for a one-night-only showing of the classic animated Beatles flick Yellow Submarine! That’s right, the drug-addled (of course we’re pretty sure John Lennon would deny that claim) musical adventures of the cartoonized Fab Four and their struggles to save Pepperland from the rule of the Blue Meanies. Trust us, it is meant for adults! It might not contain many of the best Beatles tunes, but it’s a pretty spectacular visual feast and you might not get another chance to see it on the big screen. Plus, it contains a character named Jeremy Hillary Boob, so it’s got that going for it.
Wednesday night, put yer dancin’ shoes on if you’re going to Turner Hall! There’s been an awful lot of hype surrounding Poliça ever since the indie rock/electronic band (formed from the ashes of GAYNGS) played Cactus Club in January. The band just released its debut album, Give You The Ghost, in February, and it has garnered quite a bit of positive press–deservedly. It’s song after song of mesmerizing pop music, super danceable even with lots of dark overtones, one of the essential albums to check out so far this year. Plus, just as exciting is that Milwaukee’s own Collections Of Colonies Of Bees is opening the show, and, well, everybody in this town should know by now that these guys are required listening/seeing.