words by Cal Roach
Spring fever is in full blast and dang, isn’t this weather pretty nice? Nice in a ‘yeah, we know. We’re probably playing hooky from work today, too (*shhh*)’ kinda way. If playing hooky takes you outside the fair city of Milwaukee, pay no heed to this week’s early edition of Linky McLinkster. If you WILL be one of the fairest in the fair, then read on. There will be plenty of stuff to do post-afternoon cocktails, baseball and bike rides.
Lady Cannon is fast-becoming one of the best-known female vocalists in town, her raspy and sweet wail a wee bit in shades of Hope Sandoval and her tales of heartbreak and debauchery as rollicking as they are sentimental. We think her show tonight at Frank’s Power Plant will be a solid one, paired with Carolina Story and Star and Micey, a band which Jaz Dixon of PASTE Magazine/Live at PASTE has said, “…one of my favorite acts I have seen here, and that is a lot of bands.” No-brainer, right? Swig a cheapie beer and relish in some bourbon as you settle in for an evening of stories and song.
Up for story-songs even more steeped in history? The Charles Allis Art Museum is where you should head. Tonight, at 6 p.m., the Allis welcomes Larry Penn to the stage for their ‘Allis After Hours” American Roots Music Series. Penn, a Milwaukee folk icon writes from a life spent on the road, his acoustic guitar and voice spelling out tales of trains, trucks and characters along the way. Allis says, “Three dozen of his songs have been recorded by others over the years, including the legendary folk musician Pete Seeger. He has toured with Utah Phillips and Rose Tattoo, a group of old hobos, anarchists and musicians, singing and telling stories that celebrate the ongoing influences of the railroads in American folk culture.” Penn carries a pretty hefty weight in the Milwaukee folk community, and his years spent here have lent more than a lot of local culture to his writings. Not to be missed.
Heading into true weekend territory, Friday’s marquee party is set to go down in Riverwest at Stonefly Brewery. Brooklyn indie rock collective Here We Go Magic is on a steady one-record-a-year pace ever since its 2009 self-titled debut, and the recently-released A Different Ship (produced by none other than Nigel Godrich) might be the best bunch of tunes the band has yet released. Tagging along will be the fellow New Yorkers of Hospitality, and tying the proceedings together will be WMSE’s own Dori Zori, who we’re pretty sure has plenty of experience in getting the party started.
Saturday night will be a great night to get loud and obnoxious with some of Milwaukee’s noisiest bands. Topping the bill at Cactus Club will be King’s Horses, who released the fantastic Polis last year (easily one of the best local releases of 2011). These guys inject just as much rhythm and melody into their music as noise, but rest assured, your ears will be ringing. Also playing: Centipedes, sort of a mathy, hardcore-ish juggernaut, and quasi-supergroup Heavy Hand, which answers the question: what happens when members of The Scarring Party no longer wish to be polite?
Nothing says Tuesday night like a blast of high-volume shoegaze rock, so thank goodness for Quarters Rock And Roll Palace! The place has certainly been energizing the local music scene on weeknights, and this week it will play host to local pedal-mongers Technicolor Teeth, who just released an impressively catchy and atmospheric debut album, Teenage Pagans, in February. Joining them will be Athens, Georgia (please don’t make us say “shitgaze,” okay?) band Dude Magnets, and Milwaukee’s own Buster Douglas (the band, not the boxer).
And in case you missed ZETI (the artist formerly known as Pezzettino, in case you forgot) when she stopped in town last month to celebrate the release of her new EP, Biscuit Basin or The Kangaroo Communiqué, she’s returning to Sugar Maple next Thursday for an encore performance. We won’t guarantee accordion, but if the instrument does appear, it’ll be played in songs that don’t sound anything like polka, that’s for sure. Plus, you’ll probably get the lowdown on her new iPhone app as well, and if you know anything about Sugar Maple, you know they have a pretty impressive selection of beers to supplement your enjoyment of the evening.