words by Cal Roach
As if you didn’t have enough going on already the past several nights, right? Chances are most of you already went out this week, whether it was for Milwaukee Film Festival flicks or Beach House or Dr. Dog or Louis C.K. or any number of other great shows that might have hampered your productivity at work in recent mornings. The fun never stops here in the Brew City, and you end up passing up more great events than you can make time for, but it’s a pretty cool problem to have, right? That’s why we strive to offer up a quick roundup of choices upon which to spend your hard-earned cash. We couldn’t possibly mention everything, but we’ve yet to receive any complaints on our weekly picks! Read on for the latest…
Probably the most pressing event of the weekend is to check out KingHellBastard at Stonefly tonight (Friday), not just because it promises to be one kick-ass party of a good time, but because out of the blue, one of our city’s premier hip-hop collectives has announced that this is its last show. Before you get all emotional, rest assured that Dana Coppafeel and the rest of the Uni-Fi crew will still be making music one way or another, but damn, that was one of the best “band” names ever, and we’re sorry to see it go! So come out and celebrate eight years of great music and send ‘em off in style. Also performing: Michael Mic Check, Sose and Malicious.
Also happening tonight: blow off some steam after an arduous work week at Club Anything with Burning Sons, one of Milwaukee’s hardest-working bands. This show marks the release party for the band’s third record in two years, the blistering “Reflective Confessions,” out on Mystic Records and included with admission! We say this a lot, but: BRING YOUR EARPLUGS. “Loud” might be the most operative descriptor there is for the old-school hardcore you’ll experience at this show. Joining in the celebration will be Twin Cities taco-thrash band (?) In Defence, Assault & Battery (yeah, you try googling that for a band link!) and Quitters (out of Austin, TX).
Otherwise, if you’re more into the whole power-pop thing, a couple of Milwaukee’s most beloved purveyors of the genre will take the stage at Linneman’s tonight. Trolley has been making records and gigging around town for close to two decades now, and last year’s Things That Shine And Glow sounds as fresh as anything from the band’s catalog, with just a touch of psychedelic atmosphere and lots and lots of catchy hooks. Joining them will be Certain Stars, mainstays of the International Pop Overthrow scene, who put out their third album, The Great Destroyer, in April, a relatively eclectic record but firmly rooted in clanging guitars and vocal harmonies. Also playing: Todd Richards Band.
Another terrific hip-hop show is about to go down Saturday night at Cactus Club. AUTOMatic just released a new album, Art Imitates Life, last week, and chances are A.P.R.I.M.E. and crew are gonna be pumped to perform a bunch of the brand-new material for a Saturday night Bay View crowd. You get the socially-conscious stories mixed with party anthems but it’s all danceable as hell, a pretty perfect representation of what Milwaukee hip-hop is all about. Plus, the undercard is a veritable who’s-who of the hottest names in local rap; both The Hollowz and Logic & Raze released great albums last year, and Yo-Dot’s brand new Red Mist is already garnering rave reviews. Add to that SpeakEasy as well as WMSE’s own DJ Bizzon and you’ve got pretty much the local hip-hop show of the year.
Potawatomi Bingo & Casino is best known for gambling, but there’s little to no risk involved in going to see “Weird Al” Yankovic at the Northern Lights Theater (Saturday night) located therein: You are guaranteed a good time, assuming you like fun. Sure, maybe some of the modern reference points like B.o.B. and Myley Cyrus will escape you (we hope), but we’ll wager the parodies will still be funny! And when you start counting up the classics in the Weird canon, you quickly realize that you’re going to get your money’s worth in costume changes alone (Remember the video for “Fat??” That was awesome.). You haven’t lived until you’ve sung along at the top of your lungs to “Yoda” and “Another One Rides The Bus,” take our word for it.
In case you didn’t get the email notice, Juniper Tar will only be playing two more shows this year, and they’re both coming in the next week, so we suggest you get your keister out to see at least one of them. Still riding high on their latest album, the excellent Since Before, these guys are at least as captivating live as on record, where their beer-soaked three-part harmonies and multi-guitar attack add raw power to the intrinsic beauty of the songs. The band will play Saturday night at Club Garibaldi with an extensive bill that includes Nonagon, Frontier Ruckus and Water Liars. Then next Thursday, it will be a triumphant return to Hotel Foster, the site of the band’s unprecedented “First Waltz” residency back in April. They’ll be joined for this show by Futurebirds, twangy indie rock out of Athens, GA.
As some of you may know, Adam Ant was once a mega-pop star. Anybody who got near MTV in 1982/83 will surely remember the video for “Goody Two Shoes,” but what you might not realize is how awesome the album it comes from, Friend Or Foe, is as a whole. And prior to this solo career (during which he was voted Sexiest Man in America, despite being British), he led short-lived post-punk/new wave band Adam And The Ants, whose combination of dance beats, glam and ragged aggression influenced a whole generation of upstart musicians. In the mid-90s, Ant virtually disappeared, popping up for the occasional revival gig but making headlines more for bizarre escapades and struggles with mental illness than music. This Sunday at Turner Hall is a catch-him-while-you-can proposition; you never know when he’s going to drop off the face of the Earth again. Also playing: Brothers Of Brazil.
White Rabbits made a splash with their 2007 debut album Fort Nightly, and furthered their reputation with a superb live run opening for and arguably upstaging the always-amazing Walkmen. But the band seemed to drop off the radar after this, releasing a somewhat lackluster second effort in 2009 and seemingly destined for the indie-rock flash-in-the-pan bin (hey, remember “cutout bins??”). But this year, they’ve returned to form with a new album, Milk Famous, and for their well-received set at Lollapalooza in August, the Rabbits seemed just as vibrant and exciting as they ever were. They may not have gotten any bigger, but it’s tough to imagine a powerful live act like this playing little rock clubs forever, so you’d best skedaddle down to Cactus Club on Tuesday and see them in all their glory before they graduate to…y’know, a higher capacity venue or whatever. Also playing: Fever Marlene.