By now, dear reader, you’ve survived frostbite, worn out your supply of clean hats and gloves/mittens and partaken of plenty of soup, laced tea and vitamins. Yep, it’s been an extra cold week with some snow on top, but surely that hasn’t dimmed your appetite for live music? It’s only going to get warmer this week (twenties!) and what better time than to make a move on your cabin fever. Get out and catch some of this stuff this weekend:
Sera Cahoone, the thirty-seven year old former drummer for projects such as Carissa’s Wierd and Band of Horses (among others) got her start behind the kit at age twelve in her hometown of Littleton, Colorado, playing backup to bands at taverns. Now stationed in Seattle, Cahoone makes the guitar and her subtly beautiful vocals the main show. She comes to Milwaukee’s Riverwest Public House Friday on the heels of her most recent Sub Pop Records release, Deer Creek Canyon. Also playing: Lady Cannon and Thomas Kivi.
The word ‘scrimshaw’ translates to carvings/engravings on whale ivory or walrus tusks. The band Scrimshaw translates this through their slightly primitive-leaning, rock-bashing oddball portraits, emblazoned with ideas of “Tiny Belt(s)” and “Donkey Venom”. Pretty rare appearances and the band’s undeniable penchant for the strange, has given them a loyal local crowd. Fans of Crappy Dracula (they share a drummer), The Frogs, Ween, Butthole Surfers and the like should find satisfaction in seeing a Scrimshaw performance (this Friday). Plus, the show is at Circle-A…weird + intimate; what more could one want? Also playing: One Horse Town.
Friday also brings a chance to catch Minneapolis resident Sarah Nienaber’s alternate fuzz-rock project. Milwaukee might already be familiar with the guitarist/bassist/vocalist from Gospel Gossip and her fiery performances filled with squalling strings and flying manes. Her trio as bassist for Is/Is, has already racked up some nice press from the likes of Bust Magazine, who writes, “”Their style of rock calmly floats that watery divide between raucous, overwhelming noise and placid beauty. What is beyond argument is that Is/Is has nailed it.” The band takes to Quarters Rock & Roll Palace for a show with some of Milwaukee’s best in their ilk: Delphines and Cousins, including city tour-mates, Toxic Shrews.
A lost opportunity to see Milwaukee’s De La Buena is a sad one. Don’t be sad, for you’ve got a shot to catch them this Saturday at Mad Planet. Live, they are an inspiring collective that seamlessly blend as many instruments as they do genres, crafting upbeat and danceable tunes that make high school band/orchestra dropouts plenty envious. It’s obvious that between the thirteen or so members, their combo of brass, percussion, vocals, bass and more have been tested in various lights, but none more solid than soul. Let the various subgenres fly around; jazz, funk, reggae, latin jazz, afro, salsa and more — De La Buena always anchors it with plenty of funk. Also playing: R.A.S. Movement, Ras Amerlock and DJ Trini.
All you Neko Case fans, Saturday is also full of chances for you. Kelly Hogan (appearing at the Cactus Club) was one of Case’s full-time backup singers and has some pretty big pipes of her own, garnering lots of admiration for her most recent ANTI- Records’, I Like to Keep Myself In Pain. Props from the Los Angeles Times, “the star is always Hogan’s voice, a casual, inviting instrument.” and tours with Case, Andrew Bird and Jon Langford, etc. have secured her some fans of her own. Lucky for us, we won’t have to follow her too far in the future. Hogan is recently set in southeastern Wisconsin, where she splits time between there and Chicago, aside from tours. Also playing: Snowbirds and Adam Helwin.
Wednesday, we posted that Milwaukee hip hop/pop master, WC Tank has a new album on the way (Kisscry Patina). Read up on that, here, and venture out to Club Timbuktu for a first listen as well as performances by The Fatty Acids, Milo, Safari Al and Offsite.
Sunday, end out the night right with Circle-A Cafe as they bring another round of local music with Blaine Schultz [Aimless Blades] and Chris Demay [Juniper Tar], whose collective musical experience is steeped in Milwaukee music history, with roots deep and vibrant in their chosen genres of folk, alt-country, rock and Americana. Catch them in some of their best moments, solo.