words by Cal Roach
We took a week off to go bask in the sunny/snowy depths of northern Door County; did you miss us? We hope you found plenty of things to do, but if you felt lost without us, never fear; we’re back with another round of goings-on-about-town this week, and there’s plenty of ‘em. Quite a diverse array of potential awesomeness in Milwaukee between now and next Thursday; if you can’t find something to get out and enjoy, you need to seriously question whether you know how to have fun. Check it out…
If you happen to find yourself in vicinity of Old World Third Street downtown tonight (Friday), you should probably pop in at the Old German Beer Hall, where you can witness the triumphant return of Sigmund Snopek III. Years ago, this was Sigmund’s weekly stomping grounds, and another residency began last week, with shows at 6 and 9:30 p.m. every Friday. Milwaukee’s godfather of prog can’t be easily categorized; the guy has put out hundreds of albums over the past three decades or so (okay, that might be a slight exaggeration, but seriously, a lot), incorporating more different musical genres than your typical Bonnaroo. He’s simply a master of getting weird on the keyboard, and always unpredictable and entertaining live. No Milwaukeean should go through life without checking him out from time to time.
Also unpredictable and entertaining live: Fresh Cut Collective, who will be appearing tonight at Cactus Club. The group is known in general terms as a hip-hop group but could never be tied down to any one genre, and tonight’s will be no ordinary show, either. Dubbed the Live Roller DiscoMentals Dance Party (just try to imagine NOT having fun at an event with a name like that, we dare ya!), this will be “a special instrumental set of late 70’s funk” guaranteed to shake you loose from your winter blues. We’re pretty sure actual roller skates would be frowned upon, so just wear your dancing shoes. We’re not sure if FCC has ever put on an event like this, but funk has always been integral to their live show, so it should be a blast to see and hear them drop the various other styles and just kick out the old school jams.
Remember that brand new festival we mentioned in the opening paragraph? We were talking about the Eastside Music Tour, going on Saturday starting at 4 p.m. all up and down Brady Street. We’re talking about from The Exclusive Company all the way down to Casablanca and two dozen buildings in between, all bursting with local talent battling for your ears. We have to admit that the sheer number of artists and venues is a bit overwhelming; just take a look at this extensive list of performers! Unfortunately there are no single-venue/show tickets, but a ticket does include a fanny pack (?!) and whichever price level you choose you’ll get your money’s worth if you see three acts–we can obviously recommend Jaill, Hello Death, Mortgage Freeman, Hugh Bob And The Hustle and Myles Coyne just to name a few. Besides, haven’t you always wanted to see a show at Philly Way? The event starts at 4 p.m. so get down there early; you never know where you might discover a new favorite local band!
There’s also a great show going on at Cactus Club Saturday night (surprise, surprise!), and you could probably head down to Bay View after the East Side festival and still catch this one, if you were so inclined. It’s West Bend’s Blessed Feathers, the duo that got engaged onstage during their opening set for Cory Chisel at Turner Hall in December (in case you didn’t hear about it, check out the adorable video). Oh, and they also put out one of the most kick-ass records in the realm last year, Peaceful Beasts In An Ocean Of Weeds, the kind of grand and quirky folkie EP that ought to make you think as well as feel. It’s mostly acoustic but expansive, with terrific lyrics and lush arrangements that don’t really sound like much else going on today. They’ll be joined for this show by Young Buffalo and Ex-Cops.
What can we say? We’re pretty jazzed up for this Sunday’s Tame Impala show at Turner Hall. You’ve probably already heard more than you needed to about last year’s amazing Lonerism album, but although that thing is a monumental work of studio craftsmanship, we’re here to let you know that this band can bring the heat live, too. Frontman Kevin Parker is a heck of a guitar player even when he’s not hiding behind foot-thick walls of effects, and the band has been playing live almost constantly since last summer so chances are they’re a well-oiled machine by this time. This could be one of those times when the event actually lives up to the hype, so you probably don’t want to miss it. You could also stop by The Exclusive Company on Brady at 1 p.m. for a preliminary meet & greet with the band if you want to make a day of it! Also playing: The Growl.
Next Thursday, strap on…whatever the opposite of your dancing shoes are, because dancing isn’t really on tap at The Up & Under for this particular night. Drone/doom pioneer Earth plays very slow, ponderous music, and whatever movement it might inspire, it probably wouldn’t be referred to as dancing. The band has veered away from its quasi-metallic roots in its version 2.0 incarnation of the past decade or so, and the resulting music isn’t necessarily less heavy; maybe just more beautiful? It’s hard to describe: guitar-based instrumental music with a pastoral yet weighty feel, and on the most recent two albums, a lot of cello. Mastermind Dylan Carlson is a weirdly captivating presence onstage, seemingly powerful and fragile at the same time. In other words, you should probably go to this show.
However, we wouldn’t want to discourage you from dancing altogether if you are really looking for a more upbeat way to spend your Thursday night. Tegan And Sara are playing at The Pabst Theater, after all. Perhaps you’ve heard that amazingly infectious new single “Closer” on some airwaves recently? In our experience, it’s hard not to shake your booty to that one, even if you’re actually behind the wheel of your car on the interstate, and these ladies have got dozens of tunes like that. There’s a reason their records get award nominations year after year, and not just in Canada, either! This will be one of those shows where you could go in mopey and come out laughing, trust us; impossible not to have fun if you’re breathing. Also playing: Diana.
Oh, and THIS: