words by Cal Roach
Well, it’s been an amazing summer, eh Milwaukee? The City Of Festivals has lived up to its name once again, and we’re still knee-deep in ’em this weekend, although that trend is about to start tapering off dramatically (although the Milwaukee Film Festival is so close you can almost taste the popcorn!). So enjoy this weekend; it might be your last chance for quite a while to experience some live outdoor music, and there’s plenty of good stuff to choose from. Read on for those and more suggestions.
It seems like there’s always a bit of a lull in terms of record releases during summertime, and then things start to ramp up in the fall. If this is true of Milwaukee, then fall came early this year; we’ve recently seen killer new releases by Northless and The Fatty Acids, and tonight (Friday) is the release party for another fantastic album, the long-awaited Cured By The Blur from Sleepcomesdown. It’s basically the perfect combination of post-punk and psych-rock, and if that doesn’t get you excited all by itself, we can tell you that these guys put on an AMAZING live show at the Milwaukee Psych Fest last April, one of the highlights of the weekend for sure. Plus, this Riverwest Public House show will also feature local classic indie rock combo Fahri, recently-burst-on-the-scene Heartthrob, and Vancouver’s The Albertans. It may be a crappy year worldwide for rock and roll, but the Brew City scene is still cranked to 11.
Tonight is also your first of two last chances ever to see the stars of Mystery Science Theater 3000 do what they do best: make fun of old sci-fi movies as you watch and laugh hysterically along with them. That’s right, it’s Cinematic Titanic at the Pabst Theater, and if you like to unwind on a Friday with some humor, you can’t go wrong with this. The troupe has announced that they’re hanging it up after this tour, which is a bummer, because it’s such a great idea and nobody does it better, so if you’ve never had the chance to experience MST3K live, you really shouldn’t miss this, folks. (Also Saturday, with a different “classic” film to rip to shreds!)
Speaking of hanging it up: It pains us to say this, but Juniper Tar is calling it quits for the foreseeable future. The band’s chief singer/songwriter, Jason Mohr, is headed west for new career opportunities, so that’s probably all she wrote for one of Milwaukee’s best bands. But the guys were gracious enough to give us one last show, so if you’re going to be in Milwaukee on Saturday night, you’d be well advised to head to Linneman’s for the night. There’s not much more to say except we are really gonna miss this band, and we’re definitely looking forward to whatever the guys who are staying in town get up to in the aftermath. Also playing: Thriftones, Luray.
As if you didn’t have enough going on Saturday, right? But J-Tar is the late show, whereas you can get down to Bay View early in the day for the epic party known as Global Union. The Alverno Presents event starts at noon at Humboldt Park and as usual, it features a host of crazy musical talent you’re not likely to get exposed to anywhere else. You don’t hear much gospel music on the radio, so maybe you’re not familiar with our city’s long-standing Masonic Wonders, but trust us: this music does wonders for the soul. There’s also Canadian hip-hop crew Nomadic Massive, Pakistani Islamic vocal group Qawal Najmuddin Saifuddin & Brothers, and more; check out the full lowdown here and get ready to broaden your musical horizons.
Heck, you can get the party started even earlier if you want to; Bay View Bash starts at 11! One of the city’s most beloved outdoor parties, the Bash always promises a dizzying array of great food and drink and top-notch music, and this year is no different. We highly recommend the Rush-Mor stage for starters; you could chill there all day and catch sets by The Sugar Stems, Body Futures, Soul Low and The 57s, to name a few. Otherwise, there’s the surefire delights of Spoof Fest going on at the South stage, featuring tribute sets in honor of Twisted Sister, Billy Squier, Loverboy and lots more (some even from decades other than the 80s!). There’s also a strong man competition, tons of arts and crafts stuff, oodles of vendors selling all kinds of local goodies, etc., etc. Go here for all the details.
Did you guys see that Sat. Nite Duets have a new album coming out next month?? We realize it’s hard to keep up sometimes, but you won’t want to miss this one. Check out the new single, “Stone Free,” if you don’t wanna take our word for it; it’s not the Hendrix classic but it rocks almost as hard. Sunday night is your next chance to catch the band live in its natural habitat, this time in the very intimate confines of Circle A Café, which should be a major rush, and also something about a worm (you’ll have to ask them what the heck that means, but this might have something to do with it…). Eclectic indie rock with heart and humor, and lots of stuff you’ll be able to sing along to even if you’re hearing it for the first time; sounds like the perfect Sunday night, right? Also playing: Outside World.