words by Cal Roach
Hey Milwaukee, you’re probably going to be hearing a lot about movies over the next couple weeks on the ol’ social media platforms, as well as on the FM airwaves and everywhere else you turn, and with good reason! If you think modern Hollywood fare is mostly a bunch of sappy, overproduced 3-D crap, you might need a dose of Milwaukee Film Festival to restore your faith in the medium. There’s a terrific mixture of cult classics and fresh foreign and underground stuff to pique your interest, and a lot of these screenings are selling like hotcakes, so head over to the website and browse the many titles to see what strikes ya. And hey, read on to see what’s going on music-wise around town in the coming week!
It’s beyond our capacity here at Linky McLinkster headquarters to give you any sort of reasonable guidance as to what movies to see at the Film Fest; there are way too many good ones! What we can do, though, is give you the lowdown on Soundtrack at The Hotel Foster, a series of killer afterparties going on every night of the fest starting tonight (Friday). You can’t go wrong with any of these shows, really, but just to highlight some of the least-missable…The series kicks off tonight with Fable & The World Flat‘s release party for their new album, Dark Flow! Plus Catacombz and Dogs In Ecstasy; this one will get you dancing! Next Monday it’s the garage/post-punk stylings of The Delphines, plus low-fi indie rock from Heartthrob, and next Wednesday it’s folk-rock courtesy of The Championship, with special guest Mark Waldoch, i.e. one of Milwaukee’s signature voices. The Film Fest will be gone before you know it, so get out there and see some flicks and take in some great local music to keep the night rolling!
Of course, there will be plenty of UNofficial afterpartying going on all over the city as well. For instance, you could head to Linneman’s tonight to check out The Midwest Beat. The Milwaukee band’s name is a throwback to simpler times, and so is its music; garage rock has been around pretty much as long as rock and roll itself, and rather than get complicated, these guys just keep pumping out catchy, jangly pop tunes. It may not be groundbreaking but the art of crafting memorable guitar hooks never goes out of style, and Midwest Beat never seems to run out of those. The band has stuck mainly to singles since its 2011 album Gone Not Lost; check out the latest track, “Beach Fire,” over at good ol’ Bandcamp. Also playing: Kepi Ghoulie, Miss Chain And The Broken Heels, (listen to a live in-studio performance on WMSE today at 1:30) and Misters K & H (featuring members of Phylums and The Goodnight Loving).
In case you’ve been living under a rock, let us be the first to inform you that Justin Vernon of Bon Iver fame, who was just in town a couple months ago with his newest band The Shouting Matches, is coming back to Milwaukee with yet another band, Volcano Choir. But this band has been around the block a few times, and although none of the songs on the new Repave album have been co-opted by Kanye West yet, it’s a few sonic leaps forward from anything Vernon had done previously. Lush, intricately-arranged music pushed so far beyond the realm of folk that it defies genre, Repave is one of those records you have to keep revisiting in order to absorb everything that’s going on, yet it strikes you immediately as something beautiful and unusual. If that’s your sort of thing, don’t miss this show, and don’t be late; Milwaukee’s Hello Death may be a bit more morbid than VC, but its music is a perfect fit to warm up (in a manner of speaking) the Pabst Theater crowd on Saturday night.
Hey, if Carcass can come back after a couple decades and make music again, why not the local luminaries of Dr. Shrinker? That’s right, folks; after 23 years of inactivity, the legendary band returns to the stage Saturday night at Club Garibaldi. If you ask virtually any old-school death metal fan in the country, chances are they remember Dr. Shrinker from back when Milwaukee was well-known as a metal haven, but the usual frustrations of the music industry led to a premature demise of the band. Lucky for these guys, there’s been quite the resurgence of death metal this year, and the time seems right for a rebirth, so if you’re into the head-banging, you should probably be at this show. It will also feature the city’s current brutal hardcore standard-bearers Burning Sons, plus Face Of Oblivion, Morta Skuld and The Cold Beyond; bring earplugs!!!
Just down the block at Cactus Club, you could indulge in some guitar heroics from a dude you probably don’t think of as a guitar hero: Curt Kirkwood. Yep, the Meat Puppets main man has certainly shed any semblance of his punk roots over the years, but while his band’s new releases are far from essential listening, Meat Puppets still manage to put on a hell of a live show thanks to a healthy dominance of material from their heyday(s). But you have to prepared for Kirkwood’s Jorma-Kaukonen-meets-Neil-Young raunchy, psychedelic guitar excursions, which sometimes go on for so long you’d think you’re at a jam-band show. Kirkwood is no Hendrix but he keeps it interesting, and the band pretty much follows his lead. And, y’know, a couple decades’ worth of great tunes that don’t sound like any other band–that helps. Also playing: Enemy Planes.
One more show we definitely have to mention for Saturday night: Milwaukee’s current reigning minimalist post-rock combo, Wereworm, are playing an intimate show at Circle-A Café, which is not to be missed if you can help it. Sure, pretty much ALL of this band’s shows probably qualify as “intimate”, but still! It’s not like they’re the most prolific guys on the scene, so it was quite the exciting bit of news when their new EP, Wereworm Is A Place, dropped a couple months ago. This one’s vinyl-only (as far as we know), so no Bandcamp for you! It’s probably best experienced live anyway, so get your fill of big swells of distorted guitar at this show. Also playing: Nonagon.
We’ve been getting mixed signals lately on the status of local math-hardcore band Absolutely. These guys busted onto the local scene about as ostentatiously as possible with their 2011 debut Learn To Love Mistakes, which may have been a throwback to a 90s punk style but it was a breath of fresh air all the same. Since then, they’ve put out one half-baked EP and one 7″ and until yesterday, all indications were that next Tuesday’s show at Cactus Club was gonna be their last. Well, then there was a post on their Facebook page that said, “We have three shows coming up. And there are definitely more to come…” So, we assume that means the band is not breaking up, but whatever the case, you should definitely go to this show if you can, because these guys definitely bring it live. You also get to see Chicago-based Cap’n Jazz offshoot Joan Of Arc, as well as local emo-ish punk band Temple (check out their debut album on Bandcamp!).