words by Cal Roach
There’s less than a week of it left, which makes us very sad, but there’s still time to catch with the Milwaukee Film Festival — a bunch of great flicks you probably won’t have a chance to see anywhere else, which makes us happy! Check out the schedule of films here. We can’t help making special mention of the centerpiece feature of the film, going on tonight (Friday) at 7 at the Oriental: the 1930 Soviet silent film classic Earth, with a special original score performed live by Altos. And keep in mind, even if you have a ticket, you MUST get there by 6:45 to guarantee a seat! We have lots more suggestions for Film Fest-related and other activities for the coming week; read on…
The Soundtrack series continues at The Hotel Foster this week as well, with Film Fest after-shows at 9 p.m. every night. Tonight’s is gonna be one of the best, too; warming up will be DJ Marcus Doucette (whose voice and massive array of world music knowledge you may remember from “Fantastic Planet” Thursday mornings years ago on the WMSE airwaves!), and then it’s one of Milwaukee’s most exciting and unique new-ish bands, Painted Caves. Get ready for an infectious blend of meditative and highly danceable music that mixes Middle-eastern traditional sounds with modern folk and pop. Tomorrow night it’s eclectic rock and roll from Midwest Death Rattle (amazing live band), Soul Low and Oedipus Tex, and next Tuesday, don’t miss the awesomely catchy pop stylings of Vic and Gab and Young Holidays! Those are just our top picks; you can’t go wrong with HoFo any night of the fest.
Also happening tonight: a beastly show at Cactus Club. Milwaukee’s standard-bearers of brutality, Northless, just released an album called World Keeps Sinking, one of the flat-out best metal albums of 2013. It’s got elements of doom, sludge, hardcore, death metal, post rock, and virtually any other kind of extreme music you can think of, all fluidly interacting within a very distinctive sound that couldn’t be mistaken for any other band. Their music is sometimes so rhythmically complex you might think they could never pull it off live, but you’d be wrong; this band is a force to be reckoned with in every category. Hey, even if you’re checking out Earth you could still make it down to Bay View in plenty of time; now THAT would be an unbeatable night of MKE music! Also playing: Sleestak, Vega.
Naturally, there is yet another killer show going on tonight; why do they always have to gang up on us like this? Local space/krautrock champions Catacombz will take the Riverwest Public House by storm, in case you missed ’em at HoFo last week (or even if you didn’t, because they’re that good live). Note: bring your dancing shoes! There will be some crazy psychedelic grooves going on, and not just from this one band. Finally, Chicago’s Cave is on a bill with Catacombz; this has been destined to happen, and witnessing these two psych rock powerhouses trying to outdo each other ought to be ridiculously tubular. Also playing: Dogs In Ecstasy.
It’s a good weekend for metal, that’s for sure. There’s been a resurgence of retro thrash going on for at least a couple years now, which is…fine, but then there’s Skeletonwitch, one of the few modern bands actually doing something original in thrash, injecting elements of black metal and basically achieving a standard of heaviness that makes the retro stuff seem kind of trite. The new Serpents Unleashed album will be out later this month, but you will surely hear a sneak preview of it if you go to Frank’s Power Plant on Saturday night to see the band live. Also playing: Sacrificial Massacre, Ahab’s Ghost.
Whaddaya know, it’s a good weekend for the Public House too! This Saturday bill is all about singer/songwriters having fun; if you can’t have fun with the tongue-in-cheek (if sometimes biting) social commentary of Lisa Ridgely & The Fainting Room, you are taking life way too seriously. Lisa has hinted that this could be the band’s last show for a while, so if you’re on the fence, check out these great tunes on Bandcamp and count on them being even better live. Then there’s Myles Coyne, the busiest man in Riverwest, whose boisterous stage presence could get even the stodgiest wallflower clapping along; check out his Bandcamp page while you’re at it. Topping the bill: Minneapolis indie-folk/R&B (yep) singer Caroline Smith.
There’s also a killer hip-hop show going on Saturday night at the BBC. We are told that last year’s superb In The Making album by Klassik will finally see a vinyl release in early 2014, which is bitchin’ news; in the meantime, it’s all about Bandcamp, and seriously, if you haven’t checked this album out yet, do so asap and join the crowd of people clamoring for this dude to get some wider recognition. He’ll be joined by Dana Coppafeel, one of the most talented all-around live performers in the city, and SPEAKeasy, who just put out a split single with Dana that you should turn your attention to as well. Also performing: Channel 3, Great, Direc.
Next Wednesday, put your dancing shoes (back) on and head to the Miramar if you know what’s good for you. Ohio electronic/heavy jam merchants Papadosio are returning to Milwaukee, which should excite fans of improvisational rock who are tired of all the soundalikes. You get all the psychedelia with metallic influences and sometimes mind-blowing collages of guitar loops, as well as interludes of organic and synthetic EDM flavors. This is a band that’s not afraid to take musical risks, so you get a very unpredictable ebb and flow throughout the show, which is a heck of a lot more interesting than the safe route of endless noodling and percussion jams that many bands in this scene favor. Also playing: EarthCry.