Mar. 6 - Mar. 12
This Week in Milwaukee
Friday, March 7
Fever Marlene w/ The Redwalls and The Saltshakers @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 7 p.m.
As vicious as it may seem to throw a baby-faced band to the tar pits, The Redwalls have likely missed their shot at stardom. Snatched up by Capitol Records early in their career, in 2005 the Illinois group released De Nova, a banal tribute to the ’60s British Invasion that was heavily promoted but indifferently received. The group moved on to less-exhausted territory for their 2007 self-titled follow-up, bringing in more modern pop sounds, but by that point Capitol Records had already discarded them.
Tonight the next-big-thing also-rans suffer another indignity: They’ll be opening for a local Milwaukee band. At least they can take some consolation in knowing that it’s a good one: Fever Marlene, the spirited alt-rock duo. The Redwalls could learn a thing or two from the headliners. Both bands share an obvious reverence for The Beatles and ’60s rock, but Fever Marlene is never so lazy as to court stardom by simply ripping off music everyone already loves. This show will be the release party for Fever Marlene’s new CD, White China.
Eyedea and Abilities @ Stonefly Brewery, 10 p.m.
Perhaps it’s Eyedea’s chameleon-like ability to adapt that made him such a successful freestyle battle champion early in his career. The Twin Cities rapper is as equally adept at playing the role of the jocular rabblerouser as he is the stern, introspective backpack rapper or the infuriated, politically minded poet. His flow morphs to match the subject matter. It can be sly and slippery or haughty and authoritative. With DJ Abilities, Eyedea has cut a pair of albums for Minnesota’s Rhymesayers label, and although the last one came out in 2004, the duo began touring again late last year, debuting new material and inciting talk of a 2008 follow-up. Universal Mind, OxFunk Audio and the King Hell Bastards open tonight.
Eyedea and Abilities
Saturday, March 8
A Milwaukee Tribute to the Cosmic Spirit of Allen Ginsberg @ UWM Union Ballroom, 8 p.m.
Allen Ginsberg forged bonds with several countercultural movements throughout his storied career, most notably co-founding the Beat movement before embracing the 1960s hippies. By the early 1980s, Ginsberg was fascinated by punk. He began recording with The Clash, reading his poems as they played, and although little material resulted from their sessions together, Ginsberg took a liking to the setup. In 1982, fresh off sessions with The Clash, Ginsberg read for an overcapacity crowd at the UWM Ballroom, backed this time by a Milwaukee punk band, The Blackholes.
Tonight, to commemorate the anniversary of that controversial performance, local poets will pay tribute to Ginsberg, and The Blackholes will perform his music and give away 500 CDs of that 1982 performance.
Milwaukee St. Patrick’s Day Parade @ Downtown, noon
Long known for its ethnic diversity, Milwaukee was one of America’s first cities to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a parade, launching the tradition in 1843. The current, 90minute parade, organized by the Shamrock Club of Wisconsin and spotlighting more than a hundred vehicles, musicians, bagpipers, politicians and Celtic leaders, is now in its 42nd year. (For those without a calendar, don’t let the parade throw you off: It takes place nine days before St. Patrick’s Day, which falls on March 17.)
Bret Michaels @ Bradley Center, 9:30 p.m.
Like so many hair rockers, Poison singer Bret Michaels is better known for his sexual liaisons than his music these days. He kept his name in the headlines with a 2005 Pamela Anderson sex tape, and further capitalized on his libido with the VH1 hit dating show “Rock of Love,” which this January returned for a second season filled with Playboy models and busty rejects from other reality programs. Taking a break from the usual casinos and state fairs, tonight Michaels plays a post-game concert following the Admirals/Rockford hockey match.
Ace Frehley @ The Rave, 8 p.m.
Thanks to the continued popularity of all things Kiss, the group’s on-again/off-again lead guitarist and Spaceman Ace Frehley—currently off—continues to draw a reliable audience at his solo shows.
Having devoted much of the ’90s to a lucrative Kiss reunion, he hasn’t released a solo disc since 1989, but a new record, Pain in the Neck, is tentatively slated for this spring. It will feature contributions from Velvet Revolver/ex-Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash. That means Frehley fans can likely expect a few new numbers mixed in with plenty of familiar standbys at tonight’s show.
88Nine Radio Milwaukee’s First Anniversary Party @ MOCT, 8 p.m.
In just one quick year on the air, 88Nine Radio Milwaukee has already carved out a faithful listenership, enough to win it the Shepherd Express’ Best of Milwaukee award for Best Radio Station last December. The station’s freewheeling format allows plenty of room for local music, and tonight four familiar local acts headline the station’s anniversary party. DJs Madhatter, Kid Cut Up and Old Man Malcolm spin beginning at 8 p.m., then The Glamour closes the evening at 12:30 a.m.
Sunday, March 9
Festival City Symphony: Don’t Go Russian Off @ Pabst Theater, 3 p.m.
Sergei Rachmaninoff’s notorious Piano Concerto No. 3, a composition so tricky that famous pianists like Gary Graffman have expressed anxiety about having to perform it, is at the core of the Festival City Symphony’s family friendly program, Don’t Go Russian Off.
Tchaikovsky’s March Slav will close the program, which will also include a Reinhold Gliere composition and music that Mikhail Glinka composed for a Russian adaptation of Sleeping Beauty.
Monday, March 10
WWE Raw @ Bradley Center, 6:30 p.m.
The ratings heyday of WWE wrestling seems to be over, and the murder-suicide death of popular wrestler Chris Benoit and chronic steroid allegations have mired the fake wrestling league in very real controversy. The grim news and scandals haven’t drastically changed the tenor of the league, however, which is just as rowdy and over-the-top as ever. Tonight some of the Raw franchise’s biggest stars, including Vince McMahon, Triple H, John Cena, Randy Orton and Jeff Hardy, take the stage for a well-scripted smackdown.
Tuesday, March 11
Fu Manchu w/ Saviours and ASG @ Vnuk’s Lounge, 8:30 p.m.
Fu Manchu’s fuzzed-out stoner-rock hasn’t changed much over the years, which is kind of reassuring. Two decades after their inception, the California group is still cranking out boisterous, Ramones-inspired songs about killing time and shirking adult responsibilities.
Lest anyone mistake the affably heavy group for pushovers, however, they made their latest album, 2007’s We Must Obey, an aggressive—albeit mostly facetious—call to arms. Like just about everything they’ve recorded, it’s fun, hooky and way smarter than its meathead facade.