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Thursday, Sept. 23, 2010

This Week in Milwaukee

Tokyo Police Club, Retribution Gospel Choir and Of Montreal

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Thursday, Sept. 23

Tokyo Police Club @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 8 p.m.

The Canadian ensemble Tokyo Police Club doesn’t have much interest in the lofty, experimental indie-rock that’s largely in vogue right now. They prefer the genre in its more exuberant, earlier incarnations, cribbing the most immediate elements of dance-punk, emo and garage-rock and packing them into quirky three-minute nuggets. Though the group branches out to include a wider variety of songs on this year’s sophomore album, Champ, the record retains the band’s goofball charm and excitable hooks.

Milwaukee Noise Festival @ Borg Ward Collective, 7 p.m.

This weekend local noise fiend Peter J. Woods brings his fifth annual Milwaukee Noise Festival back to the Borg Ward with a three-day lineup featuring some of the most harsh, abrasive, edgy and just plain weird acts that he can round up. For the daily schedule, visit myspace.com/milwaukeenoisefestival. (Through Saturday, Sept. 25.)

Earth Poets & Musicians @ Milwaukee Central Library, 7 p.m.

The green-minded Earth Poets & Musicians collective first performed together on Earth Day 1988, and even as members have come and gone over the decades, the group has carried on, performing at environmental milestones. The current lineup includes poets Louisa Loveridge-Gallas, Jeff Poniewaz, Suzanne Rosenblatt and Harvey Taylor and musicians Jahmes Finlayson and Holly Haebig. Tonight they will celebrate the autumn equinox with a free one-hour performance of poetry and song at the Milwaukee Central Library’s Centennial Hall.

Friday, Sept. 24


Retribution Gospel Choir w/ The Celebrated Workingman and Conrad Plymouth @ The Cactus Club, 10 p.m.

Though they’re the quintessential slowcore band, Low is seldom as quiet as that tag implies. Sure, the band plays slow, but the trio can also be as loud and heavy as many of their ’90s peers—on recent releases in particular, they’ve cranked up the volume to excellent effect. Low singer/guitarist Alan Sparhawk more explicitly indulges his rock fantasies with his side project Retribution Gospel Choir, which also includes Low bassist Steve Garrington. Without abandoning the searing tension that defines their primary band, they pummel their way through brooding, psychedelic rock.


Jackson Browne and David Lindley @ The Riverside Theater, 8 p.m.

After penning songs for artists as diverse as Nico, Linda Ronstadt and The Byrds, Jackson Browne went solo with a 1972 album that yielded the hit single “Doctor My Eyes” and many other singer-songwriter standards. That album and the ones that followed typifi ed the sensitive, personal songwriting of the 1970s. Browne is known almost as much for his environmental activism as he is for his music these days, but he still records semi-regularly. He’s touring with longtime collaborator David Lindley behind their new live album, Love Is Strange, a belated artifact of the duo’s 2006 tour of Spain.




Of Montreal and Janelle Monáe @ The Pabst Theater, 8 p.m.

Though P. Diddy-signed contemporary R&B singer Janelle Monáe isn’t the fi rst artist most would expect to tour with indie-rockers Of Montreal, it’s an inspired pairing. On her eclectic, widely acclaimed debut full-length, The ArchAndroid, Monáe crafts a sci-fi epic worthy of David Bowie, a muse she shares with Of Montreal singer Kevin Barnes. Barnes, for his part, has drawn increasingly from outsider funk and R&B on recent Of Montreal releases, particularly the band’s latest, False Priest, which features Of Montreal guest vocals from Monáe.

Barnes also contributed and performed a song on Monáe’s album. Both artists have a tendency toward lavish, theatrical productions, so expect them to make this joint tour a spectacle.

Saturday, Sept. 25


Center Street Daze @ Center Street, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

The Riverwest neighborhood gathers for one last street party this Saturday at the annual Center Street Daze festival between Humboldt and Holton. Attractions include live music, dodge ball, an outdoor billiards tournament and a classic car show. Riverwest artists and businesses will be displaying their wares at the festival’s Riverwest Free Market, while the neighborhood’s political tradition will be celebrated with a dunk tank where politically connected celebrities will take the plunge.

Gabriel Iglesias @ The Pabst Theater, 7:30 p.m.

With the notable exception of Robin Williams during his A Night at the Met period, few comedians have pulled off Hawaiian shirts. For Gabriel Iglesias, though, those aloha shirts are more of a practical choice than a fashion statement—he’s a man of considerable girth, or as he calls it, “fl uffi - ness.” His size is at the heart of much of this former “Last Comic Standing” contestant’s stand-up material, including his latest Comedy Central special, “I’m Not Fat… I’m Fluffy.”





Sunday, Sept. 26

Oakhurst @ Shank Hall, 8 p.m.

Named after a town on the southern end of California gold country, Denver’s Oakhurst takes its cues from traditional bluegrass, and in their threepart harmonies, heady tempos and showy banjo and mandolin solos they demonstrate a deft understanding of the genre’s history. That’s not to say they’re strict traditionalists, though. They eschew the conventional stringband lineup by playing with a drummer instead of a fiddler, but unlike many jam-generation bluegrass bands, they avoid taking too many liberties with the genre’s core sound.



The Vibrators w/ The Agrestix, The Sleazybeats and Reckless Reasons @ Miramar Theatre, 7 p.m.

Few punk bands have served longer than The Vibrators, a British band who took to punk soon after the Sex Pistols explosion and quickly recorded one of the genre’s catchiest first-wave albums, 1977’s Pure Mania. Band members have turned over often in the following decades, as the group toyed with its sound, dabbling in cleaner power-pop and heavier, metal-tainted punk as they saw fit, but on the group’s latest, Under the Radar, they return to the classic melodic punk of their celebrated debut.



Tuesday, Sept. 28

El Ten Eleven w/ Dosh and Baths @ Cactus Club, 9 p.m.

Los Angeles’ El Ten Eleven conjures thoroughly detailed instrumental post-rock in the spirit of bands like Tortoise and The Mercury Program, only they do so with a lot fewer members: two, to be exact. Beefing up their sound with delay and effects, bassist/guitarist Kristian Dunn and drummer Tim Fogarty draw from the slow, textural build of electronic music and break from post-rock orthodoxy by composing mostly short, to-thepoint songs. They also poke fun at the genre’s pretentious reputation with wry song titles. Among the gems from their upcoming fourth album, It’s Still Like a Secret: “Marriage Is the New Going Steady,” “Tomorrow Is an Excuse for Today” and “Ian MacKaye Was Right.” Minneapolis electronic composer Dosh, a frequent Andrew Bird collaborator, opens.

Wednesday, Sept. 29

Gayngs w/ Glasser @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 8 p.m.

Minneapolis producer Ryan Olson and Adam Hurlburt and Zach Coulter of the electro-rock band Solid Gold invited a diverse cast of friends and collaborators to help them record Gayngs’ inaugural album, one that included Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, The Rosebuds’ Ivan Howard and members of the psych-folk band Megafaun, who all keep their faces mostly straight while paying homage to kitschy ’80s-era soft-rock, R&B and smooth jazz. Some two-dozen musicians ultimately contributed to the group’s debut album, Relayted, but for the group’s first tour (which begins with this Milwaukee show) the roster will be whittled down to a 10-man lineup that includes the core players mentioned above.


Gayngs | Photo by Andy Hardman