This Week in Milwaukee
Thursday, Dec. 23
The Christmas Music of Mannheim Steamroller by Chip Davis @ Milwaukee Theatre, 7:30 p.m.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra would later update and amp up the same formula
with some progged-out electric guitars, but Mannheim Steamroller was
the fi rst outfi t to make a fortune modernizing Christmas classics for
New Age listeners. Their synthesized and comically dramatic arrangements
of traditionals like “Carol of the Bells” and “God Rest Ye Merry
Gentlemen” have become such seasonal hits that the group has recorded
only three non-holiday albums since their 1984 Yuletide breakthrough
Mannheim Steamroller Christmas. Their latest album, 2008’s
Christmasville, is their 10th Christmas-themed record.
Saturday, Dec. 25
Danny Price and The Loose Change w/ Erin and Dan @ Circle-A Café, 8 p.m.
troubadour Danny Price writes morose tales about alcoholics, sinking
ships and luckless crewmen, singing them with the stern conviction of
Nick Cave and playing them for maximum catharsis. That’s not to say he’s
a bummer, though. His band, The Loose Change, brightens his
hardscrabble tunes with peppy, brassy arrangements and hopeful accents
of heartland Americana. Following the group’s set, DJ Lemonie Fresh
spins records at 10 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 26
Trans-Siberian Orchestra @ Bradley Center, 3 and 7:30 p.m.
the Trans-Siberian Orchestra debuted their symphonic take on Christmas
music in the late-’90s, it sounded an awful lot like a novelty. In the
years since, however, their progged-out, light-showassisted tours have
become an enduring tradition—not to mention a lucrative one. The group’s
recent tours have been raking in about $40 million a year, and the band
has proved so popular that it split into two entities to better
capitalize on the seasonal demand. The group doesn’t want to be entirely
pigeonholed as a Christmas act, though. In 2009 they released their
Pat McCurdy @ Shank Hall, 9 p.m.
about two dozen shows a month as a staple of pretty much every
southeastern Wisconsin outdoor festival lineup and clubs throughout the
Midwest, Pat McCurdy is one of Milwaukee’s most prolifi c performers.
Riffi ng on the absurdities of modern life and spoofi ng traditional
images of masculinity, his songs are essentially Tim Allen skits put to
rock music, and they make ample use of crowd sing-alongs and
call-and-response. That interaction has made his shows perpetually
popular with col- second non-holiday allege crowds and festival
audiences alike. bum, Night Castle. Paul O’Neill of Trans-Siberian Orchestra Le Noise 1956