This Week in Milwaukee
Disappears, Tyvek and the Pablove Benefit Concert
Thursday, Jan. 27
Plain White T’s @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 8 p.m.
A tuneful Chicago pop-punk band that had long seemed primed for bigger things, Plain White T’s finally got their big break in 2007 when their sensitive acoustic ballad “Hey There Delilah” became one of the year’s most inescapable hits, winning them a Top 40 audience of swooning young girls. Unlike many of their fellow Warped Tour alums, the White T’s make no pretenses about being angst-ridden. Their subsequent records have been even catchier and more polished than their breakthrough record, all tight grooves, concise guitar hooks and good spirits—and, hoping for lightning to strike twice, they have doubled down on “Hey There Delilah”-esque ballads.
Bethenny Frankel @ The Pabst Theater, 7 p.m.
best for her stint on Bravo’s series “The Real Housewives of New York
City,” health-conscious housewife Bethenny Frankel will take the Pabst
Theater stage to speak on the rites of motherhood and marriage, share
diet advice and answer audience questions. A self-proclaimed “health
foodie,” Frankel attended the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and
Culinary Arts and earned a spot in the national limelight after
finishing runner-up on “The Apprentice: Martha Stewart.” Since then, she
has authored The New York Times best sellers Naturally Thin and The
Friday, Jan. 28
Disappears w/ Call Me Lightning and Death Dream @ Cactus Club, 10 p.m.
up of members of other Chicago-area rock bands, most notably The Ponys,
the Krautrock-informed Chicago trio Disappears wasted little time
following up their 2010 full-length debut, Lux. This month, less than a
year after their debut, they released their sophomore effort, Guider.
The group also scored something of a coup last fall when they replaced
their departing drummer with fill-in Steve Shelley, the longtime Sonic
Youth drummer who will be touring with the band for an undetermined
Rodney Atkins established himself as one of modern country’s top draws when the 2006 album If You’re Going Through Hell amassed four No. 1 country hits. Atkins’ Tennessee drawl and plucky lyrics permeate hits such as “Watching You,” and his mellow vision of country life glows through singles like his recent “Farmer’s Daughter,” a bonus single included on the reissue of his hit 2009 album, It’s America.
Movies by Local Artists @ Pink House Studio, 8 p.m.
Pink House Studio at 601 E. Wright St. hosts an evening of short films by area artists. Xav Leplae, Kim Miller, Steve Wetzel, Chuck Quarino, Kate Balsley, Josh Weissbach, Tony Balko and Michael Walsh will be premiering their recent works, all of which are non-narrative experimental pieces under 10 minutes in length.
Martin Sexton @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 8 p.m.
Martin Sexton’s puffy, pale countenance belies a surprisingly soulful voice, one that evokes Stevie Wonder’s spirited cheer and Marvin Gaye’s passionate conviction. This limitless voice has opened doors for Sexton that similar newfolk singer-songwriters never have access to, so Sexton has been able to broaden his style considerably since his 1990 debut, In the Journey, which he recorded in a friend’s attic. Like so many nostalgic boomers with a newfound recording budget, Sexton has gravitated toward studiocolored, Beatles-esque pop on his recent albums, but his freewheeling performances are more in keeping with the anything-goes hodgepodge of younger performers in the modern jam scene.
Saturday, Jan. 29
Karaoke Underground @ Cactus Club, 10 p.m.
For more than half a decade, Austin’s Karaoke Underground has been catering to punk and indie-rock fans underserved by traditional karaoke selections, creating backing tracks and video sequences for hundreds of cult songs from acts like Black Flag, Fugazi, Minutemen, Pavement, Spoon and Wilco. The song list includes over 400 tracks, including a mix of big showstoppers from Built to Spill (“Carry the Zero”) and Band of Horses (“Funeral”) and esoteric choices that would test the nerves of traditional karaoke crowds, like The Fall’s “Totally Wired,” Shellac’s “Prayer to God” and Modest Mouse’s seven-minute spaz-out “Teeth Like God’s Shoeshine.”
Pablove Benefit Concert @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 5:30 p.m.
Since losing his son Pablo to a Wilms’ tumor, Milwaukee native Jeff Castelaz’s Pablove Foundation has strived to increase awareness about childhood cancer and raise money for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where Pablo underwent treatment. A one-time staple of the Milwaukee music scene who managed the city’s most successful acts from the ’90s, including The Gufs, Citizen King and The Promise Ring, Castelaz has assembled a litany of big names from the Milwaukee music scene and beyond for this benefit concert, which features Jaill, Cory Chisel, Maritime, The Gufs’ Goran Kralj, Fitz and The Tantrums and is headlined by an acoustic set from Silversun Pickups’ Brian Aubert and Nikki Monninger.
The Magnolias w/ Ian Olvera & The Sleepwalkers and Tim Schweiger and The Middlemen @ Mad Planet, 9 p.m.
Flat vocals and droning guitars lend to The Magnolias’ brat-punk charms, similar to those of vintage Buzzcocks and pre-Dookie Green Day. Spawned from the Twin Cities’ fertile ’80s music scene, The Magnolias never found the same success or notoriety as their peers Husker Du and The Replacements, and though they flirted with wider recognition when MTV began airing their music video for “Pardon Me” in 1990, they were largely ignored during the ’90s punk crossover. As a result, in 2011 they remain much as they were in the ’80s: a well-liked if little-known punk band, playing small shows on the weekends for the punk faithful.
Tyvek w/ Terrible Twos and The Get Drunk DJs @ Frank’s Power Plant, 9 p.m.
Detroit noise-punk technicians Tyvek don’t put a lot of stock in pristine vocals or delicate guitar arrangements. Instead, theyutilize throaty sputtering and choppy instrumental compositions to convey their emotions, which primarily consist of aggravation and anger. However haphazard their music may seem, the art behind their jarring post-hardcore fits the bill for their genre. Every song seems born from the basement or garage, which complements their raw sound and especially benefits tracks like “Frustration Rock” that embody adolescent angst through mottled vocals and harried guitar chords.
John Hammond @ South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center, 7:30 p.m.
One of the most traditional-minded of all the musicians that rose to prominence during the ’60s blues revival, John Hammond made his career delivering intense, occasionally gritty renditions of classics and obscurities from the American songbook. His fierce commitment to blues in its purist form, as well as his early preference for acoustic over electric guitar, made him a tough sell commercially, but it earned him a loyal following among blues purists, many of whom have followed Hammond for five decades. Hammond’s latest record is Rough & Tough, a set heavy on deep cuts by heroes like Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf.
Sunday, Jan. 30
Brewers On Deck @ Frontier Airlines Center, 10 a.m.
The Milwaukee Brewers’ newly fortified starting pitching rotation has left fans giddy with anticipation for the upcoming baseball season, and that enthusiasm should make for a particularly exciting installment of the team’s annual fan festival, Brewers on Deck. Interactive games, question-and-answer conferences, contests and merchandise booths will be featured throughout the day, and most of the team’s starters, rising stars and coaching staff will be signing autographs.