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Thursday, Feb. 10, 2011

This Week in Milwaukee

Cesar Millan, Robyn and Motörhead

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FRIDAY, FEB. 11

Cesar Millan “The Dog Whisperer” @ The Riverside Theater, 8 p.m.

Preaching that dog owners should be pack leaders who guide their pets with “a calm, assertive energy,” Cesar Millan has emerged as perhaps the world’s most prominent dog trainer, spawning a media empire that includes his National Geographic Channel program “The Dog Whisperer” and four best-selling books. For this appearance, Millan will speak about dog psychology, share stories and answer audience questions.

The Danglers @ Circle-A Café, 8 p.m.

Cheap Trick isn’t the only band doing a multiple-night residency in Milwaukee this month. The local acid-rock trio The Danglers celebrates 13 years of fusing metal, punk, jazz and classical music with a three-night residency at the Circle-A Café this weekend. Each night’s set list will be decided by a different member of the band—electric violinist Jason Loveall, bassist David Gelting and drummer John Sparrow—and each performance will feature a guest musician and will be recorded for possible later release. (Through Sunday, Feb. 13.)

MSO: Arlo Guthrie: An American Scrapbook @ The Marcus Center, 8 p.m.

It may surprise many fans that Arlo Guthrie, son of folk legend Woody and the writer of the ’60s counterculture epic “Alice’s Restaurant,” is now a proud libertarian who vocally endorsed Ron Paul in 2008. Guthrie’s evolved in many directions since his 1967 hit, moving beyond the comical, talking-blues structure of that song to explore more serious shades of folk, pop and occasionally rock music. Guthrie paired with the University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra for 2007’s In Times Like These, a surprisingly sober live album that explored the more melancholy corners of Guthrie’s songbook. For three shows this weekend through Sunday, he’ll be joined by the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.

The Wailers w/ Tomorrows Bad Seeds and Duane Stephenson @ The Rave, 8 p.m.

The Wailers complemented Bob Marley’s reggae sound the same way that the J.B.s laid down the funk for James Brown, augmenting his voice with just the right groove and helping reggae’s most famous singer sell more than 250 million albums. Currently led by original bass player Aston “Family Man” Barrett, the latest version of The Wailers continues to carry on Marley’s spirit by playing his music onstage every night with a few remaining original members. The group continued releasing original music after Marley’s death, but now tours behind their one-time leader’s best-known material, with current singer Elan Atias hitting the same passionate notes as Marley did decades ago.

SATURDAY, FEB. 12

Designer Drugs @ The Rave, 8 p.m.

An electronic assault of the senses, Designer Drugs’ addictively modern and rave-savvy music personifi es the duo’s illicit moniker. Comprised of DJs Michael Vincent Patrick and Theodore Paul Nelson, Designer Drugs forges a vindictive mix of dark synth-pop bangers that exemplify the sophisticated side of the house music scene while retaining all the fury of a raging underground night club. Gothic overtones and Euro-style remixes dominate their arrangements, which can be found on their covers of tracks like The Veronicas’ “Untouched” or Annie’s “Anthonio,” which transform gentle pop selections into hard-hitting bass blowouts.




Robyn w/ Diamond Rings and Natalia Kills @ The Rave, 7:30 p.m.

After charting around the world in the late ’90s with her single “Show Me Love,” Swedish singer Robyn emerged as one of dance-pop’s most respected artists, garnering critical praise that sometimes eclipsed her actual sales. The 2005 album Robyn brought with it another international hit, “With Every Heartbeat,” and the 2010 album Body Talk, released in three parts, was another critical hit. The album yielded one of her fi nest singles yet, the sad disco lament “Dancing on My Own,” which became her fi rst No. 1 hit in her home country.



SUNDAY, FEB. 13

Unwed Sailor @ Mad Planet, 8 p.m.

The Seattle instrumental-rock band Unwed Sailor is captained by Johnathon Ford, a veteran musician with the ability to convey tricky emotional sentiments through instrumental nuance. Recording and touring with a rotating cast of collaborators (including members of Early Day Miners, Fleet Foxes and Pedro the Lion), Ford has released nine albums since the band’s conception in 1998, each with its own distinct themes and instrumental motifs. Though Unwed Sailor’s music can vary greatly from album to album, soothing backdrops, ambient moods and strung-out melodies run throughout most of their releases.

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 16

Motörhead w/ Clutch and Valient Thorr @ The Rave, 8 p.m.

The common knock against Motörhead is that the band hasn’t changed in 30 years. But is that such a bad thing? Much as nobody wanted to hear The Ramones make an alternative-rock album, nobody wants to hear Motörhead make a contemporary alt-metal album, so on the group’s latest records, including this year’s The Wörld Is Yours, Lemmy Kilmister and the gang stick to their tried-and-true, timeless speed metal. Are they suffering from diminishing returns? Of course. The Wörld Is Yours doesn’t contain anything nearly as unforgettable as the band’s signature song, “Ace of Spades,” but it’s encouraging to see that even as he enters his mid-60s, Kilmister can still plug away with all the dedication of a man half his age.



Ingram Hill w/ Tom Fuller Band @ Shank Hall, 8 p.m.

Memphis pop-rockers Ingram Hill are seeking to recreate the success they found following the release of 2004’s June’s Picture Show, the album that yielded them their first Billboard chart appearance with the singles “Will I Ever Make It Home” and “Almost Perfect.” Subsequent albums have contained a similar adult-contemporary feel, including the trio’s latest, Look Your Best, which traffics in the easier sounds of ’90s alt-pop.

Bobby Long @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 8 p.m.

Before he was a pale, sparkly vampire, Robert Pattinson was an aspiring musician, sharing open mics with his drinking mate Bobby Long. Pattinson of course went on to star in Twilight, while Long continued to pursue his original dream, touring aggressively and self-releasing albums until he landed a home on Dave Matthews’ ATO Records, where he released his 2010 EP Stranger Songs and his 2011 full-length A Winter Tale, a collection of folk stories told through Long’s crude vocals and emotional guitar playing. Long’s British brogue saturates his American-style folk songs, but that juxtaposition only adds to his appeal, lending his music the outside-looking-in perspective of a wistful immigrant or a candid observer. Long plays a free show tonight.

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