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Thursday, March 24, 2011

This Week in Milwaukee

Astronautalis, Volcano Choir and Sarah Silverman

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THURSDAY, MARCH 24


Metropolis @ Times Cinema, 8:45 p.m.



In 2008 a film historian in Argentina discovered a cinematic holy grail: the original, full-length cut of Fritz Lang's 1927 sci-fi masterpiece Metropolis, an epic tale of class warfare and romance in a futuristic dystopia. A restoration process was able to salvage most of the badly damaged footage, creating an ultimate cut of the film that runs 25 minutes longer than the most widely available version. The restored film screens through Sunday at the Times Cinema.

Astronautalis w/ Sims and Fresh Cut Collective @ The Cactus Club, 9 p.m.



Seattle rapper Astronautalis rhymes in a mellow, rhythmic flow that owes much to spoken-word poetry over laid-back beats that take cues from rootsy indie-rock. His John Congletonproduced 2008 album, Pomegranate, featured a guest spot from Minneapolis rapper P.O.S., and the two apparently clicked: Astronautalis is now planning a full-length record with P.O.S. themed around F. Scott Fitzgerald's short stories.

For this tour, Astronautalis will be supported by a live band and another rapper from P.O.S.'s Doomtree collective, Sims. The Milwaukee live hip-hop band Fresh Cut Collective opens.

DJ Rectangle @ The Miramar Theatre, 9 p.m.



After working his way through the battle circuit in the early '90s, winning the DMC Championship in 1993, DJ Rectangle landed an ongoing gig touring with Warren G in between stints recording with Xzibit and Eminem. To DJs, though, Rectangle is perhaps best known for his best-selling Ultimate Battle Weapon releases, which remain a staple of most every battle DJ's crate. Tonight he plays a show on a bill with Spade One, DJ Web Spinna, MR Logek and The Noize. On Friday, he judges a DJ battle at the same venue.

FRIDAY, MARCH 25


Sharking Hour w/ Matthew Davies and Shoot Down the Moon @ Shank Hall, 8 p.m.


The Milwaukee group Sharking Hour considerably fleshed out their sound on their 2010 sophomore album, Telemetry, channeling the back-to-basics songwriting of early alt-country, the frayed rock 'n' roll of The Replacements and the earthy, lived-in mood of The Feelies' mid-period records. Their first release as a full-piece band, following their 2009 debut, North of Nippon, which they recorded as a duo, Telemetry benefits from a live, in-studio sound that better captures the spirit of their concerts.

The Warped Cast: Plan 9 From Outer Space @ The Times Cinema, midnight

The Milwaukee comedy troupe The Warped Cast gives the Rocky Horror Picture Show treatment to other deserving cult classics. For its latest project, the troupe will be shadowing one of the best bad movies of all time: Ed Wood's 1959 sci-fi disaster Plan 9 From Outer Space, a masterpiece of nonsensical dialogue and flimsy props. (Also Saturday, March 26.)

SATURDAY, MARCH 26


Insane Clown Posse @ The Rave, 5 p.m.


For the better part of a decade, mass culture was mostly unaware of the thriving "Juggalo" subculture that evolved around fans of the rapping-clown group Insane Clown Posse, but that changed last year when the earnest, unintentionally funny video for the group's "Miracles" became a viral Internet hit, spawning a "Saturday Night Live" parody. In the song, the face-painted rappers pay tribute to the marvels of the world, including the sun, butterflies, rainbows and, most memorably, magnets. Insane Clown Posse shares tonight's bill with a host of affiliate acts: Twiztid, Blaze Ya Dead Homie, Anybody Killa, Boondox, DJ Clay and The Dayton Family. The night is also set to feature Juggalo Championship Wrestling, which is exactly what it sounds like.

Volcano Choir @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 9 p.m.



The critical success of his 2008 Bon Iver album For Emma, Forever Ago threatened to pigeon- hole Justin Vernon as that folk songwriter who recorded an album in the woods, but Vernon's many follow-up projects have challenged that stereotype. As surprising as Vernon's recent collaborations with Kanye West or his soft-rock flirtations with Gayngs was Volcano Choir's Unmap, his 2009 album with members of the Milwaukee post-rock band Collections of Colonies of Bees. The album was an ambient, sometimes seemingly free-form collection that heavily distorted Vernon's rich voice. Volcano Choir has played only a handful of shows behind that record, most of them in Japan, and this Milwaukee show is their only scheduled U.S. performance.

SUNDAY, MARCH 27


Sarah Silverman @ The Riverside Theater, 8 p.m.



In her stand-up act, Sarah Silverman tells some shockingly distasteful jokes about racism and rape, getting away with them by hiding behind an ironically ditsy, girlish guise that makes it difficult to take genuine umbrage. The success of her 2005 religion-mocking comedy special, Jesus Is Magic, helped Silverman land her "The Sarah Silverman Program," a similarly subversive show that ran for three seasons on Comedy Central. At the end of the show's run last year, she released the book The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee, a memoir recounting her teenage struggles with depression and bed-wetting.

Nathaniel Rateliff w/ Chris DeMay @ Club Garibaldi, 8 p.m.

There is no shortage of young folk-rock songwriters remaking Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska in their own image these days, but Colorado-by-way-of-Missouri singer Nathaniel Rateliff stands out from the pack with his remarkable voice, a powerful howl that can sound alternatingly gruff and broken. Rateliff puts that voice to fine use on his 2010 solo debut, In Memory of Loss, which he recorded with Califone and Iron and Wine producer Brian Deck. The album complements Rateliff's captivating songs with minimal, unobtrusive arrangements that wisely let his voice carry most of the weight.

TUESDAY, MARCH 29


Drowning Pool @ The Rave, 8 p.m.

The alt-metal band Drowning Pool faced a tragic setback when singer Dave Williams suddenly died of heart failure in 2002, shortly after the band broke through with their best-known single, "Bodies," from their 2001 album, Sinner. After recruiting Jason Jones as a replacement, the band adopted a new persona, trading their macabre, sinister metal style for a sexually charged one on 2004's Desensitized. Sales fell with this new direction, which led them to revert back to their former image and eventually hire Ryan McCombs of Soil as their new singer. Their 2010 self-titled album led to their fourth Ozzfest appearance last year.