This Week in Milwaukee
Record Store Day, Parts & Labor and the 2011 Best of Milwaukee Web Awards Party
THURSDAY, APRIL 14
The Civil Wars w/ White Dress @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 8 p.m.
Civil Wars' East Nashville origins saturate the duo's music, with
singer-songwriters Joy Williams and John Paul White coloring their
folk-pop with the Appalachian ambiance and Bohemian spirit of their home
neighborhood. A friendship with a "Grey's Anatomy" writer helped the
duo score an early break in 2009, when their single "Poison & Wine"
was featured in full on an episode of that TV drama. The group's first
full-length album, Barton Hollow, arrived this year to high praise from Taylor Swift, who endorsed the band through a series of enthused tweets.
My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult w/ The Prep School Tragedy @ Miramar Theatre, 9 p.m.
in the late '80s with intentions of scoring a never-made art film,
Chicago's My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult quickly evolved from a
straight-faced industrial-dance band to a winking, flagrantly
exploitative sideshow act, often attracting as much attention for their
sexually charged live act and sacrilegious imagery as for their campy
records. Where the group's 2007 effort The Filthiest Show in Town celebrated
Vegas-style lounge music with deliberately cheap production (right down
to the synthesized saxophones), their latest album, 2009's Death Threat, offers a more straightforward rock set.
FRIDAY, APRIL 15
Ralph Stanley & His Clinch Mountain Boys @ The Pabst Theater, 8 p.m.
An honorary doctorate degree from Lincoln Memorial University made it official, but Ralph Stanley has been a doctor of bluegrass since the 1940s, when he began to hone his clawhammer banjo style. Stanley's soaring Southern gospel vocals grew from his exposure to Baptist church choirs and the rural music customs of his hometown in southwestern Virginia.
In 2002, his a cappella rendition of the Appalachian hymn "O Death" on the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack earned him a Grammy for Best Male Country Vocal Performance.
SATURDAY, APRIL 16
Earth Poets & Musicians @ The Coffee House, 8 p.m.
Sen. Gaylord Nelson founded Earth Day in 1970 as an environmental
teach-in. The event is now observed in more than 170 countries, and
since 1988 it has been celebrated locally by the performance group Earth
Poets & Musicians, a collective that currently includes Jeff
Poniewaz, Louisa Loveridge-Gallas, Harvey Taylor, Suzanne Rosenblatt,
Jahmes Finlayson and Holly Haebig. They'll share their environmentally
minded music and poetry through two programs this month: one tonight at
the Coffee House with Milwaukee Poet Laureate Brenda Cárdenas, and
another on Friday, April 22, with guest poet Bill Murtaugh at the Urban
ScottFest @ Club Garibaldi, 7 p.m.
friends of the late Milwaukee journalist Scott Weinberger created
ScottFest last year to raise money for the Scott R. Weinberger
Scholarship Fund, which is awarded each year to a graduating senior from
Weinberger's alma mater, Oakfield High School. This year the
fund-raiser includes performances from The Wooldridge Brothers, Liv
Mueller of The Lovelies, the George Brumis Band, The Mike Benign
Compulsion, Chris Porterfield of Conrad Plymouth, The Carolinas, The
Friendly Lens and Ray of Light. Tickets are $10.
Record Store Day @ Various Locations
For the fourth year, musicians will release a slew of exclusive, limited-edition CDs, records and DVDs solely through independent record stores as part of Record Store Day, an effort to assist brick-and-mortar institutions that have been badly battered by the rise of digital music. This year's haul includes releases from Foo Fighters, Built to Spill, Nirvana, R.E.M., Sonic Youth, Fleet Foxes, Phish and Wavves, among many others. Select record stores, including local Exclusive Co. locations, will be featuring in-store bands and DJs throughout the day.
Roadside Graves w/ Conrad Plymouth and Jeremy Benson @ Cactus Club, 9 p.m.
Jersey's seven-piece Roadside Graves takes its cues from Bob Dylan,
Bruce Springsteen, Billy Bragg and plenty of other folkies at heart who
are secure enough in their songwriting that they're not afraid of it
being upstaged by beefy, rocking arrangements. The group's latest
full-length, 2009's My Son's Home, is a collection of barroom
dirges about war and death with songs that cut deep but rhythms that
keep toes tapping. They followed it up with last year's You Won't Be Happy With Me EP, which they recorded in the idyllic Adirondack Mountains of New York.
Peelander-Z w/ Anamanaguchi @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 9 p.m.
Japanese-American "action comic punk" trio Peelander-Z dresses like
spacemen from a '60s children's cartoon and stages concerts that often
play out like Japanese game shows, complete with audience karaoke
sessions, human bowling contests and mock-wrestling bouts. The emphasis
here is less on the music than the spectacle. Openers Anamanaguchi play
digital punk music using a hacked Nintendo Entertainment System and Game
Boy. Those geek credentials made them fitting choices to score last
year's video-game adaptation of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.
SUNDAY, APRIL 17
Wisconsin Area Music Industry Awards Show @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 7 p.m.
Hill, Bon Iver, Danny Gokey, Jaill, Kings Go Forth and The Wildbirds
compete for top honors in the Artist of the Year category at the 31st
annual Wisconsin Area Music Industry Awards. The winners of that and
more than two-dozen other categories will be announced tonight at an
awards show featuring performances from musicians from around the state,
including Fever Marlene, Beatallica, The Daredevil Christopher Wright,
The Lucas Cates Band, Jeanna Salzer, Unity and Orpheus.
MONDAY, APRIL 18
Jill Sobule w/ John Doe @ Shank Hall, 8 p.m.
Doe cut his teeth in the seminal Los Angeles punk band X before
becoming active in the fledgling alt-country movement in the 1980s,
while Jill Sobule emerged during the female singer-songwriter boom of
the 1990s, scoring a couple of alt-radio hits with "I Kissed a Girl" and
the typically satirical "Supermodel." Despite their differing
backgrounds, Sobule and Doe crossed paths frequently on the road,
occasionally sharing short tours together. Their kinship is on display
on their new collaboration A Day at the Pass, a fan-funded live album that reworks old tunes from both songwriters and debuts a handful of new ones.
MONDAY, APRIL 18
Parts & Labor w/ Call Me Lightning @ Cactus Club, 9 p.m.
listeners would usually be well advised to take claims of a noise-rock
band making its "poppiest album yet" with a grain of salt, since pop is
usually an extremely relative term in these contexts. But in the case of
Brooklyn institution Parts & Labor, the term is literal. Recorded
in Milwaukee (the one-time home of drummer Joe Wong), the band's fifth
and latest album, Constant Future, is a rich, kaleidoscopic pop
record built from throbbing synthesizers and distorted guitars, then
buffed to an inviting sheen with the help of Flaming Lips and MGMT
engineer Dave Fridmann. The record doubles down on the catchiness
without compromising any of the band's signature weirdness. An opening
set from local punk heroes Call Me Lightning should ensure a hearty
turnout for this show.
TUESDAY, APRIL 19
Best of Milwaukee Web Awards Party @ The Wherehouse, 6 p.m.
This year, the Shepherd Express and
expressmilwaukee.com asked readers to vote for their favorite
Milwaukee-area websites, blogs and Twitter personalities in the first
Best of Milwaukee Web awards. The winners of those awards will be
printed in next week's issue of the Shepherd, but first they'll
be announced at tonight's awards party and networking event at the
Wherehouse. There will be a complimentary build-your-own-burger bar from
Sobelman's, cupcakes from the Milwaukee Cupcake Co., drink specials and
samples by Lakefront Brewery, games and giveaways, including a chance
to win a new iPad 2. Doors open at 6 p.m.; the awards presentation
begins at 7 p.m.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 20
The Budos Band w/ Charles Bradley @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 8 p.m.
10- to 13-piece The Budos Band follows in the footsteps of their
Daptone Records label mates Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, laying
down brass-heavy, retro-minded funk and soul. They aren't strict
traditionalists, though. Over a run of three self-titled albums, the
band has infused Afro-beat rhythms into '70s-styled R&B
instrumentals, and the band's 2010 record imports even more worldly
sounds into the mix, drawing from Latin rhythms and Middle Eastern