This Week in Milwaukee
Sat. Nite Duets, SlutWalk and Janet Jackson
THURSDAY, AUG. 11
Sat. Nite Duets Sat. Nite Duets w/ The Dogs and I Love Annette @ Mad Planet, 9 p.m.
It didn't take long for the Milwaukee indie-rock group Sat. Nite Duets to find an audience for their scruffy mix of lo-fi pop, quirky pop and free-spirited Pavement-isms. Released for free on Bandcamp, the band's debut EP, One Nite Only, earned praise from local blogs and a shout-out from GQ writer Ana Marie Cox. The band has kept the new material flowing this year, releasing the digital single “Homemade Halo”/“Throwback Man” in March, and the four-song Wilder Dreams EP last week.
Madball @ The Rave, 7 p.m.
New York-based thrash band Madball was born out of accidental experimentation: Roger Miret, the volatile vocalist of the hardcore rock group Agnostic Front, occasionally let his halfbrother Freddy “Madball” Cricien belt vocals at Agnostic Front concerts, which baptized the titular frontman in the fires of skinhead rebellion and paved the way for the Madball side project to become a full-blown band, centralized around Cricien's gritty rasp and high-speed guitar riffs. The band's uncontrolled, uncensored tracks reverberate loudly on the band's latest album, Empire.
FRIDAY, AUG. 12
¡OYE! and Klassik @ BBC Bar & Grill, 10 p.m.
Milwaukee rapper ¡OYE! introduced himself last year with In My Mind, an arty five-song digital EP that took inspiration from his Latin heritage, which he followed up with another free EP this spring, The Brown Bomber. Both featured production from Klassik, a rising talent in his own right. The singer/rapper/producer released one of last year's most distinct local releases, Death of a Beatmaker, a short EP of jazzy arrangements, neo-soul grooves and glistening, clubby electronics. Tonight the pair tops a bill supported by several Milwaukee rappers with which they've regularly collaborated, RTystic, Seismic, Blizz McFly and Sunny Daze, as well as Minneapolis singer K.Raydio.
Waukesha BluesFest @ Naga-Waukee Park, Delafield, 1 p.m.
Though the blues is a distinctly American art form, some of the genre's fiercest players were British. This year the two-day Waukesha BluesFest honors some of those innovators from across the pond with headlining performances from Britain-born John Mayall (on Friday, Aug. 12, at 9 p.m.) and British blues-rocker Savoy Brown (on Saturday, Aug. 13, at 9 p.m.). The festival will also host performances from Indigenous, John Primer, Soul Kitchen, Tweed Funk, Familiar Looking Strangers and The Charles Walker Band, among others.
SATURDAY, AUG. 13
Joe Rogan @ The Pabst Theater, 7:30 p.m.
Stand-up comedian Joe Rogan got his first major acting break when he was cast as the affable electrician Joe Garelli on the NBC sitcom “NewsRadio,” but he's best known as the host of a very different NBC program: the soon-tobe-revived gross-out fest “Fear Factor.” Now firmly entrenched as the rough-and-tumble but surprisingly intellectual color commentator for the rapidly rising Ultimate Fighting Championship, the muscle-bound comedian has used that exposure to launch a successful video blog and record several comedy specials.
His latest album, 2010's Talking Monkeys in Space, includes rants about religion and in favor of legalizing marijuana.
SlutWalk @ Beulah Brinton Park, noon
Women organized the first SlutWalk protest march this spring, in response to a particularly egregious example of the “blame the victim” mentality toward rape, when a Toronto police officer told college students that to prevent sexual abuse they “should avoid dressing like sluts.” The marches have since spread to dozens of cities across the world, galvanizing young women who are tired of being shamed—or made to feel like they're inviting sexual violence—because of what they wear. Starting at noon, Milwaukeeans will march from Beulah Brinton Park to Humboldt Park. “Stop victim blaming and start a healthy discussion about rape and sexual assault,” the organizers of this weekend's Milwaukee SlutWalk write on their website. “Society needs to stop promoting 'Don't get raped' and start advocating 'DON'T RAPE.'”
Kittie w/ Dirge Within, Diamond Plate and Divyded @ The Rave, 8 p.m.
Kittie earned considerable press in the late-'90s for the obvious novelty factor: They were four cute women playing nu-metal, a genre dominated by chest-beating men. The quartet softened its sound on the 2007 release Funeral for Yesterday to rely more on melodic hooks and less on primal grunts, but returned to tougher, darker territory for 2009's In the Black, leaning on heavy guitars that grinded away angrily in deference to the band's metal roots. A new album, I've Failed You, is slated for release later this year.
Jake Paul Band @ Shank Hall, 8 p.m.
A jammy Milwaukee singer-songwriter in the Jack Johnson/G. Love mold, Jake Paul sings acoustic shuffles about positivity and rising above in a breathy voice that recalls Sublime's Bradley Nowell (like Nowell, he also breaks into occasional raps). His band's debut full-length album, The Jailbreak, features the laid-back tunes you'd expect, but also tosses in some left-field material like “Dreamland,” a song about the deceit and corruption of politics. In concert, Paul embraces his influences, covering songs by muses like Johnson, Sublime, David Gray and Pink Floyd.
SUNDAY, AUG. 14
Janet Jackson @ Milwaukee Theatre, 8 p.m.
Crafted with the help of producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Janet Jackson's propulsive mix of hip-hop, R&B, dance and pop made Jackson one of the biggest female artists of the '80s. She carried her audience with her through the '90s, as she dropped the mechanical rhythms of her first records for a softer, more soulful sound, and strong sales of her 2000s records affirmed her as one of modern pop's most enduring stars—though between a notorious Super Bowl mishap and the death of her brother Michael, that last decade was at times difficult. For her latest tour, Jackson abandons the bigproduction, high-spectacle format of her arena tours for an “up close and personal” set that will include performances of all 34 songs from her 2009 greatest-hits compilation Number Ones. “I am really enjoying myself on this tour,” Jackson said of the tour's more intimate format in an email interview with the Shepherd. “I get so much energy from the audience. It's great to be able to look out and see everyone's faces while I am performing.”
UFC Live: Hardy vs. Lytle @ Bradley Center, 4:45 p.m.
Mixed martial arts are indebted to the fighting philosophy of the ancient Spartans, and its participants are as close to modern-day gladiators as you get without swinging an ax into someone's forehead. The sport's premiere organization, the Ultimate Fighting Championship, makes its long-awaited Wisconsin debut at the stately Bradley Center, an arena that seems like it can sufficiently contain abnormally high blood lust and testosterone levels. The main event boasts a welterweight bout between the rooster-haired Brit and former No. 1 contender Dan Hardy and surging veteran Chris Lytle.
Lyle Lovett @ Potawatomi Bingo Casino, 8 p.m.
The title of Lyle Lovett's 2007 album, It's Not Big It's Large, once again made the case that Lovett has argued repeatedly since the late '80s: His orchestral Large Band may be big in that it has many members, but it is not a big band in the sense that it does not play big-band jazz. With his longtime band, the Disney-endorsing, Julia Roberts-divorcing troubadour continues to record traditional pop music that nods to mid-century country, folk and jazz. Lovett's latest album, 2009's Natural Forces, was a quieter, folkier set that included Vince Bell and Townes Van Zandt covers, but the band still brings plenty of flair and pizazz with them on the road.