This Week in Milwaukee
The Avett Brothers, Seziure Chicken Fall Fest and Mates of State
FRIDAY, NOV. 18
The Avett Brothers @ The Riverside Theater, 7 p.m.
Brothers Scott and Seth began recording as The Avett Brothers in 2000, roughly at the beginning of the modern roots-revival movement jump started by Oh Brother Where Art Thou?, and in the decade since, with bassist Bob Crawford and cellist Joe Kwon, they've emerged as one of the movement's biggest crossover acts. The North Carolina ensemble transcended their native folk and bluegrass scene by drawing from pop melodies and rock 'n' roll rancor—particularly at their rowdy live shows—before consolidating their critical reputation with the 2007 Emotionalism. Even better was 2009's I and Love and You, a softer, more focused collection produced by Rick Rubin, who polished away the band's rough edges to better emphasize their song craft. The band does two shows at the Riverside this weekend, on Friday, Nov. 18, and Saturday, Nov. 19.
Seizure Chicken Fall Fest @ Cactus Club, 9 p.m.
Seizure Chicken, a Milwaukee-based music blog with a taste for the trippier sides of indie-rock, synth-pop and garage music, hosts a two-day lineup of independent local music at the Cactus Club this weekend. Friday's bill includes Castle Thunder, Secret Colours and Kane Place Record Club. Saturday's bill is split between Canopies, Prophetic, Golden Coins and Greatest Lakes. There will be DJ sets each night.
Let The Right One In @ Times Cinema, 11 p.m.
The Gourds w/ Eagle Eye Williamson @ Shank Hall, 8 p.m.
The honky-tonk lovin', old-school country revivin' Austin group The Gourds scored a novelty hit with their ultra-twangy cover of Snoop Dogg's “Gin and Juice,” a song that for a long time the Internet wrongly credited to a number of different jam or bluegrass bands, including Phish. That goofy cover remains The Gourds' signature song, but the band primarily sticks to original material on their albums, including this year's Old Mad Joy, which they recorded with Bob Dylan sideman Larry Campbell at Levon Helm's Woodstock studio.
MAM After Dark: Impress Me @ Milwaukee Art Museum, 5 p.m.
The latest installment of Milwaukee Art Museum's monthly after-hours event MAM After Dark commemorates the museum's current featured exhibition “Impression: Masterworks on Paper.” The pastel and watercolor work of impressionist greats including Degas, Cézanne and Van Gogh will be on display, along with an exhibit of photographs from Taryn Simon. Along with a cash bar, there will also be live art, a DIY studio, performances and screenings from the UWM Dance and Digital Media departments and music from Radio Milwaukee.
SATURDAY, NOV. 19
Anthrax w/ Testament and Death Angel @ The Rave, 7:50 p.m.
The most cartoonishly metal of the so-called “big four” of thrash metal, along with Metallica, Slayer and Megadeth, Anthrax has weathered innumerable lineup changes over the years, ping-ponging between vocalists Joey Belladonna, from the band's '80s heyday, and Belladonna's replacement Dave Bush.
After some uncertainty about who would sing on the band's new record, Worship Music, the role fell to Belladonna, which made it his first album with the band since 1990's Persistence of Time. Anthrax shares this latest tour with the cult thrash-metal band Testament, which is set to release their tenth album, The Dark Roots of Earth, next spring.While Americans have sexed up vampires in recent years,
Tomá Kubínek: Certified Lunatic and Master of the Impossible @ South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center, 7:30 p.m.
Internationally acclaimed as one of the best physical comedians performing today, Tomá Kubínek makes a stop in Milwaukee with his one-man touring show. Kubínek combines his astonishing physical abilities with standup comedy, circus routines and vaudeville turns to deliver a night of laughs. He promises to pull out all the stops.
Mates of State w/ The Generationals @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 9 p.m.
Since the late '90s, boyfriend and girlfriend (and eventually husband and wife) Jason Hammel and Kori Gardner have been making hyper-joyful indie-pop music, often about how in love they are, as Mates of State. A few things have changed over the last decade. The couple now tours with their young daughters in tow, and on their 2008 album Re-Arrange Us, Gardner swapped out her signature, off-kilter organ tones for a more conventional piano, but the duo's latest record, Mountaintops, is Mates of State as fans remember them: chirpy, euphoric and incessantly catchy.
MONDAY, NOV. 21
David Cook@ Turner Hall Ballroom, 6:30 p.m.
Bo Bice and Chris Daughtry introduced “American Idol” to rock music, and fabulously flamboyant rocker Adam Lambert became the show's most buzzed about performer in years, but so far the only rock singer to actually win Fox's top-rated competition was David Cook, the soft-spoken boy next door whose vision of rock is more Lifehouse and Our Lady Peace than Black Sabbath or Led Zeppelin. Since winning the show's seventh season, Cook has had a respectable if somewhat undistinguished career, finding some chart success with the singles “Light On” and “Come Back To Me” from his 2008 self-titled album. His follow-up, This Loud Morning, arrived this summer.
WEDNESDAY, NOV. 23
Def Harmonic w/ The Rusty P's, Kid Millions, DJ Deadbeat and A-Biz @ Mad Planet, 9 p.m.
Years before Kanye West was sampling Tears for Fears or Kid Cudi was recording tripped-out, psychedelic rap, Milwaukee's Def Harmonic was weaving spaced-out, wildly experimental hiphop records from electronic music and synthesized '80s pop and R&B. After several years spent working on outside projects, rappers J Todd and Lunaversol 9 reunited Def Harmonic in 2009, and last year the two released Figs, a typically odd, funky record containing some of the duo's most confessional songs yet.
Made in Milwaukee: Rain Check @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 7 p.m.
Since it was conceived a decade ago to showcase talent from Milwaukee's many arts scenes at scattered events around the city, Made in Milwaukee has ballooned into a huge outdoor festival, drawing more than 10,000 people to Cathedral Square Park for its event last year. This September's event fell on a rainy day, though, so the organization has put together this follow-up event. In addition to art and photography displays and live painting, there will be music from Group of the Altos, DJ Madhatter, John the Savage and others, as well as a performance from the Friction Dance Company.