This Week in Milwaukee
Friday, June 15
Lakefront Festival of Arts @ Milwaukee Art Museum, noon
More than 180 artists will display their works to tens of thousands of visitors at this year's Lakefront Festival of Arts, which raises funds for the Milwaukee Art Museum. Attendees may purchase much of the art on display, which includes paintings, fiber art, metalwork and jewelry. Opening day will include performances by the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra, classical-indie band I'm Not a Pilot and flamenco guitarist Evan Christian, among others. There will also be a wine garden, sculpture garden and silent auction. (Through Sunday, June 17.)
Milwaukee IndyFest @ Milwaukee Mile, 8 a.m.
With a track ideal for IndyCars, the Milwaukee Mile has been hosting car races for nearly 110 years. Legendary drivers such as Barney Oldfield, A.J. Foyt and Juan Montoya have had victories at the Milwaukee Mile, the state's largest IndyCar race—a 225-lap marathon. The two-day event will include breakfast, driver autograph and Q&A sessions, live music from Smash Mouth, and a battle of the bands. Grandstand seats will be free Friday during practice and qualifying for the IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights Series, as well as during a 100-lap race for the latter. (Also Saturday, June 16.)
Revolush w/ Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles @ Shank Hall, 8 p.m.
A reliable local draw for the past seven years, Revolush isn't afraid to keep rock 'n' roll the way it was meant to be: under-produced and a little bit dirty. Tommy Hahn's smooth tenor vocals and slow vibrato call to mind the pop-rock bands of the '60s, while guitarists Bill Reuter and Maxwell Emmet play chunky riffs and solos that echo lighter '80s metal. The quartet has released two full-length albums and one EP since its start, and the group has earned some recognition in the process, winning Shepherd Express Best of Milwaukee awards for Best Rock Band in 2007 and Best Male Vocalist in 2006 and 2010. At this show, the group will perform its yet-to-be-released album, and the audience will get to help choose its title.
Saturday, June 16
Free Energy w/ Peter Wolf Crier and Night Animals @ Cactus Club, 10 p.m.
After signing to DFA Records, Philadelphia's Free Energy secured LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy to produce their debut album, which is surprising, perhaps, considering how the group eschews the spry electro that label is best known for in favor of traditional-as-can-be, sing-along classic rock, with particular debt to Cheap Trick—and especially particular debt, perhaps, to Cheap Trick's "That '70s Show"-approved cover of Big Star's "In the Street." The band, which is readying a follow-up to 2010's brisk and catchy Stuck on Nothing, shares this show with the Minneapolis loud-folk duo Peter Wolf Crier, which last year released its muscular sophomore album, Garden of Arms, on Jagjaguwar Records.
Mark Shurilla Memorial and Tribute Concert @ Shank Hall, 8 p.m.
Milwaukee lost one of its treasures when Mark Shurilla, a fixture of the Milwaukee music scene whose projects included the polka-inspired punk band The Blackholes, the Irish-rock group McTavish and the Buddy Holly tribute band The Greatest Hits, passed away last month at age 64. In addition to his own endeavors, Shurilla produced and mentored many musicians in the local music scene, including some that will honor him at this memorial concert. The bill will include three of Shurilla's bands mentioned above, as well as Elvis Thao and the Creatives and others.
Wisconsin Beer Lovers Festival @ Bayshore Town Center, 1 p.m.
One of many beer festivals that have sprung up around the region over the last several years, the Wisconsin Beer Lovers Festival differentiates itself from similar events with its emphasis on food pairings, beverages from local restaurants, cheese makers and brewpubs. More than 100 beers will be offered. Designated drivers or patrons under 21 can attend the festival for half of the regular $40 admission price. Everyone in attendance will receive a discounted ticket to the Harley-Davidson Museum, and the first 750 to enter the Beer Lovers Festival will receive a free ticket to Summerfest.
Monday, June 18
Envisioning the Seen @ The Pabst Theater, 5 p.m.
At this January's Remarkable Milwaukee event at the Pabst Theater, some of Milwaukee's major leaders and innovators came together to discuss the state of the city and hopes for its future. Moderated by FOX6 anchor Ted Perry and journalist Bruce Murphy, this follow-up event brings together another 10 round-table participants, including Alterra Coffee Roasters founder Lincoln Fowler, African American Chamber of Commerce chairman Randy Crump, Vangard Group founder Kalan Haywood and 88Nine Radio Milwaukee DJ Tarik "The Architect" Moody. The discussion will focus on preserving the unique history found in many of Milwaukee's buildings, parks and other attractions that keep the city economically and culturally sustained. Attendees are encouraged to tweet their questions to the speakers at @historicmke.
Tuesday, June 19
Juneteenth Celebration @ Martin Luther King Drive, 11 a.m.
If you'd never before heard of Juneteenth Day but happened upon Martin Luther King Drive on June 19, you could easily believe that you'd forgotten it was the Fourth of July. The annual commemoration of emancipation is celebrated with particular enthusiasm in Milwaukee, so these four long blocks between Burleigh and Center fill up with a parade and thousands of people as dancers take to the streets and the smell of barbecue fills the air. This year's festivities begin with a Miss Juneteenth Pageant on Saturday, but the meat of the celebration takes place during Tuesday's street festival, where there will be live music, guest speakers, a variety of family-friendly activities and plenty of food.
Wednesday, June 20
Chris Duarte Group w/ Mojo Perry @ Shank Hall, 8 p.m.
A Texas blues-rock prodigy who's always seemed comfortable with the Stevie Ray Vaughan comparisons he's invited since his 1994 breakthrough, Texas Sugar/Strat Magik, Chris Duarte has been particularly prolific recently, recording six albums in as many years. His latest, 2011's Blues in the Afterburner, recorded with his power trio, is a classic Duarte album, with long, 12-bar blues jams, impressive guitar wizardry and sizzling grooves from his rhythm section.