This Week in Milwaukee: April 17-23
Thursday, April 17
Sound of Young Milwaukee Release Show @ Boone and Crockett, 9 p.m.
Milwaukee’s Top Five Records has rounded up unreleased tracks from 10 of the city’s most exciting independent bands for its new Sound of Young Milwaukee compilation. This weekend it will celebrate the release with a trio of shows at Boone and Crockett and The Hotel Foster featuring artists from the compilation. Myles Coyne, Castle Thunder and a Wax Addicts DJ set will make up the first of these shows Thursday night at Boone and Crockett. The Hotel Foster hosts Surgeons in Heat, Soul Low, The Fatty Acids and a Rio Turbo DJ set on Friday, and then Calliope, Animals in Human Attire, GGOOLLDD and a Fauxney DJ set on Saturday.
Beats Antique w/ Sean Hayes and Horsehead McGee @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 7:30 p.m.
Originally formed to create musical accompaniments for producer/arranger Zoe Jakes’ belly dances, the Oakland world-fusion band Beats Antique has blossomed into an internationally popular touring group. Their albums weave an experimental mix of Middle Eastern gypsy music, Afro-beat and funk. It’s a sound so busy and eclectic that when Blues Traveler’s John Popper lent a bit of harmonica to 2010’s Blind Threshold, it barely registered as unusual. The group’s follow-up albums, including 2012’s Contraption Vol. II and their new two-part album A Thousand Faces, have been even more fusion-minded, throwing electronic and dubstep accents into the mix.
Nathaniel Rateliff w/ Caroline Rose @ Shank Hall, 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 put that voice to fine use on his 2010 solo debut, In Memory of Loss, which he recorded with Califone and Iron & Wine producer Brian Deck. Last year he built on the minimal framework of that album with his follow-up, Falling Faster Than You Can Run, which adds a bit of a Mumford & Sons stomp to his earnest songs.
Schoolboy Q w/ Isaiah Rashad, Vince Staples and Audio Push @ The Rave, 7:30 p.m.
By far the toughest member of Kendrick Lamar’s Top Dawg Entertainment circle, Schoolboy Q is a pill-popping former Crip and gangster at heart who rhymes about debauchery in all its forms. Don’t mistake his hedonism for ignorance, though. Like his better-behaved counterpart Lamar, he crafts brainy, ambitious albums and has an ear for inventive, unusual production. For this tour behind his latest album, Oxymoron, Schoolboy Q is joined by Top Dawg’s latest signee, Isaiah Rashad, and Long Beach rapper Vince Staples, a frequent Odd Future collaborator who last month released his finest mixtape yet, Shyne Coldchain Vol. 2.
Friday, April 18
Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ w/ The Ghost Wolves @ Shank Hall, 8 p.m.
Milwaukee native Kevn Kinney left the city behind in the mid-’80s to move to Atlanta and found the country-rock band Drivin’ N’ Cryin’, and though that band slowed down considerably in the ’00s as Kinney focused on side and solo projects and battled a vocal node that made singing rock music painful, the group has been touring again in recent years. In 2009 it released its first studio album in more than a decade, The Great American Bubble Factory, a charged set of punk-accented Southern rock. Since that release they’ve continued recording at a solid clip, issuing a string of themed EPs each telling a story, the latest of which is this year’s Songs For The Turntable.
Saturday, April 19
Keith Sweat and Mint Condition @ Milwaukee Theatre, 7p.m.
Since emerging as the first true star of R&B’s New Jack Swing era in the late ’80s, ladies’ man Keith Sweat has periodically updated his sound or dabbled in new styles. Unlike his contemporary R. Kelly, though, Sweat is largely content to act his age, embracing his grown-man image while Kelly continues to chase the latest hip-hop fashion trends. On his most recent album, 2011’s ’Til the Morning, Sweat focuses on what he does best: slow jams. Sweat is sharing this tour with another ’80s and’90s R&B act that has aged gracefully even after their commercial heyday has passed, Mint Condition.
All Time Low w/ Man Overboard and Handguns @ The Rave, 8 p.m.
All Time Low were poppy even by the radio-hugging standards of mid-’00s emo-pop, almost as much a boy band as they were a punk band. For a band that critics derided as slick to a fault, however, they’ve shown surprising longevity, outlasting many of their early Warped Tour tourmates and carrying with them an audience that has remained loyal well past adolescence. Their latest album, 2012’s Don’t Panic, is their first since splitting from Interscope Records, but it could still easily be mistaken for a major-label effort, since their sound is as glossy as ever. They followed up the album the next year with an expanded reissue, Don’t Panic: It’s Longer Now!, which tacked on a host of new songs and acoustic tracks.
G. Love & Special Sauce @ Potawatomi Bingo Casino, 9 p.m.
G. Love and Special Sauce scored a hit early in their career with the cheeky single “My Baby’s Got Sauce” from their self-titled 1994 debut, but rather than fall into obscurity along with so many other novelty bands from the era, their blend of blues, folk and hip-hop found a welcoming audience in the jam scene. Garrett “G. Love” Dutton has spent the last decade dabbling in a solo career, recording a trio of albums on his own for Jack Johnson’s Brushfire Records, and Special Sauce suffered a blow in 2009 when bassist Jimi “Jazz” Prescott quit the group. To the relief of fans, though, Dutton announced Prescott had rejoined the band this year in advance of a new Special Sauce album, Sugar, set for release on April 22.
Tuesday, April 22
Particle w/ Freekbass and Fresh Hops @ The Miramar Theatre, 8 p.m.
For a laid-back jam band, Particle seems to be in an endless state of flux, constantly bringing in, and then losing, new members. Their 2006 album, the guest-laden, hip-hop-influenced Transformations Live for the People, heralded the arrival of two new players who brought vocals to the group’s previously instrumental, “jamtronica” sound. Within a year those new members were gone, though one of those ex-members, guitarist Ben Combe, has occasionally still played with the band, another testament to the group’s revolving door. Members of The String Cheese Incident, Tea Leaf Green and Animal Liberation Orchestra have also occasionally joined them on stage.