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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

This Week in Milwaukee: May 29-June 4

vampire weekend
Vampire Weekend @ BMO Harris Pavilion, June 4
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Thursday, May 29

The Subdudes @ The Pabst Theater, 7 p.m.

The Subdudes haven’t released an album since 2009’s Flower Petals, which found the New Orleans R&B-tinged roots-rockers continuing to explore their usual working class-friendly, minimal-pop take on their city’s traditional sounds. The group took some time off after that record, so at this show they’ll look a bit different than they did last time they came through town, since this tour features the full reunion of the band’s original lineup, which includes bassist Johnny Ray Allen.

 

Friday, May 30

Haley Bonar w/ Hello Death and Jeff Mitchell @ Cactus Club, 9:30 p.m.

Singer-songwriter Haley Bonar came up in the Minneapolis music scene, where she caught the ear of Low’s Alan Sparhawk, who invited her on tour with his band shortly after the release of her 2003 effort …The Size of Planets. It was a logical pairing, since like Low, Bonar wrote pensive, slow-burning songs that seemed to take no small inspiration from Minnesota’s dreadful climate. Judging by Bonar’s chilly 2013 Bandcamp EP Wntr Snds, the region’s cold, isolating winters remain a muse, but on her latest proper album, Last War, she indulges in bigger, brighter sounds. It’s a fast, frisky little album, poppier than anything she’s done before, yet it retains the underlying vulnerability that’s always been her stock and trade.

 

Jackie Greene w/ Lauren Shera @ Shank Hall, 8 p.m.

It’s only fitting that California roots-rocker Jackie Greene once titled an EP Grateful, since he owes much of his notoriety to the Grateful Dead. Former Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh recruited the young player to join his Phil Lesh and Friends project, which largely covers the Dead’s songbook. Greene has increasingly gained distinction for his work outside of Lesh’s band, though, particularly on the jam circuit, where he shines with his showy, bluesy guitar-work. He’s also committed to at least a few side projects at any given moment, including Trigger Hippy, a band he shares with Joan Osborne, Steve Gorman and Tom Bukovac. In 2012 he also toured as part of an acoustic trio with former Dead guitarist Bob Weir and The Black Crowes’ Chris Robinson.

 

Saturday, May 31

Conor Oberst w/ Dawes @ The Pabst Theater, 7 p.m.

By the late 2000s, singer-songwriter Conor Oberst seemed to have outgrown the Bright Eyes moniker he had been recording under since he was a teenager. So he moved on, recording an Americana-minded 2008 self-titled solo album and a 2009 follow-up that spotlighted his backing Mystic Valley Band, as well as an album with M. Ward and My Morning Jacket’s Jim James as Monsters of Folk. He revisited Bright Eyes for the group’s possible 2011 swan song The People’s Key, a keyboard-heavy pop album far removed from his recent forays into country, but on his latest solo album he’s back to more rustic sounds. His new Upside Down Mountain is a folky little record that places the spotlight on his usual knotty wordplay. Country rockers Dawes open.

 

Sunday, June 1

UPAF Ride for the Arts @ Summerfest Grounds

Since 1981, riders have raised millions of dollars for the United Performing Art Fund as part of the Ride for the Arts, one of the nation’s largest recreational bike rides. All riders are welcome. Routes start at an easy five miles, and top out at 40 or 66 miles for more serious riders, but all of them are plenty scenic, making good use of the city’s lakefront. The day ends with a big party at the finish line featuring music, food and family entertainment. Proceeds will benefit more than 30 area performing arts groups. Helmets are required, so bring one.

 

Monday, June 2

Gipsy Kings w/ Ole’ Noys @ The Riverside Theater, 7 p.m.

A French band playing semi-traditional Spanish music, Gipsy Kings made a splash in world music circles in the late-’80s with their big, glossy flamenco sounds. For their latest tour, the Grammy-winning group is celebrating 25 years together in addition to their latest album, Savor Flamenco. They’ll be joined on the bill by Ole’ Noys, a band featuring the sons of principal Gipsy Kings Tonino Baliardo and Nicolas Reyes.

 

Tuesday, June 3

The Naked and Famous w/ White Sea @ The Pabst Theater, 7 p.m.

If you’re looking for a certain alternative rock sound, you can’t do much better than producer Alan Moulder, a studio master who has left his distinctive fingerprints on classic albums by My Bloody Valentine, The Jesus and Mary Chain and Curve, as well as plenty of records by younger acts trying to conjure some of the mystique of those records. It was a natural fit, then, that New Zealand post-punkers The Naked and Famous turned to Moulder for their latest release, 2013’s In Rolling Waves, a moodier sequel to their infectious 2010 debut Passive Me Aggressive You. Last time the group swung through Milwaukee they sold out the Turner Hall Ballroom; for this show, they’ll give the Pabst Theater a try.

 

Wednesday, June 4

Vampire Weekend w/ Cults @ BMO Harris Pavilion, 7 p.m.

Courting a generation that grew up listening to Graceland with their parents by adding an agreeable African jangle to otherwise tried-and-true, guitar-based indie-rock, Vampire Weekend sprouted from virtual unknowns to a hip buzz band to a bona fide phenomenon all before they even released their debut album. Many bands crack under the pressure of releasing a follow-up to such a smash debut, but Vampire Weekend have carried their buzz with them through their third album, last year’s Modern Vampires of the City, a lightly experimental record that earned them their best reviews yet. They’ll play this show, originally scheduled for the Riverside Theater where it sold out quickly, at the BMO Harris Pavilion stage on the Summerfest grounds. Remember Cults, the Manhattan indie-pop duo that wormed their way into heads with their 2010 debut single “Go Outside,” a tower of double-dipped cotton candy heavily indebted to ’60s girl groups? They’re still around, and they’ll open this show.