This Week in Milwaukee: Aug. 28-Sept. 3
Thursday, Aug. 28
Jazz in the Park w/ Forq @ Cathedral Square Park, 6 p.m.
Milwaukee’s seminal outdoor music series often reaches beyond the bounds of the city to bring in nationally touring acts, and this week’s installment features the New York-by-way-of-Dallas jazz quartet Forq, a group boasting a diverse array of established musicians, including two Grammy winners. Bassist Michael League, of Snarky Puppy, and Rudder keyboardist Henry Hey are joined by seasoned accompanists Adam Rogers on guitar and Nate Smith on drums for a sound that offers a tighter and more cohesive version of Snarky Puppy’s broad experimentalism. Balancing eclectic tastes with more traditional jazz backgrounds, the newly formed group has been touring the U.S. since the beginning of the year.
Milwaukee Rally @ multiple locations
Owning a Harley-Davidson is as much about the lifestyle as it is about the bike for many riders. This weekend the iconic motorcycle manufacturer is celebrating all things Harley with a four-day festival that spans the city and beyond. Six Milwaukee-area dealerships and the Harley-Davidson Museum Downtown will feature vendor tents, live music, demonstrations and activities such as bikini bike washes and burnout contests. The Harley-Davidson Museum will also have a custom bike show on display. Riders are encouraged to make the rounds of each location with a Run for Cash promotion offering cash and gift certificate drawings for riders who collect stamps at each vendor. (Through Monday, Sept. 1.)
Friday, Aug. 29
Easy Riders & Eastsiders Rally @ North Avenue, 5-11 p.m.
The East Side’s answer to the street parties that will be taking place around this city this weekend in conjunction with the Milwaukee Rally, North Avenue’s Easy Riders & Eastsiders Rally features a local music lineup that should appeal to bikers and regular old Milwaukeeans alike. Rising synth-rockers GGOOLLDD headline, supported by Calliope, The Delta Routine, Cactus Bros. and Jayk. Neighboring bars and businesses will be offering specials and entertainment throughout the night and Hotel Foster, Hooligans and BBC will have outdoor bars. A juried custom bike and chopper contest will be held a block away in a city parking lot on Farwell Avenue.
Preservation Hall Jazz Band @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 8 p.m.
The Preservation Hall Jazz Band has done exactly what its name promises. Based out of the New Orleans venue from which the band takes its name, the group has helped keep New Orleans-style big band jazz alive since its inception in the 1960s. Spawned from the original house band at the venue, the group began touring in 1963 and has continued to do so to the present day with various lineups all under the same name. The group keeps the spirit of big, brassy and sincerely enjoyable jazz alive through constant touring and recording collaborations with a series of guest vocalists, along with a recent tour opening for My Morning Jacket.
Saturday, Aug. 30
Brothers By Choice w/ Barbara Christian @ Anodyne Coffee Walker’s Point, 8 p.m.
The Milwaukee soul group Brothers By Choice were just school kids singing on street corners when they first formed in the late ’60s, and until recently they’d been more or less forgotten by everybody except for the biggest soul enthusiasts, who eagerly collected their scattered ’70s singles. One of those enthusiasts, Andy Noble of the funk group Kings Go Forth, helped spur their reunion. Backed by members of Kings Go Forth, Brothers By Choice have begun playing sweaty, joyous live shows again this year. For this show, the vocal group will share the stage (and their backing band) with another veteran Milwaukee soul act that time almost forgot: singer Barbara Christian.
Third Ward Art Festival @ Third Ward, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Recently named one of America’s “Top 12 ArtPlaces” by ArtPlace America, the Third Ward is celebrating its unique position in Milwaukee with a two-day showcase featuring Milwaukee-based and national artists filling the streets with their wares. Art from mediums as diverse as sculpture, photography, ceramics, fiber, printmaking and furniture will be represented, with many pieces priced under $100. Augmented by the broad dining and entertainment options the Third Ward houses, the festival offers the opportunity for a full day of art browsing and sightseeing. (Also Sunday, Aug. 31.)
Tuesday, Sept. 2
Broods w/ The Griswolds @ The Rave, 8 p.m.
New Zealand brother-and-sister duo Broods began working as a pair after dropping out of college to pursue a music career full time. Working with producer Joel Little, who also produced Lorde’s hit single “Royals,” the two garnered attention from music blogs with the release of their dark and expansive single “Bridges” ahead of their full-length debut Evergreen, which was released Aug. 22. The group shares Lorde’s sense of gloomy angst, but trades her hip-hop swagger for synth-pop operatics and keening vocals, as on the despondently dreamy single “Mother & Father.”
The Secret Sisters @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 8 p.m.
You can hear the living room sing-alongs and church-choir harmonies which served as musical schooling for Laura and Lydia Rogers in the music the two make as The Secret Sisters. Performing both covers and vintage-sounding originals grounded in spirituality and folk wisdom, The Secret Sisters manage to sound warm and intimate in any setting, aided by soft fingerpicking and quietly powerful harmonies. The sisters have worked with producer T-Bone Burnett and Jack White, in addition to contributing the song “Tomorrow Will Be Kinder” to the soundtrack from The Hunger Games.
Wednesday, Sept. 3
Journey @ BMO Harris Pavilion, Summerfest Grounds, 8 p.m.
Thanks to unending airplay on classic-rock radio and eventful appearances on “Glee” and “The Sopranos,” the 1981 Journey smash “Don’t Stop Believin’” has proven to be the hit that would not die. The song’s continued popularity has helped Journey thrive on the road decades after the band’s commercial heyday and despite the departure of several key members, most notably vocalist Steve Perry and his replacement, Steve Augeri. Since 2007, the honor of singing “Any Way You Want It” and other hits has fallen to Arnel Pineda, a Filipino musician the band discovered through videos of him performing Journey songs.