Jul. 24 - Jul. 30
This Week in Milwaukee
Thursday, July 24
Extra Golden w/ Kings Go Forth @ Cactus Club, 9 p.m. Compared to the typical music scenes, Nairobi, Kenya
stands out as a curiously unique starting point for the multina tional
Extra Golden, which owes as much stylistically to classic American rock
aesthetics as traditional Kenyan Benga music. Initial comparisons to
fellow African harmonic acts like Ladysmith Black Mambazo are
inevitable, but not entirely accurate. Extra Golden can rip off sharp,
pronounced blues riffs, but also the earthy African rhythms and vocals
of the timely “Obama” or the tropically tinged funk of “Night Runners.”
Friday, July 25
The Jesse Voelker Band w/ Craig Bauman, Ryan Ogburn and Bryan Cherry @ Linneman’s Riverwest Inn, 9:30 p.m.
The Jesse Voelker Band describes itself as a poly-eth nic-progressive-folk-jazz act, which is to say they really, really enjoy mixing genres. Lead songwriter Voelker has no reservations about mixing electro-dub beats with pleasant ly down-tempo doses of Spanish guitar and Prohibition-era jazz sax. Curiously, and thankfully, the result often borders on an unplugged Mars Volta at its darkest and most experimental, and the talented coffeehouse acoustic act next door at their most subdued and traditional.
Saturday, July 26PBR 2008 Street Party w/ Detroit Cobras @ Potter Avenue, noon to 8 p.m.
Summer Slaughter Tour @ The Rave, 4:30 p.m.
If you needed further proof that death metal is the new emo, look no further than this year’s Summer Slaughter Tour, which is sponsored by Hot Topic, long the country’s No. 1 source of Fall Out Boy T-shirts and Nightmare Before Christmas novelties. The shrieking Michigan metalcore act The Black Dahlia Murder opens, and an army of young bands with equally macabre names lend support: Cryptopsy, The Faceless, Despised Icon, Kataklysm, Psycroptic and Aborted.
The Black Dahlia Murder
The Nice Outfit @ Linneman’s Riverwest Inn, 9:30 p.m.
Formed from the core of Trolley, a once-prolific Milwaukee group that has mostly laid dormant for the past half-decade, the power-pop ensemble The Nice Outfit picks up where that band left off, tightening and focusing its sound. Packing punchy punk-rock and gorgeous pop melodies into tight, jangly songs, they conjure The Kinks, The Buzzcocks and The Byrds on their recent EP, Kissing Jocelyn. Its four songs crackle with surprising turns and unusual conviction, even though they are constructed from the same classic ’60s-rock DNA that has resulted in so many lesser power-pop bands.
The Radiators w/ Honkytonkitis @ Miramar Theatre, 9 p.m.
Part of an earlier breed of party bands, The Radiators presaged the current jam-band movement with their knack for incorporat ing multiple, groove-based genres into their live shows. They’re prone to all sorts of up-tempo, danceable tangents, but the true heart of the now 30-year-old group has always been the swampy, New Orleans “fish-head music” scene, as they call it, complete with gravelly nods to Delta roots and the unabashed lead guitars of classic rock. These guys love to stretch out a good, classic cover song.
Secret Chiefs 3 w/ Wooden Robot and The Demix @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 8 p.m.
Drawing upon musical styles from all over the globe, both traditional and obscure, Secret Chiefs 3 is the freewheeling project of lead composer/producer Trey Spruance of Faith No More. The band has a penchant for incorporating a grab bag of instruments, though they rely heavily on a few particular ones. The wispy, pervasive sound of the Indian Esraj and Sarangi are often paired with new-age electronic blips and distorted metal guitar. Theirs is world music in the least traditional sense.
Sunday, July 27
Formerly of the alt-country ensemble Vigilantes of Love, the prolific singer/songwriter Bill Mallonee has clocked some 25 albums since his first appearance in 1991, setting him apart from a legion of poor man’s Neil Youngs.
Despite such a vast body of work, his subject matter remains fairly consistent. Mallonee has long cited a deep admiration of the coarse bro kenness of Southern folk, both past and very past, as the catalyst for his abundance of intro spective, melancholic road music.
Armenian Fest @ St. John the Baptist Armenian Orthodox Church, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Armenian Fest might not have the cachet of the larger ethnic festivals at the Summerfest grounds, but the free event has been around far longer than they have: It began in the 1930s. You won’t find deep-fried cheese sticks here. The menu is heavy on kebobs, bureks, hum mus, tabouleh and stuffed grape leaves, which can be washed down with Armenian wine and baklava. There will also be music and a cultural booth.