Home / Columns / This Week in Milwaukee / Jul. 24 - Jul. 30
Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Jul. 24 - Jul. 30

This Week in Milwaukee

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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 Police w/ Elvis Costello @ Marcus Amphitheater, 7:30 p.m. The Police made major headlines when, after 20 years apart, they announced they were reuniting for a tour. The group has been playing behind ever-so-delicately tweaked versions of their hits for a little more than a year now, and the tour has paid handsomely—it’s expected to become the third highest-grossing tour of all time. If Sting and company are to be believed, though, there won’t be an encore: After they complete this fourth and final North American leg of the tour next month, they plan to break up for good without recording any more material. Opener Elvis Costello came to prominence around the same time The Police did, but seems to have grown only more prolific with age. Inspired in part by his new friendship with indie darling Jenny Lewis, who contributed backing vocals, Costello’s latest disc, Momofuku, is an off-the-cuff rock record with ample whiffs of the New Wave organ that drove his early work.

 

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 26

PBR 2008 Street Party w/ Detroit Cobras @ Potter Avenue, noon to 8 p.m.
In a brilliant marketing move, Pabst Blue Ribbon opted against advertising directly to its growing con sumer base of young, bohemian types who view drinking unpretentious, bargain beer as a badge of honor. Instead, it courted them in more clever ways, sponsoring events like this one, a low-key gathering featuring music far grittier than what you’d find at a stage sponsored by one of the major brew ing corporations. Headlining is Detroit Cobras, a cover band that cher ry-picks rarities and deep cuts from the early days of rock ’n’ roll and Motown. They’ll be supported by a slew of locals, including the Rusty Ps, Juiceboxxx, John The Savage and Freight. In keeping with PBR’s style, even the location of the event is cool and understated: Potter Avenue is an unassuming Bay View side street off Kinnickinnic that contains the youthful corner tap Burnhearts and, well, that’s about it.

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

Bill Mallonee w/Casey Stang, StereoFidelics @ Points East Pub, 8 p.m.
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.

 

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