Jan. 15 - Jan. 21
This Week in Milwaukee
Thursday, Jan. 15
The Super Noble Brothers @ The Oriental Theatre, 7 p.m.
One of the biggest crowd pleasers at the 2007 Milwaukee International Film Festival, Mark Escribano’s longitudinal documentary The Super Noble Brothers follows a fraternal trio of staples from the Milwaukee arts and music scene as they jump from venture to venture, trying to make a living from their art, often without much success. Set to a soundtrack of kinetic, old-school funk and soul, the documentary is grounded in the specifics of Milwaukee, but its story about non-conformists determined to turn their idiosyncratic interests into real careers is shared by hundreds of artists in similarly sized cities around the country. Tonight Escribano presents his latest cut of the film, along with a chic fashion show from Fashion Ninja.
Friday, Jan. 16
Disturbed w/ Skindred and Destrophy @ The Rave, 8 p.m.
Though Disturbed rode nu metal’s coattails to early fame, the group was never as noxious as the standard-issue nu metal band and seldom left listeners feeling sexually assaulted like with peers Slipknot and Mushroomhead. It’s not too surprising, then, that Disturbed proved themselves one of the more commercially savvy and resilient of the turn-of-the-century metal bands, jettisoning most of their industrial hiphop undertones when the tides turned against nu metal. By last year’s Indestructible, their fourth studio record, the Chicago band had morphed into a Voltron-sized hardrock act, more indebted to the Pantera/Metallica school of arena-friendly thrash metal than the Fred Durst Institute of In-Yo’-Faceness.
The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus w/ Tickle Me Pink and The Becoming @ The Rave, 8 p.m.
If it were possible to mash everything on alternative radio into a doughy paste, then cook the batter in an Easy-Bake oven for a half hour, the resulting band would probably be indistinguishable from The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. This shape-shifting Florida group wraps Hoobastank’s faux-metal, All-American Rejects’ mall-pop and Fall Out Boy’s arena-emo into one earnest package, with room to spare for some acoustic “Hey There Delilah”-styled balladeering. Their 2006 major-label debut, Don’t You Fake It, housed the strikingly good hit “Face Down,” an impassioned account of domestic violence as visceral as anything on alt radio at the time, but little else of note. The band looks for a follow-up hit next month when they release their new disc, Lonely Road.
MAM After Dark: Gallery Night Edition @ The Milwaukee Art Museum, 5 p.m.
Perhaps our good lord and savior isn’t an art lover. He certainly has a funny way of cursing Milwaukee’s winter Gallery Nights with some of the most insufferable weather of the year, and if current forecasts hold, Friday should be brittle beyond all belief. Conveniently, though, the Milwaukee Art Museum is offering something of a one-stop Gallery Night destination for those too intimidated by the wind chill to hop from gallery to gallery. In addition to a gallery tour of its new exhibition, “Catesby, Audubon and the Discovery of a New World,” the museum is hosting break dancers in Windhover Hall, printmaking lessons in the DIY Studio and a beer tasting with 14 local, craft and imported brews all doing their part to help you make it through the rest of this unholy winter.
Saturday, Jan. 17
17 Hippies @ Alverno College, 8 p.m.
There aren’t actually 17 of them, but Berlin’s 17 Hippies top off at a stillrespectable 13 members, specializing in instruments ranging from accordions, banjos, bagpipes, clarinets, violins and bouzoukis (a lute-like tool that’s far less nefarious than its name sounds). All those instruments and players suggest a cluttered slog of sound, yet these Germans mercifully resist the over-boiling melting pot approach now favored by so many acts in the world-music circuit. Instead, theirs is a blithe, graceful sound, drawing mainly from classic acoustic folk while welcoming soft, tasteful accents of Cajun and Balkan music.
The Wailers @ The Rave, 8 p.m.
Time magazine declared Bob Marley & The Wailers’ 1977 album Exodus, marked by the singles “Jamming” and “One Love,” the greatest album of the 20th century. That opinion is shared by plenty of reggae fans, too, so it was perhaps only a matter of time until The Wailers—or what’s left of them, anyway, since Marley and three other original members have passed on—did a tour performing their best-loved album in its entirety. Though the band is basically a nostalgia act at this point, albeit one that inherited one of the most powerful monikers in reggae history, current frontman Elan Atias hits the same passionate notes as Marley did decades ago.
Frank Caliendo @ The Riverside Theater, 8:30 p.m.
Frank Caliendo takes a quantity over quality approach to celebrity impersonations, doling out dozens of them with wildly mixed results. Never mind that his Bill Clinton isn’t even in the same league as Darrell Hammond’s, or that the average man on the street could do a better Seinfeld impression than his; it doesn’t take much talent to rise to the top of “MADtv,” and Caliendo’s manic energy and goodnatured enthusiasm quickly made him that show’s breakout star. The Waukesha native’s latest sketch comedy show on TBS, “Frank TV,” has performed well by the standards of the network, even though its inaugural season was interrupted by last year’s writers’ strike.
The Musical Box @ The Pabst Theater, 8 p.m.
Mirroring the insane success of Pink Floyd’s many tributes and cash-ins, Genesis has spawned its own cottage industry of high-concept cover bands. The unquestionable kings of this roost are The Musical Box, a lucrative touring ensemble that not only recreates the sound of classic Genesis, but also the elaborate spectacle, right down to the costumes and lasers. Their latest tour places them in 1976, a tumultuous time when Genesis released their first album sans Peter Gabriel, A Trick of the Tail. Tonight’s performance will no doubt spark heated pre-show conversations about the merits of Phil Collins as a singer.
Monday, Jan. 19
Foreplay Mondays @ The Miramar Theatre, 8 p.m.
A new weekly event at the Miramar Theatre promises to offer a hub for those insatiable individuals who find the “casual encounters” section of Craigslist a bit too unreliable. Billing itself as a couples-friendly gathering that also doubles as a meeting ground for singles and swingers, Foreplay Mondays pairs all manner of salacious art forms: heated poetry, erotica, nudie dancing, adult videos and, stretching the conventional definition of art, perhaps, an old-fashioned, whip-cracking dominatrix show.