June 11 - June 17
This Week in Milwaukee
Thursday, June 11
Fat Maw Rooney w/ Euforquestra @ The Miramar Theatre, 9 p.m.
Though the re-emergence of Phish as a touring act this summer after a long slumber might threaten to steal the spotlight from other bands of a similar jam persuasion, Fat Maw Rooney shouldn’t have too much difficulty drawing a crowd when they bounce between North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin on their three-month summer tour, since the rustic Wisconsin jam band has amassed a growing following around the Midwest. Along for the ride for this leg of the tour is the Fort Collins, Colo., septet Euforquestra, a self-described Afro-Caribbean-barnyard-funk act that has shared stages with Phish’s Page McConnell and is known to be generous with Talking Heads covers.
Q-Tip w/ Auto Erotique @ The Rave, 8 p.m.
It took nearly a decade, but A Tribe Called Quest leader Q-Tip finally released a second solo album last year, a well-received fusion of neo-soul and meat-and-potatoes hip-hop called The Renaissance. The record is the latest chapter in the rapper’s stormy solo career, which began with 1999’s Amplified, an album many Tribe fans initially derided as a flossy attempt at commercial stardom, but would embrace years later and cite as an early highlight from the pioneering, late producer J Dilla. When Q-Tip tried to assuage concerns that he’d gone pop by recording message-heavy hip-hop on his 2001 live-band experiment Kamaal the Abstract, his label shelved the disc, deeming it too noncommercial.
Friday, June 12
Cyndi Lauper @ PrideFest, 8 p.m.
Milwaukee’s weekend-long LGBT celebration has always emphasized music and celebration over parades and politics, and in recent years PrideFest has secured entertainment lineups that rival any other pride event in the country. This year’s might be the most impressive yet, featuring an opening-night performance from one of the biggest LGBT icons in the world: Cyndi Lauper. The “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” singer’s loud fashion sense and fierce individualism made her one of the biggest cultural sensations of the 1980s, but over the past two decades Lauper has recast herself as a tireless gay-rights advocate. Lauper’s latest album is last year’s Bring Ya to the Brink, a return to up-tempo dance-pop after years of indulging her acoustic and adult-contemporary leanings.
Clyde Stubblefield and the B3 Bombers @ The Jazz Estate, 9:30 p.m.
Clyde Stubblefield was James Brown’s drummer during the entertainer’s 1960s prime, filling in funk staples like “Say It Loud—I’m Black and I’m Proud,” “Cold Sweat,” “Ain’t it Funky Now” and “Funky Drummer,” songs that have all found second (and third, and fourth, and fifth) lives in hip-hop, where Stubblefield’s breaks have been endlessly recycled. Stubblefield boasts of being the most sampled musician in the world, and while there’s no way to quantify that, it’s hard to imagine anybody else coming close. Stubblefield settled down in Madison decades ago, where he hosts a low-key, weekly Monday night gig and occasionally jams with the locals (memorably joining Garbage for a couple of cuts on their debut record), but tonight he gives his Clyde Stubblefield Band the night off and sits in with Dan Trudell’s B3 Bombers, a low-end-riding Chicago ensemble led by Trudell’s eager Hammond organ.
Realicide @ The Borg Ward Collective, 7 p.m.
Touring in support of Resisting the Viral Self, their first complete studio album after a plethora of live bootlegs and scattered other recordings, the Cincinnati ensemble Realicide re-envisions hardcore for the 21st century, pairing it with caustic, industrial electroclash. Relying primarily on a Korg ES1 filled with preprogrammed digital hardcore beats, screeching vocalists Robert Inhuman and Jim Swill outline their aggressive punk ideals and sociopolitical agendas over a blend of hardcore gabber and digital explosions. They top a characteristically packed Borg Ward bill tonight with several other noise and punk acts of varying degrees of abrasion: Victory!, Rex Winsome, Peter J. Woods and Blessed Sacrifist.
Saturday, June 13
Animal Magnets w/Plexi 3 and Van*Gloria @ Points East Pub, 8 p.m.
Maybe it was the demise of Atomic Records, but for some reason, Milwaukee bands from the ’80s are recalling their past and regrouping. The latest, Animal Magnets, has been sidelined since 1995. Led by vocalist Rob McCuen (ex-Plasticland), the Magnets include such familiar local faces as Paul Wall (bass), Cliff Ulsberger and Chris Tishler (guitars) and Joel Beskow (drums). They perform a Stones- Stooges influenced set of largely original tunes, hard rock with a pop accent. “Reunions are usually sad affairs,” McCuen says. “This is nothing more than a bunch of old buddies doing it for fun.”
Aerosmith w/ 3 Doors Down @ Alpine Valley, 7:30 p.m.
The ravages of time are beginning to take their toll on Aerosmith, with Steven Tyler recently recovering from a bout of pneumonia, and Joe Perry rehabbing his knee after a long-overdue surgery. This week the band added a third member to its injured list: guitarist Brad Whitford, who will be benched during part of the band’s clumsily titled “Guitar Hero: Aerosmith Presents Aerosmith” tour to recover from his own recent surgery. Though various ailments have sidelined their planned new album, Perry recently suggested the band may be considering releasing it exclusively through Wal-Mart, similar to recent deals between the big-box giant and other rockers of a certain age, AC/DC and The Eagles. In the meantime, fans can get their fill of old favorites like “Walk This Way” and “Sweet Emotion” when the band plays their 1975 mission statement Toys in the Attic in its entirety on this tour.
Sunday, June 14
Locust Street Festival @ East Locust Street and Humboldt Avenue, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Over the last three decades, the Locust Street Festival has grown with the neighborhood, emerging from a modest, bohemian-leaning block party into one of Milwaukee’s most broadly popular bacchanals, drawing more than 20,000 people. Dancers, art sales, puppets, buskers and food vendors will line the street, but as usual the major draw is the music: five stages of it, drawing largely from Riverwest’s fertile music scene. Among the performers are Wizard of Cause, Decibully, The Championship, Big Fun 4Ever, Jonathan Burks, Masonry, Southbound, Brother Louie, The Candeliers, The Trusty Knife, Fresh Cut Collective, Farms in Trouble, The Delta Routine and Heidi Spencer and the Rare Birds.
Etta James and the Roots Band w/ Deborah Cox @ PrideFest, 7 p.m.
It was William Congreve who first said, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned,” but Beyonce Knowles might better know what that scorn feels like. Knowles felt the wrath of R&B veteran Etta James after performing James’ 1961 hit “At Last” at President Obama’s January inauguration ceremony. James Etta James made reference to the president as “the one with the big ears,” and went on to threaten Beyonce (who portrayed James in the biopic Cadillac Records), saying “she’s going to get her ass whooped,” and fuming, “she has no business up there … singing my song that I’ve been singing forever.” Though Glenn Miller and Nat King Cole recorded it before her, James does have some claim to the song, having performed it for half a century as her signature ballad. If nothing else, though, the squabble proved that at 71, James still has some fight in her.
Monday, June 15
The Dillinger Four w/ Japanther, The Brokedowns and Holy Shit @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 7:30 p.m.
After a six-year wait between albums, pop-punk veterans Dillinger Four released Civil War on Fat Wreck Chords last October. While staying true to form with catchy hooks and power-pop melodies, Dillinger Four shows signs of adulthood by injecting more mature political and social commentary into their lyrics. While the focus of their subject matter may have developed since their early days with Hopeless Records, the Minneapolis quartet certainly hasn’t compromised the amount of “Heys” and “Whoas” that build their melodic sound, or toned down on the silly song titles—new additions to their songbook include “Parishiltonisametaphor” and “Americaspremierfaithbasedinitiative.”
Wednesday, June 17
Enter the Haggis @ Shank Hall, 8 p.m.
Toronto’s Enter the Haggis nicely taps two separate growth industries in the live-music market: Irish-rock and jam music, laying down bagpipe-spiked ditties grounded in the Celtic tradition while fusing in bits and pieces of rock, bluegrass, folk, prog, jazz and even the occasional dash of ska and reggae. In 2007, the hard-touring band released its second live album, Northampton, but for this return performance at Shank Hall they’re playing behind this March’s Gutter Anthems, a studio record that tones down some of the jammy digressions in favor of tighter songs and a harder rock edge that invites U2 comparisons.