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Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2008

Jan. 31 - Feb. 6

This Week in Milwaukee

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Dark Star Orchestra @ The Pabst Theater, 8 p.m.
The oft-observed irony of the Dark Star Orchestra is that the group pays homage to the Grateful Dead, a group renowned for their improvisational spirit, by robbing their music of any improvisation, recreating the Dead’s classic shows song for song, sometimes even solo for solo. Judging from the Dark Star Orchestra’s huge online following and continued ability to sell out concerts, though, Deadheads don’t have a particular problem with this.

Winterdances: Time @ UWM Arts Center Mainstage Theatre, 7:30 p.m.
The concepts of time and space and the limitations they place on everyday life are explored in detail in “Winterdances: Time.” These interpretive performances promise to present the physical expression of dance in an undefined setting, rather than within the normal, rigidly defined space a dance performance usually employs. (Runs thru Feb. 3. with a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m.)

Saturday, Feb. 2

The Preservation Hall Jazz Band @ The Marcus Center, 8 p.m.
The Preservation Hall Jazz Band have cemented themselves as the torchbearers of the Big Easy’s entire jazz heritage—no small burden, but the ambassadors represent their city well, laying down festive, old-timey jazz as well as bone-chilling funeral dirges that have taken on newfound gravity since Hurricane Katrina. New Orleans tourists flock to see these guys in droves, but this weekend they’ll be out of luck: The band will spend Friday through Sunday performing in Milwaukee.

Friday, Feb. 1

Love in October @ Art Bar, 8 p.m.
Like another Minneapolis group, Motion City Soundtrack, rockers Love in October enliven their standard-issue emo-pop songs with liberal hits of moog synthesizer. With a timely sound, a new album helmed by Senses Fail/Get Up Kids producer Ed Rose, and increased attention from modernrock tastemakers Spin and CMJ, MTV2 stardom seems to be just around the corner.

But to expedite the inevitable, the band is promoting itself with clever, selfmade music videos filled with elaborate— cough, Fall Out Boy-ish—period costumes.

Kansas @ The Pabst Theater, 8 p.m.
Melding the simple boogie of American heartland rock with the epic excesses of prog-rock, Kansas scored a pair of monster hits in the ’70s—“Carry On Wayward Son” and “Dust in the Wind”—and a handful of lesser singles that continue to clock significant airplay on classic rock stations, ensuring the band’s viability as a touring act.

For this latest tour, they’ve employed a 38-piece symphony orchestra.

UWM Guitar Series: Pino Forastiere @ UWM Peck School of the Arts Recital Hall, 7:30 p.m.
Finger-style guitarist Pino Forastiere returns to Milwaukee for an intimate performance as part of the UWM Guitar Series. The innovative Italian guitarist frequently tests the limits of what a guitar can do through a number of experimental technical methods.

His most recent work is Why Not?, a concerto for amplified, steel-string, acoustic guitar and orchestra.

The Funk Brothers @ The Potawatomi Bingo Casino, 9 p.m.
As studio musicians on nearly all of Motown’s seminal psychedelic soul and R&B records of the ’60s, the Funk Brothers claim to have “played on more No. 1 one records than the Beatles, Elvis, the Rolling Stones, and the Beach Boys combined.” A rotating cast of surviving members has toured under the moniker since the 2002 documentary Standing in the Shadows of Motown called attention to the group. Tonight’s free concert featuring bassist Bob Babbitt, drummer Uriel Jones and founding guitarist Eddie “Chank” Willis provides the opportunity to witness the masterful musicians behind arguably the greatest record label in the history of American music.