August 6 - August 12
This Week in Milwaukee
Friday, August 7
The Misfits w/ Speed Freaks, Get Rad and Self Destruckt @ The Modjeska Theater, 8 p.m.
In a feud that resembles the messy split between Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters and David Gilmour, The Misfits’ founding members Glenn Danzig and Jerry Only have been battling over songwriting credits and royalties for years. With Danzig long gone, bassist Only now fronts a new version of the band, backed by guitarist Dez Cadena and drummer Robo, who both used to play with Black Flag. Though The Misfits trended toward a more cartoonish, heavy-metal sound in the 1990s, these Black Flag alums have helped push the band back closer to its punk roots.
Deerhunter w/ Dan Deacon and No Age @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 8 p.m.
It’s one thing for several songwriters to grab their acoustic guitars and play a couple collaborative shows, but Deerhunter, Dan Deacon and No Age’s ambitious “round robin” tour provides far greater logistical challenges: Three blog favorites from three cities (Atlanta, Baltimore and Los Angeles) spanning three genres (noise-pop, experimental electronic and punk), all set up on stage at once, tag-teaming songs. Toss in a volatile personality or two and you have a recipe for a tour so hectic it should be trailed by a documentary crew. The potential for greatness—or memorable disaster—is too big to pass up, especially given that tickets are just $10.
Collective Soul w/ Safetysuit and Ryan Star @ The Rave, 8 p.m.
Though Collective Soul weren’t the biggest band of the alternative-rock era, they carried themselves as if they were. Their signature song, “Shine,” was a lofty epic about faith, and other hits like “December” and “The World I Know” updated the power-ballad for modern-rock audiences. In an alternate reality, Collective Soul might have been as big as U2—and indeed, singer Ed Roland seems to be channeling Bono on the band’s latest single, “Staring Down,” from their upcoming album, Rabbit—but as alt-rock radio stations suffered their nu-metal identity crisis in the late ’90s then began dying off this decade, Collective Soul were left without an obvious radio base. They still record songs that sound like hits, but without a radio format to support them, those songs are like trees falling in a forest.
The Moody Blues @ The Riverside Theater, 8 p.m.
An R&B-leaning British invasion rock band that took a turn toward the proggy toward the late-’60s, when success afforded them the opportunity to begin recording symphonic opuses, The Moody Blues celebrate their 45th anniversary this year. Though the band hasn’t been immune to lineup changes, the core of their classic lineup has stayed in tact, and guitarist Justin Hayward’s clear voice remains the focal point of the group’s sound. His commanding lead vocals echo throughout the band’s epic “Nights In White Satin” and bring jubilation through the fog of despair of “Tuesday Afternoon.”
The Moody Blues
Saturday, August 8
Despite The Chaos w/ Today We Fly and Truth In Fiction @ The Rave, 7 p.m.
It took five years, but Despite the Chaos, a brooding, Linkin Park and Evanescence-styled alternative rock band, has finally finished its debut EP, Scatter the Ashes. Anybody curious about what took so long can find out by watching the DVD that comes with the EP, In Their Making, a behind-the-scenes documentary from director Tomah Mackie that details the band’s mostly universal struggles and their long-shot bid for greater stardom. Tickets to tonight’s release show include copies of both the EP and the DVD.
Despite The Chaos
Rockerbox @ Center Street, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Unlike the Harley-Davidson celebrations that periodically fill Milwaukee with the sounds of Steppenwolf, the annual Rockerbox Motorcycle Show and Street Party, which runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Center Street near Humboldt Avenue, attracts a different, more youthful kind of biker counterculture, drawing in particular those side-burned, rockabilly throwback types who reside in the bars of Riverwest and Bay View. Between all the classic sport bikes, street fighters, choppers, supermotos and sidecars, Rockberbox’s vintage bike show is novel enough for even non-enthusiasts to enjoy, and its music lineup, which includes The Speedfreaks, Red Knife Lottery and The Wildbirds, is about as far removed from the Molly Hatchet/George Thorogood school of biker-rock as you can get.
Cream City Music Festival @ Catalano Square, 3 p.m.
Once again, Milwaukee enjoys the spillover from a major Chicago music festival. Atlanta psychedelic rockers Gringo Star and Montreal classic-rock revivalists The Sam Roberts Band, both already in the region this weekend for Lollapalooza, will headline the inaugural Cream City Music Festival, a free concert at Catalano Square, a pleasant but underused bit of green space near the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design campus. Two Milwaukee bands complement the headliners nicely: Americana revivalists The Championship and rockers Invade Rome.
Direct Hit w/ Manhunters, Glue and Absolutely @ The Borg Ward, 7 p.m.
The breakup of Madison/Milwaukee alt-poppers The Box Social last year left guitarist Nick Woods with more time to dedicate to his more punk-minded band, Direct Hit. This spring the band followed up on its debut 2008 digital EP, #1, with another all-too-brief digital EP—logically titled #2—that finds the group further honing its giddy pop-punk, which breezes by with the hooky efficiency of Screeching Weasel and The Thermals. EPs #3 and #4 are on the horizon, but in the meantime the first two are posted on directhit.bandcamp.com.
Monday, August 10
David Archuleta @ The Rave, 8 p.m.
The most divisive contestant from the seventh season of “American Idol,” David Archuleta is a Mormon teenage moppet with the apparent inability to speak in complete sentences, a reportedly tyrannical stage dad and the pop sensibilities of a middle-age man circa 1989. With his boyish looks, though, Archuleta was a favorite of young girls and grandmas alike, so it was a given that he’d have a recording career, even though he lost the season to rock groaner David Cook. Last year Archuleta released his self-titled debut, the awkward collection of soft adult-contemporary ballads his “American Idol” performances promised.
Tuesday, August 11
Love w/ Jerry Miller @ Shank Hall, 8 p.m.
The California ’66 Revue tour hoped to reunite three icons of 1960s rock, but got off to a rough start when headliners The Electric Prunes abruptly pulled out. The tour will continue without them, though, with Love (or what’s left of Love) headlining, supported by Moby Grape’s Jerry Miller. Love’s songwriter and frontman Arthur Lee died in 2006, after the deaths of founding members Ken Forssi and Bryan MacLean, but lead guitarist Johnny Echols has kept the band’s name alive, touring with Lee’s old backing band, Baby Lemonade. Jerry Miller, meanwhile, was one of Moby Grape’s three guitarists, but his career has also included Forrest Gump-like brushes with Bobby Fuller, Jimi Hendrix, B.B. King, The Doors and Eric Clapton, who once called Miller the world’s greatest guitarist.
Pete Yorn @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 7:30 p.m.
Since introducing himself with the song “Strange Condition” on the Farrelly Brothers’ Me, Myself & Irene soundtrack, Pete Yorn has maintained a steady workload. He released a trilogy of albums between 2001 and 2006, and now the even-tempered New Jersey singer-songwriter is touring in support of his recent release, Back and Forth, produced by Mike Mogis of Bright Eyes. After years of playing it safe, it seems that the subdued singer is ready to take some risks, though: In addition to the upcoming September album Break Up, a collaboration with actress/ lightning rod Scarlett Johansson, Yorn also has in the can an unreleased album produced by Frank Black of the Pixies.