August 27 - September 2
This Week in Milwaukee
Thursday, Aug. 27
Prestige Atlantic Impulse @ Sugar Maple, 8 p.m.
Affirming Victor DeLorenzo’s status as perhaps the most musically adventurous of all the Violent Femmes, the drummer’s new project, Prestige Atlantic Impulse, is an experimental jazz trio worlds removed from the Femmes’ signature folk-punk. Though that “experimental” tag may alienate those already disinclined to jazz, Prestige Atlantic Impulse’s concoctions are direct and immediate, with the curiously gritty bass sounds of Jason Wietlispach (the host of a modern classical music show on WMSE) juxtaposed against the frantic, Grant-Green-on-uppers guitar work of Alex Stewart. The trio will be playing monthly gigs at Sugar Maple at least through the end of the year.
Friday, Aug. 28
American Idols Live @ Bradley Center, 7 p.m.
In today’s increasingly fragmented media environment, no other TV show holds anywhere near the reach of “American Idol,” the FOX juggernaut that in its eighth season remained the talk of teenagers, their grandparents and most everyone in between. The season’s top 10 finalists, who appear tonight at the Bradley Center as part of the show’s annual victory-lap tour, were among the show’s most colorful: the loopy soul-revival singer, Megan Joy; the spunky, every-girl rocker, Allison Iraheta; the boldly theatrical, unabashedly gay glam rocker, Adam Lambert; and how could we forget Milwaukee’s very own Danny Gokey, a sort of contemporary Christian music answer to Michael McDonald? The third-place finalist, Gokey divided audiences who claimed, unfairly and often maliciously, that he was exploiting the death of his wife for sympathy votes, but he remains a local favorite who will no doubt headline Summerfest stages for years to come.
Old School @ Discovery World, 6 p.m.
Before filming the highest-grossing adult comedy of all time, this summer’s breakthrough hit The Hangover, director Todd Phillips explored similar themes of domestic male rebellion in 2003’s Old School, the frequently uproarious film that cemented Will Ferrell and Vince Vaughn as box-office draws. Luke Wilson, at his most everyman-ish, ostensibly stars as a newly single 30-something whose stifled friends turn his house into a fraternity in an effort to relive their college days, but it’s Ferrell and Vaughn who steal the show. Though reviews were initially mixed, Old School quickly became a popular college staple and helped set the tone of hit comedies for the rest of the decade. Tonight, Discovery World screens the movie outside for free at dusk following a 6 p.m. fish fry.
Gringo Star w/ The Celebrated Workingman @ Club Garibaldi, 10 p.m.
Despite the Atlanta outfit’s punster Beatles name, Gringo Star owes more to The Kinks than the Fab Four, but maybe riffing on Kinks drummer Mick Avory just didn’t have the same ring to it—really, “Dick Avory” may well be the one band name that’s actually more vile than Gringo Star. Purchasers of Gringo Star’s 2008 album All Y’All probably know what they’re in store for: tight harmonies, perky riffs and lots of tambourine for maximum British Invasion nostalgia.
Idiocracy @ UWM Union Theatre, 7 p.m.
Though he avoids pointed political commentary in favor of cartoony, equal-opportunity satire, few directors make films more vehemently anti-corporate than “Beavis & Butt-head” creator Mike Judge. Judge’s breakthrough cult comedy, Office Space, lampooned chain restaurants and the like, and his damned 2006 follow-up, Idiocracy, further explored the horrors of commercialization, envisioning a future where water has been completely replaced with a sports drink (because “it’s got electrolytes,” though nobody knows exactly what electrolytes are). Bitingly funny, the film was all but buried by 20th Century Fox, which spent nary a nickel on publicizing it and released it in only a handful of theaters, in apparent hopes that it (and its unusually pointed barbs at corporations like Starbucks) would go unnoticed. (Also Saturday, Aug. 29)
Saturday, Aug. 29
House of M w/ Kid Millions and Fresh Cut Collective @ Mad Planet, 9 p.m.
Ask the members of House of M how they feel about DC Comics. Actually, you’d better not. Milwaukee’s nine-member hip-hop collective—Wu-Tang in size, but more Jurassic 5 and Little Brother in sound—was united by their love of comics and geek culture, particularly Marvel, whose House of M story line lent the group its name. After years of building buzz with mixtape appearances and ostentatious live shows, tonight the collective finally releases its debut album, The Alternate Reality of… The $10 cover at this show includes a copy of the album.
Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band @ Alpine Valley Music Theatre, 8 p.m.
Don’t let his carefree demeanor and casual Hawaiian shirts fool you: Jimmy Buffett is quite the savvy businessman. When he’s not guiding his Parrothead followers on a journey looking for that lost shaker of salt, he’s out inking million-dollar deals to rename the home field of the Miami Dolphins to Land Shark Stadium (named after his beach-themed beverage) and pulling in a combined total of $100 million each year between touring and various business ventures, restaurants and royalties—now that’s a lot of pina coladas.
Motorhead w/ Reverend Horton Heat @ The Rave, 8 p.m.
common knock against Motorhead is that the band hasn’t changed in 30
years, but is that such a bad thing? Much as nobody wanted to hear The
Ramones make an alternative-rock album, nobody wants to hear Motorhead
make a contemporary alt-metal album, so on the group’s latest release,
2008’s Motorizer, Lemmy Kilmister and the gang stick to their
tried-and-true, timeless speed metal. Are they suffering from
diminishing returns? Of course. Motorizer doesn’t contain anything
nearly as unforgettable as the band’s signature song, “Ace of Spades,”
but it’s encouraging to see that, at 63 years old, Kilmister can still
plug away with all the dedication of a man half his age.
Monday, Aug. 31
Weekend Nachos @ Borg Ward Collective, 7 p.m.
be fooled by Weekend Nachos’ fun, happy-go-lucky band name: This group
is filled with relentless hatred. With song titles like “Rejected
Psychopath,” “Shot in the Head” and “Reason to Die” and lyrics that
would put Marilyn Manson to shame, this Chicago hardcore band aims to
make you punch holes in your living-room walls. Weekend Nachos makes a
stop at the Borg Ward Collective in support of their newest album,
Unforgivable, which Relapse Records will release in September.
Tuesday, Sept. 1
Creed w/ Hoobastank @ The Bradley Center, 7:30 p.m.
Creed broke up in 2004 after years of soundtrack-friendly
Christian-themed power ballads, the rest of the band continued without
lightning-rod singer Scott Stapp as Alter Bridge, with new guy Myles
Kennedy. Meanwhile, fans worried about the health of Stapp, whose
personal problems included troubles with alcohol and paranoia and a
reported suicide attempt—he was convinced that fans wanted him to die
and become a “Kurt Cobain martyr-type,” he told Rolling Stone.
Distracting rumors that Kennedy was leaving Alter Bridge to sing with
Led Zeppelin version 2.0 laid the groundwork for the inevitable Creed
reunion, though, and sure enough this August the band hit the road with
their comrades in post-grunge, Hoobastank.
Wednesday, Sept. 2
Lil Wayne w/ Young Jeezy, Soulja Boy, Jeremih and Pleasure P @ Marcus Amphitheater, 7 p.m.
What better way to wrap up the summer than with a concert filled with many of the rappers and R&B singers who soundtracked it? The artists on Lil Wayne’s America’s Most Wanted Tour can claim many of the summer’s biggest hits, from Wayne’s Young Money collaboration “Every Girl” to Jeremih’s inescapable “Birthday Sex” to Soulja Boy’s improbably awesome “Turn My Swag On.” Even down-bill singer Pleasure P scored a delectable hit earlier this summer with “Boyfriend #2.” The tour got off to a rocky start when Lil Wayne’s breakout protege Drake withdrew after blowing out his knee, and not every performer has been able to make it to every date—two shows in Canada were canceled altogether—but even if only half the scheduled artists show up tonight, it still promises to be the biggest rap and R&B concert Milwaukee’s seen all summer.
Pat Benatar w/ Neil Giraldo @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 8 p.m.
In the early ’80s Pat Benatar dominated the pop charts and won several Grammys for meaty hits like “Love Is a Battlefield,” “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” and “Heartbreaker.” Lately the 56-year-old Brooklyn heroine and husband/guitarist Neil Giraldo have been revisiting those classics along with some slower numbers and acoustic ballads on a recent tour with fellow female rockers Blondie and The Donnas, but tonight’s Turner Hall Ballroom gig ditches the rest of the girl party, allowing Benatar and Giraldo some much needed and extended alone-time onstage.