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Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2009

October 1 - October 7

This Week in Milwaukee

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Thursday, Oct. 1


MPTV Community Cinema: The 1930s’ Civilian Conservation Corps @ Discovery World, 6 p.m.


The Civilian Conservation Corps, one of the boldest and most effective of all the New Deal programs, put men to work throughout the toughest times of the Great Depression, utilizing their labor to safeguard and enhance our national parks and other natural resources. Screening tonight at Discovery World as part of Milwaukee Public Television’s Community Cinema series, this documentary chronicles the successes of the program and its contributions to modern environmentalism.

Friday, Oct. 2

Stephen Lynch @ The Pabst Theater, 8 p.m.

Like a blue “Weird Al” Yankovich making a push for the college market—or perhaps a better analogy is Dane Cook with a guitar—comedian/musician Stephen Lynch traffics in novelty songs about taboo topics. On his latest album, 3 Balloons, he lewdly tackles subjects like AIDS testing, anal drug-trafficking and vaginal grooming, all with a smug smirk on his face. His bathroom humor belies some serious onstage talent, though: In 2006, he anchored the Broadway production of The Wedding Singer, starring in the Adam Sandler role.

The 2009 WMSE Food Slam @ The Eisner Museum of Advertising & Design, 6 p.m.

Featuring food and drink from 25 local restaurants, 91.7 WMSE’s annual Food Slam returns to the Eisner Museum this year, giving local foodies the opportunity to sample the creations of some of the city’s finest establishments, including Beans & Barley, Twisted Fork and Nanakusa Japanese Restaurant. The food may be the main attraction, but the night also includes a silent auction, music provided by WMSE radio jocks Tom Wanderer and Shopkeeper Ken and, of course, the Eisner Museum itself. All proceeds benefit the college radio station.

The Itals w/ Eric Blowtorch and the Welders @ The Miramar Theatre, 9 p.m.

Though they were eclipsed by more commercially successful reggae vocal trios, The Itals released some of the finest roots music of the late ’70s and early ’80s, wowing listeners with a run of passionate singles (most notably “In a Dis Ya Time”) that led up to their 1981 debut full-length, Brutal Out Deh. Lineup changes and the emergence of dancehall had sidelined the group by the ’90s, but they continue to tour behind new material like this year’s Let Dem Talk. That album is as close to a full reunion as The Itals have seen in a long time, with leader Keith Porter joined by original Ital Ronnie Davis and familiar face David Isaacs, who first joined The Itals in 1987.

The Second City Touring Company @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 8 p.m.

The Turner Hall Ballroom tonight welcomes current members of Chicago’s storied Second City improv/comedy troupe, an institution that claims alums like Bill Murray, Chris Farley, Steve Carell, Amy Sedaris, Tina Fey and Stephen Colbert. Of course, those comedians only became famous years after graduating from The Second City, and the troupe’s current players don’t pack much in the way of star power. But The Second City has a long history of grooming future “Saturday Night Live” cast members and character actors, so don’t be too surprised if years later you spot some of the cast you saw tonight on TV.

Saturday, Oct. 3

David Cross @ The Riverside Theater, 8 p.m.

Stand-up comedian David Cross is probably best known for his participation in two beloved cult television shows, as the co-host of HBO’s sketch comedy program “Mr. Show” and as the hopelessly deluded Tobias Funke on Fox’s criminally canceled “Arrested Development.” But Cross has branched out in recent years, guesting on like-minded shows like “Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!” and “Aqua Teen Hunger Force,” unapologetically taking roles in ultra-commercial feature films like Alvin & The Chipmunks and, most recently, writing a book of humorous essays, I Drink for a Reason. Cross’ stand-up material smartly juxtaposes ruminations on politics and pop culture with blue routines about feces and phalluses.

Jim Jefferies @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 9 p.m.

Angry and brash, but with a genuine sense of humility, Australian stand-up Jim Jefferies made a name for himself in England, and now seems poised to invade the states. On the heels of a one-hour comedy special for HBO, Jefferies has embarked on an American tour, currently sweeping through the Midwest, in a further bid to get his name out there. Expect Jefferies to lend his distinctive, cynical voice to well-worn topics like sex and religion at tonight’s Turner Hall Ballroom show.

Saturday, Oct. 3

The Saltshakers w/ The Nice Outfit and Elusive Parallelograms @ BBC, 10 p.m.

Taking cues from ’60s garage-rock bands like The Kinks and The Stooges as well as ’70s punk bands with an ear for bubblegum hooks, like The Ramones and The Buzzcocks, Milwaukee’s Saltshakers play power-pop at its most simple and direct. Tonight the group celebrates the release of its latest album, Lights Out, which borrows not only from the aesthetics of ’60s garage rock, but also the subject matter. Most every song is about love and young relationships in flux. Admission to tonight’s show includes a copy of the album.

Cheap Rick @ Liquor Sweets, 10 p.m.

During the early ’70s, years before they were signed to a label, Cheap Trick played Milwaukee so often that they were considered a local band. Little wonder that Milwaukeearea tribute acts have found their own audiences. The newest, Cheap Rick, features a pair of veteran area musicians, guitarist Michael Brandenburg (Beatallica) and drummer Rob McCuen (Plasticland), plus vocalist Chris Allen and bassist Jason Hagberg. The band rummages through 30 years of Cheap Trick material in the course of a night.

Sunday, Oct. 4

Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions @ The Pabst Theater, 8 p.m.

In a recent interview, Hope Sandoval let it drop that her long-dormant ’90s band Mazzy Star hasn’t actually broken up, and is slowly working on new material. It was a bit like learning Jeff Mangum is putting the finishing touches on a new Neutral Milk Hotel album. Given Sandoval’s notorious inertia, fans shouldn’t expect anything new from Mazzy Star soon; it took the singer eight years just to release a follow-up to her first solo album. Her new record with My Bloody Valentine vet Colm O’Ciosoig, Through the Devil Softly, picks up nicely where Mazzy Star left off, with a set of druggy, dreamlike tunes that hide and conserve their melodies like they’re precious commodities not to be doled out frivolously.

UFO w/ Tom Fuller Band @ Shank Hall, 8 p.m.

The group’s best-known member—guitarist Michael Schenker, also of Scorpions—may no longer be on board, but the seminal British hard-rock institution UFO, a band often cited as one of the forefathers of heavy metal, has carried on, touring, re-releasing their classic albums, and recording some new ones that have energized old fans. This year they celebrated their 40th year with a new album, their 20th, The Visitor, which eschews heavy-metal riffing in favor of scorching, bluesy hard rock.

Monday, Oct. 5

Colbie Caillat w/ Howie Day and Trevor Hall @ Pabst Theater, 7 p.m.

The daughter of Fleetwood Mac producer Ken Caillat, clean-scrubbed adult alternative it-girl Colbie Caillat offers a fluffy alternative for “Grey’s Anatomy” viewers who find Norah Jones too heavy and Jason Mraz too dark. Caillat’s latest serving of Splenda-sweetened, decaf coffeehouse pop is this year’s Breakthrough, which she brewed with an army of producers and songwriters, including “American Idol” judge Kara DioGuardi. Caillat shares tonight’s bill with sensitive songwriter types Howie Day and Trevor Hall.

Wednesday, Oct. 7

Michael Bowen @ Boswell Book Co., 7 p.m.

Saying Michael Bowen is a local mystery writer doesn’t quite do justice to just how local his books are. His latest novel, Service Dress Blues, is not only set in Milwaukee, but also includes many of the city’s landmarks in pivotal scenes, from Juneau Park to the Safe House and, in the gripping climax, Miller Park. Tonight Bowen, who is also a partner at Foley & Lardner, celebrates the release of the book with an appearance at Boswell Book Co., bringing with him a pair of local actors to do the reading for him: John Kishline and Deb Clifton.

Realicide w/ xALLxFORxTHISx and Stagediver @ 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 pre-programmed 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.