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Thursday, Jan. 28, 2010

This Week in Milwaukee

Blake Shelton, Bay View Wine Fest, Jay Farrar and Benjamin Gibbard

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Friday, Jan. 29

The Milwaukee Admirals w/ Blake Shelton @ The Bradley Center, 7 p.m.

There are two surefire ways to climb the country charts: Sing a big ballad for the ladies or make a fun, goofy novelty song for the masses. Blake Shelton, a regular fixture on the charts, is adept at both. Shelton offsets his sensitive cowboy persona with a regular-guy sense of humor, charting with bleeding-heart ballads like “Home” as well as rowdy party songs like “The More I Drink.” Shelton performs tonight after the Milwaukee Admirals’ 7 p.m. game against the Houston Aeros.

Restaurants Under Glass 2010 @ Mitchell Park Domes, 6:30 p.m.

For the fourth year in a row, some of Milwaukee’s best restaurants will gather in the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory for an evening under the conservatory’s brightly illuminated Show Dome. Attendees will be able to sample foods from restaurants including Beans & Barley, Haute Taco, Bartolotta’s Lake Park Bistro, Riptide, Sake Tumi and Rustico Pizzeria. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children, and each food ticket is $1.

Bay View Wine Fest @ The Marian Center for Nonprofits, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.

The Milwaukee Air & Water Show hosts a wine festival fund-raiser tonight at Bay View’s Marian Center, sharing the proceeds with the canine-rescue group Wisconsin Adopt A Golden Retriever. The dress is casual, and the $25 admission includes wine and food tasting, music and dancing and a display from the South Shore Gallery.

Andrew Voss Benefit @ The Alchemist Theatre, 7 p.m.

The Youngblood Theatre Company’s production of the emotionally charged drama Red Light Winter was well-received in its opening weekend but cut short by a shocking act of violence that left one of its actors, Andrew Edwin Voss, in critical condition. Youngblood canceled the remaining dates of the play after Voss was seriously injured in an assault last weekend.

Tonight, Youngblood and the Alchemist Theatre will hold a fund-raiser to offset Voss’ medical bills. Both organizations are also accepting donations online.

Saturday, Jan. 30

Jay Farrar and Benjamin Gibbard @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 8 p.m.

Alt-country luminary Jay Farrar, of the bands Son Volt and Uncle Tupelo, and Death Cab for Cutie’s Benjamin Gibbard don’t necessarily run in the same circles, but a shared love for Jack Kerouac brought them together in 2007 to produce songs for the Kerouac documentary One Fast Move or I’m Gone. Those sessions spurred an entire full-length 2008 album of the same name, with Farrar and Gibbard taking turns singing lyrics culled from Kerouac’s 1962 novel Big Sur. On their collaborative tour behind the album, Farrar and Gibbard will also revisit material from their outside songbooks.


Movits! w/ Fresh Cut Collective @ Stonefly Brewery, 9 p.m.

Like the pundits he lampoons, Stephen Colbert often boasts of his own power, priding himself for a phenomenon he calls “The Colbert Bump,” the increased interest in a person or product after it is mentioned on his program. One of the oddest recipients of that bump has been Movits!, a Swedish hip-hop band featured on “The Colbert Report” last summer. The response was great enough that last year Comedy Central Records released the group’s debut album, ppelknyckarjazz. The group’s affiliation with Comedy Central is a mixed blessing. It’s given them excellent exposure, but it also suggests that their mix of old-fashioned swing and modern rap music (recited entirely in Swedish) is more of a shtick than it actually is.


Blake Shelton Movits!

Sub City Take Action Tour w/ We The Kings @ The Rave, 6 p.m.

Nobody predicted how influential Jimmy Eat World’s Bleed American would be upon the album’s 2001 release, but nine years later the record has become the bible for an entire generation of emo-pop bands. Florida’s We The Kings are among Jimmy Eat World’s most devoted disciples, though their sugary iteration of emo-pop is bound to make original Jimmy Eat World fans feel very, very old. The band’s second record, 2009’s Smile Kid, is so youth-skewing it features a cameo from 17-year-old Disney starlet Demi Lovato. We The Kings tops the annual Sub City Take Action Tour tonight, a tour that raises funds and awareness for the National Marrow Registry. Also playing: Mayday Parade, A Rocket to the Moon, There for Tomorrow and Call the Cops.

Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood @ The Pabst Theater, 2 and 8 p.m.

Since the Drew Carey-hosted American remake of the British improv comedy program “Whose Line Is it Anyway?” ended its run in 2003, two of its principal players, Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood, veterans of both the American and British versions, have toured behind a two-man version of the show, revisiting the show’s games and creating new ones, with ample audience interaction. For the sixth year in a row, they’ll be performing at the Pabst Theater, but this time they’ve brought along a camera crew. These two shows will be filmed for a comedy special. [For an interview with Sherwood, visit expressmilwaukee. com.]

Sunday, Jan. 31

Our Milwaukee For Haiti @ Lakefront Brewery, 1 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Tragedy often brings out the best in this country, and that’s been especially true in the wake of the earthquake that ripped through Haiti earlier this month. America has led the world in providing aid to Haiti, and Milwaukee has done its part, hosting innumerable benefits big and small following the disaster. This one is sponsored by the independent-business organization Our Milwaukee, which today will host a silent auction for items from over 50 local businesses and restaurants. In addition to Lakefront beer, there will be food and music throughout the day, including reggae from Chalice in the Palace and Dub District, and Haitian drumming from percussionist Cecilio Negron Jr.

Howie Day w/ Matt Lowell @ Shank Hall, 8 p.m.

In Wisconsin, singer-songwriter Howie Day may be most notorious for a bizarre incident in 2004 in which he allegedly locked a Madison fan in his tour bus bathroom after she rejected his advances. The charges, to which he pleaded no contest, spurred a wave of bad publicity that undermined Day’s sensitive-guy image, but they did little to slow his 2004 alternative-contemporary hit “Collide,” a ballad that was licensed to more than a dozen television shows, including “Grey’s Anatomy,” “One Tree Hill” and “Scrubs.” Day shares a bill tonight with Boston musician Matt Lowell, whose soft rock resembles Paul Simon and Dave Matthews.

Wednesday, Feb. 3

Gov’t Mule w/ The Steepwater Band @ The Rave, 8 p.m.

In a jam scene filled with prolific players, few are more ubiquitous than guitarist Warren Haynes. He began his career in the late ’80s as the fresh blood in a reunited Allman Brothers Band, expanded his profile in the ’90s with his more overtly jammy and eclectic Southern-rock group Gov’t Mule, and made his presence further felt on the Bonnaroo circuit with his many solo performances and his long tenure with Phil Lesh and Friends. Gov’t Mule remains Haynes’ primary project, though. Last year saw the release of the group’s eighth album, By a Thread, one of the group’s heaviest, most bluesy recordings yet.