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Sunday, Aug. 17, 2008

Today @ the Wherehouse - 1 p.m.

Milwaukee says goodbye to one of the early pioneers of the city’s hip-hop scene, DJ Rock Dee (currently best known for his most recent gig as a Radio Milwaukee 88.9 DJ) with an extravagant all-day concert. Nearly two dozen bands, DJs and MCs—including Element, the Rusty Ps, Fever Marlene, De La Buena, DJ . . .
Saturday, Aug. 16, 2008

Tonight @ the Rave - 8 p.m.

Plague Park, the 2007 debut album of Montreal’s husband-and-wife duo Handsome Furs, whipped up a heady mix of heavy-handed Western Gothic tinged with subtle traces of electronica. Singer Dan Boeckner’s voice waivers somewhere between the flatness of Beck to the frantic nervousness of 16 Horsepower’s . . .
Saturday, Aug. 16, 2008

Tonight @ the Cactus Club - 10 p.m.

Milwaukee’s resident ambient artists Lights Out Asia have carved out a niche for themselves in the pleasantly addicting, music-to-get-lost-in genre. They’ve honed their grand, multi-layered dreamscapes on their third album, Eyes Like Brontide, the release of which they’ll celebrate tonight. The record crosses ambient . . .
Saturday, Aug. 16, 2008

Today @ the Milwaukee County Zoo

The Milwaukee County Zoo isn’t most people’s first dining destination, but once a year it turns into a culinary powerhouse for its “a la Carte” event. Dozens of Milwaukee restaurants, including The Soup Ladle, West Bank Café, Texas Roadhouse and Robert’s Frozen Custard, set up food tents while national and local . . .
Saturday, Aug. 16, 2008

Tonight @ the Bradley Center - 7 p.m.

“It’s getting hot in here, so take off all your…” well, you know the rest. Nelly scored a major hit with that 2002 single, “Hot In Herre” (sic), but his fame has waned in subsequent years, putting increased pressure on his upcoming album, Brass Knuckles, which is set for a September release. The pop-rapper will likely debut . . .
Friday, Aug. 15, 2008

Tonight @ the Stonefly Brewery - 10 p.m.

The title of tonight’s 10 p.m. bill at the Stonefly Brewery, “A Tribute To Inspiration: An Evening of Public Enemy,” overstates its case a bit. Milwaukee’s meat-and-potatoes rappers weren’t overly inspired by Public Enemy’s riotous cacophony, as least no more than any other rappers. Nonetheless, tonight . . .
Friday, Aug. 15, 2008

Tonight @ the Cactus Club - 10 p.m.

On their upcoming first full-length album, Maps for Children, Milwaukee’s Into Arcadia find themselves a bit bummed out by the modern age. A deep existential questioning that often borders on outright despair runs through the album, from lead singer Otto Ohlsson’s occasional channeling of Robert Smith’s tragic . . .
Friday, Aug. 15, 2008

Tonight @ the Pabst Theater - 8 p.m.

Sprightly Scottish singer KT Tunstall’s sunny, girl-power hit “Suddenly I See” has been use to promote everything from movies, TV shows, video games and, uh, Hillary Clinton, making Tunstall something of a star by osmosis. Fairly or not, Tunstall has picked up the reputation as a vapid, feel-good adult-alternative . . .
Thursday, Aug. 14, 2008

Bon Iver records up north

It's a stirring story, one that wraps Justin Vernon's album into a neat package. It starts when Vernon's first band breaks up, and it ends in the Northwoods. Jobless and sick, with nowhere to live and a desire to be alone, Vernon stayed (rent-free) in his father's hunting cabin through the winter. He chopped wood, brooded for a while, and then created a spectacular solo debut. Vernon's For Emma, Forever Ago doesn't merely capture a desperate Wisconsin winter, it captures a man resigned to its snowy, woodland loneliness. That's the true-to-life legend of Bon Iver-the dreariness of life expressed through an album full of dreary optimism, written by a man whose stage name is a play on the French words for "good winter." At least, that's the true-to-life legend that people keep telling . . .
Thursday, Aug. 14, 2008

Tonight @ the Pabst Theater - 8 p.m.

Thanks to an early push from the music blogs, Eau Claire native Justin Vernon has found unexpected success with his singer-songwriter project, Bon Iver, whose debut album, For Emma, Forever Ago has been heralded as one of the year’s best. Bon Iver returns to Milwaukee tonight for an 8 p.m. concert at the . . .

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