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Sunday, Sept. 14, 2008

Tonight @ Shank Hall - 8 p.m.

The Led Zeppelin tribute band No Quarter, who perform tonight at 8 p.m. at Shank Hall, promise to create the experience of seeing Zeppelin in their early ’70s prime, night after night recreating Zeppelin’s first album as well as “Stairway to Heaven.” Unlike other Zeppelin tribute bands, they pride themselves on having shows . . .
Sunday, Sept. 14, 2008

Tonight @ the Turner Hall Ballroom - 7:30 p.m.

Banjoist Abigail Washburn has made an unlikely career by fusing seemingly incompatible musical influences: rustic old-time American music and dignified, traditional Chinese folk music. The eastern influences are particularly pronounced in her work with The Sparrow Quartet, the group she shares with fellow . . .
Saturday, Sept. 13, 2008

Tonight @ Shank Hall - 8 p.m.

Every young blues performer in the late ’90s was burdened with comparisons to Jonny Lang, but Shannon Curfman got the worst of it, since not only is she from North Dakota, like Lang, but Lang even co-wrote part of her precocious 1999 debut record, Loud Guitars, Big Suspicions, which she recorded when she was just . . .
Saturday, Sept. 13, 2008

Today @ Kinnickinnick Avenue - 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

While staying true to its roots as a modest residential neighborhood, Bay View has over the last decade emerged as one of the Milwaukee’s most fashionable districts, as scores of young Milwaukeeans attracted by the affordable housing have quite literally set up shop there. The neighborhood’s signature . . .
Friday, Sept. 12, 2008

Tonight @ Shank Hall - 9 p.m.

Musicians from both Kenya and Milwaukee make up Oumar Sagna’s Sindoolaa African Music Band, an ensemble that plays traditional African music tinted by world-spanning shades of reggae and salsa music. The group headlines a 9 p.m. bill at Shank Hall tonight.
Friday, Sept. 12, 2008

Tonight @ the Turner Hall Ballroom - 7 p.m.

No band better mastered the marriage of ska and punk in the ’90s than Michigan’s Mustard Plug. In their perky horns, dynamic pop-punk chords and fist-pumping choruses they found a winning formula they stuck to even after their brand of punchy third-wave ska fell hopelessly out of vogue, though to keep with the . . .
Thursday, Sept. 11, 2008

Tonight @ the Stonefly Brewery - 9 p.m.

In a city where accordions are used almost exclusively for celebratory purposes, singer-songwriter Margaret Stutt has the audacity to use them to make sad music. With her latest project, Pezzettino, she alternates between piano and an accordion, sighing restless, lovelorn songs, touching on Tori Amos’ stark . . .
Thursday, Sept. 11, 2008

Tonight @ the Rave - 7 p.m.

Illinois’ Backyard Tire Fire sing “I want to be Tom Petty, I want to be a star,” as the opening salvo to their latest record, Vagabonds and Hooligans, but judging from their agreeably little record, they’d settle for just being a well-liked bar band. With a persistent, rootsy twang, the band evokes shades of The Replacements . . .
Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2008
Back in the late 1970s punk rock and prog rock seemed as opposite as the architecture of the Bauhaus and the Baroque. For punks, progressive was code for pretentious bombast; for progheads, punks were no-talent poseurs.
Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2008

Sept. 4, 2008

Nas has long been the most stoic and dead serious of all the major emcees. Especially since he returned to critical favor after his brief but image-killing flirtation with floss in the late '90s, he's been careful to avoid any hint of vice or banality. Of his four most recent albums, two explore his ever-consuming Jesus complex, one eulogizes the genre he loves, and the latest somberly charts the remnants of slavery. He carries the weight of the world-and the cross-on his self-beleaguered shoulders. While his one-time rival Jay-Z indulges . . .

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