This Week in Milwaukee
Greg Koch, PrideFest, Junip w/ Decibully, Brazzaville and Locust Street Festival
Thursday, June 10
Jazz in the Park w/ Jamie Breiwick and Choir Fight @ Cathedral Square Park, 6 p.m.
trumpeter Jamie Breiwick is joined in his project Choir Fight by
veteran players from Milwaukee acts like Kings Go Forth, De La Buena and
Clamnation for a sound that artfully harkens back to the mellower side
of Miles Davis’ electric years, both in composition and in character.
The group’s recent live shows have included a lovely arrangement of
Death Cab for Cutie’s “Brothers on a Hotel Bed.”
Friday, June 11
Beer City Tattoo Convention @ Harley-Davidson Museum
For three days, the crowd
at the Harley-Davidson Museum will be more colorful than usual as the
venue hosts the Beer City Tattoo Convention. Highlights include daily
tattoo contests, seminars on microdermals, displays from area artists
and body-modificationthemed live entertainment (which involves lots of
people dangling by their skin from fishhooks, pulling heavy objects with
their piercings and the like). (Through June 13.)
Greg Koch Trio w/ The Brechtlein Blues Buffet @ Shank Hall, 8 p.m.
Milwaukee’s best known and most respected blues guitarists, Greg Koch is
familiar to genre aficionados and upstarts alike through a series of
instructional books and DVDs he’s released through the Hal Leonard
Publishing Co., as well as for the many technically dazzling electric
blues albums he’s recorded, including two for Steve Vai’s Favored
Nations label. Tonight Koch and his trio with Tom Good and Del Bennett
celebrate the release of their latest disc, From the Attic, one of
Koch’s most raw, rocking sessions yet.
Blue, Seriously w/ My Mourning Belle, Ben Ripani Music Co. and Tyler Sjostrom @ Linneman’s Riverwest Inn, 9 p.m.
Born in 2008 out of a shared
love for Oasis, Blind Melon and Pete Yorn, the Milwaukee group Blue,
Seriously takes inspiration from the easygoing guitar-pop of the ’90s,
playing wistful, melodic tunes of the sort the cast of “Friends” might
have enjoyed on a Saturday afternoon too rainy to head down to the
coffeehouse. The group’s first release is the fivesong Marigold EP,
which recalls the sweet acoustic jangle of the Gin Blossoms and Toad the
PrideFest @ Summerfest Grounds
annual LGBT celebration PrideFest places an emphasis on music and
entertainment over parades and politics, booking entertainment lineups
to rival those of any pride event in the country. This year’s schedule
is typically packed: Friday’s bill is capped by a performance from
gossipy comedian Kathy Griffin; Saturday’s features soul singer Patti
LaBelle, oddball Bruce Vilanch and t.A.T.u. singer Lena Katina
(performing her first-ever solo show); and Joan Rivers closes the event
on Sunday. There will also be a dance stage and a mighty succession of
drag queens and celebrity impersonators throughout the weekend.
George Clinton and Parliament/Funkadelic @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 8 p.m.
Clinton now tours with a band billed as Parliament/ Funkadelic, giving
the funk pioneer free reign to cull hits from both of his best-known
ensembles (Parliament was the one that recorded “Flash Light,” for
instance, while Funkadelic was responsible for “One Nation Under a
Groove”). Recent Clinton concerts have featured the usual assortment of
odd characters (a Pink Pimp, a diaper-clad guitarist, etc.), and
although the 68-year-old ringmaster doesn’t spend as much time on stage
as he used to—he disappears during long jams—Clinton’s band throws down
long sets of thick, free-form funk, often with a heavy, acid-rock vibe
that casual listeners might not George Clinton anticipate.
Saturday, June 12
World Cup Block Party @
The Nomad, 11 a.m.
In a match sure to invite comically
overblown references to the Revolutionary War, the autonomous United
States of America takes on England in a 1:30 p.m. World Cup game, and
Brady Street’s most dedicated soccer bar is celebrating with a sprawling
block party. The game will be screened on a JumboTron, with African
drummers beforehand, a sumosoccer match at halftime, and post-game
performances from De La Buena (at 3:30 p.m.) and Kings Go Forth (at 5
Junip w/ Decibully @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 8 p.m.
he made a name for himself as a solo artist with a stunning acoustic
cover of The Knife’s “Heartbeats,” Swedish musician José González played
in a string of hardcore/punk bands that struggled for recognition. Less
known but more predictive of his solo work was his time in the Swedish
trio Junip, with whom he recorded a five-song EP of experimental
dream-folk titled Black Refuge in 2005. That trio is back together now,
with vague intentions of releasing a full-length album down the line.
Tonight’s stop pairs them with Milwaukee’s cinematic indie-rock ensemble
Brazzaville @ The Cactus Club, 10 p.m.
A former saxophone player for
Beck, Los Angeles musician David Arthur Brown spent years traveling
between Europe, Asia and South America before landing in Spain, and the
music he makes with his band Brazzaville reflects all that time spent
abroad. In the spirit of Joe Strummer’s globally minded solo records,
Brazzaville’s albums touch on bossa nova, flamenco and French soft-pop.
Last year, Brown briefly shelved the band name to release the solo
record Teenage Summer Days, but the group is back together again for
Sunday, June 13
Street Festival @ Locust Street and Humboldt Avenue, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
its modest beginnings as a neighborhood festival with an understated
bohemian streak, the annual Locust Street Festival, now in its 34th
year, has blossomed into one of the city’s most crowded outdoor
gatherings, without losing the friendly, oversized-blockparty feel that
made it so charming. Drum circles, arts and crafts and street food
abound, but the biggest draw is still the music, of which the festival
offers a whopping five stages. Performers include Heidi Spencer and the
Rare Birds, Call Me Lightning, Fire on Your Sleeve, Matt Hendricks, The
Vega Star, The Delta Routine, The Danglers, The Wildbirds, Keith
Pulvermacher, The Championship and many, many others.
Lil’ Kim @ The Rave, 8 p.m.
Buoyed by ties to her mentor and
rumored lover, the Notorious B.I.G., rapper Lil’ Kim built an early
reputation for herself through spicy guest performances on R&B
albums before dropping her 1996 debut, Hard Core. She remained a
commercial force even after Biggie’s death, though her career was slowed
by a 2005 prison sentence for conspiracy and perjury following false
statements she made about a 2001 shooting. Last year the notoriously
sexualized, tough-as-nails rapper softened her public image by appearing
on the reality show “Dancing With the Stars.”
Tuesday, June 15
Megafaun w/ Sam Quinn
and Conrad Plymouth @ Club Garibaldi, 9 p.m.
Carolina by way of Eau Claire, Wis., trio Megafaun resides at the more
experimental side of the bearded and flannelled indie-folk movement,
having recorded with their 2009 album Gather, Form & Fly a
shape-shifting set of intimate folk and rustic, banjo-driven rockers
colored by quixotic tangents, baroque flourishes and occasional
feedback. It’s an exciting album, one that helped the group emerge from
the shadow of one-time band mate Justin Vernon, with whom they still
collaborate through outside projects. The group is touring in advance of
a new mini-album, Heretofore.
Adam Lambert w/ Allison Iraheta and Orianthi @ The Riverside Theater, 7:30 p.m.
the typical God-fearing, family-thanking model for “American Idol”
contestants, Adam Lambert brought an edgy, glam-rock theatricality to
the top-rated televised singing contest, emerging as the breakout star
of the show’s eighth season. A racy, homoerotic performance at the
American Music Awards affirmed Lambert’s ability to turn heads outside
of “Idol,” while his debut album For Your Entertainment has handily
outsold the self-titled record from Season Eight’s ostensible winner,
Kris Allen. Lambert is joined tonight by his “Idol” peer Allison
Iraheta—the spunky teen rocker girl from Season Eight—and by shredding
guitarist Orianthi, who created a buzz in rehearsal footage from the
Michael Jackson documentary This Is It.
Cute Is What We Aim For w/ The Friday Night Boys,
The Bigger Lights, Down With Webster @ The Rave, 7 p.m.
The Buffalo, N.Y., power-pop group Cute Is What We Aim For was formed from high-school friendships, but their career has played out like the Zack Attack episode of “Saved by the Bell,” with success testing those friendships. In the five years since they formed in 2005, band members have come and gone (and sometimes returned, just to leave again). After two albums for Fueled by Ramen records that endeared them to the emo crowd, the band dissolved last year, leaving singer Shaant Hacikyan the only remaining member. Hacikyan rebuilt Cute Is What We Aim For this year, while his former band mates have formed a new group called Nocturnal Me.