This Week in Milwaukee
Bastille Days, Star Wars: In Concert and The Bitter Tears
Thursday, July 8
Bastille Days @
Cathedral Square Park
Once again Downtown Milwaukee’s four-day Bastille Days celebration commences with the “Storm the Bastille” 5K run/ walk, and once again the health benefits of all that exercise will be summarily undone for many by copious consumption of fried beignets, cheese and other delicacies. Cooking demonstrations, French culture displays and roaming street performers are among the entertainment outside of four stages of music, which this year will host headliners Paul Cebar Tomorrow Sound, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Lisa Haley and the Zydekats and Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons. Dogs are invited to sniff the grounds on Saturday, during the 11:30
Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers @ Vnuk’s Lounge, 8:30 p.m.
While “King of the Hill” reruns probably keep
royalties flowing to Roger Clyne, who penned the show’s theme song with
his ’90s country-rock band, The Refreshments, Clyne has spent the last
decade touring with his follow-up outfit, The Peacemakers, which has
attracted a similarly cultish following with its amiable Americana. Some
of the seedier, outlaw country influences of Clyne’s early work have
evaporated on recent albums like 2008’s Turbo Ocho Sessions, but they’ve
been replaced by chipper, roots-pop hooks of the sort fellow Arizonans
the Gin Blossoms specialize in.
NONAMES @ Oriental Theatre, 7 p.m.
In writer-director Kathy
Lindboe’s 2010 drama NONAMES, which she filmed near her hometown
Wisconsin Rapids and is premiering with screenings around the state,
James Badge Dale (of HBO’s “The Pacific”) stars as a young man who
reconsiders whether he should stay in his hometown—a struggling mill
town that only seems to be shrinking— following the death of his mother.
Among the co-stars are Gillian Jacobs (Britta from NBC’s “Community”)
and Milwaukee Repertory Theater staple Lee Ernst. Tonight’s “red carpet”
screening will be attended by members of the cast and crew and followed
by a 30-minute question-and-answer session.
Friday, July 9
Ed Gein: The Musical @ The Times Cinema, 9:30 p.m. and midnight Grave-robbing murderer Ed Gein has been the inspiration for horror films from Psycho to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but until now he’d never been the subject of a musical. Filmed for just $9,000 and starring director Dan Davies, Ed Gein: The Musical offers the expected heaps of stage blood and gory puns, but also offers a surprisingly sympathetic depiction of a gentle outcast remembered by history as one of the world’s most notorious ghouls. (Showings through Sunday, July 11.)
SHS Reunion Band @ Shorewood High School, 7 p.m.
High School is highly regarded for its arts and music programs, but
those programs are threatened by an $800,000 budget shortfall, so some
of the school’s most successful alumni are teaming up to help keep them
funded. Talking Heads guitarist Jerry Harrison, blues guitarist Jon
Paris and filmmaker David Zucker have formed a oneoff band with fellow
alums Fred Bliffert, Pete Leshin, Bob Schlaeger and Larry Theiss to play
a benefit concert for the school. The show will be followed on Saturday
by a day of family-friendly activities at the Shorewood High School
grounds, including a picnic and icecream social with music, then a 7
p.m. screening of one of Zucker’s most beloved movies, Airplane!, with
an introduction from the director.
Dr. Manhattan w/ Two Star, Chris Slone, Tadashi and Taken the Coast @ The Rave, 6 p.m.
The Illinois band Dr.
Manhattan delivers the healthy dose of indie quirk and post-teenage
angst you’d expect from a band whose name is lifted from a character in
Alan Moore’s “Watchmen” comics. As students at Wauconda High School, the
band self-released an EP, For the Lonely Lest the Wiser, which caught
fire in the Warped Tour community. Not long after, Vagrant Records saw
enough promise to sign them. The band’s self-titled debut, released in
March 2008, was an accessible, weird, electronics-warped departure from
their earlier posthardcore sound. Last year the band parted ways with
Vagrant and released the even more eccentric Jam Dreams.
South Shore Frolics @
South Shore Park
The all-American alternative to Bastille Days’ celebration of
French culture, South Shore Frolics is one of Bay View’s oldest summer
celebrations. After 61 years, the feel is oldtimey and family friendly,
with plenty of events for small children and their grandparents,
including kids’ games, oldies music, a Friday fish fry and screening of
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, the annual South Shore Frolics Parade
on Saturday, and a Sunday car show and art show. For those who didn’t
get their fix last weekend, there are also nightly fireworks.
Star Wars: In Concert @ The Bradley Center, 1:30 and 6:30 p.m.
John Williams has composed
many of the most recognized film scores in movie history, but none are
more celebrated than his work with George Lucas’ Star Wars franchise.
Backed by footage from the films, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
revisits Williams’ symphonic scores from the pair of trilogies in this
concert program, which will feature narration from Anthony “C-3PO”
Daniels and costumes and memorabilia from the films.
True Evel: The Amazing
Story of Evel Knievel @ Harley-Davidson Museum In 2005, two years
before his death, world-famous stuntman Evel Knievel promoted his last
motorcycle ride at a Milwaukee Harley-Davidson dealership. Now the
Harley- Davidson Museum pays tribute to the death-defying icon with the
largest exhibit it has ever organized, “True Evel: The Amazing Story of
Evel Knievel,” which displays a slew of intimate Knievel memorabilia,
including bikes, helmets, leather jackets, gold and diamond canes and
personal letters, as well as a host of photographs of the stuntman in
his prime. The exhibit runs through Sept. 6.
The Bitter Tears w/ Itinerant Locals @ Circle-A Café, 8 p.m.
The Bitter Tears, a
Chicago band that sounds considerably less serious than its name,
carries a variety of unassuming influences in their knapsack, including
children’s songs, prison folk songs, ’70s action-film scores and Mexican
corrido ballads. The result is a smirking pastiche that plays like a
rootsier, small-scale alternative to Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic
Zeros. The band’s latest record is last year’s Jam Tarts in the
Jakehouse, a follow-up to their 2005 debut, The Grinning Corpse Who Went
Tuesday, July 13
The Unwed Teenage Mothers w/ Secret Band and The Zygoteens @ Frank’s Power Plant, 9:30 p.m.
Boisterous, lo-fi garage-pop is in high supply these days, but Mississippi’s burgeoning Unwed Teenage Mothers approach the medium in a way that is more poignant than many might expect. Though they’re set to peppy, up-tempo riffs, their deceptively simple songs play like Edward Hopper paintings, in which characters experience loneliness, social distance and isolation, even when in the presence of other people. A palpable sense of existential dread buries itself in the bright melodies and washed-out production of songs like “Wish You Were Older” and “Are You Tired of Waking Up Alone.” The group released its debut 7-inch, If That’s Love, in December.