This Week in Milwaukee
Riverwest Fest, Jaill and Method Man
Thursday, Aug. 12
Jazz in the Park: Lubriphonic @ Cathedral Square Park, 6 p.m.
The sound of Chicago’s “rock and soul stew” mainstays Lubriphonic suggests a sophisticated cross between the perky theme music of “The Price Is Right” and the sweaty funk of blaxploitation films. As sidemen, members of the group have played with Buddy Guy, George Clinton & Parliament/Funkadelic, Maceo Parker, and the Derek Trucks Band. In 2008, the group released its third (and tightest) album, Soul Solution.
Train w/ Kris Allen @ Wisconsin State Fair Park, 7:30 p.m.
uplifting San Francisco pop-rock outfit Train found success early on,
when their 1998 self-titled debut climbed the charts on the strength of
singles “Free,” “Meet Virginia” and “I Am.” They hit even greater
commercial heights with their 2001 hit “Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me),” but
took a three-year hiatus after their fourth album, For Me, It’s You,
fizzled in 2006. To the surprise of critics who had forgotten about or
dismissed the band, the group re-emerged strong last year with Save Me,
San Francisco, which yielded their highest-charting hit to date, “Hey,
Friday, Aug. 13
Riverwest Fest @ Multiple Venues, 3 p.m.
benefit to renovate the Eagle’s Nest all-ages arts space, Riverwest
Fest is a two-day neighborhood music festival hosted at venues around
Center and Clarke streets, both all-ages (at the Eagle’s Nest, the Cream
City Collectives and Club Timbuktu) and 21-plus (at the Uptowner,
Bremen Café, River Horse and Stonefly). The lineup is a grab bag of
rock, punk, noise and Americana, and includes, among many others,
Maidens, Burning Sons, Red Knife Lottery, Terrior Bute, John the Savage,
The Figureheads, Fahri, Death Dream, Centipedes, The Trusty Knife, Curb
and High Lonesome. Passes are $10 for one day, $15 for two days;
separately, each show is $5. Passes are available at Beans & Barley,
Fuel Café, the Jackpot Gallery and Sky High.
Rock ’n’ Roller Remote Controller @ Linneman’s Riverwest Inn, 9 p.m.
’n’ Roller Remote Controller” is a colorful, low-budget show airing at
erratic hours on Milwaukee Public Television and featuring performances
from local garage-rock bands. The show recently completed its third
episode, which features quirky videos for the bands Bored Games, Head on
Electric, Jaill and Sonic Chicken 4. Bored Games and Head on Electric
will perform tonight, followed by a screening of the new episode.
Grace Weber Band & Katie Herzig w/ Andrew Belle @ Miramar Theatre, 8 p.m.
native Grace Weber refined her soulful vocal style through her time in
the Inner City Youth Gospel Choir, where she sang at churches and
revivals throughout the city. Weber met her future band mates while
studying music at New York University, and within two years she had
performed at top clubs including The Bitter End, The Groove and the
Bowery Poetry Club. More recently, she appeared on “The Today Show” and
“The Oprah Winfrey Show” and at the Kennedy Center. Weber’s band brings
their live show to the Miramar tonight in support of a new EP,
Saturday, Aug. 14
Jaill | Photo by Michael Goelzer
Jaill w/ The Sugar Stems and The Get Drunk DJs @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 8 p.m.
zippy garage-pop of Jaill’s 2009 album, There’s No Sky (Oh My My),
charmed the right bloggers before catching the ear of Sub Pop Records,
which signed the Milwaukee band late last year. This summer the group
released its first album for the label, That’s How We Burn, an
infectiously catchy mélange of jangling guitars and peppy, shimmying
rhythms—it easily ranks among the happiest records the label has ever
released. With its summery feel, the album is nicely timed to ride the
wave created by Best Coast, Wavves, Surfer Blood and so many other
beachpop bands that have garnered blog buzz over the last year, but
That’s How We Burn also has an endearingly off-kilter energy all its own
that distinguishes it from its coastal counterparts. Jaill plays its
local album-release party tonight, along with Milwaukee guitar-poppers
The Sugar Stems.
Phish @ Alpine Valley, 7 p.m.
than any of their post-Grateful Dead peers, Phish have emerged as the
standard-bearers of the jam-rock scene, but over the years they’ve
transcended and outgrown many of the stereotypes that once surrounded
them. Guitarist Trey Anastasio is now sober and no longer the undisputed
driving force behind the Phish locomotive, and, as a result, the days
of ambient, psychedelic jams may be over. Since their reunion last
year, the band has downplayed those instrumental trademarks for a
fiercer, barroom stomp borrowed from The Rolling Stones, who the group
has been covering more frequently than ever this year. (Also Aug. 15.)
Saturday, Aug. 14
Paramore w/ Tegan and Sara @ The Summerfest Grounds, 6:30 p.m.
Paramore’s breakthrough 2007 album, Riot!, singer Hayley Williams
trafficked in high-school drama and wry misanthropy, but the blockbuster
emo-punk outfit had already outgrown some of that teenage angst by last
year’s loftier Brand New Eyes, an album that grapples with the band’s
success and details its near breakup. Along with her guest chorus on
rapper B.o.B.’s summer hit “Airplanes,” the album flaunts Williams’
expressive voice and is a testament to her growing crossover appeal. Her
band had better keep her happy; she could launch a solo career at any
moment. Tonight’s Honda Civic Tour pairs Paramore with another act that
is also sometimes unfairly dismissed by critics with pejorative
comparisons to Avril Lavigne: Tegan and Sara, identical sisters from
Canada who sing incisive power-pop songs about the psychological toll of
Method Man and Redman @ The Rave, 8 p.m.
longtime friends Method Man and Redman released their collaborative
album Blackout! in 1999, the former was still Wu-Tang Clan’s breakout
rapper and the latter was still a rising star, renowned for his excess
energy and bawdy humor. By the time the duo followed that album up a
full decade later with last year’s Blackout! 2, neither was nearly as
much of a commercial powerhouse anymore, yet their chemistry proved as
strong as ever. A grown man’s party record, the sequel finds the emcees
beginning to act their age as they give their classic East Coast sounds a
tasteful update while still paying homage to the herbal substance that
inspired their 2001 comedy How High. Given how rejuvenated the pair
sounds recording together again, it is little surprise that Redman has
said the duo is already working on Blackout! 3.
Sunday, Aug. 15
Food Fight @ Times Cinema, 1:30 p.m.
food in the back yard was once viewed as an act of recreation, but in
the context of the 2008 film Food Fight, it’s a display of social
activism. Christopher Taylor’s documentary charts how American
agriculture policy shifted over the last century to favor goliath
agribusinesses, and how the Golden State counterculture of the ’60s and
’70s rebelled against these changes, planting the literal and proverbial
seeds of the modern organic food movement.
Monday, Aug. 16
Stone Temple Pilots w/ Cage the Elephant and Fang Island @ The Rave, 8 p.m.
this point the reunited Stone Temple Pilots have toured through
Milwaukee enough times that fans know what to expect: a whole lot of
grunge-era hits played expertly but sung by a frontman who sometimes
seems to have difficulties standing. This time the Stone Temple Pilots
have new material to play behind, having released in May a self-titled
collection of melodic hard-rock that isn’t shy about lifting hooks and
riffs—right off the bat, the album opener “Between the Lines” is largely
a rewrite of Nirvana’s “Stay Away.” They’ll be joined by an interesting
pair of openers: the Kentucky alt-blues band Cage the Elephant, which
recalls a hyperactive G. Love & Special Sauce; and the quirky
Brooklyn band Fang Island, whose self-titled 2010 debut mixed indie
quirk and prog-rock oddness.