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This Week in Milwaukee

Riverwest Fest, Jaill and Method Man

Aug. 12, 2010
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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.

The 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, Soul Sister.”

Friday, Aug. 13

Riverwest Fest @ Multiple Venues, 3 p.m.

A 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.

“Rock ’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.

Milwaukee 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, Sparrows.

Saturday, Aug. 14

Jaill | Photo by Michael Goelzer

Jaill w/ The Sugar Stems and The Get Drunk DJs @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 8 p.m.

The 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.

More 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.

On 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 insecure relationships.

Method Man and Redman @ The Rave, 8 p.m.

When 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.

Growing 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.

At 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.


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