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This Week in Milwaukee

Bay View Bash, Neil Hamburger and The Gaslight Anthem

Sep. 16, 2010
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Thursday, Sept. 16

Jazz in the Park: Nabori @ Cathedral Square Park, 6 p.m.

One of Milwaukee’s most active salsa bands, Nabori celebrates the genre’s past. For their debut, Historias Del Barrio, singer Robert Figueroa and the group wrote eight original compositions in the style of the brassy, golden-age salsa of the 1970s. In concert, they also pay homage to classic salsa composers. Tonight’s free performance at Milwaukee’s “Jazz in the Park” concert series marks the end of the group’s latest tour.

Mark Olson and Backyard Tire Fire @ Club Garibaldi, 9 p.m.

Singer-songwriter Mark Olson broke away from his beloved alt-country band The Jayhawks in 1996 to pursue a solo career with the help of his own band, The Original Harmony Ridge Creekdippers (which featured his wife, Victoria Williams). A decade later, Olson got divorced, a process that helped reunite him with his Jayhawks cohort Gary Louris for 2008’s Ready for the Flood, a reunion album produced by The Black Crowes’ Chris Robinson. In July, Olson also released a new solo album, Many Colored Kite, a follow-up to 2007’s lauded The Salvation Blues. Tonight’s acoustic double bill pairs Olson with Illinois’ alt-leaning roots-rockers Backyard Tire Fire.

Friday, Sept. 17

Michael Winslow @ Jokerz Comedy Club, 8 and 10:30 p.m.

Best known as (or, more accurately, almost exclusively known as) that guy who made all the funny noises from the Police Academy movies, Michael Winslow has been hitting the comedy-club circuit hard lately, imitating squishy wet shoes and the sound of a cork popping for audiences all over the country. Incisive social commentary it’s not, but the shtick is more versatile than, say, that of the one Police Academy cadet who always spoke really meekly until the end of the film when she inevitably ended up yelling—or, for that matter, Steve Guttenberg. Winslow does nightly performances at Jokerz through Sunday.

Tech N9ne w/ E-40, Jay Rock, Glasses Malone, Krizz Kaliko @ The Rave, 8 p.m.

Until his double-disc eighth album, Killer, went platinum two years ago, Kansas City hardcore rapper Tech N9ne struggled for recognition outside of underground circles. N9ne’s commercial success has only further catalyzed the already prolific rapper’s output; he released his guest-heavy Sickology 101: The Study of Being Sick and K.O.D. within six months of each other last year; his 11th album, The Gates Mixed Plate, arrived this July. That same work ethic secured him a slot at the Rock the Bells Festival last year, and an appearance at the 10th annual Gathering of the Juggalos, where his vivid, violent narratives found an apt (if somewhat unlikely) audience. This week marks the beginning of Tech N9ne’s “Independent Grind Tour,” featuring gangsta rap icon E-40.

Saturday, Sept. 18

Bay View Bash @ Kinnickinnic Avenue, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Among the attractions at this year’s Bay View Bash, one of the city’s most vibrant neighborhood festivals, are demonstrations on ballroom dance, swordplay and Falun Gong exercises, a fashion show, a strongman competition and a host of children’s entertainment.

There also will be plenty of shopping opportunities, courtesy of the many independent businesses that line Kinnickinnic Avenue between Potter and Clement, and several stages of music, hosting artists including 1956, BSG, Brandon James, Herman Astro, Lovanova, The Happy Talk Band and the Bad Boy All-Stars.

Neil Hamburger and the Kenny Strasser Yo-Yo Extravaganza @ Cactus Club, 10 p.m.

Self-proclaimed yo-yo master Kenny “K-Strass” Strasser became an Internet sensation this spring when he began appearing on regional morning news shows, purportedly to preview an environmentalthemed yo-yo act he’d created for local schools. The character rarely did much actual yo-yoing during these segments, though—when he tried, his yo-yos tangled, fell apart or smacked him in the face. Mostly, he alienated newscasters with his rambling, increasingly awkward digressions about his personal struggles and sordid past. Amazingly, stations continued to interview Strasser well after he became a YouTube phenomenon, a testament to the dearth of background checks in local news. Strasser brings his routine to the Cactus Club tonight, opening for zinger-king Neil Hamburger.

Saturday, Sept. 18

Present Music @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 8 p.m.

Milwaukee’s fringe classical music ensemble Present Music begins its season with a program that welcomes a special guest and says goodbye to an ensemble staple. London DJ and producer Gabriel Prokofiev will join the Present Music ensemble for a performance of his composition Concerto for Turntables and Orchestra. The program will also showcase outgoing keyboardist Phillip Bush, a 15-season veteran of Present Music who will retire after a performance of a Gyrgy Ligeti piano concerto.

Louis C.K. @ The Riverside Theater, 8 p.m.

Comedian Louis Szekely (better known as Louis C.K.) first rose to prominence as a writer, penning bits for “The Late Show With David Letterman” and “The Dana Carvey Show,” then winning Emmys for his work on “The Chris Rock Show” and “Late Night With Conan O’Brien.” By 2006, he was a widely known stand-up, starring in the HBO special Shameless. His experimental sitcom for the network that year, “Lucky Louie,” was canceled after just one season, but C.K. returned to sitcoms this year with “Louie,” an FX series much better received by critics, this time playing a recently divorced father (the show draws closely from C.K.’s own divorce, a subject that has also informed much of his recent stand-up). Last April, C.K. also filmed a stand-up special, Hilarious, which became the first stand-up comedy film to be accepted to Sundance.

The Gaslight Anthem w/ Fake Problems @ The Rave, 7 p.m.

On The Gaslight Anthem’s 2008 sophomore album, The ’59 Sound, the New Jersey group used hard-strummed punk guitars and classic-rock melodies to celebrate mid-century Americana, with songs like “Here’s Looking at You, Kid,” “Film Noir” and “Miles Davis & The Cool” romanticizing better days past. The group’s new American Slang isn’t as retro-minded. Instead, it updates Bruce Springsteen’s heartland rock for modern times. The group is well paired tonight with SideOneDummy label mates Fake Problems, a Florida roots-punk band that draws deeper from the well of modern indie-rock. They’re playing in advance of their third album, Real Ghosts Caught on Tape, due Sept. 21.

Tuesday, Sept. 21

Rogue Wave w/ Midlake @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 8 p.m.

After Oakland singer-guitarist Zach Schwartz lost his job in the dot-com crash, he made a clean break from his band Desoto Reds to found his own group, Rogue Wave. The personable indie-pop of Rogue Wave’s 2003 debut, Out of the Shadow, earned the band a home on Sub Pop Records, where they fit right in on a roster that at the time included The Shins. The group has since moved to Jack Johnson’s Brushfire Records, which, along with the endless succession of television shows and movies that have licensed their music—including last year’s Love Happens, where Jennifer Aniston and Aaron Eckhart borrow a cherry picker to watch a sold-out outdoor Rogue Wave concert—suggests the band’s music has grown tamer than it actually has. The group’s latest album, Permalight, is among their liveliest, dialing up the volume and tempo from 2007’s middle-of-the-road Asleep at Heaven’s Gate.


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