This Week in Milwaukee
Tokyo Police Club, Retribution Gospel Choir and Of Montreal
Thursday, Sept. 23
Tokyo Police Club @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 8 p.m.
Canadian ensemble Tokyo Police Club doesn’t have much interest in the
lofty, experimental indie-rock that’s largely in vogue right now. They
prefer the genre in its more exuberant, earlier incarnations, cribbing
the most immediate elements of dance-punk, emo and garage-rock and
packing them into quirky three-minute nuggets. Though the group branches
out to include a wider variety of songs on this year’s sophomore album,
Champ, the record retains the band’s goofball charm and excitable
Milwaukee Noise Festival @ Borg Ward Collective, 7 p.m.
weekend local noise fiend Peter J. Woods brings his fifth annual
Milwaukee Noise Festival back to the Borg Ward with a three-day lineup
featuring some of the most harsh, abrasive, edgy and just plain weird
acts that he can round up. For the daily schedule, visit
myspace.com/milwaukeenoisefestival. (Through Saturday, Sept. 25.)
Earth Poets & Musicians @ Milwaukee Central Library, 7 p.m.
green-minded Earth Poets & Musicians collective first performed
together on Earth Day 1988, and even as members have come and gone over
the decades, the group has carried on, performing at environmental
milestones. The current lineup includes poets Louisa Loveridge-Gallas,
Jeff Poniewaz, Suzanne Rosenblatt and Harvey Taylor and musicians Jahmes
Finlayson and Holly Haebig. Tonight they will celebrate the autumn
equinox with a free one-hour performance of poetry and song at the
Milwaukee Central Library’s Centennial Hall.
Friday, Sept. 24
they’re the quintessential slowcore band, Low is seldom as quiet as
that tag implies. Sure, the band plays slow, but the trio can also be as
loud and heavy as many of their ’90s peers—on recent releases in
particular, they’ve cranked up the volume to excellent effect. Low
singer/guitarist Alan Sparhawk more explicitly indulges his rock
fantasies with his side project Retribution Gospel Choir, which also
includes Low bassist Steve Garrington. Without abandoning the searing
tension that defines their primary band, they pummel their way through
brooding, psychedelic rock.
Jackson Browne and David Lindley @ The Riverside Theater, 8 p.m.
After penning songs for artists as diverse as Nico, Linda Ronstadt and The Byrds, Jackson Browne went solo with a 1972 album that yielded the hit single “Doctor My Eyes” and many other singer-songwriter standards. That album and the ones that followed typifi ed the sensitive, personal songwriting of the 1970s. Browne is known almost as much for his environmental activism as he is for his music these days, but he still records semi-regularly. He’s touring with longtime collaborator David Lindley behind their new live album, Love Is Strange, a belated artifact of the duo’s 2006 tour of Spain.
Of Montreal and Janelle Monáe @ The Pabst Theater, 8 p.m.
P. Diddy-signed contemporary R&B singer Janelle Monáe isn’t the fi
rst artist most would expect to tour with indie-rockers Of Montreal,
it’s an inspired pairing. On her eclectic, widely acclaimed debut
full-length, The ArchAndroid, Monáe crafts a sci-fi epic worthy of David
Bowie, a muse she shares with Of Montreal singer Kevin Barnes. Barnes,
for his part, has drawn increasingly from outsider funk and R&B on
recent Of Montreal releases, particularly the band’s latest, False
Priest, which features Of Montreal guest vocals from Monáe.
also contributed and performed a song on Monáe’s album. Both artists
have a tendency toward lavish, theatrical productions, so expect them to
make this joint tour a spectacle.
Saturday, Sept. 25
Riverwest neighborhood gathers for one last street party this Saturday
at the annual Center Street Daze festival between Humboldt and Holton.
Attractions include live music, dodge ball, an outdoor billiards
tournament and a classic car show. Riverwest artists and businesses will
be displaying their wares at the festival’s Riverwest Free Market,
while the neighborhood’s political tradition will be celebrated with a
dunk tank where politically connected celebrities will take the plunge.
Gabriel Iglesias @ The Pabst Theater, 7:30 p.m.
the notable exception of Robin Williams during his A Night at the Met
period, few comedians have pulled off Hawaiian shirts. For Gabriel
Iglesias, though, those aloha shirts are more of a practical choice than
a fashion statement—he’s a man of considerable girth, or as he calls
it, “fl uffi - ness.” His size is at the heart of much of this former
“Last Comic Standing” contestant’s stand-up material, including his
latest Comedy Central special, “I’m Not Fat… I’m Fluffy.”
Sunday, Sept. 26
Oakhurst @ Shank Hall, 8 p.m.
after a town on the southern end of California gold country, Denver’s
Oakhurst takes its cues from traditional bluegrass, and in their
threepart harmonies, heady tempos and showy banjo and mandolin solos
they demonstrate a deft understanding of the genre’s history. That’s not
to say they’re strict traditionalists, though. They eschew the
conventional stringband lineup by playing with a drummer instead of a
fiddler, but unlike many jam-generation bluegrass bands, they avoid
taking too many liberties with the genre’s core sound.
The Vibrators w/ The Agrestix, The Sleazybeats and Reckless Reasons @ Miramar Theatre, 7 p.m.
punk bands have served longer than The Vibrators, a British band who
took to punk soon after the Sex Pistols explosion and quickly recorded
one of the genre’s catchiest first-wave albums, 1977’s Pure Mania. Band
members have turned over often in the following decades, as the group
toyed with its sound, dabbling in cleaner power-pop and heavier,
metal-tainted punk as they saw fit, but on the group’s latest, Under the
Radar, they return to the classic melodic punk of their celebrated
Tuesday, Sept. 28
El Ten Eleven w/ Dosh and Baths @ Cactus Club, 9 p.m.
Angeles’ El Ten Eleven conjures thoroughly detailed instrumental
post-rock in the spirit of bands like Tortoise and The Mercury Program,
only they do so with a lot fewer members: two, to be exact. Beefing up
their sound with delay and effects, bassist/guitarist Kristian Dunn and
drummer Tim Fogarty draw from the slow, textural build of electronic
music and break from post-rock orthodoxy by composing mostly short,
to-thepoint songs. They also poke fun at the genre’s pretentious
reputation with wry song titles. Among the gems from their upcoming
fourth album, It’s Still Like a Secret: “Marriage Is the New Going
Steady,” “Tomorrow Is an Excuse for Today” and “Ian MacKaye Was Right.”
Minneapolis electronic composer Dosh, a frequent Andrew Bird
Wednesday, Sept. 29
Gayngs w/ Glasser @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 8 p.m.
producer Ryan Olson and Adam Hurlburt and Zach Coulter of the
electro-rock band Solid Gold invited a diverse cast of friends and
collaborators to help them record Gayngs’ inaugural album, one that
included Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, The Rosebuds’ Ivan Howard and members
of the psych-folk band Megafaun, who all keep their faces mostly
straight while paying homage to kitschy ’80s-era soft-rock, R&B and
smooth jazz. Some two-dozen musicians ultimately contributed to the
group’s debut album, Relayted, but for the group’s first tour (which
begins with this Milwaukee show) the roster will be whittled down to a
10-man lineup that includes the core players mentioned above.
Gayngs | Photo by Andy Hardman