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This Week in Milwaukee

They Came From Underground, Delta Spirit and Kneel to Neil

Nov. 18, 2010
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Thursday, Nov. 18

They Came From Underground @ Oriental Theatre, 7 p.m.

During his years living in Kansas City during the mid-’80s, Milwaukee director and musician Mark G.E. filmed any alternative-rock concert he could get his camera into for his cable show “Joy Farm.” Two decades later, G.E. has edited that rare footage together into the documentary They Came From Underground, which unearths performances from bands including Hsker D, They Might Be Giants, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Fishbone, as well as early clips of the Violent Femmes and The BoDeans. The film has a one-off screening tonight.

Futurebirds w/ Chaperone and Jonny Corndawg @ The Cactus Club, 9:30 p.m.

Futurebirds’ vision of Americana is inspired as much by R.E.M.’s classic run of ’80s hits as it is by vintage roots music, which isn’t all that unexpected for a band springing from R.E.M.’s hometown of Athens, Ga. The group tactfully avoids leaning too heavily on any one influence on their unrelentingly pleasant full-length debut, Hampton’s Lullaby, which gives Southern rock an alt-nation makeover while touching on the easy psychedelia of modern acts like Fleet Foxes and Grizzly Bear. Futurebirds warm up for tonight’s show with a free, 6 p.m. happy-hour performance at the Bay View bar Burnhearts.

Friday, Nov. 19

Cirque Dreams Holidaze @ Milwaukee Theatre, 8 p.m.

The touring company Cirque Dreams puts a seasonal spin on Cirque du Soleil-styled revues with its latest production, Holidaze. Featured are the usual assortment of acrobats, dancers and aerialists, who this time don snowmen, gingerbread men and penguin costumes as they soar through the air and dangle from a 24-foot-tall Christmas tree. (Also Saturday, Nov. 20, 2 and 8 p.m.)

Ike Reilly Assassination w/ Michael McDermott @ Shank Hall, 8 p.m.

A non-classicist heartland rocker who infuses his music with the political charge of The Clash and Bob Dylan, Ike Reilly released his first record, Salesmen and Racists, in 2001 to strong praise from Minneapolis critic Jim Walsh, whose support led the Illinois musician to adopt the Twin Cities as a sort of second hometown. Reilly continued to grow his audience with records like 2004’s Sparkle in the Finish and 2005’s Junkie Faithful. His sixth and latest album is last year’s Hard Luck Stories, a collection of downtrodden tales that reflects the country’s tough economic times.

Delta Spirit w/ Darker My Love and The Fling @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 9 p.m.

A whiff of the sinister runs through Delta Spirit’s revival-spiked indie-rock on the California group’s latest full-length, History From Below, with songs like “9/11,” “Salt in the Wound” and “Devil Knows You’re Dead” touching on darker subjects than tunes from similarly hand-clap-heavy acts like Cold War Kids ever would. The record makes great use of the angry, bluesy tones in singer Matthew Vasquez’s earthy voice. That album was released just this summer, but this week the group followed it up with a new EP, Waits Room. Openers Darker My Love condensed a whole lot of psychedelia into a little over a halfhour on their latest album, Alive As You Are.

Saturday, Nov. 20

The Cult w/ The Black Ryder and Carbellion @ The Rave, 8 p.m.

The Cult released some of the most evocative, goth-tinted rock of the mid-’80s, before evolving over the ’90s into a fairly traditional hard-rock band, albeit one that has kept up better with modern radio trends than many of their ’80s-era peers—these days casual listeners could easily mistake The Cult for Avenged Sevenfold. After a six-year studio hiatus, the band released the surprisingly heavy Born Into This in 2007. A pair of EPs, Capsule 1 and 2, followed this year.

A Night of Bardic Elegy and Protest @ The Coffee House, 8 p.m.

Milwaukee poet Jeanie Dean has commemorated the anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination with annual programs of poetry and music since 1988, and she keeps the tradition alive with this program marking the 47th anniversary of the president’s death. Among the wordsmiths and musicians who will be weighing in on the late president’s legacy are Joanne Chang, Peter Blewett, Mud River Lee, Jeff LeSuer, Theresa Caldwell, Rich Olson, John Hrobar, Dave Geisthardt and Mark Mantel.

Kneel to Neil @ Linneman’s Riverwest Inn, 7:30 p.m.

For the sixth year in a row, area musicians with a shared love of Neil Young’s songbook are gathering at Linneman’s Riverwest Inn on a bill to raise money for the Bridge School for handicapped children and WMSE 91.7. Performers include The Aimless Blades, The Carolinas, Rob McCuen, Trapper Schoepp and the Shades, Chris DeMay, The Beauvilles, Jeremiah Nelson, JoAnn Riedl and Terry Hackbarth.

Sunday, Nov. 21

Present Music @ Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, 4 p.m.

Present Music’s annual Thanksgiving concert at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist features collaborations with Milwaukee Choral Artists, Milwaukee Children’s Choir and the Bucks Native American Drumming and Singing Group. The program includes the Midwest premiere of John Tavener’s choral piece Come and Do Your Will in Me, as well as selections from Srul Irving Glick’s Psalm Trilogy and an encore performance of the Present Music staple Shaker Loops, a John Adams composition.

Amy Sedaris @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 7:30 p.m.

Though her brother David may tally up the bigger book sales, Amy Sedaris arguably attracts the more fevered cult following, thanks to her careermaking role as a middle-aged recovering junkie who returns to high school on Comedy Central’s cult show “Strangers With Candy.” Sedaris is on a book tour behind her new Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People. Well timed for today’s slumping economy, it’s a parody of home crafts books with suggested projects including tinfoil balls and seashell toilet seat covers and plenty of large pictures, which Sedaris notes makes the book a perfect purchase for the illiterate.

Wednesday, Nov. 24

Sharking Hour w/ Micah Olsan and Herman Astro @ Shank Hall, 8 p.m.

The shared goal of raising food for the Hunger Task Force unites the three Milwaukee acts on this bill.

Sharking Hour combines alt-country and power-pop music, while singer-songwriter Micah Olsan strums up an acoustic, jammy shuffl e and the band Herman Astro plays a funky fusion of soul and alternative music with eyes similarly set on the jam crowd. Anybody who brings two or more nonperishable food items to this show will receive a free CD from one of these three bands.

John Statz @ Art Bar, 9 p.m.

For his new album Ghost Towns, Denver songwriter and Wisconsin native John Statz took inspiration from the more discouraging sights witnessed while touring America and traveling through foreign locales including Bosnia and Herzegovina and Hungary, documenting the universality of urban decay. Statz recorded the album, a hard-chugging roots-rock record in the tradition of Neil Young and Tom Petty, with Madison musicians, including members of Blueheels.


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