Apr. 3 - Apr. 9
This Week in Milwaukee
Ellis Paul @ Shank Hall, 8 p.m.
The Farrelly brothers infamously used Jonathan Richman’s music in their ’90s comedies, but for those emotional moments in their latter films when Richman’s music wouldn’t suffice, they turned to another Massachusetts musician, folk-pop singer Ellis Paul. Paul’s latest collection of soothing, nice-guy songs, Dragonfly Races, is a family-friendly affair, with simple melodies intended for children. It’s the product of Paul’s new life as a father and family man.
Friday, April 4
San Francisco Giants vs. Milwaukee Brewers @ Miller Park, 1:05 p.m.
On Rooter’s Row, the Bugs arise To cheer the timely rap; The base hit and the sacrifice Are once again upon the map. And from afar the noisy shout Arises in wild acclaim— Springs up in catalytic rout: Get in the game! Get in the game! —Grantland Rice
Opening day at good ol’ open-air County Stadium was often an experience not unlike tagging along with Admiral Peary on his way to the North Pole. But with the retractable roof at Miller Park, weather is no problem; however, tickets may be. Friday’s game is sold out, but tickets for the Saturday and Sunday afternoon games against the Barry Bonds-less-than Giants are still available. So load up on the peanuts and the Cracker Jack and go root, root, root for the home team that actually does have a legitimate chance to get to the World Series for the first time since Ronald Reagan was America’s skipper.
Alejandro Escovedo @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 8 p.m.
“I died a little today/ I put up a fight,” Alejandro Escovedo sang on his latest album, 2006’s The Boxing Mirror, bluntly detailing his bout with hepatitis C. The disease almost killed this 50-something Texan songwriter, but it also provided the muse for his best album yet. Backed by moaning cellos and violent violin stabs (the stamp of producer John Cale), Escovedo delivered a muscular set of scorching roots rockers, sincere pop confessions and haunting, noir ballads with the vigor of a man half his age and with twice the immune system.
Why? w/ The Scarring Party and Stumblesome @ Cactus Club, 10 p.m.
Anticon Records is known almost exclusively for a certain sound—electronica-influenced, abstract hip-hop, often with an avant-garde edge—but one act on the label’s roster smashes this mold. Although they siphon certain aesthetics from hiphop, Why? sticks mostly to tumultuous indie-pop and spry, Animal Collective-styled freak-folk. Sonic twists and turns abound on their odd but consistently engaging new album, Alopecia.
Saturday, April 5
The Kids in the Hall @ The Riverside Theater, 7 p.m.
Since their absurdist sketch comedy show ended in 1995, all five members of the Kids in the Hall have stayed visible, albeit TV personality-visible, not major-star visible. Mark McKinney spent a few years on “Saturday Night Live”; Scott Thompson became the host of “My Fabulous Gay Wedding”; Kevin McDonald guest-starred in more than a dozen sitcoms and Bruce McCulloch turned toward writing and directing. Dave Foley found the most celebrity, thanks to his sitcom “NewsRadio,” but after NBC unceremoniously canceled that program, the Kids reunited for 2000 and 2002 live tours, and then again for a 2007 performance at a Canadian comedy festival, for which they’d written a wealth of new material. They’ve generated even more new characters and sketches for their latest tour, but still promise plenty of fan favorites and, of course, ample cross-dressing.
For an exclusive interview with Kevin McDonald about plans for a new Kids in the Hall film, go to ExpressMilwaukee.com.
Samwell w/ Master Zaster Blaster, Screamin’ Cyn Cyn and the Pons @ Mad Planet, 9 p.m.
Chicago electronic artist Samwell will certainly spend part of his set tonight singing his Internet hit “What What (In the Butt),” a peppy anal-sex romp—sample lyrics: “You want to do it in my butt? In my butt? In my butt? Let’s do it in the butt”—but how he fills the rest of his time is anybody’s guess. He’s been signed to Southern Fried Records, but has yet to release an album.
Sunday, April 6
Poet Laureate Induction Ceremony @ Milwaukee Central Library, 1:30 p.m.
Susan Firer’s Milwaukee is a place of pockmarked beauty; where you can still hear “old nuns crying for their stolen wimples” and witness the smelt-fishing crowd get “out of control.” If you’re looking to impress a newcomer with local idiosyncrasies, or simply wish to savor them yourself, Firer’s poetry is the perfect guide. It’s clear the judges who chose the city’s next poet laureate couldn’t agree more. Firer is the fifth local poet to receive the honor, and will begin her twoyear term following today’s induction ceremony at the Central Library’s Centennial Hall.
Monday, April 7
Sister Carol w/ Tony Brown @ Shank Hall, 8 p.m.
A respected female artist in a genre where there aren’t many women, period, dancehall singer Sister Carol asserted herself in the ’80s with stern—and sometimes bluntly didactic—songs about her Rastafarian principles, but the slinky, roots-inflected jams on her best-known album, 1995’s Call Mi Sister Carol, demonstrated that she’s interested in moving people’s bodies as well as their minds.
Tuesday, April 8
Los Lonely Boys @ The Potawatomi Bingo Casino, 8 p.m.
After the success of the seemingly ubiquitous radio hit “Heaven” from their self-titled 2004 album, Henry, JoJo and Ringo Garza, better known as Los Lonely Boys, have settled into a groove, blending their heavy rock, soul and Tex-Mex influences into a radioready mix that fits squarely into most adult-contemporary radio playlists. Tonight they stop at Northern Lights Theater in support of their 2006 record, Sacred, and the DVD Cottonfields and Crossroads, a documentary that details the band’s cultural background and follows them from their modest origins to the recent success as the kings of AOR.
Los Lonely Boys
Wednesday, April 9
Don Rickles @ The Potawatomi Bingo Casino, 8 p.m.
The days of Don Rickles rolling with the Rat Pack and presiding over celebrity roasts are long over, but that doesn’t mean Rickles has lost his snarky touch. The venerable insult comic is as audacious as he was in his heyday. Now 81, Rickles still manages to slot in some television appearances—on a recent “Late Show” appearance, he tore into David Letterman and fellow guest Denzel Washington for 20 minutes, much to their delight—and the occasional film role (Casino, Dirty Work). Ticket holders beware: Rickles’ eyesight is as sharp as one of his barbs, so every audience member is a possible target. You can’t hide by staying out of the front rows—he will find you.
Jesse Malin w/ De Novo Dahl @ Shank Hall, 8 p.m.
Jesse Malin has no shortage of famous friends and fans. On his last solo release, 2007’s Glitter In The Gutter, the former Heart Attack and D-Generation frontman received assists from Ryan Adams and Bruce Springsteen, crafting a fine record full of twangy, rootsy power-pop. On his upcoming On Your Sleeve, Malin brings in less likely guests such as Sun Kil Moon and Scarlett Johansson for an album comprised mostly of contemporary covers, including takes on songs from The Hold Steady and The Kills.