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This Week in Milwaukee

Nobunny, Mötley Crüe and Hall and Oates

Jun. 23, 2011
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Thursday, June 23

Carlos Mencia Carlos Mencia @ Jokerz Comedy Club, 7 p.m.

The comedy elite holds an inherent grudge against any comedian who achieves breakthrough success a little too quickly and cleanly, but it reserves particular disdain for Carlos Mencia. The base racial humor of his former Comedy Central sketch show, “Mind of Mencia,” would have been enough to earn the ire of his fellow comedians, but Mencia's true crime is alleged plagiarism. He's been accused of lifting jokes from some of comedy's greats (Bill Cosby, Richard Pryor) and even some of comedy's not-so-greats (Bobby Lee, Jeff Foxworthy). George Lopez appears to be a particular mark: The TBS talk-show host has claimed that Mencia stole more than 10 minutes of his material.

Jazz in the Park w/ Valley of the Dolls @ Cathedral Square Park, 6 p.m.

Cathedral Square Park's free Jazz in the Park concert series continues its season with a performance from the acid-jazz band Valley of the Dolls, a sophisticated all-woman quartet from Milwaukee. Described as the “voice of the new jazz culture” by Jazziz magazine, singer Janet Planet is joined by swinging saxophonist Juli Wood and electro-jazz wizards Connie Grauer and Kim Zick of the band Mrs. Fun.

“Blood Is Thicker Than Liquor” Sketch Comedy @ Alchemist Theatre, 8 p.m.

The all-woman comedy troupe Broadminded continues to combat the testosterone-dominated mindset of sketch comedy with their latest program, Blood Is Thicker Than Liquor, a series of distinctly warped (and sometimes taboo) vignettes about familial bonds. (Through Sunday, June 26.)

Friday, June 24

Lee DeWyze w/ Corey Crowder @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 7 p.m.

Though he doesn't challenge gray-haired soul machine Taylor Hicks' status as the most bizarre “American Idol” winner, suburban Illinois native Lee DeWyze can claim the more dubious distinction of being the show's most forgettable. Quietly triumphing over betterknown favorite Crystal Bowersox in Simon Cowell's final season of the show, the former paint salesman went on to record the lowest-selling debut album from any “Idol” winner, a 2010 collection of Jason Mraz-styled folk-pop titled Live It Up.

TRUE Skool House Party @ The Wherehouse, 8 p.m.

Since 2004, the nonprofit organization TRUE Skool has used hip-hop culture to educate and reach out to at-risk youth. To raise money for its summer programming, the organization is throwing a house-party-themed fund-raiser with raffles, live art and breakdancing, as well as performances from area rap acts Raze, The Hollowz, AU- TOMatic, Adi Armour, Relative Theory, Taste Emcees, Trutanium and Intrinsic Behavior, and DJ sets from DJ Madhatter, Kid Cut Up, DJ Bizzon, DJ JDL and DJ Kiki.

Nobunny w/ Drugs Dragons, Trent Fox and the Tenants and Cozy @ Club Garibaldi, 9:30 p.m.

Bay Area punk songwriter Justin Champlin doesn't hide his love of The Ramones—the cover of his 2008 debut album as Nobunny copies the aesthetic of the legendary punk band's first record—but he does, however, hide his face. He performs wearing the most horrifying rabbit mask outside of Donnie Darko, and his live antics are similarly unnerving (he doesn't always wear pants, and he can get a little bit physical with the crowd). There's no denying the guy's got some tunes, though. Last year's First Blood is pure, trashy garage-pop bliss.

Saturday, June 25

Mötley Crüe w/ Poison and New York Dolls @ Bradley Center, 7 p.m.

Heavy-metal gods Mötley Crüe and glam-rockers Poison live hard and play harder, massacring their fingers on axes made of strings and wood and bursting their vocal chords on high-octane tracks about decadent escapades. Both bands peaked in popularity in the '80s with chart-toppers like “Stick to Your Guns” and “Talk Dirty to Me,” and the individual debauchery of members like Tommy Lee and C.C. Deville has been dialed down a bit with age, but the onstage performances are still in-your-face and relentless, filled with all the leather, tattoos and libidinous displays that longtime fans crave.

The Freddie Lee Band @ Shank Hall 9:30 p.m.

Milwaukee prog-rock and blues guitarist Freddie Lee has been touring the greater Midwest for over three decades, deftly shredding his guitar with the might and skill of a man with a few more upper appendages. For his Freddie Lee Band, Lee has teamed up with a tightknit group of eclectic musicians to play local shows behind his silky-smooth latest record, Here's Your Hat, Man.

Steamroller! @ RedLine Milwaukee, 5 p.m.

Two dozen local and regional artists will create large-scale woodcut plates that will be inked up outside RedLine community art studio, 1422 N. Fourth St., and printed in the street with a steamroller. Printing will take place all day. Starting at 5 p.m., Danceworks dancers will improvise outdoors to live music to complement the working steamroller. A cash bar, more dancing and a silent auction of the prints to benefit RedLine and Danceworks will follow indoors until 9 p.m.

Slutter @ The Pabst Theater, 9:30 p.m.

The hypersexual (and typically chauvinistic) rock 'n' roll of KISS is paradoxically reimagined by Slutter, an all-female cover band awash in the same makeup and hairspray of their muses but none of the Y chromosomes. While famously macho songs like “Love Gun” and “Ladies in Waiting” may sound odd rolling off femininely pursed lips, the Chicago-based quartet compensates by exuding an admirable level of bravado and raw energy that, when infused with a woman's touch, creates a one-of-a-kind, gender-bending experience.

Wednesday, June 29

Peter Gabriel and the New Blood Orchestra @ Marcus Amphitheater, Summerfest, 8:30 p.m.

At 61 years old, former Genesis frontman Peter Gabriel is still a master showman, delivering progressive and pop-rock ballads with nuanced vocalizations and daring stage shows that have recently included oboe solos and onstage biking. For this opening-night headlining slot at Summerfest, Gabriel will be backed by the New Blood Orchestra, including players from the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. The concert coincides with Gabriel's upcoming New Blood album, an extension of the 2010 orchestral covers album Scratch My Back that this time gives his own songs the covers treatment. Among the songs reworked on the album are “Intruder,”“Solsbury Hill” and the mega-hit “In Your Eyes.”

Hall and Oates @ M&I Classic Rock Stage, Summerfest, 10:15 p.m.

Once infamous for one of the most iconic pieces of facial hair this side of Super Mario's bushy lip tickler, the Philly duo of Daryl Hall and the formerly mustachioed John Oates continue to bring their inimitable “rock and soul” stylings to stages as if the popularity of bell-bottoms and turtlenecks had never waned. The melodic tandem belts out often neglected but never forgotten hits like “You Make My Dreams Come True” and “Maneater” with cadences drenched in nostalgia that make the distant past seem like 10 minutes ago—even if one of the best mustaches in pop history sadly may be gone for good.

Buddy Guy @ Harley-Davidson Roadhouse, Summerfest, 10 p.m.

Any credible list of the greatest guitar players of the last 25 years would include nine people who were influenced by Buddy Guy and one man who is Buddy Guy. Many of the former, including Stevie Ray Vaughan and Eric Clapton, sought out the latter for collaboration. And why shouldn't they? Guy was their father. He invented the modern-day blues-rock axeman. With all of the attention paid to his more high-voltage work, it can be very easy to overlook how talented a pure bluesman Guy can be. In his acoustic blues, he can elicit a tear with every finger pick.


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