This Week in Milwaukee
GWAR, Neil Hamburger and They Might Be Giants
THURSDAY, OCT. 27
Delhi 2 Dublin @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 7 p.m.
Even by the anything-goes standard of modern world music, Delhi 2 Dublin's fusion of world sounds is pretty eccentric. The Canadian sextet electrifies traditional Celtic and Indian bhangra music with turntables and electronic sitars, rock guitars, dub rhythms and manic club beats. The group made its Milwaukee debut at the 2010 Global Union festival and has since returned to play a packed Club Garibaldi. Tonight they'll bring their dance party to Turner Hall Ballroom for an event that includes a bhangra dance performance from the Aarabhi School of Dance, finger food from Mayura Indian Restaurant and a DJ set from Radio Milwaukee's Marcus Doucette.
Opeth w/ Katatonia @ The Rave, 8:15 p.m.
Ten albums into their career, Opeth has skirted just about every unwritten convention of death metal. The Swedish group distinguished themselves immediately by tempering their sludgy assault with unexpected, palate-cleansing washes of jazz, folk and blues music, and they've only grown more unorthodox. On their 2008 curveball, Watershed, the band almost entirely abandoned the graveyard growls that metalheads hold so dear in favor of stonerrock throwbacks. The result recalled Pink Floyd in its proggy scope and vision, but still offered enough heavy red meat to keep the death-metal faithful from revolting. The band's new follow-up, Heritage, is even more epic and expansive, further removing them from their metal roots.
Zoo Brew @ Milwaukee County Zoo, 7 p.m.
Beer festivals are common in our ale-loving city, but beer tastings involving cheetahs, jaguars, lions and tigers less so. This fund-raiser for the Zoological Society of Milwaukee opens the Milwaukee County Zoo's Florence Mila Borchert Big Cat Country to guests and features beer from 18 breweries, including many local ones, as well as food from Alterra Coffee Roasters, Larry's Market, Three Monkeys Cakes, Saz's and others. Tickets are $35 for Zoological Society members and $40 for non-members.
FRIDAY, OCT. 28
Halloween @ Times Cinema, 11 p.m.
Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho may have been the first slasher film, but it was John Carpenter's Halloween that invented the genre as most viewers know it, with an unfeeling, seemingly indestructible killer picking off sexually promiscuous suburban teens in a buildup to a dramatic final encounter. Unlike the slashers that followed it, though, including Halloween's many sequels, Carpenter's 1978 film told its story with a minimum of blood and gore, preferring sustained suspense and the power of suggestion. It was all the scarier for it. (Multiple showings through Monday, Oct. 31.)
GWAR w/ Every Time I Die and Ghoul @ The Rave, 8 p.m.
As if there wasn't already enough fake blood blanketing the city for Halloween weekend, costumed warlords from space GWAR return to the Rave for another over-the-top performance. Over the decades GWAR has become less a parody of metal excesses than of themselves, doubling down on obscene comedy. The group's latest record, 2010's Bloody Pit of Horror, is no exception, but it grinds heavier and hits harder than most of the band's recent work.
They Might Be Giants w/ Gold Motel @ The Pabst Theater, 7:30 p.m.
The fact that They Might Be Giants began recording children's albums last decade didn't come as much of a surprise to many of the long-running alternative group's fans. After all, some of those fans were introduced to the band through the afternoon cartoon “Tiny Toon Adventures,” which created kid-friendly videos for the band's smack-happy songs “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)” and “Particle Man,” and many of the group's songs have a goofy, kid-friendly sense of whimsy. The band's latest album, Join Us, a zippy collection that stands with their best work, was recorded with adult fans in mind.
SATURDAY, OCT. 29
Insane Clown Posse w/ Twiztid and Blaze @ The Rave, 7 p.m.
For the better part of a decade, mass culture was mostly unaware of the thriving “Juggalo” subculture that evolved around fans of the rapping-clown group Insane Clown Posse, but that changed last year when the earnest, unintentionally funny video for the group's “Miracles,” in which the face-painted rappers pay tribute to the marvels of the world, including the sun, butterflies, rainbows and, most memorably, magnets. The video became a viral Internet hit, spawning a “Saturday Night Live” parody and a whole lot of outside attention for ICP's annual Gathering of the Juggalos music festival. The group's current American Psycho Tour has already been an eventful one. Openers Twiztid and Blaze were arrested in Florida last weekend for marijuana possession.
Ozric Tentacles @ Orchard Inn, Menomonee Falls, 8 p.m.
Splitting the difference between spacey prog-rock and jammy electronic fusion, Ozric Tentacles have amassed a diverse audience over the last quarter-century, though the band's unusual fluteheavy, dub-jazz-ambient fusion hasn't found the same audience stateside as it has back in the group's native England. The band has moved increasingly toward electronica on recent albums, including 2009's The Yumyum Tree and the new Paper Monkeys, but they still prefer real instruments over programming, and longtime leader Ed Wynne still leaves plenty of space in the mix for his warped, assertive guitar.
Trans-Fusion, The Party @ Marcus Center, 10 p.m.
Following the Saturday night performance of Dracula, Michael Pink's ballet adaptation of the classic horror story, the Milwaukee Ballet hosts a vampire-themed after-party with the cast. In addition to food, drink and dance, there will be electronic music from DJ Multidimensional Fortitude and elaborate special effects and lighting from I.G. Designs. Tickets are $50 for the party, or $75 for the party and a ticket to the 7:30 p.m. performance of Dracula. Proceeds benefit the Milwaukee Ballet School and outreach programs.
SUNDAY, OCT. 30
Orgone @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 7 p.m.
The Los Angeles funk band Orgone were early adopters of the current retro-soul craze, playing covers of Booker T and Isaac Hayes alongside originals that fit right in with those covers. That made them logical openers for Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings' tour last year, where the band played originals from their dual 2010 albums, Cali Fever and Killion Vaults, a brass-heavy mix of Afrobeat, R&B and funk.
TUESDAY, NOV. 1
Neil Hamburger w/ J.P. Incorporated @ Cactus Club, 9 p.m.
With his greasy comb-over, cheap tuxedo, poor comic timing and frequent, phlegmy coughing fits, Neil Hamburger's sendup of bad stand-ups should be almost as tired as the bad stand-ups he's mocking. But Hamburger's shtick is really just a vehicle for his subversive jabs at celebrity targets, jokes that would be funny regardless of how tired their targets are or how clumsily they're delivered. “How many Red Hot Chili Peppers members does it take to screw in a light bulb?” Hamburger asks in one typically blunt gag. “Well, it depends on how recently they've shot up.”
WEDNESDAY, NOV. 2
Ed Roland and Kevin Griffin @ The Pabst Theater, 7 p.m.
Collective Soul's Ed Roland and Better Than Ezra's Kevin Griffin never became household names the way the frontmen of some of the more successful post-grunge bands of the '90s did, though they scored plenty of hits between their two bands. Singles like “Shine” and “Good” might not have become cultural touchstones the way “Smells Like Teen Spirit” did, yet they speak to the era just as well. Both Collective Soul and Better Than Ezra have released new material over the last couple of years, but for this tour the singers are taking a break from their bands to perform acoustically.