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This Week in Milwaukee: Nov. 21-Nov. 27

Nov. 20, 2013
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Dustin Diamond’s Bayside Bash @ Turner Hall Ballroom, Nov. 27
Thursday, Nov. 21

Patty Larkin w/ Shawn Mullins @ Shank Hall, 8 p.m.

Milwaukee-raised Patty Larkin grew up with the piano, but she became an eminent guitar player after teaching herself in high school and then honing her jazz-based style at the Berklee College of Music. Larkin’s urban-infused folk-pop hinges on inventive, spellbinding guitar spirals that aptly frame her tale telling. In 1985, Larkin released her first album, Step into the Light, but she didn’t crack the Billboard charts until 2003’s Red=Luck. Two years later, Larkin produced the collaboration album La Guitara, a collection of songs by accomplished women guitarists. Her latest record, Still Green, features guests of both genders, including cellist Catherine Bent, jazz drummer David Brophy and upright bassist Joe McMahon. She shares this release show with opener Shawn Mullins.


Manchester Orchestra w/ The Front Bottoms and O’Brother @ The Rave, 7:30 p.m.

Manchester Orchestra have one of the most misleading names in modern rock. They aren’t from Manchester, nor are they an orchestra, but that false advertising hasn’t hurt them any. The Atlanta group enjoyed a breakout in 2009 thanks to their album Mean Everything to Nothing, recorded with The Shins/My Morning Jacket producer Joe Chiccarelli, and its top 10 modern-rock hit “I’ve Got Friends.” Their 2011 follow-up, Simple Math, which featured even prettier arrangements and more chaotic extremes, charted even higher. They’re hoping that upward trend continues with their still-untitled fourth album. The album doesn’t have a release date yet, but last month they teased the first song from it, “After the Scripture.”


Saturday, Nov. 23

Fitz and the Tantrums w/ Capital Cities and Beat Club @ The Rave, 7:30 p.m.

In a crowded field of rigid soul revivalists, how does Los Angeles’ Fitz and the Tantrums manage to stand out? By not being rigid soul revivalists. On their latest album, More Than Just a Dream, the group expands rapidly on the Stax and Motown throwbacks of their 2010 debut, Pickin’ Up the Pieces, updating their sound with nods to disco, new wave and contemporary pop and R&B. The result is a lot slicker and more club-ready than their previous effort, but no less giddy. Given their recent makeover, it’s fitting that the band shares this tour with another band that favors modern, radio-friendly synth-pop: Capital Cities.


Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses: The Second Quest @ The Riverside

Theater, 7 p.m.

Composer Koji Kondo couldn’t have known he was creating a masterpiece when he wrote the theme to the 1986 Nintendo game The Legend of Zelda—by his account, he wrote it in one day after learning the music he had wanted to use was unavailable. Nonetheless, his score went on to become the best regarded in video-game history, setting a high standard that has carried through most subsequent soundtracks in the Zelda franchise. Given the caliber of the franchise’s music, and the nostalgia for all things ’80s-youth-related, it shouldn’t be too surprising that there’s now a symphony touring behind the music of Zelda. For this event, a full orchestra will perform a four-movement symphony culled from the game and its sequels, including Ocarina of Time and A Link to the Past, accompanied by a “cinematic visual presentation” using imagery from the games.


Athletes for Autism Benefit w/ The Jeff Lorber Fusion @ Marcus Center, 7 p.m.

Keyboardist and composer Jeff Lorber’s ear for forward-looking sounds made him one of the leading figures of the late-’70s jazz-funk fusion scene, when he released a stream of albums with a rotating cast of musicians as The Jeff Lorber Fusion. In the ’80s he went solo and softened his sound to reach out to smooth jazz formats—if some of his material from that era sounds like it could be featured on The Weather Channel, that’s because a lot of it actually was featured on The Weather Channel—but lately he’s returned to his funky roots to record with The Jeff Lorber Fusion again. Tonight the trio plays a benefit concert for Athletes for Autism.


Femme Adorn III Fashion Show @ The Hamilton, 9 p.m.

Now in its third year, the Femme Adorn fashion show has become one of the city’s premier events for vintage-fashion enthusiasts. This year’s show at the Hamilton, 823 E. Hamilton St., spotlights five local vintage collectors: So Passé Vintage, Brown Cow Vintage, LUXX Boutique, Sunshine Acid Designs and Bolted Vintage, each of which will present nine looks tailored for the winter and holiday seasons, while local funk maestros Sirius Booty provide the music.


The Nutcracker Suite Floral Show @ The Domes

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s iconic ballet The Nutcracker has been adapted into films, books and cartoons, and now it’s been reinterpreted in yet another unlikely medium: as a holiday floral show. Through Jan. 5, the Mitchell Park Domes will celebrate the ballet with scenes from the Land of Sweets and the Land of Snow scattered through the Show Dome, including the whimsical battle between mice and toy soldiers. Colorful poinsettias will surround a tall holiday tree, and in one picturesque display, Clara sleeps alongside her many presents.


Sunday, Nov. 24

An Evening with Michael Nesmith @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 7 p.m.

The common knock against The Monkees back in the day was that they didn’t write their own songs. That wasn’t true, though, of guitarist Michael Nesmith, who wrote some of the group’s most sophisticated songs, including “The Girl I Knew Somewhere” and “Listen to the Band.” After hanging up his wool hat, Nesmith went on to lead a distinguished, if somewhat overlooked solo career, recording a series of sturdy country rock albums with his First National Band in the early ’70s. Nesmith has reunited with The Monkees off and on over the years, but his solo work still remains his passion. For his current “Movies of the Mind” tour, he’s revisiting songs from his entire career, prefacing each with a short introduction to the scenes or characters he pictured when writing them.


Wednesday, Nov. 27

Dustin Diamond’s Bayside Bash @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 8 p.m.

Dustin Diamond spent a good chunk of his teen years on the set of “Saved by The Bell,” where he lived the life of a child star, but missed out on a lot of the normal rituals of youth. “It really felt like a lot was taken away from me,” he admitted in an interview with the Shepherd Express last year. Out of nostalgia for the years he lost, Diamond began throwing ’90s-themed parties at his Milwaukee-area home a few years ago—gatherings that became the inspiration for his Bayside Bash dance party at Turner Hall Ballroom last December, a large-scale version of those house parties, with retro video games, ’80s and ’90s music and video projections. That party proved a hit, so Turner Hall has booked another this year. Once again, Diamond will be hanging out and posing for pictures with fans, while DJs Dori Zori and James Freshluggage handle the music.


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