This Week in Milwaukee: Jan. 2-8
Thursday, Jan. 2
Music Under Glass: Semi-Twang @ Mitchell Park Domes, 6:30 p.m.
Semi-Twangâ€™s 1988 record Salty Tears was intended to be the first of a seven-album deal for Warner Bros., and it made the Milwaukee group early heroes of the burgeoning alt-country scene, but its modest sales limited the bandâ€™s time on the label. For two decades, a new Semi-Twang record seemed unlikely, but after 23 years the band released a follow-up. Their 2011 comeback album Wages of Sin took on a harder, bluesier edge than the groupâ€™s long-ago debut, yet it retains the same deep reverence for Americana. Apparently the songs have been coming to them quickly, because last year they released a snappy follow-up, The Why and The What For, which nods periodically to New Orleans-style boogie rock. Tonight Semi-Twang give their first performance of 2014 as part of the Mitchell Park Domesâ€™ Music Under Glass concert series.
Friday, Jan. 3
Breadking Bash w/ Myles Coyne, Ugly Brothers, Caley Conway, Jamie Yanda and The Lousy Trouts @ Linnemanâ€™s Riverwest Inn, 9 p.m.
Chalk it up to shared talent and interests or simple proximity, but for
the last few years some of the cityâ€™s brightest young rock, folk and punk acts
have collaborated under the umbrella of the Breadking Collective, a loose conglomerate
of independent musicians. Breadking enjoyed its most fruitful year yet in 2013,
with many of its acts discovering wider audiences around the city,
so it will have plenty to celebrate at this $8 showcase, which features nearly all of the circleâ€™s active bands, side projects and players. Expect an eclectic bill that runs the gamut from beatific folk to shambolic rock â€™nâ€™ roll.
Blax w/ Fresh Cut Collective, High Education Records and DJ Max Holiday @ Cactus
Club, 10 p.m.
Rapper Adebisi was one of Milwaukeeâ€™s premier party-starters for a good stretch, moving crowds as the frontman for the live rap band Fresh Cut Collective. Since moving to New York, heâ€™s continued releasing music under the moniker Blax, splitting the difference between hand-waving â€™90s hip-hop and amped-up funk-rock. This bill, which reunites him with his former Fresh Cut Collective bandmates, will also feature a showcase of up-and-coming rappers, singers and musicians from Milwaukeeâ€™s High Education Records.
Saturday, Jan. 4
Chalice in The Palace @ Hotel Foster, 10 p.m.
Milwaukeeâ€™s Chalice in the Palace has long been Milwaukeeâ€™s most prolific team of reggae DJs, warming stages at many of the cityâ€™s biggest reggae shows and spinning an eclectic mix of Jamaican music at venues all over the city. The latest venue to take them in is the East Sideâ€™s Hotel Foster, which has given them a residency on the first Saturday of each month that theyâ€™ll use to draw from their usual, bass-heavy grab bag of dub, dancehall, calypso, rocksteady, ska and roots reggae.
Bollywood in Milwaukee w/ Bappi Lahiri @ The Pabst Theater, 7 p.m.
As a major metropolis, Milwaukee is blessed to get touring music from all over the globe, but there are still some styles of music that remain underrepresented on the cityâ€™s concert calendar. One of the big ones is Indian Bollywood music, the wild pastiche of disco and synthesizers thatâ€™s remained popular in the country for decades. For this show the Pabst Theater will welcome one of Bollywoodâ€™s biggest names, disco king Bappi Lahiri, who composed soundtracks for hit Indian films including 1982â€™s Disco Dancer and 1991â€™s Gang Leader, as well as many albums under his own name. Still sporting 1970s duds and heavy jewelry at many of his performances, Lahiri remains an over-the-top presence on stage.
Kid A (Radiohead Tribute) @ Shank Hall, 8 p.m.
Believe it or not, itâ€™s been more than 20 years since Radiohead last played Milwaukee, and letâ€™s face it, thereâ€™s a good chance they might never return. (They occasionally play East Troyâ€™s Alpine Valley, but even those dates are very few and far between.) The Chicago Radiohead tribute band Kid A might just be the closest Milwaukee gets to seeing Radiohead live, then. They donâ€™t especially look like Radiohead, and they donâ€™t pack anywhere near the light show, but they do play a wide swath of songs from Radioheadâ€™s entire discography, from Pablo Honey to The King of Limbs. And unlike the real Radiohead, they might actually throw â€śCreepâ€ť into their setlist.