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This Week in Milwaukee: July 24-30

Jul. 23, 2014
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Riverwest 24, July 25

Thursday, July 24

Jurassic 5 w/ Dilated Peoples, Beat Junkies and MC Supernatural @ The Rave, 7:30 p.m.

The Los Angeles group Jurassic 5 formed in 1993 during the golden age of hip-hop with a sound that was much closer to jazzy contemporaries A Tribe Called Quest than the gangsta rap of Snoop Dogg or the Wu-Tang Clan. The group’s four rappers trade verses in a style that highlights the diversity of personalities within the group, counterpointed by harmonized choruses that blend the rappers’ distinctive voices into a unified whole. That sound won them a loyal audience through the early 2000s, but by 2007 they’d split up, citing disagreements over their musical direction. Last year they put those differences aside and reunited, paving the way for this year’s Word of Mouth Reunion Tour.


Jazz in the Park: Nick Waterhouse @ Cathedral Square Park, 6 p.m.

The mixture of soul, jazz and R&B that became Motown in the 1960s is still finding a voice 50 years later. Nick Waterhouse joins artists such as Mayer Hawthorne and Aloe Blacc in creating the spirit of vintage soul music for the modern era. Backed by jazzy horns and lively percussion, as well as female backing singers, Waterhouse creates a full and authentic sound that meshes well with Jazz in the Park’s broad definition of jazz music. His second album Holly was released in 2014 and highlights Waterhouse’s rich vocals with jazz piano and rockabilly guitar.


Friday, July 25

German Fest @ Summerfest Grounds, 3 p.m.

German immigrants have deep roots in Milwaukee, and it shows in the long list of German restaurants and businesses involved with the festival. Friday features a 5k run/walk to benefit St. Ben’s Community Meal program, and participants receive free admission and a voucher for food or drinks. Along with popular eats including schnitzel, sauerbraten and giant pretzels, the festival offers a culture tent exploring Wisconsin’s German heritage and marketplace selling traditional clothing, decorations and the ever-popular steins. This year the festival is also introducing a separate, ticketed concert series at the BMO Harris Pavilion, similar to how Summerfest hosts separate ticketed concerts at the Marcus Amphitheater. The festival’s new Jams on Tap concert series will feature Bret Michaels, The Plain White T’s and Three Dog Night.


Riverwest 24 @ Riverwest Between Booth Street and Humboldt Boulevard, 7 p.m.

Each summer, hundreds of cyclists take to the streets of Riverwest for the city’s most imaginative bike race, the Riverwest 24, which doubles as a neighborhood-wide party. Riders receive points for each lap completed, but can also earn points at bonus checkpoints announced the day of the race, many of which are neighborhood businesses offering challenges. Competitors can advance their team by getting tattooed, for instance, or by participating in impromptu dance offs and other activities. Meanwhile, spectators line the sidewalks, cheering on racers and treating them with water, snacks and baked goods. In conjunction with the race, once again this year Art*Bar will be hosting MishMash Fest, a block party featuring live music, food trucks and a talent competition. It’ll begin at 3 p.m. on Friday; The Fatty Acids headline later that night at 10 p.m.


Natalie Merchant @ The Pabst Theater, 8 p.m.

While her folky, college-rock band 10,000 Maniacs continued without her, singer-songwriter Natalie Merchant went solo, releasing in 1995 her hit debut album, Tigerlily. Her work since has alternated between sentimental easy listening for the adult contemporary set and unexpectedly experimental and ambitious. Her 1998 album Ophelia examined the Shakespeare character from a feminist perspective; 2001’s Motherland incorporated orchestral sounds and world-music undertones; and 2010’s Leave Your Sleep paid tribute to poets including Robert Louis Stevenson, Robert Graves and Christina Rossetti. This spring she released her latest album, a softly folky self-titled album with subtle gospel touches.


‘Trailer Park Boys: Countdown to Liquor Day’ @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 6:30 p.m.

With word that the cult Canadian comedy series “Trailer Park Boys” will be returning for a new season on Netflix this fall, the Turner Hall Ballroom is screening the show’s 2009 big-screen spinoff Trailer Park Boys: Countdown to Liquor Day for the latest installment of its Beer and a Movie film series. Billed as the Sunnyvale Trailer Park Cheeseburger Picnic (“one cheeseburger per park resident,” the marketing material promises, echoing one of the most quotable lines from the series), the screening is $5 and begins at 8 p.m., with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. That 6:30 p.m. start time is significant for fans who want to take advantage of the venue’s $15 all-you-care-to-drink special, which offers unlimited taps and rails until the movie is over. With those savings you can afford a second cheeseburger.


Saturday, July 26

Brady Street Festival @ Brady Street, 11 a.m.                                                                       

Brady Street festival joins Milwaukee’s other street festivals in offering a sampling of Milwaukee bands while exploring a unique neighborhood. This year’s lineup includes Milwaukee festival mainstays Kane Place Record Club, in addition to Grace Weber, Webster X, Soul Low and a headlining reunion performance from recently regrouped indie rockers The Celebrated Workingman. The many bars lining Brady offer up a multitude of opportunities for refreshments, and there will be food stands lining the street, including the Glorioso’s cheese tent, featuring local cheese makers. Returning as well is the annual drag show “Dudes will be Divas,” taking place at 10 p.m. on the Bud Light Main Stage.


Milwaukee Brewfest @ McKinley Park, 2 p.m.                                                            

Milwaukee’s annual Brewfest celebrates the Milwaukee tradition of brewing and drinking beer in grand fashion. More than 300 beers are offered at the festival, which takes over the Old Coast Guard Pavilion in McKinley Park, and attendees are welcome to unlimited samples. The festival features mainly craft beers and microbrews from both local breweries such as Lakefront Brewery and national chains like Leinenkugel and Mike’s Hard Lemonade. Food from local restaurants will also be offered to soak up some of the alcohol, and the festival offers discounted admission for designated drivers.


Sunday, July 27

Michael Bublé @ BMO Harris Bradley Center, 7:30 p.m.                                                     

A winning smile and an infectious sense of good cheer are the hallmarks of Michael Bublé’s performances. Both in terms of his music and his personality, Bublé is just a nice guy to be around. Nominally a jazz vocalist, he tackles standards by Frank Sinatra, Smokey Robinson and Randy Newman with ease, while working in broad, brassy and consistently upbeat original songs. Expect him to run through plenty of classic songs during his performance, as well as cuts from his latest album To Be Loved, which delivers enough jaunty good cheer to wipe away any amount of the blues.


Wednesday, July 30

Vance Joy w/ Meg Myers @ The Rave, 7:30 p.m.                        

Milwaukee will see another Australian indie rock show this week, following last week’s performance by Boy and Bear. Former club soccer player and folk-rock musician Vance Joy brings his fragile tenor to The Rave for another night of down-under indie music. Following in the footsteps of Of Monsters and Men, James Vincent McMorrow, The Lumineers and the many other modern acts who channel the power of slowly building acoustic folk music, Vance Joy builds his music from simple guitar strums to grand arrangements and back down again.


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