This Week in Milwaukee: Sept. 11-17
Thursday, Sept. 11
Artaska Arquino @ Up and Under Pub, 10 p.m.
Violin isn’t the first instrument that comes to mind when people think of reggae, yet Milwaukee musician Artaska Arquino incorporates it seamlessly into her own unusual pastiche of Jamaican, African and American sounds. She describes her sound as “hard roots rock reggae,” and indeed, her latest single “Running The Streets” is fittingly hard, a percussive display of bravado that calls to mind M.I.A. at her most combative. Arquino will put both her tougher side and her softer, more soulful side on display for this free show at Brady Street’s Up and Under Pub.
Wishbone Ash @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 7:30 p.m.
As sometimes happens to long-running classic rock bands that endure complicated lineup changes, there are now two competing touring formations of the seminal prog-rock group Wishbone Ash. The one that plays the Turner Hall Ballroom tonight is the more established, better regarded of the two, led by original guitarist Andy Powell. When Powell seized control of the band in the mid-’90s, he led the group in some unorthodox directions—infamously recording a pair of dance-inspired records that weirded out longtime fans—but he’s since returned the group to its roots, recording a number of nostalgic live albums and a few back-to-basics prog albums, including 2011’s Elegant Stealth.
Friday, Sept. 12
Nick Moss Band @ Shank Hall, 8 p.m.
Some blues artists just look the part. Hefty, bearded and tatted-up, Chicago guitarist Nick Moss cuts an imposing figure, one that matches the searing ferocity of his electric blues. A 16-time Blues Music Award nominee, Moss was schooled on the sounds of his native city, though with his Nick Moss Band he also dips his toes into more soulful, Southern-style blues and straight-up rock ’n’ roll. That diverse sound and his long, showy guitar solos have earned him a loyal following in both blues and jam-music circles.
Nick Swardson @ The Pabst Theater, 8 p.m.
Comedian Nick Swardson has had the dubious distinction of appearing in many of Adam Sandler’s worst films, from I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry to Grown Ups 2, That’s My Boy and, dear God, Jack and Jill, but between his Happy Madison Production gigs, he’s continued to tour as a stand-up. Like his 2009 comedy special Seriously, Who Farted?, his recent sets have played up his overgrown frat-boy image.
Saturday, Sept. 13
Bay View Bash @ Kinnickinnic Avenue, 11 a.m.
Milwaukee’s largest all-volunteer street party, each year the Bay View Bash fills a long stretch of South Kinnickinnic Avenue with food, music and entertainment that showcases the neighborhood’s local businesses and arts scenes. As usual, this year’s lineup is charmingly quirky, featuring some very loud music at the Rush-Mor Records stage (from Heavy Hand, Like Like The The The Death, Midnight Reruns and others), a strong-man competition from the neighborhood’s strong-man hub the Brickyard Gym, drag shows from Hamburger Mary’s, cooking demonstrations from Afro Fusion Cuisine, and a returning headlining performance from Milwaukee’s favorite Prince cover band, the Prince Experience featuring Gabriel Sanchez.
Global Union @ Humboldt Park, noon-6 p.m.
There aren’t many music festivals that pride themselves on booking artists you haven’t heard of, but Alverno Presents’ Global Union festival in Bay View’s Humboldt Park is an exception. Each year, the event prides itself in booking semi-obscure acts from around the world that fuse the sounds of their native lands with unlikely sounds seldom associated with those countries. Some of these acts are emerging and making names for themselves outside of world-music circles, others are content to fly below the radar, but all of them lend themselves to a lovely afternoon in the park. This year’s lineup features uplifting music from Le Yegros (a Brazilian act dabbling in electronica); the “avant-Chinese-Appalachian-indie-folk-rock” project Wu-Force; calypso modernists Calypso Rose and Kobo Town; and the inspirational African act Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars.
Cherry Poppin’ Daddies: Salute to the Music of the Rat Pack @ Schauer Center, 7:30
Cherry Poppin’ Daddies were outsiders when they broke in the late ’90s during the swing revival, a heavily tattoed, zoot suit-clad brass band that played ’30s and ’40s swing music with a splash of punk. In recent years they’ve begun taking a more traditional approach to the American jazz and pop songbook, which is reflected in their latest program, a tribute to Frank Sinatra and his friends titled “Salute to the Music of the Rat Pack.”
Rock Be Their Voice Animal Fairy Charities Fundraiser @ Milwaukee Athletic Club,
Genesis guitarist Daryl Struermer headlines this fundraiser for the Milwaukee area non-profit Animal Fairy Charities, which aims to eradicate animal abuse and to educate the public about the links between animal cruelty and child abuse, domestic violence and bullying. Struermer will be joined on the bill by the band Rhythm Method and WAMI-winning singer/songwriter Nora Collins. There will also be hors d’oeuvres, raffles and a silent auction.
Foster the People w/ The Velvet Teen @ The Rave, 9 p.m.
Since MGMT refused to fill the demand for catchy, buoyant psych-pop that they helped created with their 2007 album Oracular Spectacular and its ubiquitous hits, a bunch of other bands stepped in to capitalize on the opportunity. Among the most successful was Los Angeles’s Foster the People, which scored a big crossover hit in 2011 with the MGMT-esque “Pumped Up Kicks,” a song that helped shift alt-rock radio’s interest away from guitars and toward loose, happy grooves. And where MGMT alienated listeners by exploring ever-weirder sounds on their subsequent albums, Foster the People gave the people what they wanted on their sophomore album, this spring’s Supermodel, a feather-light, relentlessly agreeable pop album recorded with Adele and Bruno Mars producer Paul Epworth.
Silver City International Food and Art Walk @ National Avenue, noon-5 p.m.
National Avenue is one of the most ethnically diverse and culturally rich stretches of Milwaukee, featuring restaurants and businesses representing the art and cuisine of countries from all over the globe. The annual International Food and Art Walk on National Avenue from 33rd to 35th Streets showcases what the neighborhood has to offer. This year’s event will feature music and dance performances from Panadanza Dance Company, Carlos Adames Group, Cache, Milwaukee School of Capoeira, and Ballet Foklorico Nacional, as well as children’s activities and Thai, Peruvian and Mexican food from La Michoacana, Mr. Sebass, Thai Lotus and Asian International Market.
Tuesday, Sept. 16
Reel Rock Film Tour @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 6 p.m.
As part of their “sound mind, sound body” ethos, the Milwaukee Turners have been the area’s leading rock-climbing enthusiasts since the 1800s, so it only makes sense that Milwaukee’s Turner Hall would host the latest installment of the traveling Reel Rock Film Tour, a showcase of climbing- and adventure-themed films. The event will feature prize giveaways, appearances from celebrated climbers and free access to Turner Hall’s climbing gym.
Wednesday, Sept. 17
Bob Mould w/ Cymbals Eat Guitars @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 8 p.m.
was one of the most influential figures of ’80s underground rock, thanks to his
unabashedly melodic songwriting and guitar work with the seminal punk group
Hüsker Dü, which helped lay the foundation for alternative rock’s commercial
breakout in the ’90s. Mould enjoyed some of that success himself, scoring the
moderate hit “If I Can’t Change Your Mind” with his subsequent band Sugar,
before beginning a flirtation with electronic sounds on a long run of solo
albums. He mostly put those electronic influences aside for his latest album, Beauty & Ruin, a heartbreaking song
cycle inspired by the death of his father. Openers Cymbals Eat Guitars are
touring behind their own new mortality-minded album, Lose, the best release yet from this excitable New York indie-rock