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This Week in Milwaukee: Feb. 2-8, 2017

Jan. 31, 2017
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Friday, Feb. 3

4th Annual Milwaukee Gospel Jubilee @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 7:30 p.m.

For decades Milwaukee’s rich gospel scene was a secret to nearly all but the faithful who attended the churches where this music can be heard each Sunday. That’s been changing in recent years, thanks in part to the organization Milwaukee Gospel and its annual fundraiser for Progressive Community Health Centers, which for four years running has spotlighted a variety of vocal ensembles, many of which have roots that span generations. This year’s lineup is topped by the city’s iconic Queens of Harmony, and features the quartets Voices of Faith, The Sermonettes and O.W.’s Exalters. For a younger spin on devotional music, the bill will also feature the sister-sister string duo SistaStrings. | More info >>

 

Liar’s Trial w/ The Glacial Speed and Haunted Heads @ Cactus Club, 9 p.m.

For three albums, Milwaukee’s Liar’s Trial have blurred the lines between punk rock and outlaw country. On their latest disc, though, they’re mostly just interested in country. Armadillo By Morning is their most western record yet, an album so cowboy-minded you can almost taste the desert sand in the back of your throat when you listen to it. It contains some of their strongest songs yet, including “Nashville Ain’t The Same,” which sounds like a lost track Waylon Jennings might have recorded with R.E.M. Like much of the record, it’s doused in layers of pedal-steel guitar. For this album release show, Liar’s Trial will be joined by kindred spirits The Glacial Speed and Haunted Heads. | More info >>

 

The Platinum Boys @ High Dive, 9 p.m.

Milwaukee’s rock ’n’ roll scene has grown tighter knit as it has shrunk in recent years. At times the genre has felt like a niche product, appreciated mainly by a small circle of bands who play for the same crowds and the same venues. With their ebullient, riff-happy take on the genre, though, The Platinum Boys make the case that no-gimmick rock can still be music for the masses. The group’s debut album Future Hits remains a classic of the form, a giddy tribute to the fast life peppered with good-natured sleaze, and their subsequent releases have lived up to its promise. The band celebrate the release of a new 7-inch single, “New Kind of Love,” with this free show featuring Chicago’s Wet Piss and Milwaukee’s Slow Walker. | More info >>

 

Saturday, Feb. 4

Mittenfest @ Potter and Logan avenues, noon-8 p.m.

Despite its “City of Festivals” reputation, Milwaukee sure doesn’t offer much in the way of them between November and April. A rare exception if Burnhearts’ Mitten Fest, which for the past four years running has embraced February’s chill and made the most of it with a summer-style block party outside of the Bay View tavern. This year’s lineup features music from Lorde Freddee33, Paper Holland, Field Report’s Christopher Porterfield and Storm Clouds, with between-act DJ sets from Chris Schulist. As always, there will also be a maker fair, food (from Goodkind, Honeypie, Palomino, Iron Grate BBQ and Gypsy Taco), rare beers from Central Waters and Founders breweries, barrel-aged old fashioneds, specialty cocktails and coffee from Valentine Coffee Roasters. Pro-tip: Wear an extra pair of socks. | More info >>

 

Lauryn Hill w/ The MLH Caravan @ The Riverside Theater, 8 p.m.

It would be a shame if Lauryn Hill’s erratic behavior overshadowed her legacy. In the years since her Grammy-winning 1998 solo debut The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, the former Fugees singer and rapper has repeatedly baffled and frustrated her fans, first with a haphazard follow-up, MTV Unplugged No. 2.0, then with a series of canceled concerts. At her nadir, she served jail time for tax evasion. In 2015 she bounced back, though, with six studio tracks recorded for the soundtrack to the documentary What Happened, Miss Simone? that reminded the world just what a talent she is. Will fans ever get the proper sequel to Miseducation they’ve been longing for? Hill is still relatively young, just 41, and in strong voice, so stranger things have happened. | More info >>

 

Salford Lads Club w/ Pretend and Parallel Blondes @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 7:30 p.m.

Cover bands used to get a bad rap around this city, and maybe for good reason. But the three acts on this bill are a far cry from your usual hair-metal and Pink Floyd tributes. Featuring members of Maritime, GGOOLLDD, Testa Rosa and Decibully, these three tribute bands will honor the music of Morrissey and The Smiths, The Pretenders and Blondie. A portion of ticket sales will go to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and Pablove. | More info >>

 

Indonesian Junk w/ The Grovelers and Size 5’s @ Cactus Club, 9 p.m.

On their self-titled debut album last year, Milwaukee’s Indonesian Junk introduced themselves as the kind of band that probably wouldn’t take their shoes off before coming into your house. Their scuzzy rock ’n’ roll drew heavily from the antagonistic ’70s glam rock of guys like Gene Simmons and Alice Cooper. The trio’s latest single, though, hints at a bit of a beating heart behind that sneer. “Turn to Stone” is a rocker in the spirit of pre-“Runaway Train” Soul Asylum, with driving drums and chiming guitars. It’s their best track yet. The group plays two shows this weekend, one at Landmark Lanes on Friday night opening for Chief, and this headlining gig at the Cactus Club with fellow rock ’n’ rollers The Grovelers and Size 5’s. | More info >>

 

Reggae Night @ Red Dot, 8 p.m.

Wauwatosa’s Red Dot kicks off its monthly reggae night the first Saturday of each month with this lineup featuring two of the city’s premier reggae DJs: DJ Avets of Chalice in the Palace, a veteran who has been spinning reggae since Thai Joe’s Reggae Nights back in the ’90s and Dela of Dubfly, a former EDM DJ who now specializes in Jamaican sounds. They’ll spin a variety of bass-heavy rhythms spanning rocksteady, lovers rock, rub-a-dub, dancehall and roots revival. Red Dot will also offer Jamaican drink and food specials. | More info >>

 

Tuesday, Feb. 7

Geoff Tate @ Shank Hall, 8 p.m.

Decades as the frontman for the cult prog-metal group Queensrÿche has put Geoff Tate in that rare strata of musicians who have the luxury to do just about anything they want knowing that they’ll have an audience for it. For his current “The Whole Story ‘Ryche’ Acoustic Tour,” the Grammy-nominated performer will draw on songs from his entire discography, though it’s a safe bet most will sound quite a bit softer than their original studio renditions. He’ll be performing acoustically, backed by a seven-piece band featuring guitars, mandolin, cello, saxophone and violin—a far cry from the driving heavy metal of most Queensrÿche records. | More info >>

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