Oct. 2 - Oct. 8
This Week in Milwaukee
Thursday, Oct. 2Steve Nelson-Raney @ UWM Recital Hall, 7:30 p.m. Pianist and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee senior lecturer Steve Nelson-Raney has divided his faculty recital tonight into two distinct halves. The first pairs Nelson-Raney with John Koethe, a UWM philosophy department professor and one of Milwaukee's foremost romantic poets. After performing along with Koethe's poems, Nelson-Raney will welcome drummer Terry Smirl for the second half, a set of free jazz improvisations.
Friday, Oct. 3John the Savage w/ Father Phoenix and Lopan @ Cactus Club, 10 p.m. It didn't take long for the Milwaukee music scene to embrace John the Savage, a group that after less than a year and a half of playing out together has established itself as one of the city's most noteworthy bands, thanks to their roaring appropriation of Screamin' Jay Hawkins and Tom Waits at their drunkest, not to mention their must-see, megaphone and trumpetassisted live shows. Tonight the band celebrates the release of their debut album, Kitchen Voodoo, a disc that faithfully captures the fury of John the Savage's concerts, having mostly been recorded live. The show pairs the group with two top-tier Milwaukee punk bands, Father Phoenix and Lopan.
My Morning Jacket @ Riverside Theater, 8 p.m. My Morning Jacket has evolved rapidly since the psychedelic Southern rock of their early albums, pushing themselves in more grandiose, experimental directions for 2005's tight, masterful Z and 2008's all-over-the-place Evil Urges, an album that divided critics but certainly didn't slow the group's rise. In concert, the band is more of a traditional, Southern-flavored jam guitar band than their studio-crafted albums let on, playing sets that often run longer than the average football game for a crowd heavy on tape-traders and Relix subscribers. My Morning Jacket's overtime sets don't allow any time for opening acts, but two strong would-be openers, Dead Confederate and Catfish Haven, will play a free show across the street at Mo's Irish Pub after tonight's concert ends.
Friday, Oct. 3
Mix Master Mike @ Cans, 7 p.m. At the time, it was a blow for many Beastie Boys fans when the rap group dropped their loyal, longtime turntablist DJ Hurricane in favor of fresh blood for 1998's Hello Nasty. But the group's new recruit, DMC World DJ Championships winner Mix Master Mike, quickly became an integral part of the Beastie's turn-of-the-century formula. That he shared their love of old-school breaks and the wah-wah pedal certainly helped him fit in more easily. Between the Beastie Boys' increasingly infrequent tours and recording sessions, Mix Master Mike plays club dates, impressing the crowd with his flashy turntable tricks and, of course, his celebrity. He plays tonight as part of Cans' fourthanniversary celebration.
WMSE Food Slam @ Eisner Museum, 6 p.m. WMSE's annual Food Slam fund-raiser, now in its seventh year, is an all-you-can-eat free-for-all featuring entrees from 24 local restaurants, including Nanakusa, Maxie's Southern Comfort and the Milwaukee Ale House. In addition to stuffing their faces, attendees can also bid on more than 80 packages in a silent auction, which include items like clothes, gift certificates, sports tickets and an HRXC mountain bike. Tickets are $30, or $25 when ordered in advance through WMSE.org.
Gone, Gone, Gone @ Danceworks Studio Theatre, 7:30 p.m. Fresh from their 2008 Minnesota Fringe Festival success, the Milwaukee dance duo Monica Rodero and Dan Schuchart take the floor of Danceworks Studio Theatre through Oct. 5 with their new dance-concert, Gone, Gone, Gone. With a title that conjures up the injured tones of the 1964 Everly Brothers hit and using humble props obtainable from any office supply store-paper towels and yards of masking tape-Rodero and Schuchart offer a sensuous and witty articulation of some of the sticky situations love can land you in.
Milwaukee Fashion Week @ The Harley-Davidson Museum, 6 p.m. Cities all over the world have been celebrating their own fashion weeks since the 1940s, but this year Milwaukee gets its own chapter of the event. The festivities begin at 6 p.m. Friday with a social, followed by a 7 p.m. runway show by Wounded Line designers Nick and Susanne Waraksa, and then an 8 p.m. show from organiK Revolution designer Kristin Rosynek Hassan. The star of the weekend, however, is bound to be Gilles Montezin, whose designs appeared in this summer's Sex and the City movie.
Saturday, Oct. 4The Verit Impulse in the Films of Burnett, Everson and White @ The UWM Student Union, 1:15 p.m. As part of the Community Media Project's weekendlong Africa Beyond film fest in the UWM Union Theatre, African-American directors Charles Burnett, Kevin Everson and Iverson White will be screening and speaking about their latest films, but Saturday's panel discussion, "The Verit Impulse in the Films of Burnett, Everson and White," is the only time all three filmmakers will appear together. Their 2 p.m. discussion will be preceded by a 1:15 screening of Everson's experimental short documentaries, followed at 6 p.m. by a screening of Burnett's 2007 historical epic Namibia: The Struggle for Liberation.
Lindsey Buckingham @ Pabst Theater, 8 p.m. Pigeonholed by his ties to iconic soft-rockers Fleetwood Mac, even though he contributed some of the group's more nuanced and most celebrated songs, Lindsey Buckingham finally scored the critical reappraisal he so obviously longed for with his 2006 album Under the Skin, a stripped-down singer-songwriter disc that contained some of his best songs in a decade. Buckingham has walked with an extra pep in his step ever since, taking advantage of his renewed critical standing with a rush-released live album and, last month, a quick studio follow-up, Gift of Screws. Screws rocks a little harder than its tempered predecessor, but its songs are every bit as effortless and assured.
Sunday, Oct. 5
Peter Hammill @ Shank Hall, 8 p.m. Even if he'd stopped recording after the 1970s, Peter Hammill would have been heralded as one of the most important figures in prog-rock for his work as the primary singer-songwriter in Van der Graaf Generator, the British ensemble whose ambitious, ever-shifting albums presaged most major trends in prog-rock, and later even hinted at early punk-rock. After Van der Graaf Generator's 1978 breakup, though, Hammill went on to cement his reputation with literally dozens of solo albums, each with a different instrumental setup-some were keyboard heavy, some prioritized Hammill's furious guitar, and others took a more choral approach. His latest, 2006's Singularity, is his first studio album since the 2005 reunion of Van der Graaf Generator, and also the first since a near-fatal heart attack.
The album's ruminations on mortality, however, were as inspired by the freak car accident that killed Hammill's longtime piano technician as they were by Hammill's own brush with death, as Hammill explained to the Shepherd Express' Mark Krueger in a recent interview. To read the interview, visit ExpressMilwaukee.com.
Alanis Morissette @ Riverside Theater, 7:30 p.m. Alanis Morissette launched her rock career with Jagged Little Pill, one of the best-selling debut albums of all time, so it's no surprise that she's had a difficult time topping that introduction.
Subsequent albums have been released to ambivalence (and, increasingly, outright disinterest) from critics who are still more interested in learning who "You Oughta Know" was really about than hearing Morissette's thoughts on spirituality.
Morissette's latest, however, returns the ever-burdened singer to the subject matter that made her a star: breakups. Her angriest album in a decade, Flavors of Entanglement was recorded in the wake of her split from fianc Ryan Reynolds.
The album, Morissette said in a recent teleconference with the press, "allowed me to hit rock bottom in a way that I'd never done before."