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Jan. 1 - Jan. 7

This Week in Milwaukee

Jan. 1, 2009
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Friday, Jan. 2

Oliver! @ The Milwaukee Theatre, 8 p.m.
It’s a morose thought, but could the country’s economic woes actually be creating more demand for stage adaptations of Charles Dickens? Case in point, the Milwaukee Rep’s perennially popular production of A Christmas Carol is being followed this year by a two-night, three-show stop at the Milwaukee Theatre by a touring production of Oliver!, the sunshine-soaked musical account of maybe the most plucky and precocious of all Dickens’ many orphans, who remains iconic in his pursuit of a little more gruel and, perhaps, a warm place to call home. (Also Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m.)

Saturday, Jan. 3

Juiceboxxx w/ MNDR and Night School @ Mad Planet, 9 p.m.
Now that he’s of legal drinking age and doesn’t need a parent to drive him to his shows, Juiceboxxx has evolved beyond his early teenage, suburban geek-rap shtick and carved out a more sustainable niche in the indie electro-dance scene, where he’s amused crowds with his adenoidal screeds and his manically enthusiastic shows while aligning himself with like-minded friends on the trendy IHEARTCOMIX record label. Tonight Juiceboxxx plays impresario, manning the decks at a bill featuring MNDR, a Californian one-woman dance party with a similar fetish for budget beats.

The New Loud w/ Revision Text and Elusive Parallelograms @ Cactus Club, 10 p.m.
Milwaukee’s New Loud taps the same period of late-’70s/early-’80s British pop and New Wave as The Killers, Franz Ferdinand and countless other NME-approved, assembly line bands. Unlike those groups, though, The New Loud never feels the need to spit-shine their herky-jerky, XTC-inspired songs to a sterile polish. Instead, they filter them through a haze of Jesus and Mary Chain distortion or, just as often, leave them as they are, content to let their syrupy, oversized hooks speak for themselves.

Sunday, Jan. 4

Insurgent Theatre w/ Peter Woods and White, Wrench, Conservatory @ Stonefly Brewery, 10 p.m. Insurgent Theatre took its recent production on the road punk-style, performing Paint the Town, a mordant tale of a beautiful young revolutionary who is freed from her family’s grip by a terrorist, in small clubs and venues around the country, even sharing some bills with musical acts. They celebrate their return to Milwaukee with a homecoming performance of the play tonight, supported by Peter J. Woods, a Milwaukee noise artist who won high praise from Thurston Moore, one of the country’s most esteemed noise aficionados. Also on the bill is White, Wrench, Conservatory, a band that spins a particularly moody brand of shoegaze from an accordion, a beat-up Hammond organ and ample effects pedals.

James Intveld @ Vnuk’s Lounge, 8:30 p.m.

At this point, rockabilly has become so thoroughly intertwined with punk that it’s almost more shocking to hear a modern musician play traditional, ’60s rockabilly music—not some drunken, highspeed subversion thereof. James Intveld is more of a classicist as far as modern rockabilly performers go, so indebted to pioneers like Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochran that he makes Chris Isaak seem like Johnny Rotten by comparison. Though his role as the singing voice of Johnny Depp’s teen idol in John Waters’ satirical Cry-Baby suggests a seditious streak, recent endeavors have found Intveld in an earnest, religious frame of mind. His latest album, Have Faith, follows his 2005 directorial debut, Miracle at Sage Creek, a Christmas family movie starring David Carradine.

Tuesday, Jan. 6

Animal Collective listening party @ Burnhearts, 7 p.m.
Love them or hate them—either position is easily justifiable—Animal Collective has a knack for creating sounds and sonics unlike any ever heard before, so it’s easy to see why critics, particularly those who rely on a good Internet connection to post their opinions, have fallen so hard for these caustic, psych-folk slingers from Baltimore. Early buzz suggests that the band’s new Merriweather Post Pavilion could be their best album yet, and the band is capitalizing on the anticipation with a novel rollout plan: They’re selling vinyl copies of the record weeks ahead of the CD release at listening parties around the country, including this one tonight at Burnhearts, where Muzzle of Bees and WMSE 91.7 will be hosting giveaways of posters and other swag.


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