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This Week in Milwaukee: Aug. 25-31

Aug. 23, 2016
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Photo by Gary Sabin
Thursday, Aug. 25
Cameron Esposito @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 8 p.m.
Since her breakout performance on “The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson” in 2013, Chicago-born standup Cameron Esposito has been in high demand, appearing on Conan O’Brien, Carson Daly and Chelsea Handler’s late-night programs, as well as Comedy Central’s “Drunk History” and countless podcasts (she also hosts her own, “Put Your Hands Together”). She released her 2014 comedy album, Same Sex Symbol, on the indie-rock label Kill Rock Stars; like much of her material, it explored her take on life as a queer woman.

Friday, Aug. 26
Mexican Fiesta @ Summerfest Grounds
From its roots as a modest South Side street party in the ’70s, Mexican Fiesta has grown into one of the Midwest’s largest celebrations of Hispanic culture and a mainstay of the Milwaukee summer festival calendar. Highlights of this year’s three-day weekend include a Friday night Día de los Muertos parade, a Sunday morning Fiesta Run & Walk, art exhibits, a genealogy exhibit, more than 150 craft vendors, a soccer tournament, a car and motorcycle show, dance and costume contests, and cooking demonstrations from PBS chef Pati Jinich, host of “Pati’s Mexican Table.” That’s in addition to the dozens of music acts that will be performing throughout the weekend. (Through Sunday, Aug. 28.)

Freddie Jackson @ Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, 8 p.m.
Soul singer Freddie Jackson broke through in the mid-’80s with his smash ballad “Rock Me Tonight” from the debut album of the same name and enjoyed continued success throughout the decade, scoring hit after hit on the R&B charts with his fusion of quiet storm, jazz and soft rock. Although he never achieved the crossover success of some of his peers from the era, he never completely faded away, either. His most recent record was 2010’s For You, which reunited Jackson with Barry Eastmond, the songwriter and producer who assisted Jackson on many of his heyday hits.

Saturday, Aug. 27
Milwaukee Fringe Festival @ multiple venues
Since Edinburgh, Scotland, hosted its first Fringe Festival nearly 70 years ago, offshoots of the performing arts festival have popped up all over the world. So it was about time Milwaukee got its own Fringe Festival. The city’s inaugural Fringe Festival will feature dozens of acts from the worlds of theater, dance, performance art and comedy performing in and around the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts and the Milwaukee River, at a mix of free and ticketed presentations. Performers hail from all over the country, but the emphasis is on homegrown acts, which include Theatre Gigante, Quasimondo Physical Theatre, Hyperlocal MKE, Renaissance Theaterworks and the Bronzeville Arts Ensemble. Meanwhile, the festival will host two full days of free music at Pere Marquette Park spotlighting Milwaukee acts, including Tigernite, Milo, Light Music, Platinum Boys, Ugly Brothers, Zed Kenzo and Piles. For the complete lineup, visit mkefringe.com. (Through Sunday, Aug. 28.)

Gram Parsons 70th Birthday Bash @ Linneman’s Riverwest Inn, 7 p.m.
In recent years, Linneman’s Riverwest Inn has established itself as the premier venue for local musicians to pay homage to their influences, thanks to their regular tribute bills honoring musicians like Neil Young, John Lennon and Bob Dylan. This weekend, Gram Parsons gets his due. In conjunction with what would have been the songwriter’s 70th birthday this fall, a slew of Milwaukee acts will pay their respects to the late Byrds and Flying Burrito Brothers country-rock pioneer. The loaded bill includes Doghouse Flowers, Chris Head and the Honchos, Alex Ballard and Sugarfoot, The Zach Pietrini Band, Mississippi Stranglers, Liar’s Trial and The Cow Ponies. The cover is $10.

Tallan Noble Latz @ Shank Hall, 8 p.m.
Though his career was cut short in 1990 when he died in a helicopter crash at age 35, Stevie Ray Vaughan reinvigorated blues-rock during his brief time in the spotlight, and he remains one of the genre’s most influential figures. Among the younger artists who continue to take inspiration from him is Tallan Noble Latz, a WAMI Award-winning guitarist who grew up just minutes away from where Vaughan’s helicopter crashed outside of Alpine Valley in East Troy. For this show, Latz will pay tribute to his idol by performing Vaughan’s final Alpine Valley set in its entirety.

Sunday, April 28
T.J. Miller @ The Pabst Theater, 8 p.m.
For years, Todd Joseph “T.J.” Miller has been one of comedy’s great ringers, bringing welcome comic relief to movies like Cloverfield, Transformers: Age of Extinction and Deadpool, as well as plenty of more conventional comedies. It wasn’t until 2014, however, that he found a vehicle that made full use of his talents. As the arrogant, aspiring tech mogul Erlich Bachman, he steals every scene he’s in on HBO’s “Silicon Valley.” For this stop on his “Meticulously Ridiculous” tour, he’ll be joined by comedians Kate Miller (his wife) and Nick Vatterott.

Tuesday, Aug. 30
Chill on the Hill: Midnight Reruns w/ Claire Kelly @ Humboldt Park, 6 p.m.
Not to depress you, but summer is slowly but surely coming to a close. For Bay View residents, nothing hits that reality home quite like the end of the neighborhood’s popular Chill on the Hill concert series at Humboldt Park. At least it’s going out in style: The final 2016 installment of the event features local power-pop ensemble Midnight Reruns, who channeled their love of The Replacements and ’90s alternative into some surprisingly heartfelt songs about loss and alienation on their most recent record, Force of Nurture, which they recorded with Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson. Upbeat local singer-songwriter Claire Kelly kicks off the evening.

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