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This Week in Milwaukee: 9.15

Sep. 13, 2016
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Thursday, Sept. 15
Echo and the Bunnymen w/ Ester Drang @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 8 p.m.
One of the greatest post-punk bands of the ’80s is finally returning to Milwaukee. Though Echo and the Bunnymen have released some surprisingly solid reunion records since reforming in the ’90s—including 2009’s The Fountain and 2014’s Meteorites—none of the group’s recent tours have taken them through the city. That’ll change this week, when the band plays its first Milwaukee show in more than 30 years at the Turner Hall Ballroom. The band’s last time playing the city was at the long-demolished Uptown Theatre in 1984, according to the venue. Here’s hoping moody classics like “The Killing Moon” will sound as fresh now as they did back then.

Friday, Sept. 16
Trampled by Turtles w/ Horseshoes and Hand Grenades and Dead Horses @ The Riverside Theater, 7:30 p.m.
There was a time when Trampled by Turtles were a niche band. On their early records, the Duluth bluegrass ensemble thrilled jam-music fans by gleefully blitzing through complex chord changes and solos with whirlwind speed. But over time, they’ve proven themselves top-notch songwriters, as well. The group’s latest album, 2014’s Wild Animals, is their most accessible yet, tempering the rapid tempos of their early recordings without sacrificing the showmanship and spectacle that’s made their music such a draw. No wonder they’re playing such large venues these days: This is bluegrass that even non-bluegrass fans can get behind.

Saturday, Sept. 17
Bay View Bash @ Kinnickinnic Avenue, noon
It’s a testament to Bay View residents’ enthusiasm for their neighborhood that each year so many of them get together as volunteers to put on the Bay View Bash, a sprawling street festival that runs a good stretch of Kinnickinnic Avenue. Attractions this year include a strong man competition, drumlins, a pot sticker eating contest, fire dancers and a children’s stage. And of course there’s music, too. Rush-Mor Records has lined up a full day of punk, rock ‘n’ roll and hip-hop at its stage, with headliners like Brain-Bats, The Pukes, Urban Waste and Mary Allen and the Percolators, while the festival’s South Stage will host Spoof Fest tributes to artists including R.E.M., Weezer, Kenny Rodgers, Motörhead and Neil Diamond.

Rock The Green @ Reed Street Yards, 2 p.m.
Don’t call it a comeback. Actually, go ahead and call it a comeback. Rock The Green launched in 2011 with the goal of providing a cleaner, more sustainable model for music festivals, but took a few years off after losing some key sponsorship. It’s not often that festivals return from a hiatus that long, but Rock The Green promised it would be back, and sure enough, this year it has returned with a new location, Reed Street Yards on Freshwater Way, and an inviting lineup that includes peppy folk-rockers Lord Huron, electronic singer-songwriter Robert DeLong and indie-rockers Best Coast, as well as The Heavy, Thao & The Get Down Stay Down, Trapper Schoepp, New Age Narcissism, Great Lake Drifters, Foreign Goods, Evan Christian, NO/NO and Eagle Trace. Some of those acts will be playing a stage powered by bicycle pedals. There will also be locally sourced food and beverages and an array of eco-friendly attractions.

Doors Open Milwaukee @ multiple locations
One of Historic Milwaukee, Inc.’s most ambitious initiatives, Doors Open Milwaukee is a free two-day event that invites participants to take a peek inside more than 100 buildings of historical or architectural significance, including many that are usually off-limits to the general public. City Hall, All Saints’ Cathedral, Modjeska Theatre, the Clock Shadow Building, the Federal Courthouse, the Marine Terminal Building, the Marcus Center, the Milwaukee Public Museum and Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church are among the many locations offering guided or self-guided tours during this weekend’s installment of the event. For a complete list, visit doorsopenmilwaukee.org. (Also, Sunday, Sept. 18.)

The Kills w/ L.A. Witch @ The Rave, 8 p.m.
The rock revival that helped usher the London rock duo The Kills to prominence in the early ’00s has lost much of its team, but the band has carried on, albeit in a new direction. The band’s latest record, Ash & Ice, was recorded after an eventful half decade that saw singer Alison Mosshart move to Nashville to focus on recording with her Jack White collaboration The Dead Weather, and a hand injury that required Jamie Hince to relearn how to play guitar. As a result, it’s a less guitar-heavy effort than fans might have come to expect from the group, with many tracks taking a moodier, more beat-heavy approach that owes a bit to trip-hop.

Sunday, Sept. 18
Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker w/ Liv Mueller @ The Back Room at Colectivo, 7:30 p.m.
Drawing from some of folk’s earliest influences, the British duo Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker have earned frequent comparisons to Fairport Convention for their fragile, ornately orchestrated compositions. Clarke’s sterling voice and Walker’s lyrical guitarwork form the core of their sound, but their breakthrough 2014 album, Nothing Can Bring Back The Hour, supplemented those instruments with cellos, violins, violas and graceful horns. Their follow-up album, Overnight, is set to arrive in October on Rough Trade Records. Ahead of the new record, they’ll play this intimate show at Colectivo’s Back Room with opener Liv Mueller of the Milwaukee alternative-pop group, The Lovelies.

Monday, Sept. 19
Eisley w/ Merriment @ The Rave, 8 p.m.
Eisley’s 2005 debut album, Room Noises, was as perky and optimistic of an indie-pop record as you’d expect from a band comprised of four young siblings and their cousin, but Eisley’s songwriting has twisted in different directions as the band has matured. The group’s 2011 record, The Valley, was recorded in the wake of singer Sherri DuPree’s divorce from New Found Glory’s Chad Gilbert and guitarist Chauntelle DuPree’s broken engagement to Taking Back Sunday’s Adam Lazzara. Where Sherri DuPree once wrote her songs in fairy tale couplets, she dwelled on betrayal and heartache. 2013’s Currents found the group in a lighter mood, though. That crowd-funded record was recorded after four fifths of the group had become parents.

Tuesday, Sept. 20
Peaches w/ TT The Artist @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 8 p.m.
Is Peaches’ sexually explicit crotch-rap a bold refutation of traditional gender roles, or is it just that much more exploitative because it feigns feminism as an excuse for bad, gynecological shock humor? That’s for each individual listener to decide, but judging from albums like 2006’s Impeach My Bush and 2009’s I Feel Cream, you can’t fault anyone for assuming the latter. The singer drops more confrontational electro-clash on her latest album, Rub, which doesn’t include anything as instantly infectious as her breakout single, “Fuck the Pain Away,” but does feature an effective Kim Gordon cameo on opener “Close Up” and plenty of biting commentary in tracks like “Dick in the Air” and “Vaginoplasty.”


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