This Week in Milwaukee: Oct. 13-19
Thursday, Oct. 13
Ingrid Michaelson w/ AJR @ The Pabst Theater, 8 p.m.
Singer-songwriter Ingrid Michaelson has a way of singing about even the most downtrodden themes of uncertainty and pain with sunshine and good cheer. That indomitable spirit made Michaelson a hot commodity on television, where her songs have appeared on a host of shows (including, of course, “Grey’s Anatomy,” the drama that helped break many singers in Michaelson’s mold), and an inescapable 2007 Old Navy ad campaign that featured her cutesy breakout single “The Way I Am.” Her 2009 album Everybody was loaded with upbeat folk-pop numbers about the universal need to love, but her more recent efforts, including this year’s It Doesn’t Have to Make Sense, have tempered some of the preciousness of her early albums in favor of a fuller sound and a more mature look at adult relationships.
Friday, Oct. 14
Of Montreal w/ Teen @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 8 p.m.
Of Montreal have finally started to mellow down a little bit. Since the indie-rock band’s 2007 zenith Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?, leader Kevin Barnes has taken the group in a number of adventurous, off-kilter directions, indifferent to the mixed results. They threw even their most loyal fans for a loop with 2010’s False Priest, and 2012’s Paralytic Stalks was even more inscrutable. Yet fans who understandably gave up on the band would be well advised to check out their last couple of albums. Last year’s Aureate Gloom was Barnes’ most personal record since Hissing Fauna, detailing the dissolution of his marriage, while taking cues from the fairly straightforward rock ’n’ roll of New York’s ’70s glam and proto-punk scenes. This year’s Innocence Reaches added a few new moves to the band’s playbook, boldly cribbing from contemporary electronic music on a few tracks, while offering up some of the band’s most approachable pop tunes in nearly a decade.
Rae Sremmurd w/ Lil Yachty, Eearz, Bobo Swae and Impxct @ The Rave, 8 p.m.
The brother/brother duo Rae Sremmurd may have struck a decidedly Kris Kross-esque pose on the cover of their debut album SremmLife, but don’t let the resemblance fool you: They’re a smarter, decidedly more ambitious act than that party-rap duo of yore. Under the guidance of super producer Mike Will Made It, Swae Lee and Slim Jimmy packed their debut with one lively, inventive hit after another, and they keep that streak going on this summer’s follow-up album, SremmLife 2, which draws from the rowdy spirit of both Atlanta rap clubs and the festival EDM scene. “This is how you start a party!” they roar on the opening track—damn right it is. For their debut concert in Milwaukee, the group will be joined by one of this summer’s breakout rappers, Atlanta’s Lil Yachty.
Saturday, Oct. 15
Beet Street Harvest Fest @ Potter and Wentworth avenues, 11 a.m.- 6 p.m.
Hosted by neighborhood staples Goodkind, Palomino and the Cactus Club, the inaugural Beet Street Harvest Fest offers a distinctly Bay View spin on the traditional harvest festival. Since it’s smack in the middle of the city, there won’t be an apple orchard or hay rides, but there will be a pumpkin patch, a farmer’s market, a pie competition and plenty of booze, including hot toddies, ciders, kegged cocktails and craft beer. And of course it wouldn’t be a Bay View street festival without music. Outdoor performers include Abby Jeanne Rebel Love, Maritime, Space Raft and Lex Allen, while Bad Wig, Fatal Figures and Athletic Supply will keep the music going inside the Cactus Club.
Milwaukee Paranormal Conference @ UW-Milwaukee Student Union, 10 a.m.
Mankind has always been fascinated by the unknown, but some of us are more fascinated by it than others. Truth searchers, UFO believers and crypto-zoologists of all stripes will come together at this year’s Milwaukee Paranormal Conference, which features the event’s most loaded schedule yet. Following a series of kickoff events Friday night, Saturday’s conference features panels on manwolves, Roswell, giants, Bigfoot and the Minnesota Iceman, as well as a discussion with “Paranormal Lockdown” star Katrina Weidman. Sunday’s highlights include panels on Wisconsin urban legends and sea monsters and the Minnesota Krampus, as well as workshop on analyzing UFO photos. A series of film screenings, walking tours and social activities will take place at multiple venues in conjunction with the conference. For the complete schedule, visit milwaukeeparacon.com.
Monday, Oct. 17
Garrison Keillor @ The Pabst Theater, 8 p.m.
For NPR listeners who absolutely can’t stand Garrison Keillor’s drowsy voice and his even drowsier humor, your long nightmare is over: This year Keillor ended his 42-year run as the host of NPR’s iconic “A Prairie Home Companion,” which now carries on with younger host Chris Thile. For fans who find Keillor’s homespun humor comforting, though, there’s good news, too: Rather than fade into retirement, Keillor has remained a presence on the road. At this appearance he’ll touch on some very “Prairie Home Companion”-esque material, reminiscing about his childhood in Minnesota and sharing more anecdotes about Lake Wobegon.
Tuesday, Oct. 18
Steve-O @ Turner Hall Ballroom
It’s been a bumpy road for former MTV fixture Steve-O since his stunt shows “Jackass” and “Wildboyz” came to an end. Between appearances on various cable shows and the Jackass movies, he’s gone public about his struggles with addiction and mental illness and been in and out of jail, most recently for a 2015 protest against SeaWorld that involved a large crane and a blow-up whale doll. Steve-O will bring his mixture of stand-up comedy and wild stunts to the Turner Hall Ballroom for this appearance.
Chad & Jeremy @ Shank Hall, 8 p.m.
They were never the flashiest act to come from the British Invasion—you won’t find any footage of them playing to crowds of shrieking girls—but the folk-rock duo Chad & Jeremy recorded a string of beautifully wistful hits throughout the ’60s, including their 1964 American breakthrough “A Summer Song,” which was memorable featured in Wes Anderson’s Rushmore. Save for a little-remembered reunion album in the early ’80s, Chad Stuart & Jeremy Clyde, the duo was mostly silent for decades until they were permanently reunited for a 2003 PBS special. They’ve been touring together ever since, playing old hits and trading humorous stage banter.
Wednesday, Oct. 19
M83 w/ Shura @ The Pabst Theater, 8 p.m.
M83 leader Anthony Gonzalez has always been fascinated by nostalgia. On his electro-pop project’s breakout album, 2008’s Saturdays = Youth, he created a spiritual soundtrack to the John Hughes movies of his childhood, before super-sizing those same sounds on his ambitious 2011 album Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming. Both of those records were utterly majestic, but M83’s latest album is less of a slam dunk. Instead of mining the most widely beloved corners of the ’80s, Gonzalez instead looks to the era’s tackier side, taking particular inspiration from New Age music and the dinky theme songs to TV shows like “Punky Brewster” and “Doogie Howser, M.D.” The album’s title says it all: It’s called Junk.