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This Week in Milwaukee: Nov. 10-16

Nov. 8, 2016
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Thursday, Nov. 10
The Good Life w/ Jake Bellows, Our Fox and Oquoa @ Cactus Club, 8:30 p.m.
Tim Kasher is best known as the frontman for the group Cursive, which injected new life into emo in the late ’90s and early ’00s with visceral records like Domestica and The Ugly Organ, but in between records with that group he’s also indulged his singer-songwriter tendencies with his band The Good Life. Over the years the distinction between those two bands has blurred. His latest album with The Good Life, his first since 2007, is Everybody’s Coming Down, and it’s as rock-minded as Cursive’s recent albums, if not nearly as testy. It may lack the ambition of some of The Good Life’s earlier albums, but it’s one of the most brisk, inviting albums Kasher has ever recorded. For this show the band is joined by another Saddle Creek veteran, Jake Bellows, formerly of the band Neva Dinova.

Guitars for Vets Benefit @ The Best Place at the Historic Pabst Brewery, 6 p.m.
The local nonprofit Guitars For Vets was founded on the premise that music heals, and more specifically that playing music can help veterans cope with the pain of PTSD. The group provides one-on-one guitar lessons for veterans and pairs them with instruments. This weekend the organization hosts its sixth annual benefit concert, which will feature music from The WhiskeyBelles, The Mission River Band and Kharma Shotgun. All proceeds from ticket sales ($10 in advance or $15 at the door) go directly to the cause.

Friday, Nov. 11
Band of Horses w/ Wild Belle @ The Rave, 8 p.m.
Some indie bands grow bigger and more radio friendly after signing to a major label, but Seattle’s Band of Horses went the opposite route. In the wake of Everything All The Time, their debut for the indie hub Sub Pop Records, and its breakout single “The Funeral,” Band of Horses signed to Columbia Records, where they released a pair of mostly intimate, song-centric records, including 2010’s Grammy nominated Infinite Arms. The group moved to Interscope records for their latest effort, this summer’s Why Are You OK, which they recorded with Grandaddy’s Jason Lytle. It doesn’t have another knock-out anthem like “The Funeral” on it, but it does claim some of singer Ben Bridwell’s most memorable songs in years.

Martin Lawrence @ The Riverside Theater, 8 p.m.
During the ’90s Martin Lawrence was one of comedy’s most prominent stars, a host of HBO’s influential “Def Comedy Jam,” star of his own hit sitcom “Martin” and a major box office draw, thanks to his 1995 Will Smith buddy-cop blockbuster Bad Boys. His stardom was almost undone, though, by his erratic offstage behavior (some of which was reportedly the inspiration for Tracy Jordan’s shenanigans on “30 Rock”). In recent years Lawrence has been working steadily again, and ahead of his return in another Bad Boys movie tentatively set for a 2018 release, he recorded his first comedy special in 14 years, “Martin Lawrence Doin’ Time: Uncut,” which Showtime aired in September. It covers more or less the expected territory, Bill Cosby and President Obama included. He’ll touch on that material at this rare Milwaukee standup show.

Saturday, Nov. 12
Tedeschi Trucks Band w/ Amy Helm and the Handsome Family @ The Riverside Theater, 8 p.m.
The Tedeschi Trucks Band is the progeny of husband-and-wife rockers Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks, veteran road warriors who in 2010 merged their individual bands into one made up of 11 or 12 members. They knew they were onto something with the success of their first album under the Tedeschi Trucks umbrella, 2011’s Relevator, which took home a Grammy for Best Blues Album. Their 2013 follow-up Made Up Mind was a more varied set that includes several songs heavily inspired by the vintage soul of Stax and Motown. Some of those sounds work their way into the group’s latest effort, Let Me Get By, as well, along with plenty of blues and gospel influences.

Kenny Walker Band @ Red Dot, 6:30 p.m.
Saxophonist Kenny Walker has spent his musical career predominantly as a sideman, most prominently in Little Richard’s band, but for this free performance at Red Dot in Wauwatosa he’ll take center stage, supported in his soul revue by a hand-picked cast of Milwaukee-area players, including singer Tammie Moorer, who has her own ties to the local soul scene. She’s the daughter of one of the members of the Milwaukee R&B group The Esquires.

Taste of the World @ American Serb Hall, 2 p.m.
Milwaukee is fortunate to claim some of the best ethnic restaurants in the country, many of which will offer samples at this tasting event proudly presented by the Shepherd Express. Along with food from the Shawarma House, Casablanca, Afro Fusion, Chef Paz, Café Corazon, the Bavarian Bierhaus and many others, there will be dance performances from the Aarabhi Indian Dance School, Tamarind Belly Dancers and Celtric Irish Dancers, and capoeira from Corpo E. Movimento.

Sunday, Nov. 13
Aurora w/ Dan Croll @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 8 p.m.
20-year-old pop singer Aurora hails from Norway, and that country’s long, chilly winters seem to have left an impression on her music. Her debut album All My Demons Greeting Me as a Friend is filled with soaring numbers pitched somewhere between Lorde’s contemplative electro-pop and Florence and the Machine’s theatrical pomp, but it’s underlined by a shadowy, nocturnal spirit that’s all her own. The record debuted at the top of Norway’s music charts, and subsequent appearances on Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert and Conan O’Brien’s late night shows have helped introduce Aurora to American audiences.

NOFX w/ Pears and Useless ID @ The Rave, 8 p.m.
Although they have sold millions of albums during their more than a quarter-century together, Cali-punk institutions NOFX have made a point to stay out of the mainstream by avoiding music videos and taunting the hands that feed. Their most infamous single, “Please Play This Song on the Radio,” culminates in a torrent of profanity. The group long ago dropped pretenses of being a serious hardcore band, instead settling on a jocular skate-punk sound, but between all the silly party songs singer Fat Mike has slipped some surprisingly personal, sincere lyrics into recent albums like 2009’s Coaster and 2012’s Self-Entitled. That trend continues on this year’s First Ditch Effort, which features maybe the most genuinely sad song Mike has ever written, “I’m So Sorry, Tony,” a eulogy for longtime friend and No Use for a Name frontman Tony Sly.

Wednesday, Nov. 16
Three Woman and The Truth @ Shank Hall, 8 p.m.
Some songwriters do their best work in isolation, while others thrive on collaboration. The folk trio Three Woman and The Truth unites three songwriters whose works complement each other: Mary Gauthier, Eliza Gilkyson and Gretchen Peters, all of whom write deeply personal Americana songs about struggles and perseverance. Both Gilkyson and Peters have been nominated for Grammys, while Gauthier was nominated for a GLAAD Outstanding Music Artist of the Year award in 2015.

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