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This Week in Milwaukee: June 15-21, 2017

Jun. 13, 2017
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Thursday, June 15

Adam Greuel and Sarah Vos @ Anodyne Coffee Walker’s Point Roastery & Cafe, 8 p.m.

If you’re thinking these names sound vaguely familiar, you’re onto something: Adam Greuel plays guitar/drobo for the bluegrass group Horseshoes And Hand Grenades while Sarah Vos fronts the folk duo Dead Horses. These Milwaukee-based artists have more in common than horse references and local roots, though. This shared show will highlight songs from both their similarly themed discographies. The two have played together a few times before, sharing well-received, acoustic Americana through intricate harmonies that unite the tales of their separate journeys through the American landscape.

Friday, June 16
HartFest @ Hart Park, Wauwatosa, 5 p.m.

Each year the family friendly HartFest attracts around 10,000 people to Downtown Wauwatosa in support of area community organizations. Between the half marathon, a full-blown dog festival (FidoFest) that brings out canines in droves, skateboard demos, martial arts demos and live music (including performances from festival mainstays Pat McCurdy and The LoveMoneys), it’s going to be a very busy two days. (Also Saturday, June 17.)

Lakefront Festival of Art @ Milwaukee Art Museum

This three-day, outdoor fundraising event for the Milwaukee Art Museum is consistently named one of the best art festivals in the country, and for good reason. Lakefront Festival of Art has had 54 years to earn its premier standing. The showcase will feature artwork from more than 170 artists who were carefully selected from thousands of national applicants. The artwork, which includes fiber, paintings, metalwork, jewelry, ceramics and more will be available for on-site purchase in case you see something you can’t leave the festival without. (Through Sunday, June 18.) 

Polish Fest @ Summerfest Grounds

No city does a “World’s Largest” festival like Milwaukee does, and we’re at it again with Polish Fest, the first of the city’s big annual ethnic festivals at the Summerfest grounds. Each year the festival features traditional Polish fashion, toys, home goods, folk art, history lessons, ludicrous amounts of polka and some of the best sausages you’ll eat all summer. (Through Sunday, June 18). 

Ozuna @ The Riverside Theater, 8 p.m.

Ozuna is the stage name of 25-year-old Puerto Rican singer and songwriter Jan Carlos Ozuna Rosado. Just years after posting his first videos on YouTube, his anthemic, reggaeton-inspired musical works have become huge Latin American radio hits and international streaming sensations. Following breakout songs like “Dile Que Tu Me Quieres,” he was recognized with a nomination at the 2017 Billboard Latin Music Awards in the “New Artist of the Year” category. Now he’s looking beyond Latin America with a string of gigs in the U.S., the U.K., Switzerland and Italy.

IndependenceFirst Handcycling Classic @ multiple locations
Wisconsin’s annual Tour of America’s Dairyland introduces a new event this year: The IndependenceFirst Handcycling Classic. The races will feature more than two dozen top handcyclists, including a five-time Hawaii Ironman World Champion and members of the Paralyzed Veterans of America Racing Team. The 30-minute handcycling races will take place near the end of each day’s events, just before the tour’s day-ending men’s professional races, at 5:10 p.m. on Friday, June 16 at Church Street in East Troy; 6:25 p.m. at Beech Street and Wisconsin Avenue in Grafton on Saturday, June 17; and at 5:40 p.m. at Main Street in Waukesha on Sunday, June 18. For the complete schedule of Tour of America’s Dairlyland’s many races and events, visit tourofamericasdairyland.com.

Saturday, June 17
Maxwell w/ Ledisi @ The Riverside Theater, 8 p.m.

With his 1996 debut Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite, Maxwell helped establish mellow, groove-based neo-soul as a commercially viable alternative to the more dance-based R&B of the time, but after his 2001 album, Now, he willfully retreated from the spotlight for some extended downtime. It took eight years before he returned in top form on 2009’s BLACKsummers’night, an elegant, utterly gorgeous record that swiftly returned the singer to the airwaves and earned him a pair of Grammys. Amazingly, his follow-up album blackSUMMER’Snight (it’s the second in a planned trilogy) took another seven years for the singer to deliver, but damn if it wasn’t worth the wait. It was another deliriously lush collection of introspective soul that landed him his third Grammy, for the single “Lake By The Ocean.”

Good City Fest @ Good City Brewing, 10 a.m.
In the last few years so many new craft and microbreweries have sprung up around the city that only the most dedicated local beer enthusiast could possibly keep track of them all. Good City Brewing, however, has the distinction of being the first new brewery to stake out a home on Milwaukee’s East Side. To celebrate its one-year anniversary, the brewer presents this celebration in its drinking and dining area and back parking lot. Outdoor music starts at 2 p.m. with a lineup that includes The Quilz, Twin Brother, Sat. Nite Duets, Platinum Boys, Klassik and Fever Marlene. 

Sunday, June 18

Wilco w/ Kacy & Clayton @ Riverside Theater, 7:30 p.m.

Wilco playing a show on Father’s Day is so wildly appropriate it’s hard to handle. Taking your dad to see some dad rock on his special day—what more could he ask for? Just remember that frontman Jeff Tweedy dislikes the term dad rock, even though he created one of the great masterpieces of that genre with Wilco’s Steely Dan-mellow 2007 album Sky Blue Sky. Over their 10-album run the band has bounced back and forth from alt-country to symphonic pop and experimental rock, before settling into a pleasantly low-key groove on recent albums like Star Wars and Schmilco. The only thing that could make this Father’s Day performance more memorable is if Tweedy brings his son, drummer Spencer Tweedy, along (the two are in their own band together, just called Tweedy).

Robyn Hitchcock @ The Back Room at Colectivo, 8 p.m.
Robyn Hitchcock has been making underrated music since his days fronting the neo-psychedelia band The Soft Boys back in the ’70s, so it’s unlikely he’ll experience a big commercial breakthrough this late in his career, now that he’s comfortably in his mid-60s. Even if only critics and longtime die-hard fans seem to be listening, though, Hitchcock has continued making some truly wonderful albums, including his latest self-titled record. Produced in Nashville by Brendan Benson of The Raconteurs, it features guest harmony vocals from a few of Hitchock’s many longtime admirers, including Grant Lee Phillips, Gillian Welch, Emma Swift and Wilco’s Pat Sansone.

Monday, June 19
Juneteenth Day @ Dr. Martin Luther King Drive, 10 a.m.

News traveled slow in the 1800s. Though Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation on Jan. 1, 1863, some slaves in Texas didn’t learn of their freedom until two and a half years later, on June 19, 1865. Each year Milwaukee commemorates that date with one of the largest Juneteenth celebrations in the world, a big, family friendly blowout on Dr. Martin Luther King Drive between Burleigh and Center that brings thousands of people onto the streets to enjoy live music, games and some of the best barbecue in the city. This year, the festival celebrates a milestone: the 25th anniversary of its Miss Juneteenth Pageant. As always, the day will kick off with a parade down West Atkinson Avenue and Martin Luther King Drive.


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