words by Cal Roach
We hate to say it, Milwaukee, but…it might be time to start thinking about holiday shopping. We’re NOT saying you ought to put up decorations and lights and start playing Christmas music! But it just so happens that Saturday at Turner Hall they’re having this thing called the Urban Garage Sale, where tons of local artists and vendors will be selling their wares, many of them offering great discounts for the occasion. It’s a great way to get a jump on the giving season, and support local businesses instead of shoveling more dough into the big box stores and generic online marketplaces. People like unique gifts, whether they know it or not! The event runs 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; click here for a full list of vendors, and in the mean time, keep reading for a bunch more ideas for what to do this weekend.
Hey, remember that one weekend when there were no festivals going on? Heh, we probably just didn’t look hard enough, ’cause there’s almost always a festival of some sort somewhere in the Brew City. This weekend’s is a doozy: November Coming Fire, presented by our own Team Metal, which, as you might have guessed by now, features the best in very LOUD music. Some of you may have heard of the recent reunion of Milwaukee death metal legends Dr. Shrinker? This badass band will headline tonight (Friday), and the awesome doesn’t stop there. Between Stonefly and Quarters, get ready for an onslaught of eleven bands over the course of the evening, including Michigan stoner/doom outfit Beast In The Field, Milwaukee classic thrash combo Architects Of The Aftermath and many more (um, eight more, to be exact). The fun continues Saturday night at The Down And Over, where black metal titans Absu will headline, joined by Indianapolis grindcore mainstays Radiation Sickness, local hardcore heroes Protestant, and a ton more. Click here for the full lineup; the shows start at 4 p.m. on Saturday so be sure to get there early for the full experience.
We don’t often feel compelled to recommend films, but we happened to catch one at this year’s Milwaukee Film Festival that’s playing this weekend at the UWM Union Theater that you should really try to catch if you can. Just one thing to keep in mind: It’s a very, very disturbing film, unlike anything you’ve seen before. It’s not gory or terribly graphic, but you need to be able to stomach the notions of remorseless physical violence and extreme psychological torture. It’s a documentary that’s likely to make you feel ill by the end. It’s called The Act Of Killing, and it takes you through reenactments of unspeakable cruelty by the very men who actually committed these acts years ago during Indonesia’s anti-communist purge of the mid 1960s. It’s a powerful work of filmmaking that will leave you simultaneously in despair for humanity and shaken with gratitude for aspects of life you take for granted. The movie plays Friday, Saturday and Sunday; click here for show times.
Are you ready for another record release party, folks? This one’s gonna be a doozy, especially if you’re a fan of the letter “F.” That’s right, it’s local hyper-pop combo Faux Fir, finally releasing a full-length album after years of EPs and split singles and remixes. It’s called Fashionable Life, and as you might expect, the guys have assembled somewhat of an all-star cast of like-minded bands to join them in the celebration. As fate would have it, Fable & The World Flat and The Fatty Acids have both released at least one new album this year (as well as both being filed under “F” in your record collection, assuming you don’t file any band name by its article, right???) that you should absolutely check out immediately if for some reason you just discovered this blog and/or have been living under a rock for most of 2013; click on the band names to go directly to Bandcamp and take a listen. And then go to this show tonight at Linneman’s.
Speaking of record release parties…there’s yet another record release party tonight, you guys. You may remember back in 2011 when the hip-hop duo known as Logic & Raze put out their long-awaited debut album that they couldn’t come up with a title for, so they called it …STILL Untitled. It was a banner year for Logic in particular, having already made waves with The Hollowz’ irresistible Dreams Of Sex And Flying, and his partnership with Raze was obviously another winner. These guys aren’t about your retro/nice-guy rap, nor are they all bluster and braggadocio; as far as we can tell, they just tell it like it is. Tonight at Cactus Club you can get your hands on their followup album, the inventively-titled LandR. It’s sure to be a barnburner of a show, and they’ll be joined by the infectious grooves of AUTOMatic as well as WMSE’s own DJ Bizzon so you know it’s gonna be a nonstop party.
Decibully may be broken up (In case you missed it, check out this recent tribute), but some of its members are still busy on the music scene. Bassist Nick Sanborn has been busy for a couple years now with Megafaun, among several other projects, and in case you’ve found it difficult to keep track of the various bands he’s done time in, he’s put together this handy show as part of the Alverno Presents series called Lend Me Your Voice to set you straight. It’s his own personal story about being a contributor to other people’s music, in which he’ll narrate bits of his musical career in between performances with some of his most frequent and famous collaborators, including Christopher Porterfield (Field Report), Chris Rosenau (Collections Of Colonies Of Bees), and others. It should be an interesting look at the various hats a professional musician has to wear to make a go at the business; see it tonight or Saturday at the Pitman Theater.
Saturday is also the date for the annual Neil Young tribute show at Linneman’s known as Kneel To Neil, and as usual, it features a pretty amazing lineup of local talent. Among those you won’t want to miss: Midnight Reruns, Jonathan Burks, Twin Brother, Chris Demay and many more, all playing their favorite Young classics. The best part is that the proceeds benefit Neil’s Bridge School foundation as well as your favorite radio station, WMSE! Sort of the younger cousin of the Nod To Bob pre-Thanksgiving party (coming up in a couple of weeks, don’t'cha know!), this yearly shindig has quickly become one of Riverwest’s favorite holiday-ish traditions. Click here for the full lineup of performers.
Sunday night is another Cactus Club night for all you rock and rollers. If you caught the Die Kreuzen reunion show this past Memorial Day weekend, you probably remember the opening band, We Are Hex. These guys play dark, danceable, noisy rock, driven by the maniacal lead vocals of Jill Weiss, one of the most distinctive lead singers emerging in the increasingly saturated market of female-fronted post-punk bands. Since 2010′s Hail The Goer LP they’ve just been cranking out seven-inchers and creating a buzz with their incendiary live performances, which you should make a top priority for the weekend. They’ll be joined by like-minded (if somewhat more traditionally melodic) Milwaukee band Body Futures, whose energetic live show makes us really anxious for them to put out a record one of these days; in the mean time, you can listen to some demos over at good old Bandcamp.