words by Cal Roach
Hey folks, the weekend is here, and chances are next week is a short week for most of you, too, so that’s exciting, right? Milwaukee isn’t slowing down one bit, either; that only really happens right around Christmas time, it seems, but it’s not even December yet, so here’s your usual packed schedule of stuff to do leading up to turkey day.
Milwaukee’s Drugs Dragons burst onto the scene with a flurry of activity in 2010; a noisily irresistible self-titled LP of B-horror garbage rock, followed by a bunch of shows and the similarly demented Milorganight EP the following year. Since then the band has kept a fairly low profile, but they’ve indicated that their show at Quarters tonight (Friday) will consist largely of new material, so hopefully that means a new record is in the works! Plus, local garage punk outfit Slow Walker will play as well, along with newly-minted side project of Midnight Reruns‘ Graham Hunt, Midwives, plus Detroit’s SROS Lords. Bring earplugs!
If you’re looking for something more on the bluesy, slightly proggy side of traditional rock (notice we didn’t say “classic!”), there’s a solid lineup of local acts tonight at Riverwest Public House. Calliope and Mortgage Freeman have both released their debut full-lengths in the past year and proceeded to play out quite a bit; expect straight-ahead vocal and guitar heroics from the former and weirder, jammier tendencies from the latter. Plus, for a dose of decidedly modern, super-danceable stuff, Tigernite is on the bill too; did you catch them on Local/Live a few weeks ago? This is gonna be a fun show, kids.
Speaking of modern and super-danceable, your third option for tonight is over at Turner Hall, where Metric will bring its eclectic post-punk/pop/glam experiment for a night of pure sonic revelry. This is one of those bands that always plays festivals and people who are walking by go “Whoa, who is THAT?” and wind up sticking around for the rest of the set, and the people who were already fans go “That was the best set of the fest.” Trust us, you can’t go wrong with this pick; it’s tempting to say something like “Anyone who likes live music should dig this,” but of course we can’t prove it… Also playing: Battleme.
Saturday night at Cactus Club is kind of an exciting event, as local psych-punks Elusive Parallelograms‘ Spinal Tap-esque quest for a permanent drummer continues. Lucky for us music fans, one of our favorite local drummers, DJ Hostettler (Body Futures, IfIHadAHifi), will be filling in for this show, which could make the Elusive P sound even fiercer than it already is! Which is saying a lot; these guys generally steal the show on every bill they’re on, including when they were the very first act at last year’s Milwaukee Psych Fest, don’t'cha know. They’ll be appearing along with Vancouver indie-poppers Said The Whale and local garage/power-pop leading lights Certain Stars.
Headbangers and slamdancers can get their groove on Saturday night back at the Public House, as local hardcore/grind heroes Enabler will tear the place up. The group just released a typically rip-roaring new EP, Flies, last month; you should definitely check that one out if you’re into the extreme side of music. On the more melodic end of the punk spectrum, Milwaukee’s Temple put out a killer album, The Conscience Of The King, last April, and they’ll be playing at this show as well, along with Chicago’s The Swan King, which is a Pelican side project, so you can figure it’s gonna be heavy and probably pretty rad, but it’s actually a lot more punk, less metal; kind of like the faster side of Melvins, if you want our opinion.
‘Twas the night before Thanksgiving, and all through the city, almost everybody was stirring, every single year, because you gotta get out and release some pent-up energy prior to the long weekend with the family, right? The first logical place to turn on Wednesday is Linneman’s, where the ever-popular Bob Dylan tribute show, the 15th annual Nod To Bob, will be going down. Always a great time, this year’s event will feature local luminaries such as Heidi Spencer, Sam Llanas, Chris Demay, The Thriftones, The Riverwest Aces and oodles more; you never know who’s gonna pop up at this show. Proceeds benefit the Hunger Task Force, so get out and help provide some meals for less fortunate folks and have a terrific time doing it.
Another great Riverwest option would be the irrepressible Mad Planet, which will be razed to the ground (whoops!) by just about the hottest hip-hop lineup the Brew City could produce on one bill. Okay, that’s open to debate of course, but you’ve got Logic & Raze hot on the heels of their brand new LandR album, and you’ve got Kid Millions riding high on that irresistible “Lift Off” single and the subsequent EP with The Sounds Of Time from a few months ago. Then you’ve got the reactivated Rusty Ps, who’ve banged out a couple new tracks over the past month, and AUTOMatic, who are rumored to be releasing a mixtape at this show, and Sose, who’s got a new Soundcloud track up as well! *pant, pant* This could be the local hip-hop show of the year, Milwaukee.
As if that weren’t enough choices, get ready for yet another (and we’re not talking about that Screech party, either…not that there’s anything wrong with that!): Cactus Club, once again! This time it’s the infectious punk-pop of Milwaukee’s own Sugar Stems, who, if you hadn’t heard, put out a stellar album late last year called Can’t Wait, and are also rumored to have a new limited-edition record coming out before the end of the year! Don’t quote us on that, but maybe keep an eye on their Facebook page or something…anyway, they are positively bitchin,’ and you’ll also get the rich psych-rock sounds of Space Raft as well as Phylums, who will surely put out some music one of these days! Can you tell we’re really excited for this one, Milwaukee? Hooray for four-day weekends! And have a happy Thanksgiving, everybody.