words by Cal Roach
Is it just us, or does this feel like the longest January ever? You can see the light at the end of the tunnel, though; the glorious pastures of February are just over a week away, and if it keeps snowing every day like this, that could turn into even more of a slog, but since you’ve decided to tough it out here in Wisconsin, you’ve got two choices: let it get you down, or remember how appreciative you’re going to be of spring and summer after having trudged through this winter. Luckily, there are plenty of local musicians out there trying to make your winter much more pleasant than it otherwise would be; get out there and let them! Here are some suggestions for the coming week…
Milwaukee’s most prolific (and talented) singer/songwriter of the past couple years, Todd Umhoefer, is getting ready to unleash his latest beast, All Kill, on all us unsuspecting Old Earth fans just about any day now. If you’d like to hear some of the new tunes before you get a chance to own them, head over to the Riverwest Public House tonight (Friday) and see what all the fuss is about. Old Earth’s unorthodox electric folk is a captivating thing to take in live; check out any and all of the material on his Bandcamp page to get a rough idea of what you’re in for. Also playing: Ugly Brothers and Paul Smirl of Ghost Of James.
If you’re in more of a dancing mood, the Miramar Theatre might be a good option tonight as well. A couple of the dudes from Umphrey’s McGee, along with a collection of likeminded Chicago musicians, like to moonlight in the electronic project known as Digital Tape Machine. The band is, as you might expect, heavier on electric guitar than your average EDM act, although you’d be hard-pressed to call it rock and roll. It’s aggressive but all in good fun, always beat-driven but otherwise pretty unpredictable–probably why DTM lands a lot of late-night festival slots. It’s party music, plain and simple. Also playing: Up Until Now.
Tomorrow night at Cactus Club is night one of a psychedelic one-two punch, possibly just enough to tide us all over until Milwaukee Psych Fest returns for another go-round this year (expanded to four days!!). Topping this bill is Kansas City space-rock outfit The Life And Times, who are putting the finishing touches on a new album and will be previewing material from it at this show, unless their website is a big fat liar. But definitely get there early; you don’t want to miss Milwaukee’s own Sleepcomesdown, who put on one of the best sets at last year’s Psych Fest, don’tcha know. We like to think of the band as the perfect mixture between psych-rock and post-punk, but we’d prefer to just talk you into going to see them so you can make up your own mind. Also playing: Spacesuit.
Riverwest Public House is a good option Saturday night too, though. We’re still waiting patiently on the promised new album from the eclectic rock weirdos know as Animals In Human Attire, but one thing we do know is that they’re an unpredictable good time live, and there’s a decent chance someone onstage will be wearing a cape (which does count as human attire, right?). Plus, they’ll be joined by Twin Brother, whose self-titled debut album from last year created quite a stir with its captivating folk/indie-rock mixture and Sean Raasch’s powerful vocals. The band definitely rocks out live, so this could really turn out to be your ideal raucous Saturday night party. Also playing: Audiences.
Have you heard about the Music Under Glass series at the Mitchell Park Domes? We can’t think of a better way to ditch the bitter cold winter doldrums than by ducking into a mini tropical paradise and catching some live music, and next Thursday is going to be a doozy. As if Sigmund Snopek III wasn’t out-there enough already, for this performance he’ll be performing a tribute to the galaxies, complete with costumed Star Wars fanatics from The Midwest Garrison of the 501st Legion! Sigmund will be joined by David Woods for the performance, which will include material from Gustav Holst‘s orchestral suite The Planets, as you bask in the pleasant greenery and warmth and forget about wind chill for a few hours. Sounds like a once-in-a-blue-moon type of event, folks.