words by Cal Roach
It seems fall has officially fallen, eh Milwaukee? You can officially start getting depressed about the onset of winter if that’s your thing, but it seems pretty pointless to us. The city is generally still alive and kicking no matter how cold it gets, and who doesn’t love those unexpected days off when a real blizzard hits? Oh crap, perhaps we’re jumping the gun just a bit; LOOK AT THE PRETTY LEAVES. Oh, and keep reading for some suggestions for keeping busy this weekend.
Whoops, it’s another film festival! In case you’re pining for the beautiful confines of the Oriental Theatre now that the hubbub of the Milwaukee Film Festival has faded away, maybe you should recapture the feeling at the LGBT Film/Video Festival, going on all this weekend (also with screenings at the UWM Union Theatre). The international lineup of movies is made up entirely of Milwaukee premiers, so basically any free time you have could be spent watching films you’ve never seen. Check out the full schedule here, or the AV Club’s handy guide/list of recommendations courtesy of festival programmer Carl Bogner here.
Neko Case is one of those critical darlings who has managed to avoid any sort of backlash all these years; nobody can seem to come up with a single bad thing to say about her). She writes very lyrically satisfying tunes, and even if her voice is a little conservative on record, she is extremely charming in a live setting, and she brings all kinds of emotion into her performances. You can catch her tonight (Friday) at the Riverside Theater, in support of her lengthily-titled new album The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You, and she brings with her the lengthily-named Thao Nguyen And The Get Down Stay Down, so, y’know, go to this show if you like words.
Tonight also marks a very special edition of the Milwaukee Art Museum‘s popular MAM After Dark series; who wouldn’t want to drink alcohol at a museum, right? This one’s called Once Upon A Time,” and it features classic literary and fairy tales “brought to life in performances staged in paint,” which sounds really intriguing right off the bat, doesn’t it? But there’s also the guarantee of high-quality entertainment with a performance by The Scarring Party, possibly Milwaukee’s spookiest band (hey, it’s October). What? You’re not familiar with this band?? Okay, rather than try to explain, we’ll just direct you to Bandcamp. Just listen to one song. That should be all it takes to get you interested. There are also dance lessons, bingo, drink specials and lots more; check out the full lowdown here.
Tonight and tomorrow are your two chances to catch the Detroit performance art troupe known as The Hinterlands, appearing at the Pitman Theatre as part of the celebrated Alverno Presents series. The show is called The Circuit this time around, and it’s billed as a modernized reimagining of a Vaudeville variety show; all bets are off concerning shaving-cream pies in the face, but you’ll see b-boys, ravers, riot grrrls and juggalos (yes, juggalos), among the many subsets who’ll get their say in this freakish cross section of American countercultures. It’s sure to be hilarious and unlike anything you’ve witnessed before; click here for all the juicy details they’re willing to give.
Clearly, The Day Of The Dead is nearly upon us; how else to explain the reemergence of Milwaukee’s creepy geek-dance-rock combo The Trusty Knife? We can only wish the band would come out to play more often, because on its best nights it will blow you away and leave you sweaty and out of breath, and there would be more best nights if there were more nights, right? But band members are usually busy with other stuff these days, so you gotta get out and catch ’em when you can, like Saturday night at Riverwest Public House. Plus, the also-creepy synthpop stylings of Stacian–if you haven’t checked out her stuff yet, high-tail it over to Bandcamp! Also playing: ONO (yes, the legendary Chicago avant-garde/no-wave group–playing outside of Chicago for the first time in decades!), Emily Litjens And Neil Gravander
Just up the road at Linneman’s, the next generation of eclectic, danceable Milwaukee indie rock will make its case; we’re referring in this instance to Soul Low, a band that’s been playing out tirelessly since the appearance of its debut album, Uneasy (yep, that’s a Bandcamp link, so go take a listen), and drawing a lot of positive notice. The record is full of clever lyrics and infectious rock energy, and we’re pretty confident it’ll translate really well in a live setting. Also playing: Ugly Brothers, Opus Dog