Mardi Gras, South By Southwest, and Trusty Knives
Can Milwaukee top this past weekend? (Maybe.)
If you’re anything like us (pale, medium build, hung over) you’re probably asking yourself how Milwaukee can possibly top a past weekend that included Alverno Presents’ Unlooped Vs. Marvin Gaye, WMSE’s Rockabilly Chili Contest, the East Side Music Tour, and 8,000 other stellar shows. The answer: it can’t, but it can still give it the old Midwest-in-the-middle-of-endless winter try.
Tuesday, March 4
88Nine Radio Milwaukee Mardi Gras Party at Turner Hall
Nothing says “Mardi Gras” quite like “temperatures in the 20s,” but hey, that’s Wisconsin for ya! (Insert picture of grinning local meteorologist here.) Still, 88Nine is doing it’s best to bring a little bit of New Orleans to Milwaukee with its annual Mardi Gras blowout at Turner Hall. Tickets include a dinner from Maxie’s, a chance to take a bite out of “Milwaukee’s largest king cake,” and music by Herman Astro and Extra Crispy Brass Band. (Also: Kudos to Herman Astro frontman Zachary Pluer on a stunning performance at Saturday’s Unlooped Vs. Marvin Gaye show.)
Wednesday, March 5
Milwaukee’s South By Send Off at Turner Hall
Say what you will about the recent crowdfunding campaign to send a slew of Milwaukee bands to this year’s South By Southwest conference in Austin, Texas (no one has been “discovered” at SXSW in roughly 20 years), but the fact remains that those bands represent an agreeably diverse lineup of Milwaukee talent. Tonight’s goodbye/benefit show includes performances from Hugh Bob And The Hustle, Klassik, Ray Nitti, Webster X, and more. Have fun, folks, and enjoy the weather and clusterfuck crowds!
Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings at Pabst Theater
Soul and funk revivalists are a dime a dozen these days (remember Alabama Shakes?), but few do it better than Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings. Chalk it up to 57-year-old Jones, whose late-in-life success (she was once a corrections officer on Rikers Island) and undeniable voice yield a frontwoman who represents the real deal. The new (and excellent) album Give The People What They Want was postponed for a few months due to Jones being diagnosed with bile duct cancer; happily, she’s back in fine form, and brings her can’t-miss show to the Pabst tonight.
Friday, March 7
Kane Place Record Club at Linneman’s
On record, Milwaukee’s Kane Place Record Club seems like a rather harmless indie-rock band. But live, the band is a force of nature, consistently leaving crowds awestruck and sweat-drenched. Tonight, before the group heads to South By Southwest, it celebrates the release of a new video for “Sunshine,” the final track from its 2013 self-titled album.
Saturday, March 8
The Trusty Knife at Impala Lounge
The Trusty Knife’s self-titled 2008 album remains one of Milwaukee’s greatest semi-recent secrets, a record loaded with lo-fi, hook-laden dance-rock and cockeyed, small-town-minutiae lyrics. The group has been an on-and-off-again outfit ever since, playing shows whenever it damn well feels like it. (And wherever it feels like it, as evidenced by a 2008 show at 7 Mile Fair.) Tonight’s show at Riverwest’s Impala Lounge should be a doozy, if only to see how The Trusty Knife’s newfound jittery, jagged sound translates to such a small space.