Will Hannibal Buress Answer Why?
If the comedian doesn't, maybe musicians Bela Fleck, Ben Rector or the Zombies will.
Sometimes you’re tempted to ask why when you see the ticket price. But this week’s column of show announcements leads off with a freebie, at the Radio Milwaukee studio, and five concerts for $20. That’s like the cost of just five lattes, with a much bigger high.
Devil Met Contention
Thursday, July 23rd – 88Nine Radio Milwaukee Studio – 5:30 – No cost
Devil Met Contention is a folk, Southern Gothic, rock group from right here in Milwaukee. Lead singer Ehson Rad’s rough voice and a bluesy harmonica form a dark sound reminiscent of Johnny Cash, Tom Waits, and Nick Cave. 88Nine invites listeners into their studio for a front row seat to a live performance and interview of the local band this Thursday night.
Friday, July 31st – The Pabst Theater – 8 p.m. – $30
Basic Bulat will join The Tallest Man on Earth performance at The Pabst at the end of this month. Bulat is a singer/songwriter from Toronto. She is mostly folk, part pop, and all about the powerful vocals she brings to her music. Bulat is well known for performing with the autoharp, but also plays the dulcimer, piano, and ukulele. She grew up with music; her mother was a guitar and piano teacher, and the radio in her childhood home continuously played oldies tunes. Her latest album, Tall Tall Shadow, is deeply personal and tells the story of a difficult year in her life.
Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn
Wednesday, September 9th – The Pabst Theater – 8 p.m. – $35
The banjo duo of Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn is one of a kind. Washburn’s sound is that of an old-time singer and Fleck’s is bluegrass and jazzy. The couple, who got married in 2009, have played together since they first met, and their son Juno was the inspiration for a tour. The musicians decided that a tour as a couple would be the best way to remain close as a family while staying active in their careers. Their self-titled album, Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn, was released last fall and was recorded using only their voices plus the sounds from seven different banjos.
Saturday, September 19th – The Riverside Theater – 7 p.m. – $27.50
Buress is the Executive Producer, writer, and star of his own new TV series on Comedy Central, Why? With Hannibal Buress. (Fun fact: each episode airs within the same week that it is filmed). Buress showcases his off-beat humor while answering life’s burning questions via stand-up, filmed segments, and in-house guests appearances. The Chicago comedian’s resumé also includes brief writing stints with NBC’s Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock. He is a cast member of Comedy Central’s Broad City and co-host of Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show. He just finished shooting a film with Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg, Daddy’s Home, which is due this Christmas. Burgess tours regularly, performing stand-up nationwide.
Wednesday, September 23rd – Turner Hall Ballroom – 8 p.m. – $20
At 20 years old, Ben Rector was the youngest artist to win the Grand Prize in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest for a pop song. Now at 28, the independent Nashville native has sold over 250,000 albums and has 2,000,000 downloads. Not bad. His sound is described as pop with a purpose; the sounds of rich string arrangements and powerful piano chords fill his latest album, Brand New, due for release August 28th.
Saturday, October 17th – South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center – 8 p.m. – $49.50
It’s the “Time of the Season” for a American appearance from this legendary British group. Led by Rod Argent and Colin Blunstone, The Zombies are a pop rock band with occasional psychedelic touches from England. Odyssey and Oracle, their legendary 1968 album, is ranked number 100 on Rolling Stone magazine’s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time.” All four surviving original band members will recreate the album in its entirety in the United States for the first time in nearly five decades. Material from their latest album, Breathe Out, Breathe In, will be weaved into the performance of the iconic album.
The Lone Bellow
Monday, October 19th – Turner Hall Ballroom – 7:30 – $20
Alternative country and rock, with bits of folk and gospel are the influences weaved into this Brooklyn-based trio’s sound. Band member Zach Williams began writing a journal while sitting bedside next to his wife after a tragic horse-riding accident. The journal was a way to cope with the experience, but it turned into some of Williams’ early songs. The band’s second album, Then Came the Morning, was released in January of this year, and The Lone Bellow are touring nationwide this fall to promote it. For concerned fans, Williams’ wife did make a full recovery.
Mary Chapin Carpenter
Wednesday, October 21st – The Pabst Theater – 7 p.m. – $39.50
Mary Chapin Carpenter is an Americana, country, and soft rock artist who is no stranger to the top of Billboard charts and awards. Carpenter has won five Grammy Awards, including four consecutive awards for “Best Female Country Vocal Performance.” She has also won two CMA’s and two Academy of Country Music Awards. Although the New Jersey native’s style has been eclectic and Carpenter was hesitant about being labeled as a country star, the label has helped her reach a wider audience. Carpenter is currently on an Acoustic World Tour.
Friday, October 30th – Turner Hall Ballroom – 8 p.m. – $15
The funk, afrobeat, and jazz-influenced style of The Motet came together in Denver. Under their former band name, The Dave Watts Motet (named after drummer/bandleader Dave Watts), they first played together on Halloween in 1998. Since then, they’re known for an annual Halloween show and an energetic performance style. Their latest self-titled album, released in February 2014, showcases their dedication to funk, disco, and soul in a fresh, forward manner. They come here during a coast-to-coast tour.
Nels Cline & Norton Wisdom: Stained Radiance
Friday, November 6th – The Backroom @ Colectivo (Prospect Cafe) – 8 p.m. – $20
The self-taught musician from Los Angeles has been lead guitarist for the Grammy winning, alt-rock band Wilco for the last nine years. His skill has landed him spot #82 on Rolling Stone magazine’s “Top 100 Guitarists of All Time.”
Norton Wisdom is an improvisational performance artist. In the late 1970’s, Wisdom painted 150 meters of the east side of the Berlin Wall using a search light to illuminate his artwork. He was arrested and booted back to the United States, but it changed the way he produced art. Now, he paints to interpret live music. After shows, the work is destroyed because it’s meant to exist only in the moment the music happens.
Each masters of their craft, Cline and Wisdom join to perform in the intimate setting of the coffee shop’s back room.
Lights & The Mowgli’s
Friday, November 27th – The Rave – 7:30 p.m. – $20
Lights was born Valerie Anne Poxleitner in Ontario, Canada. The electro/indie/pop artist had her name legally changed to Lights because there was already another band using that name. A clever way to avoid copyright infringement. Her latest album, Little Machines, released in September of last year, features her hit song “Up We Go.”
The Mowgli’s are teaming up with Lights to tour nationwide late this fall. They are an American alternative rock band from southern California who just released their latest album, Kids in Love, in April. Ultimately, the positive messages in their music are meant to be inspiration for a worldwide movement to change the world with love. Really. The Mowgli’s named themselves after a dog, who was named after the character in Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book. And yes, grammar sticklers, the apostrophe is a grammatical error. They know.