Is It Music or Theater?
Newly-announced shows by Henry Rollins, Morgan James and The Musical Box raise that question.
Henry Rollins did hardcore punk music with Black Flag but is now doing a spoken word tour. The Musical Box is a highly theatrical versions of Peter Gabriel and Genesis. Rock music just keeps expanding in all sorts of directions, as these newly announced shows suggest.
Colors & Chords
Tuesday, November 24 – Turner Hall Ballroom – 7 p.m. Show – $20.92
Seven of Milwaukee’s bands and seven of Milwaukee’s artists are coming together for a special benefit. The funds from the show will go to support the Milwaukee nonprofit organization Islands of Brilliance. Bands will play a 20 minute set each while an artist creates what he interprets from the set on the canvas. The bands will include: Nineteen Thirteen, Argopelter (Featuring Chris Porterfield of Field Report), Testa Rosa, John Mueller and Chris Roseneau of Volcano Choir, Light Music, Marielle Allschwang, and Panalure.
Friday, December 4th – Colectivo (Prospect Cafe) – 8 p.m. – $20.00
A student of Juilliard, Morgan James studied opera and earned her B.A. in music in 2003. While struggling to find her way and find gigs, she found her voice through classic 1960s and ’70s music. During her performance you’ll hear the influences of R&B, Soul and classical music, not to mention Broadway musicals: James has appeared in numerous Broadway plays, including Motown: The Musical, Godspell, and The Addams Family. Her last album Hunter was released in November 2014 and shows the mix of influences in her singing style.
Friday, December 18th – Turner Hall Ballroom – 8 p.m. – $29.50
The lead singer of the rock and jam band O.A.R., Marc Roberge will be performing acoustic songs at the Turner Hall Ballroom, including versions of songs he wrote or helped write for O.A.R. He credits Pearl Jam as his most important influence, but on songs like “Give Me The World” and “Heaven,” Roberge has a slow/happy way of singing and playing the guitar. It’s a unique experience, different from an O.A.R show.
Horseshoes & Hand Grenades
Saturday, December 19th – Turner Hall Ballroom – 8 p.m. – $13- $15
A local Wisconsin band from Stevens Point, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades plays bluegrass music, but puts their own spin on it. The group has three albums out, the latest being Middle Western.
The Musical Box
Thursday, February 4th – Pabst Theatre – 8 p.m. – $39.50
The French-Canadian band does a tribute to Peter Gabriel-era Genesis tribute with a full recreation of its classic 1972 “Foxtrot” tour. Performing in masks and dressed in all black, the group creates a very theatrical experience. Tickets for VIP include access to a soundcheck party and a tour of the production set.
Sunday, February 14th – Turner Hall Ballroom – 8 p.m. – $27.50
Actor/poet/activist and frontman of 1980s punk band Black Flag, Rollins is coming to Milwaukee not for music but to perform a spoken word show that should be funny, provocative and well, sort of punk.
Willy Porter & Carmen Nickerson
Saturday, March 5th – Turner Hall Ballroom – 8 p.m. – $20
Milwaukee area native and veteran singer-songwriter Willy Porter will perform with Carmen Nickerson. The duo will perform for a cabaret-seated audience, singing righteous indie-folk and high-test tunes. Says Al Kooper: “The first time I saw Willy Porter live, the son-of-a-gun completely hypnotized me. He’s an amazing guitar player, singer, and songwriter. It can be heard right here. This is original, great stuff. His female accomplice produces a very smooth, accurate harmonic blend with him.”
Thursday, April 7th – Turner Hall Ballroom – 8 p.m. – $29.50
New Orleans-based band Galactic return to Milwaukee for a one night show. For anyone unfamiliar with them, the band jams and grooves with mix of hip hop, electronic, world music, rock, blues, funk and jazz. With catchy lyrics like the ones in their song “Hey Na Na,” it will be very easy for a new listener to get used to them.