Monday, Feb. 25: Devin Drobka Trio at The Jazz Estate, 9:30 p.m.
Local drummer Devin Drobka got his chops studying jazz in New York, and after playing and touring extensively with other outfits, he has finally returned to the Midwest and slapped his own name on a project. The excellent avant-garde guitar/piano/drums trio will occupy the Jazz Estate Monday night. (2423 N. Murray Ave., JazzEstate.com)
Also: Holy Shit! with Lechuguillas and Soup Moat at Quarter’s, 9 p.m. (900 E. Center St.)
Wednesday, Feb. 27: Eric Johnson at Turner Hall Ballroom, 7 p.m.
Eric Johnson’s palatable shredding has earned him considerable critical acclaim since the Texan emerged seated at the right hand of Hendrix in the early ’80s. His finest decoration is a “Best Instrumental Rock Performance” Grammy in 1992 for the song “Cliffs of Dover,” but perhaps even more relevant these days is that song’s appearance – with a difficulty-rating of “Expert” – in “Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock.” Johnson has a reputation for working slowly, which might explain why he is only now touring in support of his most recent release, Up Close, which came out in 2010. Face-melting takes time, apparently. (1032 N. 4th St., PabstTheater.org)
Thursday, Feb. 28: Old Earth with Control and Cousin Kurt at Sugar Maple, 9 p.m.
Todd Umhoefer has toiled as Old Earth since 2009, writing dark, sprawling folk movements intended mostly for himself and a small group of friends and collaborators. He has hit his stride recently, though, gaining local attention for last year’s meditative A Low Place At The Old Place and a recent gig opening for pals Field Report at Turner Hall. Thursday’s show celebrates the release of his new album, Small Hours, which won’t be out officially until later this spring on mini50 Records. Prints with a download code for Small Hours will be available. (441 E. Lincoln Ave., MySugarMaple.com)
Also: Big Head Todd and the Monsters at Turner Hall Ballroom, 7 p.m. (1032 N. 4th St., PabstTheater.org)
And: Kane Place Record Club with Lili K and Klassik at Mad Planet, 9 p.m. (533 E. Center St, Mad-Planet.net)
Friday, March 1: Fresh Cut Collective at Cactus Club, 10 p.m.
Some folks are made for the stage, and the hip-hop genre-mashers of Fresh Cut Collective are those folks. For proof, consider that the group’s 2012 release Reframe (Part 1) essentially became a live album – recorded quickly with the full band after an earlier, more meticulous effort was scrapped because it hadn’t quite captured the Fresh Cut essence. Enjoy the band in its natural environment at Cactus Club Thursday. (2496 S. Wentworth Ave., CactusClubMilwaukee.com)
Also: The Thriftones at Bremen Café, 9 p.m. (901 E. Clarke St., BremenCafe.com)
MUSIC NOTES SHOW OF THE WEEK
Saturday, March 2: Eastside Music Tour on Brady Street, 4 p.m.
The Eastside makes a case for itself as a live music destination with Saturday’s expansive festival, which features performances from over 50 local bands – including Jaill, The Fatty Acids, Hugh Bob and the Hustle, and Hello Death – at venues ranging from Up and Under to Zoom Room (the dog training place). A $15 entry fee gets you into any show (as capacity allows) and a fanny pack, so you can blend in with the usual Eastside crowd of tourists and moms from 1995.
Also: Blessed Feathers with Young Buffalo and Ex Cops at Cactus Club, 10 p.m. (2496 S. Wentworth Ave., CactusClubMilwaukee.com)
And: Wolfgang Schaefer with Panoramic and True, High Plains and The Scrubbers at Frank’s Power Plant, 10 p.m. (2800 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., FranksPowerPlant.Angelfire.com)