Local promoter Aaron Skufca had his hands full last year when an influx of touring bands converged on Milwaukee in the wake of SXSW. However, he took what would have been a jumble of weekend shows and turned it into Lookout Weekend, a three-day festival celebrating regional pop, punk and garage.
One year later, Lookout Weekend makes its return. While assembling this year’s bigger lineup, Skufca took more of a “ground-up” approach. He contacted bands that he’d worked with in the past, bands that have played in Milwaukee before and – most importantly – bands that he likes. “It is a bit self-centered, because I do really, really, intensely enjoy every band that’s playing,” he says of Lookout Weekend II, which features 21 bands and five Riverwest venues, and takes place this weekend, April 5-7.
Skufca weighs in on some of the local and regional talent to look out for.
Living Blackouts (Milwaukee) Friday, April 5 @ Jackpot, 6:35 p.m.): “Definitely one of the more original “garage-punk” bands because they pull more of a Motor City vibe to it. They’re a little bit more spaced out. They’ve honed in a little bit more on the dynamics of using effects.”
Head On Electric (Milwaukee) Friday, April 5 @ Quarters, 9 p.m.
“They’ve been running for a really, really long time. They bring a level of intensity even to a shorter set. I believe they’re playing all new material for their opening slot.”
Solid Attitude (Iowa City, Iowa) Friday, April 5 @ Quarters, 10:15 p.m.
“The last time they came through they probably played on like a Tuesday night to 20 people on the floor. It was like somebody threw a grenade in the room and ran away.”
Delphines (Milwaukee) Saturday, April 6 @ Cocoon Room, 7:05 p.m.
“They’re doing stuff that people who like indie rock can wrap their minds around, people who like garage pop, power pop, even post-punk. Huge hooks, but they’re doing a lot with hardly any instruments. Live show gets better and better every time.”
Phylums (Milwaukee) Saturday, April 6 @ Linneman’s, 9 p.m.
[members of Goodnight Loving, Head On Electric, Holy Shit!]
“It’s a continuation of the songwriting of Goodnight Loving but with a more flexible band. They really straddle the boundary between more of a Buddy Holly aesthetic and at the same time they still try do a lot with very little.”
Nightmare Boyzz (Alabama) Saturday, April 6 @ Linneman’s, 10:35 p.m.
“They’re about to drop an LP. People keep comparing them to Exploding Hearts. And they’re just really good.”
Bored Games (Milwaukee) Sunday, April 7 @ Quarters, 10 p.m.
“One of the more long-running, straight, classic power-pop bands in Milwaukee. Two or three part vocal harmonies, killer hooks.”
Lookout Weekend II takes place April 5-7. For a complete festival schedule, check out the website.