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Wye Oak, Klassik and Soul Low
Plus Against Me! and more in this week's music roundup.

Monday, May 12: Ice Balloons with Babes and The Sounds of Time at Cactus Club, 7 p.m. ($7)

Milwaukee Psych Fest never truly ends at Cactus Club, the kaleidoscopic visualizers and conspicuously skunky odor simply go on hiatus. The festival ostensibly returns with the trippy, crunchy drone of the Brooklyn-based art punk group Ice Balloons. The band’s most notable member, TV on the Radio’s Kyp Malone, stays hidden behind a balaclava sewn to resemble a fly’s head. Their performances are—as one would expect—bizarre, off-the-wall and absolutely memorable. (2496 S. Wentworth Ave., CactusClubMilwaukee.com)

Also: KIINGS, Adoptahighway and The Demix at the Jazz Estates, 10 p.m. (FREE) – (2423 N. Murray Ave., JazzEstate.com)

Tuesday, May 13: Truckfighters with Architects of the Aftermath at Cactus Club 8 p.m. ($10) – (2496 S. Wentworth Ave., CactusClubMilwaukee.com)

Wednesday, May 14: Wye Oak with Braids at Turner Hall Ballroom, 7 p.m. ($12)

Jenn Wasner’s guitar on Wye Oak’s first three records strikes like an ambush. Her saccharine voice lulls the senses into relaxed ease, and then BAM, a wave of noise pummels your eardrums. Many fans were disappointed to learn that the band underwent a reinvention for its latest, Shriek, trading in its forceful guitars for more trendy synthesizers and a deeper low end. And, sure, Wasner doesn’t have the same chops for synth and bass as she displayed on the guitar, but powerful guitars alone did not make Wye Oak such a treasure. Wasner’s visceral lyrics are as searing as ever before and the synths complement the tension quite beautifully. (1032 N. 4th St., PabstTheater.org)


Also: Against Me! With Tony Molina and Big Eyes at The Rave, 7:30 p.m. ($20)

Laura Jane Grace made headlines in 2012 when she came out publicly as transgendered. Against Me!, her alt-rock band that has persistently somehow remained a few notches below mainstream attention, finally received some mainstream attention. This January, the group released its sixth record, Transgender Dysphoria Blues, which as the title suggests, details Grace’s emotional distress regarding her gender identity. The album received heaps of critical praise and it created a discussion not only of gender issues but how our culture should suitably discuss them. Their touring mate, Tony Molina, might not have enough material to fill the opening slot. His breezy, lo-fi guitar record, Dissed and Dismissed, comes in under 12 minutes, which is a shame because his songs often end way too soon. (2401 W. Wisconsin Ave., TheRave.com)

And: Protomartyr with Midwives and Foreign Lawns at Quarters Rock ‘n Roll Palace, 9 p.m. (900 E. Center St.)

Thursday, May 15: Huey Lewis And The News at The Northern Lights Theater, 8 p.m. (SOLD OUT) Another show Friday

Huey Lewis And The News hit an almost impossible streak of hits in the early ‘80s. His seminal and utterly unstoppable 1983 record, Sports, yielded five radio singles out of nine total songs—that’s a .556 batting average. It’s no wonder that Huey Luey still sells outs mid-sized venues across the county—tickets to tomorrow night’s show are gone, as well. (1721 W. Canal St., PaysBig.com)

Friday, May 16: Rodriguez with Wilsen at The Riverside Theater, 7 p.m. ($35-$45)

In South Africa, one of two countries where Detroit musician Sixto Rodriguez gained popularity, many believed the nation’s folk hero to be dead. Unbeknownst to him, Rodriguez’s two early ‘70s psychedelic folk rock records, Cold Fact and Coming From Reality, soundtracked the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa. In the late ‘90s, Cape Town natives traveled to the United States to discover whether or not Rodriguez was still alive. He was. After their story was profiled in the 2012 documentary Searching for Sugar Man, Rodriguez arose from the entertainment dead and received much greater success in his home country than during his initial run. (116 W. Wisconsin Ave., PabstTheater.org)


Also: Slayer with Suicidal Tendencies and Exodus at the Rave, 7:30 p.m. ($32) – (2401 W. Wisconsin Ave., TheRave.com)

And: Queensrÿche with Hurricane at The Pabst Theater, 6:30 p.m. ($35-$45) – (144 E. Wells St., PabstTheater.org)

And: Midwest Death Rattle with Bad Bad Bad and The Revenge Society at Cactus Club, 9 p.m. – (2496 S. Wentworth Ave., CactusClubMilwaukee.com)

Saturday, May 17: Klassik with Soul Low and KIINGS at Mad Planet, 9 p.m. ($5) – (533 E. Center St, Mad-Planet.net) 

Also: Towers with The Hussy, Phylums and No Bueno at Cactus Club, 9 p.m. – (2496 S. Wentworth Ave., CactusClubMilwaukee.com)

And: Sugar Stems with The Mike Benign Compulsion at The Tonic Tavern, 8 p.m. ($5) – (2335 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., TonicTavern.com)

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