Monday, July 29: Josh Clutter @ Bremen Café, 9 p.m.
A few years ago, Josh Clutter’s squeaky-clean pop rock songs would have fit comfortably on most Top 40 stations/soundtracks of movies adapted from Nicholas Sparks novels. Now, they seem significant for sounding so… normal. With song titles like “You And I” and “Always Love You,” Clutter isn’t breaking any new ground, but the love-obsessed Minneapolis native nails the acrobatics of young romance, from ambitious dreams of elopement (“we don’t need a plan/come on take my hand”) on “You And I,” to the eventual decision to move on, on, well, “Moving On.” (901 E. Clarke St., BremenCafe.com)
Tuesday, July 30: Outdoor Velour with Daycones and Shadow Slant @ Frank’s Power Plant, 10 p.m.
The Bloomington duo of Cara Kinnally and Greg Simpson got started recording Pedro The Lion covers in their apartment – a perfectly reasonable origin story for a couple of recent college grads in the early 2000s. A listen to 2012 EP Portrait suggests the two never really left those young-aught golden days of super-cute indie pop. Full of burbly synths, warm horns, and sugary boy/girl vocal harmonies, Portrait is a real breeze. Outdoor Velour will be joined by locals Daycones and Shadow Slant. (2800 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., http://www.frankspowerplant.com/)
Also: Wang Chung with The Fixx @ Potawatomi Bingo Casino, 8 p.m. (1721 W. Canal St., PaysBig.com)
Thursday, August 1: The Shouting Matches with Alpha Consumer @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 7 p.m.
Two huge records, a handful of Yeezy collabs, and a pair of reluctant Grammys into his career, Justin Vernon can finally do whatever the hell he wants… like that hasn’t been his M.O. the whole time. It’s 2013, and as he resuscitates the blues-rock band he formed with a couple buddies (Phil Cook and Brian Moen) in 2006 and charges $20 to see it, I’m beginning to suspect this is JV’s world – we’re just living in it. (1032 N. 4th St., PabstTheater.org)
Also: Best Coast with The Living Statues and Midnight Reruns @ The Rave, 8 p.m. (2401 W. Wisconsin Ave., TheRave.com)
And: Like Like The The The Death with Tyranny Is Tyranny and Set And Setting @ Frank’s Power Plant, 10 p.m. (2800 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., http://www.frankspowerplant.com/)
Photo from Featureflash / Shutterstock.com.
Friday, August 2: Weird Al Yankovic @ The Wisconsin State Fair, 8 p.m.
Weird Al Yankovic is the original troll. For almost 40 years, he has had the parody-song industry cornered, with a knack for turning trends upside down almost as soon as they’ve begun. For example, only a year after Nirvana launched grunge with “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” Yankovic was there with “Smells Like Nirvana,” wearing a stringy blonde wig and poking fun at the song’s unintelligible lyrics. In 2011, he could be heard spoofing pop royalty like Lady GaGa and Miley Cyrus on Alpocalypse. He should blend right into the foliage of swine races and deep-fried Snickers at The Wisconsin State Fair.
Also: The Fatty Acids with Paper Thick Walls and Mortgage Freeman @ Linneman’s, 9 p.m. (1001 E. Locust St., Linnemans.com)
And: Quinn Scharber with Cabin, Hayward Williams and DJ Chris Roberts @ Hotel Foster, 9 p.m. (2028 E. North Ave., TheHotelFoster.com)
Saturday, August 3: Myles Coyne & The Rusty Nickel Band with Faux Fir and Calliope @ Linneman’s
As the old saying goes: If you want something done, give it to a busy man. Around here, Myles Coyne is that man. He’ll book your gig, hang your fliers, and show up in the front row – assuming one of his bands isn’t already on the bill. His hyperactivity over the last year has me pondering the limits of space/time: this gig, for instance, is the third in a trilogy of gigs leading up to the release of The Rusty Nickel Band’s new album, Take Things As They Come – a richly-recorded folk rock love letter to Coyne’s friends, family and city. (1001 E. Locust St., Linnemans.com)
Also: Altos @ Milwaukee Boatline Concert Cruise, 9 p.m.
Sunday, August 4: Godsmack with Saint Caine @ The Rave
When people ask me, as they often do, who is playing at The Rave on any given night, I usually say Godsmack. One out of three times I’m right; the other times it’s Stone Sour or Puddle of Mudd. Sunday night, though, I can say with complete that it will definitely be Godsmack. (2401 W. Wisconsin Ave., TheRave.com)