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Every year, Cascio Interstate Music teams up with 91.7 WMSE-FM (and this year with The A.V. Club Milwaukee) to add a little local flavor to the biggest music festival on earth. Bands from around the state and the region are given the opportunity to showcase their wares for the fine, discerning music connoisseur that is […]

Every year, Cascio Interstate Music teams up with 91.7 WMSE-FM (and this year with The A.V. Club Milwaukee) to add a little local flavor to the biggest music festival on earth. Bands from around the state and the region are given the opportunity to showcase their wares for the fine, discerning music connoisseur that is the average Summerfest goer.

Now that this year’s lineup has been officially released, we take a look at the two weeks of goodness and give you our picks of can’t-miss acts from each day. So take off that shirt, grab a beer in each hand and toss your tube-topped girlfriend up on your shoulders. It’s time to Fest!

Wednesday, June 29
1:30 p.m. – Big Strong Men
3:00 p.m. – The Nod
4:30 p.m. – The Sensationalists
6:00 p.m. – Pictures of Then
7:00 p.m. – Worrier
8:30 p.m. – The Right Now
Chicago-based The Right Now get the Cascio headliners schedule off to a nice (if safe) start with their smooth brand of funky R&B. An eight-piece crew complete with a horns section and an impressively soulful female vocalist give the band a solid live energy perfect for sweaty Summerfest goers to sway and spill beer to.

Thursday, June 30
1:30 p.m. – Andrew Hawthorne Band
3:00 p.m. – Tony Memmel & His Band
Tony Memmel has gradually worked his way into becoming one of the most interesting, talented singer-songwriters the city has to offer. The one-armed guitarist shifts effortlessly from introspective, angsty anthems to upbeat bluegrass-tinged jams. So knock out of work a bit early, take Friday off, and get this party started right!
4:30 p.m. – Wamsley
6:00 p.m. – Death Ships
7:30 p.m. – Vic and Gab
9:00 p.m. – The Jeanna Salzer Band

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Friday, July 1
1:30 p.m. – The Berettas
3:00 p.m. – Trapper Schoepp & The Shades
4:30 p.m. – Midnight Reruns
6:00 p.m. – Ikarus Down
7:30 p.m. – Nick Miller and The Neighbors
9:00 p.m. – I’m Not A Pilot
It’s pretty much your typical rock band outfit: piano, bass, drums and a classically-trained Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra cellist. And the unorthodox makeup of the band makes for some truly breathtaking moments of melody and honesty. A little laid back for a Friday night headliner, but if you run right after their set you might be able to catch Styx doing an encore medley of Mr. Roboto and Lady.

Saturday, July 2
1:30 p.m. – Tonight, The City Skyline
3:00 p.m. – Disaster March
4:30 p.m. – Trent Fox and The Tenants
6:00 p.m. – Testa Rosa
There are some intriguing (and some not so intriguing) bands playing today, but the safe pick for the day is Testa Rosa. The female-fronted pop-rock outfit mixes an infectious ‘60s breeziness with a ’90s indie vibe.
7:30 p.m. – The Danglers
9:00 p.m. – The Invaders

Sunday, July 3
1:30 p.m. – The Vitrolum Republic
3:00 p.m. – Paper Thick Walls
4:30 p.m. – Me and My Arrow
6:00 p.m. – Crooked Keys
7:30 p.m. – Union Pulse
9:00 p.m. – The Uptown Savages
There’s something very appropriate about Rockabilly bands playing at Summerfest. It just seems right. And there aren’t too many in town that do it better than The Uptown Savages, infusing a bit of swing to the band’s dirty strains.

Tuesday, July 5
1:30 p.m. – 10 Paces, Fire
3:00 p.m. – Greatest Lakes
4:30 p.m. – sleepcomesdown
6:00 p.m. – Elusive Parallelograms
Upbeat, grungy guitar rock at its finest. Elusive Parallelograms’ Modern Splendor is on the short list of early candidates for 2011 album of the year, and the band has no trouble translating that energy and musicianship to the stage.
7:30 p.m. – Faux Fir
9:00 p.m. – The Fatty Acids

Wednesday, July 6
1:30 p.m. – The Form
3:00 p.m. – Kinetic
4:30 p.m. – Burgundy Ties
6:00 p.m. – Mike Droho & The Compass Rose
7:30 p.m. – Blake Thomas & Josh Harty
9:00 p.m. – Brighton, MA
Chicago-based Brighton, MA have seen their share of success due to their tunes being featured on the TV shows Community, Gossip Girl, and Castle. But even in spite of that, they’re actually a pretty good band.

Thursday, July 7
1:30 p.m. – El Valiente
3:00 p.m. – Scarlet Escape
4:30 p.m. – Sunday Flood
6:00 p.m. – Revision Text
Mainstays on the Cascio Stage for years, Revision Text has a sound that is continuously morphing. This makes for an incredibly diverse and enjoyable set of music ranging from danceable jams to psychadelic jaunts, all the while held together by solid musicianship and catchy melodies.
7:30 p.m. – The Melismatics
9:00 p.m. – Mark Mallman

Friday, July 8

1:30 p.m. – Land of Vandal
3:00 p.m. – Maudlin
4:30 p.m. – The Andes
6:00 p.m. – Spiral Trance
7:30 p.m. – Group of Altos
Started as a side project for Daniel Spack of Collections Of Colonies Of Bees, Group of Altos has become a force in its own right. Incorporating everything from the trumpet to the cello, this group thrives as part rock band, part symphony. But be patient, you will find no three-minute songs here.
9:00 p.m. – John The Savage

Saturday, July 9
1:30 p.m. – The Up & Atoms
3:00 p.m. – Stock Options
4:30 p.m. – Jackraasch
6:00 p.m. – First Known Ruler
7:30 p.m. – Canyons of Static
We love this band, and not just because they have a name that very accurately sums up their sound. We love them because they are very good at delivering ethereal, droning instrumental soundscapes that swell into full-blown auditory eargasms. That’s why.
9:00 p.m. – Into Arcadia

Sunday, July 10
1:30 p.m. – Musikanto
3:00 p.m. – Keith Pulvermacher & The Rustangs
4:30 p.m. – Daniel & The Lion
6:00 p.m. – Castle Thunder
7:30 p.m. – Super Custom Deluxe
9:00 p.m. – Surgeons in Heat
Surgeons in Heat have wasted no time establishing themselves in the Milwaukee rock scene with an intense tour schedule and stellar live show. The straight-forward rockers should tie an entirely appropriate bow around this year’s Big Gig.

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