It’s been 10 years since the release of Band of Horses’ stunning debut record, Everything All the Time, an ethereal, mysterious masterstroke that waded in indie rock’s murkiest waters and still somehow glistened in the sun. “At every occasion I’ll be ready for the funeral,” Ben Bridwell sang on—you guessed it—“The Funeral.” But the song was far from macabre; instead, as the guitars and Bridwell’s voice soars, the music swells into a big moment of rejoicing.
The band slowly eschewed the enigmatic yet jubilant sheen on subsequent records and instead turned the spotlight inward toward the songwriting. The band moved from Seattle to South Carolina before 2007’s Cease to Begin, but the gentler, more refined sound didn’t really emerge until 2010’s Infinite Arms when the band left Sub Pop Records for a major label.
While Bridwell has never been the strongest lyricist, the band’s latest, June’s Why Are You OK, contains some of his most inspired work since Everything All the Time. “Blank state and maudlin/ In need of something to say,” sings Bridwell on the 7-minute-long album opener “Dull Times/The Moon.” “I was stuck in the muck with writer’s block throughout this process, in the two and a half years of writing and recording this stuff,” the frontman told Rolling Stone in June. “I honestly had to start talking about the process and how maddening it was. Like, just trying to find the time to write, and trying to get over myself. Trying to get past myself. And once I started complaining about it with my words, it kind of opened up more doors, and before I knew it, the block was gone.”
Band of Horses headlines the Rave, 2401 W. Wisconsin Ave., on Friday, November 11 at 8 p.m. Wild Belle opens the show.
Kneel to Neil
Local musicians take a stab at the oeuvre of legendary singer-songwriter Neil Young on Friday night at Linneman’s Riverwest Inn, 1001 E. Locust St. The annual Kneel to Neil benefit concert (now in it’s the 12th year) raises money for WMSE 91.7 and The Bridge School. Participants include The Mercurys, Carolinas, Sat. Nite Duets, Sam Llanas, Lyric Advisory Board, WORK, Eric Blowtorch, Tritonics and more. Cover charge is $10 and doors open at 7 p.m.
Stream of the Week
“You’ll be living in limbo/ Until your 20s are gone” folk troubadour Brett Newski sings on the opener from his latest album, Land Air Sea Garage. The track, “Garage,” is a call to do something with your life before it’s gone. It’s advice Newski takes to heart himself. Never wasting an opportunity to perform to someone new, the singer-songwriter travels for most of the year, playing shows all around the world. “The more you wait/ the more it’s gone,” he repeats on the following track, “Stranger.” For Newski, there’s no time for waiting.
This Week in Live Music
Tuesday, November 8: Lecrae at The Rave, 8 p.m. ($26) – (2401 W. Wisconsin Ave., TheRave.com)
Wednesday, November 9: Richard Shindell at Shank Hall, 8 p.m. ($25) – (1434 N. Farwell Ave., ShankHall.com)
Thursday, November 10: The Good Life with Jake Bellows, Our Fox and Oquoa at Cactus Club, 8:30 p.m. ($12 advance; $14 door) – (2496 S. Wentworth Ave., CactusClubMilwaukee.com)
Also: Mumblr with Lifetime Achievement Award and Apollo Vermouth at High Dive, 10 p.m. – (701 E. Center St., HighDiveMKE.com)
And: Lera Lynn at The Backroom at Colectivo Coffee, 8 p.m. ($12) – (2211 N. Prospect Ave., PabstTheater.org)
Friday, November 11: AUTOMatic (album release) with Vincent VanGREAT, El Shareef and DJ Optimist at Cactus Club, 9 p.m. ($10, includes album) – (2496 S. Wentworth Ave., CactusClubMilwaukee.com)
Also: Band of Horses with Wild Belle at The Rave, 8 p.m. ($29-$34) – (2401 W. Wisconsin Ave., TheRave.com)
And: “Kneel To Neil” A Neil Young Tribute at Linneman’s Riverwest Inn, 7:30 p.m. ($10) – (1001 E. Locust St., Linnemans.com)
And: No No Yeah Okay with The Quilz and The Braided Janes at Company Brewing, 10 p.m. – (735 E. Center St., CompanyBrewing.com)
And: Rebelution with Hirie at Turner Hall Ballroom, 8:30 p.m. ($19.75 advance; $22.25 door) – (1032 N. 4th St., PabstTheater.org)
And: Joan Shelley with Nathan Salsburg at The Backroom at Colectivo Coffee, 8 p.m. ($10 advance; $12 door) – (2211 N. Prospect Ave., PabstTheater.org)
Saturday, November 12: Tedeschi Trucks Band with Amy Helm and the Handsome Strangers at The Riverside Theater, 8 p.m. (SOLD OUT) – (116 W. Wisconsin Ave., PabstTheater.org)
Also: Jonathan Tyler with The Dove & the Wolf at Cactus Club, 9 p.m. – (2496 S. Wentworth Ave., CactusClubMilwaukee.com)
Sunday, November 13: NOFX with Pears and Useless ID at The Rave, 8 p.m. ($26.50-$31.50) – (2401 W. Wisconsin Ave., TheRave.com)
Also: Aurora with Dan Croll at Turner Hall Ballroom, 8 p.m. ($15 advance; $18 door) – (1032 N. 4th St., PabstTheater.org)