It’s hard to believe that Summerfest has already passed us by. The 11-day festival seemed to fly by this year. As the city recovers from its collective hangover and works to pick up the beer cups and empty pizza cone wrappers lining the streets, the normal summer music schedule kicks back into full gear.
The week starts off pleasantly with performances by Soul Low and Paper Holland at Chill in the Hill in Bay View on Tuesday evening. Expect an early look-in at Soul Low’s forthcoming album, Nosebleeds, due out August 5 on Gloss Records. The record’s first single “Be Like You” feels laid-back yet still immediate—an appropriate soundtrack to a week-night picnic. Paper Holland is fresh off a new five-song EP, Fast Food, that’s filled with more meaningful calories than its title suggests. Music starts at 6 p.m.
Wednesday night, normally a depleted day on the music calendar, presents a difficult decision this week. Experimental rock band Swans plays Shank Hall, where the band’s punishingly loud volumes always seems to shake the small club’s foundation. The group’s latest record, June’s The Glowing Man, marks the last effort of the current line-up, which has been in place since 2010’s reformation. The droning, sedated double album slowly enfolds over a tense 2 hours. The show kicks off at 8 p.m. with an opening performance by Okkyung Lee.
The Black Lips’ Turner Hall Ballroom performance provides an alternative to Swans high-concept howl with an evening of snotty garage rock that divvies out guitar hooks like band stickers at the local community center. 2014’s Underneath the Rainbow eschewed the lo-fi quality of past albums for a more polished sound, enlisting The Black Keys’ drummer Patrick Carney to produce several songs. Doors open at 7 p.m. and features sets from Chain & The Gang, Platinum Boys and Vanguard DJ’s Hollywood & Christreater. After the show, Cactus Club is hosting an after party featuring Banditos, Midnight Reruns and a DJ set from Platinum Boys. A ticket from the Black Lips show saves you $3 at the door.
A disappointing loss to Portugal in the European Championship final on Sunday can’t damper the celebratory French mood at Bastille Days this week. Starting with the 5k run/walk “Storming the Bastille” on Thursday night, the 35th anniversary of Milwaukee’s Bastille Days embraces French culture over four days in Cathedral Square Park with a Mardi Gras parade, wine tastings, live music and more. A full listing of the entertainment schedule is available here.
Co-headliners Steely Dan and Steve Winwood come to the BMO Harris Pavilion on Saturday night with a treasure trove of hits in their collective back pockets. Expect two crowd-pleasing performances that feature the best cuts from both immersive catalogs. The show starts at 8 p.m.
And closing out the week is another tough decision: post-punk outfit Savages at The Rave or Car Seat Headrest at Turner Hall Ballroom on Sunday night? The much-buzzed-about Savages released their sophomore record, Adore Life, in January. The album contains the same vigor that made 2013’s Silence Yourself such an enrapturing debut. New Zealand group A Dead Forest Index gets things going at 7:30 p.m.
Car Seat Headrest’s debut for Matador Records, Teens of Denial, captures the smart, catchy power pop style that frontman Will Toledo developed throughout his prolific Bandcamp releases. The show starts at 8 p.m. with Milwaukee punk band The Pukes and Detroit’s Stef Chura.
Video of the Week
The Rashita Joneses take science fiction camp aesthetics to its extreme throughout the music video for “Wide Eyes / Alien Ocean.” Filmed/Edited by Carter Green and guitarist/vocalist Joe Grabo, the video features blow-up alien dolls chasing down the band, fighting them on the beach, capturing one member surgically removing a cassette tape from his stomach. It’s better not to give the rest away—just watch.
This Week in Live Music
Monday, July 11: John Paul White with The Secret Sisters at The Back Room at Colectivo Coffee, 8 p.m. ($15) – (2211 N. Prospect Ave., PabstTheater.org)
Tuesday, July 12: Chill on the Hill featuring Soul Low, Paper Holland and Janice and Friends at Humboldt Park, 6 p.m. (FREE) – (3000 S. Howell Ave., http://www.bayviewneighborhood.org/chill_on_the_hill)
Wednesday, July 13: Swans with Okkyung Lee at Shank Hall, 8 p.m. ($25) – (1434 N. Farwell Ave., ShankHall.com)
Also: The Black Lips with Chain & The Gang, Platinum Boys, and Vangard DJ’s Hollywood & Christreater at Turner Hall Ballroom, 8 p.m. ($15 advance; $17 door) – (1032 N. 4th St., PabstTheater.org)
And: Black Lips After Party with Banditos, Midnight Reruns and DJ Platinum Boys at Cactus Club, ($8; $5 with Turner Hall ticket) – (2496 S. Wentworth Ave., CactusClubMilwaukee.com)
Thursday, July 14: Inter Arma with Withered and Ara at Cactus Club, 9 p.m. ($10) – (2496 S. Wentworth Ave., CactusClubMilwaukee.com)
Friday, July 15: Super Furry Animals at Turner Hall Ballroom, 8 p.m. ($20) – (1032 N. 4th St., PabstTheater.org)
Also: JD McPherson with Dylan Pratt at Shank Hall, 8 p.m. ($20) – (1434 N. Farwell Ave., ShankHall.com)
And: Little Tybee with Bo Triplex and His Beautiful Band, Shoot Down the Moon and Rocket Paloma at Cactus Club, 9 p.m. – (2496 S. Wentworth Ave., CactusClubMilwaukee.com)
And: Sawyer Fredericks with Mia Z at The Back Room at Colectivo Coffee, 8 p.m. ($20) – (2211 N. Prospect Ave., PabstTheater.org)
Saturday, July 16: Steely Dan & Steve Winwood at BMO Harris Pavilion at 8 p.m. ($35-$125) – (200 N. Harbor Dr., PabstTheater.org)
Also: Marilyn Manson at The Rave, 8 p.m. ($35-$45) – (2401 W. Wisconsin Ave., TheRave.com)
And: Secret Colours with Canopies at Cactus Club, 10 p.m. ($8) – (2496 S. Wentworth Ave., CactusClubMilwaukee.com)
And: Twins with Mooner and Indonesian Junk at Club Garibaldi’s, 9 p.m. – (2501 S. Superior St., ClubGaribaldis.com)
Sunday, July 17: Savages with A Dead Forest Index at The Rave, 7:30 p.m. ($20) – (2401 W. Wisconsin Ave., TheRave.com)
Also: Car Seat Headrest with Chura and The Pukes at Turner Hall Ballroom, 8 p.m. ($10) – (1032 N. 4th St., PabstTheater.org)