Roundup: Charli XCX, Phish, Motley Crue, and more

Two nights of Phish at Alpine Valley, Motley Crue and Alice Cooper at the Bradley Center, a busy week at The Rave, and more.

Monday, August 3: Buke and Gase with Landlady at Cactus Club, 9 p.m. ($10)

The Brooklyn-based Buke and Gase don’t hold to normal rock standards. Their unconventional sound is a byproduct of their unconventional instruments. Eschewing looping pedals for a more “natural” result, the duo opts to build more diverse soundscapes by creating their own musical objects. These include the titular buke and gase—a baritone ukulele, a guitar-bass hybrid, respectively—and various foot percussion tools, which contribute to the band’s unique sound. (2496 S. Wentworth Ave.,

Tuesday, August 4: Lissie at Turner Hall Ballroom, 7 p.m. ($18)

Singer-songwriter Lissie (née Elisabeth Corrin Maurus) first gained attention through covers of famous tunes from Lady Gaga, Kid Cudi, Fleetwood Mac and Hank Williams that put her impressive voice on full display. Her 2010 full-length debut Catching a Tiger featured a mish-mash of collaborators that helped broaden her sound and prevent her from being pigeonholed as a coffeehouse singer. Follow-up Back to Forever found Lissie continuing along that pop-rock path without looking over her shoulder. (1032 N. 4th St.,

Also: Alice in Chains at The Rave, 8 p.m. ($40-$50) – (2401 W. Wisconsin Ave.,

Music Notes Show of the Week

Wednesday, August 5: Charli XCX with Bleachers and Borns at The Rave, 7:30 p.m. ($31-$36)

Providing guest vocals to massive summer hits, Icona Pop’s “I Love It” and Iggy Azelea’s “Fancy,” 23-year-old Charli XCX proved to be the Scottie Pippen of pop music. While she doesn’t get all the glory, those songs would have been simply “pretty good” without her talents. And she’s not only a role player—her second album, Sucker, made a defining statement on her own musical prowess. (2401 W. Wisconsin Ave.,

Also: Alpha Rev Unplugged with Jared & The Mill at Shank Hall, 8 p.m. ($13 advance; $15 door) – (1434 N. Farwell Ave.,

Thursday, August 6: Primus with Dinosaur Jr. at the Rave, 7 p.m. ($37-$144)

Since the Rave has several separate rooms, the venue can host multiple shows a night, often with entirely different crowds—I remember seeing Wavves while Twiztid and Big Sean played in other spaces. Watching disparate subcultures coalesce at the entrance to the Rave is a show in of itself. Instead of splitting two bands into separate rooms, Thursday night at the Rave presents a bizarre pairing of funky metalheads Primus and indie-rock legends Dinosaur Jr.—a real “Freak Scene,” to be sure. (2401 W. Wisconsin Ave.,

Also: Water Liars with Twin Brother and Christopher Porterfield at Cactus Club, 9 p.m. – (2496 S. Wentworth Ave.,

And: Boston at the Wisconsin State Fair, 7:30 p.m. ($29-$39) – (640 S. 84th St.,

Friday, August 7: Mötley Crüe with Alice Cooper at BMO Harris Bradley Center, 7 p.m. ($17-$96.50)

Out-of-towners know Milwaukee as a city bursting with brats, cheese and beer, but for the past twenty-some years—thanks to Alice Cooper’s cameo in Wayne’s World—they’ve come to refer to the place as “Mil-e-wah-que, Algonquin for the Good Land.” Cooper and headliner Mötley Crüe return to the Good Land on Friday night, just more than a year following a Summerfest slot at the Marcus Amphitheater. Reviews have been brutal to the Crüe’s live show as of late and the band recently had a concert in Salt Lake City delayed for two hours. But perhaps if you go in with low expectations, the show may be a pleasant surprise. (1001 N. 4th St.,

Also: Piles with Red Stuff, Liar’s Trial, Soft Targets, Luxx and Wolfgang Schaefer at Walker’s Point Anodyne, 6:30 p.m. (FREE) – (224 W. Bruce St.,

And: Jason Derulo with Jasmine V at the Wisconsin State Fair, 8 p.m. ($29-$39) – (640 S. 84th St.,

Saturday, August 8: Phish at Alpine Valley, 7 p.m. ($45-$65)

Being a “phan” of Phish means much more than just enjoying their music. It’s a way of life. It’s a fandom so intense that even if you’re not traveling to see the band live on tour, you’re listening to bootlegs made available after the show and re-ranking the best live versions—songs that have terrible titles like “You Enjoy Myself” and “Fluffhead.” It’s a weird circle that only insiders seem to understand. (2699 County Hwy D, East Troy,

Also: Trapper Schoepp with Joe Crockett at Walker’s Point Anodyne, 8 p.m. (FREE) – (224 W. Bruce St.,

And: Social Distortion with Nikki Lane and Drag the River at The Rave, 8 p.m. ($35) – (2401 W. Wisconsin Ave.,

And: Scarring Party (album release) with New Boyz Club at Company Brewing, 10 p.m. – (735 E. Center St.,

Sunday, August 9: Brandon Flowers with Rey Pila at The Rave, 8 p.m. ($31.50-$41.50)

Taking a break from fronting The Killers, Brandon Flowers set out on a solo career in 2010 with the underwhelming Flamingo but returned this May with the better-received follow-up, The Desired Effect. For fans of the Killers only, Flowers does intersperse a few of his band’s songs into his set. (2401 W. Wisconsin Ave.,

Also: Phish at Alpine Valley, 7 p.m. ($45-$65) – (2699 County Hwy D, East Troy,



Kevin is a freelance writer residing in Milwaukee. He’s contributed to The Shepherd Express, Third Coast Daily, Pop Matters and the sadly now-defunct A.V. Club Milwaukee. He looks forward to forging a deeper connection with the city’s impressive music scene during his gig as a Music Notes blogger. His talents include music criticism, riding a bicycle, drinking tasty beers and a crafty croquet swing. His weaknesses comprise Jean-Claude Van Damme movies, professional wrestling and his ever-growing record collection. He’s in desperate need to find more physical (and hard drive) space for the exceptional albums Milwaukee musicians keep churning out.