With Those Darlins on Wednesday and The Polyphonic Spree on Saturday, it's a big week for the often overlooked East Side venue. Plus: Mac DeMarco, Temple and more.
Shank Hall’s music schedule usually leaves something to be desired, but every once in a while the East Side venue catches some inspiration and pieces together a string of good bookings. That’s certainly true this week, as the club showcases two very worthwhile shows—the Tennessee country rockers Those Darlins on Tuesday and the sweeping, symphonic rock ensemble The Polyphonic Spree on Saturday.
Formed in Dallas in 2000, The Polyphonic Spree’s debut record The Beginning Stages of… made a clear statement regarding the elegance of a cohesive album at a time when that construct was crumbling. Thanks to the internet, a catchy single could achieve millions of illegal downloads and spark an artist’s career. But The Polyphonic Spree took the opposite direction, filling their debut with sweeping and uplifting moments that fit together when listened as a whole, rather than an infectious 3-minute clip.
With that sensibility it’s no wonder why the band ended up many film soundtracks, like those for Murderball, Visioneers and The Lorax and even got a gig to write the entire soundtrack for Thumbsucker. Their live performances are a different beast altogether, as its countless members resemble a church choir, dressing in robes and singing to the heavens. During their stop through Milwaukee at Shank Hall on Nov. 7, The Polyphonic Spree will have its sights on the past, playing its debut album front-to-back. The Sharp Things open. Doors are at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20.
Those Darlins started as a rough-and-the-edges throwback country group on 2009’s self-titled debut and grew a bad reputation for being a wild and drunk live act. But that surly attitude was mostly a performance, the female debauchery an easy entryway to grab people’s attention. The band broadened its sound on subsequent effort, 2011’s Screws Get Loose, and had some fun (the single was a delightful song called “Be Your Bro.”) They focused more directly on blues rock on their latest album, 2013’s Blur The Line, the band’s most personal album to date. They lay themselves bare (quite literally) on the cover and throughout the direct lyrics. They play Shank Hall on Tuesday, Nov. 3 with P.M. Buys. Doors are at 8 p.m. and tickets are $10.
Initially booked for the Pabst, Mac DeMarco plays the more expansive Riverside Theater this Friday night. He’s touring behind his new mini-LP Another One from this past July, which was recorded at his bayside home in Queens. Always one to follow through with a crazy idea, DeMarco tells listeners his address at the conclusion of the album and welcomes them to stop by for a cup of coffee. Much to his surprise, many did just that.
Stream of the Week
Milwaukee emo progenies Temple decided to call it quits this weekend. A farewell show is in the works, but for now, let’s revisit the band’s brash debut, 2013’s The Conscience of The King.
This Week in Live Music
Tuesday, November 3: Insane Clown Posse with P.O.D., DJ Paul, Dope D.O.D. and Young Wicked at The Rave, 6:30 p.m. ($26.50-$31.50)
Wednesday, November 4: State Champion with Bad Wig at Bremen Cafe, 10 p.m. (FREE)
Thursday, November 5: Yonder Mountain String Band with Henhouse Prowlers at Potawatomi’s Northern Lights Theater, 8 p.m. ($30-$40)
Friday, November 6: Vincent VanGREAT with Mike Regal, Sheol Dynasty, JMayz, R. Braille and Marty P at Cactus Club, 9 p.m. ($5)
Saturday, November 7: Moving Units with The Sounds of Time at Cactus Club, 9:30 p.m. ($10)
Also: milo with s.al, sayth and Fivy at Mad Planet, 9 p.m. ($8)