Thursday, June 25th
Summerfest: day one @ Maier Festival Park (through July 5th)
Yeah, yeah, yeah. We know. Summerfest is being crammed down Milwaukee’s throats and for some, it means a bad case of indigestion. Maybe acid reflux. Still, some are reveling in the fact that today is the start of the 700 + band lineup over the next eleven days. Check out the local sounds of The Invaders, Cougar Den, Fresh Cut Collective and Testa Rosa at the well-stocked Cascio Interstate Groove Garage with WMSE and the Shepherd Express or one of the many nationals such as KISS, Rodrigo y Gabriela the Meat Puppets or Lupe Fiasco. Even if you’re not into the music the day of your attendance, at least the fireworks will put that sparkle in your eye.
Friday, July 26th
Shellac + Three Second Kiss, Bear Claw @ Club Garibaldi’s, 2501 S. Superior, 8 p.m.
Minimalist rock’s favorite bitter pill and engineering guru Steve Albini will spend Friday night on the stage of Club Garibaldi in Milwaukee, dousing his audience with shards of guitars and gnarled, meaty lyrics while drummer Todd Trainer provides the controlled variable percussion of Shellac. Best consider trading your ear plugs for gauze pads, because Shellac does not play nice. 2007′s Excellent Italian Greyhound is evidence of the band not planning to sugar-coat their music anytime soon. Also, get there early, as half the tickets were pre-sales and space is limited.
Saturday, June 27th
Masonry + Bored Straight, Armada, Parrhesia @ The Borg Ward (823 W. National), 7 p.m.
For those looking to get exercise their inner aggro without getting arrested, the Borg Ward offers enough in hardcore, fastcore and heavy post-punk to loosen the worst hot weather-addled nerves. Sweat it off while Milwaukee’s Bored Straight pays homage to Black Flag and Parrhesia (Chicago) tears it up, claiming they [play as though] “stuck in a whirlwind of shit”; maybe a shitstorm of pummeling guitars and crash cymbals? Masonry rounds out the bill with their brainy guitar/bass/drums instrumental catharsis, sans vocals. Heavy and layered, Masonry is captivating, live.