Thursday, May 14th
Solo Night @ The Cactus Club (2496 S. Wentworth), 8:30 p.m. Featuring: Mark Waldoch, Steven Look, Quinn Scharber, Wilmot Proviso and Mike Skorcz
Singer/songwriter night takes on a new identity as Cactus does its take on the barroom standby by fitting its stage with some of the finest talent in the city; and this is no knockoff of American Idol. Both the talent and intention of Cactus Club’s Solo Night is solid, with the entire proceeds of the evening turned over to 91.7 FM, WMSE.
Saturday, May 16th
The Scarring Party (CD release) + Mark Waldoch @ LuLu (2261 S. Howell), 10:30 p.m.
Like an Edward Gorey-an orchestra rehearsal, Milwaukee’s the Scarring Party takes on its melee of accordions, tubas and chimes in the most sinister of tones, giving them an edge even with the most up-tempo of compositions. Saturday sees the release of their latest work at Bay View’s notorious home of Asian slaw and homemade potato chips: LuLu.
William Elliott Whitmore + John the Savage @ Stonefly (735 E Center), 10 p.m.
With a baritone as deep as the stories that said voice outputs, Iowa native William Elliott Whitmore is a walking take on musical history. His style mixes gospel and folk, coming across with the solo oomph of Holly Golightly, the rebellious spirit of the Pogues and the energetic folk rock of Lucero. Following the release of his most recent Animals in the Dark, Whitmore is experiencing even more time in the spotlight. He won’t remain a fans’ secret for much longer. Opening is Milwaukee’s John the Savage. Singer Mike Skorcz will be giving Whitmore’s gravel-y voice a run for its money.
Monday, May 18th
Across Tundras + Admiral Browning, Northless, This Specific Dream @ the Borg Ward (823 W. National), 7 p.m.
With song titles such as “Last Breath Over Venom Falls”, “Death Dealing Man” and “Tectonic Shifts”, Nashville’s Across Tundras bring folk-metal to the masses with substance. Their droning haze of echoed wails, vast wall of guitars and plodding percussion seem to evoke a west-destinied trek in the dead of winter. Bleak? Yes, but Across Tundras fill their music with enough chutzpah to give it the fighting power that should please both zone-outers and thrashers.