Welcome to December: What's happening in Milwaukee this month
The highlights of a slow, holiday-clogged month in local entertainment
We’re neck-deep in the holiday season, and it looks like you won’t have to worry about not having extra money for going out this month. The entertainment schedule is looking a little scant over the next four weeks, but here are the highlights.
You haven’t give up on Weezer? Why? We mean, have fun!
What in the hell happened to Weezer? People who have spent considerable time licking their adolescent wounds while listening to 1994’s Weezer (a.k.a. “The Blue Album”) and 1996’s Pinkerton have been asking themselves this question for at least the past 10 years. How could one of the great power-pop bands of the mid-’90s—if not the greatest—trade in hilariously twisted (and incredibly catchy) confessionals about deeply neurotic love for the trite, moronic garbage that takes up large parts of the group’s past three albums? Yes, we’re including the new, ridiculously titled Raditude in that mix, though the record does mark a minor improvement over the thoroughly worthless likes of 2005’s Make Believe and 2008’s Weezer (a.k.a. “The Red Album.”)
Then again, if you’re planning on seeing Weezer Thursday at The Rave/Eagles Ballroom, you probably like those albums, and you’re wondering why we’re being so negative. Maybe you’re right, Weezer fan. Maybe we should stop expecting Rivers Cuomo to write another brilliant rock song about half-Japanese girls and appreciate what the man has done for us lately. It can’t all be as bad as “Heart Songs,” right?
Just because they’re funny doesn’t mean they’re not angry!
The holidays can be a stressful time, and sometimes you need 1) a good laugh or 2) a really good screaming match. Fortunately you can get both from two of the biggest comedy shows of the month—insult comic Lisa Lampanelli visits the Riverside Theater Dec. 4, and spirited political rantmeister Lewis Black comes by the Riverside Dec. 5. We feel cleansed by the power of hilarious hatred already.
Squaring off on Dec. 5 are two must-see hip-hop shows. Over at the Cactus Club, Twin Cities duo Eyedea And Abilities is back and in full effect after an extended separation in support of this year’s By The Throat. That same night Chicago mash-up masters The Hood Internet will perform at MSOE’s Todd Wehr Auditorium. (Check out THI in advance by downloading its new mixape.)
Attack of the Christmas shows
You can’t go anywhere right now without hearing Christmas music, and yet there are still people who will pay to hear even more of it. Trans-Siberian Orchestra has been colliding Christmas tunes, classical music, prog-rock, and blaring hair-metal guitars each hallowed season for more than a decade now, and it will be back spreading some pompous cheer Dec. 13 at the Bradley Center. If you prefer a holiday show without holiday music, radio station 102.1 is hosting its annual “Big Snow Show” featuring Breaking Benjamin, 30 Seconds To Mars, Sick Puppies, and After Midnight Project Dec. 17 at The Rave/Eagles Club.
A reatarded New Year’s Eve
You’ll have plenty of options for your New Year’s Eve night out—including Jim Gaffigan’s return to Pabst Theater and The Rave’s annual DJ blowout—but the most intriguing choice has to be the Spoon/Jay Reatard show at the Riverside. Spoon should be a reliable draw, but Reatard is a real wildcard whose blistering live show isn’t exactly an ideal fit for the classy downtown venue. Still, we hope Spoon fans greet him warmly. If anything, that man gives a great interview.