Sign in | Register now | Like us on FacebookLike Us | Follow us on TwitterFollow Us

Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014

Thu
Hi: 60
Lo: 51
Fri
Hi: 71
Lo: 61
Sat
Hi: 78
Lo: 60
Advertise on OnMilwaukee.com
Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, answers questions at her appearance at the Riverside Theater.
Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, answers questions at her appearance at the Riverside Theater. (Photo: CJ Foeckler)

Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten enchants The Riverside

Ina Garten, a.k.a. the Barefoot Contessa, was originally scheduled to come to Milwaukee Nov. 2, but her appearance was postponed due to Hurricane Sandy. Thankfully, the show was not cancelled and Garten made her first-ever trip to Milwaukee on Thursday night for a chat at the Riverside Theater.

The stage consisted of two leather chairs, a rug, a lamp and a table with Garten's new book, "Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust," propped up on display. Off the bat, Garten addressed the postponement of her show, saying, "I'm sorry I'm late."

Nancy Stohs served as the moderator for the event, having collected questions in advance, stating the name, age and location of the person who submitted it. This approach was a bit rocky at the beginning as the questions were often unrelated so that there wasn't really any progression or tie-in to the previous answer. Also, Stohs seemed to be focusing on the next question to read and wasn't really listening to Garten's answers. Instead it seemed like she was just waiting for Garten to stop talking and moving to the next question as soon as there was any pause.

Garten's natural charisma helped cover some of the early blemishes. While Garten quickly bonded with the audience, it took longer for her to develop chemistry with her on-stage counterpart. This was finally achieved when Garten commented "I love that everybody has their age," joking about an unnecessary element that prefaced each question. This broke the ice on-stage and helped forge a good rhythm that stayed pretty consistent until near the end of the show.

Along the way, Garten shared her thoughts on a wide range of cooking and entertaining topics. While she was pretty consistent in offering practical advice, some of her suggestions were not cost effective for those with a food budget. In one instance, she recommended that the best way to discover your favorite type of an ingredient (such as olive oil) would be to buy four or five different brands and perform your ow…

Read more...
Aimee Mann performed Sunday night in support of her new album, "Charmer."
Aimee Mann performed Sunday night in support of her new album, "Charmer." (Photo: CJ Foeckler)
"Charmer" was the main focus of Sunday night's set, but she also included numerous selections from "The Forgotten Arm" and the "Magnolia" soundtrack.
"Charmer" was the main focus of Sunday night's set, but she also included numerous selections from "The Forgotten Arm" and the "Magnolia" soundtrack. (Photo: CJ Foeckler)
Ted Leo won over the crowd with his opening set and later duet with Mann.
Ted Leo won over the crowd with his opening set and later duet with Mann. (Photo: CJ Foeckler)

Mann charms The Pabst

Touring in support of her latest album, "Charmer," Aimee Mann returned to Milwaukee for an impressive performance at The Pabst Theater Sunday night.

"Charmer" was the main focus of Sunday night's set, and Mann and her four bandmates began the evening with three songs from the album: "Disappeared," "Gumby" and "Labrador."

These songs established the '80s new wave feel that is on display throughout the new release. Mann's voice sounded fantastic and when she wasn't singing, she was delighting the audience with anecdotes and observations.

Prior to Sunday night, Mann's most recent Milwaukee performance had been in June 2008, missing the debut of the Bronze Fonz by a few months. Mann detailed her "so bad it's good" appreciation of the statue.

"That is the worst Fonzie statue I've ever seen. It is so awesome," said Mann, citing the height of the statue along with the Fonz's teeth and the color of his pants as flaws. "Every town has its wrong statue and this one is your guys'. You should be so proud."

After Mann's band took a break to allow her to perform solo, one fan in attendance declared that Mann's music video for "Labrador" was an all-time best. Coyly, Mann replied, "I have to concur." She then explained that the premise for the video (a Gus Van Sant-esque shot-for-shot remake of the 'Til Tuesday "Voices Carry") wasn't her own, but that she was very happy with how it turned out.

Switching gears, Mann then performed her Academy Award-nominated song "Save Me" from "Magnolia." After the song one of her bandmates returned to the stage and started playing the opening notes from "Wise Up," which prompted an odd "ooooh" from an audience member. This caught Mann off-guard who acknowledged the noise by saying "that seems like a very strange response."

Even though Mann has a nearly 20-year old discography, Sunday's set consisted mainly of almost all of "Charmer," along with numerous selections from "The Forgotten Arm" and the "Magnolia" soundtrack. The las…

Read more...
Indie pop duo Matt & Kim add color (and confetti) to The Rave Thursday night.
Indie pop duo Matt & Kim add color (and confetti) to The Rave Thursday night.

Matt & Kim liven up The Rave

Escaping the grip of an impending winter in Wisconsin, a primarily young crowd packed The Rave Thursday night to see Brooklyn indie pop duo Matt Johnson and Kim Schifino, otherwise simply known as Matt & Kim.

Patiently waiting for sound check to end, fans chit-chatted about their favorite albums and broke into improvised dancing, but when the lights dimmed their attention immediately turned to the stage.

Strobe lights began to flash and thunder could be heard rumbling from the speakers as it contended with the roar of the crowd. The energetic duo took to their instruments and broke into "Block After Block," the opening track off of "Sidewalks," during which Schifino had no reservations about standing atop her drum kit to shake her hips and dance, working the crowd in to a frenzy. Johnson was just as bold, jumping, kicking and nearly doing complete handstands on his keyboard.

After the first song, Schifino climbed onto her drums once again and simply wrote off Milwaukee's chilly weather stating that "It may be cold outside, but that's okay because we're all going to get hot and sloppy tonight!" This set the tone for the night as the crowd jumped, danced, clapped and sang to many of the hits, such as "Good Ol' Fashioned Nightmare," "Red Paint," "Now," "Yea Yeah" and "Cameras."

Leaving no room to breathe between songs, Matt & Kim would often throw out balloons and confetti as they danced to several hip-hop beats of Kanye West, Kris Kross and Ludacris, even seamlessly implementing other obscure beats into their own songs. When they weren't doing that, they were usually complimenting the crowd and flattering each other.

Schifino assured the crowd that they were the craziest group they've performed for and even stated that "It's Matt's fault that we keep skipping over Milwaukee, blame him. I think we need to do this more often." Eventually Schifino took a moment to break the jubilant atmosphere to talk about the need for people to adopt stray pets. Milwaukee animal s…

Read more...
Allen Stone performs at Turner Hall Wednesday night.
Allen Stone performs at Turner Hall Wednesday night. (Photo: Melissa Miller)
Stone kept the audience energized throughout his two-hour turn on stage.
Stone kept the audience energized throughout his two-hour turn on stage. (Photo: Melissa Miller)
Opener Tingsek pushed through technical difficulties and easily won the Turner Hall audience over early.
Opener Tingsek pushed through technical difficulties and easily won the Turner Hall audience over early. (Photo: Melissa Miller)
Belgian songstress Selah Sue's performance expertly paved the way for Stone.
Belgian songstress Selah Sue's performance expertly paved the way for Stone. (Photo: Melissa Miller)

Stone showcases divine, soulful skill at Turner Hall

Allen Stone started his night in front of a Turner Hall audience nearly an hour before his band took the stage, dancing at a distance with a young girl as she gleefully watched him peer over the edge of the balcony.

Clad in his trademark hat and glasses, the Seattle native would go on to match his youthful fan's exuberance and energy throughout his marathon two-hour set and encore Wednesday night, establishing a standard that few of his contemporaries could hope to match.

Stone's band played him out to a delightful rendition of James Brown's "Sex Machine," leading right into their own "What I've Seen." Stone commands the stage with the vigor and conviction of a tent revivalist, not surprising given that he was raised the son of a preacher.

Combining that near-religious fervor with the strut of an industry veteran thrice his age, Stone thoroughly rocked a game crowd, pausing only to soak in an extended ovation on a mention that he was making his first headlining appearance in the Cream City.

A pair of slower numbers, "Killing Time" and "The Bed I Made," allowed Stone the opportunity to show off his softer side. Sitting down with acoustic guitar in hand, he led a willing assembly along with a duo of tracks that were reminiscent of Amos Lee cut with the very best parts of John Mayer's early work.

Allen Stone exudes soul, and furthermore radiates soulfulness. Renditions of Bob Marley's "Is This Love" and Chaka Khan's "Tell Me Something Good" were peppered into the show, the former showcasing Stone's world-class falsetto and finishing with a flourish that would make Christina Aguilera jealous. Even when he's not jumping octaves, Stone's voice is like hot buttered rum: warm, inviting and more than a little intoxicating. Using it to the best of his ample abilities, he took those familiar tracks and left his own mark on them, as if their lyrics had flowed from his own veins.

His aforementioned church upbringing was put on display during a brief sermon that served as a…

Read more...