If you notice that the guy on your volleyball team or the girl in the next cubicle is smiling a lot this week or has a spring in his/her step, you may want to ask the following question:
Are you going to see The Decemberists?
The pride of Portland visits town for a sold-out show Friday night at the Riverside Theater and the anticipation is growing for fans -- particularly those who witnessed the band's previous visits at The Pabst.
The band's new CD "The Hazards of Love" is being hailed as the greatest British folk-metal, prog concept album in a generation (we're kidding, of course, but you can't spell hyperbole without "hype").
"I think we've come a long way since the halcyon days of the concept record, and we've gone through a lot of changes as a musical culture," frenetic Decemberists front man Colin Meloy told Rolling Stone in a recent interview.
"I never really listened to those records growing up. I was listening to The Smiths and R.E.M. and Hüsker Dü and these little terse pop songs. And so it's interesting for me to go back and revisit the concept record because I like the idea of these massive, ambitious narratives. What's the point of it being off-limits?"
If you are going to the show and aren't familiar with "The Hazards of Love," you probably should check it out. The band has been playing the album in its entirety at recent shows, mixing in older songs later and earning enthusiastic reviews along the way.
The Decemberists show highlights a busy week for music locally. Also on tap this week:
Vnuk's Lounge, 5036 S. Packard Ave., hosts interesting back-to-back bills this week. On Wednesday, punk poet GG Allin's former band, Murder Junkies, pays homage to its late leader with help from Brass Tacks and Self Destruckt. On Thursday night, Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers bring their crowd-pleasing roots-rock to Cudahy.
Milwaukee's The Delta Routine is working on a new CD and celebrates the release of a new single, "Get Over It," from 2008's "Donna" during a show Friday night at Cactus Club. Fire On Your Sleeve opens the show.
De La Buena, a festival favorite with strong club chops, will attempt to turn Club Garibaldi into a dance party on Saturday night. The group is working on a new album -- due in summer -- and may preview some of the Latin-tinged grooves from that project at this show.
Third Eye Blind, which is surfing a wave of nostalgia more than a decade after its breakthrough, visits the Riverside on Saturday night buoyed by the strength of the 2008 single "Non-Dairy Creamer" and the upcoming CD "Ursa Major," which is due next month.
Will Phalen and the Stereo Addicts will be celebrating their new CD, "Middle West," Saturday night at Shank Hall. Hayward Williams and Sleeping in the Aviary open a strong show.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs, touring behind "It's Blitz," stop at The Rave on Sunday night with Grand Ole Party. Lead singer Karen O, drummer Brian Chase and guitarist Nick Zinner have gained traction with the song "Zero," but are eagerly awaiting the release of the second single, "Heads Will Roll." "That was actually one of the last songs we wrote for the record," Zinner told Billboard's Gary Graff. "I think we always wanted to have a guilty-pleasure dance song; that was it, really."
They won't be wriggling into leather pants to show off the "armadillos in our trousers," but that shouldn't diminish the fun of Spinal Tap's "Unwigged and Unplugged" gig Sunday night at the Riverside. Michael McKean, Christopher Guest and Harry Shearer will have laughter rolling and toes tapping with versions of songs from their incarnations of Spinal Tap, the Thamesmen and from Guest's 2003 film, "A Mighty Wind."
Host of “The Drew Olson Show,” which airs 1-3 p.m. weekdays on The Big 902. Sidekick on “The Mike Heller Show,” airing weekdays on The Big 920 and a statewide network including stations in Madison, Appleton and Wausau. Co-author of Bill Schroeder’s “If These Walls Could Talk: Milwaukee Brewers” on Triumph Books. Co-host of “Big 12 Sports Saturday,” which airs Saturdays during football season on WISN-12. Former senior editor at OnMilwaukee.com. Former reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.