By Tyler Casey Reporter Published Oct 05, 2006 at 5:10 AM
Blues-rocker Patrick Sweaney has seen a lot in his 32 years. He's been playing, writing and recording music since he was a teenager. He's met and played some of his musical heroes like bluesman Andy Cohen and producer Dan Auerbach. But one thing the Massillon, Ohio native hasn't done is play Milwaukee.

"I can't wait to play (Milwaukee.) I love breaking new territory," he says.

Mainly playing gigs around his native Ohio and West Virginia, Sweaney is turning towards the rest of the country as his career starts to build momentum. The latest album from the Patrick Sweaney Band, "C'mon C'mere," (featuring drummer Clint Algire and Bob Basone on baritone guitar) was released to praise in roots music circles. Indeed, the album sends out a very genuine, Midwestern vibe that comes from Sweaney's everyday life.

"I have my influences, but I just try and pay respect to them without watering them down. Everything I play is something that comes from my experiences."

Those experiences are important to Sweaney. He lives in the same northern Ohio town where he was born and first exposed to music from his father, a local folk guitarist. When he's not on the road, Sweaney finds time every Tuesday to play the bar near Kent State University that gave him his first paying gig.

"I love being a musician. This is what I'm supposed to do."

After wrapping up a small tour with his band in November, Sweaney will head back to Massillon to begin recording his fourth album.

Also on the bill is Los Straitjackets, a quartet known as much for its instrumental surf-rock as it is for its elaborate stage shows, complete with the band decked out in Mexican wrestling masks.

The Patrick Sweaney Band and Los Straitjackets share a bill Nov. 1 at Shank Hall.

Supagroup brings its no-nonsense, hell-raising rock to the Brew City on Oct. 5. The charismatic New Orleans foursome, who has been compared to AC/DC, Aerosmith and Guns N' Roses, hits the stage at Points East Pub. Aristocratic rockers The Upper Crust joins Supagroup on the bill.

If you're in the mood for something with a little less headbanging, legendary jazz pianist McCoy Tyner (performing with with the McCoy Tyner Trio) plays the Pitman Theatre on the campus of Alverno College on Oct. 7. With over 80 albums and four Grammy awards under his belt, Tyner has performed with John Coltrane, Ron Carter, Elvin Jones and many others. Tickets are $35 and are available at or at the Pitman Theater box office.

Dutch indie-rockers  Bettie Serveert makes the trip across the pond and lands at Shank Hall Oct. 8. Combining catchy pop melodies with an innovative style has won the band fans all over the world. Its latest album, "Bare Stripped Naked," was released in September to rave reviews.

From Greenville, Texas, Ben Kweller comes out with a style that's a mixture of down-home roots rock and radio-friendly pop. The emerging singer-songwriter brings his talent to Milwaukee with a show at the Eagles Club on Oct. 8. California folk quartet Hymns opens for Kweller.

The Secret Machines and its unique, audience-friendly show come to the Rave Oct. 11. The Dallas-via-New York trio sets up stage on an elevated circular platform in the middle of the audience, foregoing the traditional end stage set-up on one side of the venue. The latest album, "Ten Silver Drops," is in stores now.

Also on the 11th, British rockers Gomez play the Pabst Theater. Fresh off the summer release of its critically acclaimed album, "How We Operate," Gomez brings high energy and an original sound to its live show.

The Hotel Café Tour, a nationwide traveling exhibition of singer-songwriters, comes to Milwaukee with a night at the Pabst Theater on Oct. 16. This year's tour features Miho Hatori, the former lead singer of '90's cult favorite Cibo Matto, and up and coming singer-songwriter Joshua Radin, among others.

If we had to commit Kid Beyond to a musical genre it would be tough, but pop-electronica beatbox might work. Looping and multi-tracking his voice on stage to create his own live backing tracks, Kid Beyond layers a commanding singing voice over his beats, resulting in an energetic, melodic and hip-hop influenced brand of music a la Gorillaz and M.I.A. Catch him Oct. 21 opening for Widespread Panic at the Riverside Theater.

Singer-songwriter Steve Poltzhits the stage at Shank Hall on Oct. 25. With a style that can change from goofy to heartbreaking without a moment's notice, the versatile Poltz will be playing new songs from his currently untitled album scheduled for release next year.

Genre-bending New England foursome Zox play the Rave on Oct. 26. Bringing punk, ska, classical and world music influences together to form one unique sound, Zox is known for its eclectic and always entertaining live show. Zox shared the bill with Flogging Molly and Bedouin Soundclash.

Los Angeles innovators Particle bring its jam band-meets-electronica sound to Milwaukee when it plays the Miramar Theater Nov. 3. After guitarist Charlie Hitchcock either left the band or was fired, Particle brought Ben Combe and Scott Metzger into the fold earlier this year. The first performance of the revamped lineup this past February was recorded for its new live album/DVD, "Transformations Live."

Also from the city of smog and sun, unapologetic punk rockers Time Again hit the Miramar Theater Nov. 10. Mixing D.I.Y. punk with gritty storytelling, Time Again is a throwback to the stripped down, speedy buzzsaw music of early the West Coast punk scene. The new album, "The Stories Are True." is in stores now.

From the Windy City, oh my god plays Mad Planet on Nov. 16. The addition of guitarist Jake Garcia has added a new dimension to the already original (yes, they have an organ player) and progressive band. Itsnewest album, "Fools Want Noise," hits stores in 2007.

Remember influential new wave band The Cars? Well they're sort of almost back! Lead singer and songwriter Ric Ocasek is out, Todd Rundgren is in, and the band that's touring the country as The New Cars comes to the Riverside Theater Nov. 25. Expect to hear classics as well as offerings from the latest album, "It's Alive!"
Tyler Casey Reporter

Tyler Casey was born and raised in the Twin Cities, but he’s lived in Milwaukee for the last four years working and going to school. A senior at UWM with one semester left before he gets his print journalism degree, Tyler’s grown incredibly fond of his new city and hopes to stay here for good. He’s been with since June 2006.

Despite retaining certain customs of his fatherland (Tyler bleeds purple and gold), he considers Milwaukee his home. Spending most of his time on the East Side, Riverwest and Downtown (as well as wherever the nearest bus line can take him), Tyler’s always looking to experience what the city has to offer.