By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published May 24, 2010 at 5:12 AM

Undoubtedly, Josh Rouse is the star of the Friday, May 28 gig at Turner Hall. The return of Rouse to that venue -- which he helped launch by playing the first gig there under current management -- will be something to see.

His breezy, melodic pop -- rooted in '70s folk rock -- is the perfect soundtrack for the start of summer. This time, Rouse L.A.-based AM and I'm especially excited about that.

Last week I heard AM's third disc, "Future Sons and Daughters" (in a cover that riffs on classic Herb Alpert sleeves) for the first time and was blown away.

The disc, which draws on Brazilian, '70s AM radio pop and indie rock, recalls Rouse's best work, but with a blend all its own. The sun-drenched record was produced by Charles Newman (The Magnetic Fields).

"A Complete Unknown" has the gentility and melody and air of a song you'd hear from the back seat while driving in the car with your folks in 1975. The same can be said of "Darker Days."

But "The Other Side" uses acoustic guitars and mandolins and a delay-laden electric guitar riff to create a mellow, uptempo indie rock number that is equally infectious.

Every track on AM's debut full-length, "Troubled Times" (in fact a lot of the songs remind me of the Fountains of Wayne song with that name), ended up in films or TV shows, like "Keeping Up With The Kardashians" MTV's "The Real World" and "Friday Night Lights."

With songs like these, "Future Sons and Daughters" could end up sharing all its 11 catchy pop tracks with other media, too.

The performer known as AM -- born in Tulsa and raised in New Orleans -- has toured with AIR and Charlotte Gainsbourg and even got a chance to open for his idol, Caetano Veloso back in April. After the Rouse dates, AM heads to France for more dates with AIR. See him in Milwaukee now.

Show time is 8 p.m. and getting Rouse and AM for $15 is a Friday night steal.

Read Molly Snyder Edler's Josh Rouse interview here. -- Bobby Tanzilo

The Maytals burst onto the Jamaican music scene at the dawn of the '60s, when ska ruled the island and they remained a major force until the mid-'70s when records like "Funky Kingston" made a big splash.

After the group split in the late '70s, Toots Hibbert ventured more into pop and soul and the group's influenced waned.

The Maytals reformed in the '90s, but without co-founders Henry "Raleigh" Gordon (who died in 1994) and Nathaniel "Jerry" McCarthy. The Maytals at that point really began to mean Hibbert's backing band more than the original trio of singers.

A new disc, "Flip & Twist," is out now and the current version of Toots & The Maytals plays at Turner Hall Ballroom on Wednesday, May 26 at 8 p.m. Tickets $23.50. Milwaukee's own The Invaders open the show. -- Bobby Tanzilo

The BoDeans won't be visiting Summerfest this year, but fans can get their fix at a special CD release show Friday night at The Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. Founding members Kurt Neumann and Sam Llanas will join bandmates Bukka Allen (keyboards), Ryan Bowman (bass) and Mike Meadows (drums) for a homecoming concert and release party for "Mr. Sad Clown."

The show, presented by, will take place inside Uihlein Hall, home of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Though it won't be an "Unplugged" set, but Neumann recently hinted at an intimate, "Storytellers"-like approach that will let the music breathe a bit. Paul Cebar will open the show with a solo acoustic set, which promises to be a memorable night in a beautiful venue. Tickets priced at $40, $45 and $50 are available at the Marcus Center Box Office and through Ticketmaster outlets. --Drew Olson

I have to show some love for a really successful local hip-hop event, the Miltown Beat Down. Hosted by the Rusty Ps' DJ Madhatter (aka Jordan Lee of 88.9 Radio Milwaukee's morning show), the event pits local producers (beat makers) against each other. Now in its fifth year, the event has partnered with Red Bull Big Tune (the national beat battle). The four finalists -- Lex Luther, Zeekzilla, DJ Peru and 40 MIL -- face off Friday, May 28 at The Wherehouse, 818 S. Water St. Read more about this event here. -- Julie Lawrence