Although nature, with all its viruses and whatnot, has conspired to guarantee I won't get out to them, there are two shows -- tonight and tomorrow -- on tap that piqued my interest.
Tonight, Jeremy Messersmith plays at the Cactus Club at 9 p.m. with Judson Claiborne and Milwaukee's own Christopher Porterfield (aka Conrad Plymouth) peforming solo.
In case you don't think seeing Porterfield solo is enough -- it is -- realize, too, that Messersmith's "The Reluctant Graveyard" is a 2010 highlight thanks to its clever folky pop that will conjure everything from the Beach Boys to Sufjan Stevens and back to Simon & Garfunkel.
That he's shared the stage with the liks of Sondre Lerche and The Watson Twins should tell you a bit about his musical world, too.
Another quality musical concert concoction from the folk(s) at Muzzle of Bees and WMSE.
Tomorrow night The Rave Bar hosts Violent Soho, from the Australian city of Brisbane. That's the town that gave the world The Saints and some will hear echoes of that stalwart first-wave punk band in Violent Soho's perfect-pop-song-length punk mini-anthems.
The one that has garnered the most attention so far on these shores is first single, "Jesus Stole My Girlfriend," which riffs on a theme recently visited by country rocker Hayes Carll on his brilliant "She Left Me For Jesus." But Hayes' sacrilicious ditty didn't crack Billboard's alternative top 25 and rock top 35, as Violent Soho has.
"Muscle Junkie" is the next single and is equally incendiary.
Sun Dried Truth opens the 7 p.m. show.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.