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Def Harmonic

Milwaukee Seen: Feb. 9, 2005

It's Wednesday. By now you've had two days to recover from any sort of Super Bowl partying you may have indulged in, and you still have a couple more before the weekend hits. You may want to rest up. This weekend is loaded. Let's break it down one day at a time.

Friday: It's been anticipated. It's been postponed. But let it be delayed no further. Def Harmonic's newest release, "Spaced Out," has extracted its landing gear and plans to touch ground this Friday night. Yes, it's a little later than originally planned, but we understand. Jason Todd is a wanted man of music in this town and has been keeping himself more than buys with projects like Minus After and New Sense, both of which released albums in 2004. Regardless, it is here now and a celebration is in order. DJ cohorts Why B and Kid Cup are all over it. This week's No request Friday at B-Side will be a CD release party dedicated to the melodic math equations fused with funky beats that Mr. Todd and his female partner in poetics, Lunaversol, create for our listening pleasure.

Despite the event's given name, Def Harmonic is allowed one request at Friday night's event: that its EP gets a warm Milwaukee welcome from friends and fans. They've invited Wobblyhead DJ One.F to help keep the music flowing and Tastes Like Chicken's master of adorable artistry, the Dwellephant, to turn plain slabs of wood and canvas into sound inspired illustrations. The festivities begin at 10 p.m. and there's a $5 cover charge after 11 p.m. To preview a couple tracks from "Spaced Out" before Friday go to wobblyhead.com.

Saturday: With the world's charity spotlight shining on the tsunami crisis in Southeast Asia, it can be easy to temporarily overlook the problems that face our own city on a daily basis. Two Milwaukeeans, Stephanie Thorvalson and Greg Steffke (Chariots Race, ex-Compound Red), want to make sure that doesn't happen. They've organized this Saturday's Rock Against Hunger benefit shows at Mad Planet, both of which will donate proceeds to the Hunger Task Force. They've recruited a myriad of musical and artistic talent to perform and entertain for what adds up to be almost 10 consecutive hours. Aside from the $8 it costs to get in, all that they ask is each person brings two non-perishable food items for the food drive. Sift through your pantry, find something tasty to share (make sure it's not expired), and head to Mad Planet. The all-ages show kicks off with the Mandates at 4 p.m. sharp. The Modern Machines, The Mustn'ts, Chariot's Race and Haymarket Riot rock it out for the next three hours. Call Me Lighting takes the stage at 7:45 for a solid cap off to the early show.

The drink 'em if ya got 'em (with ID) show starts promptly at 9:30 p.m. with the Supervillains followed by The Black Hats, The Mustn'ts, Davey Von Bohlen (Maritime, ex-Promise Ring) and Chariot's Race. Chicago's Heymarket Riot have enough energy to play until the sun (if it has not abandoned Milwaukee altogether) starts to rise. But most of you will have probably left by then, so they will be closing this set, and the bar, sometime around 2 a.m.

The evening's art exhibits feature a collection of both local and non-local artists. Some will be there, and others probably have a bedtime before the second show starts. The display of goods includes the "Too Much Metal For One Hand" gear from Smac Design's Fred Gillich, paintings from a slew of County Clare Inn artists, as well as work from Carmen Benske, co-owner of Top Shelf Guitar Shop. Under-age artists Juliana Gessner and Madilyn Larsh, both age 4, will be showing samples of their photography and drawings. This is the girls' second collaboration together, the first of which was featured at the HiFi Cafť in Bay View.

Sunday: What better way to celebrate Valentine's Day a day early than by taking your sweetie to Onopa to watch the Mosquitos? Two-thirds of this New York trio, Chris Root and JuJu Stulbach, fell in love over music and maybe you can to. This show won't be the amped-up guitar fest you're forced to yell over, but rather a sample-ridden rock show with a smile. Their stage presence is charming, and their music is a sophisticated synthesis of clever indie pop coated with sexy Brazilian vocals, sometimes sung in English, sometimes in Portuguese.

If anything, visit their disgustingly adorable Web site at mosquitosnyc.com where they provide you with story of how the two love-struck musicians resisted continental and legal boundaries to be together. It will either A) reaffirm that, in fact, all we need is love B) inspire you enough to watch them turn love into sound on Sunday or C) make you puke.

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