5 things to do this weekend: Dec. 5-8

5 things to do this weekend: Dec. 5-8

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Dylan LeBlanc

Photo credit: Abraham Rowe

Thursday at 7 p.m. @ The Back Room

Dylan LeBlanc is one of those young cats that radiates an old-school vibe, dressed in saturnine suits and makes music that he unelaborately calls rock ’n’ roll. Enigmatic poses like that always strike me as curious, they also pique my interest. This son of a musician cut his teeth in Shreveport and Muscle Shoals and his music often paint pictures and his latest release “Renegade” is “about troubled cocky young men charming young women who were intrigued by that way of life, only for it to end in tragedy.” Recorded in just ten days and mastered in three, the album seems emblematic of the man and the artist. If you’re free tonight, check it out you might? 

Ladama

Friday at 7:30 p.m. @ Latino Arts Inc

The four virtuosic female musicians that make up Ladama are an interesting outfit. They perform original compositions and traditional songs sung in Spanish, Portuguese and English and somehow make all of this cohere in a very poignant fusion of their respective Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela and American origins. They do this using both traditional and non-traditional instruments from across the Americas with a distinct, modern twist. I guess you could call their sound Latin Alternative music but I trend it towards a more pan-American sound of futuristic cultural vibes. Definitely an interesting option for your Friday night.

The Smoking Popes + Direct Hit!

Photo/courtesy of the artist

Friday at 7 p.m. @ The Back Room

This Friday also features the return of Chicagoland’s Smoking Popes to Milwaukee and they’re are teaming up with Milwaukee band and this week’s 414 Live guests Direct Hit! for Heartbreak for the Holidays 2019 tour. If you’re a fan of swooning punk-pop anthems, Smoking Popes are probably already on your playlist for memorable songs like “Need You Around,” Megan,” “No More Smiles,” and “Writing a Letter.” A band that’s often imitated, but will never replicated.

Lady Gaga vs. Madonna

Photo/Getty Images

Saturday at 9 p.m. @ Mad Planet

Local DJ and dance party veteran Frank Straka is the mind behind a bevy of shows that dig deep into the discographies of musical legends in this “vs” format that pits one legend against another in some good natured dance frenzy fun. In the past he’s put Michael Jackson vs. Prince, ABBA vs. Queen and Beyonce vs. Rihanna are some recent examples of his themes at work. And work they do, judging from the response. The fact that these pop stars seem to have legit beef with each other adds an extra dimension to this pairing. Controversy aside, if you’re a Lady Gaga or Madonna fan (and of course you are), then this is the dance party for you.

Puddles Pity Party

Photo/courtesy of the artist

Sunday at 7 p.m. @ Back Room

I can already feel the question coming to your mind (because I wondered the same). What is a Puddles Pity Party? You may recognize this proud and fairly famous clown from his appearances on Season 12 of “America’s Got Talent” or viral video collaborations with Postmodern Jukebox. Famous for some indelible interpretations of classics by the likes of ABBA, Bowie, Cheap Trick and Queen as well as some unforgettable mash-ups. And despite the deceptive title, this Pity Party is not truly sad. Puddles Pity Party is a journey into the absurd, mixing lots of humor with the awkward, tender moments. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has appropriately described him as “Pagliacci by way of Pee-Wee Herman and David Lynch” and I certainly can’t think of a better, more apt description. And hey, what else you got goin’ on on a Sunday?

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