Longtime friends and collaborators, Lauren Morgan and Jordan Shih, have been known as SALES since 2013 when they released their first single, “Renee.” After self-releasing a string of singles online (“Chinese New Year,” “Getting it on” and “Vow”), the duo self-released their eponymous debut EP in September 2014 and were tagged by writers and indie music lovers as the next next. So… here we are, in a non-apocryphal now and when I think of what I really think of them, I still like them.
SALES’ music is like a plate of mashed potatoes of acoustic guitars, piney vocals and metronomic drums. The band will snapping their pop at the Back Room tonight and it’s a perfect show for an “I don’t know, why not” Thursday…
Tonight @ The Back Room 7 p.m. ($17)
“It’s all rock & roll – no golf!”
Singer/songwriter/violinist Amanda Shires is the right kind of amazing and the above quote is a perfect description of her latest album, “To The Sunset.” The Texas-born road warrior, new mom and recently minted MFA in creative writing has mined a range of musical influences to reveal an Amanda Shires many didn’t know existed. Honestly, if you’re a casual or earnest lover of her no-nonsense style, this is the Shires show to see–she’s in the sweet spot of life, love and music.And Leah Blevins will be opening.
Friday @ The Back Room 7 p.m.
I don’t care if you wear white (nobody does really), but you should still get out to these shows this weekend. Here are five things to do this weekend in Milwaukee. (Okay, one is in Tosa, but it’s close enough.)
True story. I went to high school in Tosa, left and sorta hated it for a long time. I got older, went back and somehow, I kinda like it again: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ . Time changes the way you remember your times. So if I can feel that way, why not have an open mind to Tosa Fest this weekend?
After 42 years in the Village, Tosa’s namesake festival is moving down State Street to the Rotary Pavilion at Hart Park (where they also hold Tosa Tonight). Organizers say visitors will have more room to dance, or sprawl on the grass while snacking on dishes from local restaurants.
Jim Liban, Flight (an Eagles tribute band), Altered 5, Bobby Friss, Nineteen Thirteen and Whiskeybelles
Panoptics, Steelheads, Liam Ford Band, Koch Marshall Trio, Ryann Lyn Band, Swing Nouveau, Cold Sweat & The Brew City Horns, S. S. Web and The Differentials
Indian Summer Festival
Indigenous peoples have lived along the shores of Lake Michigan for millenia. This weekend, they’re moving back… First Nation heritage takes center stage on the shore of Lake Michigan once again in what is surprisingly, one of North America’s largest celebrations of Native nations’ cultures. If you’ve never been, there’ll be pow wows, tribal dances, lacrosse demonstrations, art exhibitions and more commercial ways to celebrate a history and cultures that are more American than America. Of course, non-natives are welcome too.
Friday-Sunday @ Henry Meier State Park
East Side Tomato Romp
Inspired by La Tomatina Fight in Spain, the Tomato Romp is Wisconsin’s only tomato festival, most known for its Rotten Tomato Fight For Hunger. The East Side was the first in North America to create a celebration of the tomato and tomato fight. 12 years later, it’s now replicated in cities across America. 8,000 pounds of rotten tomatoes are donated by Maglio Companies for the fight, with the fight proceeds donated to Feeding America.
Saturday @ 2238 N Farwell, near Hooligan’s