Horseshoes & Hand Grenades, 8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 31, The Pabst Theater, 144 E. Wells St., Milwaukee. For tickets, call 414-286-3663.
Wisconsin-based bluegrass band Horseshoes & Hand Grenades appears at the Pabst Theater on New Year’s Eve with more than seven years of touring and performing experience. The band formed in 2009 at UW-Stevens Point, where the quintet first performed at an open-mic event.
The band--David Lynch (harmonica, accordion, spoons and vocals), Russell Pedersen (banjo, fiddle and vocals), Adam Greuel (guitar, dobro and vocals), Sam Odin (bass and vocals) and Collin Mettelka (fiddle, mandolin and vocals)--performs primarily in the Midwest but has also won a legion of fans in Colorado and other Western states.
Horseshoes & Hand Grenades took third place in the band competition at the prestigious Telluride Bluegrass Festival in 2012. It also opened that year for country music icon Merle Haggard during a performance in La Crosse.
The band has consistently been regarded as one of the state’s top bluegrass bands, known for high-energy shows and infusing the roots of old-time string music with spontaneity and enthusiasm.
Along with opening for Haggard, the band has performed with some of top names in Americana and bluegrass: Trampled by Turtles, Dailey and Vincent, Tim O'Brien and Darrell Scott, Travelin' McCourys, the String Cheese Incident and Leftover Salmon. The band has released a live album and three studio albums, the latest being “Middle Western” in 2015.
The Record Company, 10 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 31, The Riverside Theater, 16 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee. For tickets, call 414-286-3663.
The Record Company, a blues-rock trio from Los Angeles, is led by singer-songwriter Chris Vos, who was raised on a Wisconsin dairy farm. The trio got its start in late 2011 and have played concert halls across North America, opening for acts as diverse as John Mayer, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Grace Potter and Trombone Shorty.
The band released its first album, “Give it Back to You,” last year, and it received praise from such publications as Paste and Huffington Post. Rolling Stone magazine included The Record Company in its April 2016 list of "10 New Artists You Need to Know,” and "Give it Back to You" was nominated for Best Contemporary Blues Album in the 2017 Grammy Awards.
Vos grew up outside of New Munster, about 50 minutes southwest of Milwaukee. He inherited his musical dexterity from his mother (a singer) and his grandfather (a singer and accordion player). He formed his first band in high school and later moved to Milwaukee to study at the university.
Vos became a regular at open mic events and played in several local bands, including Freshwater Collins, a blues band that was together from the late ‘90s to about 2005.
In 2010, Vos moved to Los Angeles after his wife got an advertising job with the Los Angeles Times. He used Craigslist to find gigs and then later to find partners to form a band.
Bassist Alex Stiff contacted Vos in late 2010, and Vos later recruited a drummer in Marc Cazorla, a friend from his college days. The trio performed its first club gig in January 2012, and two months later landed a spot at the prestigious South-by-Southwest music festival. A few months later, it secured a slot at the Montreal International Jazz Festival.
GGOOLLDD, 9 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 31, Turner Hall Ballroom, 1040 N. Fourth St., Milwaukee. Tickets: $25-$85. Call 414-286-3663.
GGOOLLDD, an American electronic pop band from Milwaukee, formed in 2014 and released its first full-length compilation album in 2015 titled “Gold+.” The band consists of frontwoman Margaret Butler, Nicholas Schubert, Nicholas Ziemann and Mark Stewart. Butler has described the band’s music as “dungeon disco glam.”
The band is influenced by such artists as Queen, Eddie Money, Fleetwood Mac, Black Sabbath and the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs, along with genres such as punk, dub, classic rock, pop and electronica.
GGOOLLDD was named Band of the Year for the second year in a row at the 2017 Radio Milwaukee Music Awards. The group has performed throughout the Midwest and also appeared at the South-By-Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas. It performs a blend of “danceable dream pop, theatrical stage shows and the synth-goth grooves of Depeche Mode,” while featuring a charismatic lead singer and "a Midas touch with pop hooks,” according to an article at EugeneWeekly.com.
The band released an EP this month that Butler, as the band’s lyricist, described as “a slightly new concept for us that we’re trying out. It’s just the four of us, and we write when the spirit moves us. We try not to write the same sort of thing twice.”
Jeff Dunham, 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 12, The Coliseum at Alliant Energy Center, 1881 Expo Mall East, Madison. For tickets, call Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000.
One of the country’s top comedians and ventriloquists, Dunham has worked as a comedian since the mid-1980s and has appeared on television and in dozens of films. He has also had several specials on Comedy Central, as well as a short-lived television series, "The Jeff Dunham Show," in 2009.
In 2008, Jeff Dunham’s Very Special Christmas Special was taped at the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee and premiered on Comedy Central. It was watched by 6.6 million people, according to his website, and was the highest-rated telecast in Comedy Central’s history.
Dunham has appeared on virtually every late-night television show, and his seventh special, “Unhinged in Hollywood,” premiered in September 2015 on NBC. Dunham travels with a popular collection of puppets that includes Peanut, Walter, Achmed, Jose, Bubba J and Seamus.