The average temperature of Summer 2016 may be 8,000 degrees, but it’s still comforting to know that of the 94 days in the season, 58 remain. But what to do with those 58 days? In the interest of making sure the rest of your summer is bursting with live music, block parties, rib-tickling comedy, more live music, and at least one intimate conversation with Priscilla Presley, we’ve assembled this handy, mega-sized Tracklist. Plan accordingly, Milwaukee, and enjoy it while it lasts.
Monday, July 25
Dälek + Stumblesome, The Demix @ Cactus Club
Tuesday, July 26
Vans Warped Tour @ Henry Maier Festival Park
The 80-act arsenal behind the 2016 Vans Warped Tour features respected hip-hop talent like Waka Flocka Flame and PROF; dynasty bands like Good Charlotte, Sum 41, New Found Glory, Yellowcard, Reel Big Fish, Less Than Jake, and Every Time I Die; and even relevant bands of today like Knuckle Puck and Madison’s own Masked Intruder.
Wednesday, July 27
The Baseball Project @ Anodyne Coffee (Walker’s Point Roastery)
R.E.M. may never return, but from one dream group’s demise comes the birth of another. Shortly after the iconic act’s Rock And Roll Hall of Fame Induction, Peter Buck and Mike Mills came together with members of The Minus 5 and The Dream Syndicate to form a supergroup of sorts. Want to see half of R.E.M. play an all-ages show at a coffee shop? Sure you do.
Thursday, July 28
Ra Ra Riot + Paper Holland @ Turner Hall
Friday, July 29
Riverwest 24 @ Riverwest
VIVA LA RIVERWEST!
Saturday, July 30
Brady Street Festival @ Brady Street
If you missed the Summer Solstice Music Festival and absolutely need to attend a similar East Side fest (with less emphasis on Earth’s tilt) a few blocks away and a little over a month later, head to Brady Street Festival. The nine-block parcel of shops, restaurants, bars, and juggling emporiums plays host to various local food/beverage and retail vendors, belly dancers, drag performers, and multiple stages worth of local music.
Sunday, July 31
Hari Kondabolu @ Turner Hall
While Hari Kondabolu isn’t exactly a household name to anyone who isn’t an avid @midnight viewer, the Brooklyn-based comedian is well on his way. The fearless funnyman, who The New York Times called “one of the most exciting political comics in stand-up today,” will make his Turner Hall debut after releasing his second comedy album, Mainstream American Comic, on Kill Rock Stars just days earlier.
Monday, August 1
Louis C.K. @ BMO Harris Bradley Center
You probably know Louis C.K. You probably love Louis C.K. If you have the means, you should probably see Louis C.K.
Tuesday, August 2
Roast of Milwaukee @ Club Garibaldi
Join us at Club Garibaldi on Tuesday, August 2 at 7:30 p.m. for an unconventional night of city-centered laughs. Brat Sounds will play before and after the roast. This time around, the comedian-heavy lineup will also include a few local movers and shakers from other mediums. The laughs won’t just be at the expense of Milwaukee. The $2 cover charge will be donated to a local charity. Patrons can also gain free entry with a non-perishable food donation or by showing their Milwaukee Comedy Festival pass.
Wednesday, August 3
Mark Sultan (BBQ) + The Pukes, High School Pizza @ Cactus Club
Thursday, August 4
Brew City Wrestling Meet & Greet @ Wisconsin State Fair
Wrestling fans rejoice. This show features WWE Hall of Famers “Native American” Tatanka, Nikolai Volkoff, and Bushwacker Luke; so-called “International Star” Awesome Kong; and more.
Friday, August 5
L7 @ The Rave
The story of ’90s “grunge” tends to get more and more simplified as the years go on, leaving out vital but non-Nirvana acts like L7. The hard rocking riot grrrl band tore shit up throughout the ’90s, releasing excellent albums like Bricks Are Heavy and Hungry For Stink, and occasionally throwing in-use tampons into the crowd. Reunited since 2014, L7 will make a rare Milwaukee appearance at the appropriately grungy Rave.
Saturday, August 6
Deerhoof + Blank Spell, The Blisters @ Mad Planet
Sunday, August 7
Jen Kirkman + Allison Dunne @ Turner Hall
Milwaukee Comedy Festival turned 10 last summer. Originating long before the city had anything even resembling a sustainable comedy community, the Matt Kemple-curated undertaking has grown and evolved in kind with Milwaukee’s humor scene. From August 3-7, the days-long blend of stand-up, improv, and sketch comedy will return bigger, better, and culminates with a Turner Hall show headlined by the hilarious and New York Times best-selling likes of Jen Kirkman.
Monday, August 8
Musical Mondays: Collegium Ladyes @ Lake Park Summer Stage
Tuesday, August 9
Naked Lights + Gauss, Absolutely @ Company Brewing
Wednesday, August 10
Wonderful Wednesdays: Charles Walker Band @ Lake Park Summer Stage
Thursday, August 11
Pat Benatar and Melissa Etheridge @ Wisconsin State Fair
Friday, August 12
Strange Fruit (night one) @ The Hotel Foster
Organized by prolific Milwaukee musician Jay Anderson and SistaStrings member Chauntee Ross, with assistance from former Alverno Presents artistic director David Ravel and 88Nine’s Tarik Moody, Strange Fruit aims to explore “the thoughts and emotions of local musicians, regarding the current climate of racial relations both in Milwaukee and the country as a whole.” The fest (which takes its name from the classic Billie Holiday song) will take over The Hotel Foster, Company Brewing, and Cactus Club during its three-day run, and will include such names as New Age Narcissism, Zed Kenzo, Mike Regal, New Boyz Club, Milo, and more.
Saturday, August 13
Soul Low (Nosebleeds release show) + Milo, The Pukes, Wax Addicts @ Miramar Theatre
Sunday, August 14
Protomartyr + Midwives @ Mad Planet
Though Protomartyr has been kicking since 2008, the Detroit post-punk project didn’t break out until last fall. In early October, Protomartyr’s third full-length, The Agent Intellect, was released and was privy to loads of critical acclaim along with a warm reception from a continually growing fan base. See them with wonderful Milwaukee hardcore outfit, Midwives.
Monday, August 15
Musical Mondays: Patrick Ball @ Lake Park Summer Stage
Tuesday, August 16
Milemarker + The Life And Times, Estates @ Cactus Club
Once the dog days of summer have set it and the prospect of clutching a warm plastic cup full of Miller Lite outside loses its luster, a large dose of weeknight shoegaze sounds like a breath of fresh air. Seminal eight-piece Milemarker will crowd the Cactus Club stage after The Life And Times (fronted by Shiner frontman Allen Epley) and Estates kick the uncharacteristic summer show off.
Wednesday, August 17
Don Rickles @ Potawatomi Hotel & Casino’s Northern Lights Theater
On May 8, Don Rickles turned 90. Of those 90 years, the legendary comedian has spent close to 70 of them on stage doling out some of the harshest and most hilarious jokes ever written. The influential funnyman was eons ahead of his time, but still remains as relevant as ever today. See him in one of two mid-week shows or potentially regret missing what, unfortunately, could be one the last opportunities to see Rickles perform in Milwaukee.
Thursday, August 18
X + Re-Zoomed @ Turner Hall
Friday, August 19
Big Eyes + Midnight Reruns, Phylums @ Company Brewing
Saturday, August 20
Elvis And Me: An Evening With Priscilla Presley @ Pabst Theater
Sunday, August 21
Cafe Sopra Mare: Jack Grassel @ Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum
Monday, August 22
Musical Mondays: Grandsons Of The Pioneers + The Vintage Mix Quartet @ Lake Park Summer Stage
Tuesday, August 23
Chill On The Hill: Trolley + Indonesian Junk, Milwaukee Choristers @ Humboldt Park
Wednesday, August 24
Milwaukee Brewers vs Colorado Rockies @ Miller Park
Thursday, August 25
Cameron Esposito @ Turner Hall
While she was born, raised, and got her stand-up start in Chicago, Cameron Esposito has only recently earned notoriety in alt-comedy circles while living in Los Angeles by way of her 2014 album, Same Sex Symbol. Fresh off the release of her latest special, Marriage Material, in March, Esposito returns to the Midwest to make her Turner Hall debut.
Friday, August 26
Triple Eye Industries Festival (night one) @ Cactus Club
Celebrate the Milwaukee rock and metal label with 10 bands taking part in two shows over the course of two nights. Night one features Hot Coffin, The Rutabega, The Terrible News, High Priests, and Heat Death.
Saturday, August 27
Gram Parsons 70th Birthday Bash @ Linneman’s
Doghouse Flowers, Chris Head & The Honchos, Alex Ballard & Sugarfoot, The Zach Pietrini Band, Mississippi Stranglers, Liar’s Trial, and The Cow Ponies take over Linneman’s to celebrate the late Gram Parsons’ 70th birthday.
Sunday, August 28
Milwaukee Fringe Festival @ various locations
On Saturday, August 27 and Sunday, August 28, the inaugural Milwaukee Fringe Festival will showcase more than 50 live acts from the local worlds of theater, music, dance, and visual art. The fun will take place at Pere Marquette Park, Marcus Center’s Wilson Theater at Vogel Hall, the Todd Wehr Theater, and other surrounding venues. Food trucks and a beer garden from Old German Beer Hall will also be on hand, per Milwaukee summer festival rules.
Monday, August 29
Musical Mondays: The New South Rampart Street Paraders + Lisa Edgar
Tuesday, August 30
Chill On The Hill: Midnight Reruns + Claire Kelly @ Humboldt Park
Wednesday, August 31
Tosa Tonight: Trapper Schoepp + Crane Wives @ Hart Park
Thursday, September 1
Guided By Voices @ Turner Hall
Only the most diehard Guided By Voices fan could tell you what version of the legendary band is currently on tour (The “classic” lineup? The semi-“classic” lineup?), or how many times the group has called it quits, reunited, released 14 albums, and called it quits again in the past year. But who cares? Guided By Voices fucking rule, and Robert Pollard and company haven’t played Milwaukee in over a decade.
Friday, September 2
Lunar Series: Ruth B8r Ginsberg + Moses @ Milwaukee Athletic Club
Saturday, September 3
Gringo Star @ Cactus Club
Sunday, September 4
Cafe Sopra Mare: Joseph Di Frances @ Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum
Monday, September 5
Lita Ford @ Milwaukee Harley-Davidson
Tuesday, September 6
Milwaukee Brewers vs Chicago Cubs @ Miller Park
Miller Park is sure to be packed with fans cheering on their team as they prepare for the postseason. Unfortunately, those fans will be wearing Cubs apparel.
Wednesday, September 7
Jenny Lewis & The Watson Twins @ Pabst Theater
Jenny Lewis’ resume includes everything from child actor (The Wizard), frontwoman for a beloved early-’00s indie band (Rilo Kiley), member of a one-off Traveling Wilburys update (“Handle With Care”), and adored solo artist. That last bullet point is especially important here, as Lewis will return to Milwaukee to celebrate the 10th (gulp) anniversary of her perfectly perfect solo debut Rabbit Fur Coat. Joining her will be The Watson Twins, who were featured on the acclaimed 2006 album.
Thursday, September 8
Matthew Sweet @ Shank Hall
Call Matthew Sweet a one-hit wonder if you want, but most musicians would kill for a hit like Sweet’s “Girlfriend,” from his 1991 album of the same name. Not that the ’60s-indebted psych-rock earworm is the be-all end-all of Sweet’s career. Plenty of solid albums litter his discography, and recent collaborations with Susanna Hoffs have produced enjoyable covers albums of music from the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s.
Friday, September 9
Point Fish Fry & A Flick: Star Wars: The Force Awakens @ Discovery World
Saturday, September 10
Tech N9ne @ The Rave
Sunday, September 11
Eric Andre LIVE! @ Turner Hall
If the high-energy humorist’s name doesn’t ring a bell or if you only recognize him from his down-the-middle supporting roles on shows like 2 Broke Girls and Don’t Trust The B In Apartment 23, then holy shit, are you in for a surprise! In an era of comic homogenization that finds dudes in flannel shirts crafting near-identical observations, Eric Andre’s fearless, erratic, and altogether uneasy style is a breath of fresh air…terrifying fresh air. In the past, his crass anti-comedy has gotten him arrested, assaulted, and injured. The Pabst Theater listing describes Andre’s live show as “GG Allin meets Gallagher,” which sounds about right.
Monday, September 12
Karaoke @Riverwest Public House
Tuesday, September 13
George Thorogood & The Destroyers @ Potawatomi Hotel & Casino’s Northern Lights Theater
Wednesday, September 14
NEWaukee Night Market @ Downtown
Thursday, September 15
Echo And The Bunnymen @ Turner Hall
Echo And The Bunnymen haven’t played Milwaukee in over 30 years. ‘Nuff said.
Friday, September 16
Trampled By Turtles + Horseshoes & Hand Grenades, Dead Horses @ Riverside Theater
Saturday, September 17
Bay View Bash @ Kinnickinnic Avenue
Bay View Bash is a bittersweet affair. The bitterness is brought by the stinging realization that festival season is over and yet another awful winter is on the way. The sweetness comes with the fun festival finale that’s taken root in the heart of Kinnickinnic Avenue. By this point in the summer, you’ve likely seen many of the acts taking the three stages. But have you seen them while eating an elephant ear? Yes, you say? Oh…
Sunday, September 18
Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings
Since the Packers are likely to destroy the Jaguars in the season opener, this inter-division meeting in prime time will be Green Bay’s first real test. Just kidding. The Packers are likely to start 2-0.
Monday, September 19
Margaret Glaspy @ The Back Room at Colectivo
Tuesday, September 20
Peaches @ Turner Hall
Wednesday, September 21
Taking Back Sunday + You Blew It! @ Turner Hall