March is a period of transition. The month straddles two seasons, a part-time resident in the ass-end of winter and a temporary tenant within the burst and bloom brought on by spring. As the season changes and we gain an hour of daylight, the glorious onslaught of local festivals is so close, but still aggravatingly out of reach. Speaking of festivals, March marks an annual exodus for an array of area acts, as many Milwaukee musicians head to South By Southwest in Austin. You’d think that would spell a creative drought here, but this particular March holds a heft of great entertainment options. Between a wave of local release shows, touring talent dropping by, a comedy roast, a ’90s-themed Bucks halftime show, and the inaugural live recording of our On The Record podcast, there’s a ton of stuff to occupy your attention during the period of transition. Here are Milwaukee Record‘s 13 favorite things going on this month.
Thursday, March 5
Kiings (album release) at Hotel Foster
Since 2012, Kiings have been routinely releasing music. However, everything up to this point has been remixes of preexisting material released by other artists. After two and a half years spent DJing and remixing, the time has come for the Milwaukee producer duo to take the creative reins and release their debut album. WWYDF finds Kiings taking creative control and enlisting the voices, verses, and hooks from an eclectic mix of some of the city’s finest musicians, including Christopher Porterfield, Milo, King Courteen, Pizzle, Bliss & Alice, and more to forge something sleek, special, and distinctly their own. Many of those who contributed to the long-awaited 11-song album will perform as part of this unique project’s public unveiling. 88Nine’s own Tarik Moody will spin between sets.
Friday, March 6
Platinum Boys and Soup Moat (dual release show) + Rupert Angeleyes, and Sat. Nite Duets at Hotel Foster
Since announcing its presence in 2013, Milwaukee classic rock quartet Platinum Boys—which features members of The Fatty Acids and Rio Turbo among its ranks—has been a refreshing part of local music with memorable and borderline nonsensical live shows, and a timeless collection of delightfully dingy songs about drugs, partying, sex, and freedom. If one complaint could be registered with the upstart rock outfit, it’s the lack of recorded material available at this point. Platinum Boys’ long-awaited debut LP (and follow-up to a two-song 45 with “Candy” and “Wild Child” on it) has been ready since late last summer, but interest from two labels resulted in the epic delay. On March 6, the wait will be over, as Platinum Boys will finally release Future Hits at Hotel Foster (and online via Dusty Medical Records and Forged Artifacts on March 10).
Wednesday, March 11
Bo Burnham at Pabst Theater
Comedian/songwriter/actor/poet and all-around genius Bo Burnham has the ability to make you laugh your ass off, move you, and make you despise him because you’ll never accomplish even an eighth of what he’s managed to do by his 24th birthday. Since his last sold out Milwaukee stop in support of his forthcoming special what. in 2013, Burnham starred in a shortlived-yet-cult classic MTV series, published a book of poetry, and has written enough material to populate what’s sure to an utterly hilarious hour of theater-caliber comedy (that, too, is sold out). We’ve all wasted our lives, haven’t we?
Friday, March 13
Incendiary Stage II at Club Garibaldi
Though the year is young, 2015 can unofficially be considered the year of the Milwaukee benefit show. Keeping the generosity going is the second Incendiary Stage benefit, which will merge local comedians and area bands into one night of entertainment. Comics KC Michelson, Josh Ballew, Christopher Schmidt, Lisan Wood, and Liz Ziner will bring the funny. Scrimshaw, Behind The Weekend, Seven Constanza, and Madison-based Wood Chicken will supply the tunes. Your $5 cover will benefit Planned Parenthood Of Wisconsin.
Saturday, March 14
Group Of The Altos + Dead Rider at Company Brewing
As far as we’re concerned, R U Person Or Not, the latest Group Of The Altos (or “Altos” if you’re short on time) effort, is the most ambitious and hands down best Milwaukee release of this young year. Don’t just take our word for it. Listen for yourself. If you care to see how Altos’ “unhinged masterpiece” translates to a live setting and/or you care to pick up a physical copy of your own, don’t miss a rare chance to see the 16-piece break in the new digs at Company Brewing before heading down to play South By Southwest.
Wednesday, March 18
A Wilhelm Scream + Masked Intruder, Direct Hit!, and The DUIs at Metal Grill
Though the Massachusetts melodic hardcore purveyors in A Wilhelm Scream are worth the price of admission alone, the real draw comes by way of Wisconsin-bred bands Masked Intruder (Madison) and Milwaukee’s own pop-punkers in Direct Hit!. This mid-week all-ages affair finds three of the state’s preeminent punk outfits (including Milwaukee’s The DUIs) converging upon the underrated Cudahy club to support the out of towners.
Thursday, March 19
The Roast Of Jake Kornely at Art Bar
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. Milwaukee’s stand-up comedy scene is truly enjoying its renaissance. An unfortunate byproduct of the tremendous talent cutting their teeth in town is that some of the city’s up-and-comers are up and leaving Milwaukee for more fruitful comedy markets like New York, Chicago, and—in the case of Jake Kornely—Los Angeles. The motivated comedian is saying goodbye to Wisconsin to see how his material plays in L.A. and, just as importantly, avoid Midwestern winters. Before he heads west, he’ll let his comic cohorts take friendly jabs at him with a roast. If you want to see the scene unite to bid a backhanded goodbye to one of its own, this is a can’t miss. Best of luck out there, Jake. You’ll definitely need it (BOOM! GENTLY ROASTED!).
Saturday, March 21
Bob’s Burgers Live at Riverside Theater
Is it possible to imagine anything better than Bob’s Burgers, the alternately hilarious and poignant animated series that takes the pain away from the weekly mercenary awfulness that is Family Guy and The Simpsons? Well, imagine this: Bob’s Burgers Live, featuring appearances from H. Jon Benjamin (Bob Belcher), Kristen Schaal (Louise Belcher), Eugene Mirman (Gene Belcher), Dan Mintz (Tina Belcher), John Roberts (Linda Belcher), and show creator Loren Bouchard. Imagine that live event including a mix of stand-up comedy, audience Q&A, a live table read, and a sneak peek at new episodes. Imagine that it’s coming to Milwaukee. Our heart, our heart.
Tuesday, March 24
TV On The Radio + Nostalghia at Pabst Theater
New York indie rockers TV On The Radio have been a seminal band since the turn of the millennium, but never more than 2006’s Return To Cookie Mountain, which featured “Wolf Like Me” among other hits. Since, TV On The Radio has released three well-received records and overcame the death of bassist/keyboard player Gerard Smith (who died of lung cancer in 2011). Seeds, released late last year, is the first TVOTR record since Smith’s passing. Nostalghia opens.
Milwaukee Record “On The Record” live podcast recording at Club Garibaldi
Hopefully you’ve had a chance to check out our new weekly podcast, On The Record. If you haven’t, most of our eight episodes to this point were recorded at our humble Bay View warehouse workspace. However, we’ve decided to periodically take On The Record public and lay down an episode at Club Garibaldi. Joining us for the first (of hopefully many) live shows is musical guest Joesph Huber (formerly of .357 Sting Band), comedian/sports talk radio host Ramie Makhlouf, and some Milwaukee Day founders. The variety show is free. What else would you be doing on a Tuesday night?
Wednesday, March 25
The Decemberists + Alvvays at Riverside Theater
Portland indie quintet The Decemberists have been kicking out shrill, folk-tinged numbers since 2001’s 5 Songs EP, and have kept the emotion flowing since. Fourteen years and six releases later, The Decemberists are still at it, most recently with the release of What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World in January. Alvvays opens.
Saturday, March 28
Rio Turbo (album release) + The Fatty Acids, Kid Millions, and NO/NO at Linneman’s
A few weeks after Platinum Boys releases its debut, Rio Turbo—the dance-pop alter-ego of Boys’ bassist Joe Peterson—will put out his second March release (on his new label, Gloss Records). Before the hyper-sexualized debauchery, The Fatty Acids, Kid Millions, and NO/NO will cement this as a must-see night of diverse entertainment.
Naughty By Nature at halftime of a Milwaukee Bucks game
In recent years, the Milwaukee Bucks have sought out one nostalgic hip-hop act each season to serve as halftime entertainment for a late-season game. Vanilla Ice performed at BMO Harris Bradley Center two seasons ago. Coolio was a great distraction near the end of last year’s eventual 15-67 Bucks campaign. Though the culture and excitement surrounding the franchise is changing (for the better), the organization will continue its ’90s throwback for a third season, this time booking Naughty By Nature to serve as halftime entertainment during the Saturday, March 28 game. If a Bucks team that’s all but guaranteed a playoff spot, the return of Andrew Bogut, and a chance to see Stephen Curry aren’t enough to get you to the arena, perhaps the Grammy-winning dynasty act responsible for “O.P.P.” and “Hip Hop Hooray” and select $7 seats (’90s pricing) will be available. Tickets are on sale now at Bucks.com, 1-800-4-NBA-TIX, or the BMO Harris box office.