Our fat-free, dolphin-safe Milwaukee calendar is chock-full of things to do, but only a handful of events contained therein are worthy of the lofty “Record Recommended” (patent pending) honor. Here are our recommendations for the week of November 2-8, 2015.

Tuesday, November 3

America’s Test Kitchen Live @ Riverside Theater
Public television staple America’s Test Kitchen is one of those low-key, vaguely dorky shows that’s impossible to hate, and impossible to stop watching. Hosted by the droll Christopher Kimball, Test Kitchen is both a cooking show and a Consumer Reports for the wannabe-chef set, dolling out recipes alongside reviews of various kitchen equipment and gadgets. The show is so popular, that the Milwaukee stop of the touring live show (featuring Kimball) was moved from the Pabst to the Riverside.

Thursday, November 5

Preston Lacey + Tom Garland, Sammy Arechar @ Cactus Club
While the name Preston Lacy might not ring a bell on its own, surely you recognize him from his work (oftentimes opposite Wee Man) on Jackass. When he’s not confusing onlookers while chasing a miniaturized version of himself around, the celebrated stunt man also moonlights as a comedian. The unconventional comic will stop by Cactus Club as part of his “Fat Chance” tour. Tom Garland and beloved Milwaukee-born (now Chicago-based) comic Sammy Arechar will open.

Also: Yonder Mountain String Band at Northern Lights Theater

Friday, November 6

Mac DeMarco + Alex Calder, The Courtneys @ Riverside Theater
Listen, we’re not even going to pretend to understand the appeal of Mac DeMarco, but the Canadian troubadour’s inoffensive style of off-brand indie rock has somehow found an audience. Originally booked at Pabst Theater, DeMarco’s rapid rise in notoriety finds this Friday night soiree promoted to Riverside Theater. If you’re into whatever it is Mac DeMarco does, get tickets while you can.

Also: Nels Cline Stained Radiance With Norton Wisdom + Sam Amidon @ The Back Room At Colectivo

The New Seven + Calamity Janes And The Fratney Street Band, Caley Conway @ Anodyne Coffee Walker’s Point

The Vitrolum Republic (record release) + The Grasping At Straws @ Company Brewing

Saturday, November 7

Miltown Beatdown: Ten Years In The Making @ Miramar Theatre
It seems like rappers get all the glory. Though that will probably never change, 88Nine’s Jordan Lee has spent the last decade championing the talented men and women who create the beats that make those bars possible with the Miltown Beatdown. For the 10th and final Beatdown, a group of 12 producers (including past champions) will compete for the belt. Say goodbye to an event that surely helped kickstart Milwaukee’s now-formidable hip-hop scene in a battle royale-style contest you won’t want to miss.

The Polyphonic Spree + The Sharp Things @ Shank Hall
How will the dozen or so robed members of Dallas musical cult Polyphonic Spree fit on the small-ish stage of Shank Hall? Slip on a pair of Nikes, drink some Kool-Aid, and find out!

Also: Dogs In Ecstasy + Pen Test, Slack @ Riverwest Public House

Milo + S.AL, Sayth @ Mad Planet

Moving Units + The Sounds Of Time @ Cactus Club

Sunday, November 8

Cool & Tight Comedy Showcase + SIN BAD (Planned Parenthood Benefit) at Quarter’s Rock ’N’ Roll Palace
A few days removed from opening for Preston Lacy, Sammy Arechar’s homecoming mini-tour continues when he brings his Cool & Tight Showcase back to Riverwest, this time to benefit Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin. Full disclosure: Milwaukee Record is a proud sponsor of this event. Great cause aside, this lineup is stacked. For a $5 donation, you get music from SIN BAD (the band, not to comedian); stand-up comedy from Arechar, Addie Blanchard, Ton Johnson, Tyler Menz, Keith Paesel, Mr. JJ, Mike O’Keefe, and Cameron Gillette; improv by Tall Boys; and free pizza from Classic Slice. Milwaukee Record will also be selling shirts, stickers, and buttons. A portion of all sales will be donated to Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin.

Also: Benefit For Mike “MF” Friedl @ Tonic Tavern

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