Some Milwaukee things come and go, while some Milwaukee things become icons. Mandatory Milwaukee is all about the latter. This week: us!

Hello. Milwaukee Record launched on April 7, 2014. That was 10 years ago! We’ve since written about local music, eaten at every George Webb in existence, and waited in line for a signed bottle of vodka from 50 Cent. We’ve also organized a bunch of events. The end.

Okay, there’s obviously more, but I (Matt) will spare you. I’ll spare you the origin story of how two writers from the soon-to-be-shuttered A.V. Club Milwaukee (me and Tyler Maas) decided to start a new Milwaukee publication. I’ll spare you the explanation of how we came up with a slogan—”Music, culture, gentle sarcasm”—that still defines us today. (I thought it up in the shower a few hours before we launched.) I’ll spare you the ups, the downs, the triumphs, the fuck-ups, and the occasional death threats. I’ll even spare you the gruesome details of putting together a bunch of 8,000-hour livestream events during the early days of the pandemic. Oh god, remember those days?

Instead, let’s talk about the future. What do the next 10 years of Milwaukee Record look like? I’m glad you asked! I like to sum it up in one word:


That’s it: more. More Milwaukee music coverage. More Milwaukee dining coverage. More Milwaukee arts coverage. More Milwaukee news. I don’t know if it’s possible to be your one and only source for all things Milwaukee, but you know what? We’re gonna try. After all, the “Record” part of Milwaukee Record goes two ways—a music record and a record/history of the city itself. Pretty clever, eh?

More oddball features where we do something zany. More potentially ill-considered opinion pieces where we end up getting a lot of shit. More pieces where we bicker back and forth about things both important and goofy. It’s sometimes easy to forget that we’re allowed to get weird in these digital pages (within reason, of course). Here’s to more important stories about buried cheeseburgers and overflowing endcaps of Gatorade.

More writers. More viewpoints. More representation. This is a big one: We’ve made some long-overdue progress in these areas this year, but we still have a ton of work to do. We intend to do that work. (Related: Want to write for us? LET US KNOW!)

More events. More concert series. More movie screenings. More N/A Days and Casserole Calls and High Scores and other events we have yet to dream up. It should be noted that Tyler is 99.99% responsible for these events, and that he’s terrific at it. I occasionally put together a bowling meet-up or something.

And, god willing, more celebrity vodka signings, more empty malls, and more road trips to the last Ponderosa in Wisconsin. That shit is traffic gold.

More, more, more. Yes, we want to live up to the “mandatory” status we’re given ourselves with this piece. And we want to live up to the official Mayoral Proclamation that declared April 7, 2024 “Milwaukee Record Day” throughout the city. It’s true! Here’s the text:

The City of Milwaukee proudly joins family, friends and community members in celebrating Milwaukee Record’s 10th Anniversary on Sunday, April 7, 2024; and,

WHEREAS, Milwaukee Record, operated by Tyler Maas and Matt Wild since 2014, has been a steadfast champion of all things Milwaukee, through its coverage of music, arts, dining, and sports and by telling the stories of countless residents of Milwaukee and southeastern Wisconsin; and,

WHEREAS, Milwaukee Record enriches the community by producing and hosting dozens of events annually, including music series and comedy shows, monthly film screenings, large-scale civic celebrations and by having a presence at many of the city of Milwaukee’s summer festivals; and,

WHEREAS, Milwaukee Record has donated more than $30,000 of proceeds from sales, events and fundraising efforts to local organizations in the Milwaukee area; and,

WHEREAS, Milwaukee Record has celebrated Milwaukee’s history while also documenting the transformation that Milwaukee has undergone since Milwaukee Record started, serving as a local archive, regional resource and a trusted news outlet for an ever-changing city; and,

WHEREAS, The City of Milwaukee congratulates Milwaukee Record on its outstanding achievement and wishes them many more years of enriching the Milwaukee community; and,

NOW, THEREFORE, I, CAVALIER JOHNSON, Mayor of the City of Milwaukee, do hereby proclaim Sunday, April 7, 2024, to be Milwaukee Record Day throughout the City of Milwaukee.


And here’s us with Mayor Johnson on Monday morning. Thanks, Mayor Johnson!

Okay, I lied. Before I go, let’s take a trip to the past. (Note: a version of this section previously appeared in our free weekly newsletter. Subscribe today!) For the past [checks journal] 3,922 days, I’ve kept a journal. Not a “hopes and dreams and feelings” journal, but a “what I did today” journal. Walk kid to school, work, do a radio spot, pick kid up from school, drink—that sort of thing. Nearly 11 years of mundane activities, all collected in one place. If I’m ever curious about what I did on a certain day, I can simply look it up and reflect on how every day bleeds into the next, how life somehow moves both intolerably slow and heartbreakingly fast, and how many times in the past 3,919 days I’ve considered myself “drunk” (894 by my count).

I’m glad I started my journal when I did, because it contains some of the defining moments of my adult life. And one of those moments, of course, is the launch of Milwaukee Record. So what does my journal say about that momentous day? Well…

Up at 5 a.m. to open and test the site. Goes off without a hitch. Huge response. So good. Work all day. Eat. Write some more. Chill out. We did it. Go figure.

Go figure indeed. Speaking for Tyler and myself, THANK YOU. Whether you’ve advertised with us over the past 10 years, wrote for us, read us, left irate comments for us, attended our events, bought our merch, supported us on Patreon, or tossed us some cash during the early days of the pandemic (seriously, remember those days?), all we can say is THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. And THANK YOU.

Okay. Time to work, eat, write some more, and do it all over again. We wouldn’t have it any other way. Go figure.

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About The Author

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Co-Founder and Editor

Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.