Our fat-free, dolphin-safe Milwaukee events calendar is chock-full of things to do, but only a handful of events are worthy of the lofty honor of “Record Recommended” (patent pending). Here are our recommendations for July 12-18, 2021.
TUESDAY, JULY 20
NBA Finals Game 6: Milwaukee Bucks vs. Phoenix Suns @ Fiserv Forum
BUCKS IN SIX OH GOD IT’S REALLY HAPPENING GO BUCKS!
Chill On The Hill: Cabin Essence + Long Mama @ Humboldt Park
There are certain expectations when you name your band after a Beach Boys song. Take Cabin Essence, the retro-minded Milwaukee project fronted by Nick Maas. (No relation to Milwaukee Record’s own Tyler Maas.) Two recent songs, “For Your Love” and “No More,” show off the baroque Brian Wilson side of Cabin Essence, as well as the power-pop Matthew Sweet side, too. “For Your Love” (no, not the Yardbirds’ “For Your Love”) is a mellow, sun-kissed head trip highlighted by hazy harmonies and an effortless melody. “No More” is more of a straightforward rocker—albeit one that’s performed and sung entirely by Maas, save for some typically tight drumming from Jon Phillip.
THURSDAY, JULY 22
Masked Intruder + Avenues, Coasting @ X-Ray Arcade
After roughly a year and half spent in solitary, Masked Intruder is making its way back to the stage to perform its winning batch of songs about love and crime. The Madison punk rock outlaws will headline a can’t-miss Thursday night show at X-Ray Arcade.
NBA Finals Game 7 Watch Party: Milwaukee Bucks vs. Phoenix Suns @ Deer District
If needed, the Finals will head back to Phoenix for Game 7 but come on, THE BUCKS ARE GOING TO WIN IT IN SIX SO DON’T EVEN WORRY ABOUT THIS GAME BECAUSE IT’S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN GO BUCKS!
FRIDAY, JULY 23
Riverwest 24: Bonus Edition @ Riverwest
Yes, the annual Riverwest 24 bike ride/neighborhood party is still happening…sort of. In a “choose your own adventure”-style twist, there’ll be no scoring, no manifests, and no leaderboard. Just show up (no registration or fee required), complete up to 100 bonus checkpoints (or not), and do whatever you want! Wanna ride the full 24 hours? Do it! Wanna ride for 20 minutes! Do it! “No laps, no registration, no manifests, just Pure Holiday,” says the event description. As always, the real winner will be Riverwest itself.
SATURDAY, JULY 24
Snag (record release) + Pleasure Thief, Social Caterpillar, Scathed, DJ Sahan @ Cactus Club
In the early 1980s, hardcore punk often had a political focus, with many of the genre’s forebearers using it as a means to express the frustration and anger felt by many in the Reagan era. As the decade ended and the genre expanded, hardcore found itself sometimes losing that political edge, and in some cases, replacing it with a hyper-masculine bravado. The political spirit of early hardcore wasn’t gone entirely, though, and towards the latter half of the ’90s, a small crop of musicians melded the melodicism of bands like Sunny Day Real Estate with the intense aggression of hardcore, often accompanied by fiercely political lyrics. This subgenre would eventually come to be known as screamo (and in recent years, for the sake of clarity, skramz), with bands like pg.99, Majority Rule, and Reversal Of Man spending the remainder of the decade using hardcore punk as a vehicle for social protest. Milwaukee’s Snag is one of the genre’s modern day torchbearers, drawing influence from the aforementioned acts as well as era-specific local contemporaries. While all three of the band’s members have previously played in similarly minded groups like Living and Wrestling and Marcy, Snag’s lyrics primarily focus on the issue of climate change. Tonight’s show celebrates the release of the group’s latest record, Death Doula.
SUNDAY, JULY 25
Brett Newski (book signing + solo performance) @ Shank Hall
(Rescheduled to November 19 at Anodyne)
The most surprising thing about Brett Newski writing a book is that the tireless Milwaukee musician hasn’t written one already. Or two. Or three. His charming It’s Hard To Be A Person is a chunky little picture book that gives readers tips and strategies for A. defeating anxiety, B. surviving the world, and C. having more fun. Those suggestions range from practical and no-nonsense (How to avoid feeling bad because of social media? “Unfollow those who make you feel bad,” of course.) to whimsical and silly (How to kill boredom in traffic? “Leave car and walk to Chuck E. Cheese.”) Newski’s charmingly crude illustrations give the book a childlike pop, even when dispensing sober wisdom like: “When you’re down and out, it’s normal to feel like you’ll be stuck there forever. Please note, everything is temporary.”
Milwaukee Seltzer Fest @ Boone & Crockett
From 1-5 p.m., Bone & Crockett’s sprawling parking lot will feature 15 vendors serving people a total of 30 different hard seltzer and hard kombucha varieties. Among those on hand to serve samples to Seltzer Fest attendees include the following brands: Bud Lite, Central Waters, Cloudless, Coors, Corona, June Shine, Milwaukee Brewing Company, New Belgium, Press, Sierra Nevada, Truly, Vizzy, White Claw, and Wild Basin. Tickets cost $40 and include 30 seltzer samples. Those who buy tickets to this event can also add a $12 “Boone Box” 12-pack to bring home with them.