Some of you are in a serious relationship, or at least involved in a budding romance. Others are happily (or perhaps miserably) single. No matter where your love life lands, the same thing holds abundantly true for everyone: you need to go out and do something—anything!—on Valentine’s Day.

Whether you’ve simply procrastinated on cementing post-dinner plans for you and that special someone, or you just need to escape the imposing specters of loneliness and self-doubt that loom between you and your exhausted Netlix queue, allow Milwaukee Record to serve as your cherubic guide to celebrating and/or escaping this Hallmark holiday with some suggestions of shit to do this Valentine’s Day, lest you get stuck seeing Fifty Shades Of Grey.


All Messed Up V at Linneman’s Riverwest Inn
For five years now, All Messed Up has stressed collaboration between unfamiliar musicians from all parts of the city and with various levels of musical experience. Billed as “The Final” year of the event (at least under the leadership of Holy Shit!’s Anthony Schwader), 64 participants were assembled into 16 bands that will play original songs, one cover, and other refreshing weirdness over the course of two nights at Linneman’s. It’s unlikely Space Heater (who has dealt with quite a lot leading up to the event), Flab Wall, Spaceboob, Djork, and all the other bands will last beyond Valentine’s Day, but there have been some lasting collaborations that were spawned at All Messed Up, and bands (like The Olives, for example) that are still together today.

The Midwest Beat + The Olives at Circle-A Cafe
Speaking of The Olives, the All Messed Up success story is always a sure bet for a fun night by way of their collection of lively, infectiously upbeat one- and two-minute songs about boyfriends having boyfriends, Facebook friendship terminations, The Office references, and haunted shit. Add in the timeless, genre-jumping dudes in The Midwest Beat, and it’s a bill you and the 29 other people who can cram into Circle-A Cafe won’t want to miss.

The dude from Once + The Lost Brothers at Pabst Theater
We strongly recommend bringing a date to this. The somber stylings of Irish folk troubadour Glen Hansard (a.k.a. the dude from The Swell Season and Once) aren’t meant for those with heavy hearts, especially on a day that celebrates love and affection.

Antler House + The Hi-Matics at Bremen Cafe
In our humble opinion, Riverwest indie-folk act Antler House made one of the finest albums of any Milwaukee band last year (the 18th finest, to be exact). However, Through The Dirt, was also among the most emotional wrought Milwaukee efforts in recent memory. Per our review:

[The] gorgeous 12-track aural introduction is brimming with beyond-their-years lyrics, brooding and beautiful sounds, and an overwhelming aura of abject sadness. Just try to make it through “Where You Can Run” with dry eyes.

New Boyz Club + Holy Sheboygan, Bo Triplex, and Mississippi Sawyer at Riverwest Public House
Though New Boyz Club just played its first show in November, the project founded by Calamity Janes upright bassist Johanna Rose and featuring members from The Grasping At Straws, Ugly Brothers, and Airo Kwil has hit the ground running. The young-yet-busy project will headline a Public House bill that also features Holy Sheboygan, Bo Triplex, and Mississippi Sawyer.

All Them Witches + The Well, and Piles at Cactus Club
Nothing says romance like balls-out rock and roll. Nashville’s All Them Witches, Austin-based psych-rockers The Well, and underrated local shoegazers Piles will make for a loud, lovely night at the Cactus Club. If your girlfriend agrees to go to this show, she’s a keeper.


Shot Through The Heart Comedy Showcase at Club Garibaldi
“Laughs for the lonely! Chuckles for the couples! Stand-up for the stood-up!” Spend Valentine’s Day seeing a solid grouping of locals at Club Garibaldi. Comedians appearing include: Jeff Wheatley-Heckman, Joe Murphy, Christopher Schmidt, Liz Ziner, and Zach Peterson. At a mere $5 cover, it could make for a cheap date night component or save singles some money for an extra drink or two to help dull the social pressure to be with someone in mid-February for some reason.

Broke As A MF’n Joke Comedy Blast Part 2 at Mason Jar
While we can’t personally attest to Mason Jar as a comedy venue, the downtown bar is hosting a top notch cast of local comics. Caste Of Killers co-founder Jason Hillman, Battle Royale finalists J.J. Harris and Matt Werner, Ton Johnson, and more will commiserate about their bank accounts at the second installment of Broke As A MF’n Joke Comedy Blast. The V-Day showcase is also a live DVD recording.

Spread The Nudes: Christian Rock. Heathen Show at The Underground Collaborative
Despite being named after a supposed saint, there’s nothing remotely religious about Valentine’s Day. So what’s the harm in enjoying some blasphemous belly-laughs? “Spread The Nudes” chronicles a Christian rock band who has no choice but bring a Jewish drummer into the fold before its DC Talk opening gig. Expect rattled cages, ruffled feathers, and exactly NO nudity in the bible-blasting original musical comedy’s second weekend of its three-week Underground Collaborative run.

Valentine’s Date Night at ComedySportz
There’s a multitude of things happening at ComedySportz every Saturday night. Even if it’s a holiday, can you still expect to see improv performances at the Milwaukee comedy institution? Yes…and some other special features with CSz’s Valentine’s Date Night package. For $65, two people can enjoy a 7:30 show, all-you-can-drink champagne or soda, a dessert buffet (with chocolate fountain), a photo booth, and a framed photo.


The Get Down at Mad Planet
The Get Down has kept Milwaukee dancing for more than a decade. Despite the date on the calendar, the monthly Mad Planet staple will be business as usual, which is never a bad thing.

Alton Brown at Riverside Theater
There’s no single secret to attracting or keeping a significant other, but knowing your way around the kitchen can’t hurt your chances of finding and subsequently holding onto Mr. or Mrs. Right. Iron Chef host Alton Brown can help you learn a thing or two with his lighthearted take on the culinary arts so you’ll be prepared for next February 14.

About The Author

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Co-Founder and Editor

Before co-founding Milwaukee Record, Tyler Maas wrote for virtually every Milwaukee publication (except Wassup! Magazine). He lives in Bay View and enjoys both stuff and things.