It wasn’t too long ago that January was pretty much a vacant, blustery tundra of Milwaukee entertainment options. Between frigid conditions, uncertainties regarding Packers playoff seeding and the post-holiday hangover, most venues opted to clear their show schedules, while performers—not unlike the rest of us—became hermits, only to emerge for groceries and to use gift cards obtained the previous month. Fortunately, those days are over.

Between a flurry of great local festivals, some touring comedians and musicians, and a handful of local release shows, this particular January is especially stacked. Make it your New Year’s resolution to get out more, and use this 12-pack of can’t-miss shows as your guide.

Friday, January 5
Mondo Lucha! @ The Cooperage
A few months after yet another Turner Hall sellout, the Mondo Lucha folks will bring the ring to The Cooperage for a more intimate (but equally entertaining) blend of wrestling, burlesque, and music on Friday, January 5.

Friday, January 5 and Saturday, January 6
Sean Patton @ The Laughing Tap
Comedian Sean Patton has performed on network television talk shows like Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and Conan, been a frequent fixture on Comedy Central stand-up showcases (including his own half-hour), released a few outstanding comedy albums, and has likely been a memorable guest on some of your favorite podcasts. Patton has also become something of a frequent Milwaukee visitor, thanks to the fine folks at Milwaukee Comedy booking him in recent years. He’ll come to the Milwaukee Comedy-owned and -operated Laughing Tap in Walker’s Point for a total of three shows spread over the course of two nights.

Saturday, January 6
Milwaukee Record presents N/A Day @ The Cooperage
Our “Dry January Beverage Festival” returns to The Cooperage to give people an opportunity to enjoy unlimited samples of refreshments from the wide-ranging, ever-evolving, and rapidly-growing non-alcoholic drink market. TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE NOW! The N/A Day lineup includes non-alcoholic beer and seltzer, kombucha, mocktails, non-alcoholic wine and spirits, tonics, craft soda, sparkling water, coffee, energy drinks, CBD products, and more. Here’s the full vendor lineup!

Thursday, January 11
John Mulaney @ Miller High Life Theatre
Less than 18 months removed from taking the stage at Fiserv Forum as part of his “From Scratch” comeback tour, prolific comedian John Mulaney returns to downtown Milwaukee for a mid-January stop on his “In Concert” tour.

Friday, January 12
Something To Do (album release) + Devon Kay & The Solutions, Jinksie, Bellends @ X-Ray Arcade
Though the cold and unforgiving Midwestern conditions typically signals a slowdown in touring talent making its way to Milwaukee in January, that sets the stage for loaded local shows to fill those booking gaps. One such instance of this is the straight-up stacked X-Ray Arcade show on January 12. Wisconsin ska stalwarts Something To Do will celebrate the release of its new album, Here Comes The Panic. They’ll be joined by Chicago ska-punkers Devon Kay & The Solutions, and Milwaukee-based support from Jinksie and Bellends.

Friday, January 12 and Saturday, January 13
Goblin King Masquerade Ball @ Turner Hall
Awkward Nerd Events will once again transform Turner Hall Ballroom into a magical world of fantasy. There will be themed cocktails and mocktails, performances from The Goblin King Players, a custom curated drag show, and more during this two-night event.

Friday, January 19
Starcadian + Immortal Girlfriend @ Dresden Castle
What’s better than getting a somewhat rare opportunity to see Milwaukee-based sibling synth duo Immortal Girlfriend? Seeing ’em open up for Starcadian! And what could be better than that? Seeing them both at a so-called “castle” in Cudahy. It’s safe to say opportunities like this don’t come around very often, so don’t miss it.

The Hatchets (album release) + Caley Conway, Barely Civil @ Cactus Club
Cactus Club will host an eclectic trio of excellent Milwaukee bands when The Hatchets release its long-awaited sophomore album. Caley Conway and Barely Civil will round out this loaded local lineup.

Saturday, January 20
Napoleon Dynamite 20th Anniversary Cast Reunion @ Pabst Theater
Has it really been 20 years since Napoleon Dynamite came out? Gosh! That cruel reminder of your mortality is made slightly better with this live event that features a screening of the film and a Q&A with the actors who played Napoleon, Pedro, and Uncle Rico.

Wednesday, January 24
Milwaukee Record presents ‘Wild At Heart’ @ Avalon Theater
David Lynch’s Wild At Heart is the director’s most wonderfully garish creation. The 1990 crime/romance/road movie is grotesque, hyper-violent, and hyper-sexual. It’s big and bold with its references: Nicolas Cage as Elvis, Laura Dern as Marilyn, the whole Wizard Of Oz thing. It was largely reviled upon its release (despite winning the Palme d’Or at the 1990 Cannes Film Festival), and it narrowly avoided an X/NC-17 rating. But hell, Peanut, Wild At Heart absolutely rules. And we’re screening it on Wednesday, January 24 at the Avalon Atmospheric Theater.

Saturday, January 27
The Championship + Christopher Porterfield @ The Cooperage
Following a reunion performance during a benefit concert for the great Lee Olson in November, The Championship is back at it again! Catch the seminal Milwaukee indie-folk outfit when they head up a Cooperage concert that also features Christopher Porterfield.

3rd Annual Bluegrass Winter Heater @ Anodyne Walker’s Point Roastery
Though it’s happening in the dead of winter, the Bluegrass Winter Heater will make Anodyne’s Walker’s Point Roastery warm and toasty with tunes from a phenomenal foursome of great bluegrass bands. The third annual affair will feature performances by The Spooklights (formerly MK Ultra), Dig Deep, Valley Fox, and a headlining set from The MilBillies from—you guessed it!—Milwaukee.