Where has the summer gone? Okay, okay, so there’s still a ton of summer left, but the bleakness of autumn will be upon us before you know it. Thus, it’s important to use your limited summer entertainment allotment right. Not even counting the last three days of Summerfest, there are a ton of concerts, comedy shows, and film screenings vying for your time. And we’re not even factoring in outdoor activities, if you’re into that type of thing. July can be tough to navigate, but hopefully these standout shows can help clear up any overlapping items on your social calendar.

Wednesday, July 10
Bully (Accessibility Initiative Fundraising Concert) @ Cactus Club
In order to raise further funds for Cactus Club’s Accessibility Initiative (the club was awarded a Ruth Foundation for the Arts grant in April), the Bay View venue will host two big fundraiser shows this summer. The first will find Alicia Bognanno’s acclaimed Sub Pop band Bully returning to the club on Wednesday, July 10 for an intimate and exclusive performance. Tickets are $100 and 50 percent of the funds will go to the Cactus+ Accessibility Initiative.

Saturday, July 13
4th Annual Rock Party Block Party @ Puddler’s Hall
On Saturday, July 13, Puddler’s Hall will shut down the street in front of the bar in order to host the 4th annual Rock Party Block Party. From noon to 9 p.m., the Bay View block party will feature food from local vendors, goods from area artists, and a winning mix of homegrown live music. True to its name, Rock Party Block Party will offer a steady diet of guitar-driven local bands, including Telethon, Strokin’ Mother Pokehole, Local Legends, Two And A Half Stars, Combustor, November Criminals, and Thick Needles.

Friday, July 19 and Saturday, July 20
Jon Dore @ The Laughing Tap
Comedian and actor Jon Dore is no stranger to Milwaukee, having shared the stage as an opener for such noted comics as Nikki Glaser/The Sklar Brothers in 2015 and then headlining The Laughing Tap in late 2021. Dore will make his Milwaukee return by headlining three shows at the Walker’s Point club July 19-20, where he’ll treat the intimate club’s crowds to road-tested musings, his dry wit, and his Canadian charm.

Tuesday, July 23
Misery Signals + For The Fallen Dreams, Foreign Hands, Trench @ Turner Hall
After more than 20 years, five albums, and thousands of shows in front of adoring fans all over the world, Misery Signals—a project that actually started in Wisconsin—is returning to its home state for one more show. As part of the band’s “Blood Is Forever Love Is Forever Farewell Tour,” Misery Signals will come to Turner Hall on Tuesday, July 23 for a performance that will feature material from much of their catalog and will feature both of the band’s vocalists. Barring an unexpected reunion down the road, this will be your last chance to ever see Misery Signals in Wisconsin.

Wednesday, July 24
Milwaukee Record presents ‘Cruel Intentions’ @ Avalon Theater
Want to feel old? Steamy and scandalous teen drama Cruel Intentions was released 25 years ago. That’s a quarter of a century! In accordance with that soul-crushing reminder of time’s unending march (and because it’s just a good movie), we’re screening this 1999 indie-turned-box office sensation that helped establish the careers of Reese Witherspoon, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, and Selma Blair. Come watch Cruel Intentions with us!

Thursday, July 25
Sparta @ X-Ray Arcade
If you missed Sparta’s surprise early afternoon Summerfest set a couple years back, you’re in luck! The long-tenured band that spawned from the ashes of At The Drive-In will swing by X-Ray Arcade for a mid-summer show in the Cudahy club. Openers haven’t been announced, but we’re talking about Sparta here! Get those tickets while you can.

Chastity Washington @ Milwaukee Improv
Roughly a year removed from the release of her Live At Dandy Amazon special, Milwaukee’s funniest human will be live in nearby Brookfield when she headlines a show at Milwaukee Improv.

Thursday, July 25 and Friday, July 26
Local H @ Shank Hall
Illinois duo Local H—of “Bound For The Floor” fame—play Milwaukee so often that they could be considered adopted sons. For further proof, consider that the band is playing Shank Hall on Thursday and Friday. Far from one-hit wonders, Local H has never stopped releasing music; Lifers, from 2020, is the band’s latest (and appropriately titled) release.

Saturday, July 27 and Sunday, July 28
David Cross @ Vivarium
Actor, comedian, two-time Emmy winner, and Mr. Show co-creator David Cross will grace the still-quite-new stage at Vivarium twice in July, with performances scheduled for Saturday, July 27 and Sunday, July 28. It’s sure to be positively pumpkinninnky!

Sunday, July 28
Alanis Morissette + Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, Morgan Wade @ American Family Insurance Amphitheater
Almost exactly two years after bringing her “Jagged Little Pill Tour” to Milwaukee’s American Family Insurance Amphitheater, Alanis Morissette will return to the venue on Sunday, July 28. Shows on Morissette’s “Triple Moon Tour” will feature support from Joan Jett & The Blackhearts and Morgan Wade.

Monday, July 29
Snõõper + EvinSpragg, DJ Gosha @ Cactus Club
After taking part in last year’s Beet Street festivities outside Cactus Club, up-and-coming Nashville post-punk project Snõõper has been invited to perform inside the Bay View venue this summer. They’ll headline a Monday, July 29 show that also features EvinSpragg and between-set DJing by Cactus Club’s own Gosha.

An Evening With Pretenders @ Riverside Theater
The Pretenders loom large in Milwaukee’s legacy, having “discovered” the city’s own Violent Femmes way back in 1981. The Femmes were playing outside the Oriental Theatre, and The Pretenders (who were playing inside the Oriental Theatre) were instantly smitten. Thanks, Pretenders! Who knows who the band will discover this time around, when the legendary band returns to Riverside Theater after a six-year absence.