November. Summer is now far in the rear view mirror. By now, your Halloween costume has been washed, de-vomited, and stored away for later use. Save for Thanksgiving, November doesn’t offer much. It’s the continuation of one season and the precursor to another. Still, between lauded comedians and bands coming to town, Urban Garage Sale’s return to the Mitchell Park Domes, and Jake “The Snake” Roberts doing something fun at Club Garibaldi, there’s plenty to keep Milwaukee occupied as we await the impending wintry doom. Here are 15 of our top picks.
Saturday, November 3
Soul Low (last shows) @ Cactus Club
We’re still smarting at the news that one of Milwaukee’s best bands, Soul Low, has officially called it quits. The group made the announcement in September, and though it wasn’t exactly a surprise (band members have been spread across the country for a year), it still stings. But! It looks like Milwaukee (and Minneapolis and Stevens Point) will have a chance to say goodbye to Soul Low in style. The group announced a four-show, three-city “RIP Soul Low” tour that will run November 1-3.
The band’s last two shows will take place at Cactus Club. The early show (an all-ages affair) will kick off at 3 p.m., with Whips and Amanda Huff slated to open. Later that night, TAJ and Sundail Mottos will help Soul Low say goodbye in the 21+ leg of the farewell jaunt.
Manitowoc Minute’s Charlie Berens @ Pabst Theater (two shows)
They say everyone will get 15 minutes of fame. Charlie Berens is currently on his 36th minute…with more on the way. The Los Angeles (by way of Elm Grove) actor has utilized his Badger State background to fashion a cottage industry that’s found a lasting audience, especially in his home state. In 2016, Berens produced Wisconsin-themed Titanic, Batman, and Making A Murder parody videos that garnered millions of views.
Berens returned to the well of Wisconsin-focused funniness last January when he put on a camouflage jacket and took a seat in front of a camera to deliver the inaugural Manitowoc Minute. In late June, the video series went weekly, and it quickly found a sizable and devoted viewership on Facebook and YouTube. Last fall, Berens decided to “keep ‘er movin’” with a pair of sold-out Turner Hall shows, and a ton of touring throughout the Midwest. Now, in the most successful year of his career, Berens is returning to Milwaukee for a pair of Pabst Theater show. Oh my gosh!
Tuesday, November 6
Judd Apatow + Ian Edwards @ Turner Hall
Has anyone defined the past two decades of comedy more than Judd Apatow? Nope. From writing and producing ’90s classics like Heavyweights and The Cable Guy, to directing modern-day classics like The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up, Apatow’s sensibility has been—and continues to be—everywhere. Recently, the filmmaker chronicled his return to stand-up with the appropriately titled Netflix comedy special Judd Apatow: The Return. Now, he’s scheduled to make a stand-up stop in Milwaukee.
Yes, Apatow will do some stand-up at Turner Hall on Tuesday, November 6. Coincidentally, the show is on Election Night. We imagine Apatow might have something to say about the State Of Politics Today.
Wednesday, November 7
Nnamdi Ogbonnaya + Sen Morimoto, Gauss, and K-Stamp @ Anodyne’s Walker’s Point Roastery
A few months after headlining the Pabst Brewery’s anniversary, Chicago’s Nnamdi Ogbonnaya will bring his genre-hopping rap experimentalism back to town to headline an all-ages event at Anodyne in Walker’s Point. Joining Ogbonnaya is up-and-comer Sen Morimoto, and local support from Gauss and K-Stamp.
Friday, November 9
Colors & Chords @ Turner Hall
Local musical acts and area artists will come together at Turner Hall for an event being billed as “Milwaukee’s Music And Art Spectacle.” Joining the visual artists at this year’s Islands Of Brilliance benefit is an eclectic cast of performers including Testa Rosa, Golden Coins, The Suitcase Junket, and Jay Anderson & VoodooHoney.
Thursday, November 15
MST3K Live! @ Riverside Theater
Remember when Mystery Science Theater 3000 riffed on 1962’s The Brain That Wouldn’t Die? Well, 30 years after MST3K first premiered on a low-budget television station in Minneapolis, it’s clear that it, too, won’t die. Multiple hosts, different networks, a (recently renewed) Netflix reboot, and numerous offshoots have yet to dilute the simple genius of watching and listening to a human and his robot friends dunk on bad movies. Why does it remain so funny all these years later? Just repeat to yourself, “It’s just a show…”
Anyway, MST3K is coming back to Milwaukee’s Riverside Theater on Friday, November 15. And, like Crow in those later seasons, this tour’s DIFFERENT. The MST3K Live 30th Anniversary Tour will feature creator and original host Joel Hodgson slipping on his red jumpsuit for the first time in forever, and riffing alongside new host Jonah Ray. The Bots will be there, too. Oh, and Milwaukee will enjoy the crew riffing on 1988’s The Brain, a “Canadian science fiction suburban nightmare.”
Friday, November 16
A Conversation with Napoleon Dynamite @ Riverside Theater
Has it really been…let’s see here…nearly 15 years since the release of Napoleon Dynamite? GOSH, it really has. Does the film still retain its awkward, ridiculous, and endlessly quotable power? Do Alaskan wolverines keep trying to attack our nation’s cousins? (In other words: yes.)
Anyway, the original stars of the endearing cult classic—Jon Heder (Napoleon), Efren Ramirez (Pedro), and Tina Majorino (Deb)—are coming to Riverside Theater Friday, November 16. SWEET. The event will feature a full screening of Napoleon Dynamite followed by a “lively, freewheeling, moderated discussion” with the cast. Also, the event is being billed as BYOT (Bring Your Own Tots).
American Klassiks (Klassik live album recording) + Nickel&Rose, and SistaStrings @ Cactus Club
When Milwaukee rapper, singer, multi-instrumentalist, and all-around visionary Klassik isn’t busy crafting eclectic and incomparable music of his own, he’s reinterpreting time-tested spirituals, hymns, and anthems. After amassing quite a catalog of aged adaptations—including Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land” for Milwaukee Art Museum,” a take on “Amazing Grace” for our Public Domain series, and being half a duet of “Ship In The Sky” during Johanna Rose’s Guthrie Uncovered concert—Klassik decided it was high time to record his “American Klassiks” and put them on an album. Join Klassik, Nickel&Rose, and SistaStrings for a live recording of those songs and more. It’s going to be incredible.
Tuesday, November 20
Lakefront Brewery presents a special “Hanksgiving” screening of The Burbs at Avalon Theater
We’re pleased to inform you that The ‘Burbs will be our second of two movie screenings this November at the Bay View theater (the first being an Election Night screening of Idiocracy). The November 20 event will be a joint presentation with Lakefront Brewery, as part of their annual “Hanksgiving” celebration.
The ‘Burbs is a movie about a quiet suburban cul de sac. Mild-mannered Ray and Carol Peterson (Tom Hanks and Carrie Fisher) enjoy a peaceful existence alongside all of their quirky-yet-harmless neighbors, until a mysterious new family moves in next door. The Klopeks keep to themselves and have some odd habits, but might they be evil? Ray and pals do some snooping, smoke some cigars, and hang out with Ricky (played masterfully by Milwaukee Record superfan, Corey Feldman). There are shenanigans and misunderstandings, but certainly no evil. Or is there? Avalon will have some special holiday-specific food offerings available as part of the evening’s festivities. Lakefront will have its Proper Porter on draft. Sorry, no satanic pate.
Friday, November 23
Har Mar Superstar and Sabrina Ellis Perform the Music of Dirty Dancing @ The Cooperage
Just a few months removed from re-imagining the music of Sam Cooke, Minneapolis music legend and Taco John’s enthusiast Har Mar Superstar will perform the music of Dirty Dancing with Sabrina Ellis. We don’t need to write anything else. This is going to be the best.
Saturday, November 24
Jake “The Snake” Roberts: Dirty Details Tour @ Club Garibaldi
Few figures are as emblematic of the highs and lows of ’80s WWF/WWE professional wrestling than Jake “The Snake” Roberts. Right up there with Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant, Roberts was a towering, brooding figure of the company from 1986-1992. Various stints in other companies (and the WWE) followed, though Roberts became better known in the late ’90s and early ’00s for his health and addiction problems, and for an unflattering appearance in the 1999 documentary Beyond The Mat. These days, the former and forever “Snake” seems to be doing much better; he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2014.
You’ll be able to see Jake “The Snake” Roberts in person at Club Garibaldi on Saturday, November 24! The iconic wrestler will bring his “Dirty Details Tour” to the Bay View club that night, and will thrill the crowd with an “uncensored night of comedy and stories from the road that will forever change how you look at the glory days of WWE.” Comedy! General admission tickets are $20 in advance, or $25 at the door. A $50 meet-and-greet package is also available.
Saturday, November 24 and Sunday, November 25
Urban Garage Sale @ Mitchell Park Domes
Over the course of its first 10 years, Urban Garage Sale has served as an invaluable marketplace of Milwaukee artists, crafters, retailers, and makers, while also working its way to becoming part of the holiday tradition for many local consumers. After outgrowing Turner Hall and following two promising years at the Mitchell Park Domes‘ Annex Greenhouse, the 11th annual Urban Garage Sale will return to the Domes November 24-25. Over the course of two days, approximately 60 artists, makers, and shop owners will help you find one-of-a-kind, locally produced holiday gifts. Here’s the full vendor lineup.
Thursday, November 29
Milwaukee Record presents Gareth Reynolds (of ‘The Dollop’) at Club Garibaldi
Brown Deer, Wisconsin native and realistic Packers fan Gareth Reynolds is best known as the co-host of The Dollop, a popular American history podcast that’s landed him a book deal and has brought him to perform in places like Iceland, Australia, and throughout the United States. On top of being a world-renowned podcast personality, as well as a writer (Arrested Development, You’re The Worst) and actor (New Girl, Maron), Reynolds regularly tours as a stand-up comedian.
On Thursday, November 29, Milwaukee Record presents and a special homecoming performance by the multifaceted comedian at Bay View’s Club Garibaldi. Reynolds’ stand-up set will be preceded by performances from Milwaukee-based comics Carter Deems and host Dana Ehrmann. Space is limited, so if you want to see an internationally-regarded comedian do stand-up in an intimate club in his hometown, we strongly suggest buying in advance. We’ll see you there!
Punk House Kegger with Population Control + Law/Less @ Burnhearts
While most Milwaukeeans know Burnhearts for its beloved annual Mitten Fest and Pabst Street Party celebrations or, you know, being on the short list of great local beer bars every day, the Bay View corner tap also keeps busy with other, smaller-scale events spread throughout the year. On Thursday, November 29, Burnhearts will partner with Three Floyds for a popular autumn standard, the Punk House Kegger.
After taking a hip-hop turn during last year’s Punk House Kegger festivities, Burnhearts decided to return to its punk and thrash roots for the fifth annual affair. This year’s headliner will be Law/Less, followed by the likes of Population Control. As always, this indoor affair is free and 21+. The tap takeover will begin and 6 p.m. and run through 9 p.m.
Friday, November 30
Conan & Friends @ Riverside Theater
Though his stock may have fallen slightly since that whole Tonight Show/move to TBS debacle, Conan O’Brien is still a beloved comedy institution. Dude has been so funny for so long, it’s easy to overlook that these days he’s best known as an old guy who doesn’t know how to play video games. But whatever: the forever awesome O’Brien and some forever awesome comedian friends are hitting the road for a tour dubbed “Conan and Friends: An Evening of Stand‑Up and Investment Tips.” That tour will make a stop at Milwaukee’s Riverside Theater Friday, November 30.