November. Summer is now far in the rear view mirror. Your Halloween costume has been washed, de-vomited, and stored away for later use. The extra hour of sleep you enjoyed over the weekend as a result of daylight savings was nice, but now come the days of darkness before dinner and, oh, the impending snow. Save for Thanksgiving, November doesn’t offer much. It’s the continuation of one season and the precursor to another.
Even though November has all the personality of “Friend #3” in a romantic comedy, this particular November has its fair share of worthwhile entertainment options. From local release shows to live podcasts, comedians of both legendary and independent stature, notable hip-hop happenings, and, uh, Insane Clown Posse, here are the 16 things Milwaukee Record thinks you should do this month. Of course, be sure to check our comprehensive calendar for more events.
Tuesday, November 3
Insane Clown Posse + P.O.D., and more at The Rave
Why not? Oh yeah, because it’s going to be weird.
Thursday, November 5
Preston Lacy + Tom Garland, and Sammy Arechar at Cactus Club
While the name Preston Lacy might not ring a bell on its own, surely you recognize him from his work (oftentimes opposite Wee Man) on Jackass. When he’s not confusing onlookers while chasing a miniaturized version of himself around, the celebrated stunt man also moonlights as a comedian. The unconventional comic will stop by Cactus Club as part of his “Fat Chance” tour. Tom Garland and beloved Milwaukee-born (now Chicago-based) comic Sammy Arechar will open.
Friday, November 6
Mac DeMarco + Alex Calder, and The Courtneys at Riverside Theater
Listen, we’re not even going to pretend to understand the appeal of Mac DeMarco, but the Canadian troubadour’s inoffensive style of off-brand indie rock has somehow found an audience. Originally booked at Pabst Theater, DeMarco’s rapid rise in notoriety finds this Friday night soiree promoted to Riverside Theater. If you’re into whatever it is Mac DeMarco does, get tickets while you can.
Saturday, November 7
Miltown Beatdown X at Miramar Theatre
It seems like rappers get all the glory. Though that will probably never change, 88Nine’s Jordan Lee has spent the last decade championing the talented men and women who create the beats that make those bars possible with the Miltown Beatdown. For the 10th and final Beatdown, a group of 12 producers (including past champions) will compete for the belt. Say goodbye to an event that surely helped kickstart Milwaukee’s now-formidable hip-hop scene in a battle royale-style contest you won’t want to miss.
Sunday, November 8
Cool & Tight Comedy Showcase + SIN BAD (Planned Parenthood Benefit) at Quarters Rock ‘N Roll Palace
A few days removed from opening for Preston Lacy, Sammy Arechar’s homecoming mini-tour continues when he brings his Cool & Tight Showcase back to Riverwest, this time to benefit Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin. Full disclosure: Milwaukee Record is a proud sponsor of this event. Great cause aside, this lineup is stacked. For a $5 donation, you get music from SIN BAD (the band, not to comedian); stand-up comedy from Arechar, Addie Blanchard, Ton Johnson, Tyler Menz, Keith Paesel, Mr. JJ, Mike O’Keefe, and Cameron Gillette; improv by Tall Boys; and free pizza from Classic Slice. Milwaukee Record will also be selling shirts, stickers, and buttons. A portion of all sales will be donated to Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin.
Tuesday, November 10
Video + Static Eyes at The Lucky Cat
Punk rock is in a pretty good place in Milwaukee right now. (Much more on that Wednesday.) Acts like Direct Hit!, Tenement* and Expire are making waves throughout the country. A cluster of new bands like The Pukes, Brat Sounds, and Midwives are bolstering a local punk community that’s long incubated Holy Shit!, Get Rad, among others, and more touring punk and hardcore bands seem to be coming to town as well. Over in Riverwest, Austin-based Video will join the new and improved Static Eyes for a cozy Tuesday night show. Want the address? Ask a punk.
*Yeah, yeah, we know Tenement started in Appleton, but two thirds of the band lives in Milwaukee now. We’re claiming ’em!
Thursday, November 12
Rainn Wilson + The Nineteen Thirteen at Pabst Theater
Best known as Dwight K. Schrute from The Office (insert someone saying the British one was soooo much better), Rainn Wilson has sustained a lengthy career as a film and television actor, humorist, and philanthropist. Now, the accomplished thespian will add author to his résumé with the release of The Bassoon King: My Life In Art, Faith, And Idiocy. Each ticket comes with a signed copy of the book. Not good enough? Violent Femmes founding drummer Victor DeLorenzo will moderate a discussion with Wilson. DeLorenzo’s current band, Nineteen Thirteen, will open.
Saturday, November 14
Risk! Live Podcast at The Back Room at Colectivo Prospect Ave
After The State—the seminal sketch troupe of which he was one-eleventh—ended, Kevin Allison had a harder time finding his career footing than many other cast members. Six years ago, though, he found his calling as the creator and host of Risk!, a popular podcast “where people tell true stories they never thought they’d dare to share in public.” From harrowing tales of abuse and addiction, funny recollections of bad drug trips and regrettable hookups, and tales of myriad other themes, Risk! ranges from tragic to hilarious to utterly uncomfortable. Allison will be joined in Colectivo’s new Back Room venue by local storytellers who will adhere to the city-specific “Fuck This” show theme.
Midnight Reruns (album release) + Space Raft, Sat. Nite Duets at Cactus Club
Late last month, local rockers Midnight Reruns put out Force Of Nuture, their 10-song sophomore record which is on the very short list of best Milwaukee records of 2015. By the time the album came out, the Reruns were already on the road, playing shows out on the east coast and in the southeast part of the country (including Fest last weekend). The road-tested quartet will return home after a near-three-week jaunt to officially unveil their best record yet as the headliners of a stacked Cactus Club show that also features Space Raft, Sat. Nite Duets, and DJ Chris Schulist.
Thursday, November 19
Burnhearts’ Punk House Kegger Party at Burnhearts
After an incredibly well-received inaugural installment that featured music from Volunteer and Soup Moat, and rare fermented delicacies from Three Floyds Brewery pushed the bar to Mitten Fest-like capacity last November, Burnhearts decided to bring back its Punk Rock House Kegger Party for a second year. This time around, new supergroup Dorth Nakota is confirmed to play along with Piles. As far as beer goes, Burnhearts owner William Seidel tells Milwaukee Record he can’t confirm which Three Floyds brews will be available yet. However, last year’s event featured a half barrel of Zombie Dust, which ran out within 30 minutes.
Friday, November 20
Steve Martin + Martin Short at Riverside Theater
There are comedy legends, and then there are Comedy Legends. Steve Martin and Martin Short clearly belong in the latter, capitalized category. Alone and together, the two Martins have redefined stand-up comedy, served as legendary sketch and film stars, and kept a charmingly old-school show-business vibe alive and well into the 21st century. So, let it be known that the men behind Lucky Day and Ned Nederlander will bring the funny to the Riverside Theater. The so-called “Evening You Will Forget For The Rest Of Your Life” will feature stand-up, musical numbers, film clips, and conversation from the Comedy Legends, as well as a performance from Martin’s longtime bluegrass pals, Steep Canyon Rangers.
Greil Marcus, Jon Langford, Sally Timms: The History Of Rock & Roll In Ten Songs at Wehr Hall
For his 2014 book The History Of Rock ‘N’ Roll In 10 Songs, legendary rock critic Greil Marcus chose to ignore the obvious and well-trodden, and instead focus on 10 disparate songs (recorded between 1956 and 2008) to dramatize the story of the already storied genre. Thus, Joy Division takes a seat next to Etta James, and Beyonce sidles up next to Amy Winehouse. For this can’t-miss Alverno Presents show, the Mekons’ Jon Langford and Sally Timms will join Marcus to discuss (and perform) each of the “Ten Songs.”
Saturday, November 21
Tapebenders (LP release show) + The Rashita Joneses (EP release show), Body Futures, and Brat Sounds at Cactus Club
What’s to say, really? This is just a good show with a stacked lineup. The fact that it’s a dual release show for Tapebenders and The Rashita Joneses makes it an even more special show.
Wednesday, November 25
Rusty Pelicans 20-Year Anniversary Party + Klassik, and The Sounds Of Time at Mad Planet
Milwaukee hip-hop is finally getting its due in terms of national attention. Yet years before Coo Coo Cal had his one hit, and before IshDARR was out of diapers or most of New Age Narcissism was in kindergarten, The Rusty Pelicans were helping to shape the city’s hip-hop identity. After 20 years, eight studio albums, overseas tours, sharing the stage with countless hip-hop mainstays, a couple lineup shakeups, and a name change, the (now) Rusty P’s, have cause to celebrate. The night before Thanksgiving, give thanks to the group that played an invaluable part in laying the foundation for so many great Milwaukee rappers. They aren’t too shabby themselves.
Nod To Bob at Linneman’s Riverwest Inn
Nod To Bob has long served as an autumn evening of charity and entertainment at Linneman’s. For the 17th year, an eclectic group of songwriters will gather at the Riverwest bar to honor one of music’s most influential songwriter’s and iconic voices with a night of Bob Dylan covers. While some cover bands aren’t without their cheesiness, there’s nothing hokey about this once-a-year festivity that also serves as a benefit for Hunger Task Force.
Saturday, November 28
Rocky Horror Picture Show screening with Barry Bostwick at Riverside Theater
It’s hard to imagine a time before Rocky Horror Picture Show. The subversive cinematic classic and its incomparable musical score have both been adopted into America’s lexicon, and effectively launched the acting careers of Susan Sarandon, Tim Curry, and Barry Bostwick. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the famed B movie, and for much of its four-decade life, it has enjoyed a home at the Oriental Theatre. To ring in the anniversary of a movie that means so much to Milwaukee, Bostwick will come to Riverside Theater for a special screening and Q&A session.