In September, we officially said goodbye to Milwaukee’s brief-but-bursting summer festival season. A few days after the Bay View Bash, fall officially started and, in doing so, also signaled a mass entertainment migration from outdoor stages, patios, parks, and block parties to every vacant crevice of metro Milwaukee bar, theater, and club stage space. Since the threat of winter hasn’t yet reared its ugly head, people still have the festival spirit, even if they have to bring it with them beneath a roof.
This year, though, the return of Beet Street will grant Milwaukee one more chance to party outside before year’s end. Not even counting that block party, the city isn’t hard up for things to do. Between loaded local shows, respected touring bands and comedians, something called Cat Videos Live!, Halloween weekend fun, and the re-release of our very own beer, maybe autumn won’t be so bad after all. Sit back, enjoy something pumpkin-spiced, and take in some of our favorite October show picks.
Tuesday, October 3
There Will Be Bowling 2: Electric Boogaloo @ Landmark Lanes
It’s the return of our a movie-themed bowling tournament during the Milwaukee Film Festival! What can you expect this time around? How about more prizes, including MFF2017 tickets, Milwaukee Record swag, more swag from our generous sponsors, and ridiculous movie junk from the ’80s and ’90s? How about karaoke in the side bar? How about a free Cinema Hooligante film at the Oriental Theater? How about complimentary pitchers of beer for each team? How about taking the “Electric Boogaloo” bit to its logical extreme and making this thing cosmic bowling? Oh, and one more thing: Milwaukee Record is putting together a team, too, and there will be super-secret prizes for any team that can beat us. Think you can take us down? You probably can! Sign up now!
Saturday, October 7
Whips + Siren, B-Free, Taj Raiden @ Cactus Club
Looking for another stacked local bill this fall? Look no further. The show is part of the “Mix-It-Up” series (similar to “Band Together”), which promises to bring together “four distinctly unique Milwaukee acts who know how to melt faces, hearts, and pants.”
John Cleese Live On Stage @ Riverside Theater
“Old woman!” “Man.” “Man, sorry. Rumor has it that John Cleese is coming to the Riverside Theater Saturday, October 7 for a live conversation and audience Q&A, and that the event will be preceded by a screening of Monty Python And The Holy Grail.” “I’m thirty-seven.” “What?” “I’m thirty-seven. I’m not old.”
Anyway, Monty Python legend John Cleese (who does not appear in the above scene, but whatever) will be coming to town for a live conversation and audience Q&A, preceded by a screening of Monty Python And The Holy Grail.
Sunday, October 8
Steve Martin & Martin Short @ 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. But let’s be honest: Steve Martin and Martin Short were two of the Three Amigos, and that’s good enough for us. 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.
Monday, October 9
Local Coverage 2018 Draft (and Re-Porter beer release) @ Company Brewing
You’re formally invited to our Local Coverage draft event at Company Brewing on from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. There, we’ll unveil who’s playing Local Coverage 2018, and each of those acts will select the artist whose music they’ll spend the next 100 or so days learning, re-imagining, and perfecting for the show (which is a benefit for Milwaukee Women’s Center).
The event will also double as the release celebration for Milwaukee Record Re-Porter, a beer we personally helped brew in collaboration with Company Brewing. Re-Porter is Company’s Night Rye’d Porter that has been gently infused with with cinnamon, cocoa nibs, medium roast coffee, vanilla beans, and three types of chiles (pasilla, chipotle, and mulato). This is our second batch of Re-Porter, and we’ve made no significant changes to last year’s well-received run of the 7 percent ABV porter. Oh, and $1 from each pint sold will be added to the sum we’re donating to Milwaukee Women’s Center in January.
Friday, October 13
Crocodiles + Saint Pé, Vincent Kircher, Surgeons In Heat @ Cactus Club
Since the last time Crocodiles played at Cactus Club (back in the summer of 2014), the San Diego psych-rock purveyors have put out a pair of full-lengths. The band’s return to town in belated support of last year’s Dreamless is but the cherry atop an awesome bill that also feature Black Lips side project, Saint Pé, along with vaunted locals Surgeons In Heat and Jaill mastermind Vincent Kircher.
Saturday, October 14
Beet Street Harvest Festival @ Wentworth and Potter avenues (Bay View)
Between noon and 6 p.m. on Saturday, October 14, the Bay View blocks between Cactus Club and Goodkind—and the interior and patio of Palomino—will offer an autumnal mix of baking contests, a pumpkin patch, live entertainment, local vendors, on-site food, craft cocktails made with Skyy Vodka and Four Roses Bourbon, Loon Juice Cider, and beer from Solemn Oath and Pabst breweries. Milwaukee Record will also host a fall edition of our “Broken Up Band Bazaar” sale at Cactus Club during the day, with WMSE and 88Nine DJs providing our soundtrack, before the bar hosts a post-festival after party. Milo, Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas, Dogs In Ecstasy, and Gas Station Sushi will play outside. Here’s everything you need to know.
Sunday, October 15
Queens Of The Stone Age + Royal Blood @ The Rave
Queens Of The Stone Age return to Milwaukee for the first time in more than three years. This time, the seminal stoner rockers will play a show at The Rave just a couple months removed from the release of their great Villains. Awesome opener Royal Blood is just the icing on the cake.
Thursday, October 19
Kesha @ The Rave
What else needs to be said? Kesha is coming to The Rave.
Friday, October 20
Andrew W.K. @ The Rave
God bless Andrew W.K. Since 2001, the white-clad, long-haired rocker has been making the world a slightly less-shitty place by spreading his gospel of partying, partying, and partying some more. Milwaukee will be able to partake in Andrew W.K.’s party revival for the first time in five years when the musician (born Andrew Fetterly Wilkes-Krier) comes to The Rave. Part of W.K.’s “The Party Never Dies Tour,” the show will feature a full band, and will be in support of a new album to be released later this year. Party hard. Have fun. Get wasted.
NO/NO (record release) + Dirty Dancing, Dashcam @ Linneman’s
NO/NO is one of Milwaukee’s best bands. NO/NO is releasing a new album. Go to this show.
Sunday, October 22
Craig Finn + John K. Samson @ Cactus Club
Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn will return to Cactus Club cozy stage this fall, along with his backing band The Uptown Controllers. The band will be playing in support of Finn’s latest solo effort, the months-old We All Want The Same Things. Perhaps more impressive is the show’s opener. John K. Samson, who is best known as the former bassist of Propagandhi and (more so as) the singer of The Weakerthans, will play an opening set in belated support of his gorgeous and heart-wrenching 2016 solo record Winter Wheat. Holy shit.
Janet Jackson @ BMO Harris Bradley Center
Janet Jackson has done it all. The musician, actor, author, dancer, philanthropist, and root of the term “wardrobe malfunction” has sold more than 100 million records, won five Grammys, and has kept the word singing and dancing along with every stop on her ever-changing career since the early 1970s. Now in her fifties, the influential artist is showing no signs of slowing down, as she’ll unofficially begin the Bradley Center’s farewell run of concerts in what’s sure to be memorable fashion.
Thursday, October 26
Wolf Parade + Charly Bliss @ Turner Hall
Since bursting into indie rock consciousness in the early aughts with their outstanding debut, Apologies To Queen Mary, Montreal’s Wolf Parade has kept the candle burning with limited-but-valuable output. Cry Cry Cry, Wolf Parade’s fourth album (and first since 2010), will be less than three weeks old when the band drops by Turner Hall for a rare Milwaukee appearance that’s sure to be worth the wait.