September is a time of transition. This month finds summer officially giving way to fall. This month also signals the end of Milwaukee’s festival season. Though the seasonal shift essentially puts a nine-month moratorium on outdoor events in town, local clubs and theaters are escalating the volume and the caliber of talent they book in effort to keep the entertainment coming as the temperatures outside dip. That said, Milwaukee isn’t exactly ending this summer with a whimper or lurching into autumn. Between great touring talent, the last few fests, a beloved wrestling and variety show, and even a film screening from yours truly, there’s a lot to keep you entertained this month. Here are some of our favorites.
Wednesday, September 7
Jenny Lewis & The Watson Twins @ Pabst Theater
Jenny Lewis’ resume includes everything from child actor (The Wizard), frontwoman for a beloved early-’00s indie band (Rilo Kiley), member of a one-off Traveling Wilburys update (“Handle With Care”), and adored solo artist. That last bullet point is especially important here, as Lewis will return to Milwaukee to celebrate the 10th (gulp) anniversary of her perfectly perfect solo debut Rabbit Fur Coat. Joining her will be The Watson Twins, who were featured on the acclaimed 2006 album.
Thursday, September 8
Matthew Sweet @ Shank Hall
Call Matthew Sweet a one-hit wonder if you want, but most musicians would kill for a hit like Sweet’s “Girlfriend,” from his 1991 album of the same name. Not that the ’60s-indebted psych-rock earworm is the be-all end-all of Sweet’s career. Plenty of solid albums litter his discography, and recent collaborations with Susanna Hoffs have produced enjoyable covers albums of music from the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s.
Friday, September 9
Mondo Lucha! @ Turner Hall
At this point, Mondo Lucha! is one of those distinctly Milwaukee events. Though some may struggle to recall a time before Turner Hall was transformed into a wrestling and variety show facility, the local blend of lucha libre wrestling, burlesque, sketch comedy, and music has only been around since 2008. The ninth iteration of this extra special local entertainment spectacle returns to Turner, this time with world class wrestlers (some with WWE ties) in the ring and Rio Turbo supplying the tunes.
Trevor Noah @ Riverside Theater
Love him or hate him, Trevor Noah is here to stay. Though Noah got off to a shaky start as host of The Daily Show, and he could never possibly fill the shoes of Jon Stewart, the South African-born comedian is funny as hell, and he’s starting to come into his own behind the desk. See Noah showcase the unique style, sharp wit, and delightfully deadpan material that earned him the highly-sought-after Comedy Central job when he comes to Riverside Theater.
Sunday, September 11
Eric Andre LIVE! @ Turner Hall
If the high-energy humorist’s name doesn’t ring a bell or if you only recognize him from his down-the-middle supporting roles on shows like 2 Broke Girls and Don’t Trust The B In Apartment 23, then holy shit, are you in for a surprise! In an era of comic homogenization that finds dudes in flannel shirts crafting near-identical observations, Eric Andre’s fearless, erratic, and altogether uneasy style is a breath of fresh air…terrifying fresh air. In the past, his crass anti-comedy has gotten him arrested, assaulted, and injured. The Pabst Theater listing describes Andre’s live show as “GG Allin meets Gallagher,” which sounds about right.
Thursday, September 15
Echo And The Bunnymen @ Turner Hall
Echo And The Bunnymen haven’t played Milwaukee in over 30 years. Enough said.
Saturday, September 17
Bay View Bash @ Kinnickinnic Avenue
Bay View Bash is a bittersweet affair. The bitterness is brought by the stinging realization that festival season is over and yet another awful winter is on the way. The sweetness comes with the fun festival finale that’s taken root in the heart of Kinnickinnic Avenue. By this point in the summer, you’ve likely seen many of the acts taking the three stages. But have you seen them while eating an elephant ear? Yes, you say? Oh. Here’s this year’s lineup.
Tuesday, September 20
Milwaukee Record and The Tiny Film Invasion present ‘Fargo’ @ Avalon Theater
Join Milwaukee Record at Avalon Theater in Bay View when we say farewell to summer with a screening of Fargo. The special event also commemorates the Academy Award-winning film’s 20th anniversary. This rare theatrical showing of this Coen Brothers classic starring William H. Macy and Frances McDormand—in the role that earned her the Oscar for Best Actress—is co-presented by WMSE’s “The Tiny Film Invasion.” The film starts at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $6. Advance tickets can be purchased HERE.
Peaches @ Turner Hall
Thursday, September 22 through Thursday, October 6
Milwaukee Film Festival @ various locations
Since 2009, the Milwaukee Film Festival has transformed Milwaukee from a drab, black-and-white wasteland into a dazzling, Technicolor utopia every fall. (You know, like in The Wizard Of Oz and that one part in Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ On A Prayer” video.) The 15-day extravaganza features hundreds of films lighting up the screens of the Landmark Oriental and Downer theaters, Fox-Bay Cinema Grill, and more. Crowd-pleasing features, all-too-timely social documentaries, plenty of local love, and fucked-up midnight screamers are once again to be expected for the fest’s eighth year.
Saturday, September 24
AM/FM @ TBD
More details this week.
Sunday, September 25
The Will Be Bowling @ Landmark Lanes
On Sunday, September 25, the lanes of Landmark Lanes will be lit up (so to speak) with the inaugural “There Will Be Bowling” tournament, sponsored by Milwaukee Record. Yes, during the first weekend of MFF2016, we’ll be hosting our very own movie-themed bowling tournament. With a name inspired by that final scene in There Will Be Blood (spoilers!), we promise bowling, plenty of drinking (milkshakes or otherwise), and none of the unseemly bludgeoning. Here are the details.
Wednesday, September 28
Remember the pinewood derby? For more than 60 years, Cub Scouts have been racing painted blocks of wood on plastic wheels down tracks with their sights set on pack bragging rights and a merit badge. Some of you never donned the kerchief, and if we’re being honest, most of you former scouts had your cars built for you by relatives. If you fall in one of those two camps, we have good news. On September 28, up to 70 racers will have a chance to get back on track, with Palomino‘s inaugural pinewood derby competition. those interested in racing can purchase a kit—complete with the pinewood racer materials, a can koozie, and a ticket good for a Vander Mill cider the night of the race—for $25 at Palomino. All proceeds will be given to Girls Rock Milwaukee.