Milwaukee Record https://milwaukeerecord.com Music, culture, gentle sarcasm. Wed, 20 Nov 2019 18:21:35 -0600 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3 https://milwaukeerecord.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/cropped-mrapp-32x32.jpg Milwaukee Record https://milwaukeerecord.com 32 32 Avalon Theater will host a special premiere screening of ‘Joe Pera Talks With You’ on November 30 https://milwaukeerecord.com/comedy/avalon-theater-will-host-a-special-premiere-screening-of-joe-pera-talks-with-you-on-november-30/ https://milwaukeerecord.com/comedy/avalon-theater-will-host-a-special-premiere-screening-of-joe-pera-talks-with-you-on-november-30/#respond Wed, 20 Nov 2019 18:20:20 +0000 https://milwaukeerecord.com/?p=74042 Last year, as the world around us continued its rapid descent into darkness and division, Joe Pera Talks With You offered a dash of positivity and was a welcomed weekly 11-minute respite from the difficulty and negativity that seems to envelop modern existence. Seriously, just try to watch “Joe Pera Reads You The Church Announcements” […]

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Last year, as the world around us continued its rapid descent into darkness and division, Joe Pera Talks With You offered a dash of positivity and was a welcomed weekly 11-minute respite from the difficulty and negativity that seems to envelop modern existence. Seriously, just try to watch “Joe Pera Reads You The Church Announcements” without smiling. You can’t.

The heartwarming and side-splitting Adult Swim’s program that stars comedian, fish fry enthusiast, lifelong Buffalo Bills fan, and all-around delightful human Joe Pera also earns some extra points with us because much of the show was filmed right here in Milwaukee. Yes, despite being based in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (in the region’s default hub of Marquette), the bulk of Joe Pera Talks With You‘s first season was shot in and around Milwaukee. If you look closely, viewers might be able to recognize local landmarks like Copper Kitchen, Brown Deer Middle School, Clifford’s Supper Club, Leon’s, Redeemer Lutheran Church, Ted’s Ice Cream, and Dunham’s Transmission.

Following the first season’s respectable ratings and rave reviews, Adult Swim renewed Joe Pera Talks With You for a second season, which will premiere on Adult Swim on December 6. Once again, the bulk of the episodes were shot right here in Milwaukee. So it makes perfect sense that locals will get an early preview of the upcoming episodes.

Join actors Joe Pera, Conner O’Malley, and Marty Schousboe at Avalon Theater on Saturday, November 30 for a special premiere screening of Joe Pera Talks With You’s second season. A total of seven episodes will be shown, followed by a Q&A with the aforementioned cast members (and potentially more TBA). In addition to the opportunity for an extended sneak peek of new episodes, we’re told attendees will also get some “swag” related to the show.

Tickets to the 7:30 screening (7 p.m. doors) cost $6 and they’re available now. You can catch up on season one of Joe Pera Talks With You here.

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Ray’s and 3 Floyds Brewing will bring Wückfinter parking lot party back in 2020 https://milwaukeerecord.com/food-drink/rays-and-3-floyds-brewing-will-bring-wuckfinter-parking-lot-party-back-in-2020/ https://milwaukeerecord.com/food-drink/rays-and-3-floyds-brewing-will-bring-wuckfinter-parking-lot-party-back-in-2020/#respond Wed, 20 Nov 2019 15:44:10 +0000 https://milwaukeerecord.com/?p=74024 Back in February, Wauwatosa beverage bastion Ray’s Wine & Spirits and beloved Indiana beer maestro 3 Floyds Brewing joined forces to help metro Milwaukee battle the winter blues with an outdoor celebration of beer in defiance of cold weather. The first-year event, which took place in the parking lot at Ray’s over the course of […]

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Back in February, Wauwatosa beverage bastion Ray’s Wine & Spirits and beloved Indiana beer maestro 3 Floyds Brewing joined forces to help metro Milwaukee battle the winter blues with an outdoor celebration of beer in defiance of cold weather. The first-year event, which took place in the parking lot at Ray’s over the course of one windy mid-winter Sunday, was called “Wückfinter.”

Following that successful first installment that consisted of rare tappings and woefully under-dressed drinkers refusing to bow down to the season, Ray’s and 3 Floyds decided they’d boldly take on winter yet again. On Sunday, February 23, the second annual Wückfinter will return to the “Rayborhood” with a winning wintry mix of craft beer, music, food, games, and more.

From noon to 6 p.m., patrons can indulge in more than 20 varieties of 3 Floyds beer, a food truck operated by 3 Floyds chef Cole Ersel (a Milwaukee expat, formerly of Wolf Peach), a specialty slushy made with 3 Floyds beer, an event-appropriate playlist curated by Rushmor Records DJs, oversized games like Jenga and Connect Four, and more. Unlike the first year, Ray’s will also offer Wückfinter attendees at least some reprieve from the elements with a few outdoor heaters scattered throughout the lot.

We’ll get you more info on the beer list and additional vendors as the event approaches. In the meantime, mark your calendar for February 23 and bundle up. Wückfinter is coming.

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Come to The Cooperage December 2 for a ‘Shot For Shot With Chefs’ premiere, featuring Dan Jacobs and Dan Van Rite https://milwaukeerecord.com/food-drink/come-to-the-cooperage-december-2-for-a-shot-for-shot-with-chefs-premiere-featuring-dan-jacobs-and-dan-van-rite/ https://milwaukeerecord.com/food-drink/come-to-the-cooperage-december-2-for-a-shot-for-shot-with-chefs-premiere-featuring-dan-jacobs-and-dan-van-rite/#respond Wed, 20 Nov 2019 06:30:19 +0000 https://milwaukeerecord.com/?p=74034 Last year, Milwaukee Record debuted the pilot episode of a series called Shot For Shot With Chefs. The first installment of the booze-fueled and food-focused web series featured hapless host Tyler Maas talking about the ins and outs of Milwaukee dining with Goodkind co-owner/chef Paul Zerkel over some drinks. Okay, lots of drinks. Following a […]

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Last year, Milwaukee Record debuted the pilot episode of a series called Shot For Shot With Chefs. The first installment of the booze-fueled and food-focused web series featured hapless host Tyler Maas talking about the ins and outs of Milwaukee dining with Goodkind co-owner/chef Paul Zerkel over some drinks. Okay, lots of drinks. Following a few beers and a heroic SEVENTEEN shots apiece, they emerged with a few minutes of worthwhile footage. You can watch that ill-fated episode here.

Against all warnings from others, the reckless series continued when our host got to know Amilinda co-owner/chef and all-around great guy Gregory León over a bunch of beers and a handful of shots at The Cooperage. We then followed it up by tying one on with The Tandem owner/chef Caitlin Cullen. But we’re not done yet! Join Milwaukee Record at The Cooperage next month for a premiere of the fourth Shot For Shot With Chefs episode, featuring guests Dan Jacobs and Dan Van Rite. The dynamic duo own and operate DanDan (and its affiliated EsterEv venture), The Fauntleroy, Ash, and Batches Bakery.

On Monday, December 2, we’ll screen the new video, then talk about the parts we can remember from that drunken night of food talk, sports banter, pull tabs, and crazy consumption of beer and liquor. Bofferding—the official beer of Shot For Shot With Chefs—will have its delicious Pils and limited-edition Christmas Lager on special all night long, and you can expect some specialty cocktails from spirit sponsor Great Northern Distilling. Come by around 7 p.m. and stay for the screening at 8 p.m.

Still not sure if you want to come out for this FREE event? Maybe this look at the last episode will sway you.

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Crossroads Collective adds Juana Taco, loses Beerline Cafe and Falafel Guys, teases late-night bar https://milwaukeerecord.com/food-drink/crossroads-collective-adds-juana-taco-loses-beerline-cafe-and-falafel-guys-teases-late-night-bar/ https://milwaukeerecord.com/food-drink/crossroads-collective-adds-juana-taco-loses-beerline-cafe-and-falafel-guys-teases-late-night-bar/#respond Tue, 19 Nov 2019 18:33:16 +0000 https://milwaukeerecord.com/?p=74006 f you haven’t dropped by East Side food hall Crossroads Collective since it opened last December, you totally should. Located in the old Oriental Drugs building at 2238 N. Farwell Ave., Crossroads boasts a number of “micro-restaurants” that share the same space. Egg & Flour Pasta Bar, Raw Bar, Heaven’s Table BBQ, Falafel Guys, Frida, […]

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If you haven’t dropped by East Side food hall Crossroads Collective since it opened last December, you totally should. Located in the old Oriental Drugs building at 2238 N. Farwell Ave., Crossroads boasts a number of “micro-restaurants” that share the same space. Egg & Flour Pasta Bar, Raw Bar, Heaven’s Table BBQ, Falafel Guys, Frida, Beerline Café, Small Pie, and Scratch Scoop Shop currently call the food hall home, and…oh, wait. About that.

Today, Crossroads Collective announced that both Beerline Cafe and Falafel Guys will not be returning for year two. “Beerline Cafe cited a lack of demand, while Falafel Guys co-owner Chrissy Stroli cited staffing challenges,” says a press release. Beerline will close December 1.

But the space won’t be vacant for long. Juana Taco will open at Crossroads on December 15.  The new concept from owners Gregory Kiekcbusch, Frank Sandino, and Head Chef Enrique Morales of Mangos Cafe on will focus on authentic Mexican tacos and sides, and will include “about a dozen different tacos including all-day breakfast tacos and vegetarian/vegan options.” Falafel Guys’ soon-to-be-vacated space has yet to be filled. “One stall will be open in December, and Crossroads is seeking a new vendor,” says the press release.

Finally, Crossroads owner Tim Gokhman is teasing some more (good) changes, including brunch service and late-night weekend hours for the space’s bar, The Pharmacy. Plus, they totally took our advice and fixed their sign.

Here’s the full press release:

Crossroads Collective’s second year will see vendor changes, growth plans

Juana Taco joins the Collective
Juana Taco will soon bring authentic Mexican and vegetarian options to the food hall. Owners Gregory Kiekcbusch, Frank Sandino, and Head Chef Enrique Morales of Mangos Cafe on Van Buren and Brady Street aim to open the new taco concept at Crossroads Collective mid-December. Whereas Mangos Café is an award-winning Caribbean concept, Juana Taco will focus on authentic Mexican tacos and sides.

Chef Enrique was born and raised in Toluca, Mexico, and is excited to share his roots with Milwaukee’s food enthusiasts. His menu will include about a dozen different tacos including all-day breakfast tacos and vegetarian/vegan options. It will also showcase their homemade guacamole, elote, horchata, rice, beans, and kid-friendly options.

“We are excited to join Crossroads. We believe in the vision, the neighborhood, and most important–the taste of authentic Mexican tacos! See you in December, Foodies!” says Frank Sandino.

Beerline Café, Falafel Guys closing
Beerline Café and Falafel Guys will not be renewing at the food hall. Michael Allen and executive chef Corissa Grundman will continue to focus on the original location at 2076 N Commerce St. Beerline Café cited a lack of demand, while Falafel Guys co owner Chrissy Stroli cited staffing challenges. Falafel Guys will continue to operate their Thiensville location and food truck. This means that one stall will be open in December, and Crossroads is seeking a new vendor.

Renewals announced
Heaven’s Table BBQ and Scratch ice cream have extended their terms at the Collective. Both concepts have been fan favorites since opening,

A constant state of change
Crossroads owner Tim Gokhman compares year 1 against the national average of restaurant closings, which is 60%. “Our goal is to beat that, which we’ve done, and I’m happy with that. But we have also learned a ton from our first year. We did a lot of things right. Some adjustments have been made, like added signage and a coffee bar, and we will continue to evolve focusing on the things that work. I’m extremely excited for the second year,” said Gokhman.

Gina Gruenewald, General Manager, who pointed out that “the Food Hall is a low-cost, low-risk launch pad for a current business expanding or a new concept to test the market. Some of our concepts will find the right fit and extend their lease.  Others will decide that the model or location doesn’t work and can move on to try other avenues.” Gokhman has also hired Emily Chirillo as the director of operations to bolster the team’s marketing and analytics capacity.

Gokhman teased with some potential things to look forward to in 2020. “I hope to see more collaborations. Egg & Flour worked with Heaven’s Table to create an astounding dish. I’d like to add affogatos to the bar menu in collaboration with Scratch. In spring, I’m asking the team to think about adding brunch–Frida and SmallPie’s menus lend themselves to that. And the idea of oysters of champagne sounds pretty appealing.”

The Pharmacy, Crossroads’ aptly named bar, could also be operated later on the weekends.

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Milwaukee Record Recommended: November 18-24 https://milwaukeerecord.com/music/milwaukee-record-recommended-november-18-24/ https://milwaukeerecord.com/music/milwaukee-record-recommended-november-18-24/#respond Tue, 19 Nov 2019 16:41:22 +0000 https://milwaukeerecord.com/?p=73994 Our fat-free, dolphin-safe Milwaukee events calendar is chock-full of things to do, but only a handful of events are worthy of the lofty honor of “Record Recommended” (patent pending). Here are our recommendations for November 18-24, 2019. WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 20 Milwaukee Record And Lakefront Brewery Present: The Money Pit @ Avalon Theater Ah yes, 1986’s […]

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Our fat-free, dolphin-safe Milwaukee events calendar is chock-full of things to do, but only a handful of events are worthy of the lofty honor of “Record Recommended” (patent pending). Here are our recommendations for November 18-24, 2019.

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 20

Milwaukee Record And Lakefront Brewery Present: The Money Pit @ Avalon Theater
Ah yes, 1986’s The Money Pit, the story of a young couple and the house they buy for the suspiciously low price of $200,000. Endless home improvement hijinks, shady contractors (“Two weeks!”), and raccoons living in dumb waiters ensue. Tom Hanks and Shelly Long are terrific, of course, and Joe Mantegna and Yakov Smirnoff make their ubiquitous mid-’80s cameos. Want to see it on the big screen? NOW YOU CAN. Tonight’s screening is a joint presentation from us and Lakefront Brewery, and is part of the brewery’s annual “Hanksgiving” celebration. And it wouldn’t be Hanksgiving without a special Avalon menu item: an open face roast turkey sandwich on sourdough with turkey-sage gravy and sweet potato mash ($13). Tickets to the movie are $5.

Show Me The Body + Urochromes, Mister, Snag @ X-Ray Arcade

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 21

Nickel&Rose + Amythyst Kiah @ Anodyne Walker’s Point Roastery
If you’re looking for modern protest music, look no further than Milwaukee’s Nickel&Rose. Since 2016, upright bassist Johanna Rose and and guitarist Carl Nichols have been grappling with the modern world via their sometimes stark, sometimes delicate, always trenchant folk music. On 2018’s “Americana,” for example, Nichols challenged the dominant color of the titular music genre and blasted “the lack of diversity in the audience, the lack of credit given to black artists, and how black Americans have been denied access to their own culture.” In 2019, Nichols and Rose released their most direct protest song yet, the harrowing “Another Man.”

JE Sunde + yOya @ Between Two Galleries

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 22

Colors & Chords @ Turner Hall Ballroom
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 The Quilz, Mike Benign Compulsion, Marielle Allschwang & The Visitations, and Dramatic Lovers.

John K. Samson + Christine Fellows @ X-Ray Arcade
Just over two years removed from playing an ultra-rare Milwaukee show in support of Craig Finn at Cactus Club, Canadian songwriting legend John K. Samson returns to the region to headline an outing at X-Ray Arcade. Prior to Samson’s batch of stripped-down Weakerthans material and cuts from his equally incredible solo catalog, the Winnipeg musician will lend the stage to his partner and fellow Canadian songwriting master, Christine Fellows. Don’t miss this one.

53212 Presents Fundraiser: De La Buena @ Company Brewing

’90s Kickback Concert with Dru Hill, H-Town, Next, Silk, more @ Miller Life Theatre

Resurrectionists + Magnetic Ghost, Old Northwest, Kendra Amalie @ High Dive

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 23

Lion’s Tooth Launch Party & Pop-Up: Scrimshaw + Negative/Positive @ Sugar Maple
Milwaukee has a long and storied history with alternative comic books. But even in a city blessed with numerous comic book shops and independent bookstores, there’s no place that deals exclusively in alternative comics and graphic novels. Happily, that’s changing. Enter Lion’s Tooth, a new subscription service available right this very second, and a brick-and-mortar store debuting soon. The brainchild of Shelly McClone-Carriere and Cris Siqueira, Lion’s Tooth aims to spread the good word of alt-comics and graphic novels (think artists like Chris Ware, Daniel Clowes, and Robert Crumb) to adults and young adults alike. Tonight, Lion’s Tooth celebrates its official launch with a free all-ages show and accompanying pop-up.

Frank Caliendo @ Potawatomi Northern Lights Theater
Frank Caliendo has a unique career as a comedian. Not unlike an American Idol favorite or a late night talk show host, the impressionist’s career is dependent on the work of other, usually more famous, people. As far as this specific comic crevice is concerned, Caliendo is the Kelly Clarkson of celebrity impersonations and the Johnny Carson of pop culture mimicry. His ability to meld spot-on vocal replications and exaggerated character traits of politicians, actors, and sports figures has yielded the comic such impressive opportunities as a place in the MADtv cast, the role of resident funny man for two football pregame shows, a short-lived TBS show called Frank TV, and the ability to tour theaters throughout the country. Tonight, the Waukesha native returns to southeast Wisconsin for a pair of performances at Northern Lights Theater. (Two shows.)

Giants Chair + Devils Teeth, Panic On Panic @ Cactus Club
This will be the first Giants Chair show in Milwaukee since the ’90s. What more do you need to know? That fact that Devils Teeth and Panic On Panic will be playing in support is just an added, awesome bonus.

Old Prospectors (record release) + Neocaveman, Young Revs @ Company Brewing

Dirty Dancing + CRLSS, Genau, Armillaria, Hans Jaeger @ X-Ray Arcade

Nato Coles & The Blue Diamond Band + Night Water, Saebra & Carlyle @ Bremen Cafe

WMSE Holiday Pop-Up Sale @ Tonic Tavern

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 24

Milwaukee Record Halftime Show: Fox Face @ Cactus Club
The Milwaukee Record Halftime Show concert series at Cactus Club is back! Once again, we’ve assembled a stacked roster of 16 projects to provide FREE (21+) halftime entertainment. And, once again, our friends at Miller High Life are sponsoring our football-focused festivities, meaning fans can enjoy “The Champagne of Beers” for $2.50 a bottle, or $10 for a bucket of five beers all game long. And, yes, there will be touchdown shots.

Hari Kondabolu @ The Back Room @ Colectivo
Brooklyn-based comedian Hari Kondabolu has amassed an impressive reel of TV appearances, released two chart-topping albums, and been called “one of the most exciting political comics in stand-up today” by the New York Times. In late 2017, Kondabolu became a household name and changed the way we watch television (for the better), when TruTV released his Simpsons-centered documentary, The Problem With Apu. Socially-impacting documentary aside, he’s one hell of a comic. Two years after a pair of performances at The Underground Collaborative, Kondabolu returns to Milwaukee to head up what’s sure to be a hilarious show.

Kyle Kinane @ Turner Hall Ballroom
Kyle Kinane is a comedian’s comedian. The Illinois-born comic’s gravel-voiced musings manage to appeal to all brow levels while being delivered in a way that is both inimitable and universal. Since quitting his band and leaving Chicago for Los Angeles, Kinane put out a handful of outstanding specials, became “the voice of Comedy Central,” amassed some acting credits, and toured relentlessly. About a year and a half removed from the last time he killed at Turner Hall, Kinane will return to the ballroom with his strongest hour yet (which he recorded in Madison earlier this year for a forthcoming album).

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Xposed 4Heads want to know if you get their “Thrust” (wink wink nudge nudge say no more) https://milwaukeerecord.com/music/xposed-4heads-want-to-know-if-you-get-their-thrust-wink-wink-nudge-nudge-say-no-more/ https://milwaukeerecord.com/music/xposed-4heads-want-to-know-if-you-get-their-thrust-wink-wink-nudge-nudge-say-no-more/#respond Tue, 19 Nov 2019 06:14:49 +0000 https://milwaukeerecord.com/?p=73988 f you’re looking for wacky, irreverent, and delightfully catchy new wave music that owes more than a debt to bands like Devo, look no further than Milwaukee’s Xposed 4Heads. Founded in 1982 by Joy Farm mastermind Mark G.E., the 4Heads were an on-and-off concern for decades; beginning with 2015’s Choose To Be Human, however, the […]

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If you’re looking for wacky, irreverent, and delightfully catchy new wave music that owes more than a debt to bands like Devo, look no further than Milwaukee’s Xposed 4Heads. Founded in 1982 by Joy Farm mastermind Mark G.E., the 4Heads were an on-and-off concern for decades; beginning with 2015’s Choose To Be Human, however, the group re-established itself as a modern recording (and performing) mainstay. Urgency Squad was released in 2017, followed by this year’s rock-solid Ultra Cloud. “Simple solutions for complex times / Cheer up, it’s party time” sings G.E. on Ultra Cloud‘s “Stuck In Orbit.” If there’s a recurring theme buzzing through the music of Xposed 4Heads, this is it.

Another recurring theme: wonderfully kitschy DIY videos. Recent years have seen the 4Heads offer up such gems as “Sing Along Again,” “Save All Monsters,” and “Slack It.” Now comes a clip for “Thrust,” an Ultra Cloud highlight that doesn’t skimp on space-themed double-entendres. There’s nothing too racy here, but watching Xposed 4Heads and the ever-present Star Girls bop along to lines like “Booster rockets giving us lift / Going for the Doppler shift” is enough to put a spring in anyone’s (one small) step.

The “Thrust” video was directed by G.E., with animation by Wendy Norton. The Xposed 4Heads’ next gig is the Milwaukee Krampusnacht celebration at the Bavarian Bierhaus on December 5, obviously.

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You must dash to the Whisker Bash at Falcon Bowl https://milwaukeerecord.com/city-life/you-must-dash-to-the-whisker-bash-at-falcon-bowl/ https://milwaukeerecord.com/city-life/you-must-dash-to-the-whisker-bash-at-falcon-bowl/#respond Tue, 19 Nov 2019 06:00:58 +0000 https://milwaukeerecord.com/?p=74016 If the unfamiliar patches of facial hair currently growing above the upper lips of your friends, co-workers, or significant other haven’t made this obvious, we’re now over halfway into Movember. In recent years, this made up monthly celebration of mustaches has quite literally grown in popularity and has given folks a chance to display their […]

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If the unfamiliar patches of facial hair currently growing above the upper lips of your friends, co-workers, or significant other haven’t made this obvious, we’re now over halfway into Movember. In recent years, this made up monthly celebration of mustaches has quite literally grown in popularity and has given folks a chance to display their follicle flare throughout the entirety of November. Even though, Movember is almost over, there’s one more reason for Movember participants (and perennially facial-haired people) to keep that growth going into December.

On Saturday, December 14, The Brew City Beard Alliance—which is a real thing—will host Beard Bash VII. The event is both a celebration of facial hair, as well as a competition to see who has the finest mustaches and beards in Milwaukee. Beard Bash VII will be held at Falcon Bowl in Riverwest, with registration running from 5:30 to 6:45 and the contest kicking off at 7 p.m. A portion of the $15 entrance fee will be donated to Riverwest Food Pantry and Street Angels.

Contest categories include: Movember Beard Or Mustache, Mustache, Freestyle, Partial Beard, Whiskerina (fake beard/mustache), Kids Creative Beard, Beard Under 6 Inches, Beard 6-12 Inches, Beard Over 12 Inches, and Santa Beard. Once the competitions conclude and winners are named, there will be a dance party at Mad Planet.

May the best beards win.

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Best Of The ’10s: The 10 best Milwaukee albums of 2013 https://milwaukeerecord.com/music/best-of-the-10s-the-10-best-milwaukee-albums-of-2013/ https://milwaukeerecord.com/music/best-of-the-10s-the-10-best-milwaukee-albums-of-2013/#respond Mon, 18 Nov 2019 06:55:39 +0000 https://milwaukeerecord.com/?p=73928 Throughout November, Milwaukee Record is revisiting a full decade of Milwaukee music, assembling (and ranking) the 10 best Milwaukee albums of each year. The retrospective will wrap up in December with our list of the 25 Best Milwaukee Records of 2019. (Here are the 10 best Milwaukee albums of 2010, 2011, and 2012.) We Can […]

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Throughout November, Milwaukee Record is revisiting a full decade of Milwaukee music, assembling (and ranking) the 10 best Milwaukee albums of each year. The retrospective will wrap up in December with our list of the 25 Best Milwaukee Records of 2019. (Here are the 10 best Milwaukee albums of 2010, 2011, and 2012.)

10. Buffalo Gospel – We Can Be Horses
Half a decade before establishing itself as the vanguard of Milwaukee country music with 2018’s incredible On The First Bell, Buffalo Gospel poignantly announced their presence with its debut full-length. The group’s lovely We Can Be Horses opens with the breezy, rollicking “Song Of The Ox,” though much of the album is spent in quiet rumination: Founding member, bandleader, and only remaining member from this 2013 lineup Ryan Necci is captivating on the lilting “Hoarse As A Crow” and the mournful “When God’s Away On Business” as he leads a cast of collaborators that includes Heidi Spencer, Allen Coté, and Ryan Ogburn in its ranks.

9. WebsterX – Desperate Youth
Sam Ahmed had apprehensions. At 21, the aspiring emcee finally set aside his self-doubt and funneled years of verses into Desperate Youth. Ahmed’s 16-song debut under the WebsterX moniker is an ambitious introduction that meanders between the brooding Odd Future-esque “Blue Dreams” and the airy and upbeat “Drift Off,” with a lyrical lapel of Milwaukee pride proudly displayed throughout. In the years that have followed Ahmed’s local love has been reciprocated. Desperate Youth wasn’t just the outset for one of the city’s most impressive and groundbreaking modern musicians—the debut also was a sign of bigger days for Milwaukee’s hip-hop scene.

8. Vic And Gab – Love Of Mine
Victoria Banuelos and Hannah Gabriela Banuelos polish their deceptively sweet guitar-pop to a high shine on Love Of Mine, an album that nicely distances them from too-easy comparisons to another sister act, Tegan And Sara. From the subdued shimmy of the title track and “Trying To Love You” to the jangly bounce of “Let You Down” and “When You Walk Into The Room,” Love Of Mine captures Vic And Gab—who now write and release music under the name REYNA—at their most dreamy and lyrically sly.

7. The Fatty Acids – Boléro
Don’t let the opening album chirps of “Girls And Gods,” the sarcastically sloppy guitar solo in “Little Brother Syndrome,” or an overriding affinity for goofy green screen videos fool you: The Fatty Acids are—and always have been—a serious band. Boléro masterfully hammers home the strange-yet-functional notion of heady indie-pop. Over the span of 10 songs, the established and affable outfit’s third album presents questions and commentary regarding America’s flawed political process, address paradoxes in religion and environmental oversights, and even works in a couple of love songs for good measure. With Boléro, The Fatty Acids somehow managed to make a deceivingly dense, mature, and pointed record remain fun.

6. Painted Caves – Painted Caves
With indie-rock sensibilities projected through an Arabic lens, there’s little else like Painted Caves, here in Milwaukee or anywhere else. In the self-titled debut, bandleader Ali Lubbad affixes elements of his Middle Eastern lineage to modern American musical mainstays that range from folk to material venturing in the vicinity of rock. In “Half-Human” and “The Ocean,” Lubbad’s soothing voice lacquers a sense of calm atop already entrancing hymns of positivity, while rhythmic “Paper Tigers” and “Blood In The Water” bare teeth.

5. Direct Hit! – Brainless God
Today, Direct Hit! is on the Fat Wreck Chords roster and has a well-deserved reputation as one of punk rock’s busiest and most innovative projects. However, the accomplished outfit wasn’t on most people’s radar until 2013’s Brainless God thrust the band—which we erroneously kept off our 50 best Milwaukee albums list in early 2014—into the spotlight. While the apocalyptic concept album treads into abrasive and pointed territory, the loaded and graphic lyrics are countered by infectiously poppy song structures and hooks that make hacksaw dismemberment and the prospect of the world’s end seem like picnics in the park. Direct Hit! would continue the conceptual arc in 2016’s Wasted Mind and last year’s Crown Of Nothing, but it was never executed better than it was in Brainless God.

4. Northless – World Keeps Sinking
Death, decay, and destruction may not be the only things served up on Northless’ aggressively grim World Keeps Sinking, but they’re certainly the main course. As a follow-up to 2011’s equally uncompromising Clandestine Abuse and the precursor to 2017’s heavy Last Bastion Of Cowardice, World succeeds in broadening Northless’ sludge- and doom-metal scope (it could easily be taken for a loose concept album about, well, death, decay, and destruction) without breaking the mold. The playing is technical but never fussy, and the noise is as pummeling as ever.

3. Sat. Nite Duets – Electric Manland
Humor is a tricky thing in music. Take things too far and you risk “novelty-band” status. Dial things down and you risk being written off as simply ironic. Sat. Nite Duets have always walked the goofball line, but there has always been a sweetness lurking beneath their oft-shambling music, a longing for summers and friends long lost. The front-to-back-excellent Electric Manland is the culmination of Sat. Nite Duets’ pet obsessions: classic rock, junk culture, and, yes, summer. “Stone Free” borrows its title from Hendrix; the title of “Born To Walk” goofs on Springsteen; and “Big Worm,” well, is about a big worm. Musically, Manland stands head and shoulders above the band’s pre-2013 work, resulting in an accomplished, memorable, and—gasp!—funny record.

2. Volcano Choir – Repave
Justin Vernon’s cabin-in-the-woods origin story is far from compelling these days (it’s been 11 years since the release of the snowbound For Emma, Forever Ago), and his Grammy-award-winning Bon Iver project returned from its brief hiatus with new records and an arena tour. Between the Eau Claire native’s star-making debut and the co-creation of the Eaux Claires festival, Vernon formed Volcano Choir with past and present members of Milwaukee’s Collections Of Colonies Of Bees. Four years after the project put out Unmapped, Volcano Choir announced itself as Vernon’s main concern (albeit temporarily) on the thrilling follow-up, Repave. Bold, booming, and joyously unafraid, it’s an album that finds an unlikely sweet spot between the two sets of collaborators. Nowhere is that synergy more apparent than on the jaw-dropping “Byegone,” which crackles and soars like a barely controlled post-rock explosion. Repave is a huge step up from Volcano Choir’s first album, and a monument to the power of collaboration, musicianship, and never looking back.

1. Soul Low – UNEASY
Forget that when Soul Low recorded UNEASY, two members of the band couldn’t even legally drink. Discount the fact that virtually nobody outside the Riverwest all-ages basement show scene knew who or what Soul Low was before the summer of 2013. Never mind that the record is the band’s first true attempt at a release. Even without the padding modifiers of Soul Low’s beyond-its-years and out-of-nowhere back story being used to prop up its eight-song debut, UNEASY is just a really fucking good album. Amidst the unhinged “Sitting By The Fire,” the barren ballad “Son,” and the rowdy rally cry of “Cliffs,” charmingly shaky vocals and classically trained instrumentation are provided by guys who just so happened to be young and previously unheralded. The ambitious and all-around awesome aural introduction—in all its genre-jumping glory—would set the stage for a dominant next five years, which included even better releases (including one album that was released posthumously) as the band matured.

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Splash Studio’s ‘Elf’-themed holiday pop-up bar will open this Saturday https://milwaukeerecord.com/food-drink/splash-studios-elf-themed-holiday-pop-up-bar-will-open-this-saturday/ https://milwaukeerecord.com/food-drink/splash-studios-elf-themed-holiday-pop-up-bar-will-open-this-saturday/#respond Mon, 18 Nov 2019 06:45:18 +0000 https://milwaukeerecord.com/?p=73945 Earlier this month, Splash Studios announced it would be transforming into “Elf Studio” this holiday season. The East Side painting bar’s seasonal pop-up aims to honor Will Ferrell’s 2003 Christmastime classic, Elf, in rather impressive fashion. There will be extensive holiday decorations, specialty cocktails like the Angry Elf and World’s Best Coffee, a “Santa’s Workshop” […]

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Earlier this month, Splash Studios announced it would be transforming into “Elf Studio” this holiday season. The East Side painting bar’s seasonal pop-up aims to honor Will Ferrell’s 2003 Christmastime classic, Elf, in rather impressive fashion. There will be extensive holiday decorations, specialty cocktails like the Angry Elf and World’s Best Coffee, a “Santa’s Workshop” craft area for kids and grown-ups, a ton of sugary snacks, and photo opportunities with Buddy himself.

Originally, Splash planned to have the ambitious event begin on Friday, November 29. Surprise! It’s actually going to start a few days earlier. Today, Splash Studio announced Elf Studio will start this Saturday (November 23) and run through December 29. The update came with this hilarious and eerily detailed video.

Splash Studio’s Elf Studio pop-up will run through December 29. Hours will be 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 4 p.m. to midnight Fridays, 10 a.m. to midnight Saturdays, and 10 a.m. t0 10 p.m. Sundays. There will also be extended hours on Monday, December 23.

According to Splash, “reservations are not available, but guests may call ahead or stop in to be put on a wait list for a project space. Children are welcome with a parent or guardian at all times except Fridays and Saturdays after 5 p.m., when only ages 16 and older are allowed.”

Don’t be a cotton headed ninny muggins. Ring in the holiday season at Elf Studio.

The post Splash Studio’s ‘Elf’-themed holiday pop-up bar will open this Saturday appeared first on Milwaukee Record.

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