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 April 25 – May 1, 2022.

MONDAY, APRIL 25

2022 Milwaukee Film Festival @ various locations (through May 5)
The cinematic madness that is the 2022 Milwaukee Film Festival continues! Want indie films with big indie stars? Get your tickets now for The Good Boss with Javier Bardem, 892 with John Boyega, or Cha Cha Real Smooth with Dakota Johnson. How about music documentaries? There’s Charli XCX: Alone Together; Look At Me: XXXTentacion; Buddy Guy: Chase The Blues Away; and the Courtney Barnett doc Anonymous Club. Craving the midnight movie vibe? Then you’ll love the Milwaukee Record-sponsored Cinema Hooligante program, featuring everything from urban slasher flicks and sci-fi (Bitch Ass, Neptune Frost), to slow-burn thrillers and anime (Watcher, Belle). Oh, and a 35mm screening of John Carpenter’s The Thing on Thursday, complete with a live post-film episode of the Cinebuds podcast!

TUESDAY, APRIL 26

Big Thief @ The Pabst Theater
We’re not even halfway into 2022 and some people have already declared Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You—the latest and greatest from Big Thief—to be the album of the year. And hey, who are we to argue? It’s great! The Brooklyn-based indie-folk quartet will treat The Pabst Theater to live renditions of that celebrated record, as well as equally praised previous records like 2019’s U.F.O.F.

Movie Night: ‘Grandma’s Boy’ @ Lakefront Brewery

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27

Midweek Music: Next Paperback Hero @ Crafty Cow Tosa
Midweek Music is back! Join us at Crafty Cow Tosa every Wednesday in April and May for a total of eight Midweek Music performances. There’s no cover for these all-ages shows, which run from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. If a free weeknight show isn’t already great enough on its own, Crafty Cow Tosa will offer $4 Indeed Brewing Company pints. They’ll also have a “Cheap Date” special, which includes two entrees, an appetizer, and two drinks for just $39. This week: Milwaukee singer-songwriter Nathan Honoré, who performs under the moniker Next Paperback Hero.

And That’s Why We Drink @ The Pabst Theater

THURSDAY, APRIL 28

Bobcat Goldthwait @ The Laughing Tap
Bobcat Goldthwait is coming to The Laughing Tap! Yes, the legendary comedian, actor, director, and documentarian is performing a total of five shows at the cozy Walker’s Point comedy club April 28-30. Be there!

Marc Maron @ Turner Hall Ballroom
Marc Maron is coming to Turner Hall Ballroom! Yes, the legendary comedian, actor, and podcast host is bringing his “This May Be The Last Time’ tour to the historic Milwaukee venue April 28. Be there!

Insane Clown Posse + more @ The Rave / Eagles Ballroom
It’s hard to believe now, but there was a moment when the most outrageous thing in pop culture was a song in which two rapping clowns from Detroit questioned the inner workings of magnets. “Fucking magnets, how do they work?” asked the Insane Clown Posse in 2010’s instantly infamous “Miracles.” We may never know how magnets work (or solar eclipses, vicious weather, and 15,000 Juggalos together), but we’d sure love to go back to a time when the question was the only thing occupying our minds. And yes, tonight’s show is “Violent J’s 50th annual spring chicken baby boy birthday blow out.”

FRIDAY, APRIL 29

Midwest Gaming Classic @ Wisconsin Center (through May 1)
Milwaukee’s glorious Midwest Gaming Classic took 2020 off due to the pandemic, and decided to move last year’s convention to November. With that return installment in the books, organizers are now returning to the Wisconsin Center this spring for what they’re calling “the biggest MGC ever.” Like previous installments, the 2022 Midwest Gaming Classic will feature pinball, arcades, table top, tabletop RPG, trading card games, cosplay, air hockey, computers, home consoles, claw games, a vendor hall, rare collectibles, meet and greets, panels, and so much more.

Good Land Records 11-Year Anniversary Party @ The Cooperage
Since being founded by accomplished Milwaukee percussionist (and current Nashville resident) Jon Phillip in 2011, Good Land Records has released dozens of albums, EPs, and 7-inches from a wide variety of Midwestern musicians. Instead of celebrating a decade as a label last spring, Good Land Records decided to hold off until this year to properly commemorate the milestone. Phillip and Good Land Records co-owner Christopher Johnson have assembled a stacked lineup of label for a pair of 11-Year Anniversary Party shows, which will take place in two cities over the course of two nights. The first show will take place in Milwaukee, with The Figgs, Limbeck, Joseph Huber, and Rx Drugs taking the stage at The Cooperage.

CONVERT (record release) + Rexxx, Guerrilla Ghost @ X-Ray Arcade
This jam-packed X-Ray Arcade bill will double as an album release show from CONVERT, who will release its debut album SAVES that same day. The Milwaukee supergroup will be joined by lauded locals in Rexxx and Guerrilla Ghost (who will be just two weeks removed from its own album release).

Letterkenny Live @ The Riverside Theater
Since being brought to Hulu in 2018, Letterkenny—a Canadian television program about the “hicks, skids, and hockey players” in the eponymous 5,000-resident town—has caught on with American audiences in a big way. Now that the endlessly quotable, uproariously hilarious, and surprisingly progressive show has reached “cult comedy” status stateside, its cast and creators are ready to bring the show on the road. Letterkenny Live will offer fans an opportunity to enjoy an evening with the likes of Wayne, Daryl, Miss Katy, and other characters. And yes, Puppers Golden Lager is a presenting sponsor.

Social Caterpillar (record release) + Snag, Elle Jackson, DJ Sahan @ Cactus Club

Spoof Fest (Day 1) @ Club Garibaldi

Bobcat Goldthwait @ The Laughing Tap (7:30 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. shows)

SATURDAY, APRIL 30

Milwaukee Zine Fest 2022 @ Milwaukee Central Library
After a canceled 2020 and a mostly virtual 2021, the annual Milwaukee Zine Fest makes its return to the Milwaukee Central Library in 2022. The free-to-attend event will be smaller than its pre-pandemic installments, but it will still feature dozens of vendors, and a handful of activities and workshops covering topics like making your own zine, poster making, and more.

Ladybird + Wire & Nail, Dave The Flave @ Circle-A Cafe
Ladybird is the latest project from Milwaukee musician Pete Freeman. Freeman’s previous work includes the excellent 2020 album Meat & Potatoes, the delightful 2019 album Wisconsin Stories, and a song about Milwaukee Brewers superfan Front Row Amy. Joining Freeman in Ladybird are Scott Parker (bass), Sam Szymborski (guitar), and Aidan Gouran (drums). The group’s debut album, Introducing…, is a delightful collection of beer-buzzed country pop.

Cullah (record release) + Cabin Essence, Charlie Otto, His Gear @ Cactus Club

Thompson Springs + Johanna Rose, Long Mama @ Company Brewing

Avenues + Jerk, The DUI’S, The Malones @ Last Rites MKE

Spoof Fest (Day 2) @ Club Garibaldi

Bobcat Goldthwait @ The Laughing Tap (7:30 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. shows)

SUNDAY, MAY 1

“Bloody Sunday” @ Nice Times
As part of our Cinema Hooligante sponsorship for the 2022 Milwaukee Film Festival, we’re hosting two “Bloody Sundays” at new plant-based East Side bar/eatery Nice Times (a.k.a. the old Hotel Foster). These free events will feature Bloody Marys and other food and drinks sold by Nice Times, free cold pizza supplied by Milwaukee Record, and goofy horror movies projected on the wall. Oh, and Nice Times’ regular Sunday markets will be happening at the same time! Fun! What will we show? Who knows! The only thing we do know is that, unlike the time we did this way back in 2013, we will absolutely NOT screen The Human Centipede.

FEMFEST x May Day 2022 @ Cactus Club
Celebrate FemFest AND the first of May with an incredible lineup of Milwaukee talent. From noon until 11 p.m., Ruth B8R Ginsburg, Sugar Ransom, Desi, Dandy L. Freling, Rat Bath, Maat Mons, Steph Lippert, and Puerto Wiccan will take the Cactus Club stage. DJ DRiPSweat will spin music throughout the day, and brunch will be provided by Frida’s Cocina.

Okilly Dokilly + Steaksauce Mustache, Nasty Boys @ X-Ray Arcade
In 2019, Okilly Dokilly, “the world’s only Nedal band”—a.k.a. a Ned Flanders-themed metal band—helped unofficially christen Cudahy’s newly opened X-Ray Arcade. Just over three years removed from the last time the Phoenix, Arizona-based band delighted the all-ages arcade with original music that was loaded with “direct Ned quotes” during a performance that “weaved together comedy and brutality,” Okilly Dokilly returns to X-Ray Arcade for another show.

Carol Burnett @ The Riverside Theater
There will never be another Carol Burnett. After a few pandemic-related show postponements, the groundbreaking and timeless comedian, writer, singer, and The Carol Burnett Show namesake will finally be able to delight Riverside Theater with “An Evening Of Laughter And Reflection Where The Audience Asks Questions” which will be…well, the event name pretty much says it all.

Donut & Coffee Festival @ Turner Hall Ballroom

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