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 4-10, 2022.
MONDAY, APRIL 4
We Were Promised Jetpacks + Weakened Friends @ The Back Room @ Colectivo
Nearly two decades into their careers, the members of Scottish indie band We Were Promised Jetpacks faced some changes in 2019 and 2020. Guitarist Michael Palmer left the band in the former year, and the remaining members remotely wrote and recorded their fifth studio album, Enjoy The View, in the latter. “We are doing this for ourselves and the people who like our music and get something out of it,” singer Adam Thompson says, “I’m really excited about being able to show them the new record.”
Cloud Nothings + Soup Moat, Versio Curs @ X-Ray Arcade
Cloud Nothings return to metro Milwaukee to preside over an intimate evening of music at X-Ray Arcade. The prolific Cleveland post-punkers released their seventh studio album in 2021, The Shadow I Remember; tonight, they’ll get opening support from Milwaukee’s own Soup Moat and Versio Curs.
TUESDAY, APRIL 5
Bon Jovi @ Fiserv Forum
Bon Jovi was inescapable in the mid-to-late-’80s. Turn on MTV and there they were, topping the yearly music video countdowns with “Livin’ On A Prayer,” “You Give Love A Bad Name,” and/or “Wanted Dead Or Alive.” Walk into any bar or bowling alley and there they were again, power-ballading the hell out of power ballads like “I’ll Be There For You.” Heck, “Raise Your Hands” was in Spaceballs for some reason. But that wasn’t the end of the Bon Jovi story: A 2000s-era resurgence—complete with monster songs like “It’s My Life”—rocketed the group back into the rarified air of superstardom, and they’ve remained there ever since. Plus, their bit with Triumph the Insult Comic Dog was amazing.
WMSE Local/Live: Telethon @ Anodyne Walker’s Point Roastery
Milwaukee band Telethon has the unique ability of crafting fun material that touches on the decidedly less enjoyable aspects of life. The self-described “hard pop” band came out of relative obscurity in 2017 to take listeners on a 90-minute ride to the edge of existence on its weighty (and legitimately kind of heavy) breakout album, The Grand Spontanean: A Tale Told In Five Acts. Telethon quickly followed that ambitious release by shining more light on our strange and arduous times with 2019’s excellent Hard Pop full-length, and 2021’s Swim Out Past The Breakers. Tonight, the group performs for a live broadcast of WMSE’s Local/Live. The show is free and open to the public.
Movie Night: ‘The Sandlot’ (1993) @ Lakefront Brewery
Thinking of not going to Lakefront’s free screening of the 1993 classic The Sandlot? You’re killing us, Smalls. Food and drink will be available during the film, and taps of Hazy Rabbit will be $1 off. Legends never die!
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 6
Midweek Music: Klassik @ 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 $2 Indeed Brewing Company pints. They’ll also have a “Cheap Date” special, which includes two entrees, an appetizer, and two drinks for just $39. Midweek Music 2022 kicks off tonight with a performance from the ever-busy and ever-evolving Klassik.
THURSDAY, APRIL 7
Thriftones (EP release) + Resurrectionists, VSAL Moonwolf & The Federal Hippies @ Anodyne Walker’s Point Roastery
The newest Thriftones songs nicely show off two different sides of the longtime Milwaukee band. “Lovin’ Man” is a funky, irresistibly danceable track tailor-made for summer festival season; “Addict’s Lament,” meanwhile, is a more subdued slice of late-night barroom reflection. Following a January delay, the Thriftones finally celebrate the release of their new EP at tonight’s show.
Sam Tallent @ The Laughing Tap
Colorado comedian Sam Tallent has toured relentlessly across North America and Europe, amassed TV credits on Comedy Central and Viceland, and his debut novel (Running The Light) has garnered favorable reviews from literary critics and inspired kind words from fellow comics like Marc Maron and Ron White. Tallent also holds the distinction of headlining The Laughing Tap’s first weekend in business. Now, he returns to the Walker’s Point club he helped christen in very early 2020 for a trio of performances running April 7-9.
FRIDAY, APRIL 8
Patton Oswalt @ The Pabst Theater
The name of Patton Oswalt’s current tour and the accompanying press photo say it all: “Who’s Ready To Laugh?” asks a somber, black-and-white Oswalt. Between near-constant national (and international) crises and Oswalt’s much-documented personal losses, it’s surprising anyone is ready to laugh. And yet Oswalt is back at it, on the road for the first time since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, with an hour-plus of all new material. Maybe laughing isn’t such a bad idea after all.
Charlie Berens @ The Riverside Theater (7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. shows)
Affable actor, writer, comedian, and Emmy-winning host Charlie Berens has made a name for himself throughout Wisconsin (and far beyond) with his “Manitowoc Minute” segments and other hilarious videos rooted in Midwest-themed humor. In addition to making content that has garnered millions of views, hosting his great CripesCast podcast, writing a Midwestern guide book, and joining forces with Adam Greuel of Horseshoes & Hand Grenades to release an album full of Wisconsin-centric songs, Berens has also adapted his web-based material into a sidesplitting long-form theater show.
Soccer Mommy + Peel Dream Magazine @ Turner Hall Ballroom
Since bursting onto the scene in 2018, Soccer Mommy—the musical moniker of Nashville singer-songwriter Sophie Allison—has toured avidly and released two well-received albums that showcase the 24-year-old band leader’s unique and altogether mature perspective. A couple months before the release of her forthcoming album Sometimes, Forever (out June 24!), Allison swings by Turner Hall to headline a show you won’t want to miss.
Astral Hand + Credentials, BLOOD @ Company Brewing
Way back in 2019, forever-awesome Milwaukee psych band Calliope transformed into the heavier, rougher Astral Hand. Not that Milwaukee had much of a chance to enjoy the group’s rebranding—just as Astral Hand was ready to strike, the pandemic hit instead. The group spent 2020 refining its Lords Of Data album, however, and the record is set for a spring/summer 2022 release.
SATURDAY, APRIL 9
IfIHadAHiFi 22nd Anniversary w/ Waxeater, Sump Pumps, Holy Shit! @ Cactus Club
There have been COVID-postponed shows, and then there have been COVID-postponed anniversary shows. Long-running Milwaukee noise-rock band IfIHadAHiFi was the victim of the latter. The group planned to celebrate its two decades of raucous, ear-splitting, and hooky-as-hell existence in 2020, but, well, we all know what happened next. Now, two years later, IfIHadAHiFi is just gonna go ahead and celebrate its (palindrome-friendly!) 22nd anniversary. Expect some early favorites, perhaps some new material, and hopefully the delightful “Bigfoot Take The Wheel” from 2019’s We’re Never Going Home.
Brian Jonestown Massacre + Mercury Rev @ Turner Hall Ballroom
It’s been nearly 20 years since music documentary Dig! infamously dug into the love-hate relationship between psych-leaning bands The Dandy Warhols and The Brian Jonestown Massacre. Twenty years! Neither band has been quiet since the release of Dig!, though the Anton Newcombe-fronted BJM has been especially busy. Roughly a dozen albums (two of them planned for 2022) and a hard-earned reputation as a wild and unpredictable live act have ensured the group remains more than just a former documentary subject.
No Seatbelts @ The Jazz Estate
Since hitting the scene in 2017, No Seatbelts—a project with direct ties to artists like Two Tones, ¡palabra!, and B~Free, among others—have developed a reputation for can’t-miss live shows, unconventional covers of songs like Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” and a pleasing sound that effortlessly blends elements of R&B, funk, and jazz. Tonight, the group takes to the cozy confines of The Jazz Estate to make up for a previously canceled New Year’s Eve show.
SUNDAY, APRIL 10
WMSE’s 20th Annual Rockabilly Chili Fundraiser @ MSOE Kern Center
After a socially distanced takeout installment in 2021, WMSE’s beloved Rockabilly Chili Fundraiser is back—for real!—at MSOE’s Kern Center. Attendees will once again vote for their favorite Milwaukee chili in a number of categories: Meat, Heat, Veggie, most Unique, and Best Display. More than 30 Milwaukee restaurants are set to compete, and oh yeah, it’s the event’s 20th anniversary! WE’RE SO GLAD THIS IS BACK! BE THERE!
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