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 December 16-22.


The Sleighriders @ Shank Hall
Per Shank Hall: “Forty of the best, most experienced, most professional musicians of the Milwaukee music scene join together again for the annual Sleighriders show and charity auction! These musicians join forces in one gigantic rockin’ band. It’s a very special holiday event that you don’t want to miss and a true Milwaukee tradition. For over 30 years now the band has donated their time and talents for charity. This year is no exception as we sponsor Variety of Wisconsin helping disabled children.”


A Christmas Story Indeed @ Sugar Maple
Watch the immortal A Christmas Story, enter to win some Indeed Brewing swag (and a Red Ryder BB gun), and enjoy! The movie starts at 7 p.m.—the part where Darren McGavin says “fra-jee-lay” starts around 8.


Die Hard Double Feature @ X-Ray Arcade
Watch the immortal Die Hard (and Die Hard 2), play some Die Hard arcade games, and enjoy! The whole thing is free, you American cowboys.

Bagsong + Storm Chaser @ Circle-A Cafe

The Moth StorySLAM: “Family” @ Anodyne Walker’s Point Roastery


A Holiday Spectacular: Mark Waldoch + Testa Rosa, L’Resorts, Christopher Porterfield, Caley Conway @ The Cooperage
If this ridiculously stacked lineup doesn’t get you out to The Cooperage on a Saturday night, we don’t know what will. Mark Waldoch’s annual Holiday Spectacular—featuring Waldoch and friends performing classic and original holiday music—is always a wonderful time, and this year appears to be no different. A portion of the proceeds will go to Hunger Task Force.

Paul Cebar Tomorrow Sound @ Anodyne Walker’s Point Roastery

Nate Craig @ The Underground Collaborative

Reins Daily + TBA @ Cactus Club (early show)

Sleepy Gaucho + Big Dill And the Boys, Stanley @ Cactus Club (late show)


Nate Craig @ The Underground Collaborative
Nate Craig has come quite a way since leaving the Badger State. Since moving to L.A., the Wisconsin-born comedian has become one of Bill Burr’s go-to openers, he’s amassed a wealth of TV credits on Comedy Central’s Roast Battle and Tosh.O, he’s written for Ridiculousness and A Prairie Home Companion, and acted opposite Emma Stone and Jonah Hill on the Netflix’s Maniac. Though his acting and writing résumés have grown a great deal through the years, Craig is still a stand-up comedian first and foremost. The comic will return to his native state following the release of his latest album, Preferred Customer, in what’s sure to be a can’t-miss holiday performance. (Also December 21)