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 9-15.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 10
Cage The Elephant + Angels And Airwaves, The Federal Empire @ The Rave/Eagles Ballroom
Every year, FM 102.1 pulls out all the stops for its Big Snow Show. The first of two Snow Show, uh, shows coming to The Rave this year features an impressive lineup that includes Cage The Elephant, Angels And Airwaves, and The Federal Empire.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 11
Thurston Moore Band + Devin Brahja Waldman @ X-Ray Arcade
Perhaps best-known for his work as a member of Sonic Youth, Thurston Moore has also managed an abundance of excellent solo material. A few months removed from a performing a live score to artist James Nares’ Street at Milwaukee’s Oriental Theatre, Moore will return to the region with a full band to head up a can’t-miss show at X-Ray Arcade. Devin Brahja Waldman opens.
Fred Armisen + Charlyne Yi @ Turner Hall Ballroom
Long before Fred Armisen was an established comic actor, long-tenured Saturday Night Live cast member, and Portlandia co-creator, he was a drummer. The percussionist-turned-humorist gave fans an opportunity to get a glimpse into his musical past when he released his innovative Fred Armisen: Stand Up For Drummers comedy special in 2018. Now, almost two years later, Armisen will come to Turner Hall with a live show continuation of that special called “Comedy For Musicians But Everyone Is Welcome.”
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 12
Fuzzysurf + Saebra & Carlyle @ Pabst Milwaukee Brewery & Taproom
Fuzzysurf is a band suited for any era. Since formally introducing themselves to Milwaukee music fans with 2017’s great Me Wocky EP, the quartet has quickly garnered attention with their distinct sound that perfectly blends elements of ’60s-era surf pop with aspects of modern day indie rock. Last year, Fuzzysurf quickly built on that solid first impression with the release of the band’s debut full-length, Hometown Feeling. The winning sound only continues in 2019’s Fuzzy & The Surfs. Within the span of the half-hour effort, the album’s 11 songs touch on societal division, squandered youth, lost love, and other weighty elements—all while maintaining a fun, generation-jumping sound that’s just as well-received today as it would’ve been 50 years ago.
Economy Superstar + Pure Shifter, CRLSS @ Company Brewing
Common Holly + OQ, Haunter @ Cactus Club
Ex Fabula StorySlam: “Vacation” @ Anodyne Walker’s Point Roastery
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 13
Tigernite + Faux Fiction, Zac Shipley @ X-Ray Arcade
There are two sides to Tigernite. There’s the one covered in glitter and confetti, rocking the fuck out while riffs screech through the air like demonic bats. Then there’s the one wearing a rune-covered cloak, taking you by the hand and leading you through a moon-lit field at midnight. Both of those sides get equal face-time on 2018’s Sublunary, a thrilling and at-times achingly beautiful record shot through with the band’s theatrical glam-rock vamping and classic-rock lighter-hoisting. Tonight’s show will double as a benefit for Courage MKE and a blowout before Tigernite goes on “indefinite hiatus.” Sigh.
Brat Sounds (record release) + Yum Yum Cult, Mark Adams Son Of Bill @ High Dive
It’s been a minute since we heard from Milwaukee rock band Brat Sounds. In 2017, the group released a video for “Born Loser Pt. II,” a song from the 2015 LP Born Loser. Since then, only an EP and a split with Seven Costanza (both released in 2016) have come through the Brat Sounds pipeline. UNTIL NOW. Tonight’s show celebrates the release of a new, long-awaited album, Bad Luck.
The Joy Formidable + TWEN @ The Back Room @ Colectivo
Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire In Concert With The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra @ Riverside Theater (through December 15)
WYLDLIFE + Rexxx, Criminal Kids, Dirty Revolver @ Cactus Club
Long Mama + The Hatchets, Caley Conway @ Between Two Galleries
Nineteen Thirteen @ Circle-A Cafe
Jayke Orvis + 20 Watt Tombstone, High Gallows, Emissary @ Walker’s Point Music Hall
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14
Christopher Porterfield + Boy Bjorn @ The Back Room @ Colectivo
Until very recently, 2019 had the appearance of being a quiet year for Field Report. That all changed a couple weeks ago when the accomplished Milwaukee band that’s fronted by singer-songwriter Christopher Porterfield launched a new label, put out a pair of EPs, and announced a solo show at Colectivo’s Back Room. Don’t miss a rare chance to see Porterfield play stripped-down renditions of Field Report material (and the official Milwaukee debut of a new project called Boy Bjorn).
Avenues + Hot Alice, Mike Felumlee & The Bigger Empty @ X-Ray Arcade (late show)
It’ll be a “Punk Rock Holiday Party” at X-Ray Arcade and you’re invited. Milwaukee pop-punk stalwarts Avenues will headline the soiree, and will be preceded on stage by Hot Alice and Smoking Popes drummer Mike Felumlee’s side band, Mike Felumlee & The Bigger Empty.
Conan Neutron & The Secret Friends + Tongue Party, Powerwagon @ X-Ray Arcade (early show)
Mighty Deerlick + Beach Patrol @ Circle-A Cafe
Radio Milwaukee Music Awards feat. Backline Class of 2019 @ Turner Hall Ballroom
Vincent Van Great + Amanda Huff, No No Yeah Okay @ The Cooperage
Magnetic Minds + BLEED, Indonesian Junk @ Pabst Milwaukee Brewery & Taproom
Social Caterpillar (vinyl release) + The Nunnery, Snag, SoZuppy @ Riverwest Public House
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 15
Milwaukee Record Halftime Show: Green Day Packers @ 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. This week’s entertainment: the return of the Green Day Packers, who, as their name suggests, play Green Day songs with Packers lyrics. Waaaarning…two minute warning…
Spoone & Crockpott @ Boone & Crockett
Spoone & Crockpott will bring an impressive cast of chefs from respected local restaurants to Boone & Crockett for a night of philanthropy and home cooking. For $35, patrons can enjoy all-you-can-eat Crock-Pot cuisine from Tandem, Maya Ophelias, Don’s Diner, Snack Boys, Bad English, Saucy Swine, Fox Fire, Goodkind, Vanguard, DanDan, Fauntleroy, Amilinda, Hacienda, Hatched Bakery, Pete’s Pops, Hawthorne Coffee, and more. The price also includes one cocktail or beer. All food proceeds will be donated to Milwaukee Riverkeeper.
Hockey Dad + DZ Deathrays, Live Tetherball Tonight @ The Back Room @ Colectivo
Milwaukee will play host two a pair of up-and-coming Australian acts when Hockey Dad and DZ Deathrays drop by The Back Room @ Colectivo for what’s sure to be a show for the ages. Preceding the pair of Aussie outfits is Milwaukee’s own Live Tetherball Tonight.