Milwaukee is chock full of things to do, but only a handful of Milwaukee events are worthy of the lofty honor of “Record Recommended” (patent pending). Here are our recommendations—brought to you by Lilliput Records—for April 15-21, 2024.


Milwaukee Film Festival @ various locations (through April 25)
And the 2024 Milwaukee Film Festival keeps rolling! Over the course of two full weeks, a whopping 131 feature films and 169 shorts will screen at the Oriental Theatre, Downer Theatre, Avalon Theater, and Times Cinema. This year’s lineup is loaded with highlights: a heartwarming Opening Night documentary (Shari & Lamb Chop), the return of the Milwaukee Music Video Show, the return of the silent-film-live-scoring group Anvil Orchestra, the return of the Stop Making Sense dance party, oodles of music docs (Joan Baez! Cyndi Lauper!) and much, much more. As always, Milwaukee Record is the proud sponsor of the Cinema Hooligante program—a.k.a. the midnight/horror/bizarro program filled with films both strange and terrifying. It’s a particularly strong lineup this year, topped with one of the most talked-about horror films of the year, Late Night With The Devil.

Fleshwater (sold out) @ X-Ray Arcade
Boston, Massachusetts group Fleshwater recently popped up on a “coolest hardcore/nu metal band you’ve never heard of” thread on Reddit, which is pretty funny. Why? Because even folks who don’t follow those genres closely (us) have heard of Fleshwater. And we’re not alone—not only is the band’s show at X-Ray Arcade sold out, its entire spring tour is sold out. Fleshwater’s debut LP, We’re Not Here To Be Loved, was released in 2022.


Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors + Donovon Woods @ Turner Hall Ballroom
“There are no strangers at a Drew Holcomb show. For the better part of two decades, the award-winning songwriter has brought his audience together night after night, turning his shows into celebrations of community, collaboration, and contemporary American roots music. Strangers No More, the ninth album from Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors, celebrates that sense of togetherness. Produced by Cason Cooley, it expands the band’s mix of timeless songwriting, modern-day Laurel Canyon folk, amplified Americana, and heartland rock & roll. Song by song, Strangers No More offers an all-encompassing view not only of the places Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors have been, but where they’re headed next, too. It’s an invitation into the band’s world. Strangers no more, indeed.”

WIKI + MESSIAH!, NilexNile @ Cactus Club

Rock Paper Scissors League @ Company Brewing


Film Fatale Presents: Tokyo Drifter @ The Brick House
Looking for free screenings of some seriously offbeat movies? Then head to The Brick House in Riverwest (504 E. Center St.) for the inaugural installment of “Film Fatale.” Up first: 1966’s Tokyo Drifter. Says Film Fatale’s organizer: “Tokyo Drifter is a totally nuts 1963 yakuza film by Seijun Suzuki. He’s a guy who was brought in to film a bunch of B-movies for a big studio, but on this one he was given slightly more permission than usual and made something really extraordinary. It’s campy, cool, and visually stunning—it’s considered the first ‘neon-noir’ movie. It features, for example, a handsome man in a cool suit singing his own theme song before he John Wicks a bunch of goons in a jazz lounge slash abstract sculpture garden.”

Night Club + Rose Garden, Funeral Party, The Quilz @ X-Ray Arcade

Mojohand + Frank Gappa, Zach Pietrini @ Company Brewing

Dust City Opera + HOSTS @ Shank Hall


Erik Koskinen (record release) + Long Mama, Dandy L. Freling @ Linneman’s Riverwest Inn
“Erik Koskinen is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, whose music is not categorized by sub-genres. Stylistically he is on his own while heavily influenced by American roots music. The rhythmic integrity and musical tone is as important as the lyrical content and the artistic intent. Koskinen has reverently entered the anthology of uniquely crafted wry songs with the likes of Woody Guthrie and Ry Cooder while speaking as plainly as your neighbor. The Minneapolis Star Tribune calls Koskinen ‘the real deal’ and ‘the best country songwriter in Minnesota.'”

Vinyl Comes Alive Presented By Radio Milwaukee @ Turner Hall Ballroom
“Be in the room when Vinyl Comes Alive and help us celebrate our journey from jazz to Indie & Urban Alternative. One of Radio Milwaukee’s premier fundraisers, Vinyl Comes Alive helps support our mission and the musicians that call Milwaukee home. A celebration of jazz, this reimagined event, will be a fusion of nostalgia and innovation. Unwind, savor a drink, and lose yourselves in the tunes as they flow seamlessly from the vinyl, transition to a live Milwaukee All-Star Jazz Band and then, for an extra special treat, these songs will be reinterpreted by our Special Guest Artists.”

Todd Rundgren: ME/WE @ The Pabst Theater
“We don’t want to work! We just want to bang on the drum all day! A Wizard, A True Star. The title of Todd Rundgren’s 1973 solo album aptly sums up the contributions of this multi-faceted artist to state-of-the-art music. As a songwriter, video pioneer, producer and more, Rundgren has made a lasting impact on both the form and content of popular music.”

Minor Moon + Julia Blair, Max & The Fellow Travelers @ Cactus Club

Ian Sweet + The Ophelias, Diamond Life @ X-Ray Arcade


Garden Home (record release) + Harrison Gordon, EMWAY?, The Others Like Us, Buena Cara @ Cactus Club
Garden Home is a band in full bloom on its long-awaited debut album. Recorded by Cody Ratley, the eight-track Garden Home announces its presence with a veritable wall of guitars and the guttural shouts of Dylan Mazurkiewicz on album opener “Right By Me.” Before the eight-song, 24-minute effort is through, Garden Home—along with studio assists by Ratley and Justin Perkins of Mystery Room Mastering—bestows blistering guitar work (perhaps best expressed on “Imposter”) and muddy bass (“Not Today”) upon listeners en route to cementing its now-justified status as one of the city’s most exciting young bands.

Tim McGraw + Carly Pearce, Randall King @ Fiserv Forum
“‘I always want to deliver the best possible concert I can for the fans,” says Tim McGraw. ‘We’ve got some really special plans to make this the biggest and the best tour we’ve ever done.’ Long proven as a titan of touring across a career spanning more than three decades, the Standing Room Only Tour promises more unparalleled, high energy live shows from McGraw. Featuring a huge production, his biggest hits and songs from his forthcoming 17th studio album Standing Room Only, the tour promises the most fun and memories of a lifetime.”

The 11th Annual Milwaukee Blues Festival @ The Riverside Theater
They might be playing the blues, but you’ll be happy to see the likes of Tucka, King George, Pokey Bear, Lenny Williams, Theodis Ealey, and J’Wonn when Milwaukee Blues Festival returns to Riverside Theater for an 11th installment.

Cozy Danger + Oh Geez Not Again, The Fall Sound, Venturer @ Linneman’s Riverwest Inn

Graham Parker @ Shank Hall

Slothrust + Weakened Friends @ X-Ray Arcade

Mas Verde And Friends + Sushi Cowboy, Blind Hill @ Company Brewing

Friday Night Retro Video Dance Party: Goth Barge @ Mad Planet


High Score: A 4/20 Market @ X-Ray Arcade
Milwaukee Record is proud to present the inaugural High Score. This “4/20 Market” will feature a wide variety of local and regional vendors who offer botanical, plant-infused products with “added ingredients” that are 100 percent legal to purchase and consume in Wisconsin. The 21+ event is a great opportunity to both sample and stock up on (we repeat: totally legal) items while also learning more about a rapidly growing industry from those in the know. Tickets—which include samples of various products—cost $12 in advance and $18 at the door. All advance ticket purchases also include a free gift courtesy of Milwaukee Record and Kind Oasis.

Milwaukee Zine Fest @ Milwaukee Central Library
The Bindery’s annual Milwaukee Zine Fest will take to the Milwaukee Central Library from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. As always, the event—which has been around for more than 15 years, making it one of the Midwest’s longest-running zine fests—will celebrate and promote “zine culture, DIY creative literary work, small press publishing, and other independent, self-created wonders in magazine-like format” with more than 100 vendors showcasing and selling their work on site. Milwaukee Zine Fest is free and suitable for folks of all ages to attend.

Record Store Day @ various locations
It’s Record Store Day! Get out there and support some local record stores! Looking for eight ways Milwaukee is celebrating Record Store Day 2024? Then look no further than this article, “8 ways Milwaukee is celebrating Record Store Day 2024”!

Axis: Sova + Sex Scenes, MESSY @ Cactus Club

Teen Suicide + KennyHoopla, awakebutstillinbed, Stay Inside (sold out) @ X-Ray Arcade

Torcado (record release) + Shell Bells, Speakeasy Johnson’s @ Company Brewing

Prince vs. Michael Jackson @ Mad Planet


TK Kirkland @ Turner Hall Ballroom
“For over 25 years stand-up comedy icon TK Kirkland has earned the title Hip Hop’s Comedy King. His hilarious perspectives on relationships and adult life entertain eager crowds who gleefully yell out his tagline ‘Who Raised You?’ at the end of a signature joke. Through raw, uncensored takes on popular shows like The Breakfast Club and Vlad TV, TK’s embraced his second wave of fame as a relationship/lifestyle guru—introducing his signature flavor of humor to new laughing fans. TK Kirkland is poised to continue this victory lap in 2024 with his all new Catch Me If You Can Tour.”

William Elliott Whitmore + Sug Daniels @ Vivarium

Chastity + Rainbow Cobra, Drive Like I Do @ X-Ray Arcade

LoBi + Twin Garden, Chromacolor II @ Linneman’s Riverwest Inn

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