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 22-28, 2024.


Alvvays + Spllit @ The Pabst Theater
Since playing The Pabst Theater way back in 2018, Canadian dream-pop band Alvvays has been a stranger to Milwaukee. BUT NO MORE. As part of the group’s spring tour, Alvvays will return to The Pabst Theater tonight. (The band will play The Sylvee in Madison on April 24.) Alvvays is responsible for a stone-cold classic 2014 self-titled debut, a fantastic 2018 follow-up (Antisocialites), and an equally fantastic 2022 record (Blue Rev). Favorite song? It’s hard to compete with iconic tracks like “Archie, Marry Me,” but we’re partial to…

Milwaukee Film Festival @ various locations (through April 25)
And that’s a wrap on the 2024 Milwaukee Film Festival! Over the course of two full weeks, a whopping 131 feature films and 169 shorts screened at the Oriental Theatre, Downer Theatre, Avalon Theater, and Times Cinema. Things continue early this week, and officially come to a close with a screening of the animated Robot Dreams, Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at the Oriental.

Simple Syrup + Sushi Cowboy, Lobi, 5PM To Nowhere @ Cactus Club


Fred Armisen: Comedy For Musicians But Everyone Is Welcome + Azita @ Turner Hall Ballroom
“Fred Armisen is a comedian, writer, producer, and musician. He is the co-writer and co-star of IFC’s Emmy-nominated series Portlandia, which he created alongside Carrie Brownstein. He is currently in the hit Netflix series Wednesday as Uncle Fester. He stars as “Tico” in HBO’s Los Espookys, which he co-wrote and executive produced. He can also be heard in the hit animated Super Mario Bros movie. Armisen stars in, writes, and produces IFC’s hit show Documentary Now, for which he has received two Emmy nominations. He has also appeared in HBO’s Our Flag Means Death, Judd Apatow’s The Bubble, and Amazon’s series Forever (which he was also an executive producer on). He has appeared as a voice actor in Big Mouth and The Mitchells vs. The Machines.”

Alejandro Escovedo @ Vivarium
“No one has really ever been able to define themselves and their music like singer-songwriter Alejandro Escovedo does. His life in music of all kinds sometimes feels like a swirl through the sky, where his songs point out all the majesty and mystery of how he sees the world. The sounds he makes take him places that he might not even predict, but once there, greatness always follows. It’s just the way Escovedo is. On this new album, Alejandro Escovedo has taken a road rarely traveled, which is totally in keeping with how he has lived his life in music. Echo Dancing is an experiment in how to use the past to shape the future.”

Joe Satriani & Steve Vai @ The Riverside Theater

MKE Music Night LXXII: Blacktop + Desperate Electric, The Quilz, Nate Scheurell, Tlalok @ Cactus Club


The Arcadian Wild @ Anodyne Walker’s Point Roastery
Welcome. It’s a word The Arcadian Wild hold dear, an invitation to be present, to let your guard down, to share in something deep and divine and communal. ‘No matter who you are or where you come from, that word just makes you breathe a little easier,’ says guitarist/singer Isaac Horn. ‘When you feel welcome somewhere, you can be yourself, you can be open to whatever the space and the moment have to offer. That’s how we want people to experience these songs.’ Written and recorded in The Arcadian Wild’s hometown of Nashville, TN, Welcome marks the start of a captivating new chapter for the genre-bending trio, whose innovative use of vocal harmony and counterpoint has helped redefine the possibilities of modern string band music. Fresh off a series of critically acclaimed singles and EPs, the album is both delicately beautiful and boldly adventurous, drawing on everything from country and classical to pop and choral music with lush, cinematic arrangements that balance the intellectual and the emotional in equal measure.”


Michael Longfellow @ The Laughing Tap (through April 27)
Comedian Michael Longfellow, known best from his current gig as a featured player on a little show called Saturday Night Live, will spend one of the first weekends after SNL‘s season finale in Milwaukee, where he’ll perform a total of five times at The Laughing Tap April 25-27.


Little Blue Crunchy Things @ Shank Hall (sold out; also April 27)
“Remembered as one of the most popular Wisconsin bands of the 1990s with five independently released CDs and a legion of devoted fans, Little Blue Crunchy Things hereby announces and promises one more extravaganza. Who knows what the future holds? Maybe the boys will find each other for a Golden Anniversary in the year 2041. But why wait until then? This is the moment. You must SEE and FEEL and HEAR “The Sound The Munch The Blue The Crunch” one more time. You deserve it. You need it. You want it. Little Blue Crunchy Things will give it to you.”

Something To Do (album release) + Devon Kay & The Solutions, Jinksie, Bellends @ X-Ray Arcade
Originally scheduled to take place in January, this loaded local lineup is worth the wait. Wisconsin ska stalwart Something To Do will celebrate the belated release of its still new-ish album, Here Comes The Panic. The group will be joined by Chicago ska-punkers Devon Kay & The Solutions, as well as Milwaukee-based bands Jinksie and Bellends.

MIKE + 454, Niontay, El Cousteau @ Vivarium
“MIKE is a quintessential old soul. The 24-year-old artist’s wisdom is evident in both his calm delivery and measured questioning, even if he doesn’t always understand the depth of his words until they’re written. ‘All of these random ideas come to my head, but always end up making sense after it’s done,’ the NY-based rapper-producer says about his method. Known for introspective, subtly profound rhymes that explore grief, family, and identity, and melt over muffled, soul-seasoned samples, MIKE’s signature sound returns matured and healthy on his eighth album Beware Of The Monkey.”

Milwaukee Tattoo Festival @ Baird Center (through April 28)
Not to be confused with Milwaukee Tattoo Arts Festival (which is happening at the Baird Center October 4-6), Milwaukee Tattoo Festival is a celebration of all things needles and ink that will offer “a selection of over 200 of the best artists from all over the world right here in Milwaukee for three days of tattooing, art making, merch selling, and much more.”

One World Music Festival (Celebrating The Evolution Of Hip Hop And R&B): RRE Chicken + 414 Big Frank, Jp, Joe Pablo, Coo Coo Cal, Dj Tge L Masi and Dj Fukemuptat @ The Riverside Theater

Country vs. Emo Night II: Keep For Cheap + Rat Bath, Tiny Voices, HOSTS @ Promises

Tigera + Weekend Run Club, Horace Greene, Peppers And Pineapples @ The Cooperage

Lost Orange Cat + Gin Mill Hollow @ Linneman’s Riverwest Inn

Friday Night Retro Mix Tape @ Mad Planet


The Sloppy Boys + Dear Blanca @ Cactus Club (early and late shows)
What iiiiiiiiiiiiiiis up?! Party-rock trio The Sloppy Boys—featuring accomplished television actors/writers and former members of The Birthday Boys sketch comedy troupe—make their Milwaukee debut at Cactus Club! Heads up: the early show (5 p.m.) is sold out!

Kevin Hart @ Miller High Life Theatre (also April 28)
Back in February, it was announced that stand-up comedy superstar Kevin Hart would be treating Miller High Life Theatre to an April 27 performance as part of his “Brand New Material” tour. Predictably, that show sold out instantly, leading to the addition of an April 28 show. Act fast or you’ll miss that one, too!

Sum 41 + The Interrupters, Joey Valence & Brae @ The Rave/Eagles Club
About a month before the release of their final album, Heaven :x: Hell, veteran Canadian pop-punk phenoms Sum 41 return to The Rave for one last Milwaukee performance.

Social Cig + Motel Breakfast, Duwayne & Micah Emrich, Well + Good @ Vivarium
“Born and brewed in Wisconsin, Social Cig is the ‘Indie-Skate-Rock’ music project of Parker Schultz. Consisting of contagious authenticity, cheery live shows, and cultivating an original story with an attitude of gratitude, Social Cig is creating full-circle moments. While leafing through US music scenes with an ambitious DIY approach and writing songs that capture a genuine outlook from a modern-day Midwest cowboy, Social Cig has become a well-rounded grassroots venture.”

Little Blue Crunchy Things @ Shank Hall (sold out)

Saetia + Meth, Lifes @ X-Ray Arcade (sold out)

Ripped To Shreds + Nucleus, To The Dogs, Horrid Mass @ Club Garibaldi

Y2K! All 2000s Dance Party!!! @ Mad Planet


Tiki Takedown @ Turner Hall Ballroom
“Take a break from the chilly spring weather with the Turner Hall Tiki Takedown, a unique drink competition with tropical drinks, beach vibes and sunshine-inspired music. The event is presented by Milwaukee Record with spirit sponsor Tiki Lovers. Local establishments will showcase their craft cocktail skills and create original tiki drinks for guests to sample and vote for their favorite. One lucky participant will win the coveted Tiki Takedown trophy and, of course, bragging rights. Returning champs and new faces will flex their mixology skills. Also featuring live DJ sets by DJ E.Rich. A limited number of VIP tickets are available, which include early entry for head start sampling, free pizza from Ian’s Pizza and a commemorative cup. Ian’s Pizza will be on site to provide pizza for purchase.”

Robot Witch + Faded Places, The Coves, Blue Moon Assault @ Miramar Theatre

Peter Mulvey & Susan Werner @ Vivarium

I Should Know This…: Vince Condella @ The Cooperage

Benefit For Carl Bogner @ Cactus Club

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