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 February 5-11, 2024.
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 6
SIN BAD + Chi Chi’s Restaurant, Iron Pizza @ Cactus Club
Has it really been five years since stellar Milwaukee rock/punk/power-pop group SIN BAD issued its final release and went on indefinite hiatus? It’s true! But SIN BAD is back! A “long-lost” four-song EP called It’s Final has finally seen the light of day five years after it was recorded. To celebrate the resurrection of the four excellent tracks, SIN BAD is reuniting for a one-off show. BE THERE.
WMSE’s Local/Live: Fight Dice @ Anodyne Walker’s Point Roastery
“Join us at Anodyne in Walker’s Point on Tuesday Feb. 6th, as Music Director Sid and Poundcake Punk’s DJ Maggie host another free, all-ages edition of Local/Live with Fight Dice! The post-punk/hardcore ensemble that brings the realms of fantasy, RPG, and D&D to life through their songs and soundscapes. Featuring members from a multitude of successful and respected bands (The Promise Ring, Braid, Devil’s Teeth, Tigernite, etc..) and the mind behind the beloved local chaos that is MONDO LUCHA!, Fight Dice provides a soundtrack for your battles and parties alike! Get ready to roll the dice and join them on a musical odyssey like no other.”
Rock Paper Scissors League @ Company Brewing
That’s right! Milwaukee has its own competitive Rock Paper Scissors league! Looking to throw down and match wits with your fellow Milwaukeeans? Looking to get goofy and compete for prizes and leaderboard bragging rights? Looking to try your hand at an “Avalanche” (throwing three Rocks in a row), a “Toolbox” (three Scissors), or a “Crescendo” (Paper, Scissors, Rock)? Then get yourself to Company Brewing!
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 7
Midweek Music: Roxie Beane @ Crafty Cow (Bay View)
Back in November, we wrapped up another autumn installment of our Midweek Music concert series at Crafty Cow’s Wauwatosa location. For winter, the concerts will take place at Crafty Cow’s location in Bay View on select Wednesday and Thursday nights. Once again, there will be NO COVER for these all-ages shows, which will 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 will offer $4 pints from Third Space Brewing during all Midweek Music concerts. They’ll also have a “Cheap Date” special, which includes two entrees, a starter, and a dessert for just $37. This week: the always fantastic Roxie Beane!
Daniel Romano’s Outfit + Lunde @ Cactus Club
“Daniel Romano’s Outfit is a Canadian indie rock band shrouded in mystery, and known for their high intensity live performances. The band, which has garnered a reputation as a powerhouse supergroup, is led by Daniel Romano and consists of Carson McHone, Tommy Major, Ian Ski Romano, and sound engineer Kenneth Roy Meehan.”
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 8
Willi Carlisle + Golden Shoals @ Cactus Club
“Willi Carlisle is a poet and a folk singer for the people, but his extraordinary gift for turning a phrase isn’t about high falutin’ pontificatin’; it’s about looking out for one another and connecting through our shared human condition. Born and raised on the Midwestern plains, Carlisle is a product of the punk to folk music pipeline that’s long fueled frustrated young men looking to resist. After falling for the rich ballads and tunes of the Ozarks, where he now lives, he began examining the full spectrum of American musical history. This insatiable stylistic diversity is obvious in his wildly raucous live performances, where songs range from sardonic trucker-ballads like “Vanlife” to the heartbreaking queer waltz “Life on the Fence,” to an existential talkin’ blues about a panic attack in Walmart’s aisle five.”
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 9
Rat Bath + Excuse Me Who Are You?, Olivia And The Lovers, Okay Omen, DJ Slingshot @ Cactus Club
If Rat Bath was a video game, it would be a video game loaded with (free!) DLC. The Milwaukee group’s debut album, 2022’s Rat From Hell, wasn’t just an opening level of cowpunk, queercore, and self-described “y’allternative” tunes, but a fully realized concept album about a witch defeating a trauma-signifying demon. The DLC is even more pronounced on Rat Bath’s 2023 album Call Me A Monster. First of all, Monster is a queer dual-character “murder country rock opera” about a star-crossed vampire (Susanna) and time-traveler (Cadence). Second of all, the lead-up to the record came complete with a DIY alternate reality game of in-character journal entries hidden throughout the city, secret prizes, and mind-bending lore. If you’re a fan of collecting and obsessing over every single note, letter, and audio log in an 80-hour video game, Call Me A Monster is for you.
WMSE’s Art & Music @ The Pritzlaff Building
For six years, WMSE’s Art & Music has combined, well, art and music for a one-of-a-kind event. At the center is an auction of hundreds of album-sized, 12″ x 12″ pieces of original art from local and national artists. Toss in live music and WMSE’s own DJs, and you’ve got—once again—Art & Music! This year’s event will be no different; the 7th annual Art & Music will feature album-sized works from a wide range of creatives. And then there’s the music. Enjoy a live performance by the inimitable Nineteen Thirteen. The auction went live online on January 29.
Railroad Earth @ Turner Hall Ballroom
“The New Jersey quintet Railroad Earth chronicle the twists and turns of the journey of their seventh album All For The Song through eloquent songcraft, bluegrass soul, and rock ‘n’ roll spirit. For over two decades, Railroad Earth has captivated audiences with gleefully unpredictable live shows and eloquent and elevated studio output.”
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 10
The Record Company @ Turner Hall Ballroom
We all know about The Record Company by this point. The Grammy-nominated band that’s fronted by Milwaukee ex-pat Chris Vos previously sold out Turner Hall and is now ready to return to town for another go-round in the downtown ballroom.
Cheap Trick (Milwaukee Admirals Post Game Concert) @ UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena
How often do you get to see a band that’s in the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame perform on the ice after an AHL game? Unless Pat McCurdy and Tesla were secretly inducted, we’d guess the opportunity doesn’t come around very often. After the red hot Admirals take on the Texas Stars, all fans in attendance can enjoy a performance by the legendary Cheap Trick. Make it your…goal to be there.
Milwaukee Comic Con @ Wisconsin State Fair Park
Behold! Dozens of comics, collectibles, characters, and more will be on hand at the Wisconsin State Fairgrounds during the Milwaukee Comic Convention!
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 11
Jady + Emmett Mulrooney, Colin Bracewell, Secret Menu @ Cactus Club
“Emmett Mulrooney is an 18-year-old artist from Milwaukee, Wisconsin whose indie, bedroom pop sound is one that’s attracting attention from around the globe. Emmett has been in love with music since childhood, and draws inspiration from artists ranging from John Mayer, to Omar Apollo, to Mac Miller, to Mac Demarco, and more. His unique guitar-driven tracks are care-free anthems that only spread the best of energy, something truly special. Emmett’s goal as an artist is to build connection and share his passion with his devoted fanbase, which encompasses his future plans, including many more songs, videos, and performances.”