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 May 27 – June 2, 2024.


Echo & The Bunnymen + Via Mardot @ The Pabst Theater (sold out)
“One of the most influential British bands in modern history returns to Milwaukee! Echo & the Bunnymen’s dark, swirling fusion of gloomy post-punk and psychedelia is driven by the majestic voice and outsized persona of singer Ian McCulloch and the frequently brilliant guitar work of Will Sergeant.”

BLVCK HIPPIE + Known Moons, No Parking @ Cactus Club


Milwaukee Record Presents: Back To The Future Part II @ Avalon Atmospheric Theater
We’re going back to the Back To The Future franchise and screening 1989’s Back To The Future Part II at Avalon Theater. Great Scott! Part II is a deeply weird movie, right? Multiple timelines, a theme-park vision of the future, a hell-on-Earth vision of the (alternate) present, hoverboards, almanacs, self-drying jackets, and characters going back into the events of the first movie and running into their past-past selves. Back To The Future II doesn’t have the not-a-moment-wasted perfection of the first one, but it’s a dizzying blast nonetheless. Plus (spoiler for a 35-year-old movie), it ends on a cliffhanger!

CONVERT + Dry Wedding, Highlonesome @ Cactus Club


Andrew Bird + Elizabeth Moen @ The Pabst Theater
“Andrew Bird is an internationally acclaimed, Grammy-nominated multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, whistler, and songwriter who picked up his first violin at the age of four and spent his formative years soaking up classical repertoire completely by ear. Since beginning his recording career in 1997, Bird has released 17 albums and performed extensively across the globe. He has recorded with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, appeared as ‘Dr. Stringz’ on Jack’s Big Music Show, and headlined concerts at Carnegie Hall, Sydney Opera House, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Red Rocks Amphitheater, and festivals worldwide.” (And don’t forget about the in-store signing session at Lilliput Records earlier in the afternoon!)

Crooked Teeth + Unturned @ Shank Hall
“California trio Crooked Teeth offer a unique blend of eclectic yet gratifying mixture of pop punk, emo, and alternative sounds to engage the listener with thought-provoking lyrics. The band, formed in 2016, is comprised of Tyson Evans, Adam Miranda, and Adam Galindo.”

Moonroof + Barely Civil, Lake Drive, 5 PM To Nowhere @ X-Ray Arcade

Lizzie No + HOSTS, Humility Puppets @ Cactus Club

Stone Theory + The Taxmen, Shell Bells, Adorner @ Linneman’s Riverwest Inn

Downtown Dining Week @ various locations (through June 6)

Femme Punk Record Spin: DJ Spero @ Last Rites


Festa Italiana @ Henry Maier Festival Park (through June 2)
For the first time since 2019, Milwaukee festival staple Festa Italiana returns to the Summerfest grounds. And there’s more: the summertime staple is now the first big lakefront festival of the year! “As we did many years ago with the inaugural Festa Italiana, we will kick off Milwaukee’s ethnic festivals this summer,” reads a recent press release. “Our ‘Little Italy on the Lakefront’ will feature Festa favorites including the Cucina Showcase, Heritage/Cultural Exhibit, Italian Idol, Fireworks, Bocce Tournament, Mass, Entertainment, and of course, lots of Italian food and wine. We’re looking forward to returning to Henry W. Maier Festival Park, and can’t wait to have you join us in celebrating all things Italian.”

Bay View Gallery Night @ various locations
Since 2011, Bay View Gallery Night has organized “Milwaukee’s largest annual celebration of art, local business, music, and community.” The massive neighborhood-wide event brings together talented area artists and musicians, along with an eclectic mix of Milwaukee bars, restaurants and retailers for a large-scale happening that has quickly become a part of the Bay View tradition. It’s free. It’s fun. It’s locally focused. What more can you ask for? Well, how about the Bay View Jazz Fest, which will once again take place in conjunction with Bay View Gallery Night?

Daniel James Gang + Smart Shoppers, Chi-Chi’s Restaurant @ Bremen Cafe
Back in January 2023, longtime Milwaukee glam/punk/power/sleaze-pop group Indonesian Junk called it quits. “It’s been a great 8 1/2 years playing with Mike, Johnny, and all of the other amazing people who have been in and out of this band,” said singer-songwriter Daniel James in a statement. “There’s no bad blood or anything, we’re all cool with each other and just decided that it was time.” James has been plenty busy since, releasing new material with punk band Chinese Telephones and playing out with the political-minded World In Action. Oh, and he’s revived his long-dormant solo project, The Daniel James Gang. A recently released single, “Misery,” will certainly resonate with Indonesian Junk fans.

Lunar Moth (record release) + Bug Moment, Shoobie, The Nile Club @ Linneman’s Riverwest Inn

Benefit for Carl Bogner: Cumbia Dance Night @ Cactus Club

Delta Sleep + Macseal, Spilly Cave @ X-Ray Arcade (sold out)

The Box Band + Valley Fox @ Company Brewing

Friday Night Retro Dance Party: ’90s By Nature @ Mad Planet


Ladybird (record release, early and late shows) @ Cactus Club
Milwaukee’s preeminent good-time country band, Ladybird, has been kicking since 2021, releasing EPs filled with lounge car love songs, honky tonk mamas, and redneck raceways. The group’s first proper LP, however, is a slightly more mature affair. Amy Come On Home opens with the gorgeous “Audrey’s Garden,” a song that broods on the passage of time and the toll it takes on us all. Elsewhere, singer Pete McDermott expertly conjures up characters running from their pasts, getting into scrapes, and drinking in the corner of the bar. There’s still plenty of time for raucous fun, though, as evidenced by shit-kicking rave-ups like “Rollin’ & Ramblin'” and “Short King Shuffle.” Tonight, Ladybird celebrates the release of Amy Come On Home with not one, but two release shows. The early show will feature support from Long Mama; the late show, Joseph Huber and Maximiano.

Ravi/Lola (record release) + Spidora, Dialogues @ Linneman’s Riverwest Inn
Back in 2019, Milwaukee psychedelic pop band Ravi/Lola released Neighborhood Daydream, a charming concept album that contained odes to local mail carriers, little libraries, and even Milwaukee history guru John Gurda. Now, five years later, the band has returned with another concept album of sorts, The Journalist. But don’t expect a record filled with the pros and cons of the Oxford comma. “What happens when we open our mind to all possibilities? Can we stretch the truth in order to create a world we need?” asks the band in a press release. “The Journalist explores one person’s conflicted actions through a world of imagination and whimsical sounds of passion and time.”

Julia Blair + Mark Waldoch, Call Me Spinster, Chelsea Tadeyeske @ Var Gallery
“Julia Blair released her first album, Better Out Than In, on Crutch of Memory Enterprises in the spring of 2022. She’s following it up with her forthcoming sophomore album, All My Important Things. Julia has been called ‘the Carole King of our time’ – Graham Hunt. She weaves her ‘smooth country soul alto’ – Pitchfork, together with razor sharp, heart-exposed lyrics, dense vocal arrangements and a rhythmic pop soul feel. She often leaves her listeners both heard and seen. She lives in Appleton, WI and also plays in the band DUSK.”

AlleyEYES (single release) + The Keystones, North Warren @ Mad Planet

Milwaukee Highland Games @ Croatian Park

Wisconsin Beer Lovers Festival @ Bayshore

Sippin’ & Strummin’ With The Chicken Shack @ Great Lakes Distillery & Tasting Room

2nd Anniversary Party @ Ope! Brewing Co.

5 O’Clock Charlie + Lefty Luci, Robot Witch @ X-Ray Arcade


FearDorian + Kuru, Kill.Dawn, HeartstopMiami, Angelus @ Cactus Club
“FearDorian floats dreamy Midwest emo samples into FL Studio, pairing them with brittle jerk production to create an alternative spin to today’s underground sound. As a go-to producer for Polo Perks, AyooLii and Xaviersobased, the Atlanta artist emerged in 2024 as a vocalist in his own right, recently releasing his self-titled debut album to rave reviews.”

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