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 February 20-26, 2023.
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 21
Skillet + Theory Of A Deadman, Saint Asonia @ The Rave/Eagles Ballroom
What do you get when you combine long-running Christian rock band Skillet with long-running Canadian rock band Theory Of A Deadman? A co-headlining “Rock Resurrection” tour, that’s what. “We are so excited to be touring with our friends from Theory again!” says Skillet’s John Cooper. “It’s been several years since our last tour together, and this time we are also joined by our friends in Saint Asonia. We are looking forward to kicking off 2023 the right way by joining forces for a super-charged rock show! Panheads get ready!” Just don’t ask Cooper about that naughty Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion song!
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 22
Milwaukee Record Presents: The Little Rascals @ Avalon Theater
The 1994 version of The Little Rascals finds Spanky and the rest of the “He-Man Woman Hater’s Club” suddenly at odds with their pal Alfalfa when the latter takes an interest in Darla. Over the course of the film’s 82-minute runtime, viewers encounter a clubhouse fire, a soap box derby race, and a wealth of gags and goofs from a talented cast of child actors that folks of all ages will enjoy. The kid-friendly flick also features cameos from the likes of Mel Brooks, Lea Thompson, Daryl Hannah, Reba McEntire, Whoopi Goldberg, and (ugh) someone else you’re going to recognize.
Haunter + Kid Fears, Ellie Jackson @ Promises
“Wash your feet in a bucket of rock salt / Don’t be surprised by what comes off / It’s your skin!” Those lines come from “Shiba Beanu,” the opening track of Haunter’s latest LP, Fieldy. The song is emblematic of both the Milwaukee group’s sound—cacophonous, crashing, pleasingly plodding, pretty—and its droll lyrical sensibilities. Not that Fieldy is all noise and random references. “Fieldy” the song also includes some lovely falsetto “sha-la-la”s courtesy of Elizabeth Blood. Album highlight “Looking Back At You” is a beautifully rendered ode to the confusion of heartbreak. The delicate “High” gets by with only ethereal backing vocals and a dream-like vibe. Five-minute closer “Voodoo Trailer” comes close to resembling an up-tempo pop song, albeit an up-tempo pop-song with a hazy overcast and occasional bursts of distorted guitars.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 23
Midweek Music: Chrissy Dzioba Clobes @ Crafty Cow MKE
Instead of making you wait until spring before our Midweek Music series continues, Crafty Cow is warming up your winter by bringing the free concert series back for seven more shows spread throughout the months of January, February, and March.
This time around, the concerts will take place at Crafty Cow’s location in Bay View. Another major change is the shows will now happen on Thursday nights instead of Wednesdays. Thursday also happens to be Crafty Cow’s Burger Night, with discounts offered on build-your-own cheeseburgers. As usual, pints of Indeed Brewing Company beer will be available for only $4 during all Midweek Music shows. The series continues tonight with music from the one-and-only Chrissy Dzioba Clobes—she of the one-and-only Whiskeybelles.
Greensky Bluegrass + Daniel Donato’s Cosmic Country @ The Riverside Theater
Almost exactly a year removed from their last headlining appearance at Riverside Theater, veteran Kalamazoo-based Americana outfit Greensky Bluegrass will return to the historic venue (where they also helped ring in 2020 with a New Year’s Eve show) to play songs from the band’s just-released Courage For The Road: Fall 2021 live record, and probably lots of cuts from their other eight studio albums as well.
Rust Ring (record release) + Rat Bath, Brave You, Okay Omen @ X-Ray Arcade
In addition to her work as a member of Direct Hit! and Devon Kay & The Solutions, Joram Zbichorski also fronts a so-called “Drop C Emo Band” called Rust Ring. Tonight, Zbichorski and her Rust Ring cohorts celebrate the release of their new album, North To The Future. Rat Bath, Brave You, and Okay Omen will join Rust Ring to further cement this show as a can’t-miss event.
Whiskey And The Devil + Looks Can Kill, Smoke Free Home, Bad Year @ Cactus Club
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24
Brady Street Bluegrass Ball: Chicken Wire Empire @ Nashville North
If you’re still looking for a bluegrass fix after Thursday’s Greensky Bluegrass show, why not shop local? Hometown favorites Chicken Wire Empire will throw a “Brady Street Bluegrass Ball” at country-tinged venue Nashville North. Back in 2020, the five-piece released a pair of live albums, Live From Deutschland Vol. 1 and 2.
Neil deGrasse Tyson: An Astrophysicist Goes To The Movies, The Sequel @ The Riverside Theater
Entertaining and informative, or pedantic and petty? Decide for yourself when astrophysicist Neal deGrasse Tyson once again dissects the science—or lack thereof—of movies. “Derived from yet another set of thirty films that range from My Cousin Vinny to Star Trek to Bruce Almighty to Back To The Future to Interstellar to Shrek, this lecture is an entertaining and enlightening review of all the science that our favorite movies got wrong, combined with some of the stuff they got right.”
Penn & Teller’s “The Foolers” @ The Pabst Theater
No, Penn and Teller won’t be at this show. Instead, expect an “interactive and irreverent evening” featuring illusionists who have fooled P&T on their Fool Us show. “In addition to bringing Vegas-caliber modern magic to cities across the U.S., master magicians Alex Ramon, Jessica Jane, Matt Donnelly and Vinny Grosso, collectively known as ‘The Foolers’ pay homage to the classic magic of Penn & Teller.”
Vinyl Williams + Dendrons, Garrett Waite, DJ Apollo Vermouth @ Cactus Club
Blue Country Pistol + Rainbow Cobra, Donnie Echo @ X-Ray Arcade
The Rural Alberta Advantage @ Shank Hall
Mark Adams + Ivan Eisenberg (Pay The Devil), Sam Balistreri, Wylie Jakobs @ Bremen Cafe
Cripes + Lake Drive @ High Dive
Adult Spelling Bee @ The Cooperage
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 25
Cafuné + Bathe @ Cactus Club
Sedona Schat and Noah Yoo formed dreamy indie-pop band Cafuné in 2014 after meeting at New York University. A slew of singles, 2021’s excellent Running LP, and TikTok fame have followed. For best results, see them in the cozy confines of Milwaukee’s own Cactus Club.
Doormouse + The Demix, DJ Speedsick, Speaker Kreatures @ X-Ray Arcade (early and late shows)
What’s better than one set from Midwest electronic legend Doormouse? Two sets, of course. Yes, Doormouse will drop in from his current home in Miami Beach to headline an all-ages show at 5:30 p.m., and a 21+ show at 9:30 p.m.
Alternative Radio + Billy Russo, Jason Vargas & The Apollos @ Bremen Cafe
Milwaukee’s love affair with its late-’70s, early-’80s rock scene is well-documented and well-earned. Bands like The Haskels ruled, full stop. Looking for a modern take on that classic Milwaukee sound? Then look no further than Alternative Radio. (The band. Not the radio format.) Alternative Radio has released numerous singles, EPs, and LPs since 2019, but the new Kicking Down The Door EP may be our favorite. Opener “Two Young Lovers” is an atmospheric dance-punk ditty that ends with a bit of spoken word. “Kamikaze Love” ups the strut and attitude, while “Black Sheep (II)” wears its early-CBGB influence on its sleeve and spikes it with some swirling organ.
Panalure (record release) + Liv Sings @ Anodyne Walker’s Point Roastery
Chuck Prophet & The Mission Express + Louie & The Flashbombs @ Shank Hall
Winter Warmer Concert Series: John Stano @ The Tonic Tavern
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 26
Wückfinter @ Ray’s Wine & Spirits
Prepare to wage war on the winter doldrums outside of Ray’s Wine & Spirits. From noon to 5 p.m., the event—which is an exclusively outdoor affair—will allow patrons to indulge in tons of 3 Floyds beer (including some rarities TBA) and a one-day-only 3 Floyds boozie slushie. Beyond the beer offerings, Ray’s parking lot and parts of 89th and 90th streets will host an impressive cast of food vendors and a DJ-curated playlist. It’s going to be a Wücking awesome day in the Rayborhood.
Adorner + Moonglow, Sleepersound @ Cactus Club
When it comes to music, “psychedelic” often means “loud, distorted, and reverb-drenched.” But there’s another psych world out there, a psych world where the volume is turned down and the lights are dimmed, and where soul-baring vocals cut through the air. That’s the realm occupied by Milwaukee’s Adorner. Formed in late 2020, the band specializes in “indie rock with a poetic disposition, combining psychedelic edge with soulful emotion.” That description proves apt on a self-titled EP released in 2022. The five-song Adorner opens with a loose and hypnotic mix of piano and heartbeat-drums. The track, “Sand,” then slows down a bit and gives way to the stellar and deeply felt vocals of Madeline Stadel. “I feel that the Earth is made of sand” she sings on the song’s chorus before things swell and swirl off into a psychedelic haze. It’s a sound that’s easy to get lost in.
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