Milwaukee 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—brought to you by Lilliput Records—for January 15-21, 2024.


40th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration @ Marcus Performing Arts Center Uihlein Hall
“The Marcus Performing Arts Center in Milwaukee has celebrated Dr. King’s Birthday annually since 1984. The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration programming highlights the youth in our community who every year interpret Dr. King’s words through student contests. Winners will be showcased at a free celebration event held in the Marcus Performing Arts Center. The presentation is set to begin in Uihlein Hall at 4:00 pm. Immediately following the ceremony, there will be a free, one-hour concert featuring Anthony McGahee and Praise Motivated Choir. Parking is free in the Marcus Performing Arts Center parking garage across E. State Street. Theme: What Affects One…Affects All.”

Poets Monday: Matt Cook @ Linneman’s Riverwest Inn
“Milwaukee’s esteemed and longest-running poet’s open mic! Linneman’s opens at 7:00 pm at which time the sign-up list is put out! Poets Monday begins at 7:30pm. Featured reader usually goes on around 8:30pm. Tonight’s feature is Matt Cook!”


Chicken Wire Empire @ Nashville North
“Come on down to Milwaukee’s Nashville North for some weeknight fun with local bluegrass band CHICKEN WIRE EMPIRE, doing something a little different playing a FREE SHOW on a Tuesday for all you weekend warriors.”


The Springfield Connection @ 1840 Brewing Company (through January 21)
“Grab your Shary Bobbins umbrella and float on down to 1840 Brewing Company for a Simpsons-inspired pop-up. The Springfield Connection will feature art from local artists, themed trivia, games, contests, and of course, Simpsons-inspired beer. Stop by at any point during the week to take a photo at either of our themed photo booths. ‘We are excited to put the “Spring in Springfield” and bring some Simpsons flair to Bay View.’ said 1840 owner Kyle Vetter, ‘We’ll have two special beer releases, Fudd Lager and Stupid Sexy Saison to commemorate our inaugural pop up event.'”

Travis Scott: Utopia Tour Presents Circus Maximus @ Fiserv Forum
“Travis Scott is bringing the second leg of his record-breaking Utopia – Circus Maximus Tour to Fiserv Forum next Wednesday, Jan. 17! $2 from every ticket sold will go to Cactus Jack Foundation which is a 501(c)3 with a mission to uplift Houston youth through toy drives, scholarship programs to HBCU college students and fulfilling expenses for education and creative endeavors.”


Midweek Music: Ben Harold @ 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. The series will begin with a Ben Harold solo set on January 18 and wrap up with Next Paperback Hero on March 13. 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.

Kevn Kinney + Miles Nielsen @ Shank Hall
“Kevn Kinney is an acclaimed Rock and Folk singer, songwriter and performer most widely known as the founder and frontman of the Atlanta-based rock band Drivin N Cryin. An accomplished musician, poet, and painter, Kinney has released multiple critically-acclaimed recordings over his 30+ year professional career including the gold-certified album Fly Me Courageous. He is well-known for his collaborations with the Allman Brothers’ Warren Haynes, REM, and Grammy Award-winning producer Paul Ebersold, among others.”

Goldy The Ruler + Groupthink, Cronies Only @ X-Ray Arcade

Benefit For Palestine: Delicious Monsters + Dak DubBois, MIZZY, Ve9us @ Cactus Club


Starcadian + Immortal Girlfriend @ Dresden Castle
What’s better than seeing Milwaukee-based sibling synth duo Immortal Girlfriend? Seeing ’em open up for Starcadian! And what could be better than that? Seeing them both at a so-called “castle” in Cudahy. It’s safe to say opportunities like this don’t come around very often, so don’t miss it.

Riotnine + The Nile Club, Garden Home @ Shank Hall
There are times for asking questions and taking a measured stance, and times for simply picking a side. In the ongoing cultural and political war against the LGBTQIA community, Milwaukee screamo/post-hardcore group Riotnine makes its position crystal fucking clear. A band bio reads “transgender milwaukee skramz.” The trio’s fantastic debut EP is titled Death Before Detransition. There’s no “both sides have a point, actually” bullshit here.

The Hatchets (record release) + Caley Conway, Barely Civil @ Cactus Club
Cactus Club hosts an eclectic trio of excellent Milwaukee acts when The Hatchets release their long-awaited sophomore album. Caley Conway and Barely Civil round out this loaded local lineup.

DRAMA + Ric Wilson @ Turner Hall Ballroom
“DRAMA is a multicultural collaboration where the duo play to the complementary dynamics of their unlikely pairing by blurring the lines between R&B and dance-pop, heartbreak and bliss.”

The Breadmen (record release) + The November Criminals @ Company Brewing

Royal Mill (single release) + Midwestern Dirt @ Ope! Brewing Co.

Winter Gallery Night MKE @ various locations (also January 20)

2024 PubPass Milwaukee Kickoff

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


Napoleon Dynamite 20th Anniversary Cast Reunion @ The Pabst Theater
Has it really been 20 years since Napoleon Dynamite came out? Gosh! That cruel reminder of your mortality will be made slightly better with this live event featureing a screening of the film and a Q&A with the actors who played Napoleon, Pedro, and Uncle Rico.

Blue Unit + Control, Exit Statements @ The Sugar Maple

I Should Know This Featuring FM1021’s Jon Adler @ The Cooperage

Dreamhouse + The Keystones, Lilac & Lotus, Lake Drive, Hayden @ X-Ray Arcade

Chris Haise Band + Sam Ness & The Other Natural Flavors, Ben Mulwana @ Anodyne Walker’s Point Roastery

Fit For A King + The Devil Wears Prada, Counterparts, Avoid @ The Rave/Eagles Club

Apex Aura + Autumn Reverie, Faded Places @ Company Brewing

Failure To Launch @ Shank Hall

Shake It Off: A Taylor Swift Dance Party @ Mad Planet


Winterfest @ Boerner Botanical Gardens
Head over to “Milwaukee County’s Living Museum” and cure your winter blues at Boerner Botanical Gardens’ Winterfest. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., attendees can partake in indoor activities, guided winter walks, live music, free hot cocoa, and more seasonal fun in nearby Hales Corners.

North Warren + The Nile Club, Glowingtide, Odysseys @ Linneman’s Riverwest Inn

Rahill + Standstill @ Cactus Club

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