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 January 23-29, 2023.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 25
Milwaukee Record Presents: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles @ Avalon Theater
Hey dude, this is no cartoon: we’re screening the 1990 live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film at the Avalon Atmospheric Theater! And, well, sorry, it’s sold out! Cowabunga anyway!
Ani DiFranco + Peter Mulvey, SistaStrings @ Pabst Theater
While a performance from Grammy-winning musician, human rights advocate, and all-around icon Ani DiFranco is great enough on its own, this Pabst Theater performance is rendered even more special with the involvement of homegrown openers Peter Mulvey and SistaStrings (who released a collaborative album on DiFranco’s Righteous Babe Records last year).
THURSDAY, JANUARY 26
Midweek Music: Sugar Bush @ 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 (2675 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.). 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 the bluegrass stylings of Sugar Bush.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 27
Rhett Miller + Courtney Jaye @ The Back Room @ Colectivo
Americana legend Rhett Miller has been a member of Old 97’s for 30 years and, along the way, he’s released eight solo albums. Miller’s latest album, The Misfit, came out about two weeks before the 97’s played The Rave in September. Tonight, the well-traveled troubadour returns to Milwaukee to play songs off that record, cuts from his numerous other solo releases, Old 97’s material, and more.
Sleepersound + Dramatic Lovers, Moritat @ X-Ray Arcade
If you’re in the market for a night of homegrown dream-pop, look no further than this X-Ray Arcade show. Idle Voices, the latest full-length release from local four-piece Sleepersound, is filled with expertly sculpted soundscapes and ethereal instrumental jams. Dramatic Lovers, meanwhile, boasts former members of bands like Decibully, The Promise Ring, and Temper Temper; the group released the fantastic You Talk Loud in 2019. Chicago’s Moritat opens.
Ladybird (EP release) + Boy Howdy, Hosts @ Promises
In the video for the new “Lounge Car Love Song,” Ladybird singer Pete Freeman and pals hop aboard the ol’ Amtrak (headed from Milwaukee to Columbus), set up shop in the observation/lounge car, and sing about the unlikely connections one can make while riding the rails. The good-time Milwaukee country band celebrates the release of a new EP tonight.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 28
2nd Annual Bluegrass Winter Heater: The MilBillies + Mama Said String Band, Buffalo Galaxy @ Anodyne Walker’s Point Roastery
Though it’s happening in the dead of winter, the Bluegrass Winter Heater will make Anodyne’s Walker’s Point Roastery warm and toasty with tunes from a trio of great bluegrass bands. The second annual affair will feature performances by Buffalo Galaxy from Minnesota, Mama Said String Band out of Kentucky, and a headlining set from The MilBillies from—you guessed it!—Milwaukee.
Ice Bear Fest @ Third Space Brewing
Third Space Brewing’s Ice Bear Fest returns! From noon to 5 p.m., the Menomonee Valley brewery will host “an epic ’80s Après ski party” in its beer garden to celebrate its tasty seasonal Baltic porter. In addition to the abundance of Ice Bear on hand, the winter affair will feature DJs playing ’80s jams, food trucks, shotskis, and more.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 29
SPINE + World I Hate, Snuffed, Livid, Chalk @ Cactus Club
It Will Be Loud at this all-ages Sunday night Cactus Club show. Hailing from Kansas City, SPINE “takes a unique perspective on the genre, fusing late 80’s youth crew inspired punk such as Youth of Today and fuses it with the grit influenced by bands such as Despise You and Think I Care.” Local hardcore band World I Hate released the punishing Collapse in 2021, while Kenosha-based duo Livid unleashed Compiled Hatred on the world in late 2022. Tonight’s show is rounded out by two Chicago groups, Snuffed and Chalk.
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