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 June 12-18, 2023.


The Flaming Lips @ Riverside Theater
Along with 1999’s Soft Bulletin, 2002’s Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots elevated The Flaming Lips from quirky ’90s oddities to (still-quirky) 21st century stars. It’s easy to see/hear why: “Fight Test,” “Do You Realize??” “All We Have Is Now,” and the title track are all gorgeous psych-rock creations, and among the best songs ever devised by Wayne Coyne and company. So wouldn’t it be great to hear the band play the entirety of Yoshimi live in concert? Well, it’s happening tonight!

Chill On The Hill: Joseph Huber + Pulpa de Guayaba @ Humboldt Park
Chill On The Hill’s 18th season features 13 weeks of free, family-friendly entertainment. The concert series continues tonight with a headlining set by the always great Jospeh Huber. Like the past two years, Chill has expanded its footprint by designating the space between the band chalet and the Vine Beer Garden for show-goers. The park road is also closed between Howell Avenue and Idaho Street on Tuesdays to allow more space for food vendors and guests. Music begins at 6:30 p.m.

Powerwagon + Darsombra, Spidora @ Cactus Club

Louis Tomlinson + The Academic, snarls @ BMO Pavilion


Milwaukee Night Market @ West Wisconsin Avenue between 2nd Street and Vel R. Phillips Avenue
“The 2023 Night Markets will be held on June 14, July 19, August 16 and September 13 from 5 to 10 p.m. on West Wisconsin Avenue between 2nd Street and Vel R. Phillips Avenue. This year, the event footprint has expanded to include 2nd Street between Wells Street and Michigan Street, adding nearly 20 more vendor booths. The diverse lineup of vendors features a variety of artists, restaurateurs, farmers, crafters and makers of all sorts that will showcase their talents to the estimated 30,000 attendees each night.”

CupcakKe + Zed Kenzo, bdwthr, DJ DR!PSweat @ Cactus Club (sold out)
“Bold and outspoken Chicago rapper CupcakKe achieved viral success and critical acclaim with her brazen, unapologetically explicit songs and videos that channeled the likes of Lil Kim, Foxy Brown, and Gangsta Boo. Her work explores sexuality in graphic detail, and while many of her songs are humorous and playful, she has more serious, introspective material that deals with sexual abuse (“Pedophile”), racial issues (“Picking Cotton”), and LGBTQ empowerment (“Crayons”). She debuted in 2016 with a pair of raunchy EPs and a full-length, Audacious, following with the critically acclaimed Queen Elizabitch (2017) and Ephorize (2018).”

Argopelter + Caley Conway @ Boone & Crockett
Argopelter is an improvised experimental trio composed of Barry Paul Clark (bass), Devin Drobka (drums), and Christopher Porterfield (guitar). The group’s frequent residencies at Boone & Crockett are always appointment viewing/listening, especially when coupled with incomparable singer-songwriter Caley Conway. The musicians’ summer residency kicks off tonight with a weather-permitting patio show. Hey weather! Permit!

Jolie Holland + Long Mama @ The Back Room @ Colectivo


Eyelids + Model Citizen, Dramatic Lovers @ Cactus Club
“Eyelids’ new album, A Colossal Waste of Light, does an excellent job of framing the quintet as one of today’s most compelling purveyors of lopsided guitar pop workouts and earworm-laden vocal melodies. It also proves that great guitar pop can still evoke favorites from a glorious past – the penetrating moodiness of XTC’s Black Sea, or R.E.M.’s Fables of the Reconstruction, comes to mind – while refusing to waste time on idle nostalgia. Whether it’s ‘Swinging in the Circus’ with its poignant musings on both stage fright and feeling like you don’t measure up, or the breezy Drums and Wires anthemic pop of ‘They Said So’, A Colossal Waste of Light speaks of and to the present, a time when light and dark can’t help but feel firmly intertwined.”

Meshell Ndegeocello @ The Riverside Theater
“Acclaimed GRAMMY-winning multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter MESHELL NDEGEOCELLO makes her Blue Note Records debut with The Omnichord Real Book, a visionary, expansive, and deeply jazz-influenced album that marks the start of a new chapter in her trailblazing career. Following her 2018 covers album Ventriloquism, Meshell returns with an album of new original material that taps into a broad spectrum of her musical roots.”

Third Space Presents: as Oak @ Third Space Brewing

Adorner + Animal Panic 5PM To Nowhere @ The Cooperage

Safari Room + Barely Civil, Okay Omen @ Shank Hall

Jazz In The Park: Altered Five Blues Band @ Cathedral Square Park

Big Beat MKE @ Jackalope Lounj


Pansy Division + Bev Rage & The Drinks, Rat Bath @ X-Ray Arcade
Tonight at X-Ray Arcade, the groundbreaking queercore pioneers in Pansy Division will play material from their influential seven-album, 30-year career. Joining “the first openly gay rock band” is Bev Rage & The Drinks, as well as lauded local outfit Rat Bath.

Lakefront Festival Of Art @ Milwaukee Art Museum (through June 18)
Following a three-year pandemic pause, the ever-popular Lakefront Festival of Art returns to the grounds of the Milwaukee Art Museum this weekend. As always, the festival “”showcases the work of 120 artists from across the nation selected by an expert jury that evaluated the beauty, creativity, and technical virtuosity of their paintings, ceramics, textiles, metalwork, jewelry, sculpture, and more.” Food, drink, and family-friendly art projects are also involved.

Sam Tallent @ The Laughing Tap (also June 17)
Colorado comedian Sam Tallent has toured relentlessly across North America and Europe, amassed TV credits on Comedy Central and Viceland, and his debut novel (Running The Light) has garnered favorable reviews from literary critics and inspired kind words from fellow comics like Marc Maron and Ron White. Tallent also holds the distinction of headlining The Laughing Tap’s first weekend in business. Now, he returns to the Walker’s Point club he helped christen in very early 2020 for a trio of performances running June 16-17.

CupcakKe + Zed Kenzo, bdwthr, DJ DR!PSweat @ Cactus Club

Ellie Jackson + Dandy L. Freling, Kati Katchever @ Linneman’s Riverwest Inn

Cullah + Resurrectionists, Lorenzo’s Music @ Anodyne Walker’s Point Roastery

Certified Trapper @ The Rave/Eagles Club

Kilbourn + crimesXnature, Sleepersound @ Club Garibaldi

WMSE’s Friday Night Freak Show: One Crazy Summer @ Times Cinema


Summer Soulstice Music Festival @ North & Farwell
When Summer Soulstice returns to the East Side this Saturday, it’ll be similar to the 2022 setup, though a third stage—on Farwell—will be added to the mix. (And yes, the Black Cat Alley DJ/dance party will return.) As always, oodles of food, drink, arts and crafts, and vendors will also be involved. There’ll be an Adventure Rock climbing wall! There’ll be mini-golf from Nine Below! The action will run from noon until midnight! HERE’S the musical lineup for the three stages, plus Black Cat Alley!

Brady Street Art Walk @ Brady Street
“Curated by Brett Waterhouse, owner of Grove Gallery, the Brady St BID is excited to feature some of Milwaukee’s finest artists in this 1-day art extravaganza. Come walk up and down Brady and see talented artists in action! Artists will line the sidewalks of Brady Street, creating and selling their art. Grab a drink or a meal and enjoy walking Brady Street in this relaxed and fun event!”

Milwaukee Hardcore Summer Jam Vol. 2 @ X-Ray Arcade

Milwaukee Taco Fest @ Henry Maier Festival Park

Wisconsin Beer Lovers Festival @ Bayshore

Kind Oasis 3-Year Anniversary Festival @ Kind Oasis

Ayre In The Square @ Catalano Square

Circle Jerks + Descendents, Adolescents @ The Rave/Eagles Club

THICK + Crooked Teeth, Overhand @ Cactus Club


The John Doe Folk Trio + Liv Mueller @ Shank Hall
“The John Doe Folk Trio is the latest project from the X frontman. Formed in his home of Austin, TX, the trio recorded Doe’s latest album “Fables In a Foreign Land” and consists of Doe, bassist Kevin Smith (Willie Nelson) and drum Conrad Choucron (NRBQ).”

Chillout Sessions: Keith Sweaty + Apollo Vermouth, Phillip Engsberg @ Cactus Club

Oddysseys + Chapped Lips, Alley Eyes, Socially Suspect @ Cactus Club

Milwaukee Makers Market @ Discovery World

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