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 June 6-12, 2022.
MONDAY, JUNE 6
PUP + Oceanator @ Turner Hall Ballroom
A couple months after the release of PUP’s fourth album, THE UNRAVELING OF PUPTHEBAND, the Canadian pop-punk quartet returns to Turner Hall to play in support of that new record and dip into rousing selections from their three can’t-miss predecessors. “For this album,” the band says, “PUP incorporated more instruments (piano, synths, and horns) than they have in their past albums. PUP also collaborated with Sarah Tudzin of Illuminati Hotties, Erik Paulson of Remo Drive, and more.”
TUESDAY, JUNE 7
Chill On The Hill: The LOL + Fun Bois, Black Challenger, Grim Paddle @ Humboldt Park
Chill On The Hill’s 17th season will feature 13 weeks of free, family-friendly entertainment. Like last year, Chill will expand its footprint by designating the space between the band chalet and the Vine Beer Garden for show-goers. The ever-popular concert series kicks off tonight with “The Lauryl Sulfate Show,” featuring The LOL, Fun Bois, Black Challenger, and Grim Paddle. Go find your lawn chairs, break out your comfiest blanket, and put some beverages in the cooler.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 8
Archers + Gold Steps, Tiny Voices, In Cursive @ X-Ray Arcade
If you’re looking for a night of nothing but Wisconsin music under one Cudahy roof, look no further than this X-Ray Arcade show. Polished-to-a-shine metalcore Madison band Archers headlines the bill, preceded by Milwaukee’s Gold Steps and In Cursive, as well as Oshkosh pop-punk/emo outfit Tiny Voices.
THURSDAY, JUNE 9
The Recombobulation Area Presents: A Conversation With Cavalier Johnson @ Boone & Crockett
It’s only been two months since Cavalier Johnson became mayor of Milwaukee. In that time, the city has, well, seen its shares of ups and downs. What will the next few years bring? Hell, what will the next few weeks bring? Find out when The Recombobulation Area’s Dan Shafer chats with Mayor Johnson live at Boone & Crockett.
Third Space Presents: Telethon @ Third Space Brewing
Every Thursday between June 9 and September 15, “Third Space Presents” will bring a different musical act to the Menomonee Valley brewery’s new and improved outdoor patio. The free weekly series kicks off with Telethon. In addition to the concert (which runs from 6-8 p.m., including an intermission) and plenty of award-winning local beer on-site, Triciclo Peru will be on hand to serve empanadas and other Peruvian goodies out of its food truck.
Nineteen Thirteen @ Anodyne Walker’s Point Roastery
Nineteen Thirteen is a group that’s more normal than its two-person lineup may suggest—and one that’s much, much weirder. On one hand, founding Violent Femmes drummer Victor DeLorenzo and cellist Janet Schiff produce surprisingly accessible music, especially considering the musicians play the drums and a 100-year-old cello, respectively. On the other hand, Schiff’s cello is often processed through a dizzying array of effects pedals, DeLorenzo’s occasional cool-cat vocals seem beamed in from another dimension, and the overall effect is akin to listening to a band crash the Roadhouse from Twin Peaks. It’s familiar, but it’s also slightly off-center.
Rat Bath + Crawlspace, A Day Without Love @ Quarters Rock ‘n’ Roll Palace
Rat Bath has been scampering around the Milwaukee music scene since 2019, specializing in what the band calls “spooky country core.” That sound is certainly on display throughout the group’s debut LP, Rat From Hell. The 11-track record careens between noisy, full-barrel cow punk and chaotic, witchy hardcore, with everything in between. (A few quieter moments, and a guest appearance from Johanna Rose, are also included.) It’s a wild ride, and it’s one of the best Milwaukee albums of the year.
FRIDAY, JUNE 10
Polish Fest @ Henry Maier Festival Park (through June 12)
Milwaukee has the fourth-largest Polish population in the U.S., so it’s no surprise that the annual Polish Fest bills itself as America’s largest. Traditional Polish cuisine and culture are on the menu for the 39th annual fest (and first since 2019), along with polka, perogies, more polka, fireworks, somehow more polka, and beer.
Milwaukee Boat Line Concert Cruise: Max & The Invaders @ Milwaukee Boat Line
Despite the dozens of festivals, block parties, and weekly outdoor music series taking place on Milwaukee soil every summer, Milwaukee Boat Line sees fit to extend the city’s celebratory spirit to the water with its annual Concert Cruise series. Every Friday night between early June and the end of August, a variety of Wisconsin bands board the Vista King to perform on the lake vessel’s poop deck while the beer and pre-mixed margaritas flow liberally from 9-11 p.m. The 2022 season kicks off with Max & The Invaders.
Illustrating The Old Testament Book Release: Astral Hand + Mortgage Freeman, Adoptahighway @ Company Brewing
We’ll let the press release do the talking on this one: “Sam Robertson spent 7 years creating 257 illustrations of the King James Old Testament. Dogmatic? Hell no. Whimsical, satirical, ironic, surreal? Absolutely. Sam will show and discuss 25 paintings, answer audience questions, and present a snippet of a related performance art piece in progress. He will have books and prints on sale at the event.” And oh yeah, Milwaukee’s own Astral Hand, Mortgage Freeman, and Adoptahighway will play in support!
SATURDAY, JUNE 11
Sarah Sherman @ Cactus Club (7 p.m. and 10 p.m. shows)
Fresh off her star-making first season as a featured cast member on Saturday Night Live, writer and comedian Sarah Sherman (a.k.a. Sarah Squirm) will showcase her stand-up skills during a pair of performances in the intimate confines of the Cactus Club. The 7 p.m. early show is an all-ages event, while the 10 p.m. show is 21+.
T-Pain’s “Wiscansin Fest” @ The Rave / Eagles Ballroom
In “Put you in the mansion somewhere in Wiscansin” news, T-Pain launched an 18-date “Road To Wiscansin” tour in San Francisco on May 10. The tour culminates tonight at The Rave, with the so-called “Wiscansin Fest.” T-Pain will be joined by some “very special guests,” including Lil Jon, Bleu, K Camp, O.T. Genasis, Kid Ink, Juvenile, Mija, Eshu Tune, Erica Banks, Softest Hard, Trap Beckham, Krizz Kaliko, Young Cash, Shonte Renee, The Black Amigo, DJay Mando, and Very Handsome Billy. Phew!
Gigs 4 Good: Lil’ Rev Blues Trio @ The Tonic Tavern
Last summer, The Tonic Tavern celebrated its 12th anniversary with a new charitable music series. “Gigs 4 Good” featured a wide range of Milwaukee musicians performing at Tonic on select Saturdays. It went so well, Tonic is bringing it back for 2022! Like last time around, proceeds from the concerts (brought in through audience donations and from the bar donating a portion of that night’s sales) will benefit Milwaukee Center For Children And Youth, Bay View Community Center, and The Women’s Center.
Nerf Herder + The Von Tramps, Mertles Acres @ X-Ray Arcade
The California “geek rock” stalwarts in Nerd Herder will headline an impressive X-Ray Arcade bill that also features The Von Tramps out of Minneapolis and local support by Milwaukee pop-punkers Mertles Acres.
SUNDAY, JUNE 12
Celebrate Riverwest @ Linneman’s Riverwest Inn
Were you disappointed when this year’s Locust Street Festival of Music & Arts was abruptly canceled? You’re not alone. Happily, a number of Locust Street businesses are going ahead with their own LSF alternatives. The biggest is Linneman’s “Celebrate Riverwest” event. From 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., a number of musical acts previously scheduled to perform at LSF will take to Linneman’s indoor stage: Sigmund Snopek, Elephonic, Glad Onion, and Caley Conway and Ellie Jackson. Plus, there’ll be vendors and artists outside on the sidewalk. “We still have many reasons to celebrate our soulful, creative, diverse, colorful, and spirited neighborhood,” says Linneman’s. Oh, and it’s all free!
Milwaukee’s Worst Locust Street Festival @ Black Husky Brewing
Another alternate Locust Street Festival, Black Husky’s “Worst Locust Street Festival” promises music, food, and drink from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. (The “Worst” part of the name is a nod to Black Husky’s so-called “Worst Brewery Tours” and “Worst Trivia” competitions.) At the moment, the fest includes music from Sugar Bush (featuring members of Chicken Wire Empire and The MilBillies), Mortgage Freeman, and Floor Model, and food from Scardina Specialties, Rockhaus Rusty’s Roasted Corn, and the Roll MKE food truck.
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