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 March 20-26, 2023.


SPY + Big Laugh, Instill, DIE, Act Of Retaliation @ Cactus Club
If you’re looking for a quiet night of quiet music…maybe take a pass on this hardcore-tastic Cactus Club show, headlined by Bay Area group SPY. Milwaukee’s own Big Laugh is also on the bill; the local hardcore punk outfit just released a blistering record called Consume Me.


Jerry Cantrell + Thunderpussy @ The Rave/Eagles Ballroom
Jerry Cantrell is best known as the founder, guitarist, and main songwriter of seminal grunge band Alice In Chains. In addition to the big claim to fame, he’s carved out a nice solo career, too. His solo debut, 1998’s Boggy Depot, is a low-key classic, and 2002’s Degradation Trip is a solid slab of sludgy doom-rock. Cantrell’s latest record, Brighten, was released in 2021.

City Mouse + Death Kill Overdrive, Iron Pizza, Daniel James @ Bremen Cafe

Gorod + Cognitive, Summoning The Lich, Flub @ X-Ray Arcade


Peter Mulvey + SistaStrings @ The Back Room @ Colectivo
In late 2020, prolific singer-songwriter Peter Mulvey and the incomparable instrumentalists in SistaStrings co-released Live At The Cafe Carpe, a live album recorded at the eponymous Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin cafe. Nearly two years later, Mulvey—a Milwaukee-born musician who now calls Massachusetts home—and the Ross sisters—Milwaukee mainstays who are enjoying tremendous success following a recent move to Nashville—collaborated on another joint album. A few months removed from the release of Love Is The Only Thing, and a handful of weeks after last taking the stage in Milwaukee in support of Ani DiFranco, Mulvey and SistaStrings return to their hometown to perform songs from their two albums.

Midweek Music: Next Paperback Hero @ Crafty Cow MKE
All good things come to an end. That’s right, it’s the final winter/spring installment of our Midweek Music series at Crafty Cow! Stop by tonight for music from excellent Milwaukee singer-songwriter Nathan Honoré—a.k.a. Next Paperback Hero—as well as Crafty Cow’s Burger Night special. Pints of Indeed Brewing Company beer will also be available for only $4.

Rat Bath (tour kickoff) + Nile Club, Death Is A Business, Resurrectionists @ Promises
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 2022 debut LP, Rat From Hell. The 11-track record careens between noisy, full-barrel cow punk and chaotic, witchy hardcore, with everything in between. Opener “The Tale Of Dead Ol’ Fred” establishes the record’s epic narrative (a battle between a witch and a demon, natch), while “Bone Eater” slices the air with Pixies-esque guitars. Rat From Hell‘s quieter moments are among its best, especially the dreamy and sad “At Least You’re Lonely Too.”

Rainbow Cobra + Sleeping Jesus, Sweettalker @ X-Ray Arcade

Clan Of Xymox + The Bellwether Syndicate, Bellhead @ Cactus Club

Cowboy Mouth, + Chris Head & The Honchos @ Shank Hall


Jimmy Flemion of The Frogs + The Quilz @ X-Ray Arcade
Milwaukee Brothers Jimmy and Dennis Flemion formed the aggressively lo-fi and subversive alt-rock band The Frogs in 1980. Years of local shows, years of elaborate winged-and-wigged costumes, and adoration from ’90s icons like Kurt Cobain, Eddie Vedder, Billy Corgan, and Beck followed. While the “You couldn’t get away with that today” cliche is pretty tired, The Frogs, who were two straight white guys who wrote goofy and explicit pop songs about race, homosexuality, and other hot-button topics, absolutely couldn’t get away with that today. Or could they? Find out tonight, when The Frogs’ Jimmy Flemion plays his first hometown show in 17 years. (Dennis Flemion died in 2012.) And yes, the ticketing page warns that “this performance is recommended for mature audiences.”

Chris Fairbanks @ The Laughing Tap (through March 25)
Over the course of the last two decades, comedian Chris Fairbanks has delighted audiences all over the country, and he’s amassed credits on Comedy Central, TruTV, TBS, and a variety of other platforms along the way. Don’t miss the comic, actor, and podcaster when he comes to The Laughing Tap for a total of three performances March 24-25.

Kathleen Madigan @ The Pabst Theater
“Comedian Kathleen Madigan’s 32-year comedy career is showing no signs of slowing down as she’s currently on her Do You Have Any Ranch? Tour. Madigan has been touring 250 nights a year on the road and has risen from performing in comedy clubs to performing in marquee theaters with sold-out shows.”

Hear Here Presents: Greg Koch + The Koch Marshall Trio, Stephen Hull Experience (trio) @ The Cooperage

Sam Knutson (record release) + Luke Cerny, Ethan Keller @ Linneman’s Riverwest Inn

CAMP: Mo’City + Holly Mae, Grey Genius, Phif, Dässolo, C’zo, Peez SW @ Cactus Club

SSAANN + The Panoptics, Big Swig @ Company Brewing

The Belle Weather @ Ope Brewing Co.


Yo La Tengo @ Turner Hall Ballroom
Is there a more consistently great, never-released-a-bad-album indie band than Yo La Tengo? Probably not. (Maybe Spoon?) The Hoboken, New Jersey band has been at it for nearly 40 years, and its list of classic albums includes everything from 1990’s Fakebook and 1997’s I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One, to 2006’s I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass and 2013’s Fade. The group’s latest, the self-produced This Stupid World, is yet another stellar entry.

MELT: Black Lines, Din Sky (record release) + Nullsleep, The Demix @ Quarters Rock ‘n’ Roll Palace
“MELT returns SATURDAY MARCH 25th with Black Lines, Din Sky; Nullsleep, and The Demix for a very special edition of our monthly mayhem in collaboration with Radio Graffiti for the BLACK LINES, DIN SKY // ANTISUMMER CLUB SPC-700 RELEASE EVENT!”

Fozzy + Seventh Day Slumber, The Nocturnal Affair @ The Rave/Eagles Ballroom
Yep, this is Chris Jericho’s band.

Djunah + Lost Tribes Of The Moon, Faketwin, Primitive Broadcast Service @ X-Ray Arcade

Warmduscher + Fun Bois @ Cactus Club

Impractical Jokers @ Miller High Life Theatre

MKE Music Night: Moonglow + Stone Theory, Cosmic Lovechild, Tlalok @ Linneman’s Riverwest Inn

Sour Fest 2023 @ MobCraft Beer


Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles @ Oriental Theatre
In case you missed it, the most recent Sight & Sound poll named 1975’s Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles as the greatest film of all time. (Vertigo and Citizen Kane came in at #2 and #3, respectively.) Need to familiarize yourself with this 201-minute, Chantal Akerman-directed “magnificent epic of experimental cinema offering a feminist perspective on recurrent events of everyday life”? Us too! Well, you’ll be able to see it this afternoon at the Oriental Theatre, as part of Milwaukee Film’s Women’s History Month celebration.

Future And Friends: One Big Party Tour @ Fiserv Forum

Milwaukee Underground Film Festival Pre Party @ Cactus Club

Sunday Matinee: Lil Rev @ The Tonic Tavern

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