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 May 13-19, 2019.
MONDAY, MAY 13
Shot For Shot With Chefs Episode 2 Premiere @ The Cooperage
Join us for the premiere of another Shot For Shot With Chefs video! This episode finds host Tyler Maas getting to know Amilinda co-owner/chef and all-around great guy Gregory León over a bunch of beers and a handful of shots. At sundown, we’ll screen the video, then talk about (the parts we can remember from) that drunken night of fast friendship. Bofferding USA—the official beer of Shot For Shot With Chefs—will have its delicious Pils on special all night, and you can expect some specialty cocktails from spirit sponsor Great Northern Distilling. This 21+ event is FREE.
TUESDAY, MAY 14
Johnny Marr @ Pabst Theater
You may know Johnny Marr as the legendary guitarist for the Smiths. You may know Johnny Marr as the legendary session guitarist for names like Talking Heads, the Pretenders, and Modest Mouse. You may know Johnny Marr as the legendary guitarist behind 2018’s excellent Call The Comet. You may know Johnny Marr as the legendary guitarist playing this show at Pabst Theater. Enjoy Broadway, Morrissey!
THURSDAY, MAY 16
My Favorite Murder Live @ Riverside Theater
If you’re a fan of true crime podcasts, you’re likely a fan of the wildly popular My Favorite Murder. The weekly show is hosted by comedians Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, and has been a iTunes Top 10 force to be reckoned with since its debut in 2016. This week, Kilgariff and Hardstark return to Milwaukee for a two-night stint that will surely delight their dedicated “Murderinos.”
414 Live: Surgeons In Heat @ 88Nine Radio Milwaukee
On 2018’s terrific Bored Immortals, Surgeons In Heat both tweak and refine their chilled-out-Spoon sound—adding bits of sax and electronic drums here, nailing down a hazy and almost regal sense of aloofness there. Produced by The Fatty Acids’ Josh Evert at Silver City Studios, it’s Surgeons In Heat’s most cohesive, most front-to-back satisfying record to date, another nervy missive from one of the city’s finest bands.
FRIDAY, MAY 17
Company Brewing 4th Anniversary: SistaStrings + Vincent Van Great @ Company Brewing
By their own admission, SistaStrings sisters Monique and Chauntee Ross stand out in the Milwaukee music scene. In a 2017 Cream City Soundcheck video, the duo puts it this way: “Being black sisters that play violin and cello…it’s just a natural ‘What’s that?’ factor. When you see two black girls pick up an instrument…and maybe we play classical, maybe we play R&B, maybe we play a jazz standard.” No matter what they play, the Ross sisters are two of the most exciting musicians in the city today. On Friday night, they’ll be joined by the equally thrilling Vincent Van Great to celebrate Company Brewing’s fourth anniversary.
OQ + Animals In Human Attire, Vinz Clortho @ Cactus Club
OQ, the self-described “creative duo” of Liam O’Brien and Cole Quamme, called on a wealth of Milwaukee musicians to contribute to the Paradice 1 EP. Players and vocalists involved in the recording process include Josh Evert, Mike Noyce, Ivan Eisenberg, Alex Heaton, Treccy Marquardt-Thomas, D’Amato, Caley Conway, Ms. Lotus Fankh, Derek De Vinney, Steven Strupp, Carmen Quinliven, Sarah Shay, Caley, John Larkin, Ian Olvera, Alex Scott, and Hesper Juhnke.
SATURDAY, MAY 18
Dirty Dancing (record release) + Sex Scenes, Head On Electric, CRLSS @ Club Garibaldi
“To win you gotta beat someone!” howls frontman Eric Schoen on Dirty Dancing’s serrated “Winning.” Not that Schoen and his art-damaged post-punk outfit revel in this reality. “From the bottom I can see more,” the singer deadpans in the song’s opening seconds, firmly establishing his place in the pecking order. And there’s more where that came from on Dirty Dancing’s new LP, That For This. Produced by Harrison Colby (NO/NO, Sex Scenes), the record is a clanging, angular, pissed-off treatise on some of Schoen’s favorite topics: “chance, loss, love, and consumerism.”
Dogs In Ecstasy + Large Print (record release), Solid Freex, The Hecks @ Cactus Club
“I feed my daughter rice, grain by grain / They say it’s the new economy, but I just feel the same old pain.” So sing the ever-delightful pop smart-asses in Dogs In Ecstasy on “Scale 2 Infinite,” a standout track from 2018’s excellent, hilarious, siren-happy, and Extremely Online Dreams And Gripes. It serves as something of a thesis statement: “Rage Against The Dying Of My Phone” is a bright and buzzy ode to the 21st century dread of streaming services and unsent tweets, the bitterly funny “Golden Age” updates Talking Heads’ “Once In A Lifetime” for the smartphone era, and “Loyalty” equates a broken relationship to a restaurant punchcard. And the sirens…so many sirens.
Canni Fest: Immortal Girlfriend + Moon Rats, Genesis Renji, Shle Berry, Christopher Gold & The New Old Things, Isiah Joshua, Valerie Lightheart @ The Cooperage
Last September, Milwaukee got its first hemp and CBD specialty shop when Canni Hemp Co. opened a retail store on 5th Street. In the handful of months since Canni came to Walker’s Point, a number of other hemp and CBD retailers (and cafes) have popped up all around town and in Milwaukee’s suburbs. With awareness and availability of hemp and cannabidiol in Milwaukee at an all-time high, there’s reason to celebrate.
SUNDAY, MAY 19
The Grovelers (record release) + Bruce Humphries And The Rockabilly Rebels, King Eye & The Squirts, Florida Brothers Band @ X-Ray Arcade
If you’re looking for subtlety in your music—poetic and tender lyrics, intricate and feather-light instrumentation—The Grovelers are not the band for you. “When you wear your Sunday best / I tear you up and I eat your flesh,” sings bassist Lemonie Fresh on “Sicko,” the opening track to The Grovelers’ delightfully trashy 2015 record, Derelicts And Screw-Ups. Tonight, the group celebrates the release of their new album, Cream City Nights, which contains tracks like “Speed Freak,” “Suicide Rockers,” and “Let It Burn.”