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 for May 22-28, 2023.
TUESDAY, MAY 23
Ondara + Kiely Connell @ Shank Hall
“Ondara’s new album, Spanish Villager No: 3, was predominately produced by Ondara and Mike Viola (Jenny Lewis, Dan Wilson) with contributions from Taylor Goldsmith and Griffin Goldsmith of Dawes, Sebastian Steinberg, Tim Kuhl and Jeremy Stacey. The new collection of songs features a much more full, electric sound. Of the album, Ondara states, ‘This collection of work and the work that lies ahead in presenting it to the world, is a metaphor for my spiritual path. There is death and resurrection in it, a peeling of layers, a pursuit of the truest form of the self in the universe. Ironically, the adaptation of the Spanish Villager character has made me more acquainted with myself. By creating an obvious demarcation between the art and the artist, I have charted two paths of maturation. One path is the maturation of the Spanish Villager as a work of art, as a character in a narrative, as a commodity partaking in the mandatory sport of capitalism; The other is my own personal maturation into a spiritual, integrated, and useful member of society.'”
WEDNESDAY, MAY 24
Milwaukee Record Presents: Back To The Future (1985) @ Avalon Atmospheric Theater
Great Scott! We’re screening the original Back To The Future at the Avalon! And there are (at the time of this writing) only 53 tickets left! Make like a tree and get your tickets now!
Hot Chip + Cadence Weapon @ Turner Hall Ballroom
“Freakout/Release is the continuation of what, at this point, seems like an impossible run for Hot Chip. The British electronic pop legends’ eighth album is another dizzying peak in a multi-decade career that’s seen Hot Chip continuing to innovate and develop a rich, resonant songcraft. And while they continue to operate at peak form, Freakout/Release also feels like a new chapter for the group—a collection of flesh-and-blood songs that finds the band reaching into the darkness to emerge as a true creative unit, their gazes fixed positively on the future ahead.”
THURSDAY, MAY 25
Willie Watson + Joseph Huber @ The Back Room @ Colectivo
“For nearly two decades, founding member of Old Crow Medicine Show, Willie Watson, has made modern folk music rooted in older traditions. He’s a folksinger in the classic sense: a singer, storyteller, and traveller, with a catalog of songs that bridge the gap between the past and present. On Folksinger Vol. 2, he acts as a modern interpreter of older songs, passing along his own version of the music that came long before him.”
Joe George + Nathan Graham, Long Mama @ Promises
“Joe George’s songs encompass a range of color, from folk and Americana, to cinematic and spacious. His tasteful use of string quartet arrangements on recordings adds a breath and emotion to his music. Joe’s work with REVERB has been featured in The New York Times, Consequence of Sound, Guitar Player Magazine, and People Magazine.”
FRIDAY, MAY 26
Milwaukee Metal Fest @ The Rave/Eagles Club (through May 28)
Remember Milwaukee Metal Fest? There hasn’t been a Milwaukee Metal Fest since 2007! Happily, Hatebreed singer Jamey Jasta purchased the rights to the storied event in 2022, and is bringing it back this year. YES. The 2023 lineup for the resurrected festival includes Lamb Of God, Anthrax, Suicidal Tendencies, Napalm Death, Dark Angel, The Black Dahlia Murder, Obituary, Shadows Fall, and many, many more.
The Hecks + Dogs In Ecstasy, Sex Scenes, DJ Cold Lunch @ Cactus Club
“Chicago quartet The Hecks have been at it since 2012, starting out as the duo of guitarist Andy Mosiman & Zach Hebert. The band drafted guitarist Dave Vettraino into the fold, a recording engineer who was recording the band’s s/t debut (Trouble In Mind, 2016) & ended up joining the band shortly thereafter. The band’s journey to the end result of My Star—their second album—has taken them nearly three years.”
SATURDAY, MAY 27
Subhumans + Cop/Out, World In Action @ Cactus Club
“Anarcho-punk leaders of the 1980s, and known for cutting their straight-edge message with wry humor, the U.K. collective continues trekking around the world still radiating off of 2019’s Crisis Point LP. This crew is one of the most influential bands from 80’s scene, filed right alongside Crass and Conflict, and just as relevant today as they were during the darkest days of Thatcher’s Britain.”
Lovejoy + Crywank, Spilly Cave @ Riverside Theater (sold out)
“British indie pop band Lovejoy is led by Wilbur Soot, a popular Youtuber, game streamer, and musician. The four-man band debuted in 2021 with the EPs Are You Alright? and Pebble Brain, the latter of which enjoyed chart success throughout the U.K. and Europe.”
SUNDAY, MAY 28
Janet Jackson + Ludacris @ American Family Insurance Amphitheater
Oh hell yeah. Janet Jackson (Miss Jackson if you’re nasty) is playing American Family Insurance Amphitheater. Even better, the global icon will be preceded by Ludacris! Miraculously, there are somehow still tickets available for this. Get ’em now!
Robot Witch + Alternative Radio, The Midnight Purchase @ The Back Room @ Colectivo
“Robot Witch was formed in 2019 in Milwaukee by Matt Lubus and Ryan Koski. The 2 experienced songwriters merged their love for psychedelic, punk, guitar rock and electronic music to form their own group and identity. Robot Witch released their first full Self Titled EP in 2022 with their new members on drums, bass, guitar and trumpet.”
Mark Waldoch Birthday Bash: Eliza Niemi + Dorothea Paas @ The Cooperage
“Mark Waldoch sings his ass off and tunes his guitar and probably yours. Does it matter ? Does he bother? Yes it does. Yes he does.”
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