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 23-29, 2022.
MONDAY, MAY 23
Spoy + Silver Fox, Catpiss @ Cactus Club
Chaos is a good thing to keep in mind while listening to Spoy. The young Milwaukee band’s recently released debut album, From The Three, is a nine-track screed of noisy, discordant, and knotty music perfect for our noisy, discordant, and knotty times. Opener “Cursed Rubble” is a blistering mission statement: guitars screech and skronk, cymbals crash and sizzle, the bass bubbles and percolates, and the vocals soar and crack. The menacing “Basement Creeper,” meanwhile, spikes the album with some dark spoken-word humor. (Is Spoy the first and only band to growl/scream the word “bologna”? It’s likely.)
TUESDAY, MAY 24
“Weird Al” Yankovic + Emo Philips @ Marcus Performing Arts Center
The incomparable, inimitable, and indefatigable “Weird Al” Yankovic is bringing his “Unfortunate Return Of The Ridiculously Self-Indulgent, Ill-Advised Vanity Tour” to Milwaukee’s own Marcus Performing Arts Center! What more can we say? Maybe that the show will be filled with original non-parody songs and other deep cuts? Maybe that Emo Philips is opening? Maybe that it’s going to be amazing? Yes, it’s all true!
Built To Spill + Sunbathe & Distant Family @ Turner Hall Ballroom
Is there a finer two-album run in ’90s indie rock than Built To Spill’s Perfect From Now On (1997) and Keep It Like A Secret (1999)? Maybe (we’re looking at you, Guided By Voices), but gee whiz, those records are amazing. Doug Martsch and company are gearing up to release a new album, When The Wind Forgets Your Name (the group’s first for Sub Pop), and it’s great to see this stellar live band back on the road again.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 25
Midweek Music: Paige Hargrove @ Crafty Cow Tosa
Join us at Crafty Cow Tosa for this year’s final Midweek Music performance! There’s no cover for this all-ages show, which runs from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. If a free weeknight show isn’t already great enough on its own, Crafty Cow Tosa will offer $4 Indeed Brewing Company pints. They’ll also have a “Cheap Date” special, which includes two entrees, an appetizer, and two drinks for just $39. This week: Paige Hargrove!
Lakefront Extravabandza: Mortgage Freeman + Ladybird, Gold Steps, Resurrectionists, Snag, Garden Home, Chinese Telephones @ Cactus Club
On top of being one of Milwaukee’s first and finest craft breweries, Lakefront Brewery also holds the distinction of employing a ton of local musicians. The brewery’s strong musical connection will be celebrated during a seven-act extravaganza (or “ExtravaBandza”) featuring Mortgage Freeman, Ladybird, Gold Steps, Resurrectionists, Snag, Garden Home, and Chinese Telephones. Ester Flonaze will host, and there will also be an employee makers market beginning at 4 p.m.
LeAnn Rimes @ Potawatomi Hotel & Casino
Since reaching international notoriety at the age of 13 with the release of her multi-platinum-selling Blue in 1996, LeAnn Rimes has won Grammys (and a number of other awards), sold millions of albums, and performed to adoring fans all over the world. Along the way, she’s also added acting roles in TV and film, and four books to her extensive body of work. A few months before the release of her forthcoming album, god’s work—out September 16—Rimes will treat Northern Lights Theater to two performances spanning her extensive and impressive music career.
THURSDAY, MAY 26
Matt Wilson & His Orchestra @ Shank Hall
Matt Wilson has been a fixture of the Minneapolis music scene for 30 years. Since starting out as the drummer of The Panic—a band that shared the stage with The Replacements and Hüsker Dü, and opened for U2’s first Minnesota show—Wilson has earned acclaim in the Twin Cities (and far beyond) by fronting projects like Trip Shakespeare, The Twilight Hours, and his new project Matt Wilson & His Orchestra. Wilson and his trusty orchestra will cross the Mississippi River to take the stage at Shank Hall in belated support of the excellent 2020 album, When I Was A Writer.
FRIDAY, MAY 27
Faux Fiction + Fuzzysurf, The Keystones @ X-Ray Arcade
If you’re looking for a crunchy, guitar-tastic night of local music, look no further than this triple-threat X-Ray bill. Well, make that “local-ish”: Milwaukee power-pop outfit Faux Fiction relocated to Rhode Island in 2020, and tonight’s show represents the group’s homecoming. The ultra-slick Keystones and the music video geniuses behind Fuzzysurf open.
SATURDAY, MAY 28
Lest We Forget: MKE Music Scene Memorial Ten Year Reunion @ Turner Hall Ballroom
Ten years ago, the Lest We Forget show at Turner Hall Ballroom not only served as a reunion for some of Milwaukee’s best rock groups of the ’70s, ’80s, and early ’90s (including Die Kreuzen), it raised $9,000 for the American Liver Foundation. Now, a decade later, the memorial show returns with performances from The Crosses (featuring Die Kreuzen’s Dan Kubinski), Johnny & The Losers, Wanda Chrome & The Leather Pharaohs, 3XCleavers, Xposed4Heads, Rock-A-Dials, Liv Mueller, and more. A representative from Milwaukee’s current music scene, Telethon, will open the show. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to MusiCares.
Gigs 4 Good: Chrissy Dzioba Clobes @ 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.
SUNDAY, MAY 29
Tori Amos + Companion @ Bradley Symphony Center
Unless we’re mistaken, Tori Amos hasn’t played a show in Milwaukee since 2009. That’s set to tonight, when the music icon makes a stop at the Bradley Symphony Center (a.k.a. the remodeled Warner Grand Theater at 212 W. Wisconsin Ave.). Amos is touring in support of her 2021 album Ocean To Ocean.
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