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 November 15-21, 2021.

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 15

Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K) Live: Time Bubble Tour @ Pabst Theater
One of the many joys of Mystery Science Theater 3000 is catching a particularly obscure riff that seems custom-made for only you. Jokes about little-seen films abound. Nods to half-forgotten moments in history are plentiful. From its beginnings at a low-budget television station in Minneapolis to its recent revival on Netflix, MST3K has long delighted in the random and the unnervingly specific. And what better way to enjoy those random and unnervingly specific gags than in a live setting? This year’s “Time Bubble Tour” features host Emily Connor (Emily Marsh) and robots Tom Servo (Conor McGiffin), Crow (Nate Begle), and GPC (Yvonne Freese) enjoying the 1985 “you-probably-remember-the-VHS-cover” classic Making Contact.

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 16

Nitzer Ebb @ Turner Hall Ballroom
JOIN IN THE CHANT as legendary British industrial group Nitzer Ebb transforms Turner Hall Ballroom into the dark, gloomy, ’80s/’90s goth-and-EBM-tinged club of your dreams/nightmares. Reunited since 2006, the group hasn’t lost its MUSCLE AND HATE.

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 17

Milwaukee Record Presents: ‘Bridesmaids’ @ Avalon Atmospheric Theater
Bridesmaids follows the discouraged and down-on-her-luck Annie (Kristen Wiig) and her various misadventures while serving as the maid of honor for her best friend, Lillian (Maya Rudolph). Along the way, viewers encounter Melissa McCarthy in a career-defining role, as well as Ellie Kemper, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Rose Byrne, and Jon Hamm. Bridesmaids also introduces the world to future stars Chris O’Dowd and Rebel Wilson in their first mainstream film roles. Oh yeah, we should probably also mention the film is set in Milwaukee. In fact, the exterior shot used for Annie’s apartment is a building that’s less than a block from Avalon Theater. Tickets for the 6:30 p.m. screening are available HERE.

Midweek Music: The Fainting Room @ Crafty Cow Tosa
This fall, Milwaukee Record is bringing live music to the new Crafty Cow Tosa (6519 W. North Ave., Wauwatosa). The weekly concert series, called “Midweek Music,” features a total of eight Wednesday night performances from an eclectic array of local artists. There is no cover for these all-ages shows, which run from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. And if a free weeknight show isn’t already great enough on its own, Crafty Cow Tosa is offering $2 Indeed Brewing Company pints. Crafty Cow will also have a “Cheap Date” special, which includes two entrees, an appetizer, and two drinks for just $29. Tonight’s installment features Milwaukee indie-folk favorite The Fainting Room, fronted by Lisa Ridgely.

The Lemonheads + Heyrocco, Future Plans @ X-Ray Arcade
The Lemonheads are playing an intimate club show in Cudahy. Do we need to say anything else? Okay, well, if you’d like to see the long-running and influential band traverse 35 years worth of timeless material in a room with 250 of your closest friends, here’s your chance.

Paisley Fields + The Sapsuckers, Derek Pritzl @ Cactus Club

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 18

Chicken Wire Empire + Chicago Farmer, Chris Castino of The Big Wu @ The Back Room @ Colectivo
Chicken Wire Empire has done a lot in its eight years as a band. Since being formed by a pair of jam band enthusiasts, the contemporary Milwaukee bluegrass outfit has grown to five members. Along the way, the band has released two full-length records, a pair of live albums (recorded in Germany), and has become a fixture at shows in and around Milwaukee. Speaking of becoming fixtures in Milwaukee, tonight’s show kicks off a two-night residence at The Back Room @ Colectivo.

Chvrches + Donna Missal @ Riverside Theater
Scottish synth band Chvrches has played Milwaukee numerous times in the past decade, and has become something of a hometown favorite. It’s no wonder: the trio, fronted by singer Lauren Mayberry, is an excellent live act, full of bombastic vocals and strobe-heavy stage shows. Chvrches latest record is the just-released Screen Violence.

Matt Braugner @ The Laughing Tap
Following a few ill-fated attempts to reschedule over the past year and a half, actor, writer, and comedian Matt Braunger finally brings his wealth of television credits and thousands of hours of stage time to The Laughing Tap for what’s sure to be a memorable night.

Video Age + Shy Boys, Platinum Boys, REXXX @ Cactus Club

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 19

Brett Newski & The No Tomorrow (book/record release) + The Keystones @ Anodyne Walker’s Point Roastery
The most surprising thing about Brett Newski writing a book is that the tireless Milwaukee musician hasn’t written one already. Or two. Or three. His charming It’s Hard To Be A Person is a chunky little picture book that gives readers tips and strategies for A. defeating anxiety, B. surviving the world, and C. having more fun. Those suggestions range from practical and no-nonsense (How to avoid feeling bad because of social media? “Unfollow those who make you feel bad,” of course.) to whimsical and silly (How to kill boredom in traffic? “Leave car and walk to Chuck E. Cheese.”) Newski’s charmingly crude illustrations give the book a childlike pop, even when dispensing sober wisdom like: “When you’re down and out, it’s normal to feel like you’ll be stuck there forever. Please note, everything is temporary.” Tonight’s show serves as a belated release party for both It’s Hard To Be A Person and its accompanying eight-song soundtrack.

Kyle John Kenowski (record release) + Ellie Jackson, Lulu & Max @ Linneman’s Riverwest Inn
The animated video for Kyle John Kenowski’s “TRUSTWORMY” is the product of more than two years and “well over 2,000 hours” of work Kenowski put into the project. Fortunately, the time and effort are absolutely worth it, as it makes a strong case for the most ambitious Milwaukee music videos in recent memory. Kenowski says the video is a play on the biblical story of Adam and Eve. Though he says he doesn’t subscribe to any traditional religion, he finds beauty in the story of creation. Tonight’s show is another belated release party, this one for Kenowski’s Need Disease album.

Shake & Holla Tour: North Mississippi Allstars & Rebirth Brass Band + Cedric Burnside @ South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center
The Shake & Holla Tour brings Grammy-nominated North Mississippi Allstars and the legendary Rebirth Brass Band together for the first time ever. Joining this potent pair of soulful blues outfits is Cedric Burnside, the grandson of the great R.L. Burnside and a Grammy-nominated vocalist/drummer in his own right. Don’t miss your chance to hear some sounds of the South in South Milwaukee.

Browns Crew + Death Is A Business @ Company Brewing

Bad Bad Hats + Gully Boys @ Cactus Club

Jail Socks + Home Safe, Arm’s Length, Telethon, Jynxer @ X-Ray Arcade

Chicken Wire Empire + Chicago Farmer, Chris Castino of The Big Wu @ The Back Room @ Colectivo

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 20

Riverwest Follies @ Linneman’s Riverwest Inn
“An entertainment potpourri with music, singing, poetry, theatre, and more!” So goes the description for the 15th (!) installment of Milwaukee’s beloved Riverwest Follies. Will neighborhood staple Sigmund Snopek III kick things off with a salute from his alphorn? Of course he will. Will the rest of the evening be an unpredictable and glorious celebration of everything that makes Riverwest, well, Riverwest? You better believe it.

Habibi + Dropper, Red Stuff @ Cactus Club

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 21

Milwaukee Record Halftime Show: Indonesian Junk @ Cactus Club
After a season away, the Milwaukee Record Halftime Show series has returned! This season, we’ve assembled a stacked roster of 17 performers that will provide FREE all-ages entertainment during halftime of Green Bay football games. Like previous seasons, our friends at Miller High Life will sponsor our football-focused festivities, meaning fans can enjoy “The Champagne Of Beers” and Miller Lite for $2.50 a bottle or $10 for a bucket of five beers all game long. This week, halftime entertainment will be provided by Milwaukee glam-punk mainstay Indonesian Junk. The band’s latest LP, Living In A Nightmare, was released earlier this year.

Cream City Creatives Holiday Arts & Craft Fair @ Turner Hall Ballroom
Every autumn since 2014 (excluding last year, obviously), Cream City Creatives’ annual Holiday Arts & Crafts Fair has rounded up a diverse cast of Milwaukee makers and put them in one place. This year, close to 50 different vendors will be present, including Beard MKE, Sparrow Collective, Big White Yeti, Bay View Printing Co., Halo Artisan Skin Care, and James Steeno Gallery. Pedro’s South American Food will also be serving up some tasty treats and Turner Hall’s bar will be open, allowing you to browse with a drink in hand.

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