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 18-24, 2019.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 20
Milwaukee Record And Lakefront Brewery Present: The Money Pit @ Avalon Theater
Ah yes, 1986’s The Money Pit, the story of a young couple and the house they buy for the suspiciously low price of $200,000. Endless home improvement hijinks, shady contractors (“Two weeks!”), and raccoons living in dumb waiters ensue. Tom Hanks and Shelly Long are terrific, of course, and Joe Mantegna and Yakov Smirnoff make their ubiquitous mid-’80s cameos. Want to see it on the big screen? NOW YOU CAN. Tonight’s screening is a joint presentation from us and Lakefront Brewery, and is part of the brewery’s annual “Hanksgiving” celebration. And it wouldn’t be Hanksgiving without a special Avalon menu item: an open face roast turkey sandwich on sourdough with turkey-sage gravy and sweet potato mash ($13). Tickets to the movie are $5.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 21
Nickel&Rose + Amythyst Kiah @ Anodyne Walker’s Point Roastery
If you’re looking for modern protest music, look no further than Milwaukee’s Nickel&Rose. Since 2016, upright bassist Johanna Rose and and guitarist Carl Nichols have been grappling with the modern world via their sometimes stark, sometimes delicate, always trenchant folk music. On 2018’s “Americana,” for example, Nichols challenged the dominant color of the titular music genre and blasted “the lack of diversity in the audience, the lack of credit given to black artists, and how black Americans have been denied access to their own culture.” In 2019, Nichols and Rose released their most direct protest song yet, the harrowing “Another Man.”
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 22
Colors & Chords @ Turner Hall Ballroom
Local musical acts and area artists will come together at Turner Hall for an event being billed as “Milwaukee’s Music And Art Spectacle.” Joining the visual artists at this year’s Islands Of Brilliance benefit is an eclectic cast of performers including The Quilz, Mike Benign Compulsion, Marielle Allschwang & The Visitations, and Dramatic Lovers.
John K. Samson + Christine Fellows @ X-Ray Arcade
Just over two years removed from playing an ultra-rare Milwaukee show in support of Craig Finn at Cactus Club, Canadian songwriting legend John K. Samson returns to the region to headline an outing at X-Ray Arcade. Prior to Samson’s batch of stripped-down Weakerthans material and cuts from his equally incredible solo catalog, the Winnipeg musician will lend the stage to his partner and fellow Canadian songwriting master, Christine Fellows. Don’t miss this one.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 23
Lion’s Tooth Launch Party & Pop-Up: Scrimshaw + Negative/Positive @ Sugar Maple
Milwaukee has a long and storied history with alternative comic books. But even in a city blessed with numerous comic book shops and independent bookstores, there’s no place that deals exclusively in alternative comics and graphic novels. Happily, that’s changing. Enter Lion’s Tooth, a new subscription service available right this very second, and a brick-and-mortar store debuting soon. The brainchild of Shelly McClone-Carriere and Cris Siqueira, Lion’s Tooth aims to spread the good word of alt-comics and graphic novels (think artists like Chris Ware, Daniel Clowes, and Robert Crumb) to adults and young adults alike. Tonight, Lion’s Tooth celebrates its official launch with a free all-ages show and accompanying pop-up.
Frank Caliendo @ Potawatomi Northern Lights Theater
Frank Caliendo has a unique career as a comedian. Not unlike an American Idol favorite or a late night talk show host, the impressionist’s career is dependent on the work of other, usually more famous, people. As far as this specific comic crevice is concerned, Caliendo is the Kelly Clarkson of celebrity impersonations and the Johnny Carson of pop culture mimicry. His ability to meld spot-on vocal replications and exaggerated character traits of politicians, actors, and sports figures has yielded the comic such impressive opportunities as a place in the MADtv cast, the role of resident funny man for two football pregame shows, a short-lived TBS show called Frank TV, and the ability to tour theaters throughout the country. Tonight, the Waukesha native returns to southeast Wisconsin for a pair of performances at Northern Lights Theater. (Two shows.)
Giants Chair + Devils Teeth, Panic On Panic @ Cactus Club
This will be the first Giants Chair show in Milwaukee since the ’90s. What more do you need to know? That fact that Devils Teeth and Panic On Panic will be playing in support is just an added, awesome bonus.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 24
Milwaukee Record Halftime Show: Fox Face @ Cactus Club
The Milwaukee Record Halftime Show concert series at Cactus Club is back! Once again, we’ve assembled a stacked roster of 16 projects to provide FREE (21+) halftime entertainment. And, once again, our friends at Miller High Life are sponsoring our football-focused festivities, meaning fans can enjoy “The Champagne of Beers” for $2.50 a bottle, or $10 for a bucket of five beers all game long. And, yes, there will be touchdown shots.
Hari Kondabolu @ The Back Room @ Colectivo
Brooklyn-based comedian Hari Kondabolu has amassed an impressive reel of TV appearances, released two chart-topping albums, and been called “one of the most exciting political comics in stand-up today” by the New York Times. In late 2017, Kondabolu became a household name and changed the way we watch television (for the better), when TruTV released his Simpsons-centered documentary, The Problem With Apu. Socially-impacting documentary aside, he’s one hell of a comic. Two years after a pair of performances at The Underground Collaborative, Kondabolu returns to Milwaukee to head up what’s sure to be a hilarious show.
Kyle Kinane @ Turner Hall Ballroom
Kyle Kinane is a comedian’s comedian. The Illinois-born comic’s gravel-voiced musings manage to appeal to all brow levels while being delivered in a way that is both inimitable and universal. Since quitting his band and leaving Chicago for Los Angeles, Kinane put out a handful of outstanding specials, became “the voice of Comedy Central,” amassed some acting credits, and toured relentlessly. About a year and a half removed from the last time he killed at Turner Hall, Kinane will return to the ballroom with his strongest hour yet (which he recorded in Madison earlier this year for a forthcoming album).