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—brought to you by Lilliput Records—for November 20-26, 2023.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 21
Ike Reilly Assassination + Frank Gappa @ Shank Hall
“Since his explosive major label debut, Salesmen And Racists, Ike Reilly has been creating rebellious punk/folk/country/blues-influenced rock ‘n’ roll records that are poetic and cinematic. Critical praise for his work has been plentiful, and he has garnered a wildly loyal fan base—from faithful fans in the dirty bars and rock clubs in the middle of nowhere to legendary authors. Reilly’s songs have a unique universality that affects people. Author Stephen King wrote that Reilly’s travel band saga, ‘Boltcutter,’ was ‘the best new song to come out of the Trump era.’ The New York Times called Reilly’s longtime band, The Assassination, one of the best live bands in America, and once again they show their dexterity and growth on Reilly’s new offering, Because The Angels.”
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 22
Keep On Keepin’ On: Friends Celebrating The Music Of Keith Pulvermacher
“Friends Phil Norby, Joe Richter, and Rob Anthony come together for a night of special music with The Keith Pulvermacher band. Keith Pulvermacher passed away from multiple myeloma in 2022 but his wish was to ‘keep the music alive.’ Join us for a memorable night of music among friends.”
Midweek Music: Steph Lippert Project @ Crafty Cow Tosa
Join us at Crafty Cow Tosa on select Wednesdays and Thursdays in October and November for a total of eight Midweek Music performances. Once again, there will be NO COVER for these all-ages shows, which will run 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 pints from Third Space Brewing during all Midweek Music concerts. They’ll also have a “Cheap Date” special, which includes two entrees, a starter, and a dessert for just $35. This week: the fantastic Steph Lippert Project!
Nod To Bob: Bob Dylan Tribute Fundraiser For Hunger Task Force @ Linneman’s Riverwest Inn
“‘Nod To Bob’ is a tribute to one of the world’s all-time truly great songwriters: Mr. Bob Dylan. 2023 marks the 25th annual event, which always doubles as a fundraiser for a fantastic cause: Milwaukee’s Hunger Task Force, during its most needy time of the year. This night before Thanksgiving event features scores of great Milwaukee songwriters—in their own right—performing their best renditions of favorite Dylan gems.”
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 23
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 24
Ryan Necci And The Buffalo Gospel + Christopher Porterfield, MATTHÚ @ The Back Room @ Colectivo
Even though Ryan Necci—the founding member, bandleader, and namesake of Ryan Necci And The Buffalo Gospel—now calls Tennessee home, we’ve continued keeping tabs on him since he left Milwaukee to start a career as a professional songwriter. Thankfully, he and his (primarily Milwaukee-based bandmates) have also kept working on new Buffalo Gospel material.
Found Footage Festival Vol. 10 @ Avalon Atmospheric Theater
Over the past decade, it has become a tradition to have a Found Footage Festival show in Milwaukee around either Thanksgiving or Christmas. That continues this year as Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher of the Found Footage Festival bring Volume 10 of the show to Avalon Theater on Black Friday. This year has been a big one for the duo; in addition to touring with the Found Footage Festival, they were the subjects of the documentary Chop & Steele which is now available to stream and watch on home video following a theatrical run this past summer.
Combustor + Eric Blowtorch (double vinyl release) + DJ Von Munz @ Lilliput Records
“Combustor’s self-titled CD release dropped just before summer this year, and now the band’s vinyl LP will be available as of Black Friday, November 24! Charting on numerous WMSE Top 30 lists, as well as receiving airplay on 102.1’s Neighborhood Watch and various independent radio shows across the US, Combustor’s ultra-limited edition vinyl LP release will be celebrated with a special free in-store concert at Milwaukee East Side fave Lilliput Records on Black Friday. Joining Combustor will be WMSE DJ Eric Von Munz spinning heavy wax, and prolific singer/guitarist/songwriter Eric Blowtorch playing a solo electric set. This event also acts as the official release for Eric Blowtorch and Char’s ‘Been So Down’ 45, a partial benefit for Greater Milwaukee Suicide Prevention and for the two youngest children of dearly departed conga player Cecilio Negron, Jr.”
Black Friday 2023 @ Lakefront Brewery
Over the last decade or so, Milwaukee’s beloved Lakefront Brewery has established a new Thanksgiving tradition: releasing a bunch of rare, barrel-aged beers on the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday. More than 1,000 folks typically line up outside Lakefront on Black Friday (or the night before) to get a crack at the beers. This year’s beers? An Imperial Stout, a Triple Black IPA, a Double Barrel-Aged Christmas Cookie Barleywine, and a 5-Year-Old Stout. Lakefront will open its doors at 8 a.m. on Black Friday 2023—but, like we said before, you’ll want to get there much sooner.
Pete Lee @ Milwaukee Improv (through November 26)
After growing up in Janesville, Wisconsin, Pete Lee has gone on to perform on Letterman, guest on The Tonight Show (FIVE TIMES and counting!), and rack up a wide variety of credits that include notable TV shows like Last Comic Standing, As The World Turns, Best Week Ever, Comedy Central’s Roast Battle, and much more. He’s released comedy albums, put out a Comedy Central half-hour special, and has performed more than 500 shows at colleges around the country. This Thanksgiving weekend, Lee returns to the region for a total of five shows at Milwaukee Improv.
Bad Friends @ The Riverside Theater
“Bad Friends is a podcast with comedians Andrew Santino and Bobby Lee that puts their love / hate relationship on display for the world to enjoy. Come see them live at the Riverside Theater!”
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 25
Soul Low UNEASY 10-Year Anniversary Reunion + Motel Breakfast @ Cactus Club (also November 26)
One of Milwaukee’s best and most influential bands of the last decade is back! Yes, the great Soul Low is temporarily getting back together to give its first and arguably finest album the belated release show it deserves. Soul Low’s reunions will take place at Cactus Club on Saturday, November 25 and Sunday, November 26. (And yes, both shows are sold out.) Bassist Sam Gehrke tells Milwaukee Record the band will play UNEASY “from front to back, plus some favorite tracks from the discography.” Yes!
Miles Nielsen & The Rusted Hearts + Louie And The Flashbombs @ Shank Hall
“Led by free-wheeling frontman Miles Nielsen, The Rusted Hearts have been wowing audiences for years with the diversity of their sound, the tightness of their 4-part harmonies, and the quality of their songcraft. Equally comfortable in a compact 3-minute pop song and an epic 10-minute jam, the band has toured incessantly since their inception in 2011, amassing an army of hardcore followers that have dubbed themselves the Rusted Herd. Their new album OHBAHOY finds the band venturing into a sphere of Americana that feels both familiar and excitingly new. Tight drums, rich guitar tones, gorgeous woodwinds, and sweeping harmonies provide the perfect complements to Nielsen’s immense storytelling gifts and impeccable vocals. The album’s name comes from an imaginary friend Nielsen had growing up, a fitting reminder as we get older to hold tightly to the noble ideals of freedom and creativity that seem so natural to us as children.”
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 26
“Milwaukee Record Blend” Coffee Release Party @ Anodyne Walker’s Point Roastery
In case you missed the news, Milwaukee Record now has its very own coffee! Yes, Anodyne Coffee Roasting Co.’s new “Milwaukee Record Blend” hit shelves at all of the Milwaukee-based roaster’s cafes (and was made available for online order) earlier this month. So join us at Anodyne’s Walker’s Point Roastery for a belated coffee release event! From 2-4 p.m., we’ll be pouring free samples of Milwaukee Record Blend coffee, offering free donuts and free Milwaukee Record stickers (while supplies last), and playing an all-local playlist for attendees to enjoy as they eat and drink. And what the heck, we’ll even bring a few of our limited edition knit hats to sell on-site (with a $5 discount for those who also purchase a bag of Milwaukee Record Blend from Anodyne during the event).