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 22-28, 2021.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 23
Movie Night: ‘Planes, Trains And Automobiles’ @ Lakefront Brewery
You wanna hurt me? Go right ahead if it makes you feel any better. I’m an easy target. Yeah, you’re right, I talk too much. I also listen too much. I could be a cold-hearted cynic like you…but I don’t like to hurt people’s feelings. Well, you think what you want about me. I’m not changing. I like…I like me. My wife likes me. My customers like me. ‘Cause I’m the real article. What you see is what you get.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 24
Jim Gaffigan @ The Riverside Theater (also November 26, 27)
Comedian Jim Gaffigan is a Milwaukee holiday fixture, usually bringing his food-focused funnies to town just in time for New Year’s Eve. (Gaffigan’s wife, Jeannie, is originally from Shorewood, by the way.) This year, the self-described “pale tourist” will be performing not one, not two, but three Thanksgiving week/weekend shows. Gaffigan and Thanksgiving? That’s not McDonald’s.
Midweek Music: Steph Lippert Project @ Crafty Cow Tosa
Hey! It’s the final installment of our Midweek Music series at the new Crafty Cow Tosa (6519 W. North Ave., Wauwatosa)! Once again, there is no cover for this all-ages show, which runs 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 also has a “Cheap Date” special, which includes two entrees, an appetizer, and two drinks for just $29. Tonight’s finale features Milwaukee multi-threat Steph Lippert.
Mondo Lucha! @ Turner Hall Ballroom
Since starting in 2008, Mondo Lucha! has brought high-flying wrestling action, burlesque dancers, and live music to its annual Turner Hall showcase. Along the way, the variety show has managed to work with renowned pro wrestlers, sell out numerous shows, and become a must-attend Milwaukee event. After a year away, Mondo Lucha! returns in full force with a Thanksgiving Eve event that’s worth staying in town to witness.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 25
Thanksgiving @ various locations
Do not trust the Pilgrims, especially Sarah Miller.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 26
KennyHoopla + Shoobie @ The Rave/Eagles Ballroom
After a handful of Summerfest performances this year, Wisconsin (by way of Cleveland) artist KennyHoopla returns to Milwaukee for his “Survivors Guilt” tour. The up-and-comer has collaborated with blink-182 drummer Travis Barker and is currently on tour with Shoobie. Get on the bandwagon now, because KennyHoopla is a name you’re going to be hearing a lot more in the years to come.
Pete Lee @ Milwaukee Improv (7 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. shows)
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. Lee returns to the region November 26-28 for a total of five Thanksgiving weekend shows at Milwaukee Improv.
Jon Dore @ The Laughing Tap (8 p.m. and 10:15 p.m.)
Comedian and actor Jon Dore is no stranger to Milwaukee, having shared the stage as an opener for such noted comics as Nikki Glaser and The Sklar Brothers in somewhat recent stops. Dore makes his Milwaukee return by headlining four shows at The Laughing Tap in two nights, where he’ll treat the intimate club’s crowds to road-tested musings, his dry wit, and his Canadian charm.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 27
Mason Jennings @ The Back Room @ Colectivo
Twenty-five years into his career, Mason Jennings is set to release a new record, Real Heart, on February 4, 2022. Produced by Painted Shield collaborator Stone Gossard, the record is described by Jennings as “the unabashed folk record that I have been wanting to make for years. Kind of a love letter to the acoustic guitar and to musical intimacy. Kind of a love letter to the acoustic guitar and to musical intimacy.” But first, Jennings will play an intimate set at Milwaukee’s Back Room @ Colectivo.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 28
Milwaukee Record Halftime Show: Daydream Retrievers @ 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 are sponsoring 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 power-pop project Daydream Retrievers, fronted by Ian Olvera.
Spoy + Quick And Painless, Pop Sensation 9 a.m., Bug Moment @ X-Ray Arcade
Chaos is a good thing to keep in mind while listening to Spoy. The young Milwaukee band (Jack Lange, Harrison Willow, Keegan Phillips, Graham Collings) recently released its debut album, From The Three. It’s 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.)