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 October 17-23, 2022.
MONDAY, OCTOBER 17
Jon Mueller’s “The Future Is Unlimited, Always” + Normal Rituals @ Cactus Club
Avant-percussionist Jon Mueller has long been one of Milwaukee’s most fascinating artists, whether with a group (Volcano Choir, Collections Of Colonies Of Bees, Pele) or solo. His latest record and book, The Future Is Unlimited, Always is “an examination of time, meditation, and loss.” The live performance of Future will find Mueller employing “a variety of gongs, percussion, and electronics to create an atmosphere equally as easy to get lost in as it is to be propelled by.”
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 18
Mac Saturn + Diet Lite @ The Back Room @ Colectivo
If you’re looking for a Tuesday-night shot of original classic rock, blues, funk, soul, and Americana, look no further than this sure-to-be swagger-tastic Mac Saturn show. The group’s latest single, “Mr. Cadillac,” comes from its latest EP, Until The Money Runs Out. The Detroit five-piece will be joined by Milwaukee’s own Diet Lite.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 19
Midweek Music: Julien Kozak @ Crafty Cow Tosa
Midweek Music is back! Join us at Crafty Cow Tosa on Wednesday nights in October and November for a total of eight Midweek Music performances. There’s no cover for these all-ages shows, which 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 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: singer-songwriter Julien Kozak!
Argopelter + Caley Conway @ Boone & Crockett
Argopelter is an improvised experimental trio composed of Barry Paul Clark (bass), Devin Drobka (drums), and Christopher Porterfield (guitar). The group’s frequent residencies at Boone & Crockett are always appointment viewing/listening, especially when coupled with incomparable singer-songwriter Caley Conway. The musicians’ autumn residency continues tonight, with one more show on November 16 to follow.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20
We May Well Be The Ones @ The Cooperage
Back in August, Christopher Porterfield of Field Report launched “Bird Songs,” a concert series designed to raise awareness for LuAnn Bird. Bird is the Democratic candidate for State Assembly in the 84th District. The district—recently reconfigured to include bits of Greenfield, Hales Corners, Greendale, and Milwaukee—has long been controlled by the GOP. If it remains under GOP control after Bird faces former Milwaukee alderman (and frequent mayoral runner-up) Bob Donovan on November 8, it may lead to the party achieving a supermajority, removing Governor Tony Evers’ power to veto. Tonight’s “We May Well Be The Ones” benefit show will feature a who’s-who of Milwaukee musicians performing original material and re-interpreting the music of Paul Westerberg, Laura Nyro, Gil Scott-Heron, and others. The Milwaukee artists in question include Porterfield and Field Report, B~Free and Quinten Farr, Tontine Ensemble, Caley Conway, Marielle Allschwang, Sarah Vos, Treccy MT, Ellie Jackson, and Cree Myles.
NNAMDÏ + Joshua Virtue @ Cactus Club
Chicago-based singer, rapper, producer, and multi-instrumentalist NNAMDÏ has put out a ton of great music since 2020 (including his acclaimed new Sooper Records / Secretly Canadian album, Please Have A Seat). He’s performed with Wilco, Sleater-Kinney, Black Midi, Jeff Rosenstock, and Speedy Ortiz. He has garnered acclaim from Kasey Musgraves and he was named “Chicagoan Of The Year” by the Chicago Tribune. When you have a chance to see NNAMDÏ in an intimate setting like the Cactus Club, you go.
Jon Lovitz @ Milwaukee Improv
Actor, comedian, Saturday Night Live cast member, former Subway pitchman, and Jay Motherfucking Sherman himself Jon Lovitz is coming to Milwaukee Improv in Brookfield for a total of four performances spread across as many nights. Jon Lovitz is coming to metro Milwaukee…and we’re reaping all the benefits.
Milwaukee Muslim Film Festival @ Oriental Theatre (through October 23)
Returning for its seventh installment, the Milwaukee Muslim Film Festival will feature eight in-person screenings at the historic Oriental Theatre. The films, ranging from festival favorites to overlooked gems, are An Act Of Worship, Thirst For Justice, Wandering: A Rohingya Story, Scattered People, Boy From Heaven, Boycott, Tantura, and The Mauritanian.
Autumn At The Allis: Derek Pritzl @ Charles Allis Art Museum
Every Thursday night in October, Charles Allis Art Museum will celebrate autumn with an eclectic blend of live and local music at its gorgeous Tudor-style museum on Milwaukee’s East Side. The four-concert seasonal series will also feature food from Flour Girl And Flame (on October 6, October 13, and October 20) and Ethiopian Cottage Restaurant (October 27). Autumn At The Allis continues tonight with a performance by Derek Pritzl.
Studio Ghibli Pop-Up & Art Show @ The Sugar Maple (through October 23)
For four nights, Milwaukee’s beloved craft beer bar Sugar Maple will transform itself into a “whimsical Ghibli-world immersive experience.” The experience will include “Ghibli-themed decor, a Ghibli-themed cocktail menu, music from Studio Ghibli films, screenings of the Studio Ghibli catalog of films, a costume competition, and a showcase of local art.” Costumes are encouraged for all four days, but the official costume contest will be held on Saturday, October 22 at 7 p.m.
Marcus Mumford + The A’s @ The Pabst Theater
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 21
Widespread Panic @ The Riverside Theater
Everything may still be awful (your mileage may vary), but you can always depend on a few things: death, taxes, and legendary Athens jam band Widespread Panic selling out Milwaukee’s Riverside Theater over multiple dates. If you managed to score tickets, you can catch the group at one of three shows from October 21-23.
Large Print + Products, Summer Birth @ High Dive
Many bands boast of their “unclassifiable”-ness, but few put their money where their mouth is like Milwaukee’s Large Print. On the band’s two 2022 EPs—In The Clouds and In The Dark—dreamy shoegaze indie tracks give way to Velvet Underground-esque droners, which in turn give way to caffeinated electro bangers. It’s all highlighted by the terrific vocals of Grace Mitchell and the tightly wound chemistry of the rest of the band (James Brickner, Andy Grygiel, Jay Joslyn, Eric Risser). Large Print songs rarely last much longer than two minutes, but they never fail to leave an impression.
The Quilz + Palm Ghosts @ Company Brewing
Isn’t it a drag when you fire up a “Halloween playlist” on your streaming platform of choice and it’s all stuff like “Thriller” and the theme to Ghostbusters? Where are the real Halloween playlists? You know, the super goth-y, super dark wave-y Halloween playlists? Well, if you have such a playlist, consider stocking it with songs from The Quilz. The Milwaukee duo’s latest song, “I Can’t Sleep,” is a wonderfully old-school goth-pop concoction full of dance-floor beats, moody synths, and dreamy vocals.
Miles Nielsen & The Rusted Hearts @ Shank Hall
Hailing from Rockford, Illinois, Miles Nielsen and company are no strangers to Wisconsin. They play here often, and their roots-y, shit-kicking rock ‘n’ roll is always a pleasure to experience live.
Chinese Telephones + Partial Traces, Time Thieves, Habitat For Insanity @ Cactus Club
West Nile Crows + Pescatarian At Best, Crawlspace, TUK @ Linneman’s Riverwest Inn
Gallery Night MKE @ various locations (through October 22)
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 22
Testa Rosa + Louie & The Flashbombs @ Linneman’s Riverwest Inn
Testa Rosa’s fourth full-length album, 2019’s IV, racks up more career highlights for one of Milwaukee’s best rock bands. The shimmery jangle-pop of “Alice Anything” and “Play It As It Lays” hearkens back to early-’90s R.E.M. Betty Blexrud-Strigens’ ghostly harmonies on “Herring Gull” work amazingly well over the band’s insistent rhythm section, while “7w” and “Great Time To Go Back” take listeners through alternately sad and sunny nostalgic dream-pop. The album’s centerpiece, “High Horse,” may be the grandest piece of music thus far in the Testa Rosa catalog.
Stephen Kellogg @ The Back Room @ Colectivo
The Milbillies + Dig Deep, Wise Jennings @ X-Ray Arcade
Widespread Panic @ The Riverside Theater
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 23
Milwaukee Record Halftime Show: Fun Bois @ Cactus Club
Our Milwaukee Record Halftime Show series has returned! This season, we’ve assembled a stacked roster of 16 performers that will provide FREE entertainment during halftime of Green Bay football games. Miller High Life, Miller Lite, and Rehorst Vodka Bloody Marys will be on special. Meanwhile, Awkward Nerd Events will occasionally pop by for giveaways to their upcoming events and other fun complements to the in-game/on-stage action. There will also be touchdown shots (both regular and N/A)! This week’s Halftime Show features a performance from raucous punk band Fun Bois.
Demetri Martin @ The Pabst Theater
Standup comedian, writer, and all-around entertainer Demetri Martin has been delighting audiences with his wry observations and wry delivery for nearly 20 years. Twenty years! Is that true? Is it also true that Martin is 49 years old? Bat-shit crazy but true! Martin is currently on his “I Feel Funny” tour.
Carrie Underwood + Jimmie Allen @ Fiserv Forum
Social Caterpillar + Lower Automation, Graysea @ Cactus Club
Widespread Panic @ The Riverside Theater
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