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 October 2-8, 2023.
MONDAY, OCTOBER 2
Peter Gabriel @ Fiserv Forum
It’s been a few years since the forever-awesome Peter Gabriel graced Milwaukee with his presence. (His last show here was during Summerfest 2016, yes?) So it brings us great pleasure to announce that the Genesis co-founder and “In Your Eyes” / “Shock The Monkey” / “Sledgehammer” is playing Fiserv Forum tonight! The show is part of Gabriel’s i/o – The Tour, which finds the veteran artist “playing new material from his forthcoming album i/o, as well as delving into his peerless catalogue of music, with hits, fan favourites and the unexpected.”
The Roast Of Milwaukee @ The Cooperage
Milwaukee Record’s long-running Roast Of Milwaukee event is back! Like previous years, the event—which is done in association with the Milwaukee Comedy Festival—features a stacked cast of local comedians gently (or, in some cases, viciously) making fun of our fair city. Joining the homegrown humorists is host Ted Perry of FOX6 fame, as well as a handful of surprise guests. And the laughs won’t just be at the expense of Milwaukee. A portion of the show’s proceeds will be donated to Milwaukee Women’s Center.
Milwaukee Comedy Festival @ various locations (through October 8)
Originating long before the city had anything resembling a sustainable comedy community, Milwaukee Comedy Festival has grown and evolved along with Milwaukee’s stand-up scene. Along the way, the annual comedic undertaking has also brought in noted national talent to headline some of its shows. This year’s festival is no different, as Kyle Kinane, Todd Barry, Dave Stone, Kelly Ryan, and more will take part in the 18th annual Milwaukee Comedy Festival along with great local comics and up-and-coming humorists from all over the country.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 3
WMSE’s Local/Live: El Sebas @ Anodyne Walker’s Point Roastery
“Join us on Tuesday October 3 as WMSE DJ Maggie and Milwaukee Record’s Matt Wild host another free, all-ages edition of Local/Live from Anodyne on Bruce with El Sebas, a Mexican rapper, writer, performer, and curator, whose art is influenced by his culture and experiences. He forms half of Latin Hip Hop duo Browns Crew alongside fellow rapper Cristo Paz. His creative process encompasses writing through a journalistic lens that affirms his own realities and those of his community members. El Sebas’ music draws attention to prevalent issues, as well as aims to spread joy through his creative sound. He raps in English and Spanish, incorporates clever wordplay and thought provoking content, and infuses Latin sounds into his performances and recordings.”
John Raymond & S. Carey Present “Shadowlands” + The Hallelujah Ward @ The Cooperage
“For longtime Bon Iver sideman S. Carey and Grammy-nominated jazz trumpeter John Raymond, the opportunity to collaborate has been a long time in the making. ‘Even though our musical worlds were different, I always felt like there would be something there if we got together,’ says Raymond. Carey adds, ‘When we talked about the idea of working on a record, just kind of seeing what our sounds combined would add up to, I knew there was a lot of potential. What started out as just an experiment ended up turning into something really special.’ The result is their new co-release, ‘Shadowlands,’ a stunning, gorgeous collection of songs uprooted from simple genre descriptors. Recorded in the woods of Eau Claire, Wisconsin where the two met almost twenty years ago, the music combines the warmth and beauty of Carey’s aesthetic with the improvisational, spontaneous nature of Raymond’s, blurring the lines between indie folk, forward-thinking jazz, lush pop, and atmospheric electronic music.”
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 4
Frankie And The Witch Fingers + Wine Lips, Fellow Kinsman @ Miramar Theatre
“If you tune your ears to the cracks in the San Andreas and listen in for the world gurgling grind, you might come close to the tectonic thunder that’s been beaming out of L.A. for the past few years under the banner of Frankie and the Witch Fingers. Hashed and hardened in the Midwest Indy enclave of Bloomington and catching the ear of the Chicago psych contingent with their early singles, the band headed West around the same time that the crew at Permanent put up shop in the Golden State. With records spread across labels like Hypnotic Bridge, Permanent, Greenway, and The Reverberation Appreciation Society, the band has been an ever-evolving force of rhythm-ripped rock ‘n roll pummel ever since. Anchored by songwriters Dylan Sizemore and Josh Menashe, the band has kept a rotating door of friends and collaborators moving through their midst along the way, with each bringing their own particular melt to the mountain of sound the Witch Fingers maintain.”
Slow Pulp + Babehoven @ The Back Room @ Colectivo
“On Slow Pulp’s new album, Yard, the Wisconsin-bred, Chicago-based four-piece nestles comfortably into pockets of nuance, impressions, contradictions—sonics and lyrics finessed together to bottle the specific tension of a feeling you’ve never quite been able to find the right words for. In that regard, listening to Slow Pulp can feel like being in a room with someone who’s known you so long that they can read your every micro-expression and pinpoint exactly how you’re feeling before you can. Perhaps this spawns from the band’s own shared history and chemistry; in various ways, the four of them grew up—are still growing up—together.”
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 5
Cultures & Communities Festival @ various locations (through October 12)
For a full week, Milwaukee Film’s 2023 Cultures & Communities Festival will take over the Oriental Theatre—and much of the city itself. The “eight-day convergence of groundbreaking films, distinguished speakers, and public forums designed to amplify diverse cultural expressions and celebrate community” will include a host of city-wide parties, panel discussions, a “sneaker and streetwear summit,” stand-up sets from comedians Janelle James and Aida Rodriguez, and much more. Find all the event information you need HERE.
The Eric Andre Explosion @ The Rave/Eagles Club
With his unmatched energy and penchant for taking his comedy to unpredictable, uncomfortable, and occasionally even dangerous places, Eric Andre has fashioned a career through forcing audiences to expect the unexpected. This is best (and most famously) displayed on The Eric Andre Show and 2021’s Bad Trip. Beyond his work in TV and film, Andre also occasionally hits the road for live show experiences. One such live show will take place at The Rave/Eagles Club when “The Eric Andre Explosion” comes to town for what’s sure to be a crazy night.
Todd Barry @ Shank Hall
“Todd Barry has released three one-hour stand-up specials including his latest one for Netflix, Spicy Honey. He’s appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, The Late Show with David Letterman, Conan and Late Night With Seth Meyers and his acting credits include The Wrestler, Road Trip, Flight of the Concords, Chappelle’s Show, Spin City, Sex and the City. You may have heard his voice on the animated series Bob’s Burgers, Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist, and Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Todd is also the author of the critically-acclaimed 2017 travel memoir Thank You For Coming To Hattiesburg.”
Midweek Music: Wildered @ 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. Say hello to autumn and get an early start on your weekends with us at Crafty Cow Tosa.
Ty Segall & Freedom Band + Axis: Sova @ Turner Hall Ballroom
“One of the leaders of the new psych-influenced garage rock scene that erupted in California in the late 2000s, Ty Segall has produced a catalog as prolific as it is diverse. Working as a solo act and in a number of side projects, he has released literally dozens of albums since he left the Epsilons and cut his first project on his own in 2008.”
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 6
No Tomorrow’s Parties: 48 Hours Of Velvet Underground @ Circle-A (through October 7)
For 22 years, Circle-A Cafe has served as an intimate and quirky venue for an untold number of Milwaukee bands, musicians, and DJs. But now, sadly, owner Jennifer Mueller is closing Circle-A after this weekend. But the club is going out with a bang: On Friday, October 6 and Saturday, October 7, a total of eight bands—plus a host of DJs—will play the music of The Velvet Underground. The 48-hour tribute to the Velvets is something of a personal treat for Mueller. “I hope it’ll be a lot of fun,” she says. “It will definitely keep a smile on my face and put me in a really great mood. I think it will be a perfect way to end 2023 for me.”
The Lemon Twigs + Joanna Sternberg @ Cactus Club
“On Everything Harmony, the fourth full-length studio release from New York’s The Lemon Twigs, the prodigiously talented brothers Brian and Michael D’Addario offer 13 original servings of beauty that showcase an emotional depth and musical sophistication far beyond their years as a band, let alone as young men. While they eagerly devour musical influences from everything and everywhere, they have some how arrived at a cohesive and dynamic sound that speaks to our troubled times.”
Milwaukee Oktoberfest @ Cathedral Square Park (through October 8)
Swarmm Events is bringing Milwaukee Oktoberfest to Cathedral Square Park for three days of Germanic fun that includes live music (mostly polka with a little Pat McCurdy thrown in), plenty of beer and food from Kegel’s Inn, and contests like a bratwurst eating competition and a Wiener Dog Beauty Pageant. Prost!
Milwaukee Tattoo Arts Festival @ Baird Center (through October 8)
The 13th annual Milwaukee Tattoo Arts Festival is a celebration of all things ink, as body illustration enthusiasts and renowned tattoo artists take over the Wisconsin Center for three days of fun, connection, and tattoos.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 7
Ratboys + Free Range @ The Back Room @ Colectivo
Being from Chicago and all, Ratboys is no stranger to playing Milwaukee. This time around, the indie project is heading to The Back Room @ Colectivo to perform in support of its latest and greatest album, the just-released The Window. Whether you’ve seen some of the band’s Cactus Club shows in recent years or you’re just hopping aboard the bandwagon now, don’t miss this opportunity to see Ratboys in a relatively intimate venue; it seems like even bigger things are on the way for them (and soon!).
Beet Street Harvest Festival @ Cactus Club
The 8th annual Beet Street Harvest Festival—hosted by Cactus Club, Palomino, and Goodkind—is set to bring about a day of live music, local food and retail vendors, and pie-based competition to a parcel of Wentworth and Potter avenues. The family-friendly event will run from 2-8 p.m., with an 18+ afterparty to take place at Cactus Club once Beet Street concludes.
Curd Fest 2023 @ Drink Wisconsinbly Pub
While it’s always Curd Fest in Milwaukee as far as we’re concerned, the folks from Drink Wisconsinbly Pub are going the extra mile with a deliciously cheesy festival devoted to the almighty curd. Enjoy samples from a stacked cast of local vendors, sign up for a cheese eating contest, and have a few drinks while celebrating an iconic Wisconsin delicacy at the Deer District.
Kyle Kinane @ The Pabst Theater
Beloved comedian, actor, and Illinois native Kyle Kinane will return to the Midwest to take the stage at The Pabst Theater as part of the Milwaukee Comedy festival. Tickets to this show—Kinane’s first Milwaukee appearance since late 2019—are running low, so act fast!
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 8
Brady Street Pet Parade @ Brady Street
The beloved Brady Street Pet Parade is back! Dogs, cats, pigs, ferrets, rats, lizards, and humans are all welcome. The big event (presented by Lakefront Brewery) will take over the eastern end of Brady Street from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Vendors, music from Lilliput Records, and oodles and oodles of adorable pets will be involved. Similar to years past, the judged contests (Best Costume, Best Pet/Owner Lookalike, Best Trick) will be emceed by Milwaukee Record‘s own Matt Wild. The event is free to attend, though you’ll need to buy tickets if you want to enter your pet(s) in the contests. Get those tickets HERE. All proceeds will go to the Urban Cat Coalition.
Janelle James @ The Pabst Theater
“An award-winning actress best known for her role as Ava Coleman in the acclaimed television series Abbott Elementary, Janelle James is also an accomplished comedian, having toured with Chris Rock and Amy Schumer, and is coming to The Pabst Theater this fall as a part of Milwaukee Film’s 2023 Cultures & Communities Festival. In this one-of-a-kind experience, James will perform a 45-minute comedy set accompanied by a 15-minute audience Q&A, offering a unique glimpse into her life and career.”
Bill Burr @ Fiserv Forum
Veteran comedian, actor, writer, podcaster, hockey fan, helicopter pilot, amateur drummer, and consummate Milwaukee fan Bill Burr will perform at Fiserv Forum on Sunday, October 8. “This event will be a phone-free experience,” reads a press release. “The use of phones, smart watches and accessories will not be permitted in the performance space.” So check those phones before Burr checks in on us.
Jonathan Richman @ Marcus Performing Arts Center
Bless you, Jonathan Richman. The legendary singer-songwriter has been a force of good and wide-eyed whimsy since the early 1970s, back when he was with The Modern Lovers. These days, his acoustic shows (usually with drummer Tommy Larkins) are welcome escapes from a world of noise and chaos. He was in There’s Something About Mary. We once interviewed him via fax. He and Larkins are set to play the Marcus Performing Arts Center tonight!
The Beaches @ The Cooperage
Less than a month removed from releasing its latest album, the excellent Blame My Ex, Canadian rock outfit The Beaches will swing through Milwaukee to play a show at The Cooperage.
Made In Nerdwaukee @ Enlightened Brewing
Browse an impressive selection of locally made “geek goods” at this indoor marketplace. Beyond the 15+ vendors taking part in the first of two Made In Nerdwaukee installments (the other will take place at Enlightened Brewing on December 9), attendees can enjoy craft beer, non-alcoholic cocktails, and food from Sweet Smoke BBQ.