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 23-29, 2023.
MONDAY, OCTOBER 23
Garden Home + Pickpocket, Middling, Buena Cara @ Cactus Club
In late 2021, Garden Home released postmortem. The two-track EP showed the post-hardcore project pulling no punches as it earnestly addressed feelings of remorse, confinement, and helplessness brought on by both the pandemic and the planet’s ongoing environmental collapse. The band followed it up this summer with a new single, “Past Life.” The track reprises postmortem‘s introspective elements with an overarching theme of perseverance “through traumatic and depressive periods in our lives,” and the role that time and change have in personal growth. “Past Life” is the lead single off a forthcoming Garden Home full-length. Thumbs Up Records—an independent label that has released music from Milwaukee’s own Honey Creek and Madison-based Excuse Me, Who Are You?—will put out the album, but a release date isn’t public knowledge quite yet.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 24
Kiss The Tiger + The Nile Club, Spoy @ Shank Hall
“At a time when the world seems intent on pushing us further inward and further apart, Kiss The Tiger are here to rattle our bones and bust us out of our cocoons with some good old fashioned rock and roll. Fronted by the magnetic and disarming Meghan Kreidler, who draws on her background in theater to break the fourth wall between audience and band with her righteous fist pumps and high kicks, this is a band that doesn’t just play. They combust. And watching them set the stage ablaze, it’s hard not to feel that tension that’s been built up in all of us these past few years slowly release, too, like a collective exhale set to ratcheting guitars, buoyant bass lines and Kreidler’s perfectly pitched screams. Theirs is a clean-burning fire. Hell, you might even call it healing.”
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 25
Milwaukee Record Presents: The Monster Squad @ Avalon Atmospheric Theater
The 1980s were loaded with “kid adventure” films: The Goonies, Explorers, Flight Of The Navigator, etc. But how many of those “kid adventure” films had the kids squaring off against Dracula, the Wolfman, Frankenstein’s monster, and other close-but-not-close-enough-to-violate-Universal-copyright Universal monsters? Just one: 1987’s cult classic The Monster Squad. And hey! We’re screening The Monster Squad tonight at the Avalon Atmospheric Theater! Reserved-seating tickets to the 7 p.m. show are $11, and are on sale HERE. Happy Halloween!
Midweek Music: Ladybird (solo) @ 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: Ladybird’s Pete Freeman!
David Sedaris @ The Pabst Theater
“An Evening with David Sedaris, author of the previous bestsellers Calypso, Naked, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, and regular National Public Radio contributor will be live on stage for one night only, following the release of his newest book Happy Go Lucky. This is a unique opportunity to see the best-selling humorist in an intimate setting. As always, Sedaris will be offering a selection of all-new readings and recollections, as well as a Q&A session and book signing.”
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 26
Electric Six + The Surfrajettes @ Shank Hall
“Turquoise is here, the long awaited studio album return of Electric Six!!! Perhaps the catchiest, brightest album in their catalog, Electric Six reminds you how profoundly fun they can be, hitting you over the head with fourteen pop explosions guaranteed to burrow their way into your dance hole. The recording of Turquoise began in January of 2020, but you know, something distracted us for a couple of years shortly after starting the record. The pandemic tacked a bit of time onto the schedule of this project and Electric Six certainly felt the need to tap into the collective feelings of the time in tracks like ‘Panic! Panic!’ and the title track ‘Turquoise.'”
State Of Sound: Tigera @ Radio Milwaukee
“Live, local music is back at Radio Milwaukee! State of Sound is our FREE weekly session showcasing talent from across the state with a deep commitment to artists that call southeastern Wisconsin home. On 10/26 we have Milwaukee indie-pop band Tigera! Doors open at 5 p.m. Show starts at 5:30 p.m. Can’t be there in person? Listen live on radiomilwaukee.org or 88.9FM. Beverages will be for sale from Broken Bat Brewing Co.”
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 27
Nikki Glaser @ The Pabst Theater
“Nikki Glaser is one of the funniest female voices in comedy today. For nearly two decades at clubs across the country, and as the host of three hit podcasts, Nikki has been honing her shockingly honest, no-holds barred style of comedy. Her daily show, THE NIKKI GLASER PODCAST, launched in March 2021 through iHeartMedia and Will Ferrell’s Big Money Players Network. It is a daily companion podcast that is peppered with Nikki’s sense of humor and honesty to help keep listeners sane, well-informed, and laughing through life. In July of 2022, she headlined her first HBO comedy special, GOOD CLEAN FILTH, which has been nominated for a Critics Choice Award for Best Comedy Special. Nikki is currently on her nationwide and international comedy tour, THE GOOD GIRL TOUR, which kicked off in January 2023.”
The Get Down 20th Anniversary Dance Party @ Promises
“Come celebrate 20 years of blissful soul and funk dance parties with us – It’s free! The Get Down DJs bring you soul, funk, disco, boogie and a touch of latin all from original 45s! This isn’t pop hit Trader Joe’s soul, we rock the rare and funky you can’t hear anywhere else!”
WWE SmackDown @ Fiserv Forum
“Just Announced…. JOHN CENA Returns to Milwaukee!!! PLUS many more Superstars in action including: Undisputed WWE Universal Champion- ROMAN REIGNS; United States Champion – REY MYSTERIO; LA KNIGHT; THE STREET PROFITS; BOBBY LASHLEY; CHARLOTTE FLAIR; WWE Women’s Champion- IYO SKY; SHEAMUS; AJ STYLES; and many more!!”
Be Your Own Pet + Birthday Girl @ The Back Room @ Colectivo
“Nashville’s Be Your Own Pet have dropped a new single, ‘Hand Grenade.’ The song marks their first new music since the release of their seminal Get Awkward album in 2008 and was written and recorded by the three founding members Jemina Pearl Abegg (vocals), Jonas Stein (Guitar), Nathan Vasquez (bass), and longtime drummer John Eatherly. Picking up right where they left off, ‘Hand Grenade’ is an exuberant return and leaves no question they are the same band that Pitchfork called ‘vibrantly charismatic’ and Rolling Stone labelled ‘charmingly raw.'”
Wisconsin Whiskey Festival @ Hilton Milwaukee City Center
“Guests can expect over 150 whiskies to sample from 35+ local and national distillers. Tickets always include your entry, event program, pen, whiskey journal, and a Glencairn tasting glass all in a tote bag for you take home!”
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 28
Nightmare On Center Street Block Party @ Company Brewing
Tonight, Company Brewing will host a wide range of seasonal specials, spectacles, and sounds for Halloweeners of all ages. Things will kick off at 11 a.m. with a “Haunted Brunch,” as well as specialty drinks (including “Blood Bag Cocktails”), and a ghoulish playlist by DJ Fuzzy Logic. This scary-good celebration will also feature a costume contests for pets and kids, a mini maker/vintage market, a brass band, trick of treating, and a giant inflatable trampoline park that will last until the evening. Inside the property, local bands will cover Blink-182, Lady Gaga, Deftones beginning at 9 p.m. before handing the stage over to Freak On A Leash Fellowship at midnight.”
The 1975 + Dora Jar @ Fiserv Forum
“Over the last decade, The 1975 have firmly established themselves as the defining band of their generation with their distinctive aesthetic, passionate fanbase and unique sonic approach. Released last Oct., the band’s fifth studio album Being Funny In A Foreign Language was met with lavish praise, with The FACE labeling it ‘an album of massive tunes, pristine production and sincere romanticism’ and Rolling Stone vowing the album saw the band ‘reassert themselves at the forefront of 2020s pop-rock.’ It outsold the rest of the Top 5 combined to land the band their fifth Official UK Number 1 album in a row. The band were also crowned ‘Best Rock/Alternative Act’ at the 2023 BRIT Awards.”
Jack-O-Lantern Jubilee @ Red Arrow Park
The second annual family-friendly Halloween event is coming back to Downtown Milwaukee’s Red Arrow Park from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The first 500 attendees will have the opportunity to pick out a free pumpkin from downtown Milwaukee’s only pumpkin patch. Families can also gather for story time with The Pocket Lady and Wes Tank. And there’s more! Face painting, giveaways, food vendors, and more will be featured. The free event is intended for kids of all ages, though it’s especially suited to tykes ages 2-10.
Dia de los Muertos Festival @ Forest Home Cemetery & Arboretum
“The Dia de los Muertos Festival is a FREE family friendly event that aims to bring together the southside community to celebrate the traditions of Dia de los Muertos and enjoy the space that the Forest Home Cemetery & Arboretum has to offer. The event will kick-off in the morning with a 5k Run/Walk through the grounds of the cemetery. After the run, the festival begins with food trucks, local vendors, arts and crafts for kids and families, traditional music and dance, altars to the dead, face painting, community resource booths, and so much more.”
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 29
Milwaukee Record Halftime Series: The Nile Club @ Cactus Club
Our Halftime Series is back! This season, we’ve assembled a stacked roster of 15 acts that will provide FREE all-ages entertainment during halftime of Green Bay’s games. Like previous seasons, the concert series will take place at Cactus Club. Also like previous seasons, Miller High Life will sponsor our football-focused festivities, meaning fans can enjoy “The Champagne Of Beers” and Miller Lite for $10 for a bucket of five beers all game long and “Record Recommended” High Life and Mystery Shot specials for $6. This year also brings two new sponsors into the mix. Our friends at Transfer Pizzeria Cafe will be coming by games (excluding Mondays and holidays) to drop off some pizza for everyone to share. Meanwhile, MKE Distilling Company’s new vodka will be featured in Bloody Marys and Cactus Bombs throughout the season. This week: The Nile Club!
John Oliver @ Miller High Life Theatre
“John Oliver is an Emmy and Writer’s Guild Award-winning writer and comedian. He is the host and producer of the HBO show, Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, which has been the recipient of multiple prestigious awards, including 23 Primetime Emmys, 5 Writer’s Guild Awards, 2 Critics’ Choice Television Awards, 4 Television Critics Association Awards, and 2 Peabodys. Oliver has his comedic roots in stand-up and continues to perform to sold-out venues across the globe.”