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 4-10, 2021.
MONDAY, OCTOBER 4
Milwaukee Comedy Festival @ The Laughing Tap (and other locations)
Following an abbreviated 2020 edition that featured fewer shows, far smaller audiences, a more localized lineup, and many more protective face coverings than ever before, Milwaukee Comedy Festival is getting back to normal in 2021. Neil Hamburger, Myq Kaplan, and Lara Beitz will headline the state’s largest and longest-running comedy festival. Find the full lineup HERE. (Through October 10)
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 5
Machine Gun Kelly + Jxdn, Carolesdaughter @ The Rave / Eagles Ballroom
Anyone else following the big Slipknot/Machine Gun Kelly feud? Fun stuff! Anyway, Slipknot played Milwaukee last week (at the American Family Insurance Amphitheater on the Summerfest grounds), while Machine Gun Kelly plays The Rave tonight. So close! Still, fun stuff!
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 6
Midweek Music: Holy Pinto @ Crafty Cow Tosa
This fall, Milwaukee Record is bringing live music to the new Crafty Cow Tosa (6519 W. North Ave., Wauwatosa). The weekly concert series, called “Midweek Music,” features a total of eight Wednesday night performances from an eclectic array of local artists. There is no cover for these all-ages shows, which run 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. They’ll also have a “Cheap Date” special, which includes two entrees, an appetizer, and two drinks for just $29. The series begins tonight with Holy Pinto.
Off With Their Heads + Canadian Rifle, Chinese Telephones @ X-Ray Arcade
Minneapolis punk greats and 2017 Dummerfest headliners Off With Their Heads return to Cudahy to head up an impressive bill that also features support from Canadian Rifle and Chinese Telephones.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 7
TV Moms + Powerwagon, Haunter @ Company Brewing
Minneapolis’ TV Moms describe themselves as a “loud, grungy, guitar-drums, guy-guy rocknroll two-piece band.” Emphasis on the “loud” and “grungy” parts: The duo’s latest record, Buzz Mallory, is more Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr. than The White Stripes, and more Pixies and Nirvana than The Black Keys.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 8
PridetoberFest @ Henry Maier Festival Park (through October 9)
Described as a “scaled-back version” of PrideFest (which is normally held in June), the two-day PridetoberFest will occupy a smaller chunk of the Summerfest grounds October 8-9, but will still “activate multiple stages that engage a diverse lineup of entertainment with a particular focus on local acts, performers, and shows.” Some highlights include Milwaukee’s own Jaida Essence Hall (winner of Season 12 of RuPaul’s Drag Race), Season 13 Drag Race finalist Gottmik, the incomparable Big Freedia, GGOOLLDD, writer/comedian Bruce Vilanch, DJ Shawna, PridetoberFest fireworks, a MKE Leather & Fetish Show, and much more. You can check out the full entertainment lineup HERE.
Alive And Fine Presents: “A Night Of Twin Peaks” After-Party @ Cactus Club
From 5-10 p.m., Bay View vintage store Alive And Fine will host a group gallery show inspired by the ’90s TV cult classic (and don’t forget the recent reboot!) Twin Peaks. We’ll have more information on the gallery show soon, though Alive And Fine owner Ashley Smith assures us “there will be pie.” But that’s not all, Peaks freaks. There will also be an after-party at Cactus Club, complete with a $150 cash prize “Miss Twin Peaks” costume contest AND a performance by Milwaukee pop-up/supergroup Damn Fine Coffee.
Caley Conway + Kid Coolie @ Company Brewing
These days, Caley Conway is fresh off the release of her excellent new EP Bliss Or Bust, is playing out again, and is contributing her talents to other accomplished projects like Field Report and OQ. Tonight’s gig is a showcase for yet another project Conway is involved with; the show doubles as a preview of a new music video series from Silver City Studios called “No Wake,” and a shoot for Conway’s upcoming episode.
Boris The Sprinkler + Holy Shit!, Indonesian Junk, The Malones @ X-Ray Arcade
Even before the pandemic, there weren’t too many opportunities to see Boris The Sprinkler live. The iconic and influential Green Bay punk rock spectacle is coming out of hiding to play a rare Milwaukee-area show at X-Ray Arcade. Show up early to get a good spot, and enjoy opening sets by Holy Shit!, Indonesian Junk, and The Malones.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 9
Crusherfest @ Downtown South Milwaukee
Good news, turkeynecks and turkeyneck-adjacent bums: Crusherfest is returning to South Milwaukee on Saturday, October 9, and Sunday, October 10. Crusherfest 2021 will be the long-awaited second installment of the homegrown festival. (Crusherfest 2020 was canceled due to COVID-19.) Crusherfest, of course, is the celebration of South Milwaukee wrestling legend Reggie “Da Crusher” Lisowski. Back in 2019, a life-sized bronze statue of Lisowski was unveiled at the inaugural Crusherfest; this year, there’ll be a bags tournament, a Sunday market, a “Mr. Saloon Contest,” and live music.
Beet Street Harvest Festival: Ric Wilson + Frankie & The Witch Fingers, CREDENTIALS, Clayton, Mariachi Zomara, Cozmiika @ Cactus Club
Following four years of family-friendly, fall-focused fun (and taking 2020 off for pandemic-related reasons), Cactus Club has decided to bring its Beet Street Harvest Festival back for another installment. On Saturday, October 9, the Bay View bar will host a day of food, drinks, live music, and festival fun for all ages. That day, a chunk of Wentworth Avenue between Goodkind and Cactus Club will be blocked off for the fifth annual event.
Genau + Blue Unit, The Cutouts @ Bremen Cafe
For all its sunny reinvention and chipper boosterism, Milwaukee can be a cold and gloomy place. Maybe that’s why so many Brew City bands take inspiration from the dreamy-but-dreary shoegaze sound of the ’80s and early ’90s. Genau and Brief Candles are just two examples of local bands currently channeling that My Bloody Valentine/4AD vibe. See them tonight, along with The Cutouts.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 10
Milwaukee Record Halftime Show: The LOL @ 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 will sponsor 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. The LOL (formerly known as Lauryl Sulfate + Her Ladies Of Leisure) will treat Cactus Club to a halftime performance during the Green Bay-Cincinnati game.