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 August 2-8, 2021.
TUESDAY, AUGUST 3
Chill On The Hill: Yum Yum Cult + Wonderful Bluffer @ Humboldt Park
Yum Yum Cult singer-songwriter Palmer Shah says the group’s recent single “Convenience & Me” is about “the stages of a depressive episode—extreme highs, lows, apathy.” Indeed, the song is an in-the-pocket jam one minute, a scream-y freak-out the next, and a controlled-but-jittery shake the next. If there’s a song better suited to the constant ups and downs of the past year, we’d love to hear it.
Nature Neglected: “Are We Loving It To Death?” @ Jazz Gallery Center for the Arts
THURSDAY, AUGUST 5
Wisconsin State Fair @ Wisconsin State Fair Park (through August 15)
Come hell or high water, the Wisconsin State Fair is determined to deliver all the fun, food, and edge-of-your-seat pig racing that you know and love, and that you missed in 2020. As for musical entertainment, the Main Stage headliner feels as comfortable and familiar as an old pair of pre-pandemic jeans: Billy Idol, Foreigner, Boyz II Men, The Beach Boys, and more. Click HERE for the whole thing. Oh, and click HERE for the local-tastic lineup for the Lakefront Brewery/WMSE stage.
Eddie Pepitone @ The Laughing Tap
Grizzled and grumpy stand-up comic/actor/documentary subject Eddie Pepitone makes his Milwaukee return with three nights (and four total performances) at The Laughing Tap. Joining the “Bitter Buddha” during this weekend in Walker’s Point is feature comic JT Habersaat. Don’t miss this opportunity to see a low-key comedy legend in a cozy club setting.
Pinc Louds + The LOL @ Cactus Club
‘Punks In Peoria’ Book Event @ Lion’s Tooth
Rainbow Summer: Chicken Wire Empire @ Marcus Center Grounds
Photo Awards Event & Documentary Film Screening @ Jazz Gallery Center for the Arts
FRIDAY, AUGUST 6
Fox Face (record release) + Red Stuff, Negative/Positive, Toadskin, DJ Ken Dirtnap @ X-Ray Arcade
Milwaukee’s excellent Fox Face released their second full-length album, End Of Man, way back in January. Now, roughly seven months later, they’re finally celebrating with a live, real-deal record release show. End Of Man is a blistering assault of pissed-off, socially conscious rock and roll, complete with a classic cover (“There’ll Be Some Changes Made”) originally arranged and performed for our Public Domain video series.
Ratboys + Telethon @ Cactus Club
Even though Ratboys only managed a few shows in support of last year’s wonderful Printer’s Devil before touring halted, the Chicago indie-folk outfit saw the album earn oodles of positive press, and awareness of the hardworking band that’s been around since 2011 increased in the process. Happy Birthday, Ratboy—the excellent 10th anniversary surprise album the band released April 1, 2021—found Ratboys treating listeners to new versions of college-era demos and songs from their original EP. It’s safe to say Ratboys are bordering on breakout, so you won’t want to miss this 18+ outing with them and an opening set by the incomparable Milwaukee pop-punkers in Telethon.
Concert Cruise: Undercover Organism @ Milwaukee Boat Line
Starry Nights: De La Buena @ Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts
Eddie Pepitone @ The Laughing Tap
SATURDAY AUGUST 7
Concert Cruise: Devils Teeth @ Milwaukee Boat Line
Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. For Milwaukee garage-surf outfit Devils Teeth, our current extraordinary times have called for—what else?—releasing a self-recorded “spaghetti western garage rock operetta inspired by the character Chong Li from the martial arts film Bloodsport.” (You know. The one with Jean-Claude Van Damme.) Opening with the exotica-tinged scene-setter “She Speaks To Coyotes,” barreling into the over-the-top “Chong Li” and “Ride Of The Devils Teeth,” and culminating in the cliffhanging “Shadows Of Chong Li,” La Leggenda Di Chong Li plays like a fever-dream version of the Pulp Fiction soundtrack crossed with Ennio Morricone.
The Unitaskers + Conundrum, Bug Moment, Maybe Hazel @ X-Ray Arcade
Motel Breakfast + Barely Civil, Dogbad @ Cactus Club
Eddie Pepitone @ The Laughing Tap (8 p.m. and 10:15 shows)
SUNDAY, AUGUST 8
Mudy (record release) + D. Bridge, Lucien Parker, Tye Motives, DJ Snack Daddy @ Cactus Club
Milwaukee rapper Mudy (pronounced “moody”) has been building up local buzz since 2019. She’s released a handful of singles and EPs in the last few years, only to pull some of those tracks at a later date. The work that remains is fantastic, however, especially the recent Land EP, which finds Mudy in an introspective (“Mudy”), blissed-out (“Home”), and defiant (“Numb”) mood. Tonight’s show celebrates the release of her newest EP, Major Mood.