Our fat-free, dolphin-safe Milwaukee calendar is chock-full of things to do, but only a handful of events contained therein are worthy of the lofty “Record Recommended” (patent pending) honor. Here are our recommendations for the week of January 18-24, 2016.
Tuesday, January 19
Bully + Fake Limbs @ Cactus Club
Late last spring, a little-known rock quartet called Bully played with Whips in a (maybe) one-third full Cactus Club back room just days before releasing its first studio album. That record, Feels Like, catapulted Alicia Bognanno and her backing band to national consciousness, complete with ample alternative radio play and spots on virtually every respected music festival. Fewer than seven months removed from that Cactus show, it’s safe to expect more people will make it out to see Bully this time around.
Thursday, January 21
Riverwest FemFest: Tigernite + Sista Strings, Chakara Blu, Ugly Brothers, Chloey Stingley, Sugar Ransom @ Riverwest Public House
After an encouraging inaugural Riverwest FemFest raised $2,100 to support to the Milwaukee Women’s center with a small-but-solid two-day event at Cocoon Room and Riverwest Public House, the female-focused philanthropic festival returns bigger and even better in year two. Tonight’s kickoff at Riverwest Public House is a can’t-miss, and features a headlining set from Local Coverage 2016 MVP Tigernite.
Tommy Stinson + Midnight Reruns, Platinum Boys @ Turner Hall
Though he’s now based in New York, Replacements and Guns N’ Roses bassist Tommy Stinson’s local ties run deep, as he’s represented by Ben Perlstein (formerly of The Benjamins) and recorded Midnight Reruns’ very, very great recent full-length Force Of Nurture. Back in September, Stinson came to Club Garibaldi. Since that show went so well, he’ll return to the Midwest to play to a bigger room with the local support of Midnight Reruns and Platinum Boys. Not too shabby for a $10 show!
Friday, January 22
Riverwest FemFest: Fox Face + Static Eyes, Plague Walker, Dahkma, Dupond Dupont, The Candliers (reunion), Caley Conway, Olivia Gillingham, Rocket Paloma, Sara And Kenny @ Jazz Gallery
Day 2 of Riverwest FemFest finds a slew of female-focused acts setting up shop at the Jazz Gallery. Watch for Local Coverage 2016 alum Fox Face, as well as the return of Milwaukee’s gone-but-not-forgotten Candliers.
Scrimshaw + Ravi/Lola, Wavy V @ Frank’s Power Plant
To enter the world of Scrimshaw is to enter a world where Dr. Demento rules the radio, Mad magazine is required college reading, and Don Knotts is People‘s “Sexiest Man Alive” for the 10th year running. Milwaukee’s premier weirdo art-rock band has been doing its own thang for more than a decade now, releasing album after album of warped lo-fi sketches and full-blown funk-tastic blowouts. Kitchen-sink instrumentation, chipmunk vocals, and surrealistic lyrics are the norm. The new 17-track Welcome To The Henry Herschel Commercial is the band’s best record yet.
Saturday, January 23
Riverwest FemFest: Siren + Zed Kenzo, Pussy, Mexican Knives, Cree Myles And B Free, Mary Allen And The Percolators, Anja Notanja, New Boyz Club, Mary Joy, Abbey Jeane Rebel Love, Faux Fiction, Heavy Hand, Hello Death, Mary Hacker, Krystal And Kat, Grasping At Straws, Amanda Huff, @ Company Brewing
Day 3 of Riverwest FemFest moves to Company Brewing for an all-day blowout. Arguably the strongest day of the fest, it features sets from Siren, New Boyz Club, Heavy Hand, Hello Death, Grasping At Straws, and more. Phew.
Protomartyr + Amanda X, Dorth Nakota @ Cactus Club
Though Protomartyr has been kicking since 2008, the Detroit post-punk project didn’t break out until about three months ago. In early October, Protomartyr’s third full-length, The Agent Intellect, was released and was privy to loads of critical acclaim along with a warm reception from a continually growing fan base. Before embarking on a lengthy national tour—one that ends with a SXSW appearance—and a European jaunt, the up-and-coming band will drop by Cactus Club.
Pablove 7: Carolina + Goran (The Gufs), Oil Tasters/Haskels (Tribute), Lovelies, Pet Engine, Eagle Trace @ Turner Hall
Now in its seventh year, the Pablove benefit not only serves as an entertaining way to raise money for an organization that aims to “improve the lives of children with cancer,” it also functions as a means of convincing iconic local bands to reunite for an evening. Past Pabloves brought Alligator Gun and The Benjamins back together. This time around, Carolina will reunite for this night of charity and music. Goran (of The Gufs), Oil Tasters, Pet Engine, The Lovelies, and Eagle Trace will also play.
Sunday, January 24
Riverwest FemFest: Ruth B8r Ginsburg + Emma Debord, Queen Tut, NO/NO, Fivy, Beth Emile, Beat Drun Juel, Ramma Lamma, Emily Bee, Sarah Vos, Swimsuit Addition, SIN BAD, Shelly Schauer, Julia Rose, Ladies Rock Showcase @ Company Brewing
Riverwest FemFest! Day 4! Ruth B8r Ginsburg! Queen Tut! NO/NO! Ramma Lamma! SIN BAD! More!
Riverwest FemFest After Party: Pussy Collector + Mortgage Freeman, Iron Pizza @ High Dive
And even more? Yep, this free after party at High Dive wraps things up for Riverwest FemFest 2016. Double phew.
Tortoise + Light Music @ Mad Planet
Despite having 25 years to do so, few listeners (if any) can put their finger on exactly what Tortoise sounds like. The ever-changing instrumental act has touched and subsequently toppled most every sonic boundary during its lengthy run that includes thousands of shows and six albums. Following a seven-year gap, Tortoise’s discography will grow to seven with the January 22 release of The Catastrophist. Before the headliner plays old favorites and cuts off its days-old record, locals Light Music will play much of last year’s impressive Ocean’s Daughter.