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 March 28-April 3, 2016.
Tuesday, March 29
Diorama-Rama @ Blackbird Bar
Among its many oddities—beer, the Bronze Fonz, Bob Uecker—Milwaukee is home to the world’s first museum diorama. In 1890, Carl Akeley, a.k.a. the “father of modern taxidermy,” created a muskrat colony diorama for the then-young Milwaukee Public Museum. The exhibit still stands today, just one of dozens of meticulously crafted, delightfully retro miniature models in the museum’s permanent collection. Inspired in part by this strange claim to fame, Danelle “D” Kirschling recently founded National Diorama Month, an only-slightly tongue-in-cheek celebration of the crafty and adorable art form. That celebration comes to a close with the city’s first “Diorama-Rama” at Blackbird Bar. The event will feature a friendly competition between local dioramists, celebrity judges, oodles of prizes, and more.
Wednesday, March 30
The Record Company + Buffalo Gospel @ Turner Hall
Former Freshwater Collins and Invade Rome singer Chris Vos has been on a roll since leaving Milwaukee for Los Angeles. His new band, The Record Company, has seen its bluesy rock ‘n’ roll (think The Stooges and early Stones) score a number of television shows and film trailers, and at least one commercial for Miller Lite. Vos’ homecoming, along with the welcome presence of opener Buffalo Gospel, should make this show a warm, affectionate one.
Thursday, March 31
Pfemmes of Psychedelia: Summer Twins + Moving Panoramas, Thelma & The Sleaze, Apollo Vermouth @ Cactus Club
The fourth annual Milwaukee Psych Fest is coming to Bay View’s Cactus Club in early May. Before that psyched-out blowout, however, Cactus will stage a woman-centric psych fest dubbed “Pfemmes of Psychadelia.” The show will feature sets from California’s Summer Twins, Austin’s Moving Panoramas, Nashville’s Thelma And The Sleaze, and Milwaukee’s own Apollo Vermouth.
Friday, April 1
Trapper Schoepp (record release) + Jesse Malin @ Anodyne Walker’s Point
Since ditching “And The Shades” from his official band name, 24-year-old Trapper Schoepp has undergone a slight but important transformation. 2012’s Run, Engine, Run was steeped in heart-on-its-sleeve Americana and breezy country-rock, but the new Rangers & Valentines (produced by Brendan Benson) showcases a more polished sound and a newfound vocal and songwriting confidence from the singer-songwriter. Plus, the video for “Ballad Of Olof Johnson” is an homage to The Oregon Trail.
Fudgy (record release) @ The Newport
Milwaukee’s Fudgy is made up of members of Crappy Dracula 2 and Scrimshaw—a pedigree that seems appropriate when you ponder the band’s latest stunt. This record release show will celebrate the release of not one, but two new albums, Naming Convention and Reference Library, at Bay View’s beloved Newport bar. But it won’t be your ordinary celebration: From 8-10 p.m., the band will be handing out free copies of the albums and screening three accompanying videos via an “actual reality” helmet made out of cardboard. Oh, and there will be no live music.
Also: New Boyz Club + Abby Jeanne (w/Foreign Goods), William Z. Villian, SistaStrings @ Company Brewing
Saturday, April 2
The Zelda Routine + Awkward Terrible, Subspace @ Mad Planet
Countless video game systems have come and gone since the Nintendo Entertainment System bleeped and blooped its way to American shores in 1985, but there’s still something utterly charming and captivating about the NES and its deceptively simple 8-bit glory. Two Milwaukee bands that channel the sounds of the NES era—The Zelda Routine and Awkward Terrible—will team up, Bad Dudes-style, for a “Nintendo Night” at Mad Planet. The Zelda Routine will play songs from the legendary Legend Of Zelda series (duh), while Awkward Terrible will unleash its lo-fi chiptune rock on the unsuspecting crowd. 8-bit DJ Subspace will perform between sets, and/or blow dust out of cartridges.
Also: Astral/Subastral + Tapebenders, Decoteau Black @ Company Brewing
Restorations + The Dirty Nil, Creepoid, NO/NO @ Club Garibaldi
Jeffrey Foucault + Erik Koskinen @ Anodyne Walker’s Point
Cactus Club Comedy & Music w/Bo Triplex & His Beautiful Band @ Cactus Club
Sunday, April 3
Major League @ Avalon Atmospheric Theater & Lounge
Milwaukee Record is hosting a special screening of Major League at the Bay View’s Avalon Theater. This is a rare opportunity to see the crass 1989 classic baseball flick that features Charlie Sheen, Wesley Snipes, Tom Berenger, Corbin Bernsen, Rene Russo, former Brewers pitcher Pete Vuckovich, Milwaukee County Stadium, and none other than Mr. Baseball himself in a theater setting. Tickets to the 10 p.m. screening cost $6.
Yonatan Gat + Rio Turbo, Lorde Fredd33 @ Company Brewing
Yonatan Gat is the guitarist for legendary Israeli garage-freak band Monotonix, which should tell you all you need to know about this show at Company Brewing. Gat’s solo album, Director, was released last fall, and contains 11 tracks that veer from jazz-rock to good ol’ Monotonix punk. Milwaukee’s Rio Turbo and Lorde Fredd33 will only add to the insanity.
Also: Quilt + Mortgage Freeman @ Mad Planet
Mammifer + Jon Mueller, Cleared @ Cactus Club