5 things to do this weekend: November 22-24

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Colors and Chords

Friday at 6 p.m. @ Turner Hall

With all proceeds benefiting Islands of Brilliance, a non-profit, mentor/mentee organization creating spaces for students to explore creativity through the use of technology during which they learn technical skills; it’s easy to get behind the idea of supporting a show like Colors & Chords.

Colors & Chords is a one of a kind event that celebrates music and art by pairing bands with prominent local artists onstage for a 30-minute set. Merging musical craftsmanship with each artist’s interpretation of the music. Multiple participatory art, music, and technology installations are staged in the balcony, inviting audience members to engage in imaginative exploration throughout the evening.

Dru Hill + H-Town + Shai + 702 + Adina Howard

Friday at 7 p.m. @ Miller High Life Theater

Funny thing about getting older is that all the stuff that was once current, hip and trendy becomes nostalgia over the years. I get nostalgic over all kinds of things, from cereals to cartoons to movies and above all music. So when I seen a band from the 90’s coming to town in 2019, I’m curious. The Dru Hill show this Friday looks like a 90’s R&B convention with all kinds of jam-makers in the mix.

Giants Chair + Devils Teeth + Panic on Panic

Photo/Brooklyn Vegan

Saturday at 9 p.m. @ Cactus Club

Midwestern emo legends Giants Chair are back in Milwaukee this weekend for their first show here since the 90s. Giants Chair was instrumental in creating the type of midwestern post hardcore/emo sound that bands like Traindodge, Riddle of Steel, The Life and Times, and Shiner have and continue to play. If you remember them from their original seven year run, then you might already have tickets. But don’t sleep on Milwaukee’s Devil’s Teeth either — their sound is surf rock with post-punk undertones and cinematic flair. I don’t know the band Panic on Panic, but you might as well check them out too since you’re going…amiright?

Jack Klatt

Photo/courtesy of the artist

Saturday at 7 p.m. @ The Back Room

Part balladeer and part bluesman, Jack Klatt is a dedicated songwriter and finger-style guitarist based in Minneapolis, MN. His sound pulls from a wide range of American music. From Rhythm and Blues and early Rock N’ Roll, to country and folk music, Jack brings his own voice to all of his songs. In the words of Americana Roots UK, “Jack doesn’t rely on other writers for his diversity, he can write in pretty much any musical style of his choosing.”

He’s won recognition from the MN state arts board, recorded alongside “Spider” John Koerner, and made it onto Daytrotter’s list of best songs in 2014. His 2016 release “Shadows in the Sunset” has been praised as “an eminently satisfying, slow rolling, Country/Blues album” by No Depression and made it onto Saving Country Music’s list of 2016 essential albums.

Jack Klatt comes to Milwaukee this Saturday at The Back Room.

Kyle Kinane

Photo/Comedy Central

Sunday at 7 p.m. @ Turner hall

You might know comedian Kyle Kinane from his appearances on “Drunk History,” “@Midnight,” “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon,” “Conan,” “Workaholics,” “This Is Not Happening,” “Not Safe with Nikki Glaser” and “Comedy Bang! Bang!” Maybe you saw him on Season 2 of Netflix’s “The Standups.”  His press makes several claims I can neither support nor deny; that he’s invented science. He has ESP. He let someone else write most of his bio. He can swim backwards.

I do know he listens to pop bangers in his car, has released three Comedy Central specials; “Kyle Kinane: Loose in Chicago,” “I Liked His Old Stuff Better” and “Whiskey Icarus.” I should note that in his bio he also farts; yeah, probs. Find out for yourself this Sunday at Turner Hall Ballroom.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

5 things to do this weekend: Nov. 8-10

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Vinyl Comes Alive

Friday & Saturday at 8 p.m. @ Radio Milwaukee

Long before 88Nine Radio Milwaukee brought you new music and community stories, WYMS 88.9 FM was “Jazz 89.” To celebrate this history, we’re converting our Walker’s Point home into a two-night-only jazz club, complete with light bites, specialty cocktails, wine and, of course, jazz music! Only 100 guests each evening will get to be a part of this exclusive jazz experience, so you might want to line up some tickets to see the event!

Both nights will pair vinyl from the original WYMS jazz collection with live performances from our house band – Mark Davis, John Price, Manty Ellis, Sam Belton, Jamie Breiwick. Each night will have a different set list, featuring classics from artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis, John Coltrane and more. Special solos throughout the evenings with artists Juli Wood, Adekola Adedapo, B~Free, Jordan Lee and Klassik.

Flat Teeth album release

Friday at 10 p.m. @ Cactus Club

Drawing on melodic side of ’90s indie rock and emo, Milwaukee band Flat Teeth makes music that pitches from light to dark. Think The Get Up Kids and Mock Orange with a dark side akin to No Knife and Cursive. Tight guitars, layered harmonies and pounding beats. They’re a pretty straight-forward rock band with chops. Their new album “Silent Seconds” drops tomorrow and this is their party. Nonetheless, they ain’t alone tomorrow as Mertle’s Acres and Live Tetherball Tonight set the stage for what they hope will be a special night in Bay View.

J.P. Harris + S.S. Web + Bruce Humphries & The Rockabilly Rebels

Photo: Jac Justice

Friday at 8-11:30 p.m. @ Pabst Milwaukee Brewery & Taproom

J.P. Harris plays country music. Not “Americana,” not “roots,” “folk,” or any other things country music can masquerade as. Instead, Harris aims for the very roots of the country tree of music. I guess you might call this old-fashioned but even old can be fashioned new, especially when you’ve lived the kind of raw to rails life he’s lived. Don’t miss the openers, Milwaukee’s S.S. Web or Bruce Humphries & The Rockabilly Rebels.

David Wax Museum

Photo/courtesy of the artist

Saturday at 7 p.m. @ The Back Room at Colectivo

The roots of David Wax Museum stretch back over a decade, and all the way from New England to Mexico. As a student at Harvard, Wax began traveling south of the border to study and immerse himself in the country’s traditional music and culture. Back in Boston, he met fiddler/singer Suz Slezak, whose love of traditional American and Irish folk music fused with Wax’s Mexo-Americana into a singular, energetic blend that captivated audiences and critics alike. DWM makes music aware of the world around it, incorporating the flavors of the places they flow through.

Marco Benevento

Photo/courtesy of the artist

Sunday at 7 p.m. @ The Back Room at Colectivo

Though only a decade deep, pianist Marco Benevento’s work is extensive. His albums and performances connect the space between acts as seemingly divergent as say LCD Soundsystem and Leon Russell; dance rock energy and smart, earthy songwriting will do that. His latest album, “Let It Slide,” is gritty, soulful and uptempo trip; piano rock in an un-Ben Folds-y way. For all his virtuosity on the keys though, the songs here are driven primarily by intoxicating grooves, with spare drums and minimalist bass lines underpinning infectious, intentionally lo-fi vocal hooks. Might be the best thing to see on a Sunday evening…

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

5 things to do this weekend: Oct. 31-Nov. 3

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Toro y Moi

Toro y Moi | Photo credit: David Urbanke

Thursday at 7 p.m. @ Turner Hall

OG ex-chillwave act Toro y Moi (aka Chaz Bear) started his musical career making fluid, laid-back sounds, but with each new release and every new project he’s shown a knack for the unpredictable direction. Whether digging into ’80s R&B, house music, space age pop, prog or guitar-heavy power pop, Chaz never sticks to a formula, seemingly preferring experimentation. Even when tapping into the mainstream, his shape shifts and unusual elements shine through. With heavy influences from Daft Punk, Caribbean funk and modern pop, Chaz’s latest album as Toro y Moi, “Outer Peace,” came out earlier this year and is an underrated gem, much like the man

Afrolituation Milwaukee: LA’s Biggest Afrobeat Experience Party

Photo credit: AfroLituation

Friday at 9 p.m. @ Points View Boîte in Walker’s Point

Los Angeles’ largest Afrobeat dance party, Afrolituation, will make a stop in the Milwaukee bringing a unique selection of songs from different African countries, tribal face painting, cultural go-go dancers and food from the Continent. Afrolituation is part of Amplify Africa, which is a media, technology and entertainment company whose mission is to directly impact the world through innovative African projects and services. Sign me up!

Agua de Rosas – Perreo De La Muerte

Image: Julio César Cordova

Friday at 10 p.m. @ Cactus Club

Perrear into the night as the spirits awaken for Day of the Dead. What is ‘perreo’ you might ask? Well, basically booty dancing, particularly the kind you’ll find in the Dominican Republic but really, it’s what you do when the reggaeton is just to hot to stop. That’s pretty much guaranteed this Friday at the Cactus Club this Saturday as Agua de Rosas celebrates puro perreo with DJ Tuga and La Chancha. Featuring a dark twist on a mix of classic, old school reggaeton with new school reggaeton and neo-perreo all night long.

Rose of the West + Lady Cannon

Photo/Derek K. Lee Esq.

Saturday at 7 p.m. @ Back Room at Colectivo

With a name inspired by the vibrant, red flowers of Eucalyptus Macrocarpa of Western Australia, Rose of the West is a band as rare as her namesake. Lushly conceived, ROTW’s music is emotive, dark and dreamy pop led by Milwaukeean Gina Barrington. While Barrington’s voice stands out, the band is a low-key super group also featuring the talents of Cedric LeMoyne (Remy Zero, Alanis Morissette), Thomas Gilbert (GGOOLLDD), Erin Wolf (Hello Death) and Dave Power (The Staves). Speaking of singing voices, Martha Cannon, aka Lady Cannon, can really cook so get there early!

Melanie Martinez

Photo credit: Guerin Blask

Saturday at 8 p.m. @ The Eagles Ballroom

Atlantic recording artist and two-tone hair-haver Melanie Martinez has announced plans to present a unique theatrical performance on her latest tour. “The K-12 Tour” is underway and is in Milwaukee this weekend at The Eagles Ballroom celebrating the release of Martinez’s hugely anticipated new album and its accompanying full-length film.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

5 things to do this weekend: Oct. 25-28

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Three Nights of Panic!

Photo by: @gjgibbons11 on Instagram

Friday-Sunday at 7 p.m. @ The Riverside Theater

I’m gonna call it like I see it; Widespread Panic’s annual three-night run every fall in Milwaukee is basically a festival. The kind of thing that many fans hinge the season around, often ending up at all three show as well the numerous official and unofficial afterparties. I can attest as someone who isn’t particularly into Widespead Panic, yet has had a great time at the shows and attendant activities, that it really can be about more than the music as show are an umbrella for a bunch of associated good times, even if you only go for a night or three.

Maricka Hackman

Photo by: Maricka Hackman via Soundcloud

Saturday at 7 p.m. @ The Back Room at Colectivo

Maricka Hackman is the artist starring at not only the Back Room on Saturday night but also on our airwaves for a session at noon on Saturday at Radio Milwaukee. She really found her footing with her last release, I’m Not Your Man—which earned raves from The Guardian, Stereogum and Pitchfork—and its sybaritic, swaggering hit “Boyfriend,” which boasts of seducing away a straight guy’s girlfriend. She might not steal a guy’s girlfriend on Saturday night, but she may steal yours.

Thievery Corporation (with Immortal Girlfriend)

Thievery Corporation | via Facebook

Saturday at 7 p.m. @ Pabst Theater

This is the show I’m definitely not missing this weekend; not when a band that fluidly flits between electronic, Brazilian, Jamaican and pop sounds is in town. I’ve been into Thievery Corporation for quite a long time. I’ve been DJing their stuff since before I was even on the radio and I find it amazing how solid they’ve stayed. Played and headlined all the dopest music festivals, put out a ton of great records and maintained their very own record label while never, ever having a radio hit. Some bands tour forever on the strength of one over-arching hit song while others, like Thievery Corporation, have done by staying consistent and true to their own considerable good taste.

MKE Film Pres. : Bakosó: AfroBeats de Cuba

Photo Credit: MKE Film

Saturday 7-8:30 p.m. @ Avalon Theater

Every year, I get the Milwaukee Film Festival guide and make an overly ambitious plan to see half of the films playing. In reality, I’m lucky to see two or three. If you’re like me you might do well to check out one of the special events MKE Film Festival offers around one of its weekend showings. Now, if you love Cuban music as much as I do, the Avalon theater is showing the film “Bakosó” an exciting, propulsive journey that follows DJ Jigüe through the past and present of modern Cuban dance music. DJ Jigüe will be performing after this special screening where you will learn of the genre’s African origins and the deep influence of African culture that still manifests itself in today’s Latinx music.

Plus, after the film’s premiere there’s a party celebrating and honoring Cuba’s African roots with live music and performances by Bomba con Buya (Chicago), DJ Kenny Perez (Milwaukee) and Cuba’s very own DJ Jigüe !

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Monday at 7 p.m. @ Fiserv Forum

If the Bucks’ deep playoff run didn’t make you a fan of the Greek Freak and Co., then you were likely a fan from the start. Well, this Monday is not only the second home game of the season, but also our first Milwaukee Monday. That means 88Nine is going to be there, a bunch of members who picked up tickets during the Membership Drivewill be there and the halftime show is a band we love to see winning, Dead Horses. Go Bucks!

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

5 things to do this weekend: Oct. 11-13

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Illuminate MKE

Friday 5-10 p.m. @ Veteran’s Park

Illuminate MKE is a celebration of a number of world-class local artists set along the shore of Milwaukee’s beautiful lakefront. The festival is an environment where students and the community from across the Greater Milwaukee Area can come together to enjoy exceptional music performances and delicious food with Milwaukee’s most iconic view as the backdrop. Focused mostly on local talent, the Illuminate MKE festival features Bok Nero & Shizz Lo, WebsterX, Genesis Renji, DJay Mando, Galvanic, to name but a few…

4th Annual Beet Street Fall Harvest Festival

Saturday noon-6 p.m. @ Cactus Club

Bay View’s Cactus Club continues its fall tradition, offering a fresh take on the classic harvest festival theme. An event with a lot to do—from a pie contest from Palomino, seasonal food and drinks, pumpkins and farmer’s market booths, community organizations and family-friendly entertainment, as well as a dope lineup of music and new this year, films. The music lineup features Sarah Shook & The Disarmers, TRUE Skool alumni (featuring Melodic Prodigies, DJTheJenius, G-Gifted), Retoro, Congo Gospel, DJ Dave Arnevik and after the sun goes down, Browns Crew plan to make the afterparty memorable as well.

Theo Von

Photo credit: Theo Von

Saturday at 7 p.m. @ Pabst Theater

If you’re a fan of Joe Rogan’s podcast or Joey Diaz’s The Church of What’s Happening Now, then you’re probably already a fan. Maybe you saw Theo as the host of TBS’s hidden camera show Deal With It from EP Howie Mandel, which ran for three seasons. He also hosted Yahoo’s popular daily recap show Primetime in No Time – one of the most-watched shows on the web with nearly one million views per day. Theo also made appearances on Inside Amy Schumer, Why? with Hannibal Buress, Arsenio, Last Comic Standing, was the winner of Comedy Central’s Reality Bites Back, and Live at Gotham. Dang… now that you’ve seen his resume, why not see the comedy live this weekend?

City of the Sun

Photo credit: Victoria Cancel

Sunday at 7 p.m. @ The Back Room

The experiential music of City of the Sun is the sound you didn’t know you were missing. New York City’s powerhouse trio flip the perception of instrumental music, attracting a whole new generation to the genre. The band’s sound has an array of influences including indie rock, American folk, flamenco, and blue. It’s been called worldly and cinematic — a mix between Rodrigo y Gabriela and Explosions in the Sky. For me, this is exactly the kind of show you might check out on a lark.

Brady Street Pet Parade

Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. @ Brady Street

It’s easy to mistake this for a dog and cat affair but critters of all shapes and sizes will take to the streets for the U. S. Bank Brady Street Annual Pet Parade on Sunday. And though I have zero pets, I must say I’m intrigued by what looks like a real spectacle. Like: an animal costume contest, tail wagging contest, pet/owner look-alike contest, and best trick! Lots of prizes donated by Fromm Family Foods and more! And it’s for a good cause as all of registration fees benefit the Wisconsin Humane Society- registration is required in order to participate in the contests and qualify for prizes. There will also be sidewalk sales, raffles, prizes, vendors and pet photo ops await at this family-friendly event that just seems to get more popular every year.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

5 things to do this weekend: Sept. 26-29

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Andrew Bird

Andrew Bird | Photo courtesy NPR

Thursday at 7 p.m. @ The Riverside Theater

Internationally acclaimed multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, songwriter and  whistler Andrew Bird is in town tonight for what might just be the weekend’s hottest, low-key performance. Bird has been doing a lot over the years. Some of his recent highlights include recording and touring extensively, working with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, appearing as “Dr. Stringz” on “Jack’s Big Music Show,” and headlining concerts at Carnegie Hall, Sydney Opera House, Walt Disney Concert Hall and festivals worldwide. He’s done TED talks, scored a role in “The Muppets Movie” and written op-eds for the New York Times. Really, it’s sweet of him to fly into town for a show at our humble Riverside theater.

The Growlers

The Growlers | Photo courtesy of the artist

Friday at 7 p.m. @ Turner Hall

From their first LP “Are You In or Out?” in 2009 to their latest LP “Casual Acquaintances” in 2018, The Growlers have forged their own twisted path on the global music scene. They’re the party band that grew into a traveling circus that spawned their own hit event, Beach Goth. Lead singer Brooks Nielsen draws a particular devotion amongst Growlers fans, as does chief cohort Matt Taylor, the band’s music director and lead guitarist. Their 2016 LP “City Club,” produced by Julian Casablancas, saw them expand their palette to include West African, dance and electronic influences. Grrr!

Ice Cube

Ice Cube | Photo courtesy of the artist

Friday at 8 p.m. @  The Rave

O’Shea Jackson, better known as Ice Cube, apparently thinks Friday’ll be a good day to play music in Milwaukee. And I’m sure that there’ll be plenty of people who’ll be out to catch the rap icon at The Rave. With nine studio and a handful of collaboration albums, countless film roles and television appearances, a clothing line, product endorsements and screenwriting credits, Ice Cube has more than earned the benefit of any of my doubts (which really were none anyway) as to what he can do. Expect a healthy mix of Ice Cube’s early-mid-’90s material and greatest hits and that signature, searing sense that he really don’t GAF anyway, that put the “A” in N.W.A.

Doors Open Milwaukee

Photo courtesy OnMilwaukee.com

Saturday & Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

What is Doors Open Milwaukee? Well sometimes it is what lies behind the “Employees Only” sign and at other times it’s a look into a business or building that one doesn’t often get the chance to explore. If you’re a fan of history, architecture or the city of Milwaukee, this event is tailor-fit for you. Two days of free tours all around the city thanks to Historic Milwaukee. Actually 88Nine has just done a great story on Doors Open MKE and if you’re going to do it, Nate Imig and Bobby Tanzillo have some great ideas for you…

https://www.spreaker.com/user/radiomilwaukee/us-door-open-preview-lomg?utm_medium=widget&utm_source=user%3A10450774&utm_term=episode_title

Patricia Barber Trio

Patricia Barber Trio | Photo courtesy of the artist

Saturday at 7 p.m. @ The Back Room at Colectivo

A tireless performer who refused to conform to more conventional vocal jazz idioms, Patricia Barber worked her way up through the Chicago jazz scene slowly, almost reluctantly, after having spent several years in Iowa attending college and performing with local groups. She’s also what the L.A. Times has called “the coolest singer-songwriter around.” And you can’t not be cool if your ticket is playing jazz. Catch the unique style and unusual voice that’s made her a local jazz legend when she returns to The Back Room this weekend.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

5 things to do this weekend: Sept. 19-22

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Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks | Courtesy of the artist

Thursday at 7 p.m. @ Turner Hall Ballroom

Amid all the changes since their 2010 debut, Twin Peaks have become one of Chicago’s most essential rock bands. With their fourth album “Lookout Low,” the sonic and creative leap the five-piece takes feels tangible. The 10-track effort was recorded and cut live over three weeks in Wales with legendary producer Ethan Johns, who has worked with legends like Paul McCartney and CS&N. Although it’s hard to match the magic of a live show in a recording, Twin Peaks seem to have done just that. Catch that magic tonight at Turner and get your weekend started right.

Radio Milwaukee Fall Ball

Friday at 5:30 p.m. @ Radio Milwaukee

In what has become an annual rite of passage from summer to autumn, we’re back with the Fall Ball this Friday at our Walker’s Point home. Now in its seventh year, the Fall Ball rocks a familiar-yet-fun blueprint for one of our signature shindigs. A rooftop party as the sun sets segues to our session space for live band karaoke before the evening turns up for a DJ-ed dance battle with an ’80s vs. ’90s theme. The simplicity of it all belies exactly how much fun it is; I really think they’ve all been a blast. Peppered with food and drink options, all the ingredients are there except for perhaps one—you! Get tickets at radiomilwaukee/fallball.

Bay View Bash

Bay View Bash | bayviewbash.org

Saturday noon-11 p.m. @ Kinnickinnic Avenue

If you check this blog regularly, you’ve probably heard me profess my love for a good street party — and the city has plenty of them. This weekend has one of my absolute favorites, Bay View Bash. As street fests go, this one feels like it stretches on for a mile (it doesn’t actually, but still!) and it seems like all of Bay View turns out for it as well as pulling in people from all over the city. There really is nothing like the spectacle of people partying, it’s like a post modern Hieronymous Bosch triptych of people on the move, partying, eating and making music on the street’s many stages. With too many great bands and DJs to mention here in full, I’d still recommend going to see artists like Yum Yum Cult, Telethon, Immortal Girlfriend, Flat Teeth, Fox Face and CENTAVRVS. CENTAVRVS in particular, who’ll do the headlining set at Rush-Mor Records North Stage at 9:15 p.m., are out of Mexico and have a phenomenal sound built from equal parts cumbia, rock and dub and even that description doesn’t seem to capture their great vibe. See you there.

Holy Hill Arts & Craft Fair

Holy Hill Arts & Craft Fair | http://holyhillartsandcraftsfair.com/

Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. @ Holy Hill (1525 Carmel Rd.)

How, for the 30-plus years I’ve lived in SE Wisconsin have I never heard of a thing that’s been going on for longer than I’ve lived? I guess I gotta blame myself. Held on the holy crap this is really beautiful grounds of the historic Holy Hill Basilica, the fair features hundreds of artists and crafters offering pottery, paintings, woodcarving, textiles, metalwork, jewelry, stained glass, photography, sculpture, mixed media and much more.

Imagine a picturesque autumn stroll winding through wooded landscapes while watching the works of truly talented artists and crafters. Plus, there’s also live entertainment, refreshments, door prizes and a silent auction. Maybe I’m just getting old enough to appreciate something like this that it has finally shown me its magic window into a different Wisconsin world…

Oktoberfest

Courtesy Milwaukee Brewing Company

Friday-Sunday @ Milwaukee Brewing Company

Even though I recommended Bavarian Brewhaus’ Oktoberfest just last week, I’m going to go on ahead and suggest this one as well. Of course, there’s the beer, which is going to be flowing in abundant abundance, but looking the other plans on tap, it’s clear Milwaukee Brewing Company’s first Oktoberfest has more than that on tap. Special beer tappings, stein holding competitions, dancers, all you can drink specials and live music aplenty. A spectacle worthy of any Oktoberfest from Munich to Munster to Milwaukee.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

5 things to do this weekend: Sept. 12-15

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Dead Horses

Saturday at 7 p.m. @ Pabst Theater

I still remember the first time I caught Dead Horses live, at a bluegrass jam on the humble stage at Riverwest’s Bremen Café. It was intimate by virtue of being packed and a legit sweaty good time. In the years that have followed that electric night I’ve been unsurprised by Dead Horses’ continued ascent that perhaps reached a new peak this summer after the band shared the stage with the legendary rockers The Who at Alpine Valley. And as the band continues to grace stages far larger than the one I discovered them on, I find myself intrigued by their latest, happening this Saturday at The Pabst Theater — especially considering I get to interview them for a session at 88Nine this Friday at noon. Catch the session tomorrow or the show this Saturday; I doubt you’ll be disappointed with their take on American folk and bluegrass.

Junkyard Samurai + Gensis Renji + Will Rose

Friday at 9 p.m. @ Cautus Club

If you’re one of the millions that counts Chance the Rapper or Hoodie Allen as musical favorites, you might wanna peep this little show happening at Cactus Club this Friday. That’s because the latest Chicago hip-hop sensations Junkyard Samurai are coming to town for a cool-kids show with Milwaukee’s Genesis Renji and Will Rose also sharing the bill. Junkyard Samurai is a bit supergroup-ish, a collab between Chicago’s The Palmer Squares and ProbCause chopping hip-hop, glitch hop, R&B and boom-bap in clever ways. Who knows? They might be the next big thing. Cactus Club has a way of clicking like that and with locals Genesis Renji in the mix, this is my local(ish) show of the week.

China Lights

Friday-Sunday 5:30-10 p.m. @ Boerner Botanical Gardens

If you’re looking to do something that’s a little different and kid-friendly, you might want to try The China Lights lantern festival at Boerner Botanical Gardens this weekend (show runs through Oct. 30). If you think it’ll be the same as last year’s, think again, it’s 95% new this year. It’s also the fourth year they’ve collaborated on the show with artisans from Tianyu Arts and Culture Inc. of Zigong City in Sichuan. The hand-painted exhibits are illuminated with LED lights to create a spectacular visual experience after sundown. Catch it any evening this weekend.

Harvest Day!

Saturday noon-4 p.m. @ Walnut Way

Walnut Way is a community organization on Milwaukee’s Northside in the Lindsay Heights Neighborhood. Each year, they wrap up their growing season by celebrating the abundant harvest from their urban farm with festivities at Harvest Day. What started out as a community block party has now grown into one of Lindsay Heights’ largest gatherings. Now in its 19th year, this year’s theme is Art of Community which will be on display at Fondy Park with live music from 88Nine Radio Milwaukee DJ Kima Hamilton, Marcya Daneille & Band, Adekola Adedapo & Friends and
Faithful Praise Choir. Also, youth gymnastics by the Milwaukee Flyers, local artists, food and retail vendors, and many activities for youth and families.

Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest in Milwaukee makes all the sense

Friday (5 p.m.) & Saturday (noon-midnight) @ Bavarian Bierhaus

A little known secret about Germany’s most famed Oktoberfest is that it is celebrated in September despite its namesake tradition. Now I’m not much of a betting man, but my guess is that you not only like beer, but also haven’t done Oktoberfest a solid yet this year. Well it looks like the weekend’s weather will hold steady, so the last of my suggestions is seasonal and it seems like the Bavarian Bierhaus’ annual Oktoberfest in Heidelberg Park tries its very best to bring this quintessential German tradition to life in Milwaukee. Shared tables laden with sausage, schnitzel, pork chops and potatoes plus copious amounts of the good golden doesn’t sound half bad at all. Plus they have music: Alpine Blast on Friday, Sept. 13 at 7 p.m., and Alte Kameraden (3:30 p.m.) and Austrian Express (7:30 p.m.) on Saturday, Sept. 14. Plus if you miss this week, you still have the rest of the month.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

5 things to do this weekend: Aug. 22-25

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King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard

Friday at 7 p.m. @ Riverside

Melbourne seven-piece King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard return to town this weekend to melt faces clean off.  Their fifteenth studio album, “Infest The Rats Nest” is by far The Gizz’s hardest and heaviest album to date released just six months after the uplifting blues-rock boogie and deep electro explorations of their last release “Fishing For Fishes” that drew on the mid/late 1980s golden period of thrash metal. The Gizz is a band that doesn’t release albums as much as they proliferate music. Definitely a wild ride and a great start to a weekend.

Black Flag

Friday at 7 p.m. @ Turner Hall Ballroom

Black Flag has been around for a bit, having formed in 1976 in Hermosa Beach, Calif., by guitarist, primary songwriter, and sole continuous member Greg Ginn. Their discography includes seven studio albums and two live albums. The band has released all of their material on Ginn’s independent label, SST Records beginning with 1981’s Damaged. Vocalist Mike Vallely first sang with the band as a guest vocalist in 2003, before becoming the band’s fifth vocalist and touring with the band in 2014. A legendary band that pioneered West Coast hardcore punk and rep that DIY aesthetic of early punk as well as any other.

Fiesta Mexicana

Friday-Sunday @ Henry Maier

This weekend’s best ethnic fest is shaking off its year-long slumber as Mexican Fiesta brings the sounds, culture and tastes of Mexico to Milwaukee. Three days of fun, food, Mariachi and Fiesta on the lakefront. There will also be a cultural pavilion showcasing Mexican arts and crafts, folkloric dancers and craft workshops. Musically, expect a ton of Mexican pop and regional Mexican sounds.

Chords & Curds

Saturday @ The Deer District (at Fiserv Forum)

The Chords & Curds Festival featuring Milwaukee-based musicians, local artisans and food trucks will take place on Saturday, Aug. 24, on the plaza at Fiserv Forum. Hosted and produced by Fiserv Forum and Deer District, the all-day event beginning at noon will include gospel, blues, funk and soul acts among other genres. Proceeds will benefit the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music and the music is an all local affair with Grace Weber, Angie Swan, Misha Siegfried and His Band, Christopher’s Project, De La Buena, New Age Narcissim, Armstrong Ransome and the MPS Choir.

Taste of The Islands

Saturday 2-10 p.m. @ Marcus Center

Taste of The Islands is another Saturday option; a day long celebration with music, dance, food and culture of the Caribbean. Salsabrosa Dance Company Hermanitos Ayala (Milwaukee musicians paying tribute to the classic salsa artists of Puerto Rico) and Urban Empress and the Urbanites bringing the reggae flavor. In addition to the music there will also be some kids activities, art displays and a makers market.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

5 things to do this weekend: Aug. 15-18

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Irish Fest 

Thursday – Sunday @ Henry Meier Festival Grounds

Milwaukee Irish Fest, the world’s largest celebration of Celtic music and culture, is holding it down as the city’s main ethnic festival this weekend. For many, Irish Fest holds a very special place in the pantheon of Milwaukee’s festivals and I tend to agree. Irish Fest seems to have a musical lineup that just has something a little special about it. This year they’ve got several intriguing acts; Hermitage Green, an indie folk rock outfit out of Limerick has a sound similar to Arctic Monkeys, and they’ll be a major draw. Elephant Sessions, from Scotland, work neo-traditional sounds and are a good bet. Afrocelt Soundsystem, the High Kings and Gaelic Storm are some other  higher profile bands performing throughout the Festival and I’ve heard singer-songwriter Susan O’Niell, who’s got a lil Amy Winehouse to her, is also worth catching. If the music on the grounds isn’t enough, maybe you’ll catch wind of one of the many impromptu sessions that happen throughout the city after the festival ends.

Ben Harper & Trombone Shorty

Friday at 7 p.m. @ Riverside Theater

Talk about an interesting double bill. Ben Harper and Trombone Shorty are currently on a co-headlining tour this summer and it makes its Milwaukee stop this Friday with a show at the Riverside Theater. It’s funny how not-strange this show seems. The two artists are different enough and yet similar enough to just sort of “fit.” Not sure who starts the show, but I’d have to think that at some point they play together and blow your mind in the process. Even if they don’t, this is definitely in the two shows for the price of one spectrum.

Celso Piña

Saturday at 9 p.m. @ VIP Lounge (828 S. 1st St.)

Celso Piña is an accordion player and singer who has risen to be one of the freshest figures in cumbia music. Cumbia has its origins in Colombia’s African and indigenous populations, but it has spread to be one of the most universal Latin American genres. Celso Piña is a pioneer in mixing or blending sounds of tropical base, combined with all kind of popular genres from norteño to sonidero, ska, reggae, rap, hip-hop or R&B, just to mention some. For this reason he’s considered one of the best musicians from Mexico and Latin America. I saw him last winter in Chicago and he was pretty amazing, so I’m gonna personally vouch for this rare Milwaukee appearance. Heck, you’ll probably see me there when you go.

India Fest

Saturday at 11 a.m. @ Humboldt Park

Although not as big as Irish Fest, India Fest still makes its mark with hundreds of cultural program participants, 10+ hours of non-stop cultural extravaganza (committed to  showcasing and promoting best talents), concerts (instruments, Bollywood beats & music) by internationally renowned artists; various activities, authentic food, music, dance, traditional Indian attire and children’s activities in the heart of Bay View.

Shakey Graves + Dr Dog + Caroline Rose

Sunday at 7 p.m. @ Riverside Theater

This Sunday’s Shakey Graves, Dr Dog and Caroline Rose show at the Riverside Theater is the weekend’s best bet. A triple play of artists we love to plat at 88Nine and in fact, Shakey Graves’ll be in for a session before the show on Sunday. All three acts are worth seeing and not only because of their quality. Shakey Graves is working from a whole new vibe as they’ve taken their sound in a different direction on their new album, Can’t Wake Up. Dr. Dog sort of molted as well, outgrown the baby fat, with stronger work of late. Caroline Rose is the up-and-comer on the bill, so get there early and stay late.

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