The Week Ahead: Feb. 3-9

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It can be hard to figure out what to do by the time the weekend arrives, why not make a plan? Oh snap, why not do something earlier in the week while you’re at it? Fortunately, I have some things ready for you to ponder…

Klassik – Local/Live – Radio Broadcast

Tuesday, Feb. 4, 5:30-7 p.m. @ Club Garibaldi’s

Milwaukee musician Kellen “Klassik” Abston is what I’d call a top-tier musician here in Milwaukee. The kind of artist you wanna check out when he drops new material, the kind of artist to build a live show around and the kind of artist you put on the radio. Check, check and check on all three fronts this week as he puts together the most compelling music event of the early week at Club G’s in Bay View. Working from a new batch of clever originals from his new album “Quiet,” he’ll be putting on a short show for those in attendance and the set will be broadcast by 91.7 WMSE live as well. I’d see it live if you can…

Sessa (Brazil) + Marielle Allschwang & The Visitations

Wednesday, Feb. 5, 7-10 p.m. @ Cactus Club

Imagine an intimate show in Bay View featuring excellent Brazilian music from a band be-decked in all white. Playing the kind of music that’s chill enough to lose yourself to its tender mercies. Such is the vibe for Brazil-born artist Sessa. A long-time fixture of both the American and Brazilian music scenes. His songs are sung in Portuguese, with visceral, sexual lyrics in the vain of Caetano Veloso and melodic flourishes not unlike those of Tom Jobim. However, the music gets a deliberate minimalist treatment rarely found in contemporary Brazilian music, more reminiscent of the bareness of Leonard Cohen. And add to that already heady invitation into an alternate realm, the talent of Milwaukee’s Marielle Allschwang & The Visitations, and you have a show to carry you straight through the weekend.

Grace Potter w/ special guest Devon Gilfillian

Thursday, Feb. 6, at 7 p.m. @ Pabst Theater

An acclaimed songwriter and electrifying performer, Grace Potter has been described by Spin as “one of the greatest living voices in rock today.” Over the course of her career, the Burlington, VT native has commanded stages around the world including Coachella, Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, Rock in Rio and her own thriving music festival, Burlington’s Grand Point North, which just celebrated its ninth year. “Daylight,” her first new album in four years, is a soul-inflected, deeply personal collection of songs that capture a particularly tumultuous period in her life – from the breakup of her band and a divorce – to more joyful events like a new marriage and the birth of her first child. Do NOT miss Devon Gilfillian‘s opening set either, he’s stackin’ accolades for his amazing music…

Ray Parker Jr.

Thursday, Feb. 6, at 8-10 p.m. @ The Northern Lights Theater

A lot of people know Ray Parker Jr. from his contributions to the movie “Ghostbusters,” for which he wrote the title cut. But this cat has crafted a career I’d almost put on par with the great Quincy Jones. His accolades include his own amazing work with his band Raydio as well as penning hits for other artists who are legends in their own rights. If you’re free Thursday and want to be on the right side of a good time, go check him at the Northern Lights Theater.

414 Live: Harvey Scales Jr.

Thursday, Feb. 6, at 5 p.m. @ 88Nine RadioMilwaukee

RadioMilwaukee is celebrating Black History Month with a showcase of black musicians all month. And with Harvey Scales Jr. coming in to the space for this Thursday’s free live session, we’ll be kicking of the month in fine form. Son of the late-great Harvey Scales, Scalez has the funk by birthright and an early session at 88nine is the perfect start to the week’s end. 

Abby Jeanne w/ special guest Retoro

Friday, Feb. 7, at 7 p.m. @ Turner Hall Ballroom

Nothing beats the cosmic radio narrative of Milwaukee native Abby Jeanne. Her lust for life and adoration from her hometown is what keeps her rising as one of the hottest artists to come out of Milwaukee. After last year’s “Music Box Dancer” release and supporting Brandi Carlile at Summerfest, Abby’s got another full, promising year ahead of her. Kick it off right with her return to Turner Hall Ballroom.

MKE Yoga Social 

Friday, Feb. 7, 6-9 p.m. @ The Historic Miller Caves

Photo credit: Jessica Hope

I gotta admit, as hipster as it sounds to make an evening of Vinyasa yoga, music, food and beer complete with the Insta-ready locale of Miller’s historic caves —it actually sounds pretty cool. That’s what’s happening this Friday and I’m pretty surprised it’s not sold out already. As trendy as mindfulness is these days, I wouldn’t mind being there…

Natty Nation’s MKE Bob Marley Bash

Friday, Feb. 7, at 9 p.m. @ Club Garibaldi’s

There ain’t a ton of reggae shows around town these days but Madison’s Natty Nation is rolling into the city for their annual Bob Marley Birthday Bash. Natty Nation has been a regional staple for years and years, if you love reggae, go see them.

J.J. Grey & Mofro

Saturday, Feb. 8, at 7 p.m. @ Turner Hall Ballroom

From the days of playing greasy local juke joints to headlining major festivals, JJ Grey remains an unfettered, blissful performer, singing with a blue-collared spirit over the bone-deep grooves of his compositions. His presence before an audience is something startling and immediate, at times a funk rave-up, other times a sort of mass-absolution for the mortal weaknesses that make him and his audience human. When you see JJ Grey and his band Mofro live—and you truly, absolutely must—the man is fearless.

The Get Down Soul and Funk Dance

Saturday, Feb. 8, at 10 p.m. @ Mad Planet

Just your friendly neighborhood soul and funky ’45 dance party curated by some dope, super-deep record diggers. This event is a bit of an institution, so if you aren’t familiar with it, you might want to go get yourself an education.

Michael McDermott

Saturday, Feb. 8, at 9 p.m. @ Shank Hall

Michael McDermott possesses one of those classic rock voices and uses it without shame. While it may seem a bit ordinary to draw on influences like Bob Dylan to Van Morrison, McDermott does it a touch better than most.

Robert Randolph & the Family Band w/ special guest Buffalo Nichols

Sunday, Feb. 9, at 7 p.m. @ Turner Hall Ballroom

Grammy-nominated outfit, Robert Randolph & the Family Band somehow do a funky foursquare of sounds from funk, gospel, rock and soul. I’ve seen their show; it’s polished and done well, more than a bit of fun. Opening the set is one Carl Nichols, on his solo joint; he’s also one half of Milwaukee outfit Nickel & Rose.

Australia is Burning: A fire fundraiser w/ Five Card Studs, DJ Chris Schulist

Sunday, Feb. 9, 5:30-9 p.m. @ Burnhearts & Cactus Club

By now we should all be aware of the environmental tragedy happening in Australia. Well, you can do more than just pray for rain; you can head out and have a good time. How does that work? Well Burnhearts and Cactus Club have joined forces to put on an old-fashioned fundraiser with ALL proceeds to benefit Australian animals injured and misplaced from the on-going bushfires in Australia. Five Card Studs are known for their high-energy live shows and DJ Chris Shulist ain’t no slouch either. People talk a mean game about caring and all that but you’re the type to do something amirite?

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

5 things to do this weekend: Dec. 20-22

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A Motown Christmas

Photo/courtesy of the venue

Friday at 7 p.m. @ The Riverside Theater

I’m not all that into Christmas-related activities, but the scrooge in me can chill for an event like A Motown Christmas. This show features a world-class vocal group assembled from past and present members of Motown’s most legendary groups like The Temptations, The Miracles and The Capitols. Plus, it’s a family-oriented show and whoever says they don’t think combining Motown’s greatest hits with everyone’s favorite holiday classics is a good thing is probably wrong. Plus the kinds need to see what made Motown special; the slick choreography and so-familiar-it’s-almost-gentic harmonies all performed in that classic soul style.​ 

The group features Dave Finley a veteran of more than 25 years performing with Smokey Robinson and the Miracles: Charles Franklin formerly with Ali Woodson’s Temptations; Doug Gaddy, also formerly of Ali Woodson’s Temptations and The Dramatics and George Wilson, an original member who sang with the Capitols for more than 20 years. This is the Christmas groove I can get down to.

Hear Here Presents: Sleepy Gaucho + Big Dill and the Boys

Sleepy Gaucho
photo/courtesy of the band

Saturday at 9 p.m. @ Cactus Club

Sleepy Gaucho’s Panamerican influenced folk music floats in a realm of it’s own. Born in Wisconsin while also growing up some time in Argentina, the young multi-instrumentalist’s music can at times be melancholic, at others ethereal, but always agreeable. The seven track debut record “Another Time”, while initially recorded in Madison, WI, was eventually finished after the songwriter happened to find himself drifting around an East London neighborhood for a few months.

Meanwhile, Big Dill and the Boys, another Radio Milwaukee local favorite, bring a rock vibe to the local jam scene. It’s surprising how big a four piece can be, especially in their live performances.

Holiday Spectacular! w/ Mark Waldoch & Testa Rosa

Saturday at 7 p.m. @ The Cooperage

This Saturday, Milwaukee music veterans Mark Waldoch and the band Testa Rosa will be teaming up for a show that takes aim at classic holiday songs and performing them in their own indelible way. Classic holiday songs, some new interpretations and original seasonal music to warm your cold little heart (jk). I can dig it, plus Mark has a fantastic voice and it should be interesting to hear their renditions and I’m curious about their originals as well. A portion of proceeds will also go toward benefiting Hunger Task Force.

Paul Cebar Tomorrow Sound

Photo/courtesy of the band

Saturday at 8 p.m. @ Anodyne Coffee

Paul Cebar Tomorrow Sound bring a funky, lyrically explosiveness, yet with an intimacy that has made them local legends. Taking cues from the dance bands of western Louisiana (and his native Midwest,), the streets (and 45’s) of New Orleans, touring African and Caribbean combos and the soul, funk & blues of his youth, Paul Cebar is a masterful synthesist of rhythmic culture. His time spent in his second home of New Orleans, as a musicologist in Florida, and as a journeyman wanderer in Cuba, is reflected in his musical worldview.

At the core is gifted songwriting, and the company Paul keeps bears it out: Bonnie Raitt, Nick Lowe, Chris Smither, John Hiatt and Cesar Rosas are among his friends and admirers. Tomorrow Sound are an elite crew. Check them out this Saturday in Walker’s Point at Anodyne if you want to verify any of these facts.

Greg Koch

Photo/courtesy of the band

Saturday at 8 p.m. @ Shank Hall

Greg Koch and the Koch-Marshall Trio led by guitarist Greg Koch, also features his son Dylan Koch on drums and Hammond B3 specialist Toby Lee Marshall. This organ trio takes its blues for serious evan as cook up an amalgamation of rock, funk, jazz and country to go along with it.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

5 things to do this weekend: Dec. 5-8

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Dylan LeBlanc

Photo credit: Abraham Rowe

Thursday at 7 p.m. @ The Back Room

Dylan LeBlanc is one of those young cats that radiates an old-school vibe, dressed in saturnine suits and makes music that he unelaborately calls rock ’n’ roll. Enigmatic poses like that always strike me as curious, they also pique my interest. This son of a musician cut his teeth in Shreveport and Muscle Shoals and his music often paint pictures and his latest release “Renegade” is “about troubled cocky young men charming young women who were intrigued by that way of life, only for it to end in tragedy.” Recorded in just ten days and mastered in three, the album seems emblematic of the man and the artist. If you’re free tonight, check it out you might? 


Friday at 7:30 p.m. @ Latino Arts Inc

The four virtuosic female musicians that make up Ladama are an interesting outfit. They perform original compositions and traditional songs sung in Spanish, Portuguese and English and somehow make all of this cohere in a very poignant fusion of their respective Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela and American origins. They do this using both traditional and non-traditional instruments from across the Americas with a distinct, modern twist. I guess you could call their sound Latin Alternative music but I trend it towards a more pan-American sound of futuristic cultural vibes. Definitely an interesting option for your Friday night.

The Smoking Popes + Direct Hit!

Photo/courtesy of the artist

Friday at 7 p.m. @ The Back Room

This Friday also features the return of Chicagoland’s Smoking Popes to Milwaukee and they’re are teaming up with Milwaukee band and this week’s 414 Live guests Direct Hit! for Heartbreak for the Holidays 2019 tour. If you’re a fan of swooning punk-pop anthems, Smoking Popes are probably already on your playlist for memorable songs like “Need You Around,” Megan,” “No More Smiles,” and “Writing a Letter.” A band that’s often imitated, but will never replicated.

Lady Gaga vs. Madonna

Photo/Getty Images

Saturday at 9 p.m. @ Mad Planet

Local DJ and dance party veteran Frank Straka is the mind behind a bevy of shows that dig deep into the discographies of musical legends in this “vs” format that pits one legend against another in some good natured dance frenzy fun. In the past he’s put Michael Jackson vs. Prince, ABBA vs. Queen and Beyonce vs. Rihanna are some recent examples of his themes at work. And work they do, judging from the response. The fact that these pop stars seem to have legit beef with each other adds an extra dimension to this pairing. Controversy aside, if you’re a Lady Gaga or Madonna fan (and of course you are), then this is the dance party for you.

Puddles Pity Party

Photo/courtesy of the artist

Sunday at 7 p.m. @ Back Room

I can already feel the question coming to your mind (because I wondered the same). What is a Puddles Pity Party? You may recognize this proud and fairly famous clown from his appearances on Season 12 of “America’s Got Talent” or viral video collaborations with Postmodern Jukebox. Famous for some indelible interpretations of classics by the likes of ABBA, Bowie, Cheap Trick and Queen as well as some unforgettable mash-ups. And despite the deceptive title, this Pity Party is not truly sad. Puddles Pity Party is a journey into the absurd, mixing lots of humor with the awkward, tender moments. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has appropriately described him as “Pagliacci by way of Pee-Wee Herman and David Lynch” and I certainly can’t think of a better, more apt description. And hey, what else you got goin’ on on a Sunday?

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

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

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…

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 |

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 |

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…


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.

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