Welcome to January: What's happening in Milwaukee this month
We cobble together the highlights of a slow month in the city
Welcome to the most depressing eight weeks of the year! That’s right: The holidays are over, spring is a couple of months away, and all we have to look forward to are pitch-black days full of nothing to do. There’s no getting around it. January and February is a wasteland of boredom, cabin fever, and heavy drinking here in Milwaukee. But it’s not completely hopeless. Here are some highlights of the January entertainment calendar.
Do not taunt Kid Cudi
One of the few violent altercations between fans and performers that didn’t involve Jay Reatard last year happened in December at a show in Vancouver from psychedelic hip-hopper Kid Cudi. Cudi, who performs Jan. 6 at The Rave/Eagles Club, went into the audience and smacked around a fan after the man tossed a wallet on stage—which Cudi himself had just tossed at the fan after some other yahoo tossed it at him. In these tough economic times, can anyone really afford to turn away a free wallet? At any rate, it’s probably not a good idea to throw anything at this guy when he comes to town on Wednesday.
Finally, a reason to wear skinny jeans in January
Indie rock nerds can keep themselves warm this month in the company of other discerning record collectors at two shows happening in local clubs. First up is The Rural Alberta Advantage, coming back to Milwaukee for a show Jan. 14 at Mad Planet after a much buzzed-about show this summer at Cactus Club. The Canadian band plays here in support of Hometowns, which was re-released in this country in 2009 by Saddle Creek Records. The following week, beguiling folkie Sharon Van Etten visits the Cactus Club on Jan. 20. If you haven’t heard of Van Etten, you obviously aren’t keeping up with super-cool blogs, since her 2009 release Because I Was In Love drew mega praise from tastemakers. So, listen to the cool kids and check her out, sheep.
Oh my god, it’s Nick!
Everybody knows that Jonas Brothers are the greatest band on the planet. But being a member of the 21st century Beatles can be a little stifling creatively, so you can’t blame Nick Jonas for stepping out for his side project, The Administration. Before he drops his solo debut Who I Am—because this record is all about getting to the bottom of the real Nick Jonas—NJ and his Administration visit The Rave/Eagles Club Jan. 20. We’re wetting our pants already.
Jan. 30: The day everything good happens
January is a pretty slow month in Milwaukee, so would it kill promoters to space out their can’t-miss shows a little better? The last day of January alone has nearly a third of the worthwhile shows happening this month, including Ben Gibbard and Jay Farrar at Turner Hall, Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood at Pabst Theater, and The Life And Times at Cactus Club. We’re probably most excited about seeing The Life And Times, a huge-sounding shoegazer act whose enormously fat riffs could fill the Bradley Center—and will make the Cactus Club feel even more powerfully intimate than usual.