Welcome to January: What’s happening in Milwaukee this month
If you’re reading this, we’re going to assume that the world didn’t end Jan. 1 and that our computers successfully switched over from “19” to “20,” or whatever. (Wait, was that something else?) Either way, there’s a cold, hard fact that we have to face in 2012: January kind of blows. The first few weeks of a new year are typically a dead zone for entertainment. After all, who feels like going to a show (much less playing a show) after enduring the grand shit-show of the holiday season? Still, there are a handful of reasons to get out of the house and break some New Year’s resolutions.
Club shows of note
Question: What’s the single can’t-miss show of the month? Answer: Kool Keith at Mad Planet Jan. 21. The former Dr. Octagon/Dr. Dooom/Tashan Dorrsett hasn’t released a new album since 2009 (one is planned for early 2012), though that shouldn’t keep a sure-to-be sold-out Planet crowd from screaming along to the immortal “Halfsharkalligatorhalfman.” On the local hip-hop tip, KingHellBastard celebrates the release of its second album, The War Room, Jan. 28 at Mad Planet, while Logic & Raze drop by the Cactus Club the same night.
Cactus will also play host to a few solid rock shows in January. The Wildbirds’ country offshoot, Hugh Bob And The Hustle, perform Jan. 6, while Brief Candles, Crappy Dracula, and The Fatty Acids head up a delightfully bizarre triple-bill show the following night. The Midnight Reruns celebrate the release of their newest EP, Central Time, Jan. 13; The Snowbirds and Trapper Schoepp And The Shades drop by Jan. 20; and one of Milwaukee’s best-kept spaz-rock secrets, Scrimshaw, joins Absolutely for a show Jan. 27.
Big-ticket theater gigs
The best word to describe Pabst/Riverside/Turner Hall’s January lineup is “random.” The top two shows are undoubtedly The Lemonheads at Turner Jan. 21 and Justin Vernon main-squeeze Kathleen Edwards at Turner Jan. 24. From there, things are a little more hit-or-miss. Florida roots-rock outfit JJ Grey & Mofro plays Turner Jan. 19, preceded by a screening of the group’s tour doc, called Brighter Days, Jan. 5. Glen Campbell brings his “Goodbye Tour” to the Pabst Jan. 21, while The Daily Show’s John Oliver stops by Jan. 27. Oh, and the sadly unstoppable Frank Caliendo performs at the Riverside Jan. 21, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Perhaps the best bill of the month, however, is a local one. The endearingly shaggy Sat. Nite Duets celebrate the release of their newest album, Summer Of Punishment, Jan. 14 at Turner Hall. They’ll be joined by the slightly less shaggy—but equally hard-working and awesome—The Fatty Acids and Catacombz.
Movies: classics, trash, and Grease
The Times Cinema continues to screen a great selection of classic and semi-classic films throughout January: 1980’s deliciously trashy and bloody Maniac begins Jan. 13, while 1935’s Bride Of Frankenstein begins the following day. Later in the month, Danny Boyle’s influential Trainspotting begins Jan. 27, and Alfred Hitchcock’s Jimmy-Stewart-in-a-wheelchair classic Rear Window begins Jan. 28.
Looking for a chance to yell along with a movie without having to wear fishnets? Look no further than Turner Hall, which will screen a sing-along to Grease Jan. 20. The event is part of Turner’s Beer And A Movie program, and you’ll definitely need more than a few to knock this earworm out of your head: