This Week in Milwaukee: Dec. 19-23
Ex Fabula Spectacular: Bad Company @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 6:30 p.m.
Seven storytellers of widely varying backgrounds will take the stage at Ex Fabula’s latest Spectacular event, all rising to the same challenge: to win over the audience with short, autobiographical stories, all told without any notes. There aren’t any limitations on the stories they tell—some are uproariously funny, others are nail-bitingly tense—but they’ll all be constructed around the same, deliberately vague theme: bad company. If any theme lends itself to tales of unfortunate holiday guests, it should be this one.
Friday, Dec. 20
AK w/ Dana Coppafeel & SPEAK Easy, WebsterX and Sean Smart @ Cocoon Room, 7 p.m.
Like most club-based music in the city, Milwaukee’s hip-hop scene is largely roped off from many people under 21, but the local rap label Uni-Fi Records will get a chance to showcase some of its acts for a rare, all-ages crowd at this show at Riverwest’s Cocoon Room. AK, Dana Coppafeel & SPEAK Easy, WebsterX and Sean Smart will all perform, while DJs mammyth and Mo Pelman will keep the music going between sets. There will also be a 15-minute breakdancing circle, with a prize awarded to the best dancer.
Feed Milwaukee Holiday Gala @ Turner Hall Ballroom, 7 p.m.
The Turner Hall Ballroom hosts a night of music and dancing to help the hungry. The ninth annual Feed Milwaukee charity gala for the Hunger Task Force will include DJs, a silent auction, raffle drawings, a photo booth and photo ops with Santa Claus. The night’s main event will be a performance from the MPS Community Gospel Choir.
Saturday, Dec. 21
Call Me Lightning w/ Liquor Store @ Cactus Club, 9:45 p.m.
Here’s something to look forward to during the longest, coldest, darkest stretch of winter that lies ahead: a new Call Me Lightning record. The Milwaukee power trio has long been one of the bright spots in the city’s rock scene, and they cemented that reputation with 2010’s instant classic When I Am Gone My Blood Will Be Free, an awesomely vital record that filters The Who’s epic stadium rock through the lens of a punk basement show. Judging from “Now We Have Begun,” the first track teased from the group’s upcoming Human Hell, the band hasn’t loosened up on their signature intensity one bit. Here’s hoping they preview some new material at this show.
Soul Low w/ Shoot Down The Moon, Ikarus Down and Animals in Human Attire @ Mad Planet, 9 p.m.
Mad Planet is encouraging guests to don their gaudiest sweaters for this bill, the club’s Second Annual Ugly Holiday Sweater Party, which features a stacked lineup of some of the city’s best indie-rock bands. On the bill: rabble-rousers Soul Low; the folk-punk ensemble Shoot Down The Moon; Radiohead-esque alt-rockers Ikarus Down; and the ever-wild Animals in Human Attire, who are readying a new album for release this spring. Admission is $7, or $5 with a sweater.
Elijah Leffingwell Fundraiser @ Steny’s Tavern, 5 p.m.
One-year-old Elijah Leffingwell has spent his entire life on a feeding tube as a result of multiple surgeries that saved his life but left him with only one functioning lung. His family is enrolling him in a specialized feeding program in Alexandria, Va., that will help him learn to eat on his own, but like all treatments that aren’t covered by insurance, it’s expensive, so friends and family are helping them offset some of that $15,000 with this fundraiser at Steny’s Tavern. There will be a silent auction, door prizes, raffles and music from DJ Selector Z, who will be spinning reggae, funk and soul, and The Grasshoppers, who will close the night with a set of jam music.
Monday, Dec. 23
Holiday Hip-Hop Fundraiser 3 @ Stonefly Brewing Co., 9 p.m.
For the third year in a row, Milwaukee-area rap acts will be raising money for good causes while giving hip-hop fans something to do in the days before Christmas. Hosted by Dana Coppafeel, the third Holiday Hip-Hop Fundraiser will feature sets from Klassik, Pharaoh Mac & DMT, Madstatic, Timmy and the Loop Station, Vision the Kid and others, as well as hip-hop karaoke and DJ sets from OD, Brazil and Optimist. Half of the proceeds will go to the Milwaukee Public Schools Foundation; guests can pick from a list of other organizations to decide where the other half of their donation goes.