Local Fundraiser Shows Take Another Step Forward

The expanded Riverwest FemFest, now spanning four days and featuring more than 50 acts, is another example of the Milwaukee music scene’s efforts to support local nonprofit organizations. Plus: Bully at Cactus Club, a new Group of the Altos video, and more.

A major storyline that emerged from the local music scene last year was the birth of new fundraiser shows that helped support Milwaukee-area nonprofit organizations. Events like Arte Para Todos, Local Coverage and Riverwest FemFest all sought to find fresh ways to better their communities and did so with the gracious help of Milwaukee musicians.

But if 2015 was all about getting these benefits off the ground, then 2016 is about making a significant step forward in their efforts. That’s already been the case for Local Coverage, an event where 10 local bands pre-selected another band on the bill to play a 15-minute cover set. The inaugural event took place in the cozy confines of Club Garibaldi, but this year the more expansive Turner Hall Ballroom was picked as the venue. With a much higher overhead, there was much more to lose this time around. The city firmly got behind the event last Friday night, as the turnout exceeded 500 people and nearly $3,500 was raised for Girls Rock Milwaukee and The Guest House of Milwaukee, according to a Milwaukee Record post from curator Tyler Maas.

Next up is this weekend’s Riverwest FemFest. Sick of seeing the usual four-dude bands playing bars and DIY venues throughout the city? This festival celebrates the oft-overlooked contributions from women to the local scene. Expanded from two days last year, the now four-day festival features more than 50 bands, artists and poets at neighborhood locales like Riverwest Public House, The Jazz Gallery, Company Brewing and an after party at High Dive.

A weekend pass can be had for $25 on the FemFest website. Individual tickets are also on sale at the door, ranging from $5-$10. Proceeds from the event will go towards providing date rape test kits to all Riverwest bars with help from Date Rape Awareness Milwaukee and the remainder will benefit Milwaukee Women’s Center, a shelter for those dealing with domestic violence, drug addiction and mental health issues.

The full schedule of events is listed below, along with two FemFest compilations.

Thursday, January 21: Opening Night

Riverwest Public House, 815 E. Locust St. ($5)

  • Sugar Ransom, 9:00 p.m.- 9:30 p.m.
  • Ugly Brothers, 9:45 p.m. – 10:15 p.m.
  • Chakara Blu, 10:30 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
  • Sista Strings, 11:15 p.m. – 11:45 p.m.
  • Tigernite, 12:00 a.m. – 12:30 a.m.

Friday, January 22: Night Two

The Jazz Gallery, 926 E. Center St. ($10)

  • Sara And Kenny, 6:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
  • Rocket Paloma, 6:45 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.
  • Spoken Word: Olivia Gillingham, 7:15 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
  • Caley Conway, 7:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • The Candliers Reunion, 8:15 p.m. – 8:45 p.m.
  • Dupond Dupont, 9:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
  • Dahkma, 9:45 p.m. – 10:15 p.m.
  • Plague Walker, 10:30 p.m. – 10:50 p.m.
  • Static Eyes, 11:05 p.m. – 11:25 p.m.
  • Fox Face, 11:40 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.

Saturday, January 23: Night Three

Company Brewing, 735 E. Center St. ($10)

  • Amanda Huff, 2:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
  • Grasping at Straws, 2:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
  • Krystal and Kat, 3:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Spoken Word: Mary Hacker, 4:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
  • Hello Death, 4:15 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.
  • Heavy Hand, 5:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
  • Faux Fiction, 5:45 p.m. – 6:15 p.m.
  • Abby Jeane Rebel Love, 6:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  • Spoken Word: Mary Joy, 7:00 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.
  • New Boyz Club, 7:15 p.m. – 7:45 p.m.
  • DINNER BREAK w/ DJ Annalog, 7:45 p.m. – 8:15 p.m.
  • Spoken Word: Anja Notanja, 8:15 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
  • Mary Allen and the Perculators, 8:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
  • Winter Bear, 9:15 p.m. – 9:45 p.m.
  • Cree Myles and B Free Split Set, 10:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
  • Mexican Knives, 10:45 p.m. – 11:15 p.m.
  • Spoken Word: Pussy, 11:15 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.
  • Special Surprise Guest, 11:30 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.
  • Zed Kenzo, 12:15 p.m. – 12:45 a.m.
  • Siren, 1:00 a.m. – 1:30 a.m.

Sunday, January 24: Night Four

Company Brewing, 735 E. Center St. ($10)

  • Ladies Rock Showcase, 1:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
  • Spoken Word: Julia Rose, 2:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
  • Shelly Schauer, 2:15 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
  • SIN BAD, 3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
  • Swimsuit Addition, 3:45 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
  • Sarah Vos of Dead Horses, 4:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • DINNER BREAK, 5:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
  • Spoken Word: Emily Bee, 5:30 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.
  • Ramma Lamma, 5:45 p.m. – 6:15 p.m.
  • Beat Drun Juel, 6:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  • Spoken Word: Beth Emilie, 7:00 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.
  • FIVY, 7:15 p.m. – 7:45 p.m.
  • NO/NO, 8:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
  • Queen Tut, 8:45 p.m. – 9:15 p.m.
  • Spoken Word: Emma DeBord, 9:15 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
  • Ruth B8r Ginsberg, 9:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

FemFest After Party

High Dive, 701 E. Center St. (FREE)

  • Iron Pizza, 10:30 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
  • Mortgage Freeman, 11:15 p.m. – 11:45 p.m.
  • Pussy Collector, 12:00 a.m. – 12:30 a.m.

A Bigger Bully

Before their breakout this summer, Bully played a sparsely attended Cactus Club show with Whips in May. Expect a larger response this Tuesday night at the rock venue, as the band’s June debut Feels Like earned universal acclaim this year. Lead singer Alicia Bognanno brought a deft engineering mind to the recording, a skill honed during an internship at Electrical Audio in Chicago. The show starts at 9 p.m. Chicago noise rockers Fake Limbs open.

Video of the Week

“Coplights,” the penultimate track on Group of the Altos’ sophomore record, R U Person Or Not, feels like a palette cleanser, reeling back the frenetic pace and dynamic stylistic flourishes of the album for an extended breath of fresh air. The video, directed and edited by Sean Williamson, Heather Hass and Shawn Stephany, is a prequel to 2012’s stunningly beautiful “Sing (For Trouble)” and insperses finds Altos members at many different area locations, like Alverno College’s Pitman Theatre, the Seven Bridges Trail in Grant Park, and Barnacle Buds.

“Coplights” by Group of the Altos from Sean Williamson on Vimeo.

This Week in Live Music

Thursday, January 21: Tommy Stinson with Midnight Reruns and Platinum Boys at Turner Hall Ballroom, 8 p.m. ($10 advance; $12 door) – (1032 N. 4th St., PabstTheater.org)

Friday, January 22: Allen Cote (EP Release) with Lisa Ridgely & The Fainting Room and Krystal Kuehl at Linneman’s Riverwest Inn, 9 p.m. ($5) – (1001 E. Locust St., Linnemans.com)

Also: Frogwater with Lil Rev at Walker’s Point Anodyne, 8 p.m. ($8) – (224 W. Bruce St., AnodyneCoffee.com)

And: Wavy V with Ravi/Lola and Scrimshaw at Frank’s Power Plant, 9 p.m. ($5) – (2800 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., FranksPowerPlant.com)

Saturday, January 23: Protomartyr with Amanda X at Cactus Club, 9:30 p.m. ($10) – (2496 S. Wentworth Ave., CactusClubMilwaukee.com)

Also: Ladders with Valentiger and Dupont Dupont at Linneman’s Riverwest Inn, 9 p.m. ($5) – (1001 E. Locust St., Linnemans.com)

And: Pablove 7 featuring Carolina Goran, Oil Tasters/Haskels Tribute, The Lovelies, Pet Engine and Eagle Trace at Turner Hall Ballroom, 7 p.m. ($20-$35) – (1032 N. 4th St., PabstTheater.org)

Sunday, January 24: Tortoise with Light Music at Mad Planet, 9 p.m. ($12 advance; $15 door) – (533 E. Center St, Mad-Planet.net)

Also: Aaron Lee Tasjan and Bonnie Whitmore with Ricky Ganiere at Walker’s Point Anodyne, 7 p.m. ($10)  – (224 W. Bruce St., AnodyneCoffee.com)



Kevin is a freelance writer residing in Milwaukee. He’s contributed to The Shepherd Express, Third Coast Daily, Pop Matters and the sadly now-defunct A.V. Club Milwaukee. He looks forward to forging a deeper connection with the city’s impressive music scene during his gig as a Music Notes blogger. His talents include music criticism, riding a bicycle, drinking tasty beers and a crafty croquet swing. His weaknesses comprise Jean-Claude Van Damme movies, professional wrestling and his ever-growing record collection. He’s in desperate need to find more physical (and hard drive) space for the exceptional albums Milwaukee musicians keep churning out.