words by Cal Roach
For those of you who have been lamenting the lack of snow all winter: Yay, we got a real snowstorm! For those who hate snow: Come on, we’ve hardly gotten any snow all winter! See, we here at Linky McLinkster are eternal optimists; it comes with the territory, seeing as our job is to comb through show and event listings and tell you what we think is worth seeing every week, and every week there are lots of cool things going on. It’s tough to nurture a bad attitude in that environment. Maybe in big cities they take all the fun stuff to do for granted, but hopefully in Milwaukee we’re cognizant of the time and effort so many individuals and organizations put into making our lives more enjoyable. So get out there and support this great community, folks! Here are a few ideas to get you started.
You never need a particular excuse to spend an evening at–dare we say–one of the most gorgeous movie theaters in the country, but tonight (Friday) there’s an extra special happening going down at the Oriental. Whether or not Oscar fever is currently gripping you, you don’t get many chances to check out all of the nominated shorts in one sitting, so you should probably jump on this. You can catch all of the live-action and animated films in separate showings at the Oriental, starting with the latter at 12:10 and leapfrogging all afternoon/evening. Click the handy links above for all the showtimes and try not to spoil your popcorn appetite.
Also tonight, Linneman’s hosts the guaranteed party of the night; if you’ve seen Fresh Cut Collective live before, you know exactly what we mean. With roots in upbeat hip-hop but branching out into virtually all facets of danceable music, this band blends styles like nobody else in town. In an age of mashups, this shtick can get old really quick, but these guys survive on overwhelming positivity and goodwill in addition to the various musical surprises up their sleeves. Plus, opening the show is one of the city’s best reggae acts, R.A.S. Movement, so in keeping with our theme of optimism, get there early for a heavy dose of good vibes right off the bat.
Don’t overdo it on Friday night, though; you’ve got to be well-rested and refueled early on Saturday if you want to get the most possible out of Burnhearts Mitten Fest 2013! We are the City Of Festivals after all, right?? And it’s really not gonna be that cold on Saturday anyway. So let’s all gather on the corner of Logan and Potter, sample some specialty beverages (including a beer called “(Once Witten) Twice Shy” that’s been brewed specifically for this event!) and see some live music! And not just any live music; we’re talking two of the rocking-est bands in Milwaukee, Call Me Lightning and Jaill. Let’s just say they’re both in the top ten list of bands that you need to see live if you want to call yourself a fan of Milwaukee-made rock and roll. The event begins at noon and who knows how long some of these rare libations will last; time to celebrate Wisconsin winter in style!
If you want to get your Saturday revved up with an athletic event and maybe a touch of violence, there’s no better option than roller derby. It’s the second bout of the season at the U.S. Cellular Arena for the Brew City Bruisers, guaranteed to raise your blood pressure to dangerous levels. Remember when you were in middle school and they had the “couples skate” at the roller rink and you fantasized about rolling out there and ramming into all those non-lonely people and knocking them down onto the polished wood floor? Well, this is your chance to get that long-held aggression out vicariously through competitive sports! Be there at 7 p.m. for two bouts and most likely something enjoyable and music-related at halftime.
Next Wednesday, strap on your storytelling shoes and head to Stonefly for the next edition of the Ex Fabula Story Slam. JUST in case you haven’t heard of it yet: A bunch of people gather in a tavern or other appropriate establishment, and some of them get up on a stage and tell stories. The people in the audience laugh and cry. WMSE’s very own Tom Crawford is a frequent contributor, which should get you jazzed up right there. This month’s theme is “It’s A Date,” and as we all know, nothing emotional or hilarious has ever happened on a date, so you might as well skip this one.
Field Report is for lovers! Well, we made that up, but can you think of a better way to spend Valentine’s Day than taking your sweetie to see some amazing music? You all should know this band by now; no Milwaukee band has received more accolades in the past year or so than Field Report, and it’s not for any reason other than how truly great the band is. This is, somehow, FR’s first hometown show since the release of last year’s self-titled debut album that’s garnered rave reviews all over the world, so you have to figure it’s going to be something special. Plus, opening the show is another of the best singer/songwriters in the city, Old Earth (get thee to Bandcamp post haste if thou hast not yet heard last year’s a low place at The Old Place), so do your romantic dinners early, ‘cause this is kind of an unmissable show. Get thee to Turner Hall Ballroom post haste for the 8pm show.