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Best rock group, hip-hop artist and more

Some artists just seem more dedicated than others. Though she’s barely out of high school, Brookfield native Nora Collins has gigged relentlessly over the last three years, averaging about 200 performances a year, charming audiences in any venue that’ll have her with her personal songs...

Best movie theater, art museum and more

 Located in the heart of its neighborhood on the South Side, the Walker’s Point Center for the Arts is truly about furthering local culture. For more than 25 years, WPCA has focused on promoting local artists’ work, helping to educate young people and embracing multicultural visual and...

Most trusted politician, favorite landmark and more

 Personal injury lawyer Michael Hupy (Hupy and Abraham) doesn’t ride, but he has fought for protections for bikers since the ’80s, when he realized that “bikers had no good lawyers.” They do now. In addition to his legal advocacy, Hupy’s influential “Watch for Motorcycles” campaign...

Best breakfast, lunch, dinner and everything in between

 Injera, a large, spongy flatbread with a slightly tart flavor, adds to the unique experience of dining at an Ethiopian restaurant. All entrées are served on top of injera, and it is also your dining utensil—simply tear off a piece and...

Best bar, dance club and more

 If you are living on a fixed income or just appreciate a good deal, visit Mulligans Irish Pub & Grill. With two daily happy hours from 2-6 p.m. and 10 p.m. to midnight...
Last year, the theme for our annual Shepherd Express City Guide was Hidden Treasures of Milwaukee. Writing and researching was a delightful experience and our only frustration was the number of treasures—those less familiar...
 The food of Ethiopia can be fiery. Alem offers a gentler version, though their hot pepper sauce still has richness and depth of flavor. Try the doro wot, chicken with...

Beer, Cheese and Sausage Fest Not To Be Missed!

Craving a tasty new brew? Savory cheese? Delicious sausage? Then join the Shepherd Express on Saturday, April 27, for our first annual Stein & Dine beer, cheese and sausage festival at Milwaukee’s State Fair Expo Center...

Bars that make their own liqueurs

With their multi-ingredient makeup and recent popular resurgence, cocktails fit the bill for drinkers looking for something unique. Over the past few years, the craft cocktail movement has slowly been carving out a niche...
 Tastes in margaritas vary greatly. Some prefer tall bowl-like glasses and frozen fruit flavors, while others stick with the basics and want fresh lime juice, ice and tequila in a tumbler. Whichever type is your favorite, everyone can...
Sometimes in the city known for beer, wine aficionados may feel a little left out. But when you look at Milwaukee’s nightlife, you will see plenty of places to enjoy a glass (or bottle) of vino. Some have been around for a while...
"Honestly, I'm not a big drinker," says the British-born director who is lighting up the Rep, "especially now with a 17-month-old girl at home, but I'm partial every now and then to a finely crafted cocktail.” Where better to go than this wonderfully camp retro bar? “It serves up the best-made...

2013 Fall Arts Guide

Visit the Allis for an exhibit unveiling the immense history within the museum’s walls. As a wealthy industrialist at the turn of the 20th century, Charles Allis was uniquely suited to engage his passion for art collection, and many of his treasures remain in the mansion, including works by...
 Latino Arts’ winter gallery exhibit brightens the Wisconsin winter with the handmade pottery of Luz Angela Crawford. Born in Columbia and currently based in Texas, the artist draws from the ancient pottery designs...

2013 Summer Guide

 Take advantage of the season and enjoy the food at these lakefront establishments. Some are only open in summer and offer foods meant to be eaten outside. Others...

2013 Summer Guide

 If the weather chooses not to cooperate with your beach plans, visit one of the lakefront's indoor venues...

2013 Summer Guide

 Milwaukee County is known for great parks, which consistently rank among the top 20 park systems in the nation. In addition, several communities in the area operate their own parks...

2013 Summer Guide

 Whether or not you own a boat, getting out on the water is one of the best ways to experience the beauty of Lake Michigan. Touring, fishing and taking in the lake air...

2013 Summer Guide

 An event dedicated to craft beer at which local, national and international brewers offer samples. Live music and delectable food pairings make this a must for the beer enthusiast....

Saturday, June 29 @ Marcus Amphitheater, 7:30 p.m.

 If a March performance in Madison is any indication, the kind of fired-up show this trio of country hunks puts on is tailor made for a hot Summerfest evening...

Saturday, June 29 @ Miller Lite Oasis, 10 p.m.

 Over the years, the original Miller High Life Jazz Oasis morphed into the Miller Lite Oasis, making it possible for a breakout rock band like Imagine Dragons to bring its...

Saturday, June 29 @ Harley-Davidson Roadhouse, 5 p.m.

 Bucking against the mysticism of their indie-rock contemporaries, Yeasayer often talks openly in interviews about the influences infused into the Brooklyn group's songs. Although they borrow from African polyrhythms, gospel...

Sunday, June 30 @ Marcus Amphitheater, 7:30 p.m.

 There’s a lot of discussion as to what rapper Pitbull is saying when he repeatedly belts out “dah-ley.” In monolingual America, it sounds like a classy Hepburn “darling,” but...

Sunday, June 30 @ U.S. Cellular Connection Stage, 10 p.m.

 The tastemakers of the Internet era can make a band overnight, as Long Beach, Calif.-based Cold War Kids learned in 2006, when the online chatter surrounding a...

Tuesday, July 2 @ Marcus Amphitheater, 7:30 p.m.

 The oldest band on a three-act nostalgia tour, the New Kids may be pushing the lexical boundaries of their 30-year-old name. But the same things that make it easy to poke...

Tuesday, July 2 @ U.S. Cellular Connection Stage, 10 p.m.

 It’s ironic that AWOLNATION plays Summerfest on July 2, the same night that Styx will be headlining the BMO Harris Pavilion at the other end of the festival grounds, given how much debt the Los Angeles electronic-rock band owes those prog pioneers. AWOLNATION paid overt homage to Styx’s anthem “Come Sail” away on their breakthrough hit “Sail,” and proudly share that band’s more...

Tuesday, July 2 @ BMO Harris Pavilion, 8 p.m.

 Chicago prog-rockers Styx weren’t always known by the same name as the mythical river that separates Earth from the Underworld. Twin brothers Chuck and John Panozzo and neighbor Dennis DeYoung originally formed The...

Wednesday, July 3 @ Marcus Amphitheater, 7:30 p.m.

 Considering the Marcus Amphitheater’s already star-studded country lineup this year, the addition of stud Luke Bryan and two highly regarded up-and-coming acts should be enough to keep the cowboy-hat crowd grinning al...

Thursday, Aug. 1 @ 7:30 p.m.

Fans of Heart may not know that the Seattle-based band didn’t always include sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson, who have come to define the sextet’s distinctive sound. The band began in Bothell, Wash., as The Army, changing...

Saturday, Aug. 3 @ 8 p.m.

  Gary Allan’s 17 years as a fixture of the Nashville hit machine are unique in that—unlike many other country radio regulars—he has very few experiences by which he should be professionally ashamed or embarrassed. The Allan who...

Sunday, Aug. 4 @ 7 p.m.

 One of the slyest pop groups heard on AM radio in the 1960s, The Turtles slipped the cheeky line “How is the weather?” into their unabashed declaration of love, “Happy Together,” and set the optimistic lyric to an emotionally...

Tuesday, Aug. 6 @ 7:30 p.m.

 Don’t let the fact that Canada’s Theory of a Deadman was the first band to sign with Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger’s 604 Records way back in 2001 deter you from this show. The potent quartet represents one of the finer...

Wednesday, Aug. 7 @ 7:30 p.m.

 Contemporary Christian music has taken many forms since its inception in the late 1960s. One of the most popular formats has become contemporary praise and worship, music previously confined to the charismatic movement but...

Thursday, Aug. 8 @ 7:30 p.m.

 Formed in 1968, the current iteration includes guitarist Steve Howe, bassist Chris Squire and drummer Alan White, all veteran members. Keyboardist Geoff Downes...

Friday, Aug. 9 @ 7 p.m.

 Now 19 and tweeting shirtless pics of himself and recording increasingly adult-minded music, Justin Bieber has outgrown his original niche as a kid pop star. Enter 17-year-old Austin Mahone, a dreamy-eyed, silky-haired pop...

A&E

2014 Best of Milwaukee Winners

For nearly 35 years, the Third Ward-located Katie Gingrass Gallery has enriched Milwaukee’s cultural scene with the exhibition of arts and artists of all stripes: the up and coming, the established, the antique, the regional...

2014 Best of Milwaukee Winners

Along with one of this year’s runners-up, Alem, Ethiopian Cottage is among the few places north of Chicago offering injera, a soft crepe-like sourdough bread serving as plate, utensil and the meal itself. Tasty East African...

2014 Best of Milwaukee Winners

Higher Education   Four-Year College   University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee uwm.edu   Runner-up: Milwaukee School of En...

2014 Best of Milwaukee Winners

Brookfield singer-songwriter Nora Collins hit the ground running. Though she’s only a few years removed from high school, the country/folk/pop singer plays shows at a...

2014 Best of Milwaukee Winners

“Everybody needs to be part of the solution,” Barbara Beckert told the Shepherd last year. Beckert, the director of the Milwaukee office of Disability Rights Wisconsin...

2014 Best of Milwaukee Winners

On Monday, my Lakefront tapper costs me $3.50. On Tuesdays, MGD or Leinie’s bottles are $2.50. All tappers (a good selection) cost $3 on Thursdays. Good but not that good, so what—aside from bumper...
Shepherd Express Arts Guide covers the entire fine arts season, September 2014 through June 2015. Longtime readers of our local arts coverage won’t be surprised at the number and diversity of performing arts groups in Milwaukee or the museums with regular visual arts...

2014 Fall Arts Guide

If you bring children to the Milwaukee Art Museum, it’s hard to avoid seeing Standing Woman, a nude bronze more than seven feet high just inside the entrance. At the John Michael Kohler Art Center, if you escort a girl into the atrium restroom, there are ceramic tiles on the wall that...

Saturday, June 28 @ Marcus Amphitheater, 7:30 p.m.

He’s come to be about as known for his lighthouse-bright smile, wagging backside and people in his organization begrudging George Strait on Twitter for winning an award for which their boss was nominated, but Luke Bryan’s notoriety started with his music. Early singles such as “All My Friends ...

Saturday, June 28 @ Harley-Davidson Roadhouse, 10 p.m.

 The Internet era has introduced us to the concept of the viral video; Canadian outfit Walk Off the Earth may be the first viral band. Since 2006, Walk Off the Earth has taken advantage of such media outlets as YouTube to release their signature takes on a wide variety of pop culture touchstones...

Saturday, June 28 @ BMO Harris Pavilion, 5 p.m.

 What? The Yardbirds are still around after more than 50 years? Well, not exactly. The British blues band that spawned a holy trinity of guitar gods with Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page initially had a five-year run, from 1963 to 1968, with such hits as “For Your Love,” “Heart Full of Soul”...

Sunday, June 29 @ Marcus Amphitheater, 7 p.m.

 The South has been the dominate creative force in rap music for so long now that it’s easy to forget that when Outkast first emerged in the ’90s the region had been dismissed—and even shunned—by the greater hip-hop community. On albums like 1998’s rich, funk-drenched Aquemini and 2000’s...

Sunday, June 29 @ Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard, 10 p.m.

 Coming together in Seattle in 2009, The Head and the Heart have taken great advantage of the rising popularity of all things Americana. Like fellow folk rockers The Lumineers and Mumford & Sons, The Head and the Heart offer well-crafted songs that have broad appeal. One can imagine both...

Sunday, June 29 @ Harley-Davidson Roadhouse, 9:30 p.m.

 Say the word “improg”—a mashup of “improvisational” and “progressive” used to describe rock music—and South Bend, Ind., isn’t the first place that comes to mind. But that’s where “improg” band Umphrey’s McGee was born, giving the city its own place in the musical landscape...

Friday, June 27 @ Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard, 10 p.m.

 Last year Tegan and Sara released a pop album. That shouldn’t be a shocker: The Canadian sister-sister duo has been releasing pop albums—great ones—for more than a decade now. But 2013’s Heartthrob was a pop album in the truest, most commercial sense, an album that was slicker than...

Nas

Tuesday, July 1 @ Harley-Davidson Roadhouse, 10 p.m.

 In hip-hop, no achievement is more celebrated than the classic debut, and no album better epitomizes the classic debut than Nas’ masterpiece Illmatic. It was one of the first records The Source ever honored with a perfect five mic review, back when five mics from The Source truly meant...

Tuesday, July 1 @ Marcus Amphitheater, 7:30 p.m.

Though he’s not a natural-born public figure like Pharrell or Timbaland, songwriter and producer Ryan Tedder is quietly one of the most successful pop architects of this young millennium. He’s crafted massive singles for Beyoncé (“Halo”), Kelly Clarkson (“Already Gone”) and Leona Lewis...

60 WRD/MIN ART CRITIC @ INOVA MILWAUKEE,WI 6/1/13 11:30 AM

 Angela Laughingheart’s knitted sculptures have nothing to do with your grandmother’s pastime or your coziest afghan...

60 WRD/MIN ART CRITIC @ INOVA MILWAUKEE,WI 6/1/13 12:00 PM

 Lois Bielefeld’s photographic series root themselves in genuine curiosity about other people’s lives: what their most private spaces look like, what they eat for lunch, why they choose to carry concealed firearms. In order to make the...

60 WRD/MIN ART CRITIC @ INOVA MILWAUKEE,WI 6/1/13 12:30 PM

In a world full of images as slick and fast as they come, Kala Istvanek has chosen to do something deeply counter-intuitive and potentially resistant. Working from pictures found in magazines or on Pinterest.com, she painstakingly ...

60 WRD/MIN ART CRITIC @ INOVA MILWAUKEE,WI 6/1/13 1:00 PM

 For the past two decades or so, Paul Druecke has concerned himself with resuscitating the kinds of public spaces that are easily neglected. So it seems only natural that about three years ago he began to work with that ultimate...

60 WRD/MIN ART CRITIC @ INOVA MILWAUKEE,WI 6/1/13 2:30 PM

 Foraging in nature—for fossils, mushrooms, lamb’s quarters—is very much a chance procedure, but it depends on the seeker having both the knowledge to recognize what he or she encounters, and an openness to finding the...

60 WRD/MIN ART CRITIC @ INOVA MILWAUKEE,WI 6/1/13 3:00 PM

 What does it mean to be a strong woman? Valorie Schleicher asks and answers this question through a series of ceramic sculptures and color photographs which, though made in recent years, harken back to the essentialist...

60 WRD/MIN ART CRITIC @ INOVA MILWAUKEE,WI 6/1/13 3:30 PM

 Common expectation holds that an artist’s work should fit together seamlessly, or at least not require too much suturing on the part of the viewer. But such assumptions not only limit creativity, they are historically inaccurate...

60 WRD/MIN ART CRITIC @ INOVA MILWAUKEE,WI 6/1/13 4:00 PM

 What would it mean to be a truly democratic subject? In her search for an answer to this question, Kim Miller has looked far and wide, including to Northern Thailand and to a local theater troupe of disabled actors. She has also...
 Brad Fiore’s sculpture of the international star curator Hans Ulrich Obrist looks from afar to have been executed in the style of a Stephen Balkenhol wooden totem, all rough hand-sawn edges and smartly naïve simplification. But...

60 WRD/MIN ART CRITIC @ INOVA MILWAUKEE,WI 6/2/13 11:00 AM

 Sports teams are not known for their politically correct monikers or mascots. On the contrary, over the past few years controversies have arisen as teams have been petitioned to find more acceptable designations. These typically...

Exhibit by one of America’s foremost landscape artists

Tom Uttech hails from Merrill, Wis. (population approximately 9,500), where the Wisconsin River joins with the Prairie River. One suspects that being surrounded from birth by the picturesque cycle of seasons in Merrill has something to do with Uttech’s ascendance to being one of America’s foremost...
So frequently are we presented with bad alternatives that numerous colloquial expressions have been cast to designate the situation: being between a rock and a hard place, between the devil and the deep blue sea, between Scylla and Charybdis, a Sophie’s choice...

Learning to be funny in Milwaukee

 If you want to see lots of great comedians, there’s an easy solution: Visit Next Act Theatre sometime between August 7 and 10 for the Milwaukee Comedy Festival...
You’ve probably heard the age-old saying that in space no one can hear you scream. Well, what are you screaming about anyway, buddy? Space is the new frontier; it’s an exciting place! Aliens, you say? I haven’t seen any, pal....
I always choose the same restaurant for first dates because the staff has learned not to stare. The host knows that I’m partial to the table just to the right of the main entrance; that way the poor girls have a minimal amount of time to react to my face, hands, fur and tail. When they realize...
It was rumored that after they jumped her for her Doc Martins outside the 7-Eleven on Colorado Boulevard, Abby became animal, too vicious for birthday parties or sundresses. I knew different. Now too paranoid for boots, afraid a pack of skinheads would come for them again, which they...
I often look at my husband’s face and attempt to reduce the world to good, bad, black or white. I do this in restaurants and on Christmas morning, at our children’s soccer games and in the car, while my life goes by in one big blur out the window. I think: Is this the life I was meant to live? Is...
I wait in the road for the preschoolers, never on the sidewalk. I meet the arrivals right on the blacktop, buses bubbling over the hill like rust. Rust. My English-teacher son would prefer something different, something about sunrises no doubt, but rust fits. Old. Historic. Real before you existed...
Feeling like a Grinch? Being a bad Santa? Take a chill pill, Ebenezer! I know the holidays aren’t for everyone, but try getting off your keester and soaking in a bit of holiday cheer. After all, Wisconsin offers...

Charitable giving for Milwaukee’s LGBT community

When Neil Giuliano, Tempe, Ariz.’s former gay mayor (he’s still gay but not currently mayor) spoke at the recent Cream City Foundations Business Lunch, he stated a remarkable and embarrassing fact: LGBT people contribute less to their own causes than straight people do. I’m sure there...
Are you a saintly or a sassy Santa? The LGBT community has always been one to embrace the classic sights and sounds of the season as well as nontraditional holiday fun, including scandalous Christmas parties and...
If you’ve never heard of Trixie Mattel, here’s the scoop. Brian Firkus, a mild-mannered professional makeup artist, as his fierce drag persona, Trixie Mattel, has just been cast on LOGO network’s reality show, “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” He will appear as one of 14 contestants in the show’s...
Sleigh bells ring, are ya listenin’? Well…are ya? It’s that time of year, kids. It’s the time of year where there are parties to attend, food to savor, cheer to share and drinks to, well, drink...
You can tell a lot about a person by their Christmas tree...or trees. For some, it’s precisely this annual tree-decorating spree that defines who they are. We all have boxes of ornaments in the attic, some with great sentimental value, that, when displayed together, create our own personal...
Let’s give thanks. Why not, damn it? It’s that time of year, after all. Let’s see…what am I thankful for? Uhm, I’m thankful for my wonderfully smart, attractive and kind readers. I’m thankful for the “How to...
It’s been three decades since the first AIDS deaths in the LGBT community. Time has changed the narrative. For one thing, those infected in the first decades are mostly gone. A generation of gay men, activists and leaders of the burgeoning liberation movement are gone. Also among the...
I first met a trans-person two decades ago. She was a friend of a friend. Demure and feminine, she was typically Milwaukee, down to the accent and a taste for brandy Manhattans. Had I not been told she was transgender, I might never have suspected. Then, a troupe of itinerant...
I’ve never turned down a date with a successful man, but Jack Frost simply isn’t my type. He can drift in and out of my life, but I’m giving that frosty S.O.B. the cold shoulder! Instead, I’m going to curl up with my...
When pampered millennials play militia trying to scare off Mexicans crossing the border, they accidently kill the wife of a former sheriff. Guess who gets blamed? Frontera dramatizes desperation and h...
Much of the Casablanca crew regrouped for Rope of Sand (1949). While the magic (and Humphrey Bogart) were missing, it’s a well-made effort in classic Hollywood style. Claude Rains is suavely duplici...
Edith Wharton is known for The Age of Innocence and The House of Mirth, novels of upperclass New York turned into films. But as writer-director Elizabeth Lennard shows in her informative documentary,...
One of Robert Altman’s standout films, The Long Goodbye (1973) was a contemporary adaptation of the Raymond Chandler story and a sly send-up of Hollywood in the Chandler era. Elliott Gould is unfo...
“Poirot” will probably be remembered as the classic Agatha Christie TV mystery, but another series set in the same era, “Miss Marple,” is as superb. The best iteration, a BBC production orig...
A gang of thugs down the street from his home harasses Jorge; their ringleader shoots his son, is given a short prison sentence and returns with vengeance in mind. Chilean writer-director Alejandro Fe...
Stephanie Szostak plays with the slightly shy charm of a Millennial Audrey Hepburn in a fetching performance as Ro, a young woman navigating life’s turns and pursuing her dreams. Karl Geary plays Kevin, a bored ad executive who tosses caution (and career) to the wind when they fall in love...
George A. Romero is notorious for resuscitating the zombie legend to pop culture, but departed from the undead with this 1993 horror. Based on the novel by Stephen King, The Dark Half is a Castle Rock version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde based on one of King’s favorite themes: the dark...
 Matthew Lewis’ novel The Monk (1796), a milestone in gothic fiction, is brought to life in French director Dominik Moll’s elegantly filmed adaptation. Capucin Ambrosio (Vincent Cassel) is the most acclaimed preacher in...
This conspiracy thriller is surprisingly credible and features the best Nicolas Cage performance in years. Following his wife's (Jones) brutal rape, English teacher Will Gerard (Cage), accepts the sort of offer you can't refuse from a stranger......

For the week of May 14

Gina Carano, the star of Haywire, is a real-life mixed martial arts fighter. Unlike most waif-like actresses cast in similar roles, at 5'8" and 145 pounds, Carano looks like the real McCoy. When she defeats any number of male assailants, her brute strength......
The issue of a woman raped by a pair of lusty gods, when we meet Theseus (Henry Cavill), he is a grown man who clings to his mommy, and has learned the fighting arts from a kindly sage (John Hurt) serving as his father figure......

Releases for Feb. 28

The undeniably handsome Hugo draws visual poetry from both its storyline and its setting in a Parisian train station. Adapted from Brian Selznick's book, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, the film's first half depicts the travails of orphaned 12-year-old......
This ensemble production trades plausibility for a shot at winning a congeniality award. Stiller plays Josh Kovacs, building manager of a Trump-like Tower. His daily pep talk to staff reminds them that security and service distinguish......

Releases for Jan. 27

Author Mark Obmascik became interested in the Big Year, a 365-day bird-watching marathon, because it sends birders crisscrossing North America to sight the highest possible number of avian species. Each birder spends a small......

Home Video Releases: 01/10/12 to 01/23/12

"Moneyball" views pro baseball from an insider's perspective, observing opposing camps caught in the seismic shift ushering in a new era. The film opens in 2001. After losing their championship bid and small roster of star players......
In the fifth installment of the long-lived Final Destination franchise, a group of young people escapes a horrific death, then slowly realize that death continues to stalk them. The same premise informs all five films. A young man foresees a terrible......
We meet Cataleya as a child in Columbia where she escapes a brutal crime lord who murders her parents. She gains entry to the U.S. and moves in with her uncle Emilio (Cliff Curtis), an assassin. Fifteen years later, Cataleya has learned his trade, and has......