Madison calendar, October 27 through November 2
October 26, 2016 @ 12:00 am
👻 Marateck, Anderson .Paak, Schoolboy Q, Tippy, and more events of note in Madison this week. 😱
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HBO’s Westworld might be only four episodes into its first season, but it’s already had more twists and turns than some shows are able to cram into a full run, and that’s partially thanks to story editor Charles Yu. UW’s Institute for Research in the Humanities might be leaning into Yu’s past achievements, however recent, by titling his talk here “How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe: An Evening with...,” referencing his award-winning 2010 debut novel, but Westworld theories will likely be the order of the evening. “How many different timelines are in play?” one person might ask, while another will get right down to the brass tacks and query “Is Bernard a host?” It’s doubtful that Yu will be anything other than tight lipped, but it will be fascinating to learn about this up-and-coming sci-fi writer’s creative process. —Chris Lay
Far and away the most popular film by German pioneer F.W. Murnau, Nosferatu stands as one of the earliest cinematic adaptations of the story of Count Dracula. Here he’s known as Count Orlok (a means of getting around copyright, which ultimately failed), and played by Max Schreck who may or may not have gotten a bit too into character depending on who you ask. Nosferatu is still one hell of a creepy damn movie, most notably thanks to the score by Hans Erdmann. Even though we’re coming up on a full century since the film was originally released, Murnau’s masterpiece proves the timelessness of cinema’s ability to make your skin crawl. —CL
Madison musician Spencer Bible (Christian Dior, Mid Waste, etc.) uses Tippy as a blanket outlet for his solo work, and the version of the project that will play here is a four-piece band that fleshes out Bible's songwriting into versatile and endearingly shaggy guitar-rock. This setup made Tippy's self-titled album from earlier this year, on which Bible crafts an eccentric but earnest set of lyrics drawing on oddly specific personal memories ("Walked in on a punk shooting up in a Tim Horton's restroom," begins the final verse of "Pipedream") and raw vulnerability. His bandmates, especially lead guitarist Mike Pellino, bring a lot of dimension to the record, from the somber slow build of opener "Rusher" to the tense charge of "Graceface." Hear more about the record in my recent podcast interview with Bible. —Scott Gordon
However you feel about Detroit's Andrew Wilkes-Krier, his whole trip from noise kid to party-rocker to motivational speaker to a suspected actor and stand-in for the original guy behind 2001’s I Get Wet and 2003’s The Wolf (let’s face it, they do look a bit different from one another) has been endlessly entertaining. Whether he’s doling out advice for the Village Voice, recording a classical piano album (2009’s 55 Cadillac), or fending off bottles and rocks that are being chucked at him by agitated Insane Clown Posse fans at the Gathering Of The Juggalos, there’s an infectious joy and purity that comes from watching a weirdo performance artist dedicate over a decade of his life to blindly spreading positivity, even if it might be fake. That said, we don’t blame anyone for not dishing out the 20 bucks to engage this cult of personality. —Joel Shanahan
FRIDAY OCTOBER 28
With a mindblowing cast of producers and features at his disposal, it was clear that LA-based rapper and Black Hippy collective member Schoolboy Q meant business when he dropped this year’s infectiously catchy but hard-hitting album Blank Face. Whether he’s spitting over the Tyler The Creator-produced disco-funk backdrop of “Big Body” with Long Beach legends Tha Dogg Pound or ominously cruising over the bass-heavy Metro Boomin-produced “Dope Dealer” alongside the great E-40, Q’s flow is as adaptable as it is consistent, inventively camouflaged in its surroundings. We’re also stoked to see New York City-based emcee Joey Badass in an appropriately-sized venue this time around. His agile East Coast flow and jazzy, sample-heavy backdrops should prove the perfect counterpoint to Q. Badass is still touring behind last year’s B4DA$$. —JS
The Milwaukee duo Nineteen Thirteen centers around the loop-aided compositions of cellist Janet Schiff (the band is named for the year her instrument was made), supported by flexible and often jazzy drums from former Violent Femmes member Victor DeLorenzo. Their first full-length, this year's Music For Time Travel, mostly sticks to the duo's main strength: Handsome, mournful instrumentals on which Schiff uses the full range of her cello, from low-end thrums to poignant, keening lead lines, and DeLorenzo supports her with playing that spans from sturdy and swinging to more conversational and free. The side trips away from those instrumentals are hit-and-miss: "Summertime" is an intriguingly eerie foray into jazz-vocal atmosphere, but the space-pop of "Bye Bye" is just forehead-slappingly goofy. —SG
If the recent made-for-TV remake of The Rocky Horror Picture Show stoked some interest in the otherwise uninitiated (virgins, if you will), here’s your chance to experience the real thing alongside a “live shadow cast” from Madison’s own Rocky Horror enthusiasts Velvet Darkness. Blending musical theater, campy schlock cinema, and psychedelic “happenings,” midnight screenings of the film (which began as a stage show) evolved to include dozens of absurd audience act-outs, with the final form being these “shadow casts” who practically perform the whole film on stage in front of the movie as it screens. If that sounds excessive, then you clearly haven’t seen the movie, which bends sci-fi and horror to its weird will to tell a story about a mad scientist alien transvestite named Dr. Frank N. Furter who traps and terrorizes the milquetoast soon-to-be-weds Janet Weiss and Brad Majors in his tricked-out castle. This is bound to be a pretty insane event, but be forewarned that “for the sake of the cast and crew the following items will NOT be allowed in the theater: rice, toast, hot dogs, squirt guns, lighters, or open flames, food or drink of any kind.” Get there early for a pre-show from Gone Rogue Burlesque. —CL
Shadow In The Cracks is a new side project from Jim and Mike Blaha, known as the brothers behind the well-loved Minneapolis band The Blind Shake. This is fairly surprising—The Blind Shake isn't on hiatus, still tours regularly, maintains a deserved reputation as a superhuman live act, and keeps putting out new material. But apparently there was some downtime in there somewhere, and that's when Shadow In The Cracks began. The brothers decided to take the guitar/baritone guitar setup they use in The Blind Shake and combine it with the self-played rhythmic foundation of a bass drum and Indian bells. The results were certainly different: instead of brute-force garage riffs played at blindingly fast tempos, Shadow's deliberately primitive rhythm dictates a far slower and more trancelike approach, oddly reminiscent of Sound Of Confusion-era Spacemen 3 mixed with quarter-speed Dick Dale. They play at Mickey's with Madison band Sinking Suns, whose latest album Death Songs spotlights their post-punk-inflected approach to tightly constricted, traditionalist noise rock. It's an interesting bill, because the twanging, acerbic and noirish guitar lines from Sinking Suns guitarist Scott Udee make for unexpectedly fitting stylistic harmony with the surfy, numbing drones of Jim Blaha. Chicago power pop band Mama and Heather the Jerk (The Hussy drummer/vocalist Heather Sawyer's acoustic solo project) also appear.—Mike Noto
SATURDAY OCTOBER 29
UW-Madison bassoon professor Marc Vallon curated this event to showcase works revered for their revolutionary and innovative spirit. But unlike most programs featuring innovative works, this concert will highlight music not only from the 20th and 21st century, but also music that was considered progressive from as early as the 17th century. This intentional, historiographical approach to observing “new” music is uncommon in concert programs, but one essential to grasping the notion of groundbreaking compositions. The concert will feature many UW students and faculty members, as well as Sound Out Loud—a new music, multi-instrumental chamber ensemble made up of UW graduate students. Whether it be the works of J.S. Bach or Morton Feldman, attendees are encouraged to listen to and interpret these pieces as beginnings of new musical avenues throughout history, just in time for the literal groundbreaking of the new Hamel Music Center on campus, marking a new era for the School of Music. —Emili Earhart
One of the most exciting local music events of the year, though they're being low-key about it, is the return of Madison band His & Her Vanities, who never actually broke up but haven't played a show since 2010 or put out new music since their third album, The Mighty Lunge, came out in 2009. Formed in 1999, the band unites jagged post-punk rhythms and a little bit of noisy experimentation with an ear for exuberant melody. On record and in live sets, the four-piece has consistently gotten that off-kilter vision across with sharp execution and its own oddball charm. Their set here will pull songs from across all three of their albums, plus a few new ones, and the band plans to do more writing together in the future. Read more this week in our interview with founders Terrin Card and Ricky Riemer. —SG
Usually the culturally redeeming factors of Freakfest—which the city government and concert promoters launched in 2006 to tame Madison's reputation for wild and at times destructive Halloween festivities—come down to having a stage that puts a few good Madison hip-hop acts in front of a big crowd; the bigger names atop the bill have ranged from the respectable and solid (Atmosphere) to embarrassing (inaugural headliners Lifehouse). This year Freakfest still has the former going for it, with exciting young Madison MCs Trapo, Rich Robbins, and Lucien Parker all playing the stage at Frances Street. But it's finally nailed a headliner in singer/producer/rapper Anderson .Paak, who not only makes excellent music that works for a big party setting, but comes here amid a breakout moment—thanks to the rich and many-hued funk/R&B/rap blends of his sophomore album, 2016's Malibu, and his work on Dr. Dre's 2015 comeback album Compton. More recently, his duo with producer Knxwledge, NxWorries, released its debut full-length, the grittier but still richly spaced-out Yes Lawd! It won't be much comfort to non-attendees hearing the boom of the event from halfway across the city, but it's the best music lineup the event has had yet. —SG
While shooting his 1973 adaptation of The Scarlet Letter, director Wim Wenders became inspired by a supporting character—Hester Prynne’s daughter Pearl—to make a film that centered around a young heroine. His resulting film and first entry in a 1970s road-movie triptych, Alice In The Cities, is a sentimental love letter to literature that existentially explores the cross-continental trials and tribulations of reticent writer-photographer and Wenders surrogate Philip Winter (Rüdiger Vogler) through New York City, Amsterdam, and Western Germany. Unexpectedly entrusted with the care of precocious young Alice (Yella Rottländer), Philip attempts to fulfill his publisher's assignment and reunite his travel companion with her mother (Lisa Kreuzer), who's disappeared in a preoccupation with a former love. In terms of perfunctory plot synopsis and moody black-and-white cinematography, Alice is often noted as a coincidental counterpart to Peter Bogdanovich's Paper Moon, but its stark silences, which are amplified by krautrock band Can's meditative guitar and synthesizer score, more closely foreshadow the paths of Wenders' later Palm d'Or-winning Paris, Texas. —Grant Phipps
New York-based math-minimalist quartet Marateck channels more than any reasonable listener can handle, but in the most efficient way possible. On a self-titled EP released this summer, Marateck's stripped-down, articulate take on math-rock yields a sense of pointillistic perfection. They're adept at both creating a feeling of space and filling it up, shifting between atmospheric passages and bursts of brutal upheaval. Supporting the bill are two local rippers, Czarbles and Control, both displaying incredible rhythmic variation and a healthy rejection of form. Control's take on post-punk allows for a constant succession of well-placed surprises. Their through-composed structures, dismissal of genre boundaries, and hodgepodge of sounds and styles takes you on a journey where every stop is a new adventure: a new idea carried out, savored, and then put to the side to make way for something completely different. Meanwhile, Czarbles plays eloquently executed instrumentals in which idea becomes a series of sharp turns. —EE
SUNDAY OCTOBER 30
We at Tone Madison still remember witnessing LA noise-pop wizards Health rip down the now-defunct King Club back in 2007 for about 20 people. Back then, they were a full-on noise-punk band touring behind their 2007 self-titled debut, employing some bizarro gadgetry, nasty and conversational guitar riffs, bleak vocals, and a completely batshit drummer in BJ Miller, whose pummeling style drifted somewhere between jumpstyle and powerviolence. This last several years have seen Health shift from infectiously chaotic to essentially an electro-pop band on 2015’s Death Magic. “New Coke” boasts a down tempo trudge that’s colored in massive, bass-loaded production and deeply designed synth drones, while vocalist-guitarist Jake Duzsik delivers his moody vocal hooks over the top. The downtempo synth-pop feel of “Stonefist” represents an even bigger departure from the old Health, as the trio snuggles up to traditional pop structure, while still boasting the band’s distinguishably warped soundscapes. —JS
From our Micro-Wave preview a month or so back: “This is Halloween how it oughta be, if you ask me—shorts that are as funny and subtle as they are creepy and downright chilling at times. Expect to see some kind of a dick-looking thing growing out of someone’s forehead, a closeup of a farting asshole (sorry everyone!), and a film seemingly shot entirely on a Nintendo Virtual Boy, among a great many other spine-tingly sights to get your goosebumps going. The lineup includes The Bulb and The Procedure, both from from Calvin Reeder, Matthew Wade’s Plena Stellarum, Spencer Parsons’ Bite Radius, and the *World Premiere* of Robert Hillyer Barnett’s Talk About Your Dreams.” Spencer Parsons (Bite Radius) will be on-hand for an in-person Q&A after the films. —CL
MONDAY OCTOBER 31
Legendary punk band MDC—an acronym which has denoted everything from the immortally snotty "Millions of Dead Cops" to the frankly head-scratching "Metal Devil Cokes”—have been around in one form or another since the early '80's, based out of many different cities but most often in San Francisco and Portland. Probably best known for their early song "John Wayne Was A Nazi" (a classic hardcore rant with an unforgettable introductory bass line) and their debut Millions Of Dead Cops, the band has been distinguished since the beginning by fun, extremely speedy riffage and singer Dave Dictor's endearingly outraged voice, which sounds about as tuneless, hectoring, and sincerely angry as a community organizer throwing a fit. Coupled with his noticeably clear diction, Dictor's yell really makes the messages behind their music unmistakable. The group has been known for unswerving commitment to lyrical discussion of political issues throughout their career, and often with humor: tunes like "Corporate Deathburger" and the twelve-second one-chord blast "Henry Kissmyassinger" made their points as quickly, brutally (in the case of the former) and hilariously (the latter) as possible. They appear with Appleton hardcore institution Wartorn and Die Kruezen lead singer Dan Kubinski's tribute band The Crosses, along with The Moguls and The Bottles.—MN
This month's edition of Clyde Stubblefield's recently re-launched Funky Mondays gig is probably your best bet in town for a fun but definitely grown-up Halloween night. In addition to the Funky Drummer's "all-star" band blasting out a set of solid R&B, seasoned hip-hop and reggae selector DJ Vilas Park Sniper will be spinning over the High Noon's soundsystem. In between is a set from Madison funk band Megan Bobo & The Lux. —SG
Usually there's not much that appeals to us in the EDM-centric lineup of campus club Liquid, but this Halloween party actually looks pretty elaborate and massive. Live music will include sets from fiercely eccentric and theatrical Milwaukee rapper Zed Kenzo and Madison R&B crooner Mr. Jackson, and the DJs include adventurous locals like Quinley and Evan Woodward. (Full disclosure: Our own Joel Shanahan is also in the lineup.) On top of that, the club will be decked out with visuals from artists Michael Doyle Olson, Stefan Matioc, and Jeremy Nealis. —SG
TUESDAY NOVEMBER 1
Gingger Shankar is one of very few people who play the 10-string double violin, an insane instrument that spans from conventional violin range down to bass strings. She is one of many musical relatives of the later sitar master Ravi Shankar (his grandniece, technically), and celebrates two other members of that sprawling musical family with the multimedia show she is currently touring, Nari. It centers around Hindustani classical singer Lakshmi Shankar and her daughter Viji, also a vocalist, and their achievements in establishing themselves as musicians and helping to spread Indian music to worldwide audiences. The show begins with a short film about the two women, and the music that follows incorporates rare vocal recordings of Viji Shankar, blending the Hindustani musical tradition with contemporary styles. —SG
UW-Madison alum and Harvard sociologist Matthew Desmond made himself an essential part of America's conversation about economic equality with this year's book Evicted: Poverty And Profit In The American City. The book draws on a solid research foundation and the months Desmond spent living and reporting among people struggling with poverty and housing instability in Milwaukee. With empirical evidence but also a great deal of empathy, he challenges the misconception that eviction is something that only happens to deadbeats. Instead, Desmond frames eviction as a function of Americans' financial precarity, something that could be just one financial mishap away and, once it happens, makes it exponentially more difficult to break the cycle of poverty. Evicted was selected for this year's Go Big Read book program at UW-Madison. Tickets to the lecture at the Union Theater are all gone, but it will be live-streamed at several Madison Public Library branches; see the today.wisc.edu listing for November 1 for more information. —SG
WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 2
Rufus Norris is the Artistic Director of the UK's Royal National Theatre, and his predilection for the opera boldly informs the presentation of his third quick-witted feature film, London Road. Based on the "verbatim theatre" production of the same name, this unforgettably sharp sociological commentary, set almost entirely to music, is a faithful adaptation of true events surrounding the grisly 2006 discovery of five prostitutes' bodies in the rural town of Ipswich, England. Its historical-documentary aesthetic, derived from the denizens' precisely transcribed vernacular, is uniquely situated within colorfully choreographed artifice, putting London Road in a dimension spiritually similar to Linklater's Bernie. Additionally harnessing the tonal quirks of Mike Leigh and Coen Brothers productions, the film challenges initial notions of its "ostentatious experiment" by transforming individually mundane expressions into something collectively profound. Co-starring Olivia Colman as judgmental mother Julie, who expresses little remorse for the victims, and Tom Hardy as an obsessively speculative cabbie, the musical murder case both sincerely and drolly contemplates the human interest in self-preservation as well as the contagion of anxiety in the wake of unseen, unfathomable violence. —GP
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last updated: October 28, 2016 @ 10:00 am
Thomas Wincek (Volcano Choir, Field Report) hosts a hands-on, collaborative learning session for electronic musicians. 2pm, free, all ages.
April 18 at Arts + Literature Laboratory. With Jason Kahn and Sheba.
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