Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Avey Tare played The Majestic / PHOTOS BELOW

Avey Tare, of Animal Collective fame, graced the stage of The Majestic last night to play a few songs from his solo album Down There, plus a few new ones (or so it sounded like). If I was going to give his music a silly genre-name––and I am, because this is the internet––then it would probably be Bedroom Trance. As experimental as the end result may sound, every song seems to have the same sure-fire recipe: begin with some background noise, preferably some cicadas, some frogs, ocean surf, or an overheard conversation pitch-shifted to sound menacing; add a repeating, textural bloop, a shambling, off-kilter snare; bring in a sampled instrument (auto-harp, accordion, bassoon), but layer it so many times that it sounds crunchy and vaguely mystical; lean into the microphone and begin to wriggle out a tune from your throat in a clownish, hectoring voice (no melody or pattern necessary), all while making pained, contorted faces; finally give up, waving a dismissive hand and saying, very shyly, very delicately, "Thanks."

Which isn't to say it was bad! It was great, actually. The funny thing about Avey Tare is that his songs only need to be about 35% successful to win people over; his audience has been conditioned to know what to expect. They know, for instance, that every ten minute song will only yield about 2 minutes of actual dance-ability, and somehow they don't mind. The wayward muddling-through, in fact, seems to enhance the experience by tantalizingly drawing it out. And perhaps in acknowledgment of his own deficiencies as a solo performer––Avey never strayed long enough from his smorgasbord of buttons and pads to pick up a drumstick, or god forbid, a guitar––he seemed overall much less guarded than he usually does in the full band. At one point he was even talking to the crowd––though quietly, shyly, of course––and making little jokes. "Leaf House!" it sounded like someone yelled, calling for a classic Animal Collective number, amid much mawkish whooping. "You wish," Avey said, smiling like a villain.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving, Madison!

Sorry, no links this week. Our schedules are all booked up with stupid family and friends. We'll be back in a few days, though. In the meantime, eat some food.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Saturday 11/19: Poetry Readings @ Project Lodge and Avol's Books

Matt Hart (photo via)
Fans of poetry readings take note: there are at least two different poetry readings happening tonight.  At 6pm, head over to Avol's Books (315 W. Gorham St.) to check out the latest installment of the ____-Shaped Reading Series, featuring Mary Austin Speaker, Chris Martin, and Sarah Fox.

If that's too early for you, head over to the Project Lodge at 7:30pm to hear Nate Slawson, Matt Hart, Kara Candito, Sean Bishop & Rebecca Hazelton read their work.  More information here.

Both are free.  You can even check out both readings.  Yeah!

Avol's Books. 315 W. Gorham St. 6pm.
Project Lodge. 821 E. Johnson St. 7:30pm.

Friday, November 18, 2011


(photo via)

Geronimo!, Lovely Dark @ Mickey's Tavern. 10:30pm. 1524 Williamson St. Free.


Delicate Steve, Yellow Ostrich @ The Sett. UW Union South. 1308 W. Dayton. 9pm. Free.

World on a Wire
(dir: Fassbinder) @ UW Cinematheque. 821 University Avenue. 4070 Vilas Hall. 7pm. Free.

YesYes Books Poetry event w/Matt Hart, Nate Slawson, Kara Candito, Sean Bishop, and Rebecca Hazelton. @ Project Lodge. 821 E. Johnson St. 7:30pm.

QUASH CLEAR SOMETHING-SHAPED READING: Mary Austin Speaker, Chris Martin, and Sarah Fox @ Avol's Books. 6pm.


Girl In A Coma, The Coathangers, Black Box Revelation @ High Noon Saloon. 701 E. Washington Ave. 8pm. $10.


Youth Lagoon, Young Magic @ High Noon Saloon. 701 E. Washington Ave. 8pm. $10

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Saturday 11/19: World on a Wire @ Cinematheque

Kurt Raab and Karl-Heinz Vosgerau in Fassbinder's World on a Wire
World on a Wire, Rainer Werner Fassbinder's only sci-fi film — originally made in 1973 for television but subsequently "lost" — has finally been restored from the original 16mm negative and a digital transfer, and the resulting 35mm print will be screened here in Madison this weekend thanks to the UW Cinematheque.  Some reviews argue that World on a Wire may be one of the best films made by Fassbinder.  If you aren't a huge fan of New German Cinema, don't fret: "this 'art film' is compulsively watchable" (Michael Sicinski).  From Janus Films:
A dystopic science-fiction epic, World on a Wire is German wunderkind Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s gloriously cracked, boundlessly inventive take on future paranoia. With dashes of Kubrick, Vonnegut, and Dick, but a flavor entirely his own, Fassbinder tells the noir-spiked tale of reluctant action hero Fred Stiller (Klaus Lowitsch), a cybernetics engineer who uncovers a massive corporate and governmental conspiracy. At risk? Our entire (virtual) reality as we know it. This long unseen three-and-a-half-hour labyrinth is a satiric and surreal look at the weird world of tomorrow from one of cinema’s kinkiest geniuses.
This is not to be missed.

Saturday, November 19. 4070 Vilas Hall. 821 University Avenue. 7pm. Free.

Excellent film trailer after the jump...

Friday, November 11, 2011

Saturday 11/12: Memoryhouse, The Loom @ Der Rathskeller

Memoryhouse are a Canadian two-piece on Sub Pop records that have been tagged on the blogosphere with the totally-meaningless genre called "dream pop." A more concrete description might be that they sound a little bit like Beach House, but slower, softer, more languid. Pitchfork favorably called their latest album "awash with nostalgia." Gimmicks aside, though, there's something here.

Der Rathskeller. UW Memorial Union. 800 Langdon Street. Free. W/ The Loom.

More videos, including one of The Loom, after the jump...


(photo via)

Chris Bathgate, Paper Thick Walls, and Briar Rabbit @ Project Lodge. 7pm. $5.


Memoryhouse, The Loom, and Cat Martino @ Memorial Union / Der Rathskeller. 9:30pm. Free.

Essential Killing (Hungarian, starring Vincent Gallo) @ UW Cinematheque. 7pm. Free.


Found Vs. Found (Found Footage Festival) @ Orpheum Theatre. 8pm. $13.

Slow week! Anybody got anything else?

Thursday, November 3, 2011


(photo via)

Karaoke Underground @ Mickey's Tavern. 1524 Williamson Street. 10pm. Free.

Andy Kindler @ Comedy Club on State St. 8, 10:30pm. $15. 

Gremlins (with Director Joe Dante in person)@ Marquee Theatre, Union South. 1308 Dayton St. 9:30pm. Free.

Monsters of Poetry @ Project Lodge. 817 E. Johnson. 7:30pm. $3.

The "          "-shaped Poetry Reading Series @Avol's Books. 315 W Gorham St. 7pm. Free.


Star Slinger, Shlohmo, Shigeto @ The Sett. Union South. 1308 W. Dayton. 9pm. Free.

The Movie Orgy (with Joe Dante)@ UW Cinematheque. 7pm. Free.

Andy Kindler @ Comedy Club on State St. 8, 10:30pm. $15.


Ray Davies @ Barrymore Theatre. 7:30pm. $40.

Cave, Running, Samantha Glass, The Lonesome Savages @ Mickey's Tavern. 1524 Williamson Street. 10pm. Free.

The Big Clock (with Joe Dante) @ UW Cinematheque. 4pm. Free.

Did I miss anything?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sebadoh played High Noon last night / PHOTOS BELOW

The kings of lo-fi bedroom-pop graced the stage of High Noon last night for a performance that was more rock-heavy than some might have expected.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


(photo via)

Spotlight Cinema: We Need to Talk About Kevin @ MMoCA. 227 State Street. 7pm. $7.


Neon Indian, Kreayshawn @ The Sett. Union South. 1308 W. Dayton St. 9pm. Free.

We Can't Go Home Again (dir: Nicholas Ray) @ UW Cinematheque. (W/ Susan Ray in person!) 4070 Vilas Hall. 821 University Ave. 7pm. Free.

Fambly Fun!, Awkward Terrible, and Croaker @ Lothlorien Co-op. 244 West Lakelawn Place. 7pm. Free.


Halloween @ Mickey's Tavern featuring El Valiente, In the Kitchen, and Bucky Pope performing cover sets of Nick Cave, Flaming Lips, and The Cramps. 521 Williamson Street. 10:30pm. Free.

Kuroneko (Black Cat) @ UW Cinematheque. 4070 Vilas Hall. 821 University Ave. 7pm. Free.


Blood On The Dance Floor, Angelspit, New Years Day, Challenger @ The Loft. 149 Waubesa St. All ages. $14. 


The Brood (dir: David Cronenberg) + Phantasm @ UW Cinematheque. 4070 Vilas Hall. 821 University Ave. 7pm. Free.

Did I miss anything?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Boris played The Majestic w/ Tera Melos / PHOTOS BELOW

Japanese pop-metal artists Boris played The Majestic last Tuesday.  They brought a gong.  Photos below...

Friday, October 21, 2011

Saturday 10/22: Obits, Bottomless @ The Sett

Obits features members of the classic bands Drive Like Jehu and Hot Snakes, and Pitchfork has described their sound as "dueling guitars that have refined the echo and twang of surf and rockabilly into a sharp edge, basslines that are less walking than swaggering, drums too respectful and too evil for elaborate fills." Pretty sure this is gonna rock.

The Sett. UW Union South. 1308 W. Dayton St. 9pm. Free.

Videos below...

Thursday, October 20, 2011


(photo via)

Friday Night Festival of Fiction @ Wisconsin Book Festival: Dean Bakopoulos, Bonnie Jo Campbell, Myla Goldberg, John Burnham Schwartz. 8pm-10:30pm. Orpheum Theatre: Main. Free. (More info here.)

IfIHadAHiFi, Northless @ The Sett. UW Union South. 9pm. Free.

Zines, Comics, Life (and Music) @ Project Lodge. 7pm. $5. All Ages.


Jeffrey Eugenides: Reading from The Marriage Plot. Capitol Theatre/Overture Center. 5:30-7pm. Free. (More info here.)

Madison Zinefest @ Union South. 10am-6pm.

Obits, Bottomless @ The Sett. UW Union South. 9pm. Free.

Sugar Stems, Goodnight Loving, Lonesome Savages @ Mickey's Tavern. 10:30pm. Free.


Squarewave, Hamell on Trial, Galynee, MarkOnDrums @ High Noon Saloon. 21+. 8:30pm. $8.

Yes, Inferno (from Texas), Dharma Dogs @ The Frequency. 8:30pm. $5.

Did I miss anything?

Monday, October 17, 2011


Tonight at the Project Lodge, Madison Yeah favorite Asumaya will open for Washington D.C.'s Hume, which appear from the video above to be an awesome experimental two-piece in the general category of bands like Hella, Marnie Stern, etc.

Everybody go!

817 E. Johnson St. 7:30pm. $5.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Thursday 10/20-Sunday 10/23: Madison Zinefest 2011

Zines! (via)
The eighth annual Madison Zinefest is a four-day celebration of do-it-yourself culture in the Midwest, with the focus ranging from the wonderful little self-publications known as zines to cassette tape music labels.  In a world where babies think that print magazines are broken iPads, you can imagine the importance of preserving a culture of tactile media, so check out as many of these events as you can!

Open Mic Zine Reading @ Rainbow Bookstore, 426 W. Gilman Street.
Thursday, October 20th, 7pm.
Listen to zinesters reading their work and read your own!

Zines, Comics, Life (and Music) @ Project Lodge, 817 E. Johnson Street.
Friday, October 21st, 7pm, $5 donation.
This event in particular is a celebration of DIY comics and music. Chicago's John Porcellino—author, illustrator, and publisher of the excellent King-Cat Comics—and Madison's Stacie Arellano will be talking about their experiences with self-published comics. Afterwards, there will be performances by Slag Heap, Brett Naucke, Josh Burke, Floating Gardens, and Daniel Wyche, who all run independent music labels such as Catholic Tapes, Tailings, Midnight Star Media, and Field Studies.  More information can be found here.

24 Hour Zine Making Challenge, Zine Swap @ Varsity Hall, Union South, 1308 W. Dayton Street.
Saturday, October 22nd, 10am-6pm.
Drop in to make your own zine, swap your work with others, talk about DIY culture with other enthusiasts, buy/barter handcrafted swag, etc. More information can be found here.

Zine Library @ Madison InfoShop, 1019 Williamson Street.
Sunday, October 23rd, 12pm-4pm.
Lounge around reading zines!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Dum Dum Girls played High Noon w/ Crocodiles, Colleen Green / PHOTOS AND VIDEO BELOW

Benicio Del Toro loves NAKED ISLAND

from Naked Island

The classic Japanese film Naked Island is screening tomorrow night at the UW Cinematheque. Notably, the film includes no dialogue, and is about the origin of mankind. I've actually never seen it, but actor Benicio Del Toro says it's one of his favorite movies ever, so best check it out.

Saturday, October 15. 4070 Vilas Hall. 821 University Avenue. 7pm. Free.

Check out Benicio Del Toro interviewing the director Kaneto Shindo after the jump...

Thursday, October 13, 2011



Dum Dum Girls, Crocodiles @ High Noon Saloon. 701 E. Washington Ave. 9pm. $12/$14.

Optometri, Theramones @ Mickey's Tavern. 1524 Williamson Street. 10:30pm. Free.


Melt Banana, Coffin Pricks, Hellplant @ High Noon Saloon. 701 E. Washington Ave. 9:30 pm. 21+. $12.

Peter Wolf Crier, Milagres @ The Sett. Union South. 1308 West Dayton Street. 9pm. Free.

French Horn Rebellion @ The Sett. Union South. 1308 West Dayton Street. Midnight. Free.

Double Feature: In a Lonely Place + Party Girl @ UW Cinematheque. 4070 Vilas Hall. 821 University Avenue. 7pm. Free.


Kitty Rhombus @ Mickey's Tavern. 1524 Williamson Street. 10:30pm. Free.

Star Persons @ The Sett. Union South. 1308 West Dayton Street. 9pm. Free.

Naked Island @ UW Cinematheque. 4070 Vilas Hall. 821 University Avenue. 7pm. Free.

Dharma Dogs, Jimmy Murn + The HeyMakers, What's the Action? @ Lazy Oaf Lounge. 10pm. 1617 N Stoughton Rd. Free.


Giant People, An Aesthetic Anesthetic @ Project Lodge. 817 E. Johnson St. 7:30pm. $5

Cant, Mirror Mirror, Blood Orange @ High Noon Saloon. 701 E. Washington Ave. 9pm. 18+. $12.

Did I miss anything?

Thursday 10/13: Dum Dum Girls, Crocodiles, Colleen Green @ High Noon Saloon

Dum Dum Girls (via)
The Dum Dum Girls, an all-female surf-pop four-piece, are playing at the High Noon Saloon tonight.  While their debut I Will Be is now considered a garage pop gem, their recently-released Only In Dreams is surprisingly mature in comparison.  I'm looking forward to dancing along to every catchy melody, and so should you.

Apparently after the break up of the jazzy post-hardcore outfit The Plot to Blow Up the Eiffel Tower, the singer/saxophonist and guitarist decided to go in an entirely new direction by starting the lo-fi new wave band Crocodiles.  Think Neu! mixed with The Jesus and Mary Chain

Colleen Green sings while playing power chords over drum machine beats.  Her music sounds like the Ramones playing super stoned (i.e., way slower), and her vocals invoke the lo-fi bedroom vibes of early Sebadoh.  Her latest album Cujo came out earlier this month on Art Fag and will soon be entering heavy rotation in my car.

This show is going to be so good.  Get stoked!

High Noon Saloon. 701 East Washington Avenue. 8:30pm. $12/14. 18+.

So many videos after the jump...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Julian Lynch has a new music video

This music video of Madison's Julian Lynch has been making the rounds on the internet lately. But I quite like it and wanted to make sure you saw it.

Saturday, October 8, 2011


Spencer Krug, the lead singer and keyboardist for the band Wolf Parade, is bringing his organ-heavy solo-project to Madison tonight. It's called Moonface and it consists of a lot of layering of different keyboard tracks to produce music that is somehow both droney and catchy. There's singing, too.

The Sett. Union South. 1308 West Dayton Street. 9pm. Free.

Video after the jump...

Friday, October 7, 2011


Not sure how I missed this, but Monsters of Poetry are doing a reading tonight at the Project Lodge. Notably the line-up includes a fiction writer, one of whose stories is online and pretty damn good.

From the facebook event page:
Monsters of Poetry & The Madison Review
are proud to present:

Brad Liening, Lily Brown, Claire Becker & Carmen Maria Machado!!!

... The reading will begin at 7:30pm at The Project Lodge, located at 817 E. Johnson, Madison, WI. A $3 suggested donation at the door gets you a raffle ticket for a raffle that includes signed books and chap-books by the readers and other lovely things. The Project Lodge is a BYOB establishment.

The Readers:

BRAD LIENING is the author of Ghosts and Doppelgangers and several chapbooks, including We Are Doomed: Dispatches from the City of the Future. He helps edit InDigest Magazine and lives in Minneapolis.

CARMEN MARIA MACHADO is a short-fiction writer from Allentown, Pennsylvania and is a second-year student at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Her short story, "Flood", was a finalist in Glimmer Train's Short Story Award for New Writers in 2010, received an honorable mention for the Louise M. Young Memorial Prize for Literature, and appeared in the spring issue of The Madison Review. She resides in Iowa City.

LILY BROWN’S first book, Rust or Go Missing, is out from Cleveland State University Poetry Center. Poems are out or forthcoming in American Letters and Commentary, Gulf Coast, 6X6, Transom, and Catch Up. She was born and raised in Massachusetts, but currently lives in Athens, Georgia.

CLAIRE BECKER is the author of the full-length collection Where We Think It Should Go, from Octopus Books, and several chapbooks, most recently The Werld, from Horseless Press. With Lily Brown, she co-edits the online journal RealPoetik. She lives in San Francisco and teaches visually impaired students in the Oakland public schools.

Project Lodge. 817 E. Johnson. 7:30pm. $3.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


(photo via)

The Soft Hills, Faster Than Sane, Ida Jo, El-Tin Fun, and Pushmi-Pullyu @ Glass Nickel Pizza. Atwood Ave. 8pm.

Grouplove, Belle Brigade @ The Frequency. 121 Main Street. 9pm. $10.

Cut Chemist, Man Mantis, DJ Vilas Park Sniper @ High Noon Saloon. 701 E. Washington. 9pm. $22.


Dead Luke, The Hussy, Static Eyes, Circuit Des Yeux, Max Elliot @Mickey's Tavern. 10:30pm. Free.

Steven Wright @ Stoughton Opera House. $45.

Crane Your Swan Neck, Boats @ The Frequency. 121 Main Street. 10pm. $10.

The High Green Wall + Wind Across the Everglades @ UW Cinematheque. 4070 Vilas Hall. 821 University Ave. 7pm. Free.


Moonface @ The Sett. UW Union South. 9pm. Free.

Icarus Himself, Surgeons in Heat @ Der Rathkeller. Memorial Union. 9:30pm. Free.

Lewis Black @ Overture Centure for the Arts. $40.

Postcard @ UW Cinematheque. 4070 Vilas Hall. 821 University Ave. 7pm. Free.

TL;DR, The Everest Ruin, Sour Face Ann @ Mr. Roberts Bar. 2116 Atwood Avenue. 10pm. Free.


Water Torture (NY), Dirt Eyes (NY), Slob Donovan (MKE),  Mellow Harsher @ The Wisco. 9:30pm. $5-$10. (More here)

Man or Astro-Man?, Jaill @ The Majestic. 8pm. $15.

Did I miss anything?

Comedy Roundup for the Week

Steven Wright
Before Dimitri Martin, before Mitch Hedberg, there was one master of rapid-fire absurdist minimalism: Steven Wright. He's performing this Friday at the Stoughton Opera House. It's $45, but hey, that's like 10 cents per joke when you think about it. Plus he's a genius.

Friday, October 7. Stoughton Opera House. 381 E. Main St. Friday, October 7. 8pm. $45.

Lewis Black
You know Lewis Black from the Daily Show and assorted other guest spots. He's one of the smartest "complainy" comics working today, and has described his personal brand of humor as "being on the Titanic every single day and being the only person who knows what is going to happen."

Saturday, October 8. Overture Center for the Arts. 201 State Street. $40.

Mary Mack
Then on Tuesday, midwestern comics Mary Mack and Amber Preston are coming to the Project Lodge for an unusual (and notably cheap) event. Mack is known for playing a mandolin sometimes, but don't let that turn you off. Both comics have been highly rated by all the proper authorities who rate comics, and personally I'm just curious to see how it'll go to have a comedy show at a D.I.Y. space like the Project Lodge (better remember to B.Y.O.B.)

Tuesday, October 11. Project Lodge. 817 E. Johnson. $5-$10. More here.

Tons of videos of all these comics after the jump...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Thursday 10/6: The Soft Hills, Faster Than Sane, Ida Jo, El-Tin Fun, Pushmi-Pullyu @ Glass Nickel Pizza

The Soft Hills (via)
Word on the street is that Glass Nickel Pizza on Atwood Avenue was once the place to go to see some of the coolest punk/noise rock shows in Madison. This Thursday, they will be hosting their first show in quite a while, but this time around the music will be much more relaxed.

The Soft Hills are from Seattle and play gentle folk rock tinged with psychedelic influences. Everyone else on the somewhat lengthy bill are local acts: Faster Than Sane is a girl with a guitar playing sad songs; Ida Jo sings and has developed an original folk-influenced violin style; El-Tin Fun is a lo-fi bedroom indie rock band; and Pushmi-Pullyu is a quiet, experimental electronic/acoustic pop project.

For an evening of good beer, the best pizza in town, and an array of homegrown, original, soft-spoken music performed live in a basement bar, head over to the Glass Nickel on Thursday night.

Glass Nickel Pizza. 2916 Atwood Avenue. 8pm. $5. 21+.

Music after the jump...

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Monday 10/3: Twin Sister, Canopies @ The Sett

Twin Sister (via)
New York's dreamy electro-pop/hipster r&b outfit Twin Sister will be playing a special show at the Sett on Monday night.  Their new album In Heaven has been adored in the press (yep, yep, "the best twee music"), and it looks like this is one of the only free shows they'll be playing on their national tour.

Also playing in Madison for the first time are Milwaukee's Canopies, whose electro-pop hooks are a little more straightforward than Twin Sister's but still good for dancing. 

The Sett at Union South. 1308 West Dayton Street.  9pm.  Free.  All Ages.

As I unfortunately learned with the Brain Idea show on Friday, shows at the Sett start on time — so definitely check out this show, and be sure to show up on time!

A spooky music video and some music after the jump...

Sunday 10/2: The Besnard Lakes, Malajube @ High Noon Saloon

The Besnard Lakes (via)
If you're into Canadian shoegaze & post-rock, head over to the High Noon Saloon tonight.  The Besnard Lakes are a husband/wife team from Montreal who enlist the help of local friends such as Stars and Godspeed You! Black Emperor/A Silver Mt. Zion for their albums and tours.

If you're into Canadian power indie pop, you should also head over to the High Noon Saloon tonight.  Malajube are also from Montreal, sing in French, and are famous rock stars in Quebec.

High Noon Saloon. 701 East Washington Avenue. 8pm. $12. 18+.

The music videos after the jump are totally recommended...

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Saturday 10/1: Mysteries of Lisbon @ UW Cinematheque

Mysteries of Lisbon
The late Chilean filmmaker Raúl Ruiz's last film, Mysteries of Lisbon (2010), is a hypnotically beautiful meditation on storytelling which never comes off as sluggish, despite its 272-minute run time.  This snippet of a review should give you a good impression of what to expect:
Mysteries is based on a work by 19th century Portuguese writer Camilo Castelo Branco, a writer heavily influenced by Victor Hugo, and it’s a grand, sprawling tale full of classic Victorian narrative twists and lush, period romantic drama. And yet Ruiz articulates Branco’s tale with a poetically incisive vision, creating a psychological and imaginative epic depicting in a subtle, but steady fashion the depths of influence that go into creating an adult psyche, penetrating the haunted mind of its main protagonist, and the collapse from moral rot and hypocrisy of old world Portugal and the physical and interior processes creating a new one. In its immersive sensations, Mysteries calls to mind the best of Luchino Visconti, Max Ophüls, and the Kubrick of Barry Lyndon (1975) in the sustained intensity of mood, whilst the teeming layers of narrative gears working to elucidate the complex forces that create individuals blended with a layer of effervescent fantasy evokes, if less fantastically, the wild storytelling riffs of Wojciech Has’ The Saragossa Manuscript (1964).
Though a less-impressed critic dismissed this work as an "overly precious," "dull, high-minded soap opera"—whatever, that guy gave the new Planet of the Apes movie five stars—watching this on the big screen seems like the perfect way to spend a chilly Saturday evening.

UW Cinematheque. 4070 Vilas Hall. 821 University Avenue. 7pm. Free.

Official trailer after the jump...

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Friday 9/30: Brain Idea, The Hussy @ The Sett

Brain Idea (via)
It is a true pleasure to find out that Chicago's Brain Idea will be playing at the Sett this Friday night.  As 75% of the music that I listen to on a regular basis is kiwi pop and apparently every blogger on the internet has associated them with this genre, I had no choice but to check out their albums to hear for myself: it's true, these Midwestern dudes are totally channeling the best of the Flying Nun catalog.  For fans of the Clean, krautpop, and reverberated vocals.

Madison's own noisy garage rock duo The Hussy will be opening.  While I have always enjoyed seeing them live, if "Bobby Hussy" ever unnecessarily flings his guitar into my head again, I'm taking it home.

The Sett at UW Union South. 1308 W. Dayton Street. 9:30pm. Free. All ages!

Videos after the jump...


(photo via)


Blue Ox Reading: UW MFA candidates Chloe Krug Benjamin & Meghan O'Gieblyn @ Avol Books. 7:30-8:30pm. (More here.)

MegaFaun, Doug Paisley @ High Noon Saloon. 7:30pm. $12. 18+.

Bob Log III, Mr. Free & the Satellite Freakout! @ High Noon Saloon. 11pm. $12. 21+.

Netherfriends, Control, Nick Whetro @ Mickey’s Tavern. 10:30pm. Free. 21+.


Girls, Papa, Nobunny @ Majestic Theatre. 115 King St. $15.

Anna Vogelzang, Katie Powderly, Count This Penny, Savannah Smith @ Frequency. 9pm. 21+.

Brain Idea, The Hussy @ The Sett. Union South. 1308 W. Dayton Street. 9:30pm. Free. All ages.

Waiting for the Moon @ UW Cinematheque. 4070 Vilas Hall. 821 University Avenue. 7pm. Free.


Cap Alan (members of Czarbles and All Tiny Creatures), Shedding, Golden Donna
Project Lodge. 817 E. Johnson. 7:30pm. $5. All ages.

Caroline Smith, The Good Night Sleeps, Dead Man Winter @ Memorial Union Terrace. 9:30pm. Free. All ages.

J. Pavillion, Sister Midnight, User 45 @ Good Style Shop. 402 East Washington Avenue. 7pm. Free. All ages.

The Mysteries of Lisbon @ UW Cinematheque. 4070 Vilas Hall. 821 University Avenue. 7pm. Free.


The Besnard Lakes, Malajube @ High Noon Saloon. 8pm. $12. 18+.


Twin Sister @ The Sett. 9pm. Free. All ages.

Koffin Kats @ High Noon Saloon. 8pm. $8. 21+.

Did I miss anything?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Thursday 9/29: Bob Log III, Mr. Free & the Satellite Freakout! @ High Noon Saloon

Bob Log III (via)
Bob Log III (pronounced Bob Log the Third) is a one-man band playing perverted & fast Delta blues, all while wearing a human cannonball suit and a pilot's helmet connected to a telephone-receiver-turned-microphone.  He's famous for inventing the "boob scotch," a drink which he usually has fans prepare for him on stage before playing his song of the same name ("Come on get your tit in my drink, stir my scotch with something pink").  His first album School Bus is a freak masterpiece, featuring hits like "I Want Your Shit On My Leg" and "Big Ass Hard On."  You get the idea.  This is music for getting silly drunk with your friends and bouncing around.

Mr. Free & the Satellite Freakout! is a band from Tucson, Arizona who play weird carnival rock with post-hardcore influences.  Much like Bob Log III, the majority of attention they get is thanks to their wild performances.  They apparently sometimes tour in a vegetable-oil-powered van which doubles as a guerrilla venue, much like Friends Forever but with fewer pyrotechnics (cf. this documentary).

High Noon Saloon. 701 E Washington Ave. 10:30 pm. $12. 21+.

Videos after the jump...

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Monday 9/26: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Big Troubles @ High Noon Saloon

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart (via)
Tomorrow's show at the High Noon Saloon is going to be something like a 2011 Slumberland Records showcase (cooooool!).  While The Pains of Being Pure at Heart's latest album Belong is slightly more 90s alt rock than upbeat indie pop—a small departure from their debut album which almost justified the goofy band name—it's still a solid sophomore effort.  Full disclosure: I initially avoided listening to this band because of their name, but when I found out that the singer/guitarist Kip Berman and I have the same alma mater and that their single "Young Adult Friction" is about having sex in our college library, I was sold.  "I never thought I would come of age, let alone on a moldy page" — fantastic.

The power pop of Big Troubles will definitely help jump-start this Monday night.  Their latest album Romantic Comedy officially drops this Tuesday, and you can listen to a full stream of the album over on Stereogum.

High Noon Saloon. 701 E Washington Ave. 8pm. $15. 18+.

Videos after the jump...

Friday, September 23, 2011


Bigger Than Life

UW Cinematheque curator Jim Healy interviewed famous author Jonathan Lethem about Nicholas Ray's masterpiece of American melodrama, Bigger Than Life. It's a pretty great interview.

Notably, Lethem had some interesting things to say about whether the film might actually be classifiable as science fiction or horror:
Sure, if you want to call it science fiction, absolutely, but then you start to call into question what the definition means. Bigger Than Life’s not set in the future, but it is about a kind of scientific intrusion on the everyday, and so it functions that way a bit. But I think it’s closer, in its soul, to horror. Its affinities are closer in two ways. It is, in a sense, a very upscale version of the kind of film that Hollywood was constantly making in that same era, with werewolves and their like intruding into blandly normal suburban life. But it is also horror in the sense that it relates, in a mild way, to things like the writings of someone like H.P. Lovecraft: ontological or philosophical horror. It’s about the outbreak of evil into the surface of everyday life. What if I had a thought that made me monstrous?
Bigger Than Life is about a regular American dad who becomes obsessed with greatness after taking an experimental new drug. It's by turns beautiful, hilarious, and deeply disturbing. Go see it tonight.

UW Cinematheque. 4070 Vilas Hall. 821 University Avenue. 7pm (but get there early!). Free.

Great scene from Bigger Than Life after the jump...

Thursday, September 22, 2011


(photo via)


Adelyn Rose, Kalispell, Corcovado, J. Kursel @ Project Lodge. 817 E. Johnson St. 7pm. $5.

Peaking Lights @ Mickey's Tavern. 1524 Williamson St. 10:30pm. Free.

The Album Leaf @ Majestic Theatre. 115 King St. $13.

The Interrupters (from the director of Hoop Dreams) @ MMoCA Spotlight Film Series. 7pm. $7.


Bigger than Life (dir: Nicholas Ray) @ UW Cinematheque. 7pm. Free.

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin @ The Sett (Union South). 1308 W. Dayton St. 9pm. Free.

Daniel and the Lion @ High Noon Saloon. 701 E. Washington Ave. 8pm. $14.

Big Black Cloud (Portland), Dharma Dogs, Manginas @ Mickey's Tavern. 1524 Williamson St. 10:30pm. Free.


Screamin' Cyn Cyn & the Pons, Shunda K with Yo! Majesty, Deadbeat Club @ Crystal Corner. 1302 Williamson St. | 10pm. 21+. $6.

The Atlas Moth, KENmode, Orwell, and Poney @ The Wisco. 9pm. 21+. $6.

The _______-shaped Poetry Reading Series w/ Whit Griffin, Jordan Dunn, and Rebecca Steffy Couch. Avol's Books. 7pm. Free.

Whale Belly, Asumaya @ Project Lodge. 817 E. Johnson St. 7pm. $5.

The Lonesome Savages, Bad Omens, White Faces @ Mickey's Tavern. 1524 Williamson St. 10:30pm. Free.

A Lull (Chicago), Pioneer @ The Sett (Union South). 9 pm. 1308 W. Dayton St. Free. 

Did I miss anything?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Saturday 9/24: Screamin' Cyn Cyn & the Pons, Yo Majesty with Shunda K, Deadbeat Club @ Crystal Corner

Screamin' Cyn Cyn & the Pons
With singer Shane O' Neill soon departing Madison for New York, this Saturday may prove to be the last Screamin' Cyn Cyn & the Pons' show for a while, which is a bummer because they're awesome. If you've never seen them, and you like spastic, provocative, pastiche rock, then get out there and get your mind blown while you still can.

Yo Majesty
They're playing with Yo Majesty, a critically-acclaimed "lesbian/Christian rap duo" from Florida, and Shunda K, a rapper who apparently used to be in Yo Majesty but is now goin' it solo. Opening up the show is the Deadbeat Club, a B-52's cover band!

This is going to be a great show.

Crystal Corner. 1302 Williamson St. 10pm. $6.

Tons of videos of all the bands below...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Wisconsin indie-folk heroes Cedarwell are playing tonight at Mickey's Tavern with Madison's own Pioneer, who notably will be performing with a new full band as opposed to just guitar and cello.

Mickey's Tavern. 1524 Williamson Street. 9pm. Free.

Tons of videos below...

Monday, September 19, 2011


Spiral Joy Band

Fans of droney improvised noise should head down to the Project Lodge tonight. Jason Kahn & Jon Mueller, both famous for all kinds of acts on their own, including Collections of Colonies of Bees and Volcano Choir (with Bon Iver) are performing together, along with Madison's Spiral Joy Band and Andrew Fitzpatrick from All Tiny Creatures. I recommend getting stoned first, or at least meditating.

Project Lodge. 817 Johnson Street. 7:30pm. $5.

Assorted songs and videos after the jump...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Thursday 9/22: Peaking Lights @ Mickey's Tavern

Peaking Lights
The good news: Madison's psychedelic dub-pop duo Peaking Lights will be playing their first show in almost a year at Mickey's this Thursday! The bad news: this will be their last show in Madison for a long while, because soon they will be relocating from the east side of the isthmus to the west coast of the country. This is a major bummer, because—for someone like me who tends to avoid "dub music" at all costs—this is the only contemporary band whose lo-fi dub vibes provide a worthwhile & enjoyable listening experience. This show is going to be special. Do not miss this.

Their set will consist of their entire album 936 (available on cd/vinyl via Not Not Fun Records) from start to finish. I can't stress this enough: do not miss this show.

Mickey's Tavern. 1524 Williamson Street. 10:30pm. Free.

Videos after the jump...

Friday, September 16, 2011

MMoCA Releases Fall Schedule for Spotlight Film Series

From We Need to Talk about Kevin
The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (MMoCA) just released the new schedule for their fall "Spotlight Series" of films. Included in the line-up is the long-awaited adaptation of the controversial Lionel Shriver novel, We Need to Talk about Kevin, in which Tilda Swinton plays a mother who is forced to deal with her troubled, perhaps evil, son. (October 27, 7pm.)

Also included is The Interrupters, a documentary from the director of the masterpiece Hoop Dreams, about a group of Chicagoan "violence interrupters" trying to protect the city streets from the same kinds of violence they used to inflict. "The most necessary film you'll see this year," says Dana Stevens at Slate. (September 22, 7pm.)

For a full schedule of the entire series, check out the MMoCA website. All of them are new, important films, which sadly we don't get enough of in Madison.

Films are $7 for non-members, free for members.

Trailers for The Interrupters and We Need to Talk about Kevin after the jump...

Thursday, September 15, 2011


(photo via)

Michael Ian Black @ Majestic Theatre. 115 King St. 8pm. $25.

Fighting Bob Fest opening night @ Barrymore Theatre. 2090 Atwood Ave. 7pm. $8-10.

A Hawk and Hacksaw @ The Sett. 1308 W. Dayton St. 9pm. Free.

Tiny Riots @ The Frequency. 121 W. Main Street. 10pm. $5.


Fighting Bob Fest main event @ Coliseum at the Alliant Energy Center. 9am-5pm. Directions and registration here. $20 Donation.

"Laughter Against the Machine" w/ Nato Green, W. Kamau Bell, Janine Brito @ Bartell Theatre. 8pm. $15. Tickets here

El Valiente, Lady Scissors @ Mickey's Tavern. 1524 Williamson Street. 10:30pm. Free.

Company of Thieves, Save the Clocktower @ The Sett. 1304 Dayton St. 9pm. Free.


Margot & the Nuclear So & So's, Deleted Scenes, Land Of Vandals @ High Noon Saloon. 8pm. $12.

Northless, Aseethe, The Parish @ The Frequency. 121 W. Main Street. 8:30pm. $5.

Willy Street Fair. Starts at 11am. Williamson Street. Free.

Did I miss anything?

Fighting Bob Fest is happening on Friday night and all day Saturday

Sen. Bernie Sanders
Fighting Bob Fest, Madison's annual conference of progressive lectures and forums, is having its opening night at the Barrymore Theatre on Friday. Tickets are $8 adv/ $10 day of. Buy them here. The Barrymore is at 2090 Atwood Ave.

Then on Saturday the fest moves to the Coliseum at the Alliant Energy Center, where the full schedule will be as follows:

9:15 AM Welcome by Mayor Paul Soglin & Dave Zweifel
9:30 AM Mike McCabe, WI Democracy Campaign
9:50 AM Tony Schultz, farmer
10:10 AM Ellen Bravo, Feminist activist, organizer, and author
10:30 AM Raging Grannies
10:45 AM Congressman Dave Obey
11:10 AM Lunch & Breakouts
12:20 PM Dr. Cornel West, Civil Rights Activist, author, professor Princeton University
1:00 PM Thom Hartmann, Author, Radio Host
1:30 PM Greg Palast, Investigative Journalist BBC, best-selling author
1:50 PM Senator Bernie Sanders, Vermont
2:20 PM Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, Wisconsin
2:40 PM John Nichols, The Cap Times, The Nation, MSNBC
3:00 PM Peter Leidy, Musician
3:15 PM Jim Hightower, populist, author, activist, friend
3:45 PM Closing--Ed Garvey
4:00 PM Piper Road Spring Band--Music, Spotted Cow, Discussion

We're particularly stoked to see Bernie Sanders (famous for his filibusters as well as for being the only member of the Socialist Party in the U.S. Senate), as well as Cornel West and John Nichols. (Dennis Kucinich will also be around on Friday.)

Tickets to the Saturday portion of the fest are free, but they ask for a $20 donation. For directions and registration info, check out their website.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

"Laughter against the Machine" comedy tour comes to Madison this Saturday

Laughter against the Machine, the roaming troop of Bay Area comics that includes Nato Green, Janine Brito, and W. Kamau Bell, is coming to the Bartell Theatre in Madison on Saturday.

From the group's website:
Nato and Kamau conceived Laughter Against The Machine in 2008 as an issue-oriented comedy show where the comedians and the audience to expect to be challenged to laugh and think at the same time. Nato and Kamau wanted a comedy show with no preconceived expectations, no party lines, and certainly no cheerleading, because they have beef with everybody, including themselves.
The idea, I think, is to offer a kind of therapy session for disillusioned liberals, but while still being honest and surprising and provocative with their material. Sounds great to me.

Bartell Theatre. 113 E. Mifflin Street. 8-10pm. $15.

View the trailer for Laughter against the Machine's comedy tour after the jump...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Atmosphere, maybe the only famous hip-hop act today with D.I.Y. leanings, and probably the only one currently representing the flyover states, are playing tonight at the Orpheum Theatre w/ Blueprint and Evidence.

Mid-west pride, ya'll.

216 State St. $28/$32. 8pm.

Peaking Lights share new mix; moving sale at the Madison Public Library's central branch

Peaking Lights
Peaking Lights, in celebration of getting a proper UK release for their heavily-praised album "936," released a new mix on the internet the other day. It's pretty good, if you're into super-obscure soul, funk, and dub, which anyone probably ought to be. (via Domino Records.)

Incidentally: Record Jammer Slayron, a.k.a Aaron Coynes from Peaking Lights, will also be deejaying at Mickey's Tavern this Thursday night. 1524 Williamson St. 10:30pm. Free.
Here's the mix:

MIXXED-UP by Peaking Lights

Not at all relatedly: The Madison Public Library's Central Branch is having a big moving sale that starts on Wednesday. It's a great chance to pick up a load of good reading for basically nothing.

From the Public Library's website
Help our Friends clear out their sale storage area during a huge four-day sale from September 14 to September 17.  Hours are:
  • Wednesday, September 14 - 10am-8pm
  • Thursday, September 15 - 9am-8pm
  • Friday, September 16 - 9am-6pm
  • Saturday, September 17 - 9 am-2pm
The sale features one-of-a-kind items, rare books, framed art prints, and books for all ages and interests, as well as large collections of automotive manuals and over 10,000 VHS videos and and books-on-cassette.  Sale prices: $1 hardcover, $.50 paperbacks, plus specially-marked items. Saturday's 9-2 sale is an all-day bag sale, $3 per bag.  Stop in early for the best selection.
The old central branch is located at 201 West Mifflin Street.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Wednesday 9/14: Tapes N' Tapes @ High Noon Saloon

Tapes N' Tapes
Tapes N' Tapes are more conventional than their red-herring of a name might suggest: No, they don't use tape looping or tape effects. This is straight indie rock that draws from the era we live in (Arcade Fire, Wolf Parade, The Dodos, et al), and thus doesn't spur much in the way of conversation. The only reason to like them, really, is that they're good. Catchy, heartfelt, occasionally danceable.

W/ Icarus Himself and Howler.

High Noon Saloon. 701 E. Washington Ave. 8:30pm. $12.

Songs below...

Friday, September 9, 2011

Saturday 9/10: TV Ghost, Running @ The Sett

TV Ghost (via)
TV Ghost formed when they were all around the age of fifteen, and at the time were hailed as some sort of reincarnation of no wave. After releasing a few records and getting closer to the legal drinking age, their sound now has "the creepy tension of a post-punk haunted house where the Cramps, the Scientists, or Pere Ubu might leap out from the shadows at any moment." If this quote from the pitchfork review of their latest album (there simply isn't a better way to describe it) catches your attention whatsoever, check this show out.

Running is a weird & brutal punk band shrouded in mystery, thanks to their aversion to a proper web presence (their official page is a janky tripod website complete with pyramid-scheme spam jargon) and the fact that the majority of their releases are limited-run cassettes which quickly sell out.

To whoever has been booking these noisy dark post-punk shows: holler at me. We should be friends.

The Sett at UW Union South. 1308 W. Dayton Street. 9pm. Free. All ages!

Tons of music after the jump...

Male Bonding, Love Inks played at The Sett / PHOTOS AND VIDEO BELOW

Thursday, September 8, 2011


"Dogs Day," Goodman Pool, Madison, WI (via)


Kyle Kinane @ Comedy Club on State Street. 202 State St. 8:30pm. $8-$10.


Black Moth Super Rainbow, Dosh @ Majestic Theatre. 115 King St. 9pm. $18.

Shoppers, Tenement, We Suck @ The Wisco. 852 Williamson St. 9pm. 21+. $5.

Knock on Any Door (dir: Nicholas Ray) @ UW Cinematheque. 4070 Vilas Hall. 821 University Avenue. 7pm. Free.

MFA-in-Visual-Art Retrospective Show, Opening Reception. Art Lofts Gallery. 111 North Frances Street. 6-8pm. Free. (See previous post.)

"Monsters of Poetry" reading w/ Adam Fell, Matt Guenette, Stephanie Anderson, MC Hyland @ The Project Lodge. 821 E. Johnson Street. 7:30pm. $3 donation.

Crackity Jones (Pixies cover band),  The Shabelles @ Mickey’s Tavern. 1524 Williamson Street. 10:30pm. Free.

Flosstradamus, Group of Moderns @ The Sett (Union South). 1308 Dayton Street. 9:30pm. Free.

Kyle Kinane @ Comedy Club on State Street. 202 State St. 8pm, 10:30pm. $8-$10.

Sleeping in the Aviary @ Der Rathskeller (Memorial Union). 800 Langdon Street. 7pm. Free.

Geek-Kon. $15/day. Madison Marriott West, off Highway 12, Middleton, Wisconsin (more info here).


TV Ghost, Runners @ The Sett (Union South). 1308 W. Dayton Street. 9pm. Free.

Paula Poundstone @ Barrymore Theatre. 2090 Atwood Ave. 8pm. $33.

The Sunny Era @ Mother Fool’s Coffeehouse. 1101 Williamson Street. 8pm. $6.

Snake On The Lake: Vieux Farka Touré @ Memorial Union Terrace. 800 Langdon Street. 10pm. Free.

Kyle Kinane @ Comedy Club on State Street. 202 State St. 8pm, 10:30pm. $8-$10/

Geek-Kon. $20/day. Madison Marriott West, off Highway 12, Middleton, Wisconsin (more info here).


Geek-Kon. $15/day. Madison Marriott West, off Highway 12, Middleton, Wisconsin (more info here).

Did I miss anything?

Friday 9/9: Shoppers, Tenement, We Suck @ The Wisco

Shoppers (via)
Shoppers is a dark & fuzzy punk band from Syracuse, New York. They're currently on tour promoting their awesome new full-length album Silver Year, and this Friday they will be playing at the Willy Street Pub & Grill, better known to locals as the Wisco.

Tenement is a Wisconsin pop punk band who have some moments where they totally channel the Exploding Hearts. They don't play in Madison often, so this is a treat.

I don't know anything about We Suck but the flier says that they are "freak rock maniacs" from Stoughton, whatever that means. Maybe they don't suck?

The Wisco. 852 Williamson Street. 9pm. 21+. Five dollars.

Some music after the jump...

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


The Movable Type Truck

Madison printmaking company Polka Press is having a hands-on event at their headquarters tonight. The guest of honor will be the Moveable Type Truck, from Portland, Oregon, which will be demonstrating its famous mobile letterpress.

From the Polka Press website:

Come try your hand at letterpress printing, buy prints, drink beer and just hang out with your awesome friends at Polka Press! No experience necessary!

Polka-Press. 2717 Atwood Ave. 5-8pm. Donations suggested.

Also: The 2nd Annual Vintage Madison Fall Fashion Show is happening tonight at the High Noon Saloon. Come for the vintage clothes, stay for the music and dancing. The band Surgeons in Heat will be on hand, as well as a DJ. More info here.

High Noon Saloon. 701 E Washington Ave. 7pm-11pm. $5.

A great explanatory video about the Moveable Type Truck after the jump...