Sunday, July 31, 2011

Friday 8/5: Iceage, Deep Shit, Pleasure Leftists @ Project Lodge

Iceage is made up of four Danish teenage boys filled with angst. Yes, Iceage is a hardcore/punk band, but there's something different about this one. Their debut album New Brigade, which is sitting pretty at the top of my unofficial "favorite albums of 2011" list, sounds like the Los Angeles punk bands Wives and Abe Vigoda (circa mid-2000s) revisited their copies of Wire's Pink Flag and Christian Death's Only Theatre of Pain. That's right: dark, noisy, upbeat post-punk with plenty of reverb and delay, and a dash of occult imagery thrown in for good measure.

Their summer U.S. tour has already drawn attention from the New Yorker and the New York Times, as their first U.S. performance sold out in Brooklyn. After hearing all the hype from friends who've seen them play in Europe or finally got their hands on the album, I was stoked to see that they're playing at the Project Lodge this Friday night with local power-violence/hardcore band Deep Shit and Cleveland post-punk outfit Pleasure Leftists.

Whether or not Iceage is actually doing something fresh and innovative with punk rock, you should come see for yourself what the buzz is all about.

The Project Lodge. 817 E. Johnson Street. 8:30 pm. 8 dollars.

You can get an idea of what's going to happen by checking out the videos after the jump...

All Tiny Creatures played UW Memorial Union Terrace / PHOTOS & VIDEO BELOW

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Lorrie Moore likes Friday Night Lights

Lorrie Moore (left), Some guy from Friday Night Lights (right)

Okay, people, it's official. We need to watch Friday Night Lights.

Lorrie Moore, resident of Madison and one of the world's best living authors, writes about the now-canceled, football-themed drama in the New York Review of Books.

Who knew ABC could come up with a decent show? I didn't.

(Yes, it's on Netflix streaming.)


All Tiny Creatures

The music of All Tiny Creatures is rhythm-centric, ethereal, atmospheric. They seem to be  influenced by a wide array of instrumental and electronic music, ranging from Explosions in the Sky to Tortoise to Prefuse 73 to whatever else. They're loud, dancey, pretty, all at the same time.

They are playing tonight at the UW Memorial Union Terrace, with Dosh and Jerimiah Nelson. I doubt they'll disappoint.

800 Langdon Street. 9:30pm. Free.

Videos below...

Friday, July 29, 2011

Wednesday 8/3: William Gibson @ Barnes & Noble (West Side)

William Gibson as a young man
Yep. The renowned science-fiction author who first coined the term "cyberspace," and who wrote the seminal masterpiece Neuromancer, will be making an appearance in Madison come August 3rd. Unfortunately it's happening at Barnes & Noble, but who knows, maybe all that soulless consumerism will make it feel like you're in some intriguing dystopian future.

7433 Mineral Point Road. West Towne Mall. 7pm. Free.

No steampunks allowed. I am not kidding.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


(photo via)

Bad Fever w/ Director Q&A @ UW Cinematheque. (See previous post.)

Locksley, Filligar @ UW Memorial Union Terrace. 9:30pm. Free.

Disaster Strikes, In Defence, In Ruines, Enabler,  Pyroklast @ The Wisco.
(852 Williamson St.) 9pm. 21+.$7.


Kiernan McMullan, Fighting Aurora, Kyle Scidmore @ Project Lodge (817 E. Johnson). 8pm. $7.

“48 Hour Film Project” Showing @ High Noon Saloon. 18+. 5:30pm. Free pizza. $5.

Direct Hit, Kyle WK, The American Dead, Devon Kay & The Solutions @The Frequency (121 Main Street).18+. 9pm. $8.

Greg Brown w/ Bo Ramsey @ 2011 Sugar Maple Fest, Lake Farm County Park, 7:30pm. (Click here for more info.)

The Burglars + Night Caller @ UW Cinematheque, 7pm. Free. (See previous post.)


Kill Junior, Uncle Eddie, Haunted Heads, Tiny Riots @ The Frequency (121 Main Street). 10pm. 21+. $5.

All Tiny Creatures, Dosh, Jerimiah Nelson @ UW Memorial Union Terrace. 9:30pm, Free.

Zebras, Nonagon @ Mickey’s Tavern (1524 Williamson St.). 10:30pm. Free.

2011 Sugar Maple Fest continues.

The Muppet Movie @ UW Cinematheque. 4pm and 7pm. Free.


Ocellus, A Wretched Betrayal, Dance Cadaverous @ The Frequency (121 Main Street). 9pm. 18+. $5.

Did I miss anything?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Thursday 7/28: Bad Fever @ UW Cinematheque

Bad Fever
Bad Fever is a soul-crushing film about an aspiring stand-up comedian.  How is it soul-crushing?  Well, according to director Dustin Guy Defa, who will be present at the screening Thursday night,
BAD FEVER is a film about loneliness. It's about being alone and hating being alone and then finding somebody to be with but hating that too because it doesn't feel any different or at least any less lonely.

Do you ever feel shitty and wonder why everyone thinks you're okay, and then when you do finally feel good about yourself everyone else starts to ask what's wrong with you? It's about that too.

It's about Eddie, who lives with his mother, and it's about all of his hopeless dreams. It's about Irene, who he meets, who wants him to help her with all of her hopeless ideas.
Sounds awesome.  Seriously, when a film has been described as "the most uncomfortable film I saw at the south by southwest film festival" and is cataloged in the "mumblecore" genre by its reviewers, how can I resist? 

Before the feature, there will be a screening of Please Please Pick Up, a thirteen-minute short directed by Casper Kelly.  Kelly, one of the writers for Adult Swim's Squidbillies, will possibly be present at the screening as well. (Update: Casper Kelly won't be there. But Dustin Guy Defa still will be!)

4070 Vilas Hall, 870 University Avenue. Free. 7pm.

Trailer below...


KEN Mode
KEN Mode play the kind of metal you can windmill to, with minimal pageantry and lots of breakdowns. Kurt Ballou from Converge recorded their most recent album. They sound a lot like metallic hardcore from the late nineties, but without any of the optimism or politics. They're supposed to be an awesome band to see live.

Project Lodge. 817 E. Johnson. 8pm. $5.

Videos + music below...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Friday 7/29: "The Burglars" + "Night Caller" Double-Feature @ UW Cinematheque

This Friday the UW Cinematheque is ending its series on French actor Jean-Paul Belmondo with a bang. The final day will include a double feature of two of the wildest French action films from the 1970s, The Burglars and Night Caller (sometimes called Fear over the City), both directed by Henri Verneuli.

Both these films are incredibly physical, and feature numerous scenes of Belmondo jumping onto moving cars, falling off buildings into dumpsters, smashing through windows, somersaulting over the pavement to avoid being shot, etc.

The Burglars, in particular, boasts one of the longest, most brutal car chase scenes I've ever seen (see video below). Also, Ennio Morricone composed the score for Night Caller, which I'm excited about.

4070 Vilas Hall, 870 University Avenue. Free. 7pm. (Get there early!)

Videos below...

Monday, July 25, 2011


Brooklyn's Goodbye Picasso bring the "alt-country" to Madison tonight. People who like this stuff know who they are.

Project Lodge (817 E. Johnson). 7pm. $7.

Video below...

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Revoltrevolt play solid, bass-line driven rock influenced heavily by Pavement and Sonic Youth. They are playing tonight at The Frequency, along with bands The Novelists and A Royal Clark.

It ain't the Royal Philharmonic. But the show is free if you're over 21, so why not go and check it out?

Starts at 8:30pm.

Videos of Revoltrevolt below...

Saturday, July 23, 2011


Marissa Nadler
Marissa Nadler is playing tonight with Faces on Film at the Frequency. Fans of the mid-2000s folkie wave (Josephine Foster, Devendra Banhart, et al), myself included, should enjoy her set.

Faces on Film come with a big backing band, but still manage to keep it mellow. They sound to me like old-school Modest Mouse mixed with maybe Lee Hazlewood or something. But their new album sounds drastically better than their older stuff, which is a promising sign.

7pm. 21+. $12.

Videos + sound clips below...

Friday, July 22, 2011


Dick Neff
The Good Style Shop is hosting an art opening tonight for local artist Courtney Hall, whose work is described as "2-D funhouse caricatures, deep tinted dada-collaged studies, all interspersed with 3-D featherlight sheathes of materials draped and billowing throughout its present space." Not sure what any of that means, but boy is my interest is piqued.

Also: after the reception, some killer bands are playing.

Suicide Magnets are described as "a washing machine of the mind made visceral through severe affectation of the voice and guitar, tapes, detritus & most times percussion."

Dick Neff plays loud noise-rock, using pedals and loops while he wails on the drums. He's great.

Everyone should definitely go to this.

Good Style Shop. 402 East Washington. 7pm. Donation only.

Videos of Dick Neff and Suicide Magnets below...

Thursday, July 21, 2011


 Thunderclouds east of Madison (photo via)


Rosebuds, Other Lives@ UW Memorial Union Terrace. 930pm. Free

Gillian Welch @ Overture Center for the Arts - Capitol Theatre (201 State Street). 730pm. $30


Dick Neff, Suicide Magnets@ Good Style Shop (402 E. Washington). 7pm. Donation

Droids Attack, Romero, Sky Road Fly, The Faith Hills Have Eyes @ Inferno (1718 Commercial Ave.) 21+. 9pm. $5

Off With Their Heads, Dead to Me, Riverboat Gamblers, etc, @ The Frequency (121 W. Main Street). 9pm. 18+. $12


Marissa Nadler, Faces on Film @The Frequency. 7pm. 21+. $12

Whisky Pig, Knuckle Dragger, Dalkaiju, Dick the Bruiser @ High Noon Saloon (701 E. Washington Ave). 9pm. 21+. $5

Lords of the Trident @ Club Tavern (1915 Branch Street). 9pm. Free

The Drain, Venus in Furs, The Type @ Mickey’s Tavern. 1030pm. Free


Echo Park Film Center Filmmobile Workshop and Screenings @Project Lodge (817 E. Johnson Street) 7pm-11pm.

Underground Food Kitchen comes to L'etoile. (see previous post.) 6pm. $50

Did I miss anything?


The Rosebuds
The Rosebuds are from North Carolina. Once upon a time, they started out as cheery, straightforward pop (like an indie version of The Cardigans), but lately have gotten much darker and deeper (and better), owing to the divorce of two of their founding members.

Yep, that's right. They're both still in the band even though they divorced each other. Ought to make for some interesting stage dynamics, eh?

They're playing at the UW Memorial Union Terrace tonight at 930pm. W/ Other Lives. Free.

Videos below...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Steve Earle as "Harley" on Treme (left)
Texas country artist Steve Earle will perform tonight at the Barrymore Theatre on Atwood.

Unfortunately, with this stupid viral gastointestinal thing that I’ve got, I’ll have to settle for staying home and watching him on the excellent TV show Treme. (Whoa, just got goosebumps thinking about the excellent TV show Treme.)

2090 Atwood Ave. $35.

Video of Steve Earle performing live below...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Wednesday 7/20: Mark Mallman @ The Shitty Barn

Mark Mallman
Mark Mallman composed the soundtracks for the films Adventureland and 10,000 B.C. He also once wrote and performed an opera that lasted 2 consecutive days (with bathroom breaks, of course), which culminated with him biting into a bouquet of flowers and spitting the petals onto the audience.

He’s the kind of artist you call interesting, without wanting to commit any further as to whether you actually like him or not. His pop music––which is presumably what he’ll be playing at the Shitty Barn on Thursday Wednesday––sounds like huge anthem-rock (Rush comes to mind) but with lots of dramatic, ballady flourishes (think Elton John). He’s also got this sort of Darby Crash thing going on, in that he dresses like a punk rocker and seems to enjoy acting insane.

Should be good!

The Shitty Barn is at 506 E. Madison Street in the nearby town of Spring Green. Music starts at 7pm. $10. Supposedly you have to buy a pre-ordered ticket... but you'll have to figure that out on your own.

UPDATE: Yes, this is happening WEDNESDAY, JULY 20, not Thursday as previously indicated. Thanks to @sunspotwendy on Twitter for correcting me.

Videos below...

Monday, July 18, 2011

Madison-related Podcast Roundup

Lauren Groff, author and UW-Madison alumnus
UW Madison-alumnus Lauren Groff got a story published in the New Yorker the other week. It’s called “Above and Beyond,” and it’s about a graduate student who can’t pay her bills and starts living in her car by the beach. It’s very good. Go out and read it.

Groff is also the guest on the most recent New Yorker Fiction Podcast. She reads the story “Axis” by Alice Munro––really, really good––and then talks about it for a while, notably using the word “chiastic” to describe the story-structure. What a brainiac, eh?

In other podcast-related news: If you haven’t listened to this This American Life about the Wisconsin debates over collective bargaining rights, do so now. It’s a wonderful, illuminating account of the stark division across the state on the issue. I know that makes it sound boring, but I swear to God it ain’t.

Marc Maron with one of his cats
Finally, Marc Maron recently interviewed Todd Hanson, longtime editor for The Onion, about all kinds of things, including what it’s like to live in Madison, how The Onion got started, what makes things funny, and what the meaning of life is. I don't want to give much else away, but I will say that anyone who has suffered from depression, or known anyone who has, should make doubly sure to check this interview out.

There. I’m done.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Battles played last night at UW Memorial Union Terrace / PHOTOS & VIDEO BELOW

...And it turned out to be a really incredible show (even if all the vocals were taped, and they only played like one song from Mirrored).

Photos + videos below...

Last day today for Maxwell Street Days on State Street

Did you hear that? It's the last day for buying discounted crap on a the city's busiest street! What are you people waiting for?

Sunday 7/24: Underground Kitchen Dinner @ L'etoile

The Underground Food Collective chillin' with famous food writer Michael Pollan

If you're like me and you never got a chance to go to Madison's famously delicious Underground Kitchen before it burned down last month, well then you're in luck.

From the Underground Food Collective people:
We are happy to announce that the Underground Food Collective will be taking over the L'etoile kitchen and the Graze dining room on Sunday July 24th. We are very thankful to Tory Miller, Traci Miller and Diane Christensen and the entire staff for their generosity. We will be offering a 5 course tasting menu inspired by the food from Underground Kitchen, drawing on past menus and dishes that had been created but never served.  
Fixed menu with a vegetarian option | One seating only | 6pm | $50 |
A little pricey, but it's still way cheaper than L'etoile normally is. Come on out and help Underground Kitchen get back on its feet! More here.

1 South Pinckney Street #107. (Across the street from the Capitol.)

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Thurston Moore being awesome.
Why am I going to see Thurston Moore tonight at the High Noon Saloon at 930pm for $15 instead of Battles at the UW Memorial Union Terrace at 9pm for free?

Is it because Tyondai Braxton left Battles in 2010 and now they sound ever so slightly different? Nope.

Is it because the new Thurston Moore album Demolished Thoughts is the best thing I've heard all year? Yeah, that's probably it.

Video + audio clips below....

Friday, July 15, 2011



Teenage psychpop cuties Paperhead and garage rockers D. Watusi, both from Nashville, will be playing at Mickey's tonight.  Sounds like the kids have been listening to the Nuggets compilations and the Monks, i.e., late '60s rock music.  It's nothing new, but for what it is, it's not bad.

They're both playing along with locals the Hussy and the Arkoffs at Mickey's Tavern (1524 Williamson Street) at 10:30 pm.

Video after the jump.


Ezra Furman plays longwinded singer-songwritery songs that sound like a mix between Highway-61-era Bob Dylan and Cake. But in a good way.

Project Lodge (817 E. Johnson). W/ Tommy Shears, Savannah Smith. $6. 8pm-11pm.

Video below...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

EMA played last night, covered "Crimson & Clover" with Zola Jesus. (VIDEOS BELOW.)

EMA played an awesome set last night at the High Noon Saloon.

The crowd was thin but seemed to made up of mostly die-hard fans, many of them yelling out comments and questions between songs. EMA always responded with something hilarious.

EMA playing with members of the audience
For the encore, EMA took requests from the audience. "Crimson and Clover" won out, but EMA said in order to do it she needed volunteers from the audience to play drums and sing back-up. It didn't take long for a random crew of people to matter-of-factly stand up. The weirdest part? It sounded great.

UPDATE: The girl who sang with EMA was in fact the lady from Zola Jesus. Whew, that makes more sense.

Video of EMA playing "Crimson and Clover" below...


Taken at last week's La fete de Marquette (photo via)


Mutilation Rites, Batillus, Black Goat, Faculty Brats @ Lothlorien Co-op (244 West Lakelawn Place). 7pm sharp. $6.

P.S. I Love You, Unknown Mortal Orchestra @ UW Memorial Union Terrace (800 Langdon Street). 9:30pm. Free.


Ezra Furman, Tommy Shears, Savannah Smith @ Project Lodge (817 E. Johnson). 8pm-11pm. $6.

The Hussy, The Paperhead, D. Watusi, The Arkoffs @ Mickey's Tavern (1524 Williamson Street). 10:30pm. Free.


Maxwell Street Days. Sidewalk Sale on State Street. 8am-6pm. Free.

Tenney-Lapham Block Party.1pm-5pm. 200 block of North Paterson. Proceeds will go to Lapham School.) Free.

Opera in the Park @ Garner Park. 8pm.  Free.

Thurston Moore, Hush Arbors @ High Noon Saloon (701 E Washington Ave). 9:30pm. 21+. $15.

Battles, The Fresh & Onlys @ UW Memorial Union Terrace (800 Langdon Street). 9pm. Free.


Red Elvises, Pistols at Dawn @ High Noon Saloon (701 E Washington Ave). 8pm. 21+. $15.

Janelle & the Cherry Busters, Westbury, Graham Czach, Tim Larson & the Owner/Operators @ The Frequency (121 Main Street.) 8:30pm. $5.

Did I miss anything?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


It seems like this always happens in Madison: that after days and days of inactivity, suddenly all the good shows return with a vengeance, landing cruelly on the same night.

Local heroes Icarus Himself are playing tonight at the UW Memorial Union Terrace with Pioneer, a surprisingly great indie-folk act who are also from Madison. 8pm. 800 Langdon St. Free.
Slothpop are catchy-as-fuck, with female vocals, bouncy beats, lots of cellos and violins, intricate harmonies, and a sort of wholesome, okay-for-kids feel. They’re playing with Weather Duo and Thomas Wincek at the Project Lodge. 817 E. Johnson. 8pm-10:30pm. $6.

Xylos are similarly catchy-as-fuck, with female vocals, but with a slight edge to them. In addition to their totally pop-friendly melodies, they incorporate a lot of keyboards and noisy effects. Fans of Bat for Lashes will probably dig it. They’re playing with Empty Space Orchestra at The Frequency. 121 West Main Street. 8:30pm. $5.

Finally, there’s EMA (see earlier post), of Gowns fame, whose new album I’ve been listening to all week and who I can’t wait to see. She’s playing with Dead Luke and Real Jaguar at the High Noon Saloon. 701 E Washington Ave. 8:30pm. $10.

Lots of great stuff to do tonight, people. No excuse to stay home.

Videos of everybody below...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Bombino played last week at La Fete de Marquette

Bombino posing with some of his Madison fans

Bombino, the phenomenal guitarist from Niger, Africa, played his first U.S. show last Thursday at the Willy Street Co-op's "La Fete de Marquette" in Madison. If you weren't able to make it out, well then you're a dope who doesn't deserve happiness. Simple as that.

Video below...


Deleted Scenes

Deleted Scenes play emotional indie rock in the Fugazi/Q and Not U vein, but driven by a much more intricate R&B-style drumming. You can tell they listen to a lot of Tortoise and The Pixies and probably Gorillaz. Plus their lyrics are playful and smart, as opposed to melodramatic and whiny. They're really good.

7:30pm. Project Lodge (817 E. Johnson). With Control, and Giant People. $5-$8.

Video below...

Monday, July 11, 2011

MONDAY 7/11: A DANCE WITH DRAGONS release party @ Frugal Muse Books (West Side)

Frugal Muse Books is having a party to celebrate the release of the long-awaited fifth book in George R. R. Martin's "A Song of Fire and Ice" saga (which is the inspiration for the HBO show Game of Thrones). The book is called A Dance with Dragons, and tonight at midnight you'll be able to buy it from the store at a special discount, as well as play games, enter raffles, and do some chillaxin' with your fellow Winterfellians.

Sounds extremely fun to me. Party starts at 9pm. Frugal Muse West. 235 Junction Road, Prairie Towne Center.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

This Wednesday 7/13: EMA, Dead Luke, Real Jaguar @ High Noon Saloon

Sometimes EMA sounds like Cat Power if Cat Power were way more of a badass. Then, other times, she sounds like Patti Smith if maybe Kanye West were doing the production.

Musically, she seems to vacillate between nineties-style, angry, singer-songwritery rock (a la Courtney Love, Liz Phair, etc), and freestyle, operatic, stream-of-consciousness rants that remind me, weirdly, of R. Kelly. Basically, she's rad. Check her out, before she blows up.

8:30pm. High Noon Saloon. $10.

Videos below (extremely recommended!)...

Ladybug Transistor played UW Memorial Union Terrace last nght

A very tame turnout last night for The Ladybug Transistor––lots of Uno games going on, no standing crowd, etc. Still, I think the band did admirably given the circumstances, and had some pretty hilarious stage banter. At one point a group of women, perhaps feeling sorry for Ladybug, ran up to the front and starting going nuts with dance moves. They only lasted one song, though.

In some ways, it made sense that people weren't getting too excited. Live, Ladybug sound sort of like a really excellent, but really square, sixties lounge act. As much as I like them, they are bizarrely easy to be distracted from.

Still, I hope they come back to Madison soon.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Art Fair on the Square is happening today @ the Capitol

...And guess what, it's happening tomorrow, too! Oh boy!

Bring sunblock, and low expectations.


The Ladybug Transistor have been playing "indie-pop" since before that stupid term even existed. They were around during the Elephant Six craze of the late nineties––along with bands like Neutral Milk Hotel, Of Montreal, etc.––and they somehow stayed around––this whole time––even during that weird, interstitial decade where their music seemed totally irrelevant to nearly everyone.

Now, with the rise of other sixties-pop-influenced bands like Camera Obscura and Papercuts, and a renewed popular interest in older bands like Orange Juice and The Wedding Present, The Ladybug Transistor seem to have found an enormous audience again. Which is awesome, because they rule.

And while I'm not a huge fan of twee as a genre––a lot of it, to me, just sounds the same––Ladybug are definitely an exception to the rule. Fans of The Velvet Underground's self-titled album––which is nearly everyone, I think, or ought to be––should have a splendid evening tonight on the terrace.

9:30pm. Free.

Videos below...

Friday, July 8, 2011


Whitney Mann’s music sounds as though it were conceived in an adult-contemporary vacuum in space. I have no idea who her musical influences are. Norah Jones, maybe? Bonnie Raitt? Sheryl Crow? She seems to be a nebulous amalgam of stuff your mom would listen to on a long drive.

Not to say she ain’t talented. She’s got a real humdinger of a voice, and I guess it’s refreshing, in a way, to hear someone with virtually no musical pretensions. Plus she grew up on a farm, which I guess for a country artist is like growing up in the projects for a rapper.

The Frequency. 18+. 9pm. $8. Take your grandma.

Videos below...

Indie-pendence Heritage Hoedown happened last week

Yep, the "Indie-pendence Heritage Hoedown" happened last week. Meaning that some people got together on July 4th to watch some music in a barn.

Double Ewes
Bands included local Wisconsin indie acts such as Asumaya, Corcovado, Double Ewes, Anna Vogelzang, Count This Penny, and many more.

Amanda Rigell
Also there was homebrewed beer, delicious food, and camping-out-for-the-night for those who were interested.

Looks like it was a really fun, beautiful event. Thanks to Kyle Pfister for the photos!