Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Wednesday 11/28: Bill Orcutt, Jon Mueller @ Union South

Bill Orcutt formed the legendary Miami noise rock band Harry Pussy with Adris Hoyos in the early 1990s. In the process of releasing approximately seven albums in five years and touring with Sebadoh and the Dead C, Orcutt mastered an awkwardly-tuned electric guitar with four strings, while Hoyos' brutal drum attacks and heart-wrenching screams dropped the jaws of a young Chris Corsano.

In 2009, eleven years after the dissolution of Harry Pussy, Orcutt returned to music with a self-released acoustic album, A New Way To Pay Old Debts. Since then, he's released a slew of 7" singles, a one-sided LP titled Way Down South, and another full-length LP How the Thing Sings. He surprisingly maintains a bit of sonic continuity between Harry Pussy and this new solo material. He still plays with four strings on an acoustic guitar — to be specific, a busted Kay he's owned since college that won't stay in tune. According to a review by NPR of 2011's How the Thing Sings: "No one is playing acoustic guitar like Bill Orcutt right now. No one." It's true. Having already destroyed music as we know it (cf. Harry Pussy's What Was Music?), Orcutt has emerged from the rubble to begin reconstructing it, piece by piece, the only way he knows how.

On Wednesday night, fans of John Fahey and noise rock should head over to Prairie Fire (a coffeehouse in Union South), to enjoy a free acoustic performance by Orcutt. To get a taste of his unique sound, check out his rendition of the Star Spangled Banner:

Also performing is Jon Mueller, a blistering avant-garde percussionist from Milwaukee. He just digitally released a new album Death Blues — which features him on drums, hammered acoustic guitar, and vocals — and it's actually incredible.

November 28th. Union South. 1308 W. Dayton Street. 9:30pm. Free. All ages.

Plenty of recordings and videos from Orcutt and Mueller after the jump.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

After all this time off with relatively few posts, next week we'll begin assembling a guide to our favorite places and things in Madison. Until then, eat some pie!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Monday 11/19: The Babies, The Wets, The Savage Boys @ Mickey's Tavern

The Babies (via)
There's going to be a great show tonight at Mickey's Tavern. The Babies are a Brooklyn garage pop band featuring members of Vivian Girls and Woods. They are currently touring in support of their second album Our House on the Hill, which just came out last week on Woodsist. You can stream it over at Spin before picking up a copy at the show tonight from the band or — if you can't wait — your favorite local record store (Mad City Music and Strictly Discs are both carrying it).

Also playing are Madison's Savage Boys, which is a stripped down version of the Lonesome Savages, and The Wets, a local slow pop group featuring yours truly.

Tonight. Mickey's Tavern. 1521 Williamson Street. 10pm. Free. 21+.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Friday 11/9: Tyvek with the Lonesome Savages @ Good Style Shop

Tyvek (via)
Madison is in for a treat on Friday, November 9 when Detroit's finest export Tyvek graces the Good Style Shop. By way of introduction: Tyvek is the project of Kevin Boyer and a rotating cast of musicians, a project too smart to be garage rock and too weird to be punk, but taking cues from both genres. Tyvek really found their footing with 2010's Nothing Fits, a sneering exposé on the reduction in the quality of life seen across the States at the time. It was a perfect document of the times, angry but wry, standing up and yelling at a time when other artists hid behind reverb and mumbled about VHS tapes or something.

Fast forward two years and the band drops the On Triple Beams LP, yet another essential document of living in squalor, in a society succumbing to its own decadence, and feeling like you can't do anything about it. This time around the band plays with restraint and repetition and it works in spades, giving us catchy scream-alongs ("Say Yeah," "Wayne County Roads") and songs that play the same chords until they crack ("Scaling," "Efficiency"). It's Tyvek's best record to date, and it's gonna be really fun to catch them at the top of their game.

Tyvek plays Friday, November 9 at the newly renovated Good Style Shop (817 E. Johnson Street) at 9pm. Bring $5 for the touring band. Madison's own Lonesome Savages will open, and there will be intermittent DJ sets by local celebrities Joel and Lauden.

Some videos from Tyvek and the Lonesome Savages can be found after the jump...

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thursday 10/25: Stacian, Joel Shanahan, Conjuror @ Good Style Shop

Stacian (photo: Chris Kalis)
The Good Style Shop just reopened their vintage clothing boutique in the space formerly known as the Project Lodge. While it's very sad to see the Project Lodge gone (for the time being?), the Good Style folks will still be hosting live music as well as local visual art. Tonight is the first show in the new shop, so it's a good time to check out what they've done with the space as well as catch some avant-tunes.

Tonight's headliner is none other than Stacian, the galactic coldwave champion of Milwaukee. She will have copies of her album Songs for Cadets, just released this week on vinyl and compact disc by Moniker Records

The Joel Shanahan octet will be performing an original composition for guitar and synthesizer. The central concept is for seven guitarists to emulate one guitarist using a delay pedal. The octet features members of All Tiny Creatures, Kitty Rhombus, Pioneer, Surgeons in Heat, Crane Your Swan Neck, Jivas, Czarbles, and the Wets. 

Conjuror is a freaky organic noise project by Ian Adcock. This is his second show.

Good Style Shop. 817 East Johnson Street. 8pm. $3. All ages.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Write for Madison Yeah!

Hey! Do you enjoy going to cultural happenings in Madison? Do you enjoy writing? We are looking for some new writers for this blog. Your focus does not have to be music. If you are interested in writing about local comedy, visual art, theater, or literary happenings, that would be fantastic. Background knowledge is a plus, but enthusiasm is just as important.

This is an unpaid writing gig because we don't do this for money. Instead, we do this because we think that there's a lot of cool stuff going on around town that deserves to be promoted. There are perks! We are often compensated by getting on the guest list for shows, having beers purchased for us, or getting free records. You can also use this as an excuse to interview/meet your favorite touring performers. It also feels nice to support the diy community.

Ideally, you would write a post at least once a week. If you are interested, please submit the following to frank@madisonyeah.com by Monday, October 15th:
  • a sample post for an upcoming event in Madison, which we may use as your first entry;
  • a couple paragraphs about your personal & professional background, your interests & hobbies, and why you'd like to write for Madison Yeah;
  • a time & place for us to meet in person and chat.
Photographers are also encouraged to join the Madison Yeah team, as we would love to have more posts in the reviews section.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday 9/28: A Haircut, Warsaw Vices, Bike Cops, The Lurk Hards @ Freewheel Bikes

A Haircut (via: @toddgaron)
There are too many great shows in Madison this weekend! Tonight in particular, there are four worthwhile shows going on around town. There's the Boy Dirt Car show at Dragonfly Lounge (401 East Washington Avenue, 10pm, $5, 21+) with Lens, Golden Donna, and Maths Balance Volumes. Milwaukee's Boy Dirt Car is an industrial noise band featuring members of Die Kreuzen who've recently reassembled after a lengthy hiatus that began in the late '80s. There's the Mission to Burma show at the High Noon Saloon (701 East Washington Avenue, 9:30pm, $18, 18+) with Madison's Bes Monde and Minneapolis's Pink Mink. Word on the street is that Burma will be playing all the hits, including "That's When I Reach For My Revolver". There's the free indie folk show at the Memorial Terrace (800 Langdon Street, 9:30pm, free, all ages) featuring Chicago's Dastardly, Madison's Pioneer, and Houston's Buxton.

At the top of my list is the awesome show at Freewheel Bikes. Warsaw Vices are from Chicago and play catchy, drunk power pop. Bike Cops are also from Chicago and play jangly surf pop (it's a little slow, which you'd expect since it's from the coast of Lake Michigan rather than the coast of the Pacific). Madison's The Lurk Hards are skater folks playing old-timey tunes. Our friends A Haircut will be topping it all off with their lo-fi two-piece basement punk.

Here's a sneak preview of A Haircut's "Mother" from an upcoming split cassette:

Freewheel Community Bike Shop. 1804 South Park Street #5. 8pm. $5. All ages.

Go to at least one of these shows tonight and have a great time!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Monday 9/17: Fielded, Problem Child, The Wets @ Mickey's Tavern

Fielded (via)
Fielded is the solo electronic project of Lindsay Powell, vocalist for Chicago's now-defunct prog band Ga'an. Her music is often described as dark pop gospel. Sure, these are tags that get thrown around a lot these days for a lot of music projects, but check it out: her music is so good that her 2010 debut full-length Terrageist was Catholic Tapes' first LP release. Tiny Mixtapes describes Fielded as "a project that falls somewhere between Björk and Glasser in being both mystical and vocally-propelled," while Catholic Tapes describes it as "somewhere between Kate Bush played backwards in a haunted cathedral and Annie Lennox blasted on top of a mountain."

Problem Child is Madison's premier audio-visual lo-fi electronic act. They've been playing shows regularly for years in this town and the Isthmus finally wrote a paragraph about them in the latest issue. I have no idea why these two dudes aren't playing massive electronic festivals in Europe yet. Now that they have a new tape out, perhaps that will happen soon. In the meantime, you should come get sweaty while dancing to their homegrown pop techno tonight.

The Wets are a minimalist rock band. No effects pedals or guitar solos are welcome. We are currently working on a cassette and a split 7" with A Haircut.

Tonight! Mickey's Tavern. 1524 Williamson Street. 10pm. Free. 21+.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Friday 9/14: Daisies @ UW Cinematheque

A fresh 35mm print of Věra Chytilová's Daisies will be screened this Friday evening at the Cinematheque. Released in 1966, it is one of the most anarchic (and certainly the most feminist) of the Czechoslovak New Wave. Here's the review of Daisies that Amos Vogel wrote in his legendary Film as a Subversive Art
The Czech film renaissance — subsequently killed by the Russians — here celebrates one of its largest surprises: a mad, surreal comedy about two irresponsible girls living a life of anarchic freedom and individualism in total disregard of society; an amazing subversion of years of ossified "socialist realism".

Visually and structurally perhaps the most sensational film of the Czech film renaissance, this is a mad, stylish, dadaist comedy, long banned by the censors. It is an orgy of spectacular visual delights, sensuous decor, and magnificent color experiments, making a philosophical statement in the guise of a grotesque farce. Two dizzy young girls, bored and without any values, knowing neither past nor future, stumble through a bizarre series of change pick-ups, wild adventures, eating orgies, and pie-throwing acts. Below the exaggeration, sarcasm, and exuberance lurks a serious comment on a fraudulent style of life, played as a game in which protagonists become victims. No work from the East has ever been further removed from the drab sterility of so-called "socialist realism". The stunning photography is by Jaroslav Kucera and the script by Ester Krumbachova, whose contributions to almost all major Czech films of the period denote her key role.

Personally, I think that it's the most exciting and coolest film we'll get to see all year, but that's because it's one of my favorite movies. Do yourself a favor and go check it out. If you can't make it, you're still in luck, because every other film that the Cinematheque is screening this semester is also amazing.

UW Cinematheque. 821 University Avenue. 4022 Vilas Hall. 7pm. Free.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Saturday 9/8: Trin Tran, Stacian, Cannibal Girls @ Mickey's Tavern

Trin Tran (photo: Jon Behm)
Trin Tran is the solo project of Steve Coombs, and tonight is the record release show for his "new" album Dark Radar, out now on Ty Segall's new Drag City-imprint God?. The album allegedly consists of songs that he recorded in 2002/2003 but were only ever released on cdr and passed out at shows. Some of these songs came out on a rare 2003 7" split with Coachwhips, but I don't think any of them appeared on the elusive 2007 album Grows a Rose

If you've lived in Madison for a while now, you've probably already seen this beast of a spastic one-man art-punk band, but if not, here's some history. Back in the 1990s, Steve Coombs played drums with Dave Broekema and Eric Landmark in Xerobot, a Madison no wave band. They moved to San Francisco in 1999, but after a year Coombs moved back to Madison and started Trin Tran, while Broekema and Landmark started the dance punk band Numbers with Indra Dunis (who eventually moved to Madison and started Peaking Lights). Trin Tran has been playing shows here and there over the years but is apparently hard to get in touch with and is somewhat shrouded in mystery, though with this new album that may finally change. So now you know. This guy is great, and so is his music.

Also playing is the Milwaukee dark wave lady solo act Stacian and the Madison guitar drone usually-solo act Cannibal Girls. Ian Adcock will be spinning some weirdo records out of his massive collection between sets. This show is going to RULE.

Tonight! Mickey's Tavern. 1524 Williamson Street. 10pm. Free. 21+.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Thursday 9/6: Mount Eerie @ UW-Madison Music Hall

 Phil Elverum / Mount Eerie / The Microphones (via)
I once saw Phil Elverum perform as Mount Eerie some five or six years ago in the chapel of my alma mater at midnight on Halloween. He insisted that he play with the lights off — so I have no idea what his visual stage presence is like — but I can say that his musical presence is absolutely beautiful. He stood in the aisle between rows of students sitting on old wooden pews, and allowed his voice to explore the acoustics of the room while occasionally strumming his guitar or ruffling someone's hair. I still get the chills just thinking about it.

He's playing tonight in the UW-Madison Music Hall, so I'm looking forward to seeing — or at least hearing! — him once again in an intimate space. It's going to be great.

Chicago's Cains & Abels will be opening.

UW-Madison Music Hall. 455 N. Park Street. 925 Bascom Mall. 9pm. Free. All ages.

Listen to a few tracks from this year's Clear Moon and Ocean Roar below.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012




Sutekh Hexen, This Station of Life, Circulation of Light, Reptile Worship @ Project Lodge. 817 East Johnson Street. 7:30pm. $5. All ages.

Driftless Pony Club, Doctor Noise, Old Earth @ High Noon Saloon. 701 East Washington Avenue. 9pm. $7. 18+.


The Waiting Room @ UW Cinematheque. 821 University Avenue. 4070 Vilas Hall. 7pm. Free.

Crackity Jones, Wife @ Mickey's Tavern. 1524 Williamson Street. 10pm. Free. 21+.


The Wild Bunch @ UW Cinematheque. 821 University Avenue. 4070 Vilas Hall. 7pm. Free.

Jucifer, Dick the Bruiser, Agony Forge @ The Frequency. 121 West Main Street. 9pm. $8. 18+.


Eternal Summers, Bleeding Rainbow @ The Frequency. 121 West Main Street. 8pm. $8. 18+.

Comedy Showcase @ Project Lodge. 817 East Johnson Street. 7:30pm. $2. All ages.

What did we forget?

Thursday 8/30: Sutekh Hexen, Circulation of Light and Reptile Worship @ Dragonfly Lounge

***UPDATE*** After a last-minute cancellation by the Project Lodge, the show has been moved to the Dragonfly Lounge (401 E. Washington Avenue) and starts at 10pm sharp! This also means the show is now 21+, unfortunately. Furthermore, This Station of Life has canceled their appearance.

Sutekh Hexen (via)
The elusive Sutekh Hexen is making a rare live appearance at Madison's Project Lodge tomorrow evening. The band's singular concoction of black metal, noise and dark ambient music conjures images of piles of scrap metal in an endless desert; it is creation for the sake of destruction. Wear all black for maximum results.

Semi-local Circulation of Light (a.k.a. Nathaniel Ritter) will provide a set of elegant ambient (think "Talk Amongst the Trees"-era Eluvium), and Milwaukee-based noise project Reptile Worship will start things off with an ear-shattering assault.

The fun starts at 10pm sharp at the Dragonfly Lounge (401 E. Washington Avenue). A measly $5 will do ya. 21+ only, folks. As always, I advise that you show up on time.

A sampling of sounds from the bands playing tomorrow night after the jump...

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Friday 8/23: Naomi Punk, Giant People, The New Years Gang, The Boneyard @ Project Lodge

Naomi Punk (via)
Olympia's Naomi Punk will be playing the Project Lodge this Friday night. You can tell from the above photo and from their sound that they're from the west coast. The Seattle Times' Andrew Matson is calling them neo-grunge, but I'm not sure that's how I'd describe what sounds like a collision between the San Franciscan heavy psych garage punk of Sic Alps and the Pacific Northwestern art punk of Talbot Tagora. They are really good, so maybe it'd be best to just say that they play... naomi punk. Check out this stop motion collage video for their single "Burned Body" off this year's The Feeling:

Madison's Giant People will be playing their last show. Their Giant EP is an homage to 90s alt rock — think the Pixies, Dinosaur Jr., and Superchunk. The New Years Gang have been playing a lot of shows around town this summer but I've somehow missed every one. Their name (a reference to the guys responsible for the awkwardly misguided Sterling Hall bombing in 1970 here at UW-Madison) made me a little bit uncomfortable, but I heard that they started out as a Ramones cover band and have evolved from those humble beginnings, so it probably rules. Also playing are a Madison band called The Boneyard who are not my cup of tea but you might like them if you like heavy radio rock from the 2000s.

Friday night. The Project Lodge. 817 East Johnson Street. 7:30pm. $5. All ages.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012




Screamin' Cyn Cyn and the Pons, The Hussy, Cowboy Winter @ Mickey's Tavern. 1524 Williamson Street. 10pm. Free. 21+.

Yeasayer, Daughn Gibson @ The Majestic. 115 King Street. 9pm. $15. All ages.


Giant People, Naomi Punk, The New Years Gang, The Boneyard @ Project Lodge. 817 East Johnson Street. 7:30pm. $5. All ages.

Mutts, Hewn, Savage Boys, Suns @ Dragonfly Lounge. 401 East Washington Avenue. 9:30pm. $5. 21+.

German Art Students, Oedipus Tex @ High Noon Saloon. 701 East Washington Avenue. 5:30pm. $5. 21+.

The Ditchrunners, All Murder, Nellie Wilson @ High Noon Saloon. 701 East Washington Avenue. 10pm. $5. 21+.


United Sons of Toil, The Paver, El Valiente @ The Frequency. 121 West Main Street. 9pm. $5. 21+.

Murzik, Many Places, Ferdinand the Bull @ Dragonfly Lounge. 401 East Washington Avenue. 9:30pm. $5. 21+.

Beefus, Sons of Atom @ Mickey's Tavern. 1524 Williamson Street. 10:30pm. Free. 21+.


Comedy Showcase @ Project Lodge. 817 East Johnson Street. 7:30pm. $2. All ages.

Ezra Furman, Brett Newski & the Corruption, Conductors @ High Noon Saloon. 701 East Washington Avenue. 8pm. $10. 18+.

If none of this interests you, the Orton Park Festival is this weekend and is open to the public (the Cycropia Aerial Dance Troupe is amazing).

Let me know if I missed something!

Thursday 8/23: Screamin' Cyn Cyn and the Pons, The Hussy, Cowboy Winter @ Mickey's Tavern

Screamin' Cyn Cyn and the Pons (via)
Shane O'Neill (better known as ShaneShane) is returning to Madison for a Screamin' Cyn Cyn and the Pons reunion show this Thursday night at Mickey's Tavern. When I had first seen this band play last summer, I was impressed by how well they defy the usual genre categorizations throughout their set. You could say they play giddy post-pop punk with a strong Devo influence, but they're much more than that. Check out this fantastic stop motion video made by Wisconsin animator Brooke Duckart for the Screamin' Cyn Cyn and the Pons track "cat WACO":

Freaky garage rockers The Hussy are back from a brief tour to New York where they played the Cheater Slicks' 25th anniversary show, so they're "tour tight" and ready to rage. In any case, it's always fun to see Bobby set his guitar on fire. 

Cowboy Winter is Madison's newest garage soul band, and this is their first show.

Mickey's Tavern. 1524 Williamson Street. 10pm. Free. 21+.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Monday 8/20: Space Jam @ Memorial Union Terrace

Wayne Knight and Michael Jordan in Space Jam
The premise we all know: The Looney Tunes recruit Michael Jordan, baseball star, to return to basketball and play with them against a pack of roided-out aliens in the bodies of the likes of Ewing, Barkley, and Bird. What you probably don't know is that the film hasn't aged well. It's still interesting for the Bill Murray cameo, the presence of Wayne Knight, and we get to see a celebrity, Jordan, at the height of his selling power. It's good if you've had a beer or three.

9PM Memorial Union Terrace, FREE.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Monday 8/13: Finding Nemo @ Vilas Beach

Ellen Degeneres,  Albert Brooks, and Barry Humpreys lend their voices in Finding Nemo
There was a fleeting moment at the beginning of my freshman year of high school where people based their opinion of you not on how cool or well-read or in shape they were but on how many times they saw Finding Nemo. This was true from the football team, to the Korean gang members, and to the robotics team. During this moment when you met anyone "How many times did you see it?" was the icebreaker and it was often before we even traded names. I saw it only once and from then was marked an uncool kid. I still look upon the film with a small bit of scorn. It is still a wonderful film that's being shown outside on a beach on a 20' screen which I hope is floating on Lake Wingra. What could be better on a Monday night? There's even music beforehand.

Vilas Beach 8PM FREE.

Thursday, August 9, 2012




Cognitive Dissonance, Catacombz, Technicolor Teeth, Hatekrusher, 2012 @ Subvert City. "Ask a punk." 9pm. $5. All Ages.

Zebras, The Hussy, IfIHadAHiFi, Dharma Dogs @ The Frequency. 121 West Main Street. 9:30pm. $6. 18+.

Fake Natives, Treefort, Dakotas @ Project Lodge. 817 East Johnson Street. 8pm. $5. All Ages.

Government Zero, Narrow Vines, Mr. Deadgun Jones, Dead Apples, All Murder, Skintones, Kick-back @ The Rigby. 119 East Main Street. 5pm. $??. 21+.

The Motorz, Shot To Hell @ High Noon Saloon. 701 East Washington Avenue. 5:30pm. $5. 21+.


Grand Opening Art Show @ Bright Red Studios. 9 North Ingersoll Street. 6pm-12am. Free. All Ages.

Lovely Socialite, Chants, Tom Teslik @ Project Lodge. 817 East Johnson Street. 8pm. $5. All Ages.

Country Fest: Hoyle Brothers, Ghost Town Council, Vintage Red @ The Terrace. Memorial Union. 800 Langdon Street. 9:30pm. Free. All Ages.

Jeremiah Nelson, Cameron McGill, Pioneer @ The Frequency. 121 West Main Street. 9pm. $7. 18+.


Comedy Showcase @ Project Lodge. 817 East Johnson Street. 7:30pm. $2. All Ages.


Kevin Greenspon, Second Family Band, Sapropelic Pycnic, Golden Donna, Slow Loris @ Project Lodge. 817 East Johnson Street. 8pm. $5. All Ages.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory @ The Terrace. Memorial Union. 800 Langdon Street. 9pm. Free. All Ages.

Let me know if I missed anything.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Part 2 of Pioneer's AV Club Video Series

Pioneer (via)
Madison's favorite alt-folk group Pioneer recently released the second part of their AV Club video series, which is an untitled song from the same performance as the first video. The audio for both songs, plus some demos, are available for free download. Make sure to check out Pioneer (and a lot of other great Wisconsin musicians) at the third annual Rock County Folk Symposium on September 2nd!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wednesday 8/1: Whatever Brains, Sinking Suns, Dharma Dogs @ Mickey's Tavern

Whatever Brains (via)
Madison, you are in for a real treat tonight: Raleigh, NC's Whatever Brains are coming to town to play a completely FREE show at Mickey's Tavern tonight, Wednesday August 1. Whatever Brains are hard to pin down, both musically and lyrically: their music ranges from sugar-high punk ragers to plodding dirges, all topped off with the sharpest lyrics this side of the Fall. Suffice it to say that they're one of the hardest-working and most inventive rock bands operating today. While the band may not mind if you listen, I do, and I strongly recommend going to check them out tonight at Mickey's.

Before you head out, you can listen to their latest album (available as a pay-what-you-want download) here.

Madison's own Sinking Suns and Dharma Dogs open - neither are to be missed. The Facebook event says 11:30pm but showing up a little earlier may be wise. Mickey's Tavern is located at 1524 Williamson Street, and again, this killer show is completely FREE. Don't be afraid to throw the touring boys some cash, though.

 A couple Whatever Brains videos after the jump...

Monday, July 30, 2012

Friday 8/3: The Ipcress File @ The Marquee Theater

Michael Caine in The IPCRESS File
Before he started playing father figures for Christopher Nolan heroes or lending his voice to characters in forgotten 3D pictures (was I the only one who saw Gnomeo and Juliet?), Michael Caine played the British spy Henry Palmer, in his first leading role in the film adaptation of Len Deighton's The IPCRESS File. The plot of the film is as convoluted as any good spy film involving missing scientists, double-crosses, stuffy British bureaucrats, brainwashing, and the mysterious acronym IPCRESS. The film is entertaining in a way quite unlike the Bond films, focusing on the minutiae of being a spy in dreary, unremarkable locations. Get pumped.

7 PM, Marquee Theater Union South, FREE.

Trailer after the jump.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday 7/23: Chris Forsyth, Spiral Joy Band, Sapropelic Pycnic @ Mickey's Tavern

Chris Forsyth (via)
Woah. Chris Forsyth is playing a free show tonight at Mickey's in support of his latest solo album Kenzo Deluxe (out now on Northern Spy). He's a psychedelic guitarist from Philadelphia. When describing his music, we could easily throw around terms like "hypnotic," "raga," and "spaced-out Americana." Instead you should just check out the first track from Kenzo Deluxe, which happens to be an excerpt of his score for the Rolling Stones 1972 tour documentary Cocksucker Blues:

Also playing are some of the finest of Madison's musical avant-garde, Spiral Joy Band and Sapropelic Pycnic. Yes!

Tonight. Mickey's Tavern. 1524 Williamson Street. 10pm. Free. 21+.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Saturday 7/21: A Haircut, The Wets @ Todd's House

A Haircut
One of the original goals for this blog was to serve as a guide to the more intimate events going on in Madison: the house shows, the poetry readings, the hole-in-the-wall art show. We realized that we were missing out on a lot of cool things going on in Madison, despite regularly checking the AV Club (RIP) and the Isthmus. We're still missing out on lots of cool stuff (for example, the Hussy played in a basement on West Wilson on Wednesday?!), but that's because we aren't omniscient — send us tips!

I hadn't really thought about it this way until this morning, but tonight is sort of a Madison Yeah house show. Todd, our newest writer, is hosting it in his empty yellow house on Jenifer. I'm playing my first show in over two years with The Wets. This band was originally intended to be some sort of twee pop/slowcore crossover, but it ended up sounding like neither. A while back, Julia came up with a great name for the distinct culture here in the upper midwest: lakepunk dairycore. I think that lakepunk — as an attitude, a lifestyle, a mood — is a real thing. These lakes give off some pretty strong vibes; Otis Redding's ghost is in Lake Monona. I guess I'd call us lakepunk.

A Haircut is one of my favorite bands in Madison right now, and I'd also call them lakepunk. It's a stripped-down two-piece that sounds like an intense argument over the telephone. Andrea Lutz's vocals sound genuinely upset yet assertive while her fuzzed-up guitar can barely keep up; Andrew Trester's drums lazily gallop along, the shoulder shrug that's setting it all off. This hopefully will not be one of their last shows.

It's the yellow house with H's on the front. Come in through the back.

Tonight. Todd's House. Jenifer and Paterson Street. 9pm. Free. All Ages.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Monday 7/16: The Hunt for the Higgs Boson @ Chamberlin Hall, UW

A portion of the CMS detector of the Large Hadron Collider
On July 4th, physicists at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN (The European Center for Nuclear Research) announced the discovery of a new particle that looks like Higgs boson. The Higgs boson (or just the Higgs) is a particle theoretically predicted almost a half century ago as part of the Higgs mechanism. The Higgs mechanism is responsible for the particles of the Standard Model, like electrons and quarks (the constituent particles of things like the proton and neutron), having mass.

To celebrate this accomplishment and the contributions of many of the faculty, University of Wisconsin physics professor Sridhara Dasu is giving a public lecture on what the Higgs is, what it does, how scientists found it, and what the LHC does next. Professor Dasu is a member of the CMS collaboration (CMS is one of the two detectors at the LHC) and an expert in all things involving the Higgs, the LHC, and more exotic particle physics like supersymmetry. He is also a wonderful speaker. So come, learn about the wonders of modern particle physics, and get the inevitable, terrible Big Bang Theory joke (please don't watch this show). Will be rad.

7 PM, 2241 Chamberlin Hall (1150 University Ave) - FREE.

Videos about the Higgs after the jump.

Friday, July 13, 2012


Photo: Devi Arnold


These Are The Damned @ The Marquee. Union South. 1308 West Dayton Street. 7pm. Free. 

Shedding, Thomas Wincek, Noxroy @ Dragonfly Lounge. 401 East Washington Avenue. 9:30pm. $5. 21+.

Batcave, M. Sord, Boss Keloid @ Project Lodge. 817 East Johnson Street. 8pm. $5. All Ages.

Wild Nothing, Night Moves @ The Terrace. Memorial Union. 800 Langdon Street. 9:30pm. Free. All Ages.

The Type, Resist Her Transistor, Shiny Side Down @ Mickey's Tavern. 1524 Williamson Street. 10pm. Free. 21+.

Deadbeat Club, Brittany Shane, Pistols at Dawn @ The Frequency. 121 West Main Street. 9pm. $6. 21+.

Bes Monde, The Bin Men, DNA TSO @ The Wisco. 852 Williamson Street. 10pm. $5. 21+.


Reopening Jam @ Good Style Shop. 402 East Washington Avenue. 12pm–8pm.

Burial Hex, Kinit Her, Sun Splitter, Eitarnora, Apaculus @ The Frequency. 121 West Main Street. 9pm. $?. 18+.

The Fuck Knights, Muddy Udders, New Villains @ Mickey's Tavern. 1524 Williamson Street. 10pm. Free. 21+.

Airhythmatic, Room Mates, Sean Smart, Moses, D'Amato @ Dragonfly Lounge. 401 East Washington Avenue. 9:30pm. $5. 21+.

Punk Rock Double Header @ The Majestic. 115 King Street. 7pm & 10pm. $7 each/$10 for both. All Ages.


ProLo Comedy Showcase: Storytellers @ Project Lodge. 817 East Johnson Street. 7:30pm. $2. All Ages.

Let me know if I'm forgetting something!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Thursday 7/12: Milk Music, Lotus Plaza, Dent May @ UW Terrace

For all you people out there who opted not to go to Chicago's Pitchfork Festival this year--not because you don't like music, but because outdoor music festivals are soul-smothering ghettos, packed with annoying teenagers, overpriced lemonade, and terrible, terrible DJs--it turns out there's a consolation prize for such basic levels of intelligence!

Because a few of the bands playing Pitchfork will actually be braving their way to Madison tomorrow, playing in a totally-free, way-more-comfy show that's being casually branded as "Madfork."

More info on all the bands after the jump....

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Monday 7/9: Big Trouble in Little China @ Memorial Union Terrace

Kim Cattrall, Kurt Russell, Dennis Dun, and Suzee Pai in Big Trouble in Little China
Big Trouble in Little China is the John Carpenter directed martial arts action comedy you never knew you wanted. It has monsters, magicians, kung fu, trucking, and maybe most importantly, the stilted verbal delivery of Kurt Russell. The plot is silly: Kurt Russell helps rescue his friend's fiancee and his semi from a Chinatown based immortal sorcerer Lo Pan. It has a certain silliness that raise it above other mid-eighties action comedies like the very similar Eddie Murphy vehicle The Golden Child. John Carpenter's reliance on practical special effects make the fantastic elements seem like they should actually lurk under the narrow streets of Chinatown.

Memorial Union Terrace, 9 PM FREE.

Trailer after the jump. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Friday 7/6: Cave @ Mickey's Tavern

Chicago's Cave brings together the peppy, pile-driving grooves of vintage krautrock bands like Neu! with an array of spacey pulses and circling blips. Fans of drone and instrumental post-rock may surprise themselves; turns out, they can dance too.

Check out this rad music video, in which the band plays a show on the back of a truck driving through Chicago:

W/ Dead Luke.

Tonight. 10pm. Mickey's Tavern. FREE.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Thursday 7/5: Possession @ UW Cinematheque

The UW Cinematheque is kicking off their summer schedule with tonight's screening of Andrzej Zulawski's Possession (1981). Budd Wilkins writes in Slant that it's "a French/German co-production filmed on location throughout West Berlin (and hitting many of the same spots Wim Wenders would later use in Wings of Desire)" and "likewise bears the benchmarks of an entity divided against itself. It's certainly no coincidence that the film opens with shots of armed soldiers patrolling the Berlin Wall's liminal no man's land. Divisiveness and duplicity are at the heart of Zulawski's notorious cult film, and Possession's dramatic structure is almost as schizoid as its protagonists, married couple Mark (Sam Neill) and Anna (Isabelle Adjani), whose relationship inexplicably comes apart: The film's first half comes on like Scenes from a Marriage as directed by Lars von Trier and played at 2x speed, a lacerating depiction of disintegration both marital and psychological, while the latter half steadily morphs into Repulsion by way of Cronenberg's The Brood when Anna holes up in a rundown flat and proceeds to dispatch any man brazen enough to disturb her love-in with a tentacular monstrosity she most likely miscarried months earlier."

Isabelle Adjani's performance garnered the Cannes Film Festival Best Actress Award and the César Award for Best Actress. And yes, that's the same Sam Neill who plays Dr. Alan Grant in Jurassic Park.

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

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


Rhythm & Booms (via)


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

Dave Waite, Jon Huck, Chris Lay @ Comedy Club on State. 202 State Street. 8:30pm. $8. 18+.

Animals In Human Attire, Bell Monks, FMLY, Croaker @ Project Lodge. 817 East Johnson Street. 6pm. $5 or Lost City wristband. All ages.

Kyle & Keem, Hyphon, Safari Al, Airhythmatic, Sketch Tha Cataclysm, Super Hot Lava @ The Rigby. 119 East Main Street. 7pm. $5 or wristband. 21+.

Ugly Brothers, Ben Schapiro, Myles Coyne, Tom Teslik @ Full of Bull Famous Roast Beef. 605 East Washington Avenue. 6pm. $5 or wristband. All ages.

Sleepy Lesbos, Mutts, Crane Your Swan Neck, Daniel & the Lion, The Cost of Living @ High Noon Saloon. 701 East Washington Avenue. 9pm. $5 or wristband. 21+.


Cave, Dead Luke @ Mickey's Tavern. 1524 Williamson Street. 10pm. Free. 21+.

The Graduate @ The Marquee. Union South. 1308 West Dayton Street. 7pm. Free 

Chants, Cedarwell, Jeremiah Nelson @ The Terrace. Memorial Union. 800 Langdon Street. 9pm. Free.

Alta, Echo Island, Eskimeaux, Double Ewes, Treefort, Br'er @ Project Lodge. 817 East Johnson Street. 5pm. $5 or wristband. All ages.

Cassidy DW, El Valiente, Michael Armstrong, The New Years Gang, Dharma Dogs, Aktar Aktar @ The Rigby. 119 East Main Street. 7pm. $5 or wristband. 21+.

Withershins, Temple, Automagik, Poney, Kitty Rhombus @ Dragonfly Lounge. 401 East Washington Avenue. 9pm. $5 or wristband. 21+.

William Z. Villain, Cribshitter, Coo Woo, Fort Wilson Riot, Pushmi-Pullyu @ High Noon Saloon. 701 East Washington Avenue. 9pm. $5 or wristband. 21+.

Siblings, Watercourse Quartet, Glacier @ Audio For The Arts. 7 South Blair Street. 8pm. $5 or wristband. All ages. 

Dave Waite, Jon Huck, Chris Lay @ Comedy Club on State. 202 State Street. 8:30pm. $8. 18+.


Absolutely, The Sharrows, Noxroy, Golden Donna, Fibrous Blonde, Sister Crystals, Lovely Socialite, The Cemetery Improvement Society @ Project Lodge. 817 East Johnson Street. 5pm. $5 or wristband. All ages.

Youth Lagoon, Father John Misty @ High Noon Saloon. 701 East Washington Avenue. 9:30pm. $13 advanced/$15 door. 18+.

R. Ring, Archie Powell & The Exports @ The Terrace. Memorial Union. 800 Langdon Street. 9:30pm. Free.

Sampēa & The Lady Strangers, Robert Weiss, Jamie Yanda, Ben Knollenberg @ Full of Bull. 605 East Washington Avenue. 6pm. $5 or wristband. All ages.

Luke Polipnick, The Brothers Grimm, Troy Schafer @ Good Style Shop. 402 East Washington Avenue. 6pm. $5 or wristband. All ages.

Sat. Night Duets, Ferdinand the Bull, Giant People, Conveyor, Porcupine, All These Runners @ The Rigby. 119 East Main Street. 7pm. $5 or wristband. 21+.


Vintage Flea & Finds July Market @ East Side Club. 3735 Monona Drive. 10am-4pm.

Comedy Showcase @ Project Lodge. 817 East Johnson Street. $2. 7:30pm. All ages.


Uncanny Valley, Golden Donna, Legends of the Hidden Temple @ Mickey's Tavern. 1524 Williamson Street. 10pm. Free. 21+.

Big Trouble in Little China @ The Terrace. Memorial Union. 800 Langdon Street. 9pm. Free.

Did I miss anything?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Thursday 7/5 - Sunday 7/8: Lost City Music Festival

Over seventy bands will be playing in Madison this week as a part of the Lost City Music Festival. About forty of the acts are from the isthmus, while the majority of the rest are from Wisconsin, and there are about fifteen touring acts from outside of the state. You can pay five bucks per show, but it's only TEN DOLLARS for a nice rubber bracelet which will get you into any of the shows. The four-day festival starts on Thursday evening, and will take place in six different venues within walking distance of each other: the Project Lodge, the Rigby Pub & Grill, the High Noon Saloon, the Good Style Shop, Full of Bull Roast Beef, the Dragonfly Lounge, and Audio of the Arts. Shows at the Project Lodge, Good Style Shop, Full of Bull, and Audio of the Arts are all ages, while shows at the bars are 21+.

The organizers — John Kruse, Ben Cameron, Corey Murphy, and Tom Teslik — view this as the successor of the Forward Music Festival, though their approach is quite different in ways that may help them avoid the pitfalls that come with organizing such a massive program.  The most interesting difference is that there are no headliners, which makes the festival more egalitarian by not highlighting any particular performance. While big name headliners are typically used as a draw, the lack of such an event emphasizes the fact that this festival is really about discovering local music.

The second biggest difference — certainly related to the lack of a headliner — is that this festival is not-for-profit. All proceeds are being donated to three awesome local non-profits: Madison Music Makers, the Madison Area Music Association, and the Girls Rock Camp Madison.  According to the Lost City website, "that means your paid admission will make a direct impact on the youth of Madison, continuing the tradition of local music giving back to the community.  Proceeds given to Madison Music Makers and the Madison Area Music Association will help provide music equipment and supplies, and proceeds given to Girls Rock Camp Madison will help provide scholarships to kids who can not afford to attend otherwise." So rad. All of the bands are volunteering to play, which massively cuts down on the financial cost of organizing a festival.  The organizers have been using their own funds, while Murfie's sponsorship has allowed them to drop the price of the all-access wristband. Even if you're uninterested in checking out this compact cross-section of the local music community, this is a festival that everyone should support.

Personally, I'm most excited to see Absolutely on Saturday at the Project Lodge. This Milwaukee three piece plays fantastic post-hardcore à la Unwound, and I've been impatiently waiting to see them since I first heard their album Learns to Love Mistakes. Since this is their only Madison show this summer, I'll be getting my money's worth. Check out the full schedule at the Lost City website, which has links to recordings of every band, and you'll surely find at least one act to get excited about.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Wednesday 6/27: Problem Child, Golden Donna, Rory Kane, Party Whips @ Memorial Union Terrace

Rory Kane (via)
Last summer was the first time I saw a Rory Kane performance, and it caught me completely off-guard. It was Lauden's birthday party (Lauden is 1/2 of Problem Child), and I was still recovering from the horrific variation of the stomach flu that was getting passed around Madison at the time. After realizing my mistake in drinking beer, I was trying to bee-line my way to the front door but was stopped in the kitchen — something was about to happen. The lights were turned off, and a dude in a golden cape began singing some "swagged out" auto-tuned r&b. At first I was just politely smiling, as I had no idea who this guy was or why this goofy act was a big deal.  Someone informed me that this was a rare surprise appearance by Rory Kane, a side project of one of the synth players in Zola Jesus. Setting aside my prejudices against auto-tuning, I realized that this guy is a lot of fun. And it didn't stop there: everyone in the sweaty kitchen just about lost it when Rory Kane was joined by none other than Golden Donna, forming the playfully sex-charged Party Whips. I stayed for the rest of the set, and danced the gastroenteritis away.

Thankfully I'm not sick this time around, and hopefully you aren't either. While Madison is used to seeing these acts play house shows, it's pretty exciting to see them play on the terrace. Check it out.

Wednesday night. Memorial Union Terrace. 8pm. All ages. Free.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Monday 6/25: Jurassic Park @ Memorial Union Terrace

Jeff Goldblum, hunk, from Jurassic Park
Situations in the last year of my life involving Jurassic Park:
  1. I was at my parents' house, it was a Saturday night, and it was on TV.
  2. I had a strange one-night-stand in which we started to watch Jurassic Park but midway through I fell asleep (I hadn't made a move by that point if you were curious). I wake up two-plus hours later and see Laura Dern and Sam Neill excavating bones in Wyoming again. I look over and she's asleep. We wake up in the morning and watch it again, nothing comes of it. 
  3. I made the picture of Jeff Goldbum (above) my computer background. One of my students asked if he was my boyfriend.
  4. Whenever I watch Seinfeld, Newman, is always Dennis Nedry, the creepy IT guy in Jurassic Park. There are nerds, on the internet, who have theories involving a sort of "Wayne Knight" continuity in which all of his characters are the same person, with of course Jurassic Park at the end.
  5. Saw it again last month, still afraid of the velociraptors. 
  6. Lost my keys yesterday inside a copy of the Jurassic Park: The Board Game at St. Vinnys. The game was nothing like the movie.
So go make your own Jurassic Park memories, Monday night, 9 PM, Memorial Union Terrace. FREE.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday 6/15: Les Blank's Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe, Chicken Real @ MMoCA

In the third installment of the MMoCA's rooftop cinema series, two of Les Blank's 16mm films will be screened.  As you would expect, Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe (1980) features the famous director cooking his shoes (at the Chez Panisse with the help of Alice Waters!) and then eating them.  Why?  Well, when Errol Morris was a grad student at Berkeley, Herzog promised to eat his shoe if Morris would finish making Gates of Heaven and show it in a public theater.  Who knew Herzog was such a man of his word?

The second film is Chicken Real (1970), which according to Blank's website is "a surrealistic (and often hilarious) look at a large-scale chicken farm that produces 156 million chickens a year! Lots of chicken songs."

Tonight. Madison Museum of Contemporary Art's rooftop. 227 State Street. 9:30pm. Free to MMoCA members, $7 for the general public.  

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Thursday 6/14: Jaill @ Exclusive Company

Milwaukee's JAILL will be playing a free in-store this evening at the Exclusive Company on State Street in support of Traps, their third album (second on Sub Pop) which just dropped Tuesday.  It's a fantastic 33 minutes of psych pop; check it out below!  If you like what you hear, you should come down to the free show and pick up a copy after seeing them play it live.

This evening at the Exclusive Company. 508 State Street. 6pm. Free. All ages.

Stream the full album and watch more videos after the jump!

Friday, June 8, 2012

UW Cinematheque Announces Summer 2012 Schedule

Ulrich Köhler's Sleeping Sickness
UW Cinematheque has just released this summer's film schedule, and it's amazing. Throughout July and the beginning of August, there will be screenings almost every Wednesday and Thursday evening in Vilas Hall, while on Friday nights the Cinematheque is teaming up with WUD Film to present "The '60s In Scope" in the Union South's Marquee Theater.

The season kicks off with Żuławski's haunting Possession (1981, a controversial "video nasty"); features such classics as Nichols' The Graduate (1967, oh Mrs. Robinson!) and LeRoy's Little Caesar (1931, gangster noir); and, as is typical of the Cinematheque's impeccable programming, will include some of the best contemporary international films around, like Köhler's Sleeping Sickness (2011). 

Thank you Jim Healy and everyone else on the team for putting this together.

Friday 6/8: Royal Headache, Heavy Times, Lonesome Savages @ Union Terrace

Royal Headache (via)
Australian jangly/sloppy power-pop-punk outfit Royal Headache is playing a free show tonight at the Memorial Terrace. NPR featured their self-titled debut on the First Listen series, and I really like the description made by "Doug Schulte" in the comments:
 Fun stuff- sounds like soul by way of The Jam by way of Guided by Voices. Must make for a great live show!
It really hits the nail on the head. Check out the video for their single "Girls":

Also playing are Chicago's Heavy Times and Madison's Lonesome Savages.

TONIGHT! UW Memorial Terrace. 800 Langdon St. 9:30pm. Free. All ages.

More videos after the jump.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Friday 6/8: Euphony: ∆AIMON, I††, Preteen Pornstar, Channel 4Four, Textbreak @ High Noon Saloon

The High Noon Saloon is hosting a return to the internet microtrends of spring and summer of 2011 with a night of what would be best, albeit derogatorily to some, described as "witchhouse" featuring ∆AIMON and I†† hosted by the Madison-based label Pale Noir. Los Angeles duo ∆AIMON is more on the industrial side of witchouse, delivering the expected abrasive synths and dirgy vocals. Their new EP, FLATLINER, was one of the most exciting releases of the past few months. Kentucky husband and wife duo  I††, is extremely prolific making them hard to pin down but they have a lo-fi drone that could be the leitmotif to a based horror film villain.

Also playing is LA collective Preteen Pornstar with Madison's own Channel 4Four, and Ohio DJ, Textbreak. It is encouraging to see these sorts of internet trends extend from SoundCloud and into the real world. Should be rad.

High Noon Saloon, Friday 9PM $5 21+.

More videos, including a promo for the show, after the jump.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sunday 6/3: Second Family Band, Spires That In The Sunset Rise, Million Brazilians, Schafer & Shanahan Duo @ Dragonfly Lounge

Second Family Band (via)
Madison's freak folk collective Second Family Band (formerly the Davenport Family) will be making a rare public appearance at the Dragonfly tonight.  Their performances are known to "typically include varying combinations of drums and other percussion, guitars, vocals, synthesizers, piano, organs, violins, flutes, electronics, sound sculpture, field recordings, more synths, sitar, sticks, rocks, and stones." Hey, you could make a bingo board with each space corresponding to a different member playing some sort of instrument, and play along! Or you could just hang out and enjoy the vibes.

Also playing will be Portland's Million Brazilians (self-described "dungeon jazz," i.e., Silver Daggers but with less prog-skronk), Chicago's Spires That In The Sunset Rise (excellent psych folk, check out the video below), and a collaboration between Troy Schafer And Joel Shanahan (playing violin and synthesizer, respectively).

TONIGHT. Dragonfly Lounge. 401 East Washington Avenue. 9:30pm. $5. 21+.

More live videos after the jump.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Saturday 6/2: Ami Dang, Problem Child, Drunjus, DJ Evan Woodward @ Project Lodge

Ami Dang (via)
Amrita "Ami" Kaur Dang is a vocalist, sitarist, and composer/producer from Baltimore, MD and New Delhi, India. She's a member of the Wham City collective and is bringing her fresh "Bollywave" tunes to the Project Lodge this evening. I thought the genre name was a little goofy until I checked out her music:

Madison's own lo-fi techno-pop vhs-aficionados Problem Child and minimalist drone nerds Drunjus will be opening, and DJ Evan Woodward will be playing records between sets.

TONIGHT. Project Lodge. 817 East Johnson. 8pm. Probably $5. All ages.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Better late than never: Gilead Media Music Festival happened in Oshkosh, WI on April 28th and 29th

Gilead Media, the extreme music label founded in Oshkosh, WI by Adam Bartlett, presented a two-day festival of black metal, doom and punk on April 28 and 29 at the Electric Lounge & Lanes. I have a strong disdain for music festivals because I'm a grump, but the lineup was too good to pass up. It was a tremendous success for many reasons, and I know I'm not the only one hoping that Adam will consider making the festival a regular or semi-regular event.

I've provided a brief recap of the weekend below, complete with my blurry pictures that I managed. The short of all of it is this: I had an awesome time at this music festival, and if it happens again next year, I highly recommend you go. The bands were all good-to-great, the crowd was polite, the drinks were cheap, and Oshkosh was kind of charming. No complaints to be found here.

Band-by-band, day-by-day recap after the jump...

Monday, May 21, 2012

Monday 5/21: Kurt Vile & the Violators, Black Bananas @ High Noon Saloon

 Kurt Vile (photo via)
Kurt Vile's latest heartland indie rock album, Smoke Ring for My Halo, appeared high on the lists of several big media "Top 50 Albums of 2011" lists.  He rules at guitar and will be channeling the guitar/vocal rock greats tonight at the High Noon.

Black Bananas is the latest alt-classic rock band fronted by Jennifer Herrema (ex-Royal Trux/RTX), and their debut album Rad Times Xpress IV delivers exactly what anyone who's been following her music for the last two decades would expect.

I didn't say much, but I think enough has been said.  See you there!

High Noon Saloon. 701 East Washington Avenue. 8pm. 18+. $15.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Saturday 4/28: Nathan Englander @ James Madison Park

Nathan Englander (circa mid-90s)
Nathan Englander, the famous author of For the Relief of Unbearable Urges as well as the more recent What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank, will be reading in Madison on Saturday. Apparently he lives here sometimes (and even eats at Ha Long Bay!).

The event is being put on by the lit-journal Madison Review, and is happening inside a synagogue.

Afterwards there's a party at Brocach (the irish pub on the capitol square).

Gates of Heaven, James Madison Park. 302 E. Gorham Street. 7:30pm. Free.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday 4/20: White Denim @ High Noon Saloon

White Denim
Austin’s White Denim are difficult to classify. Depending on the song (or the segment of a song), they’re by turns mathy, garagey, grungey, folky, sneezy, dopey, etc. They draw inspiration from every corner, layering tracks on top of tracks that quickly branch into different directions at once. What unites their sound is an energy and an attitude, and an inclination to rock.

I mean rock in the grand, old sense: that thing that makes you jump up and down.

If you don't believe me, check out this awesomely-directed music video:

Tonight. High Noon Saloon. 9:30pm. 701 East Washington Avenue. $12.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Thursday 4/19: Wet Hair @ Mickey's Tavern

Iowa City's Wet Hair will be blazing their midwest-flavored krautrock at Mickey's Tavern tonight. These dudes run the Night People label and used to be in the excellent Raccoo-oo-oon. They have stepped up their game from being a groovy noise rock band in order to make their music a little more pop-oriented, with great results.

Of course, you should allow the music to help you decide whether or not you'll head over to check it out. Here's the music video for "Echo Lady" (off the album In Vogue Spirit on De Stijl):

Tonight, alongside dj sets by the Legalize It crew. Mickey's Tavern. 1524 Williamson Street. 10pm. Free. 21+.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Saturday 4/21: Pop-Up Markets & Tastings Galore

Saturday Farmers' Market (via)
"When it rains, it pours." Luckily, it looks like it won't be raining at all this Saturday, so you'll be able to bike around Madison to check out all the fun stuff going on:
  • Vintage Flea & Finds Pop-Up Market: 40 vendors will be selling rad antiques and "upcycled" arts & crafts. There will also be booze and snacks, if vintage goods aren't enough of a selling point. East Side Club, 3735 Monona Drive, 10am-4pm.
  • Asparagus Tasting: the co-op always has great programming for its owners, and this tasting is no exception. Willy Street Co-Op, 1221 Williamson Street, 11am-2pm.
  • Saturday Farmers' Market: while the farmers' market goes on year-round, this weekend marks the beginning of the summer market. Oh yeah. Capitol Square, 6am-2pm.
  • Record Store Day: support your local record stores and buy some vinyl. There's a ton going on but I don't want to be redundant, so check out the A.V. Club's guide to all of the Record Store Day events in town.
  • Wisconsin Grilled Cheese Championship: yeah, this is a thing. It's a little far for biking, but if you're looking to get off the isthmus for a day trip and love grilled cheese, you should check this out. Iowa County Fairgrounds, Mineral Point, WI, 10am-2pm.
Since these events all start pretty early in the day, you should be able to check out most of these events and still make it to all of the Wisconsin Film Festival screenings that you're attending!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Today: Spring Election

Election day is finally here. Polls close at eight.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Wednesday 3/28: Baby Birds Don't Drink Milk, Jivas, Kevin Greenspon, Endless @ Good Style Shop

Baby Birds Don't Drink Milk (via)
The Good Style Shop strikes again with another rad line-up for a mid-week show. 

Baby Birds Don't Drink Milk are originally from Lawrence, Kansas, though it seems that they're more of a Chicago/New York band in recent years. These dudes somehow manage to incorporate the reckless abandon that is noise music into pop-oriented lo-fi indie rock.

Kevin Greenspon hails from the City of Industry, California, and will be layering guitar drones over his cassette collages. The Fader sums it up in a sentence: "Pillowy guitar washed bedroom pop for a lazy Sunday afternoon." Yup.

Jivas are locals Jacob Zeldin and Joel Shanahan playing quiet, electronic drone music. Apparently, "in the Bhagavad Gita, the jiva is described as immutable, eternal, numberless and indestructible" — this reinforces my guess that this project is an homage to the Theatre of Eternal Music.

Good Style Shop. 402 East Washington Avenue. 7pm. Free. All ages.

Videos & music after the jump.