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.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday 3/23 & Saturday 3/24: The Haters et al.

The Haters (via)
The Haters have been playing noise music/making conceptual art while wearing masks for 33 years now, and will be playing two shows this weekend here in Madison. GX Jupitter-Larsen, the founder & core of The Haters, is notorious for his outlandish performances:
In Austin, on March 9 1991, GX Jupitter-Larsen performed by counting, one by one, the number of soil particles in the dirt covered floor of a gallery elevator. During the 4 hours of this untitled live-insulation, a total of 30,142 soil particles were counted (later estimated to be 10% of the total amount there).
It appears that their most recent performance piece, entitled Loud Luggage/Booming Baggage, consists of standing around with amplified briefcases, shaking them until they fall apart:

Who knows what they'll have in store for us this weekend? 

Tonight with Lituus, Conjuror, Mumber Toes, Black William, and Andrew Ortmann at a house on Jenifer & Few, probably around 9:30/10pm, free.
Tomorrow with Panicsville, Mumber Toes, Clark County Buzzkill, Zzzaxx at the Project Lodge. 817 E. Johnson St. 7:30pm. Five bucks.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Friday 3/23 & Saturday 3/24: Cremaster 2 @ MMoCA

The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art will be screening Matthew Barney's legendary Cremaster 2 (1999) twice this weekend. Personally, I've only watched a low-quality bootleg on a small television back when I was a freshman in college—and given the intentional rarity of the film, I imagine this is how most people have seen it—so a proper viewing is necessary to do it justice.

The Cremaster series has been described as "one of the most imaginative and brilliant achievements in the history of avant-garde cinema." For the uninitiated, MMoCA's preview will give you some idea of the "plot":
Part of Matthew Barney's The Cremaster Cycle, Cremaster 2 is a visual re-telling of The Executioner's Song, Norman Mailer's story of convicted killer Gary Gilmore. Filmed in the style of a gothic Western, Cremaster 2 features Mailer as Harry Houdini and Barney as Gilmore.
Let's be clear: it's a weird film. If you didn't know, the cremaster muscle is responsible for raising and lowering the testes in response to temperature, and each of the five films in Barney's cycle "corresponds" to some level of ascension of the testicles. Right. Check it out anyway!

Friday 3/23 at 7pm, Saturday 3/24 at 2pm. Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. 227 State Street. Free for MMoCA members, $7 for nonmembers.

Trailer for the entire Cremaster series after the jump.

Saturday 3/24: Balaclavas w/ Apache Dropout & Population in Der Rath

Balaclavas (via)
Balaclavas bring their dark, dub-flecked post-punk from Houston, TX to the Memorial Union Saturday night. Over the course of 4-5 years, the band has fashioned themselves as harbingers of the end times, creating a tightly wound clangor that is all their own. On record, the band is all scrap metal and blood, creating a racket with only three people but showing a mature restraint when needed. Whether the band is giving you nine minutes of barren, open desert ("Snake People") or a two minute stab of driven intensity (their "Second Sight" EP) does not matter; it all drags you down to the same place. The band's found-yourself-in-the-bottom-of-a-well sound rewards handsomely for those who follow them into the exciting and unchartered abyss. Balaclavas are one of the best modern bands, improving steadily with every subsequent release, and I for one am extremely excited to finally catch them live. Highly recommended, especially if you have a general aversion to sunlight.

Middle band Apache Dropout is no slouch, either. Apache Dropout hail from Bloomington, IN and currently reign as the best modern garage band (in my mind). Their sound culls together influence from the Cheater Slicks, Midwestern boredom and recreational drug use, creating something fresh from an old palette. Some complain that the band's mono recordings are thin (they're not), but I've got it on good authority that Apache Dropout's fiery live show will convert the non-believing masses, leaving them writhing on the floor with pinwheels in their eyes. Don't sleep on these guys.

Population are a 5-piece from Chicago who proudly wear their Joy Division influence on their collective sleeve. Before you get all up in arms: The band's done their homework, and what they've emerged with is a slate of tunes that can go toe-to-toe with those forged in 1980s England. (Check out their excellent self-titled 7" on BLVD if you don't believe me.) I anticipate the band will stress the "punk" in "post-punk" and get the evening started with an energetic and excellent performance.

This excellent and unmissable show starts at 9:30pm on Saturday, March 24. It is held in Der Rathskeller in the Memorial Union, and is FREE and open to everyone. I can't make this any easier for you.

Videos and sounds from the bands below...

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Saturday 3/17: Spring Opening Sale @ Good Style Shop

Woah, it's actually spring! Dust off your bicycle, get the shorts out of the closet, and head over to the Good Style Shop tonight for sweet deals on winter clothing. You'll thank yourself when winter inevitably comes around again.
"Hundreds of spring pieces, all winter stock is 50% off, polaroids, mixtapes, shirley temples, & DJs Tolerance & Estebahn."
Good Style Shop. 402 E. Washington Ave. TONIGHT at 7pm, ends who knows when.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Underground Food Collective Announces New Restaurant

The Forequarter (via)
The Underground Food Collective has announced that they are opening a restaurant at 708 1/4 East Johnson Street, in the former home of the last Audio Depot retail store. In addition to having an intimate atmosphere with only 33 seats, The Forequarter will feature a dynamic, locally-sourced menu that will please meat-eaters and vegetarians alike.

While the Forequarter isn't scheduled to open until late autumn this year, the UFC is hosting a series of dinners at Madison Sourdough that look like a lot of fun. If you're reading this but live in New York, they'll be serving "Ouisconsin" fare at Joseph Leonard next week.

Read more about the Forequarter in Jesse Russell's great writeup on Dane101.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Friday 3/9 Lower Dens + guests @ Der Ratherskeller

Lower Dens was the first live show I attended in Madison, back in August 2010 at the now successfully funded Project Lodge. The 4-piece, notably featuring Jana Hunter, was then touring under their excellent debut LP, "Twin-Hand Movement," which felt (and still feels) far more weathered, potent and above all essential than most of their peers' debut albums. The myriad of shimmering guitar interplay and smoky vocals lent itself well to the band's slow-burn approach. The songs on "Twin-Hand Movement" are roomy and inviting, making it perfect for slow mornings and late nights, a gateway to ease in and out of consciousness.

With that in mind, Lower Dens are making their return in 2012 with the fittingly titled new LP, "Nootropics." The first taste of the album, "Brains," picks up where "Twin-Hand Movement" left off. Its minimal krautrock patter propels the song through waves of radiant guitar, the vocals carrying a melody atop the washes of synthesizer to a chilling climax. It's a remarkable high point in Lower Dens' limited but strong discography, a very enticing appetizer for the new full-length. At this point, it's clear that Lower Dens are the real deal, a band you should absolutely be paying attention to if you weren't before.

Friday night is your chance to see how Lower Dens' live performance can work you into a heightened consciousness for the low, low price of free. Don't mess this one up.

Yellow Ostrich, Grace Weber and 1,2,3 open for Lower Dens this Friday, March 9, at Der Rathskeller in the Memorial Union. The fun begins at 9:30pm. This event is free and open to the public.

Some Lower Dens content after the jump...

Friday 3/9: David Bordwell on Johnnie To's Lifeline @ Cinematheque

Johnnie To's Lifeline (1997)
The beginning of the UW Cinematheque's "Johnnie To: Hong Kong Action Master" film series kicks off this Friday night with a screening of Lifeline (Sap Maan Fo Gap). Cinematheque programmer Mike King's writeup of the film says it all:
This fast-paced action spectacle follows a company of Hong Kong firefighters rescuing people from car crashes, talking suicidal doctors off of skyscraper ledges, and hosing down enough pyrotechnics to put Backdraft to shame. As the suspense culminates in a bravura 45-minute firefight that sees the team trapped inside a burning factory, To capitalizes on the surfeit of smoke, fire, and water to indulge in some of the most breathtaking imagery of his career.
Also exciting for all film nerds out there: David Bordwell, film theorist and UW-Madison professor emeritus, will be giving a lecture on Johnnie To. Film Art, the introductory film theory textbook written by Bordwell and his wife Kristin Thompson, has a ubiquitous presence on the bookshelves of anyone who's studied film in the last thirty years. Bordwell has also written a book on Hong Kong cinema, making this evening at the cinematheque a real treat.

The lecture is at 5:30pm, followed by the screening of Lifeline at 7pm.

UW Cinematheque. 821 University Avenue. 4022 Vilas Hall.  Free!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Local Music Video Roundup: Samantha Glass, Technicolor Teeth, The Hussy

All three videos prominently feature lit candles.
Several local bands have released music videos in the last couple weeks, and all three of them feature candles.  It's been a gloomy winter, I guess.

First up is the video for Samantha Glass's "Human Voice," a promo for Midnight Arrivals which Not Not Fun released on cassette last week.  This track is the most mellow of the bunch, with Willie Thurlow's keyboard organ riffs shimmering over Beau Devereaux's droning vocals and bass lines.  Soon they'll be embarking on a U.S tour with Iowa's Cuticle, followed by the vinyl release of the first SG full album, Mysteries Of The Palomino Skyliner, sometime later this year.  Check them out this Monday night at Mickey's Tavern (1524 Williamson St., Free, 10pm) with Lonesome Savages and Sonic Angels.