Danielle Crim plays Mad Lit, avant-jazz outfits emerge and return, and the cinema scene serves up an obscene feast.
We’re partnering with the wonderful independent email newsletter Madison Minutes to bring you event recommendations every week. As of this summer, we’re dipping our toe back in with a few actual write-ups, some of which will appear in Madison Minutes‘ weekly event email, and all of which will appear here.
A few notes: This events roundup is, as before, selective and not comprehensive. Each week, we’ll focus on a handful of things our editors and writers find compelling, and that’s it.. We’ll write up a few of them, and just list a few more. It’ll take us a while to get back to full strength with this part of our coverage, because we’ve had so many other exciting, demanding things to work on lately. Please reach out to us with suggestions—and info about your event, as long as you’re able to get it to us a few weeks in advance—at [email protected].
Foz Meadows online via A Room of One’s Own. 6 p.m. Free, online registration required.
Pola X at UW Cinematheque. Doors at 6:30 p.m., Screening at 7 p.m. Free.
Excerpt from Grant Phipps’ review: “For his fourth feature, Pola X (1999), Carax transmutates Melville’s subversive 1852 novel Pierre: Or, The Ambiguities with the sort of verve one would expect of the same iconoclastic mind who enraptured audiences with delirious romances—sister films, even—Mauvais Sang (1986) and Lovers On The Bridge (1991). Using Melville’s template, Carax applies the same charged style to a tale of a family in the dual process of fraying and coupling, of incestuous dreams manifest, offering a portrait of the artist as an ageless man. Initial search results and impressions of Pola X are likely to lump it in with what Artforum critic James Quandt coined as the “New French Extremity” movement for one particularly murky sexual encounter. Yet Carax’s approach is far from extreme, savoring the smoldering intrigue of the subconscious framed between fits of panicked disillusionment from protagonist Pierre Valombreuse (the late Guillaume Depardieu).”
Mills Folly Microcinema: Golden Jubilee at Arts + Literature Laboratory. 8 p.m. $5.
ARP Of The Covenant at Dark Horse ArtBar. 8 p.m. Free.
La Grande Bouffe at UW Cinematheque. Doors at 6:30 p.m., Screening at 7 p.m. Free.
Excerpt from Lewis Peterson’s review: “All this gluttonous setup serves only the grimmest possible punchline, in which these four will eat themselves to death. It’s somewhere between The Aristocrats and “Twelve Days Of Christmas,” but only works as a joke if you can accept death as the ultimate punchline. Ironically deployed quotes from Shakespeare and the book of Ecclesiastes hold equal space in La Grande Bouffe with minute-long farts, exploding toilets, and lazy orgies with participants too full to really exert themselves. The connection between sex and food has been explored many times, including in Tampopo (1985) and in season nine of Seinfeld with George Costanza’s bedside sandwich. But fewer dare to draw a direct line between food, sex, and death. Ferreri perhaps blazed a path later followed by Peter Greenaway’s 1989 satire The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, And Her Lover.”
Mad Lit: Kilo AKA Skitl’z, Juciee Monroe, Sira Sangaré, Danielle Crim, DJ Ace at 100 Block of State Street. 8 p.m. Free.
Mad Lit returns yet again for another solid block of excellent, free live music. Kilo (aka SkitL’z) headlines this entry into the series, bringing a compelling strain of rap to a community that hasn’t always had the best track record when it comes to the genre. Juciee Monroe—who recently delivered a fiery set at The Bur Oak for the Cap Times Live series—will be injecting the evening with an additional jolt of energy. Sira Sangaré, who releases music under the moniker Maliantingz, will offer a smooth blend of exceptional singing and exemplary rapping, providing a bridge between Kilo, Juciee, and the night’s other performers. Danielle Crim—whose silky single “Shoestrings (Hold On)” appeared on Tone Madison‘s Best Songs of 2021 list—recently stood out as a highlight of 2022’s Make Music Madison event and will undoubtedly continue to showcase exemplary musical craftsmanship at Mad Lit. Rounding out the night’s performers will be DJ Ace, lending another welcome dimension to what’s set to be a memorable night. —Steven Spoerl
Sounds Of Love And War Jazz Trio at Dark Horse ArtBar. 9 p.m. Free.
The newly formed Sounds Of Love And War comprises three musicians who’ve all brought something distinctive to the table in Madison’s fertile jazz community. Saxophonist Brennan Connors (also of Stray Passage) draws on influences ranging from blistering free jazz to Irish folk music. Richard Hildner (of projects including Golpe Tierra and Acoplados) is simply one of the most enthralling guitar players you can catch around town on a regular basis, his style rooted in Afro-Peruvian music but branching out from there into a fluid convergence of genres. The youngest of the trio, bassist Ari Smith, has already put out a variety of avant-garde leaning works in different settings: some improvisational, some composition-based, and some in which Smith plays other instruments including organ and guitar. “The purpose of this ensemble is to get inside of the jazz standards and American songbook material and still maintain that level of listening and feeling that is kind of endemic in the Stray Passage project,” Connors tells Tone Madison. The trio also plans to work in some original material for this debut show. —Scott Gordon
Luke Leavitt’s Sound Tile Piano Series feat. Matt Blair at Garver Feed Mill (Lounge). 5-7 p.m. Free.
Hovering Above The Abyss: An Evening With Franz Kafka at Arts + Literature Laboratory. 8 p.m. Free.
JULY 30 THROUGH 31
Atwoodfest at various locations along Atwood Avenue. See link for full music schedule. Free.
This year’s Atwoodfest, true to form, has the makings of a big sweaty dance party in the street. Expect plenty of festive rootsy sounds—including from New Orleans-based Ted Hefko And The Thousandaires—playing Sunday at noon on the Madison Heritage Stage—whose song “I’ve Got A Right To Carry On” could serve as the unofficial anthem for a blowout like this. Also expect more than a few crowd-pleasing covers—see Sunday’s block of Steely Dane (noon), Loving Cup (4 p.m.), and The Funkee JBeez (4:45 p.m.) on the Clyde Stubblefield Stage, with the originals of Little Earthquakes at 2:15 p.m. for good measure. Kat And The Hurricane (Saturday, 2:45 p.m., Madison Heritage Stage), will be fresh off the planned July 29 release of a new cover of Rihanna’s “Stay,” a staple of the Madison band’s live sets and a great fit for its beautifully aching pop. A newly added third stage mixes in selections from the folks behind the Sugar Maple Music Festival including Lawnmower (Saturday, 3 p.m.)—a new collaboration from guitarist Louka Patenaude, Disq guitarist/vocalist Isaac deBroux-Slone, fiddle player Shauncey Ali, and bassist David Havas—and the slide-guitar blues of Donna Herula, (Saturday, 6 p.m.). That stage will also feature a slate of younger musicians presented by the Madison Music Foundry and the Rocksconsin program. —Scott Gordon
Lovely Socialite at Café Coda. 7 p.m. $10.
While the members of the groovy Madison-born jazz-rock sextet Lovely Socialite are now split between a few Midwestern cities, they congregate again here for a spirited release show for a new LP, The Drift, the band’s first in over six years. It follows on the heels of a trio of Lovely Socialites series of Quarantine Loops EPs, sourced from remotely produced experiments and collaborations with electronic artists including John Praw and Chants. This Café Coda show also marks the 10th anniversary celebration of the band’s self-released debut, the punny Registers Her Delight.
Across nine complex compositions by most of the band’s members—trombonist Corey Murphy, bassist Ben Willis, cellist and guitarist Pat Reinholz, and cellist and pipa player Brian Grimm—The Drift dabbles in more overt spiritual jazz influences while holding onto the familiar sonic allusions to Jaga Jazzist and Sleep Dirt-era Zappa. And it results in Lovely Socialite’s most lavishly crafted and thrillingly cinematic work to date.
Take the innovative interplay of Mike Koszewski’s hip-hop-flavored percussion with Abe Sorber’s lithe vibraphone, Grimm’s pipa, and Murphy’s trombone on the former half of “Top Secret Jazz,” a sleuthy-sounding theme for a cartoon noir, which accelerates and tumbles into the bass-heavy sounds of a foot chase by its end. The prior piece, “Wrapped In Tentacles,” is a cello-led nautical anthem for a sinking ship, or one in mutant octopi peril of the high seas, and it’s maybe the closest thing the band’s ever written to Rock In Opposition, like a spiritual successor to Henry Cow’s Western Culture.
But one thing hasn’t changed, and that’s Lovely Socialite generously serving up some of the most memorable instrumental tunes in the oddest time signatures. —Grant Phipps