Pride with LINE, a long-delayed celebration of Dirtnap Records, and more.
We’re partnering with the wonderful independent email newsletter Madison Minutes to bring you event recommendations every week. As of this June, 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].
ONGOING THROUGH JUNE 19
Madison Jazz Festival at multiple venues, see link for full schedule and ticket info.
Benediction at Marcus Point Cinema, length of theatrical run in Madison TBD
English director Terence Davies has crafted some of the most assured dramatic and romantic features of the past few decades, which trigger the nostalgia of his youth in one form or another. From The Long Day Closes (1992), a period piece of autobiographical musical and cinema memory, The Deep Blue Sea (2011)’s rapturous adaptation of Terence Rattigan’s play of the same name, to A Quiet Passion (2016), the sharply written biopic of Emily Dickinson, Davies revels in sophisticated poetics of language and the image. His latest film, Benediction, spiritually aligned with the latter, is all about queer anti-war poet, Siegfried Sassoon (portrayed by Jack Lowden and Peter Capaldi), who was sent to a psychiatric ward during WWI. —Grant Phipps
Small Town Wisconsin at Marcus Point and Marcus Palace Cinema, length of theatrical run in Madison TBD
Known for bolstering a certain Midwestern sensibility through his career, distinguished writer-director Alexander Payne (Election, About Schmidt) lends a tender hand as executive producer to this new dramedy from Milwaukee native director Niels Mueller and first-time screenwriter Jason Naczek. Packed with regional and hyper-specific Wisconsin references, the team spin a familiar tale of familial bonding with a darker undertone. Father in arrested development Wayne Strobierski (David Sullivan) takes his young son Tyler (Cooper J Friedman) on a lavish excursion to Milwaukee—after losing custody. Look out for that signature Mark Borchardt cameo (of the infamous Coven). —Grant Phipps
Not Homeless Enough short film screening w/ Diane Nilan at Madison Public Library-Central, room 301. 6 p.m. Free.
Jeff Rosenstock, Nnamdi, Catbite at Majestic. Doors at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m. $20.
Faun Fables, Amber Sebastian at Dark Horse ArtBar. 8 p.m. $10.
JUNE 17 and 18
Dirtnap Records Super Show Extravaganza at High Noon Saloon. Friday: Doors at 6 p.m., music at 7 p.m. Saturday: Doors at 2 p.m., music at 3 p.m. $30 for one-day pass, $50 for 2-day pass.
After two years of postponements, Dirtnap Records’ 20th-anniversary festival is finally set to take place at the High Noon Saloon, as was originally intended. As was the case when Dirtnap rolled out the initial announcement, the lineup is a behemoth of punk acts that dabble in different adjoining hyphenates (indie, pop, Americana, etc.). All three of Jeff Burke’s acts—Lost Balloons, Radioactivity, The Marked Men—remain committed to the two-day 20-band blowout. All bands playing have released work through the label, which is the product of Madison native Ken Cheppaikode. Proud Parents, Dusk, Fox Face, and Sugar Stems will further the festival’s Wisconsin-based flavoring. While the event is currently sold out, a number of would’ve-been attendees are currently selling their tickets in the comments section of a recent Dirtnap Facebook post. —Steven Spoerl
LINE, MQBS, Bear In The Forest at Memorial Union Terrace. 7 p.m. Free.
Somewhat making up for Madison’s weird “oh we do Pride in August instead” thing, WUD Music and the Gender and Sexuality Campus Center mark the occasion with this free show. LINE is a great pick for it: The Madison band deftly balanced poignant themes of self-reflection and turmoil on its 2020 debut EP, Choosing Sides, bringing an outsized heft to gentle folk and pop elements on the tense “Kind/Of” and the beautifully plodding “Monday Morning.” Which is not to say that you’re in for a downer of a show. The band’s 2021 single “No Burden” is a bubbling celebration of hard-won joy, proving that LINE’s music is just as powerful at the other end of the emotional continuum. The band is also planning to release a live version of a new song soon. —Scott Gordon
Nonagon, Daughters Of St. Crispin at Communication. Doors at 7 p.m., music at 7:30 p.m.
This two-band post-hardcore show is a land of contrasts. Chicago band Nonagon jams lots of complex but deliciously catchy figures into its 2021 album They Birds—it’s as full-on fun as it is angry and exacting. The delirious, spiraling rhythms of tracks like “Slow Boil” and “Boxes” belong right on the top shelf alongside the brilliantly mangled likes of Jawbox and Unwound. Madison duo Daughters Of Saint Crispin, on the other hand, wants to take you on a demoralizing trudge. If you’re going to have song titles like “Debt Grief” and “A Woman Crying In Her Car,” the music better be like guzzling the black oil from The X-Files. The Daughters’ fusion slowcore and doom makes good on it, with menacing riffs, scathing vocals, and an eerily effective drum machine. —Scott Gordon
…or Does It Explode?, Lunar Moth, Rae at Mickey’s Tavern. 10 p.m. Free.
…or Does it Explode plays this show to celebrate the release of Chrysalis, a heady post-punk album that took shape as the project morphed out of another Madison band, Our Friends The Savages, repurposing some of the earlier band’s songs and writing new music. It feels like something that’s been simmering for a while, bringing a swirl of lofty ideas into sharp focus. Standout tracks like “Cleveland Harbor Effect” patiently build atmosphere until it’s time for a lean, furious crescendo. Guitarist/vocalist Shawn Bass, guitarist Brandon Boggess, drummer Erik Rasmuson, and bassist J Granberg make the fundamentals sound big and multifarious—all through well-honed dynamic shifts, not just quiet to loud but compression and release. That no-frills approach bodes well for the live set. —Scott Gordon
Concert For Mental Health Awareness: Rezurec, Maestranza, Supa Friends, Quick & Painless at The Bur Oak. Doors at 7 p.m., music at 8 p.m. $10 advance, $12 doors.
If you didn’t see Madison hip-hop act Supa Friends’ recent opening slots for a couple of touring artists in town (R.A.P. Ferreira, 81355), this benefit show for NAMI Wisconsin and Journey Mental Health Center is a good excuse to catch up. The long-brewing chemistry among the group’s six members translates to an easy charm onstage, bringing the songs alive in a rapid-fire collision of brash and clever verses. Supa Friends’ 2020 debut EP Super? No, Supa kicked off a fast-growing body of solo and collaborative releases, including MC SooDoNiM’s Beats And Ink Stains and producer Hardface The Pilot’s Behind Closed Doors. Supa Friends member Tyler Brunsell (stage name Tyrel The Well Treated) tells Tone Madison the group is working on a new record, aiming for an August or September release. —Scott Gordon