Future, Clocks In Motion’s new lineup, Dash Hounds, and more events of note in Madison this week. | By Erica Motz, Scott Gordon, Chris Lay, Joel Shanahan, Mike Noto
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THURSDAY FEBRUARY 11
Just Eat It. High Noon Saloon, 5 p.m. (free)
Dumpstering—reclaiming food that is still good but for whatever reason had been tossed out into the trash behind a grocery store—is looking more and more like it’s becoming a legitimate and thoughtful act of protest. Part thorough expose and part extended Morgan Spurlock gimmickry (the filmmakers pledge to survive only on discarded food), Grant Baldwin’s recent documentary Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story explores an American way of life that, according to the film, has led to 40%(!) of the food we cultivate going to waste. A post-film panel discussion with representatives from East Madison Community Center, Healthy Food For All, and REAP Food Group will follow the screening, but if that’s not enough enticement, the High Noon has dreamed up a special “Almost Wasted” cocktail for the occasion. —Chris Lay
Brennan Connors & Stray Passage. Mason Lounge, 8:30 p.m. (free)
Sax player Brennan Connors, drummer Geoff Brady, and bassist/cellist Brian Grimm make up Stray Passage, a dynamic and epically exploratory free-jazz outfit. They’ve also been planning on making some of their first studio recordings this year. But more importantly, they’re an unpredictable and fiercely present live band, and it’s worth catching them at the cozy little Mason Lounge on Park Street, which is a fun place to see music even if you do have to squeeze past one of the performers to get to the bathroom. —Scott Gordon
FRIDAY FEBRUARY 12
David Cross. Orpheum, 8 and 10:30 p.m.
It’ll be interesting to see which David Cross shows up at the Orpheum on Friday. While Cross was one of the most prominent catalysts of the mid-’90s indie comedy scene, he’s got a bit of a reputation as a troublemaker who has no problem occasionally treating audiences with open contempt. Cross, one half of the titular Mr. Show With Bob & David, definitely tends to get off on pissing in the faces of authority figures (as anyone who’s seen his 2002 tour doc Let America Laugh can attest), but the places that his high-concept material can get to makes it worth the potential risk. It’s been almost six years since Cross released his last stand-up album, Bigger & Blackerer, so expect a grip of brand new material that will be equal parts autobiography, political commentary, and general curmudgeonry. —CL
Tarpaulin, Fury Things, Dash Hounds. Mickey’s Tavern, 10:30 p.m.
Dash Hounds is a new band formed by guitarist/singers Alivia Kleinfeldt and guitarist Brendan Manley, whose well-liked pop outfit Modern Mod recently played its farewell show. At a recent show at Williamson Magnetic, a four-piece version of the band played a short but arresting set of original songs framed around Kleinfeldt’s stately, morose vocals and the core duo’s sparse but deliberately intertwined guitar figures. (Things also sped up a bit for a solid cover of Radiohead’s “Bodysnatchers.”) The band is currently working on some demo recordings that Kleinfeldt says might turn into a debut EP; for now, they’ve shared just one lovely, brooding track, “Idée Fixe.” —SG
Oh! What A Lovely War. Vilas Hall, 7 p.m. (free)
SATURDAY FEBRUARY 13
Mesmerized In Madison Vinyl Release. Mickey’s Tavern, 9 p.m. (free)
The 2015 compilation Mesmerized In Madison presents a genre-spanning grab bag of adventurous and/or heavy tracks from local artists including Samantha Glass, Panther, Zebras, and Those Poor Bastards. Mesmerized is now out in LP form, and five acts, two included on the compilation and the rest not, will celebrate with a correspondingly eclectic show. Vanishing Kids (whose guitarist, Jason Hartman, curated the release) will be playing new material that favors the slow, gloomy side of their multi-faceted post-punk, Museum will showcase horror-soundtrack-inspired electronic compositions, Bobby Hussy will break out his synths and some intriguingly dramatic vocals for his new pop project Cave Curse, Conjuror will stir up improvised minimalist drone, and Dosmalés will play behind a new five-song EP of grimy doom metal. —SG
Clocks In Motion. Stoughton Opera House, 7:30 p.m.
Madison percussion ensemble Clocks In Motion has taken an omnivorous approach to modern-classical music since forming in 2011, embracing composers ranging from Steve Reich to Frank Zappa and sounds ranging from shimmering mallets to dissonant treated piano. All of the original members but one, Sean Kleve, recently left the project, so this Stoughton Opera House show will be the live debut of new members Matthew Coley, Kyle Flens, and Garrett Mendelow. The program here will include two Reich pieces, an Eastern European folk number featuring Coley on Appalachian hammered dulcimer, a snare-drum quartet, and guest artist Marc Mellits joining Clocks to perform his composition “Gravity.” —SG
Palestinian Culture Night/Open Mic. Red Gym, 5 p.m. (free)
The UW-Madison chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) has put on an array of events recently that not only provide legal and historical background on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and resultant Palestinian diaspora, but also showcase artists’ responses to the situation. This Saturday’s Palestinian Culture Night and Open Mic aims to promote justice and self-determination for the Palestinian people by offering the Madison community a window into Palestinian culture. The event will feature performances by Chicago-based dabke (Palestinian folk dance) group Firkat Al-Watan and Syrian-American rapper and activist Omar Offendum. —Erica Motz
Metric, Joywave. Orpheum, 8 p.m.
Last year’s Pagans In Vegas is the latest creative tumble in Metric’s deep slope of albums since 2004’s still pretty great Old World Underground Where Are You Now? As with 2007’s Grow Up And Blow Away and 2009’s Fantasies before it, Pagans finds the Toronto outfit continuing to peel away all the bizarre compositional twists and turns that made tunes like “Hustle Rose” and “Calculation (Theme)” so alluring, replacing them with overblown production, shallow pop structures, and packaged preciousness. But hey, if you’re in a band that’s touring around opening for Imagine Dragons, why not play to their audience? “Lie Lie Lie” resembles something between a Goldfrapp B-side and a riff on Britney Spears’ “Womanizer,” and the “The Shade” kinda sounds like it’s been scraped together with Tegan And Sara’s table scraps. Sorry to be a downer, but if we hadn’t gotten a taste of what Emily Haines, James Shaw, and bandmates are truly capable of, the current state of Metric wouldn’t be such a bummer. —Joel Shanahan
UCLA Festival Of Preservation Part 2. Vilas Hall, 3 p.m. (free)
Jim Jefferies. Barrymore, 7 (sold out) and 10:30 p.m.
SUNDAY FEBRUARY 14
Summer With Monika. Chazen Museum of Art, 2 p.m. (free)
One of the earliest films in UW Cinematheque’s spring Ingmar Bergman series, 1953’s Summer With Monika wrenchingly captures the progression of young love from giddiness to disillusionment. The story centers on two Stockholm teenagers, Monika (Harriet Andersson) and Harry (Lars Ekborg), who become lovers and seek in each other an escape from their grinding dead-end jobs and stifling family lives, soon departing for a summer fling aboard a stolen boat. The film’s reputation for sexual frankness is somewhat trumped-up now, if understandable for the 1950s—the real reason we’re still watching it today is its masterful balance of sweetness and bleakness. —SG
Damsel Trash. Broom Street Theater, 7 p.m.
Guitarist/singer Meghan Rose and drummer/singer Emily Mills have played in several projects together over the years, including on Rose’s solo material, but have carved out a wholly different niche with the joyously profane feminist expectorations of their punk duo Damsel Trash. The project is releasing its second studio album next month, but for Valentine’s Day they’re taking an acoustic detour through the Damsel Trash songbook for an intimate evening they’ve dubbed “The Wine Drunk Sessions.” They’ll also be recording this show for future release. —SG
MONDAY FEBRUARY 15
The Moth Storyslam. High Noon Saloon, 7:30 p.m. (sold out)
It’s a shame that the annoyingly viral Stuff White People Like page hasn’t been updated in half a decade now, since I’m sure that they would’ve eventually gotten around to an entry on story slams. Sure, we’ve had storytelling events in Madison for a while now (most notably Madison Story Slam and Madison Storytellers) but the charm they offer has been eclipsed in the face of The Moth’s arrival. The mother of all punily-themed short-form non-fiction spoken-word competitive throwdowns just put down roots in Madison, and managed to sell out the High Noon in literally just a couple of minutes. Luckily for all the grumpy gusses taking up arms on the event’s Facebook page, this is a monthly event so they’ll get more chances down the line to be present for the fun, and I’d also gladly point all interested parties in the direction of the locally grown events mentioned above as a means of scratching that itch in the interim between Moths. —CL
TUESDAY FEBRUARY 16
Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Sincere Life, DJ Pain 1. Majestic, 8 p.m.
Bone Thugs-n-Harmony emerged in the early 1990s with tinny, midtempo, synth-soaked beats which were often indebted to then-contemporary Los Angeles G-funk, and secured lasting influence as one of the earliest practitioners of fast rapping to achieve commercial success. If Bone didn’t quite invent double- and triple-time rap, they were certainly responsible for advancing the style and popularizing it. It also helped that the four main members were technical wizards: In particular, Krayzie Bone and Bizzy Bone could rap at shocking levels of speed without missing a syllable. The group also boasted a knack for singsong melodies catchier than many communicable diseases. This resulted in closet R&B singles like “Tha Crossroads” and “First Of Tha Month,” where the only hints of rapping came from the rhythms used in the group’s singing (a farsighted innovation which could’ve predicted the largely sung hits of artists like Rich Homie Quan and Fetty Wap), and the classic “Thuggish Ruggish Bone,” which spotlighted their immediately identifiable flows. All of these songs were featured on their respective 1994 and 1995 releases, Creepin’ On Ah Come Up and E. 1999 Eternal. Despite occasional detours into hilarious faux-Satanic cheese—”Mo’ Murda” and “Mr. Ouija” remain astonishingly overstated, among others—the group’s huge impact on cult rappers like Tech N9ne and current mainstream rappers like the ASAP Mob is unmistakable. —Mike Noto
WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 17
Future, Ty Dolla $ign, Lil Donald. Orpheum, 8 p.m. (sold out)
Honest, Atlanta rapper Future’s all-out 2014 bid for pop stardom, undersold commercially and was painted critically as trying to appeal to too many audiences at once. But after a difficult breakup with pop singer Ciara, which happened around the same time, Future began putting out material that dispensed with hooky attempts at radio play, and in the process gained more success than ever. In short order, he dominated the enormous hip-hop mixtape world with three excellent releases, each with its own distinct character. Monster, from October 2014, alternated jackhammering hits like “Fuck Up Some Commas” with songs of agonized introspection, like the devastating “Codeine Crazy.” Future then experimented more with his voice and flow and concentrated on the flamboyant side of his artistic persona in the short, Zaytoven-produced Beast Mode. The deadened and chilling 56 Nights followed that, filled with references to an accelerating drug addiction, and generated two massive hits in the ineffable “March Madness” and “Trap Niggas.” Future culminated all of this momentum with the chart-topping DS2, an album that discussed narcotic abuse and empty hedonism in frighteningly self-aware detail. It is possibly the bleakest and most haunted artistic success in recent memory to do so well commercially. There are no signs of him slowing down, either; after a chart-topping collaboration with Drake called What A Time To Be Alive ended his 2015, he followed up January’s somewhat inconsistent Purple Reign mixtape with a retail album called EVOL, surprise-released just this week. It’s hard to tell how he’s going to sustain all of this frantic and mostly uncompromising artistic activity, but what is clear is that Future is one of the most important artists in hip-hop right now. —MN
The Hussy, Trampoline Team, Proud Parents, No Hoax. High Noon Saloon, 9 p.m.
Madison band No Hoax began playing shows last fall, and benefits from the tense thrash-punk underpinnings that drummer Benjamin Brooks and bassist Anthony Moraga forged in the much-missed local band Tiny Daggers. But the new band has its own metal-leaning character, thanks to the furious vocal presence of Rachel Kent and the guitar work of Tyler Spatz (who also plays with Brooks in the long-running metal/hardcore institution Poney). No Hoax recorded some songs in January, but we’ve yet to hear of a release date for those. New Orleans’ Trampoline Team put plenty of melody and charm into its 2015 album Make It Faster, but even in its sweeter moments, the band as a whole keeps it all pared down to an admirably lean snarl. Madison power-pop outfit Proud Parents and garage-punk stalwarts The Hussy round out this show, which celebrates Hussy drummer/singer Heather Sawyer’s birthday. —SG