Roy Wood Jr., a 3D film marathon, D.R.A.M., Goran Ivanovic, and more events of note in Madison this week. | By Sasha Debevec-McKenney, Emili Earhart, Scott Gordon, Chris Lay, Grant Phipps
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THURSDAY JANUARY 26
Dial M For Murder/Cinematheque In 3D. Vilas Hall, 7 p.m. (free, series continues through Jan. 29, see link for full schedule)
Cinematheque’s spring 2017 lineup at 4070 Vilas Hall leaps into the third dimension for its first nine screenings (eight features and one special presentation of unique vaudevillian rarities) over the course of a long weekend. While four films will be part of Saturday’s marathon session, the very first screening on Thursday is solely reserved for Alfred Hitchcock’s classic cat-and-mouse thriller, Dial M For Murder, which sets the tone for a “Golden Age of Hollywood”-type retrospective (1953-1960) that coexists with a sampling of sterling stereoscopic 3D from the current decade. The latter includes Cuarón’s visually stunning seven-time Oscar-winning space survival story, Gravity (Friday, 8 p.m.), which boasts the most expansive and immersive 3D enhancement; Herzog’s documentary on humanity’s oldest-known paintings in times BC, Cave Of Forgotten Dreams (Saturday, 3:30 p.m.); and the mammoth action blockbuster and crowd-pleaser, Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (Sunday, 2 p.m.), directed by J.J. Abrams. Restored repertory offerings also include Roy Ward Baker’s Inferno, about a vengeful millionaire (Robert Ryan) stranded and forced to survive in the Mojave Desert; in a shrewd programming choice, it will immediately precede Gravity on Friday at 6 p.m. The equally eerie and eccentric House Of Wax (Saturday, 5:30 p.m.), by Andre de Toth, looks like a cross between Phantom Of The Opera and a slasher flick in its tracking of the misdeeds of a disfigured 1890s sculptor (Vincent Price). Most curious and novel of the bunch is Kiss Me Kate (Sunday at 11 a.m.), which promises to fulfill audiences’ desire for musical Shakespeare and eye- and screen-popping choreography with a colorful, spirited spin on Taming Of The Shrew. Admittance to all films is free, and 3D glasses will be provided. —Grant Phipps
Major Vistas. Mason Lounge, 8:45 p.m.
Instrumental trio Major Vistas made an unassuming but refreshing addition to Madison’s jazz landscape with their 2016 debut album Minor Anthems. Guitarist Chris Bucheit, keyboardist Mike Weiser, and drummer Geoff Brady approach tracks like “Cool Voice,” “Beginning Mind,” and “Bell Tones” with a bit of jazz-inspired complexity and improvisation, but also leave enough space to work in more contemporary cues from jazz and electronic music. The result is a set of compositions that make their points patiently, covering a lot of emotional territory but never crowding out the band’s conversational melodies. The cozy and informal Mason Lounge should be a good setting to hear some Minor Anthems tracks and hopefully some new material. —Scott Gordon
FRIDAY JANUARY 27
Roy Wood Jr. Comedy Club on State, through Jan. 28, see link for all showtimes.
The Comedy Club on State has hosted a handful of Daily Show correspondents and regular contributors in recent years, including Wyatt Cenac, Michael Che, and Al Madrigal. While all of those were from the Jon Stewart era, this weekend marks the first contributor from Trevor Noah’s reign to grace the stage, Roy Wood Jr. The last time Wood was in town was to shoot a segment for The Daily Show about police bias, so hopefully he’ll spend less time chatting with Mike Koval, but you want that for everyone who visits town, right? The foundation of Wood’s comedy comes from his ability to alternate between smooth conversation and energetic rants, shifting between those gears and controlling the pace and rhythm of things with masterful precision. Tony Baker features, and local Dan Bacula (who we covered in the past) hosts. —Chris Lay
Tom Segura. Barrymore, 7 p.m. (sold out)
There’s a certain nexus of performative synergy between standup, podcasts, and storytelling shows, and Tom Segura has spent a good chunk of the past decade harnessing the power of that triumvirate. Guys like Marc Maron and Kevin Smith might take a lot of the spotlight as early adopters of podcasting, but Segura, who hosts Your Mom’s House with his wife, Christina Pazsitzky, was one of the earliest comics to ride that wave in as a comparatively young gun. On stage, Segura’s loose style and laid-back presence have a magnetic effect, amplifying the power of subtle gestures he uses to punctuate punchlines in his long-form material. Sure, he can be a bit bro-y at times, but relatively speaking he’s on the more palatable end of the spectrum of Joe Rogan Experience regulars. —CL
Wax Tailor, L’Orange. Majestic, 8 p.m.
French producer Wax Tailor bases his work in range-y, omnivorous hip-hop turntablism in a DJ Shadow or RJD2 vein, though of course with his own oddball combination of reference points. The 2016 album By Any Beats necessary finds Wax Tailor skipping rapidly from sample to sample, from bursts of pleasantly dusty horns to slow and sultry lounge ballads, from bouncy rap tracks (with guests including Ghostface Killah and R.A. The Rugged Man) to excursions into moody trip-hop. He’s bringing some guests along on this tour, which also includes a live band. It’s not clear which guests will show up at a given show, but it’s always a good sign when a producer actually has a couple of live albums out. The show is just as intriguing for an opening set from L’Orange. The North Carolina producer has recently collaborated with Kool Keith and with Mr. Lif, in addition to putting out atmospheric solo work like last year’s Koala EP. —SG
Goran Ivanovic Trio. Arts + Literature Laboratory, 8 p.m.
Chicago-based guitarist Goran Ivanovic pulls from an interesting mix of musical traditions and styles, weaving them into somewhat of an autobiographical arrangement. Born and raised in Croatia, Ivanovic employs the traditions of the Balkan folk musics he knew as a child. He combines this array of homegrown sounds with the styles and classical ethics cultivated during his study at the esteemed Mozarteum University in Salzburg. Through this distinct blend of musics, depictive of certain periods in the guitarist’s life, Ivanovic has bolstered a style that stands independently of what comes to mind when imagining a classical-folk hybrid. That said, this exclusively personal sound pairs well with the wide spread of collaborations in the Chicago-based chapters of Ivanovic’s life. His projects include duets with Fareed Haque, a jazz guitarist of Pakistani-Chilean roots, and he has contributed as a member of the Eastern Block ensemble, infusing a variety of Balkan sounds with jazz and improvisatory elements. Goran Ivanovic’s current work has been with his trio, which features bassist Mike Harmon and percussionist Pete Tashijan. The trio performs here behind their 2015 self-titled release. —Emili Earhart
Sway. Mezze, 9:30 p.m.
Sway is one of the newer entries in local efforts to create dance nights and music events that offer a safe atmosphere for LGBTQ community members, people of color, and other marginalized people. And calling it a dance night is a bit limiting, at least for this installment: In addition to sets from DJs including Madison’s deep.BLK (whose SoundCloud page has a couple of promising mixes packed with exuberant hip-hop, disco, and neo-soul), the night will feature a solo set from Aarushi Agni of Madison folk/blues/rock band Tin Can Diamonds, and poetry performances from Tiffany Lee and Devan Bennett. —SG
SATURDAY JANUARY 28
The Garza, Twichard. Mickey’s Tavern, 10:30 p.m. (free)
Madison’s The Garza give noise-rock a burly and fun twist, often preferring a menacing swagger than a Jesus Lizard lurch. The band has put out one self-titled album, from 2014, which draws its power from Shawn Blackler’s cutting, austere guitar riffs and drummer/vocalist Mike Henry’s corroded howl. There’s also more than a little humor and playfulness to songs like “Diablo” and “Rules,” which does nothing to diminish the band’s blunt impact. —SG
Fire Ball Masquerade. Majestic, 8 p.m.
Part masquerade ball and part misfit variety show, The Fire Ball has become something of an annual cult hit since the folks behind Madison website Dane101 (RIP) launched it in 2008 as counter-programming to the Overture Center’s pricey winter party, the Frostiball. For this year’s installment, dubbed “The Nine Muses,” a dozen-plus acts will be performing burlesque, acrobatic feats, “strongman”-style circus routines, and really crazy shit like fire-spitting. The event will conclude with a dance party hosted by DJ Boyfrrriend. —SG
SUNDAY JANUARY 29
Gear And Beer Fest. Art In, 2 p.m. (free)
Buying or trading music gear can be an alienating experience, whether you’re dealing with the awkwardness of Craigslist interactions, the infernal din of Guitar Center, or just the sheer boorish man-splain-y-ness of it all. The first annual Gear And Beer Fest aims to put more of a community-oriented spin on this lifelong addiction by recruiting 20 local vendors for an afternoon of sales and swaps. Most of them will have lots of used amps, guitars, and effects pedals for sale, but the vendors list also includes handy digital items like computer audio interfaces and external controllers for music software. There should be some rare/weird/vintage stuff mixed in there, and several of the vendors make instruments, amps, or other devices of their own. —SG
Issa Rae. Union South, 6 p.m.
It’s true that having more great TV shows to watch than time in which to watch them is some next-level first-world-problem shit, but for real I watch so much TV and still manage lose sleep over the dreaded Peak TV FOMO. One show that I made sure to fit into my schedule every week, though, was Issa Rae’s Insecure, which debuted on HBO late last year. Rae made a name for herself with the web series Awkward Black Girl before teaming with Larry Wilmore to loosely adapt it into the series that ultimately earned her a Golden Globe nomination. If you’re as much a fan of the show as I am, hopefully you got one of the 50 spots that Madison organization Intellectual Ratchet and the Black History Month Planning Committee offered up for a lecture and interactive workshop with Rae this Sunday. Her visit here begins with a meet-and-greet that’s already booked up, but the lecture, at 6:30 p.m., is free and open to the public. Insecure was re-upped for a second season, so rest easy knowing there’s more of Rae coming your way soon enough. —CL
D.R.A.M., River Tiber, Nebu Kiniza. Majestic, 7 p.m.
I can’t pinpoint the best day of the summer of 2016, but I’m almost positive it involves the first time I heard “Broccoli,” by Hampton, Virginia singer and rapper D.R.A.M. There was no better soundtrack to biking stoned around Madison in the sun, and his show this Sunday will be a well needed warm up, for sure. I think we all need a huge dance party right now, and D.R.A.M. will give us one. After all, his name stands for “Does Real Ass Music,” and I agree with both interpretations: that his music is very heartfelt, as well as good for shaking one’s ass. D.R.A.M. straddles the line between rockstar and rapper; in the “Broccoli” video he stands at a white piano in a white suit, while black girls with cellulite twerk on top of it. D.R.A.M’s 2016 debut album, Big Baby D.R.A.M., is a 21st-century investigation into all the reasons why sex and food are really the only two uplifting constants we need. In “Cute,” my favorite song on the album, he calls himself a foodie and says he’ll pick me up at eight. Who picks people up at eight anymore? Is D.R.A.M. another auto-tuner trying his best or just a beautiful man with a beautiful voice? Is he a fuckboy or a hopeless romantic? I can’t quite tell, but I’d definitely let him serenade me at night and make me breakfast in the morning. —Sasha Debevec-McKenney
TUESDAY JANUARY 31
Drive-By Truckers, Kyle Craft. Majestic, 6:30 p.m.
Drive-By Truckers are still creating remarkably consistent and rewarding music for a band that’s been going 20 years without deviating too much from a well-tested, straightforward interpretation of Southern rock. That’s partly because the band’s main songwriters, Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley, are genuinely interested in the knotty contradictions of their subject matter, which gets deeper than ever into politics and conflicted American pride on 2016’s American Band. (That album and 2014’s English Oceans are also heavier on Cooley-led songs than most of their previous work, which isn’t a bad thing at all.) The other thing that keeps Drive-By Truckers fresh for me is that few bands seem to enjoy playing live as much as they do. —SG
WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 1
Andrew Solomon. Union Theater, 7:30 p.m. (free)
The Wisconsin Union’s Distinguished Lecture Series gets its spring calendar off to an excellent start with Andrew Solomon, a Yale- and Cambridge-educated writer and professor of clinical psychology at Columbia University Medical Center. Solomon’s journalism and essays have covered subjects from political activism among the deaf to the fall of Qaddafi in Libya. He’s probably best known, though, for his writings, lectures, and activism focused on mental illness, especially the 2000 book The Noonday Demon: An Atlas Of Depression. Solomon tackles his subject matter with a health balance of erudition and poignancy, qualities that should serve him well as he gives a lecture titled “How Our Identities Emerge From Our Struggles: A Talk About Love.” —SG
Madison’s Funniest Comic. Comedy Club on State, 9 p.m.
Good lord, it’s already time for another annual local stand-up competition at the Comedy Club on State, which has actually become an enjoyable tradition. The point of this six-week elimination contest isn’t necessarily whether you like the winner—though some great folks have won it, like David Fisher in 2013 and Mike Schmidt in 2011—but whether you can get into the slightly masochistic spirit of, well, watching dozens of comics who might be having good nights, bad nights, or psychotic episodes. This week and next week are the preliminary two rounds, which are a veritable carpet-bombing of comedy—each will involve 40 to 50 comics doing three-minute sets. Enjoy riding the ups and downs between the surprise gems and cringe-worthy implosions. —SG