Badlands, T. Mixwell, Zed Kenzo, and more events of note in Madison this week. | By Joel Shanahan, Chris Lay, Maija Inveiss
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THURSDAY JULY 7
Badlands. Central Library, 6:30 p.m. (free)
As any lover of starchy sunrise staples will tell you, it’s rare for the first pancake that comes off the griddle to be worth a damn, and the same goes for filmmakers, many of whose first works fail to rank among their greatest. Not so for Terrence Malick, who burst onto the scene in 1973 with his poetically stark visual and narrative aesthetic pretty much fully realized in the form of Badlands. Starring Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek, the film is a loose retelling of a real-life killing spree that two teenagers went on in the late 1950s, and a monument to the power of independent cinema to announce a bold new directorial voice. In the past handful of years Malick has hit another creative spurt, with 2008’s The Tree Of Life kicking him into a highly productive gear (Malick’s more than doubled his overall output in the past decade) which makes it a perfect time to revisit where it all started. —Chris Lay
David Bordwell + The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre. Vilas Hall, 7 p.m. (free)
Everyone’s a critic, the line goes, but some folks are just flat out better at it than others. Take, for example, James Agee, Parker Tyler, Otis Ferguson, and Manny Farber, four film critics whose work is thoughtfully re-assessed in UW-Madison film professor David Bordwell’s new book The Rhapsodes: How 1940s Critics Changed American Film Culture. UW Cinematheque is honoring that book’s release with a quartet of screenings that kick off Thursday with John Huston’s classic The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre. Starring Humphrey Bogart, Tim Holt, and Walter Huston, the film follows the protagonists as they hunt for treasure in post-revolution Mexico, and find nothing but trouble along the way. There are lots of metrics one can use to determine the value of a film, like maybe Stanley Kubrick saying it’s his fourth favorite film of all time, but for me it just doesn’t get better than when an often misquoted line (thanks to Mel Brooks) gets its own Wikipedia page, as happened with “…stinking badges.” The film starts at 8 p.m., but get there early for an hour-long pre-film talk from Bordwell himself about his book and the role the aforementioned four critics played in shaping the way we talk about film. —CL
Cult Movie Night: Hardware. Madison Public Library Pinney Branch, 6:30 p.m. (free)
This week’s installment of the Madison Public Library’s Cult Movie Night is 1990’s endearing, Richard Stanley-directed mess Hardware, a film based on a short, post-apocalyptic story called Barney from a badass British comic series called 2000AD (where bizarro greats like Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, and Peter Milligan cut their teeth). This sci-fi terror slab has it all—voyeurism, killer robots, and a dude named “Shades” who likes to do drugs. For this one, Dylan McDermott reaches deep into his soul to portray ‘Hard Mo’ Baxter, an ex-soldier who buys a disassembled government robot that reassembles itself and, in trying to kill Baxter’s girlfriend Jill (yep, just Jill) in her apartment, ends up murdering a bunch of people. —Joel Shanahan
FRIDAY JULY 8
Square One: T. Mixwell, Lovecraft, Wangzoom, Ginjahvitiz. Cardinal Bar, 9 p.m.
While Square One may be a shared dance music residency between a handful of Madison’s most reliable DJs, what makes this Cardinal Bar bi-weekly even more crucial is how it offers a platform to a diverse swath of non-resident local selectors, and well-curated regional guests. This month’s installment boasts an appearance from Chicago-based house voyager T. Mixwell, a producer and DJ focused on bass-heavy thumpers that are nasty in vibe, yet heavily polished. While Mixwell’s cohesive selections pay homage to the bare bones house vibe of her city, she doesn’t wade in nostalgia. Instead, she keeps a keen ear toward the future with lots of modern, pounding, and slickly produced tracks. —JS
Birthday Suits, Fire Retarded, The Momotaros. Mickey’s Tavern, 10 p.m. (free)
Minneapolis duo Birthday Suits compress punk songs down to their most ecstatic, catchy parts. That isn’t to say their songwriting is simplistic—the short tunes on last year’s Spin The Bottle : Adult Party EP have their share of quick little structural twists—but guitarist/vocalist Hideo Takahashi and drummer/vocalist Matthew Kazama pretty much dispense with anything that isn’t gleefully throttling the song ahead. Newer songs like “Happy Man Forty Two Late” and “Moon Bar” should fit right in with the combustive, high-kicking live sets that have made Birthday Suits a Midwestern fixture for more than a decade. —Scott Gordon
The Gotobeds. Frequency, 10 p.m.
Pittsburgh band The Gotobeds make lean, witty songs from elements of jaggedy art-punk, garage-rock grit, and the conversational smart-assery of Pavement. On their two full-lengths, 2014’s Poor People Are Revolting and the new Blood // Sugar // Secs // Traffic, they’re able to take a mixture that sounds very of the moment on paper and give it a refreshing sense of urgency, not to mention the resourceful execution. Blood‘s “Crisis Time” combines a tense, muscular beat with tastefully dissonant guitar figures that swerve into an unexpected descending figure right before the song’s abrupt end. Poor People‘s “New York’s Alright (If You Like Sex & Phones)” builds up from sly, wiry verses into something more earnest and grand. —SG
Terrence McManus, BC Grimm. Ritual Barbers, 8:30 p.m.
After a wide-eyed glance at New York-based jazz guitarist Terrence McManus’ dense CV of former and current collaborators (which include percussionist and longtime Anthony Braxton sidekick Gerry Hemmingway, as well as legendary sax mangler and Naked City mastermind John Zorn), it’s awfully tough to choose a starting point. However, McManus’ stripped down solo performances seem as good of a place as any. With (seemingly) only a guitar and bow in tow, McManus’ live sets glide, twist, and trudge their way across the spectrum between prodding avant-tendencies and long-phrased, brain-bending composition. Unearthed harmonics buzz and screech, spiraling intervals tiptoe across the fretboard, and dissonant chord stabs appear to be choked from McManus’ guitar, as his body seems to sway and jerk with every note. —JS
Foxy Veronica’s Peach Pies, Sexy Ester, Zed Kenzo, DJ Millbot. High Noon Saloon, 9:30 p.m.
MC Zed Kenzo went to school in Madison before relocating to LA and then Milwaukee, where her ideas about delivery, movement, and atmosphere have continued to yield unsettling and sharply executed work. Zed Kenzo’s last proper release was 2014’s Violently Ill, but the past year has brought some promising one-offs, including a collaboration with Milwaukee rapper Mozaic and the solo track “2 My Boyz.” Zed plays here as part of a variety show headlined by long-running Madison burlesque troupe Foxy Veronica’s Peach Pies. —SG
Destiny. Vilas Hall, 7 p.m. (free)
SATURDAY JULY 9
Milo, Randal Bravery, Safari Al. Memorial Union Terrace, 9 p.m. (free)
Under the aliases Milo and Scallops Hotel, and in the collective Ruby Yacht, rapper/producer Rory Ferreira makes songs that pair meandering eccentricity with serious and deliberate lyrical density. For all his experimentation with different sounds and styles, Milo consistently comes through with verses that feel vulnerable and, well, unapologetically him. Take his last full-length under the Milo name, 2015’s So The Flies Don’t Come: On the somber “An Encyclopedia,” he contemplates racial identity and police killings, and on the bouncy “@yomilo” he riffs on the goofy neuroses of being an artist (“Yo Milo, why you front like you’re enlightened? / Because presently it’s advantageous / Now please tell me what the bad man’s name is / That’s the same box that my 404 came in, do you think your soul will fit in there”), but it’s possible to hear them as parts of one bigger interior monologue. —SG
Electronic Saviors Release Party. Frequency, 9 p.m.
Madisonian industrial freaks Caustic will headline this rollout for the fourth installment of the Electronic Saviors compilation series, which directly funds Pennsylvania-based cancer charity Our Clubhouse. Joining Caustic, who released the massively crowdfunded Industrial Music LP last year, will be playfully moody, Milwaukee-based synth-pop outfit The Dark Clan, who will play their final show. Electro-sleaze outfit GoFight, which is the brainchild of Jim Marcus of Wax Trax alumnists Die Warzau, will also swing through to throw down a pounding set of polished, industrial-influenced dance tunes. —JS
SUNDAY JULY 10
Pokémon The Movie 2000. Memorial Union Terrace, 8:30 p.m. (Free)
Not gonna lie, Pokémon: The Movie 2000: The Power Of One (the second feature-length Pokémon film after the equally cumbersomely titled Pokémon: The First Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back) is maybe a bit of a tough sell for anyone who might be out of the loop with regard to the vast and ever-expanding Pokémon franchise. If you’re already won over to the world of pint-size battling animals, you already have this evening circled in red on your calendar, so it’s a no brainer to catch this outside at the Terrace with a bunch of other folks most likely staring at their 3DS. Personally, I’m mostly in this for “Dollar Night at the Brat Stand” which features hot dogs, sodas, and chips priced to move at one single dollar each, so I’ll pass the responsibility of selling you on the movie to LadPrime over at Reddit, who says Pokémon 2000 is his favorite of the gotta-catch-em-all series thanks to the ”escalating grandeur of the plot and the action”. He goes on to assert that “its best quality is its incredible amount of heart.” And here’s a fun fact I’ll give you for free: the Japanese title (Gekijōban Poketto Monsutā Maboroshi No Pokemon Rugia Bakutan) literally translates to “Mirage Pokémon: Lugia’s Explosive Birth!” —CL
Winning Ugly, Medicine Bow, Gonzo Rongs. Williamson Magnetic Recording Company, 8 p.m.
Laramie, Wyoming band Medicine Bow play endearingly scrappy punk with a kind and confessional heart. Currently consisting of the instrument-switching duo of Katherine Landvogt Madison Marquer, the band works in lots of conversational bass lines, feisty drum fills, and bright guitar hooks, but on songs like “February 20th,” from a recent split EP, these elements only add to the mildly sloppy charm of it all. —SG
Steve Hofstetter. High Noon Saloon, 7 p.m.
MONDAY JULY 11
Dentist, Nester, Jonesies. Maria’s (1444 E. Washington Ave.), 7:30 p.m.
New Jersey band Dentist’s recently released second album, Ceilings, is a collection of surf-spiked power-pop that benefits from Emily Bornemann’s transparent but strong voice and the band’s taut dynamics. On “Meet You There (In Delaware),” a few tasteful tremolo-bar flutters and Bornemann’s wistful vocal melodies help the band wring something convincing from very well-worn songwriting elements. Another highlight “You Say,” beefs up with yearning guitar melodies and a chunky, punk-informed chorus. —SG
New Villains, Brook Pridemore, Aaron Scholz. Mickey’s Tavern, 10 p.m. (free)
WEDNESDAY JULY 13
La Horse + The Dictator’s Guns. Vilas Hall, 7 p.m. (free)
UW Cinematheque continues its “French Tough Guys” series with a double-header featuring two great French leading men. Starting off the night, Jean Gabin stars as a widower facing off against gangsters in Pierre Granier-Deferre’s 1970 film La Horse, a high-intensity thriller filled with drugs, gangsters, and an intense war. (The title refers to the English slang for heroin, and the film also features original music by Serge Gainsbourg.) Next on the queue is 1965’s The Dictator’s Guns, starring Lino Ventura as a sailor who gets caught up in a missing person case. Throughout Claude Sautet’s film, things keep going awry, forcing Cournot to confront the police and to question what is going on in. Both films screen here in new digital editions. —Maija Inveiss
Adam Faucett, Wood Chickens. Shitty Barn, 7 p.m.
The first thing that stands out about Little Rock, Arkansas singer-songwriter Adam Faucett is how much his voice flexes within even a single track. On “Melanie,” from his 2014 album Blind Water Finds Blind Water, Faucett loosens his voice into mournful bellows and focuses it into prickly, mid-range melodies, with some eerie falsettos and pained yelps in between. On the lilting “Opossum,” Faucett proves equally flexible in a more tender vein. He wraps that vocal work around songwriting and arrangements that also hold up as ambitious, even as they draw on the sturdy comforts of rugged country and rock. —SG
Intronaut, Entheos, Moon Tooth, The Fine Constant. High Noon Saloon, 8 p.m.