Le1f, DJ Phil Money, Acid Mothers Temple, and more events of note in Madison this week. | By Scott Gordon, Mike Noto, Joel Shanahan
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THURSDAY MARCH 24
Sincere Life, 3rd Dimension, Knowshun, Rambunxious, Leet Moteef, Ice Borealis. Frequency, 8 p.m.
Downtown club The Frequency has been on shaky footing with the hip-hop community sinced it announced a one-year time out on hip-hop earlier this month, then pulled back on that after a swift and outraged backlash. It’s a familiar cycle in Madison, and the real shame is that it distracts people from the actual music at a time when we’re rich with gifted young hip-hop artists. That includes the five-MC group 3rd Dimension, who released their third album, Things Have Changed, in December. While a few of the album’s tracks, like “Do It Like Me” and “Flower 11,” are overloaded with the brash, cocky energy you’d expect from five dudes in their early 20s, the album just as often spacious and reflective, with highlights “Chosen” and “Sour” reflecting on the apprehension that sets in as youth turns the corner into adulthood. —Scott Gordon
Male Call: Thanks. Brink Lounge, 7:30 p.m. (also March 25, 8 p.m.)
Madison theater company The Bricks Theatre has been running two curated storytelling series, one focusing on women and the other on men. The latter was recently and wisely renamed “Male Call” from “Nuts in the Ballroom,” and this installment will feature men talking about people they want to thank and people who should maybe think them. Featured performers include Dave Durbin, Greg Hudson, Christian Neuhaus, Akshat Sharma, and Bricks co-founder George Gonzalez. —SG
FRIDAY MARCH 25
Cocktails In The Conservatory: DJ Phil Money. Olbrich Botanical Gardens, 7 p.m.
One of Madison’s most masterful room-readers and journeymen, DJ Phil Money brings over three decades of experience, including a large stretch of cutting his teeth in New York City and Atlanta, to the decks with him. With careful selections ranging from smash-hit status to deep-space obscurity, Money’s immaculate mixing chops act as the anesthetic, as he effortlessly sends his listeners cruising wildly through his world of his jams, never afraid to bend and expand upon a working tangent at the drop of a dime. He frequently spins at Nattspil, Maduro, and other spots downtown, but he gets a bigger platform here, spinning an Afrobeat-inspired set in Olbrich Gardens’ perpetually tropical glass pyramid. —Joel Shanahan
SATURDAY MARCH 26
An Evening At Maria’s: Negative Example, Corey Matthew Hart. Art In (1444 E. Washington Ave.), 6 p.m.
Negative Example, the latest project from guitarist/vocalist Bucky Pope of late-’80s Madison punk standouts Tar Babies, finds Pope wrapping discursive talk-sing rants around a disjointed mix of pop, funk, and folk. Pope and pianist Dave Adler (also of the Gomers) take this approach to its furthest reaches on “I Did This To You?”, stacking up dissonant but deliberate chords as Pope rolls out spoken grievances against an unspecified toxic person in his life, then veers into a jangly chorus in which he sings “The blisters on my patience are starting to bleed.” It’s rough but intriguing material that teeters on the edge of immediate and just plain messy, and the band’s 2015 album Negative Examples earned a recent New York Times review. —SG
Tony Barba and Cory Healey, William Z. Villain. Williamson Magnetic Recording Company, 8 p.m.
In a solo set earlier this month at Arts + Literature Laboratory, Madison-based woodwinds player Tony Barba channeled his tenor sax through a small but resourceful chain of effects and loop pedals, improvising wide-open pieces that embraced both challenging electronic textures and the warm presence of unadorned sax. It’ll be interesting see what other pockets of sound open up here as Barba performs in a live collaboration with Twin Cities-based drummer Cory Healey, whose collaborators have ranged from Fareed Haque to Dosh. Former Madisonian William Z. Villain, who’s been living in a rural, mountainous town in North Carolina, returns here behind a self-titled December release showcasing his mix of gypsy jazz and bizarro pop crooning. —SG
The Flavor That Kills, Uzi Ferrari, Cloverlane. Crystal Corner Bar, 10 p.m.
Madison band The Flavor That Kills, featuring former members of Awesome Car Funmaker, Screamin’ Cyn Cyn And The Pons, and Hum Machine, play R&B souped up with a brawny rock sensibility and singer/guitarist Ryan Corcoran’s playfully off-the-wall lyrics and delivery. The band released a full-length album, Pablo’s Hippos, in 2014. This show also features Madison power-pop trio Uzi Ferrari. —SG
Lovely Socialite, Honeymooners, John Praw & The North American Council For A Moonless Tomorrow. Frequency, 9 p.m.
MONDAY MARCH 28
Earworms, Mellow Harsher, Coordinated Suicides. Lothlorien Co-op, 8 p.m.
Stoughton band Mellow Harsher makes heroically debased grindcore, its songs self-immolating in 30-second bursts of throttling snare and absurdly nasty screams. For all the crust-slathered intensity, Mellow Harsher also works a warped sense of humor into its music and persona, the cover of its 2015 Served Cold EP depicting a hideous and washed-up Charlie Brown. They play here with versatile New York City punk outfit Earworms. —SG
Acid Mothers Temple, Mounds, Moss Folk. Frequency, 9 p.m.
For the past 20-plus years, Japan’s headiest psych-destroyers, Acid Mothers Temple, have been touring relentlessly and dropping an impossible number of releases under a confusing plethora of aliases ranging from the more commonly used Melting Paraiso U.F.O. moniker to names that represent alternate configurations or aesthetic choices within the broader AMT world (the band has rotated through several members with only a few constants) to a series of bizarro collaborations (including one with Daevid Allen’s legendary Gong). While founding guitar annihilator Kawabata Makoto and company would likely prefer that you expect nothing, what you can almost always count on with an Acid Mothers Temple performance is a hugely jammy, blisteringly guitar-heavy live set that blurs the line between cosmic kraut-rock, free jazz, and 60s psych-rock. —JS
TUESDAY MARCH 29
Disembodied Monks, Moving Panoramas, Dash Hounds. Mickey’s Tavern, 10:30 p.m. (free)
Madison band Disembodied Monks evolved from different iterations of the Non-Travellin’ Band and Dead Luke, although it would be just as accurate to say that it came from the Lonesome Savages and a grip of other local garage-psych outfits. But Disembodied Monks are closest in sound to the Non-Travellin’ Band’s style of flatly propulsive Velvet Underground-influenced drone rock, with Claire Nelson-Lifson’s minimal drumming providing more than a hint of Moe Tucker’s signature style. Singer Lue Lueck’s rockabilly wolfman vocal routine hasn’t changed at all, thankfully, but he’s become a prominent electric guitarist instead of playing strictly acoustic rhythm. His reverbed, twanging tradeoffs with guitarist Tyler Ditter (also of Tenement spinoff Dusk) profit off of interplay that smudges the lines between rhythm and lead more than before, and there’s consequently a kind of musical crosstalk between the two guitars which really elevates the performances. There’s also somewhat less emphasis on cover material, although it’s likely that the group will still play The Doors’ “Soul Kitchen” and the 13th Floor Elevators’ “You’re Gonna Miss Me.” —Mike Noto
Distinguished Lecture Series: Sally Mann. Wisconsin Union Theater, 7:30 p.m. (free)
American photographer Sally Mann’s largely black-and-white body of work has gained international renown for its tonal richness and tendency to take on discomfiting subjects. Whether she’s depicting landscapes of her native southern Virginia, studying decomposing corpse at a “body farm” research facility, or providing a raw look into the lives of her children, Mann’s images are at once unflinching and stately. She visits here to give a free talk presented by the Distinguished Lecture Series and the UW-Madison Center for the Humanities. —SG
WEDNESDAY MARCH 30
Le1f, Madden, DJ Boyfrrriend. Majestic, 9 p.m.
While I’ve always appreciated NYC-based producer-emcee Khalif Diouf, better known as Le1f, as a batshit lyricist with a wildly dynamic flow and swaggering baritone voice, last year’s full-length Riot Boi built upon the other element that has consistently drawn us to the rapper’s growing body of work—his thoughtfully curated stable of producers. Whether he’s diving into moody, bass-heavy territories with Evian Christ and Boody on “Grace Alek Naomi,” riding the bouncy, contorting synth-lines of the Sophie-produced “Koi,” or teaming up with Devonte Hynes for the ominous and heart-wrenching “Change,” Diouf proves that he can effortlessly flip between sexed-up party zones and evocative and thoughtful social commentary, which is precisely what makes Riot Boi such an engaging journey. —JS
Proud Parents, Leggy, Arc Flash, Tippy. Williamson Magnetic Recording Company, 8 p.m.
Cincinnati band Leggy writes catchy punk tunes and squeezes them between a furious rhythm section and big swirls of punchy but decidedly shoegaze-y guitar. The band’s 2016 EP, Dang, finds singer/guitarist Veronique Allaer’s voice and lyrics darting through those sounds with both giddy melodies and a dark, regret-laced edge. They play here with Lawrence, Kansas psych-punks Arc Flash, Madison power-pop sweethearts Proud Parents, and newer local band Tippy. —SG