Total Abuse, Natty Nation’s Black Friday Show, “On The Beach At Night Alone,” and more events of note in Madison this week.
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FRIDAY NOVEMBER 24
Madison-based hip-hop producer Engelwood’s penchant for breezy funk and playful tropicalia textures have earned him a strong online following. The past year has been especially busy, bringing the release of a mostly instrumental solo project called Hotel Wood, a collaboration with LA-based producer Simon Eng called Jazz Channel, and the unlikely breakout success of one of Engelwood’s collaborators, fellow Madisonian Yung Gravy. (Strange that Yung Gravy isn’t on this post-Thanksgiving bill himself, given the rapper’s penchant for combining sex and food.) Silky, sunny Hotel Wood tracks like “Bayside” and “Good Times” capture the persona and sound Engelwood has carved out (and their vibe is welcome this time of year), but Jazz Channel finds him stretching out into more ambient-influenced territory. At this show, dubbed “Electric Turkey,” he’ll share the lineup with Minneapolis house DJ Mike Mac and Madison DJ fixtures Wangzoom and Whodie Guthrie. —Scott Gordon
Madison-based reggae band Natty Nation’s annual Black Friday show is a well-established local tradition, and this one marks its 10th year. The band’s most recent album, 2016’s Divine Spark, is very much in the vein of straightforward but subtly eclectic, and always solidly melodic, reggae they’ve worked for more than 20 years. They’ve recently been working on their next full-length. At this show they’ll be joined by Immigré, a more recently formed Madison ensemble that channels propulsive, tense Afrobeat through a mix of originals and deep-reaching covers. Madison reggae DJ Trichrome will be spinning, and vocalist Jon A. Thundercloud will perform a few songs of Ho-Chunk music right before Natty Nation’s set. Some of the proceeds from this show will be donated to organizations opposing energy company Enbridge’s efforts to build new oil pipelines through Wisconsin. —Scott Gordon
Tom Petty’s death in October at age 66 hit home hard for music fans of many different tastes and ages. Petty still seemed to have a lot ahead of him, but least he left behind a ton of great songs for people to sing and bond over. Expect to get deep into the catalog here with tribute sets from a lineup of Wisconsin-based artists: WheelHouse, Driveway Thriftdwellers, Christopher Gold, Zach Pietrini, and Brandon Beebe. This event will raise funds for a local nonprofit supporting musical education for youth, the Madison Area Music Association. —Scott Gordon
SATURDAY NOVEMBER 25
A longtime Madisonian DJ fixture and agile selector, Lauden Nute has been spinning around the isthmus for several years—most notably as one half of the TV Dinner duo with fellow Madisonian Carl Castle. Sometimes Nute pushes toward full-on dancefloor functionality, as he jumps from the grittier end of vintage house music to electro to Detroit ghettotech, but he can also be heard blasting deep, old-school R&B and freestyle cuts, bizarro synth pop, and a wealth of underground rap jams from the 1980s to present. He spins an extended evening set here at Ritual Barbers, a downtown spot that we’re excited to see has recently installed a new sound system and hosted more local DJs of late. (Full disclosure: Nute also frequently designs posters for Tone Madison events.) —Joel Shanahan
SUNDAY NOVEMBER 26
The Austin-formed band Total Abuse drag hardcore through about the most raw and filthy territory one could ask for. On the 2016 album Excluded, the vocals are barely contained expectorations of rage, the guitars veer between sludge-y pounding and dissonant scrawls, and the rhythms lunge forward with a sickly swing. Madison trio Ossuary who put out a great EP of unforgivingly wretched death metal in 2015’s Cremation Ritual and haven’t played out much recently. Another highlight of this bill is Litüus, the intriguingly minimalist electronic project of former Madison Connor Camburn. —Scott Gordon
WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 29
Sarah Kliff is a journalist who specializes in the nitty-gritty of health-care politics and policy, and she currently writes for Vox.com and edits that website’s helpful VoxCare email newsletter. (She previously covered health policy for the The Washington Post.) And it’s a crucial time for good journalism about health, in an era of disinformation and honest confusion about the Affordable Care Act, the endless back-and-forth lurch of Republican efforts to repeal and undermine same, the devastation of the opioid crisis, political interference with women’s healthcare, and on and on and on. Kliff visits here for a panel organized by UW-Madison’s Center for Journalism Ethics. She’ll be talking with Wisconsin State Journal reporter David Wahlberg and UW-Madison medical history and bioethics professor Paul Kelleher. —Scott Gordon
Since the mid-aughts, prolific South Korean director Hong Sang-soo has steadily found a career in art cinema through an often self-reflexive motif involving the playfully strained entanglements of film director and actress. His last two efforts that saw Madison premieres in the last 18 months, Right Now, Wrong Then (2015) and Yourself And Yours (2016), ruminated on the intersections and imitations of art and life, subtly tweaking their tonal sensibilities with affecting charm (plus a little Buñuel homage for good measure in the latter). Screening here to wrap up 2017’s Spotlight Cinema series at MMoCA, the new On The Beach At Night Alone approaches its relationship drama with a similarly slow-burning introspection and emerges as one of Hong’s deepest, but also most direct and poignant character studies. Hong regulars Kim Min-hee and Jeong Jae-yeong reprise their Right Now, Wrong Then roles in essence, channeling their prior chemistry into a new fraught scenario where the married Myung-soo (Jeong)’s publicized affair with his actress Young-hee (Kim) has provoked its dissolution. Seeking a physical and emotional refuge, Young-hee flees her native Seoul to Hamburg, and meets up with old friend Jee-young (Seo Young-hwa), who made a similar trek there after her own divorce years ago. Unfortunately, rather than attaining solace, Young-hee is instead possessed by an anxiety of seemingly endless inquisition regarding her former lover, Myung-soo. What evolves in the second half is a lively inversion and expansion of the parallel timeline concept Hong established in films like Right Now, lending On The Beach a unique energy that’s nestled somewhere between the transformative surrealism of Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul and the time-conscious providences of Richard Linklater. Hong’s film will also appeal to fans of an earlier Spotlight Cinema feature, Hermia And Helena. —Grant Phipps
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