Carcass, the Found Footage Festival, Natty Nation, “La Relacion,” and more events of note in Madison this week. | By Scott Gordon, Chali Pittman, Scott Gordon
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FRIDAY NOVEMBER 25
Natty Nation, Aaron Kamm & The One Drops, DJ Trichrome. High Noon Saloon, 8:30 p.m.
It’s become a tradition over the past nine years that the day after Thanksgiving, Madison-based reggae band Natty Nation plays a “Black Friday” show at the High Noon. The long-running outfit is a known quantity by now, reliably making straightforward but sonically varied reggae tracks. This year brought the release of a new studio album, Divine Spark. —Scott Gordon
SATURDAY NOVEMBER 26
Found Footage Festival. Barrymore, 8 p.m.
We’re pleased to see that Nick Prueher and Joe Pickett—a legendary pair of Wisconsin-raised trash VHS diggers—are returning to Madison with the eighth volume of their Found Footage Festival. Prueher and Pickett are known for scouring thrift stores for video sewage like industrial safety videos, video-dating tapes, and workout videos, chopping out the most heinously awkward bits, and presenting them to an audience with live, MST3K-esque commentary. But sometimes—like after they stumbled across an insane infomercial for a product called the Venus II penis pump—they’ll go even deeper and actually track down the folks behind the video and film a mini-documentary about the encounter. When you have shows like Tosh.O floating around, it can really suck the life from the “dude shows video and tells you what’s funny about it” model, but these dudes seriously have their shit together. —Joel Shanahan
Gaelynn Lea. Cafe Carpe (Ft. Atkinson), 8 p.m.
Duluth-based violinist, songwriter, and singer Gaelynn Lea has so far distinguished herself with solo compositions that use expert, tasteful loops to bolster her melodic lines (well, and a stellar collaboration with Low’s Alan Sparhawk under the name Murder Of Crows). Her newest releases—an EP called The Songs We Sing Along The Way and a Christmas record, Deepest Darkness, Brightest Dawn—find Lea and Minneapolis musician Al Church expanding her sound, albeit sparsely, with guitar, percussion, and keyboards. On standouts like “Someday We’ll Linger In The Sun,” Lea marries her resourceful sonic approach to patient, stately songcraft. —SG
SUNDAY NOVEMBER 27
Doc DeHaven Tribute. Coliseum Bar, 1 p.m.
Longtime Madison jazz trumpeter Doc DeHaven passed away this summer, and here his friends, family, and members of the music community celebrate his legacy as a performer, bandleader, and educator. DeHaven is well-remembered for leading a steady gig at now-defunct Madison club the Pirate Ship in the 1960s and 1970s, as well as acting as a mentor and music educator at Monona Grove High School. DeHaven’s longtime bandmate Bill Grahn (saxophone), vocalist Angela Babler (Neophonic Jazz Orchestra, Ladies Must Swing), pianist Paul Hastil (New Breed Jazz Jam), and several other musicians from Madison and beyond will collaborate here to play a set in DeHaven’s honor. Proceeds from the event will benefit two scholarship funds established in DeHaven’s name. —Chali Pittman
Carcass, Deafheaven, Inter Arma. Majestic, 8 p.m.
Before the influences of sludge, doom, and black metal crept up and took over the metal landscape in the past decade, there were hundreds of melodic death metal bands ripping pages right from the playbooks of Gothenburg, Sweden’s At The Gates and In Flames, as well as British grindcore and melodic-death pioneers Carcass. On the 2013 reunion album Surgical Steel (sans original drummer Ken Owen), Carcass sounds like a band that’s content to play in the sandbox it helped build for bands like The Black Dahlia Murder, but it’s important to remember that said sandbox barely existed when the raw brutality of 1988’s Reek Of Putrefaction hit the streets. One of Carcass’ high points, 1993’s Heartwork, sounds as delightfully rotten and essential as ever in 2016, marching in with ominous, lead-pipe guitar and Jeff Walker’s sinister growls on “Buried Dreams” before ripping into the brutal thrash movements of “Carnal Forge.” Joining Carcass on the bill will be ever-divisive, San Franciscan post-metal outfit Deafheaven—currently touring behind 2015’s New Bermuda—and Virginia-based sludge-prog heavies Inter Arma, who released the ambitious and sprawling album Paradise Gallows earlier this year. —JS
The Smart Studios Story. Sundance Madison, 3 p.m.
This year Madison has sure heard a lot about The Smart Studios Story, which finally saw the light of day in the spring after director Wendy Schneider spend six years working on it. Butch Vig and Steve Marker opened Smart Studios on the East Side of Madison in 1983, and Schneider’s documentary charts how they built it into a recording powerhouse until it closed up in 2010. Schneider of course notes the famous bands that recorded or mixed at Smart, like Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins (one interview is with a surprisingly reasonable Billy Corgan), but gives equal weight to the studio’s role in recording music for lesser-appreciated treasures of Midwestern hardcore, noise-rock, and even hip-hop, from The Crucifucks to Die Kreuzen to The Black Poets Society. —SG
MONDAY NOVEMBER 28
Funky Mondays. High Noon Saloon, 6 p.m.
TUESDAY NOVEMBER 29
What We Know, What We Missed, What’s Next: Making Sense of the 2016 Election. Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, 5:30 p.m. (free)
Contrasted against the spray of media navel-gazing, this panel might be the most informative debrief you get about the 2016 election and what’s coming ahead—and doubly so in terms of the minutiae of Wisconsin politics. Professor Kathy Cramer is an expert on rural resentment in Wisconsin, and should offer some context for the urban-vs.-rural voting divide in both state and national politics. Journalism professor Lucas Graves studies media sociology, and might be able to untangle the mess of how the media behaved and the much-challenged role of facts in this election. History grad student Sergio Gonzalez should give context for how immigrant and working-class communities were impacted by this election. Expect Professor Erik Olin Wright, rock-star sociologist and famed Non-Bullshit Marxist, to weave in themes of participatory democracy and class structure throughout. UW Law School professor Alta Charo served as a health advisor on Barack Obama’s transition team, and will likely shed light on the healthcare policy changes on the way under Trump. While one also wishes for an expert on voter ID, which had an undeniably crucial influence on the election in Wisconsin, this panel should provide lively, desperately-needed insight into how we got to these surreal times. —CP
WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 30
Nerd Nite. High Noon Saloon, 8 p.m. (free)
This month’s installment of Nerd Nite (a global-ish series of informal but thoughtful presentations) will feature talks on how cells with similar genetic information come to be so different, the history of disco, and “How a show about gay space rocks shows us how to be humans.” —SG
LakeFrontRow Cinema: La Relacion. Central Library, 6:30 p.m. (free)
Milwaukee filmmaker Samuel Kasper’s feature-length drama La Relacion draws on historical events to craft a grim, fevered tale of a group of 16th-century European explorers on a disastrous expedition to North America. Kasper balances meditative beauty with visceral shocks as the shipwrecked crew descends into brutal violence; the trailer suggests something between Terrence Malick and Aguirre, The Wrath Of God. Kasper shot the film entirely with natural light, and shot on-location in Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula (the northernmost part of the U.P.). Kasper will be on hand here as the film makes its Madison-area debut, as part of Madison film website LakeFrontRow’s ongoing series focusing on Wisconsin filmmakers. —SG
Andy Shauf, Chris Cohen. Frequency, 8 p.m.
It’s been a solid year and change since Saskatchewan singer-songwriter Andy Shauf played a set in Madison, opening for Low last fall. Since then, Shauf has put out a new concept album, The Party, which sketches the various characters and complexes that arise out of one night of celebration. Shauf’s deeply emotional storytelling, dark lyrics, and textured hooks evoke a slightly more pop-leaning version of Elliot Smith or Jason Molina, so it’s a shame that his talent was spent on a tour with The Lumineers this summer. Chris Cohen, a former Deerhoof guitarist who is now coming off his second solo album, should liven the night up a bit with more energetic vocals and psychedelic hooks. —CP