Claude Young, Diane Cluck, Dosh, Cop Circles, and more events of note in Madison this week.
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THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 14
Spoon. Orpheum, 7 p.m.
As popular and respected as Spoon is, the Austin, Texas band still deserves a bit more credit for its versatility. Spoon knows how to craft mainstream hits—like “Do You” and “I Turn My Camera On”—but also knows how to stretch out and experiment within its own prim parameters, as on the subtle textural variations of “The Mystery Zone,” from 2010’s Transference. They’re not notably prolific, but releasing nine albums of consistent quality over the 21 years is impressive in of itself. They don’t rely on gimmicks or experimentation for its own sake to prolong their longevity (looking at you, Flaming Lips). The band’s new album, Hot Thoughts, benefits from a nice upgrade by way of electronic instrumentation. There is still the guitar-driven indie rock of old, but sometimes it yields the steering wheel to a chrome-sound synth, giving tracks like “WhisperI’lllistentohearit” a kind of industrial, almost dystopian, sense of anxiety. —Henry Solotaroff-Webber
Ron Funches. Comedy Club on State, through Sept. 16.
One would think a quick glance at a comedian’s resume—a great go-to when their LinkedIn is out of date—would be indicative of what to expect at their stand-up appearances. But Ron Funches’ work on Portlandia, Drunk History, Bob’s Burgers, and especially Kroll Show implies a fair amount of coyness, satirical leanings, and general unpredictability. Although he is not exactly a household name, Funches has garnered a fair amount of press that has very little to do with his comedy career: He speaks openly about having lost nearly 150 pounds, raising an autistic son, and his love for videogames. Together, these facets of his persona reveal a man who is versatile, thoughtful, introspective, and ultimately, for lack of a better word, “quirky.” Memorable appearances as a showcased stand-up include frequent turns on Conan, where Funches has demonstrated his comfort and deftness with deflating controversial topics with concepts and approaches that in themselves are worth laughing at in their absurdity, and bold in their execution. For example, this 2014 appearance in which Funches breaks down multiple musings on how many black tuba players in a recital is too many black tuba players: “Three black tuba players is a lot of black tuba players. If you see more than five black tuba players, you’re watching an Outkast video.” —David Wolinsky
Juiceboxxx, Time, Cop Circles. North Street Cabaret, 7 p.m.
This show jams in a few different kinds of strange, delightful, and playful, with three acts that would seem like misfits on most bills but fit pretty well together. Milwaukee’s Juiceboxxx has been rapping and making beats since his teen years, developing a boisterous, lovably hyper style that at times veers into full-on punk-rock territory. He visits here behind the new album Freaked Out American Loser, and it’ll be fun to see how his bouncing-off-the-walls performance style translates in the tasteful environs of the North Street Cabaret. Florida duo Time contort synth-pop in a highly melodramatic, quasi-meditative direction, accompanying their performances with elaborate and trippy visuals. But the most exciting thing on this bill might be Cop Circles, the project of former Denver resident and current Madisonian Luke Leavitt. As captured on 2016’s album Cosmetic Warp, Cop Circles’ economical dance jams are shot through with a winking sense of humor, courtesy of Leavitt’s flirtatious talk-sing vocals. Songs like “Nihilistic Freakazoid” and “If I Wasn’t Dancing (I Would Be Thinking)” might be just a tiny bit goofy, but they also boast lots of taught, sharply deployed layers of rhythm and effervescent synth chords, revealing vulnerability and a keen ear for the finer points dance music. Cop Circles is an eccentric addition to Madison’s electronic offerings, but all the more welcome for that. —Scott Gordon
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 15
Kiernan Laveaux, ADAB, Jared Perez, DJ Umi. 646 W. Washington Ave., 9 p.m.
Cleveland DJs Kiernan Laveaux and ADAB are both versatile spinners with a knack for steering techno-oriented sets into atmospheric but propulsive territory. Both also play active roles in playing and organizing queer-oriented dance events in their hometown. Mixes like the Laveaux one streaming below suggest that this event in one of the train cars parked off of West Wash will prove a respectable dance party, but also offer a heady and multi-textured exploration of some of electronic music’s trippier corners. Supporting Laveaux and ADAB here are two Madison DJs with their own excellent grasp of house and techno, Jared Perez and Umi. —Scott Gordon
Prism Music & Arts Festival. Multiple venues, through Sept. 16.
In a year when a lot of Madisonians are trying out scrappy and eclectic visions of what a live music event can be, the Prism festival makes its first outing with a two-day cross section of eight young local acts. The first day takes place at Robinia Courtyard on East Wash, and will feature live mural painting in addition to a music lineup that comprises the Wilder Deitz Group’s thoughtful blend of jazz and hip-hop, Kainalu’s sleek, electronic take on Hawaiian music and pop, and electronic producer Norwei, who’s known for his contributions to local hip-hop but also makes contemplative, synth-driven solo material. On day two the festival moves out to Common Gardens, a barn venue in rural Dane, Wisconsin, with music including the warped power-pop of Disq and hip-hop from Bird’s Eye, plus a menu of pizza and beer. DJ Whodie Guthrie will be spinning both nights. —Scott Gordon
Bless Their Little Hearts. Vilas Hall, 7 p.m. (free)
So much of the masculine identity, for better or worse, is tied up in careers. When it comes to “the measure of a man,” few yardsticks are as unforgiving as the means with which a breadwinner provides for his family. To not have a job, as we see in Billy Woodberry’s 1983 film Bless Their Little Hearts, is to stare into the void, second-guessing your own worth as insecurity gnaws away at you. Scripted (and shot) by Charles Burnett, Bless Their Little Hearts stars Nate Hardman as a Watts resident in search of a job to keep his wife (Kaycee Moore) and three children afloat. The Library of Congress announced in 2013 that it had been selected for the National Film Registry. This screening comes in the middle of three in UW Cinematheque’s look back at Burnett’s work, which culminates with a Distinguished Lecture Series visit from Burnett himself next Thursday, followed by a presentation of his To Sleep With Anger the following day, which he will introduce in person. —Chris Lay
Madison World Music Festival. Multiple venues, through Sept. 16 (free)
It’s a bit of a shame that the Madison World Music Festival gets threaded into an already busy season for live music in Madison, and announces its lineup only a month or so ahead of time. It tends to be a good lineup that deserves some room to breathe, not to mention a little more time for people to get excited about the acts—even the problematically packaged “world” music that gets a meaningful stab at the U.S. market tends to require some extra digging to get familiar with. Friday’s installment at the Memorial Union Terrace will include Ho-Chunk music from the Wisconsin Dells Singers and the charged cumbia-rock fusion of Orkesta Mendoza. The fest’s Saturday stage at the Willy Street Fair will feature Ladama, a quartet of women from Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, and the U.S. who blend sounds from across the Americas and have a self-titled debut album out on Six Degrees Records, and Haitian-Canadian hip-hop artist Vox Sambou. Things close out Saturday on the Terrace with a performance from long-running Jamaican ska institution The Skatalites, whose visit to Madison would be a pretty big deal on its own. In any case, if you find yourself downtown or browsing the Willy Street Fair, take some time to check out just about anything in the lineup. —Scott Gordon
Tashi Dorji & Tyler Damon. Arts + Literature Laboratory, 8 p.m.
North Carolina guitarist Tashi Dorji has gotten all over the map in his solo work. From jagged, acoustic fingerpicking styles to spatial, harmonic-driven decaying passages, Dorji delves into the deepest spheres of his instrument. While Dorji often uses extended technique to wring color and character from the guitar, some of his most powerful work is in minimal, breathable, vaguely bluesy pieces. On his 2016 collaborative album with Indiana-based drummer Tyler Damon, Both Will Escape, Dorji strikes a balance (albeit on electric guitar) between constant and spatial, creating a texture both dense and breathable. This thick texture, when paired with a percussive groove that Damon quickly frames at the start of the record, softens and reestablishes concepts of time and space. Dorji stretches and pulls apart rhythms like taffy, sometimes molding them back together into a twisted agglomerate. Meanwhile, Damon’s loose grooves establish impressions of time along Dorji’s amorphous canvas. It’s easy to lose yourself in the colors and overtones on Both Will Escape, and it’ll be exciting to see what this duo’s ongoing collaboration yields both live and on record. —Emili Earhart
Strand Of Oaks, Dessa, Fever Marlene. Live On King Street, 6 p.m. (free)
Minneapolis rapper/singer/writer/composer Dessa can’t really be boiled down to sheer musical output—her last full length was 2013’s Parts Of Speech—but she’s prolific in her own impossible-to-pin-down way, with recent activities including a multidisciplinary residency of talks and performances at New York City’s Greene Space, a collaboration with the Minnesota Orchestra, as well as her ever-bubbling work with fellow members of the Twin Cities’ Doomtree crew. Even if her recordings are your only point of entry, though, you can’t miss the range and richness of what she’s doing. Her 2010 album A Badly Broken Code was full of complex stories and shadowy orchestration, but never had any trouble strutting and swinging like a hip-hop record. And that’s the enviable balance Dessa strikes—she’s a nerd’s nerd, but also a galvanizing MC. She plays here between Philadephia’s Strand Of Oaks and Milwaukee band Fever Marlene. —Scott Gordon
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 16
Willy Street Beats: Claude Young, Bill Converse, Sassmouth. Willy Street Fair (Williamson and Brearly stage), 4 p.m. (free)
This year’s installment of the Willy Street Fair’s electronic stage promises to be a masterclass in how to push to the craft of DJing into the outer limits. First, there’s headliner and Detroit techno mainstay Claude Young, whom you may remember from his 2015 set at Le Fete De Marquette, where he was shredding on the crossfader with his teeth and working the CDJs with his elbows, as he pushed forth an urgent and powerful set of heady techno and house jams. While Young is certainly a legendary deck-shredder of the highest order, he’s also known well within the underground dance community for his innovative, diverse, and razor-sharp production work. Whether Young’s hammering out the freakish alien techno on 2000’s Patterns: The Album or whipping up a lushly cosmic masterpiece like 1996’s “Impolite To Refuse,” his meticulously detailed sound design and clever rhythmic programming tie it all together. If that somehow isn’t enough, the support slots are also completely bonkers. Hailing from Austin, Texas, producer and DJ Bill Converse is well-known for his sweaty and frenzied work on the turntables—hurling sonic tornadoes of primo psychedelic dance cuts. And finally, Chicago-based deck-wizard, impeccable track selector, and producer Sassmouth will return to Madison to kick off the night properly. Young will also be headlining a Saturday night after-show at the High Noon Saloon. —Joel Shanahan
Sheer Mag, Flesh World, Fire Heads. Frequency, 8:30 p.m.
After releasing a few ripping 7-inches and quickly establishing a base of dedicated fans, Philadelphia’s Sheer Mag released their first album, Need To Feel Your Love, earlier this year. Perhaps one of the biggest jammers of the summer, Need To Feel Your Love wraps the good-time-havin’ 1970s spirit of rock and roll around belted demands for political action, and it’s ripe with solidly developed power-pop sensibilities. On “Meet Me In The Street.” powerhouse vocalist Tina Halladay howls over a running bassline and Thin Lizzy-esque guitar riffs, reminding us that “the lie is the law and no friend is the hand that points and commands.” She encourages us to “get in the mix” because “when we walk together it feels alright.” Sheer Mag ride the line between playing what you want to hear in a heavy power pop project, and telling you what you need to hear. Dark San Francisco post punk project Flesh World plays here as well, along with local garage-punk outfit Fire Heads. —Emili Earhart
CHON, The Fall Of Troy, Hail The Sun. Majestic, 8 p.m.
San Diego’s CHON is a progressive metal band known for its compositional focus on major-key melodies and driving, progressive rhythms. Many of their songs do not feature vocals and rely on harmonies from their guitarists, and their recent work has found the band’s song becoming more layered with effects and textures. Their 2017 album Homey even swerves into hip-hop production on tracks like “Berry Streets,” featuring GoYama and “Nayhoo,” featuring Masego and Lophiile. The blend of these featured artists, different effects, and non-metal influences alongside chaotic and jazzy metal makes listening to CHON’s new release akin to riding a roller-coaster in space. Supporting CHON here is The Fall Of Troy, whose return from their 2010 breakup sparked excitement in the post-hardcore and math-rock scene. The Fall Of Troy self-released their 2016 album, OK, whose chaotic song structures, time-signature changes, and complex riffs find the reunited band back in a strong groove. Hail The Sun opens this night of energy and chaos with their grand display of melodic post-hardcore. —John McCracken
Julie Carr, Jacques Rancourt, Aliki Barnstone, T Banks. Arts + Literature Laboratory, 8 p.m.
Poets from Wisconsin, Missouri, Colorado, and California, each bring specific voices and experiences to the mic at this reading. T Banks is a Madison poet, community organizer, mental wellness advocate, and playwright whose focus on identity fuels his work. His work emphasizes empowering black lives, specifically black trans lives, and confronting the boundaries and systems that seek to harm and oppress minority bodies. Jacques Rancourt is a former Madisonian whose most recent work, Novena, draws from the Catholic prayer of the same name as he wrestles with faith and internal desire. Rancourt has been a fellow at Stanford University, the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, and is currently teaching and living in San Francisco. Julie Carr is a 2011 National Endowment for the Arts Fellow, has a Ph.D from Berkeley, and is the co-publisher for Counterpath Press. Her most recent work, 100 Notes On Violence, received the 2009 Sawtooth Poetry Prize and is a study on intimate cruelties, phobias, large-scale violence, and the need for the poet to address and understand atrocities. Akki Barnstone has released a large list of poetry books, translations, critical essays, and other works. She began serving as the Poet Laureate for Missouri in 2016. Her work can be found in numerous anthologies and collections. —John McCracken
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 17
Willy Street Fair Culture Stage Presented by Tone Madison. Willy Street Fair (Williamson and Ingersoll Stage), noon. (free)
For the 40th anniversary of the Willy Street Fair, the folks at the Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center asked us to try putting a new twist on the Culture Stage, so we’ve put together a Tone Madison-selected lineup of excellent Madison-based artists. Headlining will be the East Side’s own Mr. Jackson, who plays a delightful interpretation of R&B on his two albums, Black Gandalf and The Golden Hour Groove Session. Singer/MC/poet Hiwot Adilow, known for her work in outfits including ME eN YOu and The Bellhops, will play a set featuring material from an in-the-works new project. The contemporary-classical ensemble Sound Out Loud will present a varied set in a slightly stripped-down lineup. The one-man project Asumaya will channel a mix of African music, dub, and post-punk. The TV Dinner DJs, known for their refreshing and varied sets at venues including Gib’s and Genna’s, will be spinning. And Madison klezmer veterans Yid Vicious will be kicking things off. —Scott Gordon
I’m So Excited. Chazen Museum of Art, 2 p.m. (free)
UW Cinematheque’s Sunday afternoon series at the Chazen Museum of Art this fall is a big retrospective on the films of Pedro Almodóvar, and so far it’s gone over like gangbusters. In our preview of Cinematheque’s fall lineup, I referred to this week’s entry, 2013’s I’m So Excited, as “arguably one of [Almodóvar’s] worst,” and that might have been a disservice. Set amid the crew, captains, and customers on a transatlantic flight whose landing gear has malfunctioned, Almodóvar’s spin on Soul Plane is perhaps better described as “frothy”—and not just thanks to the fancy drug-spiked cocktails making their way around the cabin. Watch for cameos by Almodóvar mainstays Antonio Banderas and Penélope Cruz in an early scene. —Chris Lay
Human Heat, Norwegian Arms, Liam O’Brien’s Faithless Followers. Art In, 8 p.m.
Musician Alex Schaaf started his project Yellow Ostrich while living in Madison, then had a few fruitful years expanding Yellow Ostrich into a band in New York City. Since Yellow Ostrich broke up in 2014, Schaaf has continued making music under the name Human Heat, and now resides in Minneapolis. He’s also toured as a live member of folk outfit The Tallest Man On Earth. Human Heat plays here behind its debut full-length, All Is Too Much, which leaves behind some of Yellow Ostrich’s more exuberant tendencies. It’s not necessarily a downer of a record, but it definitely finds Schaaf taking things down a notch and looking inward, making for songs like “Best For You” and “Someone Closer” that hover between sleek electronic and vocal hooks and an unmistakable sense of wounded reflection. —Scott Gordon
MONDAY SEPTEMBER 18
Com Truise, Nosaj Thing, Cleopold. Majestic, 8 p.m.
When considering the many shards of influence that Los Angeles-based producer Com Truise has pulled from faddy Internet genres like chillwave, retrofied bloghouse, and brostep, it’s remarkable that mastermind Seth Haley’s liberally compressed and arpeggio-happy work has achieved such longevity and prominence. The execution of this year’s Iteration is expertly polished, arranged, and detailed, but it’s tough to hear tunes like the slow and sentimental “Propagation” or crawling, Italo-flavored jam “Ternary” and not feel beaten upside the head with hard 1980s nostalgia. The overt polish makes the music feel as though it’s being jammed through the musical equivalent of some tacky photo-filter app that makes your selfies look like fading Polaroids. That said, the drifty slow-jam “Isostacy” feels refreshing in its space and restraint, when compared with the rest of the album. And there’s a lot to like about Iteration—the sound design is massive, it’s catchy as hell, and it’s definitely cohesive. But Com Truise really hasn’t evolved much in the last several years and is beginning to feel like pandering festival electronica. Vintage sonics certainly have their place, but it would be nice to hear something more personal from such an absurdly talented producer. —Joel Shanahan
Vacation, Cool Building, Dumb Vision, Miyha. Mickey’s Tavern, 10:30 p.m. (free)
Cincinnati band Vacation makes effusive, scrappy, and amiably blasted-out rock. At its best, their newly released double album Southern Grass: The Continuation Of Rock ‘N’ Roll Vol. 1 & 2 weds sharp and joyful melodies with a noisy, slightly chaotic aesthetic, and every so often show off a nastier punk streak. Vacation also has a Madison connection—it put out a cassette version of its 2015 EP Non-Person with local label Rare Plant. Here they share the bill with a strong showing of Madison bands. Cool Building is a new project that guitarist/vocalist Claire Nelson-Lifson (Proud Parents) and drummer/vocalist Heather Sawyer (The Hussy, Proud Parents, Heather The Jerk) started as an outlet for songs that didn’t fit within their other bands—”a lot of the material is less poppy and a little bit weirder and darker than Proud Parents,” Nelson-Lifson says. Madison garage-punk outfit Dumb Vision has its own very enjoyable take on the union of noise and melody, and Miyha unites keen pop instincts with weighty sadness. —Scott Gordon
TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 19
Black Table, Hexis, Bereft, The Central. Art In, 8 p.m.
The Central is a Madison-based grind/math/progressive-metal outfit that somehow makes a lot of noise with only two people. The band’s first full-length, 2016’s Discovery Of A Rat, is a harrowing display of melody and nightmare. Their fellow Madisonians Bereft make blackened doom metal, and laid low for a couple of years while writing and recording their most exciting record to date, this year’s Lands. The album’s long and expansive tracks give doom new life and a new taste for blood. These two local heavy standouts alone make this show worthwhile, but they’ll be sharing the bill with a couple intriguing touring acts. Hexis comes all the way from Copenhagen. Their new release, Tando Ashanti, blends droning guitars and black metal with bludgeoning vocals. New Yorkers Black Table are an experimental black metal band touring behind their 2016 album Obelisk. The album dwells in a realm of drone and fuzz, but with plenty of melody cutting through the noise. Obelisk features some truly radiant tracks, including “Homo Ergaster” and “Helm,” but also shows off Black Table’s ability to pick up the pace and dive head first into darkness on tracks like “Obtuse.” Black Table are a force to be reckoned with in the experimental black metal scene, and Obelisk represents an exciting evolution for the band. —John McCracken
Nick Mazzarella & Tomeka Reid. Arts + Literature Laboratory, 8 p.m.
Saxophonist Nick Mazzarella is an integral part of the Chicago jazz and improvisation scenes, collaborating with adventurous and acclaimed artists from Hamid Drake to Joshua Abrams. Cellist Tomeka Reid boasts collaborations with and commissions by the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) and has earned international recognition with her string trio Hear In Now. Mazzarella and Reid’s 2015 collaborative release Signaling is comprised of improvisations inspired by 1970s avant-garde music. On the track “Let It Be Known,” Reid grounds the duo through a subdued tremolo, slowly building in scathing intensity until quickly dismantling. Meanwhile, Mazzarella blows a bold, brazen saxophone melody, stabilized a bit by Reid’s walking bass lines. Reid and Mazzarella quickly settle in with each other, yet their attitude is anything but relaxed. Both musicians and their slow, interweaving lines take on a demeanor both saucy and aloof. But their melodies do command the listener’s attention, glacially crawling deeper into your mind and ultimately reaching closure. —Emili Earhart
Thundercat, Saco & Uno. Majestic, 8 p.m.
Bass virtuoso, songwriter, singer, and Flying Lotus/Kendrick Lamar collaborator Thundercat’s approach to funk and fusion is a shining example of how to take from the past without cheapening it. On records like this year’s Drunk, Thundercat studies rather than steals. His songs carefully recreate past forms of funk, but are also infused with a sort of postmodern anxiety and metafiction that makes them thoroughly contemporary and striking. Take “Show You The Way,” a collaboration with Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins. There’s something slightly off on the track, a jam between different generations and stars. Whether it’s the slightly cold synth or the awkward golf-clap introducing the artists, it’s clear that as far as these artists try to retreat into the good parts of the past, there’s no escaping the reality of the present. —Henry Solotaroff-Webber
Naomi Punk. Frequency, 8:30 p.m.
When the Olympia, Washington group Naomi Punk came through Madison after the release of their first album, 2012’s The Feeling, they were playing what must have been one of the final shows at the Project Lodge before Good Style Shop moved into the East Johnson Street spot. It was a swelteringly hot night, and particularly stifling inside the Project Lodge. Most of the crowd stayed outside during Naomi Punk’s set—they were there because it was also the last show for Madison locals Giant People (whose members now play in bands including Fire Heads and Proud Parents). The small handful of us who stayed inside were bathed in a wall of fuzzy, swirling grunge and almost hypnotic vocals. I mean bathed in a literal sense—it was so humid it was as if the sound was being absorbed into the air. The Feeling had an entrancing quality; Naomi Punk’s third full-length release, this year’s Yellow, which came out earlier this year on Captured Tracks, sees the group experimenting more, but is less absorbing. But some songs, like “My Shadow,” break through and feel like an organic progression from the group’s earlier sound. —Erica Motz
WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 20
Dosh, Lovely Socialite. Shitty Barn, 7 p.m.
Twin Cities multi-instrumentalist and producer Martin Dosh has become a poster child for unpredictable, genre-defying music. His last studio album was 2013’s Milk Money, but 2011’s Silver Face, initially a tour-only release and later posted on Bandcamp, does, capture the sense of boundlessness in Dosh’s music just as well as any of any of the proper releases. It’s a collection of 14 miniatures, each one characterized by a different collection of colors, beats, or samples (the first and longest track, “Jay Jay,” serves as a kind of overture for the record). But at no point does the disjointed quality of the record become frustrating. The variety of sounds, rhythms, and themes—while separated track from track—almost begin to superimpose amongst each other in the context of the whole record. Silver Face requires your brain to process the record in a different way, all the while enjoying and interpreting the isolated miniatures as a representation of the extensive collection of influences from which Dosh pulls. Madison/Milwaukee/Detroit six-piece Lovely Socialite plays behind their July 2017 EP DoubleShark. The adventurous jazz-rock outfit balances catchiness with intricate big-band arrangements for brass, percussion, keyboards, and string instruments. Their music exudes virtuosity and sophistication while unabashedly embracing a sense of quirky humor evident both live and on recordings. —Emili Earhart
Open Mike Eagle, Sammus, Kosha Dillz. High Noon Saloon, 8 p.m.
The Open Mike Eagle of today is a different rapper than the who released Unapologetic Art Rap back in 2010. He’s since traded abrasive electronic beats for gently deconstructed instrumentals, and his lyricism now seems to be less at odds with the present and more focused on unraveling the past. On each single from his new album Brick Body Kids Still Daydream (particularly” 95 Radios”), the LA-based MC looks back tenderly, letting memories from all over his life come and go like waves on a gentle bay. Sammus, supporting him on this bill, also structures her music around the past, but in ways that are a little more literal. On each track, the Philly-based rapper looks back and looks hard at times good and bad, and each song, therefore, depends on what moment in time she’s looking at. When she glances back towards youthful summer days gone by, the result is “Childhood,” a track loaded with slow cadences, tons of references and candy-sweet guitar licks. Looking back on adolescence and adulthood, however, leads to “Song About Sex,” a song that’s as much about discovering feminine sexuality as it is about rebelling against the more dangerous forms of masculinity. —Henry Solotaroff-Webber
Diane Cluck, Glassmen, TS Foss. Art In, 7:30 p.m.
Virginia singer-songwriter and guitarist Diane Cluck plays what she calls “intuitive folk” music, and that music is both tender and leaden. Cluck’s voice, equally rich and airy, occasionally recalls Joni Mitchell in its free-flowing cadences, or Cocteau Twins’ Elizabeth Fraser in its melismatic digressions, and sometimes takes on a speak-song character. Cluck’s 2014 release Boneset, orchestrated with strings (along with Cluck’s guitar), flutters in place like some meandering, innocuous daydream. Yet the songs here casually unfold, exposing a welcomed feeling of heaviness along with a sense of unease. Cluck’s tough-to-peg style clearly coheres in “Sara,” the album’s closing track. The controlled quivers and quavers in Cluck’s voice give the song an improvisatory element that contrasts with the simple, consistent plucking of her guitar. Cluck shares the bill here with local avant-indie duo Glassmen as well as TS Foss, the acoustic project of Madison musician Tyler Fassnacht (Fire Heads, Proud Parents, The Hussy). —Emili Earhart