A word for Waterfront Fest

In Microtones, our newsletter-first column.

In Microtones, our newsletter-first column. (Image: Chris Forsyth.)

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Somehow I let my friend Andy Moore talk me into helping him book the music for the 2018 Marquette Waterfront Festival, taking place June 9 and 10 at Yahara Place Park. In a lot of ways the whole process was pretty new to me, or at least a bit different from the other events I’ve worked on organizing in the past. I’m honestly kind of dizzy just thinking of the amount of work that goes into the festival every year. Picking out the music is just one part of that and not even the heavy-lifting part, but it was exciting and a little scary to be trusted with it.

Andy and I agreed that we wanted to give people a mix of music they’re used to hearing at Madison’s annual east-side festivals and a healthy portion of surprises. On Saturday afternoon, for instance, Madison’s off-the-wall pop miscreants Cribshitter (they actually printed “Cribshitter” on the Waterfront Fest posters!) will play the main stage, immediately followed by veteran Honduran musician Charlie Baran’s Chicago-based ensemble Radio Free Honduras. There’s talk of some kind of grand entrance for Cribshitter, but either way it’ll be resplendent and weird. In a way that sequence of bands sums up what we’re going for.

But it goes beyond that; Saturday also features a main-stage performance from young Madison rapper Protege The Pro, whose playful and elastic rhymes have made him a refreshing presence in town over the past couple of years. Sundaywill close out with a headliner I’m particularly excited about, Philadelphia guitarist Chris Forsyth and his Solar Motel Band, who give psychedelic rock broader horizons while somehow also making it more taut and incisive. The smaller Cottonwood Stage has really given us a place to experiment, and acts there will include an acoustic set from deep-reaching Madison cover band The Low Czars (Saturday), experimental rock duo Glassmen (Saturday), subversively witty indie-pop outfit Gentle Brontosaurus (Sunday), and Nigerian dancehall artist Jimmy Sugarcane (Sunday).

We’ve had a lot of fun putting this together, and hope it lives up to the standards of Waterfront Fest’s nearly 30-year run. I hope you can join us.

The organizers of Madison Comedy Week.

The organizers of Madison Comedy Week.

New this week:

Scott Gordon caught up with experimental musician Ka Baird, who played a Tone Madison-presented show this Wednesday show at Communication; thanks to everyone who came out!

Holly Henschen explains why the VIP section at Breese Stevens Field sucks for concert-goers.

On the podcast, Chris Lay spoke with two of the organizers of Madison Comedy Week, which is currently ongoing and wraps up June 3.

Elsewhere on the Madison internet: Madison-based metal titans Jex Thoth will play a rare hometown show on June 20 at the High Noon Saloon. The Edge Effectspodcast delves into the environmental role of experimental poetry. WORT interviewssome of the artists involved in Arts + Literature Laboratory’s innovative CSArt program. Jason Narducy (of Split Single, Bob Mould’s band, and the touring lineup of Superchunk) will play a July 28 show at Kiki’s House of Righteous Music.

This week’s Madison calendar: Rooftop Cinema is back with a heartwarming documentary about tap dancing. The Isthmus Jazz Festival gets a bold reinventionAnd more.


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