Plus more events we recommend checking out in Madison, August 15 through 21 edition.
We’re partnering with the wonderful independent email newsletter Madison Minutes to bring you event recommendations every week. As of this summer, we’re dipping our toe back in with a few actual write-ups, some of which will appear in Madison Minutes‘ weekly event email, and all of which will appear here.
A few notes: This events roundup is, as before, selective and not comprehensive. Each week, we’ll focus on a handful of things our editors and writers find compelling, and that’s it. We’ll write up a few of them, and just list a few more. It’ll take us a while to get back to full strength with this part of our coverage, because we’ve had so many other exciting, demanding things to work on lately. Please reach out to us with suggestions—and info about your event, as long as you’re able to get it to us a few weeks in advance—at [email protected].
Creature From The Black Lagoon (1954) at Memorial Union Terrace. 9 p.m. Free.
Though by all accounts, it’s the campy embodiment of the creature-feature genre, Jack Arnold’s original Creature From The Black Lagoon (1954) stands out in WUD Film’s summer programming lineup at Memorial Union Terrace as the oldest and most classically distinguished selection. Natural horror and sci-fi invasion adventures ruled the day through the 1950s, first finding an audience with Christian Nyby’s The Thing From Another World (1951), which yielded one of the all-time great remakes in John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982). But, can Nyby’s film claim to have inspired two official sequels and a short-running musical? I think not.
While the rubbery, amphibious “Gill-man” himself isn’t terribly frightful and the dynamic between male scientists on land leaves something to be desired, the fluid underwater diving and stalking sequences, actually directed by James C. Havens, are beautiful to behold. They surely must have inspired a young Steven Spielberg at the time, who went on to make the thrilling cinematic event of the 1970s in Jaws (1975), which spawned too many imitators to even account for. (Without Creature, there also wouldn’t be 2018 Best Picture winner The Shape Of Water.) In all cases, the original visions have stood the test of time. And screening to a lively audience sprawled out on the Terrace, Creature From The Black Lagoon can perhaps serve as a gateway to a budding horror historian or enthusiastic young filmmaker. —Grant Phipps
Johannes Wallmann And Precarious Towers at Jazz at Five (100 State St). 6:45 p.m. Free.
From Scott Gordon’s feature on Johannes Wallmann’s new album, Precarious Towers: “On Precarious Towers Wallmann records for the first time with a quintet lineup of people he’s played with before but not in this exact configuration—Sharel Cassity on alto sax, Madison’s John Christensen on bass, Milwaukee’s Devin Drobka on drums, and Mitch Shiner, also of Milwaukee on vibraphone. For all that’s new here, there is also a sense that he wants to focus on the fundamentals, roots he’s never exactly departed from but wants to examine in a close, intentional way. It’s a good chance for both Wallmann and his listeners to ask what it all means from today’s fractured perspective.”
Kiki’s Righteous Session at McPike Park. 5 p.m. Free.
One of Madison’s most cherished and enduring venues is the Far East Side-ish basement of tireless music fan Kiki Schueler’s house. The general vibe of Kiki’s House of Righteous Music—lots of twangy and/or rocking acts of various stripes, a healthy embrace of the occasional sonic wildcard, and a devotion to local acts—gets an airing out in this recurring summer collaboration with the Sessions at McPike Park series. The 2022 edition of Kiki’s Righteous Session begins with The Low Czars, a Madison cover band that digs skillfully into the back pages of power pop, garage rock, and R&B. Jason Narducy (lately of Bob Mould’s unstoppable power trio) plays here in his ferociously catchy solo project Split Single, behind the 2021 album Amplificado, and Nashville’s Aaron Lee Tasjan closes things out. On a second, smaller tent stage, jazz guitarist Bill Roberts will be playing with his combo in-between the main-stage bands. —Scott Gordon
Laminal Animil at Café Coda. 7 p.m. $10.
Lee Bains + Glory Fires, Loamlands, Rocket Bureau at Dark Horse ArtBar. 8 p.m. $8.
“You’re not you anymore” goes the refrain of “Not You,” the second track from Rocket Bureau’s 2021 album Middle Angst. This increasingly sums up the spirit of Madison musician Kyle Urban’s (of The Motorz, The August Teens, and many other sturdy rock ‘n’ roll bands) ongoing solo studio project: The euphoric hooks of expertly crafted power-pop slamming into walls of disillusionment, guitars blaring away irrepressibly as the lyrics contemplate the moments in life when novelty wears thin and purpose gets muddled. The album reprises “Terrified,” the powerful lead-off track from Rocket Bureau’s 2015 release Low Times, High Anxiety. “I’m petrified of how the world surrounds me,” Motor sings on the chorus, giving listeners a full perspective on the vulnerability behind the brightly overdriven armor. The live-band version of Rocket Bureau (Urban and Josh Labbus on guitars, Dan Bornemann on bass, and Paul Kennedy on drums) opens up here for the blistering but always thoughtful Alabama band Lee Bains + Glory Fires, whose latest album, Old-Time Folks, came out earlier this month. —Scott Gordon