Turkeyfest expands with We Are Hex, Obnox, Running, and new Madison bands

The annual garage-punk fest is back October 23 through 25 at Mickey’s and the Crystal Corner.


We Are Hex.

We Are Hex.

In maybe the biggest thing yet to involve Hussy guitarist Bobby Hussy writing “NO DICKS. NO SQUARES.” on a Facebook event page, his label Kind Turkey’s annual Turkeyfest will return this fall with an expanded lineupboasting a sonically diverse array of punk acts from around the country and sets from a couple of very new Madison projects. And for the first time it’ll be running for three nights, with shows on October 23 and 25 at Mickey’s Tavern, and in between them an October 24 show at the Crystal Corner Bar. The Mickey’s nights are free, and the Crystal show has an $8 cover.

The national acts capture some of the variety bubbling out of weird little corners of punk rock: Indianapolis’ We Are Hex (Oct. 24) play layered, magnetic songs that draw an almost ritualistic energy from their primal rhythms and singer Jill Weiss’ fierce stage presence. Cleveland’s Obnox (also Oct. 24) melts together gritty punk and hip-hop with disorienting and brilliant results. Both We Are Hex and Obnox have actually played Madison pretty recently, but those were two of the best shows I’ve seen this year and just having the both of them play on a single night is pretty exciting.

Other out-of-town highlights include thrusting, hardcore-inflected Austin band Xetas (Oct. 23), Chicago noise-punk miscreants Running (Oct. 25), and San Francisco’s Male Gaze (Oct. 25), whose post-punk is at once hard-charging and eerily cavernous.

As far as Madison bands playing these shows, there are of course plenty of repeat offenders: Fire Retarded (Oct. 23), The Hussy, (Oct. 24), Proud Parents) (Oct. 24), and Dumb Vision (Oct. 25). But more importantly, Turkeyfest will feature new projects from Madison musicians you wouldn’t necessarily expect to see on the roster. Brain Freeze (Oct. 23) features drummer Ben Brooks and bassist Tony Moraga, who previously played together in the short-lived but mighty and catchy punk outfit Tiny Daggers (Brooks also plays in long-running metal outfit Poney, and Moraga was in crust-punk outfit Pyroklast), and this will be one of their first shows in this new outfit. Grave Texture (Oct. 25), making its debut at Turkeyfest, is Beau Devereaux of expansive electronic project Samantha Glass and guitarist Izzi Plunkett (formerly of Sardonyx and Savage Death). So, two local bands basically no one has heard, comprised of members from a bunch of other local projects, and a bunch of bands that all kinda have to do with the recent garage-punk explosion but don’t really sound very much alike. The lineup basically shows you why it’s a good time to be keeping your ears open in Madison, and a good time to keep listening to weird punk bands.

Oh, and check out our recent interviews with ObnoxProud Parents, and The Hussy.

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