Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

John & Dan, Tekla Peterson at Arts + Literature Laboratory

May 11 @ 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm

$8 – $15
A publicity photo shows musicians John Bollinger and Dan Kaufman standing on a raised steel beam on a building rooftop, with the night sky and other city buildings in the background.

Guitarist Dan Kaufman and percussionist/multi-instrumentalist John Bollinger have covered some truly sprawling territory with each other over the years in the NYC-based outfit Barbez. Since the early 2000s, that band has twisted its way through eerie experimental rock full of aching melody, drawing on elements of Eastern European folk music and jagged free jazz with equal fluency. This is not merely a novel combination of surface touches, either. Technical daring and a deep sense of history run through Barbez’s discography, which includes multiple projects celebrating the anti-fascist resistance movements of the mid-20th century. (Kaufman is a Madison native, and indeed we’re talking about the same Dan Kaufman who has chronicled the modern history of Wisconsin politics in his journalism for The New Yorker and The New York Times, and in his 2018 book The Fall Of Wisconsin.) 


Bollinger and Kaufman also play together as a duo, simply named John & Dan, with the kind of expansive looseness that can only come from years of collaboration and focus. On “Rainy Day In Bern,” Bollinger’s vibraphone cascades gently over Kaufman’s wiry guitar trills and loops, occasionally giving way to outbursts of dense chords and restive drumkit. The two dig deeper into jagged instrumental rock on the frenetic “Fear Of Midtown” and the downright furious “D&D,” which begins with a calming vocal interlude before Bollinger lunges in with a bass part of nearly Jesus Lizard proportions—the kind where the impact of pick and string kind of hurts—over the bristling turbulence of his own drums.

John & Dan recorded these and several other tracks in sessions for the project’s forthcoming debut album. They began working on the recordings several years ago with producer Martin Bisi (who has worked with artists including John Zorn, Brian Eno, and Sonic Youth), and finally finished the tracking in April 2023. They’ll be drawing on that material at this show, perhaps also incorporating some of Bollinger’s playfully odd videos into the set. 

Opening up here is Tekla Peterson, the romantic and tormented synth-pop alter ego of Madison-based musician Taralie Peterson. A veteran of formidable avant-garde projects like Spires That In The Sunset Rise and Louise Bock, she debuted the Tekla Peterson moniker with the 2022 release of Heart Press. Its six songs blend sugary hooks with the anguished yearning of Peterson’s vocals.

—Scott Gordon


Photo by Gabrielle Plucknette.


May 11
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
$8 – $15
Event Category:
Event Tags:
, , , , ,


Arts + Literature Laboratory
111 South Livingston Street
Madison, WI 53703 United States
+ Google Map
View Venue Website

Shows, screenings, and other cultural events around town, selected and previewed by Tone Madison’s writers and editors. Plus, info on upcoming Tone Madison-hosted events.


Please note: This is a small, picky calendar. It is not a comprehensive calendar. If you are looking for one, we strongly recommend visiting our friends at Madison Minutes.


Submit events for consideration to [email protected]; please include all of the acts involved in the event, date, venue, showtime, ticket information, and any other information you think we should know. Send this information at least three weeks before the date of the event. We try to give everything fair consideration, but we do not and cannot preview all events, and we do not run submitted promotional copy.

An ode to the best and worst of Madison summers.

Eight stories over eight days, delivered directly to your inbox.

This site uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. By continuing to use this website, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy.

Scroll to Top