Madison calendar, April 28 through May 4Imarhan, Del The Funky Homosapien, Agnes B, Sound Out Loud, and more events of note in Madison this week.

Imarhan, Del The Funky Homosapien, Agnes B, Sound Out Loud, and more events of note in Madison this week. | By Scott Gordon, Joel Shanahan, Chris Lay, Mike Noto

Imarhan plays May 4 at The Frequency. Photo by Julien Bourgeois.

Imarhan plays May 4 at The Frequency. Photo by Julien Bourgeois.

Sponsor message: The Tone Madison calendar is made possible with support from Union Cab of Madison, a worker-owned cooperative providing safe and professional taxi services. 608-242-2000 | @unioncabcoop

THURSDAY APRIL 28

Del The Funky Homosapien, DJ Shiftee, Sean Anonymous. High Noon Saloon, 9 p.m.

Always innovative and never one to simply ride cousin Ice Cube’s coattails, Oakland-based emcee Del The Funky Homosapien has built a staggering legacy for himself over the last 25-plus years. With so much of Del’s career lurking in the shadows of his iconic collaborations with Gorillaz, it’s easy to forget the mark his conscientious, yet playfully twisted style has made upon the Rhymesayers and Anticon artists of the aughts, with the nuked sci-fi hip-hop of 2000’s Dan The Automator collab Deltron 3030, his work with Heiroglyphics, or 1993’s monumentally raw No Need For Alarm. The mutant strength behind Del’s 2014 solo venture Iller Than Most is reinforced not only by the emcee’s dominating couplets, but the dystopian futuristic backdrops he conjures up behind them as a producer. Whether it’s the unsettling cyber-drones behind the slick groove of “Delta Time,” the damaged, slithering zaps of “Wreckin’ The Upside,” or the industrial throb of “Bitin’ Ain’t Samplin’,” the emcee’s production proves the perfect counterpoint to his crookedly inventive flow. —Joel Shanahan


Agnes B. Central Library, 7:30 p.m. (free)

French fashion designer Agnès Troublé rose to prominence in the 1970s and 1980s with her eponymous Agnes B. line of clothing and stores, and over the years has expanded into publishing, running art galleries, and funding film festivals and filmmakers including Claire Denis and Harmony Korine. Even early in her career, Troublé rejected high fashion in favor of simplicity and accessibility, and she’s carried on a rebellious lefty spirit informed by her participation in the 1968 student uprisings in Paris. At this event, she’ll be having a public conversation with Sara Guyer, director of the UW-Madison Center for Humanities. —Scott Gordon

Bob Sheppard. UW Humanities Building, Morphy Hall, 8 p.m. (free)

L.A.-based musician Bob Sheppard plays multiple woodwind instruments, but is best known as a tenor saxophonist, and over the years has collaborated with artists including Chick Corea, Freddie Hubbard, Herbie Hancock, and Joni Mitchell. His last album as a bandleader was 2010’s Close Your Eyes, but in recent years Sheppard has remained busy with session work, tours, and teaching. He plays here in a collaborative set with Madison jazz musicians Johannes Wallmann (piano), Eric Siereveld (trumpet), John Schaffer (bass), and Keith Lienert (drums). —SG

The Godfather. Union South Marquee, 8:30 p.m. (free)


FRIDAY APRIL 29

Sound Out Loud: Music For 18 Musicians. UW Humanities Building Courtyard, 11:30 a.m. (free)

Steve Reich's "Music For 18 Musicians" is one of the great works of minimalism. Generally around a hour in duration, and rooted in the use of 11 chords in a pulsing musical cycle, the composition really doesn't sound like much else, even today. Sections of intricately arranged marimbas, pianos, clarinets, and human voices all combine to produce an unremitting, continually ebbing and flowing sheet of sound that alternately relaxes and unsettles. The deceptive complexity of the piece is reflected in the way Reich took advantage of both rigorous rules and aleatoric methods to compose it. For example, each chord in the musical cycle has a pre-written piece of music attached to it, which must be played whenever the musicians get to the chord—but, on the other hand, the clarinetists' breath control determines the tempo of each individual performance. "Music For 18 Musicians" slightly resembles Eastern music at times—David Bowie once memorably described it as "Balinese gamelan music cross-dressing as minimalism"—but the overall effect of the music is unique, and brilliantly trancelike. A new ensemble called Sound Out Loud, which formed by UW-Madison music students and various other avant-leaning members of the local music community, is performing the piece in the courtyard of the George L. Mosse Humanities Building, with a full 18-musician lineup. Sound Out Loud will have its proper debut with a Saturday night concert at Mills Hall, also in the Humanities Building. —Mike Noto


Ari Shaffir. Comedy Club on State, through April 30, see link for all showtimes.

It’s hard to tell sometimes if certain comics are widely known outside the bubble of comedy and podcast nerds in which I reside. Ari Shaffir is one of those guys who is incredibly well known in certain circles, but seems perfectly content with being a big name to some and utterly unknown to pretty much everyone else. While his standup, simultaneously loose but self-assured, is often rooted in first-person stories, the situations he relates are usually from the seedier side of existence. His show on Comedy Central, This Is Not Happening, embraces these strengths and is pretty much an adult version of The Moth (it’s recorded in a strip club) with Shaffir’s standup buddies hilariously relating stories of various regrettable and fucked-up events. Shaffir casually works blue, but he’s able to crank up the charm when he knows he’s gonna really push some buttons, and somehow the overall vibe is totally inclusive and pleasantly disarming. Milwaukee’s Sammy Arechar features, and Madison’s David Schendlinger hosts. —Chris Lay


3 Women. Vilas Hall, 7 p.m. (free)

Of the five films programmed in UW Cinematheque’s Robert Altman retrospective, 3 Women is probably the least known Altman films, but one of the most passionately beloved by those who have seen it. Shelley Duvall and Sissy Spacek star respectively as Pinky Rose and Millie Lammoreaux, two of the titular three women, who work at a desert resort hotel. The intimate and dreamily surreal 3 Women is an interesting followup and possibly a strange overcorrection after the pop-culture footprint left by Altman’s previous film, Nashville. Fans of this should make sure to check out Ingmar Berman’s Persona, which screens on Sunday at the Chazen. —CL


Red Green. Capitol Theater, 7 p.m.

Somewhere in the early 1990s, handymen became all the rage. In America we got the animalistic grunts of Tim “The Toolman” Taylor, but in Canada they had the comparatively more subdued and decidedly sillier sketch based comedy of Red Green. Red Green is a pop culture anomaly that has managed to endure for a decade after its final episode in 2006. If you’re anything like me, you discovered Red Green while you were waiting for PBS to show its weekly episode of Mr. Bean, but not everyone can be a walking repository of shameful childhood comedy preferences. Anyway, the Red Green Show ran for an inexplicable 15 seasons, leaving 300 episodes that were equal parts duct-tape tips and tricks and dad-joke misogyny that’s notable for its almost comforting mildness. No clue how deep the nostalgia is for Red Green, much less how they’re going to fill the two-hour run-time (including an intermission), but apparently he’s got a whole new show worked out for his current tour. —CL


SATURDAY APRIL 30

Busking For Books. State Street, 1 to 3 p.m.

Busking For Books is an annual fundraiser for Literacy Network, a local non-profit that provides free literacy and English-language instruction for adults across Dane County. Local musicians set up at just about every intersection along State Street and play acoustic sets, and the change people toss into their instrument cases goes straight to Literacy Network. Naturally, it leans heavily toward folk and bluegrass performers, but you can always expect a few musical outliers posted up along the route too, including Pixies cover band Crackity Jones and throat-singer DB Pedersen. —SG

Night Light: Future Primitive. Central Library, 7 p.m. (free)

The one-night art exhibition Future Primitive aims to flout the barriers between fine art and outsider art by showcasing the work of 30 artists who’ve developed their craft through formats like tattooing, comic books, street art, and fashion design. The samples up on the Bubbler’s website suggest that viewers are in for lots of rugged texture and brash color. The night will also include a presentation on the history of Chicago graffiti, a short film from Chicago artist Anthony Lewellen, and sounds from WORT-FM DJ Destructo, who hosts the weekly avant-garde program Weekly World Noise. —SG

Fringe Character, Immigre. Crystal Corner Bar, 9:30 p.m.

Madison hip-hop project-turned 10-piece band Fringe Character play here to celebrate their first full-length album, Mint. Standout tracks like “Cake,” “This Charm Will Fade” and “Cherry Bomb” (which we wrote about earlier this week) find main MCs Dudu Stinks and Daewong trading rhymes against producer/bandleader Ben Sholl and band’s busy palette of slick synth hooks, punchy horn arrangements, and warm guitar and Fender Rhodes chords. Mint flits through a lot of sonic references, from reggae to Brazilian percussion, but things come together tastefully, in an approach that makes Fringe Character a welcome outlier among Madison’s hip-hop offerings. —SG


Go Go Slow, Novagolde, Winning Ugly. Mickey’s Tavern, 10:30 p.m. (free)

Boasting members of Milwaukee noise-rock legends Fuckface, The Crusties, and Die Kreuzen frontman Dan Kubinski (on guitar), Go Go Slow offers a no-frills post-punk counterpoint to the individual band members’ nuked curriculum vitae. The foursome just dropped its first 7-inch, Timbo Tempo/Flamethrower Love in sync with Record Store Day. “Timbo Tempo,” the single’s one original cut, rides on drummer Paul New’s slanted battering, as Kubinski’s dirty riffing locks above. Meanwhile, vocalist Dave Szolwinski frantically wails over the top, at times howling through some demented vocal processing, making him resemble some kind of nightmarish, no-wave T-Pain (OK, I guess this technically counts as a “frill”). While the B-side is just a cover of the swaggering Dead Boys classic “Flamethrower Love,” “Timbo Tempo” has us on the hook for something longform from Go Go Slow, and hopefully this show will exhibit what kind of beautifully damaged goods they’ve been hacking away at. —JS


One-Eyed Jacks. Vilas Hall, 7 p.m.

Where does a gorilla sit when he goes to a movie theater? Wherever he wants. Now, when the gorilla turns in a five hour cut of a western in 1961? Well, you get One-Eyed Jacks, which is Marlon Brando’s first and only directorial credit. Sam Peckinpah and Rod Serling both worked on early versions of the screenplay, and none other than Stanley Kubrick was attached to direct before various studio scuffling scuttled Stan and Sam in favor of Brando and Guy Trosper. The plot is pretty simple on paper, with a double-crossed bank robber on the hunt for revenge years after it all went down, but somehow Brando managed to push the production way over budget and the studio had to more or less chop the film’s runtime in half (it’s still comes in at 141 minutes), but it’s still very pretty to look at and Brando, Karl Malden, and Slim Pickens all turn in excellent performances. —CL


Charles Bradley, Tenement. Majestic, 9 p.m.

This year’s Changes, the latest full length from former James Brown impersonator and current ’60s soul preservationist Charles Bradley, finds the scratchy crooner wailing over a new collection of tastefully strutting and retrofied R&B tunes. “Good To Be Back Home” and “Ain’t It A Sin” find Bradley’s bear-trap rhythm section plugging away under warm guitar tones and Bradley’s assured melodies, vocal tics, and screeches. However, what really sells Changes for us are the evocative, waltzing ballads channelling the late Otis Redding, like “Crazy For Your Love” and particularly the title-track, which is actually a gorgeously clever and heart-wrenching reinvention of the Black Sabbath ballad from 1972’s Vol. 4). —JS


Revelry: iLoveMakonnen, Hudson Mohawke, WebsterX, Finding Novyon, Davilla. Orpheum, 5 p.m.

Atlanta singer/rapper iLoveMakonnen, born Makonnen Sheran, first came to prominence two years ago with the inexhaustible, delicate hook of "Club Going Up On A Tuesday," which rocketed into the charts after Drake added a sung verse to it. But Drake's contribution was only notable inasmuch as it mimicked the flow of Makonnen's original lines—in effect, it didn't change the essential character of the song, which was pretty singular. Makonnen flittered his way through off-key but incredibly charismatic, airy falsetto verses about having no time to party because of selling drugs over a continually retuning and maddeningly catchy pop-inflected beat from producers Sonny Digital and Metro Boomin. Seemingly inspired as much by Adele and synth-pop as he is by Lil B, Makonnen often is barely a rapper at all, and when he does rap it's usually in a light, singsong tone of voice (as on the great "Trust Me Danny" and Father's viral hit "Look At Wrist") that's leagues removed from typically boisterous Atlantan collaborators like Migos. Instead, Makonnen often sings in a bizarre, flexible, overtly performative baritone: He's shown a taste for odd, soulful, free-form balladry like the synth-soaked "Tonight," as well as more pop-leaning songs in the vein of "Tuesday" like "Want You." Makonnen recently left Drake's OVO Sound label, but he's preparing a tour and mixtape with Lil B, so expect more from him in the future. He appears here with Hudson Mohawke, the Scottish electronic artist and hip-hop producer who became well known for recording on Warp and working on Kanye West's most recent albums. —MN


Julian Lage. Frequency, 7 p.m.

Jazz guitarist Julian Lage last played Madison on a solo-guitar tour in fall 2015, but returns here with the trio that made his most recent album, Arclight. Lage began his music career as a child prodigy, but grew into a versatile composer and collaborator—recent efforts have included a meandering duo with Nels Cline and the warmly ruminative acoustic record World’s Fair. On Arclight, Lage joins bassist Scott Colley and Kenny Wollesen in a mannered and upbeat set tinged with blues scales and Latin rhythms. The album reaches a couple of peaks on the splashy, conversational “Supera” and the (slightly) raucous “Prospero,” and offers a nimble but not too showy take on W.C. Handy’s “Harlem Blues.” —SG


SUNDAY MAY 1

Chris Pureka, Anna Vogelzang. High Noon Saloon, 7 p.m.

Madison singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Anna Vogelzang heavily favors the contemplative side of her music on Hiker, the new album she’ll celebrate here. Vogelzang is still making gentle folk-pop and singing in a vulnerable and deceptively tough voice, but upbeat tracks like “Garden” are the exception here. On “Friction/Philip,” “Bear,” and the title track, hi-hats scratch at the edges of the music in a way that can’t help but make me think of apprehension and lingering doubt. Vogelzang and collaborators Todd Sickafoose and Shane Leonard play with a lot of different sounds here—piano melodies, synth chords, and flowing guitar arpeggios—but they tend to creep quietly into the spacious mix, creating a sense that Hiker is above all an effort to slow down and contemplate. Vogelzang shares the bill here with Portland-based songwriter Chris Pureka, who will also be celebrating a new album, Back In The Ring. —SG


Micro-Wave Cinema: MA. Vilas Hall, 7 p.m. (free)

In her 2015 feature-directing debut MA, Celia Rowlson-Hall draws on her background in choreography to create a strange, dialogue-free story loosely based on the Biblical story of Mary and Joseph. Rowlson-Hall also stars in the film along Andrew Pastides, and the two embark on an allegorical desert journey, expressed entirely through movement, music, and the backdrop of the American southwest. At this screening, MA will be paired with two of Rowlson-Hal’s short films, and Celia Rowlson-Hall will appear via Skype for a post-screening Q&A. —SG


Persona. Chazen Museum of Art, 2 p.m. (free)

And with this, UW Cinematheque’s series “Ingmar Bergman In Black And White” comes to a close. Persona,from 1966, is one of Bergman’s greatest masterworks, beating out The Seventh Seal and Wild Strawberries in popularity on Letterboxd—and since it’s a notably dreamy study of two female personalites fusing into each, other it’s fitting that it’s screening on the same weekend as Altman’s 3 Women, which was clearly influenced by Persona. —CL


WEDNESDAY MAY 4

Imarhan, Immigre. Frequency, 8 p.m.

The members of Imarhan hail from the nomadic Tuareg society of north and west Africa, and have some ties to the Tuareg people’s most famous musical export, Tinariwen. They share much of Tinariwen’s combination of indigenous folk music and electric blues, but Imarhan are younger fellows, and their self-titled debut album from earlier this year leans a bit more stark and reflective. A lot of the space in the music comes from the nuance guitar interplay—on “Tahabort,” one guitar scratches out quick, slippery, funky chords while another spirals through the kind of prickly, bright lead melodies people so love in West African music. The band creates a lot of downright somber moments here, including on the hazy “Ibas Ichikkou” and the mostly acoustic-centered “Id Isleigh,” but Imarhan also has a rumbling, loping rhythm section that might become more prominent in the live set. —SG


Sonny Knight & The Lakers. Shitty Barn, 7 p.m. (sold out)