Madison calendar, October 13 through 19

Pangea X-Pression Fest, "Multiple Maniacs," Beguiling Isles, and more events of note in Madison this week. | By Joel Shanahan, Chris Lay, Emili Earhart, Mike Noto, Grant Phipps, Scott Gordon

K.Raydio headlines Pangea X-Pression Fest on October 14 at The Sett in Union South.

K.Raydio headlines Pangea X-Pression Fest on October 14 at The Sett in Union South.

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THURSDAY OCTOBER 13

Tech N9ne, Krizz Kaliko, JL, Starrz, Sincere Life. Majestic, 9 p.m.

Kansas City's Tech N9ne is one of the Midwest's most respected, longest-lived and hardest-working underground rappers, combining undeniable technical mastery, a talent for world-building and an unmistakable artistic persona into years of recording. He probably has one of the most fanatical followings any rapper has ever had, and often releases reams of new material through his profitable independent label Strange Music. Add to that his punishing, but greatly effective tour schedule (HipHopDX estimated in 2013 that he plays 200 dates a year) and it's hard not to agree that he's simply one of the most inspiring underground success stories there's been in any musical genre of the last two decades. But he's a cult fixture for reasons besides virtuosic rapping and intelligent niche marketing. The broadly histrionic horrorcore theatricality that distinguishes all of Tech's work makes it very difficult for many outsiders to get into his music, and his artistic output doesn't make room for much emotional variation within that rigidly defined aesthetic either. He also doesn't always have the world's best ear for production—many of the beats he's chosen throughout his career are anonymous and overblown at once, designed more to support his performances than to make themselves musically memorable. In short, it's not inaccurate to say that Tech N9ne is as acquired a taste as there is in hip-hop. But it's also not unreasonable to say that you could easily become devoted to it if you do end up acquiring it. —Mike Noto

Best Of Enemies. Central Library, 6:30 p.m. (free)

As a country, we’re still licking our wounds from the sheer awfulness of the debate that went down last Sunday in St. Louis. Trump was a mess, but he turned things into a depressing circus with his snappy, if deeply concerning, interjections about tossing Clinton in jail if he were elected. The audience, ignoring requests from the moderators that they remain silent, applauded this, hooting and hollering while their jack-o-lantern-faced hero stalked the stage and smirked his way somehow further down into the electoral commode. Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville's 2015 documentary Best Of Enemies, presented as part of the Central Library’s IndieLens Pop-Up series, takes us to a similarly upturned time in American history, the 1968 presidential cycle, during which the liberal Gore Vidal and the neoconservative William F. Buckley famously clashed on TV as a means of illuminating the issues of the day. The headline-grabbing moment was when Vidal referred to Buckley as a "crypto-Nazi,” which resulted in Buckley threatening to “sock” the “queer” Vidal in his “goddamn face.” It might not be the peak of political discourse, but between the petty jabs,they actually stayed on track and managed to touch on relevant issues, which is much more than you can say for the Kablooey in St. Louis. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion featuring radio personality Mitch Henck, author and radio host Stuart Levitan, and Bill Rizzo, a specialist from the UW-Extension Local Government Center. John Quinlan of Forward Forum TV and Radio will moderate the discussion. —Chris Lay

Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn. Union South Marquee, 9:30 p.m. (free)

Sam Raimi's 1987 film Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn is the answer to this question: “What do you get when you add slapstick to an exploitation-style splatter flick?” Almost a shot-for-shot remake of the original Evil Dead, Dead By Dawn is leagues better than its demonically-possessed-cabin predecessor in that it doubles the production value and the Three Stooges influence at the same time. It’s wild to think that it’s coming up on 30 years since this sequel’s release, and there have only been a handful of films that have come anywhere close to matching its ability to blend gross-out shlock shock with goofy comedic moments that somehow never undercut the overall ominous tone. —CL

Louis CK. Overture Hall, 8 p.m.

I'm not gonna lie: I kinda fell off on Louis CK. Sure, I bought, listened to, and enjoyed every one of his albums the second that they came out, including the small-room/big-room combo attack Live At The Comedy Store and Live At Madison Square Garden, but I just don't get excited about him as a stand-up like I used to. At this point I'm as shocked by his increasingly prolific output as I am the crazy things he says on stage. He's acting in Woody Allen movies now, making and distributing guerrilla TV shows on his own dime, and he finds the time to get an hour of new material polished up once a year or so. I do think his standup has taken a bit of a hit, quality-wise, but that step down from four or five transcendent moments per album to just two or maybe three is still pretty goddamn impressive. —CL

FRIDAY OCTOBER 14

Proud Parents, Kudzu, Dead Drugs, Alex Wiley Coyote. Mickey's Tavern, 10 p.m. (free)

Since releasing their debut album Sharon Is Karen on Rare Plant in December 2015, Proud Parents have enjoyed a well-deserved status as Madison's power-pop standouts. While made up of members from several Madison outfits (Fire Retarded, Disembodied Monks, The Hussy, etc.), Proud Parents is distinct from all those projects on record and in their live sets. The close collaboration among all four members shines through with an unmistakable warmth, as captured in vocal harmonies and lyrical trade-offs in “Something to Talk About.” This stacked bill includes two not-to-be-missed out of towners. Playing in anticipation for their upcoming demo tape, Missouri pop outfit Kudzu blends heavy shoegaze with driving post-punk and psychedelia. Playing behind his 2015 Slovenly records release, one-man band Dead Drug, singlehandedly tears it up with fuzzed-out garage punk and a nostalgic nod at original, timeless rock and roll. Opening up the night will be a special solo performance from Alex Wiley Coyote, who you may have heard as guitarist and vocalist of Madison cowpunk outfit Wood Chickens. —Emili Earhart

Fringe Character, Immigré, DJ Phil Money. High Noon Saloon, 9 p.m.

You wouldn't trust just any group of Americans to play Afrobeat and make it actually work, but the 10 members of instrumental band Immigré approach it with extensive knowledge of the music and a grasp of what it takes to actually pull off this challenging, brash, funky genre. The EP the band put out last year includes covers of songs by Amadou & Mariam and The Rail Band, but also an original called "Jakumaba" that is more than convincing, from its bright, skitting guitar melodies to the horn section's balance of driving harmonies and bouncy solos. They play here as part of a solidly fun and danceable Madison bill, between hip-hop group Fringe Character and deep-reaching veteran DJ Phil Money. —Scott Gordon

IndDIGenous: Major Vistas, Anders Svanoe Trio. Memorial Union Play Circle, 7:30 p.m.

As I wrote in a piece earlier this week, Madison-based saxophonist Anders Svanoe doesn't really seek the spotlight, but he plays here with bassist John Christensen and drummer Rodrigo Villanueva-Conroy to celebrate a new album they made together, State Of The Baritone. It spans 15 of Svanoe's original compositions, and on each track he plays just baritone sax, making a full-toned exploration of an instrument that's usually confined to a low-end supporting role. The compositions leave a lot of room for improvisation and interplay, so you can expect the trio to stretch out a bit extra in their set here. Headlining this installment of the InDIGenous jazz series is Major Vistas, a Madison instrumental trio who combine subtle jazz composition with elements of rock and electronic music. —SG

Herb Alpert And Lani Hall. Stoughton Opera House, 7:30 p.m.

Kitsch doesn't get kitschier than Herb Alpert, who used frankly ersatz musical mush and one of the funniest and most iconic album covers in history (the immortal Whipped Cream And Other Delights) to score enormous sales in the mid-'60's with his group the Tijuana Brass. This pioneering and sustained success in resolute toothlessness didn't come without enviably unerring commercial instinct and a truckload of polished musical technique, however. Alpert's immaculate trumpet sound, as spotless as Formica, helped propel featherweight material like the floridly orchestrated "The Lonely Bull" (complete with novelty crowd noises) and the trademark faux-Latin arrangement of "Spanish Flea" into the pop and easy-listening charts for decades. His emphasis on professionalism also meant he always led groups of crack musicians. More charitably, he was also a pioneering force in the music business, using his prodigiously keen marketing skills to turn A&M Records into the world's largest and most successful independent record label for decades. He appears at the Stoughton Opera House with an undoubtedly tight group and vocalist Lani Hall, who is best known for singing hits like “Mas Que Nada” and an orchestrated, reimagined version of Simon And Garfunkel’s “Scarborough Fair” in Sérgio Mendes' successful crossover bossa nova group Brasil '66. —MN

Pangea X-Pression Fest. Union South Sett, 7 p.m. (free)

Now more than ever, the necessity for an event like Pangea X-Pression Fest on the UW-Madison campus simply can’t and shouldn’t be denied. This debut installment packs an impressive roster of musicians, designers, visual artists, and speakers who have been brought together to battle oppression and discrimination through a variety of creative mediums. We’re particularly stoked to see that former Madisonian, spirited crooner, and curator of beautifully slippery grooves K.Raydio is among the featured music acts and, according to her website, she’ll be bringing some brand new tunes with her. Joining the singer-songwriter on the headlining side will be Milwaukee-based emcee, flow acrobat, and overall powerhouse Reggie Bonds and the equal parts brilliant and heart-wrenching slam poet (and former First Wave artist) Danez Smith. The Madison acts on the bill include five-man rap crew 3rd Dimension (who talked with us in an interview this week) and MC Rich Robbins. —Joel Shanahan

Tontine Ensemble, Cyrus Pireh, Sisters Three. Crescendo, 8 p.m.

Boasting cellist Pat Reinholz of bizarro jazz ensemble Lovely Socialite and string-electronics duo Nude Human and Barry Paul Clark of lush electro-pop project adoptahighway, orchestral violist Molly Liebermann, and violin explorer Allen Russell, Milwaukee-based quartet Tontine Ensemble mostly exists as a live entity. Shifting between bowed, weeping strings, scattershot plucks, and eerie scrapes, the foursome’s approach is known to shift between challenging compositions (sometimes penned by other folks from the Milwaukee area) and brain-scrambling improvisations. Performances from Duluth-based avant guitar shredder Cyrus Pireh and Madison’s own Sisters Three (a collaboration between The Brothers Grimm and DB Pedersen) will round out this bill. —JS

Cesar Et Rosalie. Vilas Hall, 7 p.m. (free)

SATURDAY OCTOBER 15

The Films Of Paolo Gioli. Vilas Hall, 7 p.m. (free)

Italian filmmaker Paolo Gioli got his start among European and American avant-garde movements during the 1960s, but draws just as much on the motion-picture experiments of the 19th century, when new and somewhat primitive camera technology—in resourceful hands—could yield its own wondrous effects. Gioli has referred to the movie camera as his laboratory, and has experimented with methods like shooting through pinhole cameras and painting directly onto film. This screening will comprise a selection of Gioli's short films, spanning from the 1960s to 2013, curated by UW-Madison professor of Italian Patrick Rumble. —SG

Army Of Darkness. Union South Marquee, 11 p.m. (free)

If Evil Dead was an attempt at pure horror (with a little bit of comedy), and Evil Dead 2 was a perfect balance of scary and slapstick, then Army Of Darkness’ less-than-scary and mostly comic approach is a fairly sensible tonal balancing of the scales for Sam Raimi's trilogy as a whole. Taking the main protagonist, Ash (Bruce Campbell, in a cult-launching role), out of a demon-infested cabin in the woods and thrusting him and his arm-mounted chainsaw back into the dark ages, Army Of Darkness is my personal least favorite of the loose trilogy (“Heresy!” they shouted at their computers), but it’s well worth watching for the way that writer/director Raimi squeezes every drop of catchphrase comedy from the premise. —CL

SUNDAY OCTOBER 16

Tar Pet, Forget The Times, Judders. Williamson Magnetic Recording Company, 8 p.m.

Often spinning between bits of hypnotic psych-rock, disjointed post-punk, and enveloping blankets of eerie soundscapes, Kalamazoo, Michigan’s Forget The Times took their sweet time following their 2013 split with The Electric Nature. As of now, there doesn’t seem to be an album where Forget The Times’ sonic chaos comes into focus the way it does on 2012’s Soul Music. Despite being the most immediate of the batch, “Romans In Storage” and “Marlon Morrison” stumble forward with the best sort of gracelessness—where the drummer sounds ready to fall over onto his kick drum at any moment, as Flipper-esque riffing splashes over his busted grooves. While there doesn’t appear to be any sort of Internet presence for it, Forget The Times are currently touring behind a brand new album called Plays Out and we’re very interested in hearing what they’ve presumably been chipping away at for the last few years. (Full disclosure: Tone Madison's Scott Gordon is playing an opening set at this show.) —JS

Uninhabitable, Dakhma, Bong Violence, Knvte. The Wisco, 10 p.m.

After a few spins through this year’s Suna Kulto, we are stoked for a set of punishing black metal journeys from Grand Rapids, Michigan's Dakhma. The long-player, which follows the beautifully bleak and discordant Raze from 2015, may only boast two cuts, but they both clock in around 20 minutes. Beginning with a few clean and gloomy chords and erupting into dizzying blast-beats, dirgey chords, and desperate shrieks, “East” numbs the listener to its length by plowing through enough pitch-black peaks and valleys to keep it engaging. “Coins” feels a bit more of a departure from Raze than “East” is, with its “Hysteria”-channeling opening riff (yes, that “Hysteria”) and emotive, speed-picked melodies. Touring with Dakhma will be Asheville, North Carolina-based, black metal-infused hardcore outfit Uninhabitable, who are traveling in support of a crushing new self-titled EP. —JS

MONDAY OCTOBER 17

Peter Sagal. Wisconsin Union Theater, 7:30 p.m. (free)

Don’t get me wrong, I’m as big a fan of Chicago Public Radio’s weekly news panel game show Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! as the next guy, but hearing the show’s host, Peter Sagal, waxing philosophical for an hour on the topic of "The Art of Telling a Joke" may prove less than thrilling. I’m sure Sagal's got a thoughtful approach to how folks squeeze laughter from each other with witty turns of phrase, but his main genius has been to surround himself with much funnier folks and get out of their way. I mean, no offense, but I’d take Mo Rocca or P. J. O'Rourke expounding on this topic any day of the week. Peep the embedded video for a couple of Sagal’s fave rib ticklers to see if you think this dude has got what it takes to tell you what’s funny and why. —CL

Multiple Maniacs. Union South Marquee, 7 p.m. (free)

John Waters is rightfully hailed as genius of sleazy cinema, heralding a new breed of literal exploitation movie that gleefully pushed the buttons of the American populace and revealed previously unknown, almost downright progressive ways to offend his viewers. While his Pink Flamingos might have found an audience with the midnight movie set in 1972, that film’s predecessor, Multiple Maniacs, was considerably less-seen until just recently when Janus Films commissioned a full restoration. That is the version that will screen at this installment of UW Cinematheque and WUD Film's collaborative “Marquee Monday” series. Centering on a group of psychotic kidnappers who masquerade as a traveling sideshow troupe collectively known as “Lady Divine's Cavalcade of Perversions,” Multiple Maniacs taps into the oh so topical zeitgeist of religious fanaticism, gay liberation, and lobster rape. If must be seen to be believed. —CL

WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 19

Beguiling Isles, White Gourd, Tar Pet. Art In (1444 E. Washington Ave.), 8 p.m.

It’s worth preemptively noting that the touring artists on this bonkers bill hail from one of the most profoundly weird and aesthetically dialed-in psych bands in the United States—Maine’s batshit Million Brazilians. And as with Millions Brazilians, Beguiling Isles and White Gourd seem to pull far more influence from the jazz-influenced experimental deep end of the psych palette than from the rock part. But the two projects occupy very different points in the spectrum between comfortable and brain-twisting. In the trilogy of Beguiling Isles releases (the latest being 2015’s Tales From The Vision Pit), mastermind Grant Corum forges a heavy sonic universe that the listener can wander right into—built on mesmerizing percussion, drifting and echoey keys, and occasionally some breezy, washed out vocals. White Gourd is still plenty warped and exhilarating, but on 2013’s Hermit/La Lune, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Suzanne Stone seems way less interested in creating a vibe to cozy up to. In “La Lune,” creepy bells, dissonant sax drones, and wailing vocals build up and soar ominously. While it’s a little more immediate and cohesive, the “Hermit” side feels even more haunting, as a piano stumbles through an estranged chord progression and Stone’s mysterious voice dances over it. Rounding out the bill is Tar Pet, the solo project of Madison-based multi-instrumentalist, Spires That In The Sunset Rise member, and sax shredder Taralie Peterson. —JS

Spotlight Cinema: Homo Sapiens. Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, 7 p.m.

A cinematic complement to the ecological prophesying of Alan Weisman's World Without Us, Nikolaus Geyrhalter's new film Homo Sapiens magnifies the same thought experiment in the irony of its title—which implies civilization in the absence of mankind. Simultaneously billed as formal documentary and eerie science fiction premise when it premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival this year, the film may seem closer to the former label now that Mauna Loa Observatory has reported carbon emissions passing the point of no return (400ppm). :-( Geyrhalter's relentless, slideshow-like pacing creates a mood that bends toward the human infatuation with fundamental extremes in terms of creation and destruction. Spanning the globe—from the exclusion zone in Fukushima, Japan, of the 2011 nuclear disaster, to a communist government's abandoned alien saucer-like Buzludzha Monument at the peak of the Balkan Mountains—Homo Sapiens examines architectural achievements that have either crumbled or been lost to time. Ultimately, the film feels like an evolution of Godfrey Reggio (Koyaanisqatsi)'s methodology, with its intense focus on the relationships between modern civilization and Mother Nature. —Grant Phipps