Madison calendar, October 6 through 12

Bree Newsome, Louis CK, Saint Vitus, Jeremy Waun, and more events of note in Madison this week. | By Scott Gordon, Emili Earhart, Joel Shanahan, Chris Lay

Bree Newsome (shown here speaking in Charlotte, North Carolina in July) will give an October 11 talk at the UW-Madison Multicultural Student Center. Photo by Grant Baldwin on Flickr.

Bree Newsome (shown here speaking in Charlotte, North Carolina in July) will give an October 11 talk at the UW-Madison Multicultural Student Center. Photo by Grant Baldwin on Flickr.

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THURSDAY OCTOBER 6

Mulholland Drive. Central Library, 6:30 p.m. (free)

Like a waking dream slipping away in the morning light, David Lynch's 2001 high water-mark Mulholland Drive makes it difficult to separate one layer of reality from another. On its face, the film is about one woman, a wide-eyed Hollywood hopeful (Laura Harring), helping another, a car-crash induced amnesiac (Naomi Watts), to discover who she is. In action though, the film is much more noir-ish, mercurial, and nightmarish than such a soap-opera setup could convey. It's a lot of fun to see Lynch, best known for placing his twisted tales in rural and suburban settings (Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks), take full advantage of the unique soul-sucking seediness that only LA can offer. With his Twin Peaks sequel set to be released sometime next year, this Central Cinema Cinesthesia screening offers neophytes a solid entry point into Lynch's back catalog (has it really been 15 years?!), and return viewers a chance to watch that one moment, you know the one, with a room full of otherwise unsuspecting viewers. —Chris Lay

FRIDAY OCTOBER 7

Atmosphere, Brother Ali, Dem Atlas, Plain Ole Bill. Orpheum, 8 p.m.

Here in the Midwest we've gotten a whole lot of Atmosphere for a very long time, so it's fortunate that the Minneapolis duo of rapper Slug and producer Ant have retained their brash charm. Their latest, Fishing Blues, plays as one of Atmosphere's more laid-back and playful efforts, with highlights including the atmospheric, string-swirled funk of "Besos" and the warped sci-fi dissonance of the Doom- and Kool Keith-featuring "When The Lights Go Out." Fellow Twin Cities resident Brother Ali is just as big a draw here, if not bigger: On record and live, the Madison-born MC is a wrecking ball of sincerity and gruff, skillful rhymes, usually making for a fiery but tender mix of the personal and political. He plays here four years after the release of his last proper album, Mourning In America And Dreaming In Color (though in 2013 he collaborated with Jake One for the "demo-style" EP Left In The Deck), so cross your fingers for some new material in the set. —Scott Gordon

Gallery Night. Multiple locations, 5 p.m., see link for full listings

The twice-annual Gallery Night sprawls across more than 60 real and ad-hoc art spaces in Madison, though this time some of the standouts actually are the big obvious ones. The Central Library will host a multiple-artist opening that includes a rare in-person appearance from Madison artist Michael Velliquette's mostly online-only miniature gallery Lovey Town, and the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art recently opened up the 2016 Wisconsin Triennial (and will host an afterparty from 9 to 11 with DJ Phil Money). Highlights a bit more out of the way include light installations and microscopic photography at the Madison Science Museum, and an election-inspired group show called It Can Happen Here at Arts + Literature Laboratory. —SG

Jimmy Pardo. Comedy Club on State, 8 & 10:30 p.m. (also October 8)

Jimmy Pardo's name should be familiar to pretty much any comedy nerd worth their salt these days. Aside from spending years in the trenches in Chicago and eventually landing the gig as Conan's late night warm-up comic, Pardo launched the Never Not Funny podcast, which was part of the golden age of that medium (the long ago mid aughts). Pardo's rapid-fire act, almost entirely improv-based, is legendary in comedy circles, but I would hesitate to call him a "comic's' comic." Even though he might not have broken out to a wider audience yet, Pardo's act is undeniably populist. If you really wanna watch a guy work, I mean really put in effort to win a crowd over, don't miss your chance to see him sweat it out on stage here, and honestly I'd recommend catching more than one show if you can, as no two are likely to be even remotely alike. —CL

Les Choses De La Vie. Vilas Hall, 7 p.m. (free)

SATURDAY OCTOBER 8

Tyrus. Vilas Hall, 2 p.m. (free)

Mele Murals. Vilas Hall, 7 p.m. (free)

As part of this week's Asian American Media Spotlight on campus, UW Cinematheque screens two very different documentaries about visual artists. In 2015's Tyrus, Pamela Tom charts the long career and often unheralded influence of Chinese-American painter Tyrus Wong. In Wong's 105 years of life, his art—from landscape watercolors to calligraphy-inspired lithographs to kites—has given elements of Chinese art a powerful and distinctive place in America. He has also had a huge influence on animation, thanks to his work on the 1942 Disney film Bambi. Later on, Tad Nakamura's 2016 documentary Mele Murals profiles a group of young Native Hawaiians who mix Hawaiian traditions with contemporary street-art styles. Both directors will give Q&As after their respective films, Tom by Skype and Nakamura in person. —SG

Real Estate, EZTV. Majestic, 9 p.m.

It's been a couple years since Ridgewood, New Jersey natives Real Estate (now scattered across the states) dropped 2014's breezy and reflective Atlas, which scaled back a bit on the band's Felt-inspired, jangled guitar harmonies and ramped up the hazy, Grateful Dead-tinged songwriting. In the time that's passed, frontman Martin Courtney would drop a mellow solo album in 2015's Many Moons and the band would part ways with founding member, guitarist, and Ducktails mastermind Matt Mondanile and add Madison-based songwriter, composer, and experimentalist Julian Lynch into the fold. (Lynch won't be playing at this show, though, as he's currently abroad.) Real Estate have been hard at work on a follow-up to Atlas, which should be dropping sometime in 2017, and this show may be a great opportunity to preview some new jams. —Joel Shanahan

Duck Soup Cinema: Metropolis. Capitol Theater, 7 p.m.

The Overture Center’s Duck Soup Cinema series kicks off its 30th anniversary celebration with Fritz Lang’s 1927 silent sci-fi epic Metropolis. Set in 2026, the film envisions a perhaps not-so-distant world divided between ivory-tower industrialists and lower-class workers who keep the cogs in line. It’s rare enough to get a chance to see this on the big screen (presumably in the 2010 restoration), but the opportunity to enjoy it with a live accompaniment from organist Clark Wilson on the Capitol Theater’s legendary Grand Barton Organ, which is itself only one year younger than the film at hand, will surely be a mesmerizing experience. Following the screening, UW-Madison Communication Arts Professor Jeff Smith, along with Wilson, will talk about Metropolis’ production history, the music used in various versions of the film, and the long-term influence the film has had on cinema as a whole. —CL

SUNDAY OCTOBER 9

Self-Evident, The Bronzed Chorus, Czarbles. Frequency, 8:30 p.m.

Minneapolis band Self-Evident draws a lot of twisty and ponderous elements from post-hardcore bands like Fugazi, Unwound, and even, if we want to get a little out there with this, The Dismemberment Plan. But unlike a lot of bands with similar inspirations, Self-Evident likes to keep graceful vocal melodies up front on just about every track, even when it's dealing in knotty rhythms and convoluted guitar figures on a song like "Swell," from the 2015 EP The Traveler. Sometimes it's tough to understand how all this hangs together, but the crazily fluid playing of bassist Tom Berg probably has something to do with it. They share the bill here with two instrumental bands: Madison math-metal heroes Czarbles and North Carolina duo The Bronzed Chorus. —SG

Ace In The Hole. Chazen Museum of Art, 2 p.m. (free)

Over the course of this election cycle, there has been an increasing amount of aspersions cast on "The Media." Overflowing with the sort of snappy one-liners you might find on a cynical city-desk editor's tombstone ("It's a good story today. Tomorrow, they'll wrap a fish in it."), Billy Wilder's 1951 follow-up to Sunset Boulevard, Ace In The Hole, goes a long and broadly trumped up way towards showing off just why folks think so poorly of the fourth estate. Kirk Douglas stars as Chuck Tatum, a yellow journalist who's been run out of every big-city rag that he's written for. After bullying his way into a gig in Albuquerque, Tatum gets more than he bargained for when his running story about a man trapped in a cave goes a bit too "viral" for him to control. If you've ever wondered what it would have looked like to see Nancy Grace in the fifties, Ace In The Hole is the answer—and it's not a pretty picture. —CL

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

From our preview of this fall's Micro-Wave Cinema Series: "It's pretty much universally agreed upon that no one wants to hear about your dreams, unless they include something along the lines of '...and you were in it too!' But even then it's far from a slam dunk to get me interested. What does sound appealing, though, is using dreams to inspire collaboration. In Collective: Unconscious, five filmmakers each tackling one another's dreams in a well-executed collection of pleasantly diverse shorts. Topics and styles range from Lauren Wolkstein flipping high school nightmares into "mainstream" comedy gold in Beemus, It'll End in Tears, Frances Bodomo's afterschool public access show beaming straight from hell, Everybody Dies!, and Lily Baldwin's Swallowed, which manages to seamlessly blend the body horror of Rosemary's Baby with the balletic grace of Black Swan." —CL

MONDAY OCTOBER 10

Tone Madison Presents GateSound: Battle Trance, Randal Bravery. Gates of Heaven, 7 p.m.

The GateSound series, booked and presented by us here at Tone Madison, continues with a beautifully intense sax quartet and one of the state's more unpredictable electronic producers. New York outfit Battle Trance use just four tenor saxes—and sometimes their voices, channeled through the saxes—to realize epic, driving compositions laden with an incredibly supple variety of timbres and harmonic interplay. The space of the historic Gates of Heaven itself might become something of a fifth instrument here, or at least contribute a layer of natural reverb, as Battle Trance play behind their most recent release, Blade Of Love. Milwaukee producer Randal Bravery is rooted in hip-hop (he collaborates with Milo and the affiliated Ruby Yacht crew), but stretches out into abstract and ambient territory, sometimes taking his beats with him and sometimes leaving them behind. His live sets are raw and thrilling affairs involving on-the-fly sampler work and the occasional burst of wildly effected vocals. He recently put out a new 13-track release, Hamaon. —SG

Jordahl Public Lands Lecture: Jonathan Jarvis. Wisconsin Union Theater, 7 p.m. (free)

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, which it is safe to call one of the brightest ideas the United States has ever put into action. (The first national park, Yellowstone, was established long before the NPS itself.) It has since expanded to cover more than 400 different sites, from Denali in Alaska to Martin Luther King, Jr.'s childhood home in Atlanta. That's the occasion for this lecture from Jonathan Jarvis, a former park ranger who became director of the NPS in 2009. The talk is titled "History, Heritage, And The National Parks: Promoting The Relevance Of The American Narrative." But hopefully there will be some time to talk about the many challenges the parks face, from climate change the need to the insufficient diversity of the people who get to enjoy them. Jarvis himself has also faced some challenges, from an ethics inquiry to widespread problems with sexual harassment within the NPS. And while we're at it, could we do something about those traffic jams that happen every time someone spots a goddamn elk? OK thanks. —SG

TUESDAY OCTOBER 11

Saint Vitus, The Skull, Witch Mountain. High Noon Saloon, 8 p.m.

Through a tasteful brew of sinister headiness, buzzing texture, and heavy post-Sabbath riffing, LA's Saint Vitus wield undeniable influence over the contemporary climate of "doom"- and "sludge"-obsessed metal bands. From the hazy, bleak, and bellowing crawl of "Dying Inside" that exemplifies 1986's Born Too Late to the ominous journey of "Let The End Begin" from 1995's incredible Die Healing, Saint Vitus have spent 36 years tying together strands of psych-rock and slow-burning metal, and dug ever deeper into their own scorched territory. While the band hasn't dropped a proper album since gravel-throated, on-and-off vocalist Wino Weinrich rejoined them for 2012's Lille: F-65 (which was actually really good), they will be touring behind the freshly released Live Vol. 2. —JS

Jimmy Eat World, The Hunna. Barrymore, 8 p.m.

When it comes to pop-culture relevance, Mesa, Arizona's Jimmy Eat World have been cruising down a deep slope since 2001's smash "The Middle," a song that brilliantly walked the line between college rock, pop-punk, and parasitic Top 40 hooks. After 2001's Bleed American served up its infectiously angst-ridden title track and sugary whoa-oh powerhouse "Sweetness," Jimmy Eat World have gradually dipped back into the cozy cult status they established with classic long-players like 1996's Static Prevails and 1999's Clarity. Fast forward 15 years and the band's about to drop their ninth album in Integrity Blues, and we aren't super stoked about its lead singles. "Sure And Certain" is about as safe as it gets, with its sleepy, harmonized vocal hook robotically fluctuating over two chords, while the main riff and melodramatic, over-enunciated vocals on "Get Right" wouldn't sound out of place in WJJO's programming. —JS

Jonesies, TS Foss, Anna McClellan. Williamson Magnetic Recording Company, 8 p.m.

Omaha singer and pianist Anna McClellan writes songs that sway between playful melodies and wide-open vulnerability. On her 2015 album Fire Flames, those songs are layered with strings, percussion, guitar, and vibes, but never in a way that crowds out the disarming effect of McClellan's voice and piano. On "Possessions," she works in crashing drums and keening strings, but those are off to the side somewhere, suggesting a distant turmoil connected to McClellan's wry vocal melody. On "Pull The Pin," her lyrics, along with her piano lines, teeter uneasily between despair and optimism. —SG

Oozing Wound, Dosmalés, Population Control. Frequency, 8 p.m.

Chicago stoner-thrash outfit Oozing Wound sure seem to keep ramping up significantly with each release. From the heavy prankster thrash of 2013's Retrash to the way the band pivots between heady looseness and meticulous songwriting on 2014 crusher Earth Suck ("When The Walls Fell" exemplifies these elements), the trio just keep getting more dialed in to their own sonic wasteland. After recently bringing on Milwaukeean drummer Casey Marnocha (formerly of Catacombz), the band is getting ready to release its third album, Whatever Forever, on October 14. Despite staying true to the bleak sonic rawness and grit of the first couple albums, the first single, "Diver" takes a sledgehammer to whatever structural frame they were working within before. Growling basslines unravel below the hypnotically sinister guitar riffs and screeching howls of vocalist-guitarist Zack Weil, and the drums move between straight-ahead pummeling and some super technical and cleverly slanted rhythms that really glue the tune together. —JS

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WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 12

Bree Newsome. UW-Madison Multicultural Student Center, 7 p.m. (free)

North Carolina artist and activist Bree Newsome has worked in a variety of media, from the 2010 folklore-inspired short film Wake to performing as a solo singer-songwriter. She's best-known, though, for a direct action in which she scaled a flagpole on the South Carolina state capitol grounds to take down a Confederate flag flying there. The act of civil disobedience came in the wake of the racially motivated massacre of nine people in a historically black church in Charleston. Newsome's act was widely credited with spurring South Carolina's Republican governor and state legislators to officially remove the flag. Newsome visits here to deliver a talk titled "Tearing Hate From The Sky." —SG

Nick Lowe, Josh Rouse. Stoughton Opera House, 7:30 p.m.

Whether he's shitting on Rick Astley in "All Men Are Liars," claiming he prefers the sound of destruction of loneliness and boredom in "I Love The Sound Of Breaking Glass," or insisting that he's not a "dinky-doo" in "A Sensitive Man," London-based songwriting and production legend Nick Lowe has always expertly balanced his sardonic wit with infectious power-pop sugar. Throughout the years, Lowe has written and produced for acts ranging from The Damned to Elvis Costello to The Pretenders, and has dropped a fleet of great albums tailored as much to diehard record nerds as they are to the casual listener. Since the Stiff Records alumnus hasn't dropped a new album since 2011's alt-country-leaning The Old Magic (unless you count the holiday album he dropped in 2013), we can only imagine that he'll be pulling from all corners of his massive 40-plus year discography at this show. —JS

Jeremy Waun, Mr. Jackson, William Z. Villain. Williamson Magnetic Recording Company, 7 p.m.

Detroit artist Jeremy Waun pulls folk, rock and electronic elements into a cohesive, psychedelic whole. Waun seems to have roots in everything from lo-fi garage pop to folktronica to the freaky traditions of New Weird America on his 2016 release, Noumenon. Despite the stark distinctions between the gritty synthpop timbres of "This is a Feeling" and familiar, candid folk tunes such as "Missing Song," Waun manages to find some common ground that twists through the album's far-reaching atmospheric spectrum. Waun will be performing tracks from Noumenon as well as a new electro-acoustic tape titled Tarp. Joining Waun are two of Madison's finest crooners, William Z. Villain and Mr. Jackson. Combining bubbly synth funk with a soulful, melismatic voice, Mr. Jackson advocates for the importance of love and unification over far-out R&B beats. Recently returned to Madison after some time in the south, Bill Villain is back with a blend of jazzy, sultry grooves, pulling sounds from various musical traditions from around the world. In one-man-many-loop fashion, he is a adept at arranging a colorful ensemble of instruments to accompany a broad range of expressive vocals. —Emili Earhart

Louis CK. Overture Hall, 8 p.m. (also October 13)

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

Spotlight Cinema: Kaili Blues. Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, 7 p.m.