In Microtones, our newsletter-first column.
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Coming up on Thursday, March 8, Tone Madison is welcoming Chicago band OHMME in a show at Williamson Magnetic Recording Company, with Madison bands According To What and Solid Freex sharing the bill. We invited OHMME to headline one of our special events this year because the way they fuse experimentation with the immediacy of a good rock song makes for some beautiful and thrilling music. It's lucky timing to see them in a cozy local venue since next month they'll be off touring with Jeff Tweedy.
OHMME is the duo of Macie Stewart and Sima Cunningham, who both play vocals and guitar in this band but are also multi-instrumentalists with a variety of experiences in rock and experimental music. The songs on their self-titled 2015 EP swing between open, atmospheric melodies (usually built around Stewart and Cunningham's paired vocals) and the satisfying charge of their riffs and choruses. "Furniture," for instance, has halting, flickering verses and a cathartically fun but neurotic refrain of "I don't want to go outside / wanna hide, wanna hide / and slowly turn into a piece of the furniture." There's always something just a little bit oblique at work, but the two deftly reconcile that with direct and approachable elements.
Both members of OHMME have performed solo and in a variety of collaborative settings. Stewart contributes keyboards and violin to Ken Vandermark's project Marker; other recent projects include the improvisational trio The Few. In addition to her solo discography, Cunningham has done vocal work with artists including Richard Thompson and Chance The Rapper. They'll be performing here with a drummer, Matt Caroll.
According To What, a Madison band featuring members of Exploration Team and Once A Month, will open the show with their sugary but sly power-pop. The night will close out with a set from noisy punk-rock trio Solid Freex, formed by longtime Madison musician Steve Coombs (Trin Tran) and two of his sons. We hope you can join us.
Oh—we're also giving away a couple of guest-list spots. To enter to win, just respond to this email with "OHMME giveaway" in the subject line.
New this week:
Ashlie Crooks went deeeep on the efforts of Madison videogame developers to bridge the gap between large studios and scrappy independent projects.
Adam Powell explored the line between stupid and clever on taco night at Graft and recommended the deep-fried chevre in his latest Small Plates In Nice Placesdispatch.
On the podcast: Grant Phipps talked with Brandon Colvin about the end of Micro-Wave Cinema, the local independent film series Colvin has been curating since the spring of 2014.
Scott Gordon reports on a misunderstanding that cost the Iranian Film Fest a crucial grant at the last minute, forcing the organizer to seek donations.
And finally, McDonald's brought back its Szechuan sauce (maybe enough to go around this time) so we're offering up audio of Chris Lay reading his article from last October about the original ill-fated promotion. These audio extras will soon become a part of our Tone Madison Sustainer rewards program. Become a sustainer and help us out!
Elsewhere on the Madison internet:
Latin-funk outfit Barbacoa, who play this Friday at North Street Cabaret, released a new EP. Metallica is coming to the Kohl Center, Craig Robinson is coming to the Comedy Club on State, and guitarist Marisa Anderson has been added as an openerto Circuit Des Yeux's April 6 show at the Rathskeller. Fermentation Fest's Farm/Art D'Tour is calling for artists. And finally, can the near east side handle a barcade?
This week's Madison calendar: Los Tallos Amargos at Vilas Hall, Body Futures at Mickey’s Tavern, Triptych at Arts + Literature Laboratory, My Name Is Julia Ross at the Chazen Museum of Art, Jeremy Scahill at the Wisconsin Union Theater, and more!