A varied night of Madison music closes up with twee-pop band Exploration Team's final show. Info
The second edition of the new dance and music series Bangers & Mash offers something that's still too rare in Madison: a lineup that's extremely mixed-up in terms of genres and approaches. Pianist and composer Wilder Deitz, in a variety of different groups and collaborations, has explored many traditional and forward-looking facets of jazz, all the while exploring interests that range from hip-hop to spoken word. A limited-edition mixtape Deitz and his band released last summer reveals a bandleader with a knack for unraveling the connections between different eras of American music. Producer and vocalist Cop Circles also has a background as a jazz pianist, but uses that to create lush, playful house jams. Math-rock trio Czarbles has spent more than a decade hammering out hyper-intricate but perversely catchy instrumentals. DJ Ian Adcock (who is a Tone Madison contributor) has a deep grasp of everything from R&B to experimental jazz, so the dance-party portion of the evening should get pretty weird.
This show will also be the last for Madison pop outfit Exploration Team. (Full disclosure: I'm friendly with the band members, and will be DJing at a future Bangers & Mash night.) After announcing its breakup, the band put out its only proper recording to date, an EP simply called Five Songs. Luis Perez and Ross Adam's clean-toned, gossamer electric guitars give the band an unmistakably melancholy jangle-pop foundation, but drummer Etan Heller and bassist-vocalist Allison Geyer manage to give it all an up-tempo kick. Geyer's vocals manage to both float above the songs and propel them, combining silky melody with hints of something harsher: The EP's high point, "Brighton Rock" finds Geyer singing "You want to me say I love you / But the truth is that I hate you, I hate you," about as agreeably as anyone could ask for. —Scott Gordon