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Califone

  • Shitty Barn 506 East Madison Street Spring Green, WI, 53588 United States (map)
Photo by Dusdin Condren.

Photo by Dusdin Condren.

On 2016's Insect Courage EP, the latest entry from abstract Americana wizards Califone, the band strips its signature psychedelic vibe down to the bare essentials. While it'd be easy to describe the Califone's sprawling and heady cover of Peter Gabriel's "Mother Of Violence" as "outsider-folk," it wouldn't do justice to the band's sonic agility. Weeping violin and moody banjo passages melt into crumbling, cicada-channeling percussion and a patchwork of buzzing drones and field recordings. As the instrumentation falls apart and regenerates, Tim Rutili's scratchy crooning wavers beautifully over the top. Another serious highlight is cruising space-folk tune "easter82," which is guided along by beautifully dissonant steel-string guitar lines, as sparse ambient textures creep in and out of the mix. In short, Califone has outlasted 20 years of boring indie-folk trends through several excellent full-lengths (including 2006's Roots And Crowns and 2013's Stitches) and frequent changes in its live format. Its refined and beautifully damaged approach remains urgent and effective. Rutili will play a solo set here. —Joel Shanahan

Earlier Event: September 27
Mrs. Adam Schatz, Tony Barba, Matt Blair
Later Event: September 27
Antibalas, Black Market Brass