Faun Fables play folk music with a dash of theatricality and a lot of emotional weight. Info/tix
The roving West Coast duo Faun Fables combines mastermind/singer/multi-instrumentalist Dawn McCarthy's interests in folk music, theater, and elaborate, conceptual storytelling. In the project's current iteration, McCarthy performs with Nils Frykdahl (best known for his time in the wonderfully bizarre metal outfit Sleepytime Gorilla Museum), who contributes guitar, percussion, flute, and his cavernous voice. McCarthy's songwriting has a piercing emotional clarity, whether she's exploring domestic life on Faun Fables' 2008 EP A Table Forgotten or weaving a tale about her protagonist falling asleep on a train with 2006's album Transit Rider. My favorite Faun Fables album is 2010's Light Of A Vaster Dark, which isn't so conceptually driven but boasts some of McCarthy's deepest and richest songs, especially "O Mary" and "Violet." They followed that album in 2016 with Born Of The Sun.
Madison band Negative Example is the current project of guitarist and vocalist Bucky Pope, who played in legendary hardcore outfit Tar Babies. The band's funky, disjointed songs often find Pope spinning tales of conflict and spite. The effect teeters between funny and menacing. Veteran multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, and songwriter Stephanie Rearick, who recently joined Negative Example, will also play a set here of her sly, cabaret-influenced solo material. —Scott Gordon