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Frequency 10-Year Birthday Bash: Dead Rider, Free Salamander Exhibit, Cheer-Accident, Faun Fables, Cribshitter


  • Frequency 121 West Main Street Madison, WI, 53703 United States (map)

The soon-to-close local club marks its 10th anniversary with a brilliantly warped night of music. Info/tix

  Cheer-Accident. Photo by Vilma Jovaisa

Cheer-Accident. Photo by Vilma Jovaisa

In mid-April, Frequency co-founder Darwin Sampson announced plans to close the intimate venue and local music scene fixture off the Capitol Square at 121 W. Main St. While the space isn't set to suspend operations until June 30, they've booked a two-day send-off event a few weeks prior, which also doubles as the Frequency's 10th anniversary extravaganza. Friday night brings a substantial lineup of interrelated experimental and progressive rock, pop, and folk acts—Frequency favorites with longstanding roots in Chicago and Madison.

The most urgent addition is perhaps Free Salamander Exhibit, a project that includes Sleepytime Gorilla Museum core members Nils Frykdahl, Dan Rathbun, and David Shamrock, who revive the outré spirit and warped, theatrically metallic avant-prog of their now-defunct sister project on Undestroyed, released at the end of 2016. Cheer-Accident, long-established brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Thymme Jones, has been prolific as of late, with their compelling distillation of eclectic, poppy avant-prog on last year's critically acclaimed Cuneiform release, Putting Off Death. They're once again touring behind a new record, Fades, on Skin Graft. The teaser track, "Last But Not Lost," encapsulates and sustains their inspirations from the Rock In Opposition movement, and features the vocal talents of another ex-Sleepytime Gorilla Museum member, Carla Kihlstedt. At once compositionally dense and tonally accessible, the song is populated with bright and lively woodwinds (bassoon and saxophone) and an irregular, driving rhythm guitar.

Combining troubadour traditions with art songs and psychedelia, Faun Fables will perform as well, and then in all likelihood join Cheer-Accident on stage, as partners-collaborators Nils Frykdahl and Dawn McCarthy assume lead vocal duties on Fades songs "Art Land" and "Monsters," respectively. This stacked bill is bookended by avant-rock headliners Dead Rider (ex-US Maple), and local wild and witty avant-pop ensemble Cribshitter, who will open the show. The 10th anniversary festivities continue on Saturday night with a show headlined by Madison band Skintones. —Grant Phipps