The High Noon's recently launched Madison Mixtape series is heartening evidence that the beloved local venue is working to maintain a balance of touring and local performers, amid a year that's seen it purchased by a larger concert promoter, absorbed in a merger, and absorbed again in a deal with Live Nation. The free series features mostly newer and lesser-known Madison bands, booked by High Noon staffers with a genuine stake in the local music community (Maggie Denman, who plays in bands including Miyha and According To What, and Justin Kibbel, who co-founded a booking/management firm called This Means War!). Sometimes there's a panel discussion about music-industry issues from a local perspective as well.
This installment (which likely won't feature a panel) is all about heavy and gloomy sounds. The instrumental band Drug Spider plays with a engrossing balance of delicate textures and hefty riffs, usually sounding a lot more lean and flexible than you'd expect from a post-rock outfit. Metal trio Corridoré crafts complex, unconventionally structured epics that embrace elements of doom at atmospheric black metal—and, a bit like Drug Spider, they manage to make ambitious music feel graceful and gut-level. Both bands put out demo recordings on Bandcamp last year and have me hoping for proper releases sometime soon. Dystopian Echo, a hard-rock band from Watertown, round out the bill here. —Scott Gordon