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Smokin' With Superman, Immigré

  • High Noon Saloon 701 East Washington Avenue Madison, WI, 53703 United States (map)

A Madison funk/hip-hop institution from the late '90s and early oughts reunites. Info/tix

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Madison band Smokin' With Superman formed in 1998 and had a successful five-year run, combining funk, hip-hop, and a radiant dash of jazz fusion in a seven-piece band format. This was all just a few years before my time in Madison, but the main thread I follow back to this band is its MC, Laduma Nguyuza. He performed with Smokin' With Superman under the name Peter Parker, and has since performed with two other popular hip-hop bands, Dumate and Fringe Character, inventive projects like Stink Tank and the James Baldwin- and Billie Holiday-inspired Billie James Project. (If you listen to one unheralded conceptual hip-hop album this week, make it that last one.) Nguyuza has  easily been the most compelling rapper in town for all these years—not that we're short on good hip-hop artists, especially these days, but for my money it's hard to top Nguyuza laying down nimble, rhythmically complex lines with a knack for the mischievous and the surreal. All those strengths come through on SWS' 2002 album Full Price, alongside singer Joy Dragland's vocal hooks and the taut, propulsive funk of the band as a whole. Not to diminish the group effort, of course, but Nguyuza's verses on songs like "Morning Sun" and "Full Price" . The reunited lineup playing this show—Mark Marsh on drums, Mark Sieganthaler on keyboards, Shanan Galligan on guitar, Brett Farrey on bass, Bryan Elliot on horns, plus Dragland and Nguyuza—has also been working on new music. —Scott Gordon

Earlier Event: August 31
Bangers & Mash: Episode One
Later Event: September 1
Los Dells