The annual garage/punk festival kicks off with a twangy Friday night at the Crystal Corner Bar. Info
Turkeyfest, presented by Madison musician Bobby Hussy's No Coast Records label (formerly known as Kind Turkey Records), has pretty consistently pulled together ambitious lineups of touring and local punk, garage-rock, and power-pop, sometimes with a dash of post-punk and electronic music. Past headliners have included Obnox, Nots, and Digital Leather, and some years it's expanded from its usual two nights to three. The ninth edition returns to the festival's original format, with a Friday night show at the Crystal Corner Bar ($8 cover) and a free Saturday night show at Mickey's. The biggest name this year is Saturday's headliner, frantic garage-pop artist Nobunny, who has at times recruited Madison's The Hussy to tour with him as opening act and backing band. Bobby Hussy and drummer Heather Sawyer will join him at the Mickey's show, in addition to playing in their trio The Hussy on Friday.
The most interesting twist this year, though, is the abundance of twangy and jangly rock 'n' roll in Friday's lineup. Minneapolis' Teenage Moods play radiant, catchy pop with just the right amount of swing and grit underneath its clean-toned guitars and sugary vocal melodies, as captured on the 2014 album Rosebuds. Head On Electric, from Milwaukee, has been together for more than a decade, and the band's music has swung between blasted-out grunge and scratchy, trippy country. On the 2011 album Sleep Slaughter Sheep, Head On Electric sometimes has it both ways at once, which works better than you'd think. And Madison band The Smells, playing a farewell set here, captured a charming jumble of punk, honky-tonk, and smart-assed slacker rock on the 2017 record Manure Spreader. —Scott Gordon