Enjoy a compilation of selected tracks by artists playing shows we're excited about in Madison during the week of Feb. 23- Mar. 2, 2017. For more information on these shows, read on under the Spotify playlist!
Johnny Cash Birthday Party
Thursday, Feb. 23, Majestic Theater, 8 pm
It’s hard to believe Cash has been gone for 14 years. The Man in Black would have been 85 this month. The diverse line-up of bands includes Liam Ford, Wisconsin’s best Cash tribute act, and Madison’s Wood Chickens, who are likely to hatch some hillbilly hell. It’s also one of your last chances to see Whitney Mann perform. Our hometown June Carter is leaving the stage to concentrate on her career and growing family.
Thursday, Feb. 23, High Noon Saloon, 9 pm
If underground hip-hop had a party contingent, Prof would be its poster boy. Coming up in the Minneapolis scene with fellow Rhymesayers labelmates Atmosphere and Brother Ali, the 32-year-old is known for quick, choppy raps centered on long nights full of women, whiskey and the bad decisions that follow. High-energy jams like “Time Bomb” and “Bar Breaker” will help you sweat out some of that booze. With Finding Novyon, Metasota, Willie Wonka (DJ Set) & Charles Grant
Friday, Feb. 24, Majestic Theatre, 9 pm
With their inappropriate name and penchant for dressing up in women’s clothes onstage, STRFKR is unique, to say the least. But just lumping them in with novelty acts would be a disservice to their sound — an immaculate combination of indie rock, psychedelia and electronica. After all, you don’t last 10 years and six albums (the most recent being this year’s Vault Vol. 1) by just being weird. With Psychic Twin.
Friday, Feb. 24, High Noon Saloon, 8 pm; Saturday, Feb. 25, Majestic, 9 pm
Long-running community percussion ensemble the Handphibians hosts and performs at its annual tribute to the sounds of Brazil, once again spanning two nights and venues. Friday’s “Carnaval Pan American” show opens with capoeira and Brazilian dance demonstrations, and closes with South American/Cuban sounds from Los Chechos; in between is Samba Novistas, Drum Power and the debut of the Panchromatic Steel Band. Saturday includes sets by Wolbaianos, Metabaque, Mami Wata and DJ Trixz.
Lou and Peter Berryman: Old Songs Night
Friday, Feb. 24, Brink Lounge, 7:30 pm
Nothing says Wisconsin like the irrepressible, irresistible guitar-accordion folk/cabaret duo of Lou and Peter Berryman. Celebrate the 40th anniversary of their musical collaboration and their 70th birthdays with a roomful of people who appreciate their wry wit and rhyming takes on Midwest living.
Friday, Feb. 24, The Orpheum Theater, 8 pm
By creating an alchemy of jam band and electro-pop influences, members of the Philadelphia electronic rock band Lotus have proven themselves masters of the groove. Expect to hear old favorites and new tunes from their 2016 album Eat The Light, the band’s first to include vocalists on each song. London DJ/producer jackLNDN opens. See article at isthmus.com/music.
Saturday, Feb. 25, Crescendo, 8 pm
J.E. Sunde’s sustained, falsetto voice will freak you out at first. But once you settle back into your seat, it’ll charm you, thrill you, and sweep you away into his psychedelic story songs of love and adventure. Sunde and his brother Jason moved from rural Amery to Eau Claire to make music just before Bon Iver exploded. Their band, the Daredevil Christopher Wright, represented the early, bent, Eau Claire pop sound — albeit more stripped down and a lot less self-serious. Sunde will be singing selections from his new solo effort, Now I Feel Adored, an astral collection due out in March. With Whitney Mann.
Saturday, Feb. 25, Wisconsin Union Theater Fredric March Play Circle, 8 pm
Four-time Grammy nominee Gerald Clayton has played with many of this country’s jazz luminaries (including Henry Mancini) and serves as the musical director for the Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour. He’s been performing since he was a wee child, including sitting in with his dad, the famous composer/bassist John Clayton.
Saturday, Feb. 25, Overture Center-Playhouse, 2:30 & 7 pm
Kids (and their grownups) will delight in seeing some of their favorite kooky Dr. Seuss characters on stage in a musical hosted by the most famous Theodore Geisel creation of them all – the Cat in the Hat. Seussical opened on Broadway in 2000 and is now one of the most performed shows in America. Luckily, Children’s Theater of Madison can be counted on to create quality productions that engage rather than condescend to their young audiences. Recommended for ages 5 & up. Through March 12.
Sunday, Feb. 26, Majestic Theatre, 9 pm
If you’re one of those people who think electronica is nothing more than computer programming, look no further than Big Gigantic. The Colorado-based duo is composed of two veteran musicians (bandleader Dominic Lalli has a master’s degree in jazz from the Manhattan School of Music), who bring live saxophone, drums and vocals to Big G’s trademark funky electronics. This is going to be a party you won’t want to miss.
Sunday, Feb. 26, High Noon Saloon, 7 pm
This former Madisonian (and author of How to Make It in the New Music Business) is now an L.A.-based phenom (you might have caught his cameo on Mad Men). Musically, he’s a one-man band, using loops of vocals, keys, trumpet and beatboxing to create songs built upon layers of loveliness. With the bouncy wunderkind Sam Lyons.
Sunday, Feb. 26, UW Memorial Union-Der Rathskeller, 8 pm
With a great new album out on Sub Pop records, New York lo-fi indie rockers LVL UP seem primed to be a success story at this March’s tastemaking SXSW festival. The fantastic East Coast post-punk quartet Palm and Madison bedroom pop act Trophy Dad round out the bill.
Monday, Feb. 27, The Frequency, 7 pm
The family-friendly music of Goatwhore has been thrilling toddlers since 1997. This may be an alternative fact. In the reality-based universe, they are a rifftastic death metal band that coalesced around former Acid Bath/Crowbar singer/guitarist Sammy Duet in the late ’90s. They’ll bring some doom to your Monday, aided by a strong Wisco metal lineup, including Disgunt, Vermillion and Squidhammer.
Wednesday, March 1, Overture Capitol Theater, 8 pm
Twenty years ago, bandleader Thomas Lauderdale wanted to spice up progressive political fundraisers in his hometown of Portland, Oregon. He hit upon a winning formula: a “tiny orchestra” that plays sizzling multi-language versions of classical, jazz and pop tunes. These days, Pink Martini has become an international sensation, appearing in concert halls and opera houses across the world. Songs from their newest album, Je dis oui!, will send you whirling out of your seat. See story, page 28.
Thursday, March 2, Barrymore Theatre, 7:30 pm
One of the unsung alternative heroes of the 1990s, Todd Snider is your favorite country musician’s favorite country musician. He’s seen his songs get re-recorded by mainstream acts like Mark Chesnutt and Gary Allan, and has released a staggering 13 albums in his career. His latest, Eastside Bulldog, came out in 2016, proving that Snider is the once and true king of alt-country. With Allen Thompson.
Thursday, March 2, Frequency, 8 pm
Madison’s hometown heroes Seasaw are set to embark on a tour of the eastern U.S., so where better to kick it off than in their own backyard? The indie pop duo (who released the excellent Too Much of a Good Thing last year) will get support from Melkweed (which features former members of Modern Mod and the Recreation Station) and Hey Sorry. Come out and give Meg and Eve a proper sendoff!
The Gambol: Album Release
Thursday, Mar. 2, High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
They’ve got the trappings of a classic Americana band — banjo, fiddle, harmonica, whiskey-soaked vocals — but Madison folk rock outfit the Gambol is no one-trick pony. After recording their forthcoming debut album in Nashville, they’re celebrating its release with a hometown shindig. Them Coulee Boys open.