A weekly update about upcoming concerts and notes on the local scene.
On the horizon
The renovated and re-opened Cardinal Bar will be observing its 35th anniversary from Friday, Dec. 4 through Sunday, Dec. 6. On Friday, celebrate happy hour with music by Mambo Blue from 5-7 p.m. DJ Nick Nice will tour the last 35 years of dance music as part of his weekly "Rebirth" sets beginning at 10 p.m. "A nice progression from disco to '80s to house and beyond," says Nice.
On Saturday, it's DJ El Macizo at 8 p.m., plus a Dando Mambo salsa dance contest at 11 p.m. followed by DJ Chamo Candela's "Sabado Sabroso" mix. And on Sunday, longtime Cardinal residents the Tony Castaneda Latin Jazz Quintet play sets at 8 and 11 p.m., with DJ Ken Horn in between.
The gate/tarp in front of the entrance to Escape Java Joint and Gallery has been closed for several weeks, putting a hold on a variety of weekly music and community events. All may not be lost for the neighborhood venue, though. A hand-writen sign posted on the wall near the walkway to the entrance says Escape will be moving once again, to a smaller location, and directs customers to its website for information. However, so far no new info has appeared. The venue has moved once before; in May it traveled a few doors down Williamson Street to a new location behind La Rocca's Pizza.
Help 'em out
Historic eastside watering hole Mickey's Tavern has hosted a number of benefit shows in the recent past for folks in the music scene, a group whose members often don't have health insurance. Artist, music scenester and Blue Herons member John "Peanut" Sarris had some unexpected emergency surgery lately, and friends will gather Friday, Dec. 4, to help out. The show gets underway around 10:30 p.m., with the Pointy Birds, followed by the countrified garage rock of The Apologists, the catchy psych-punk of Cement Pond and the grungy noise attack of The Arge. As always at Mickey's, there's no required cover charge, but the donation jar will make the rounds.
Legend of the week
Wisconsin native Dave Steffen has been involved in bands with a strong regional presence since the mid-'60s, first with Plymouth-based bands Love Society and Sunblind Lion. By the mid-'80s Steffen had moved to San Francisco, but after about a decade, he returned home to Wisconsin. Based in Plymouth once again, the Dave Steffen Band has continued to record and release albums of original music, while still maintaining the busy regional touring schedule that brings them to Madison several times a year. The next chance to catch Steffen's blues rock guitar will be Thursday, Nov. 4 at the Hody Bar; show time is 9 p.m.