Enjoy a compilation of selected tracks by artists playing shows we're excited about in Madison during the week of April 20-27, 2017. For more information on these shows, read on under the Spotify playlist!
Waka Flocka Flame, Thursday, April 20, Liquid, 9 pm: Atlanta rap royalty Waka Flocka Flame hit the scene in 2010 as a gritty Gucci Mane protege who helped drive the city’s regional trap sound to the height of popularity. In recent years, he’s capitalized on a shift into electro-fueled party rap. With DJ Whoo Kid, BoodahDARR, Knick Symo, DJay Mando.
Surgeons in Heat, Thursday, April 20, The Frequency, 9 pm: It’s been nearly seven months since beloved (and charmingly elusive) Milwaukee band Surgeons in Heat has played a gig in Madison; if you’re a fan of hazy, poppy, neo-soul jams, don’t sleep on this one. Two great local acts are filling out the bill: indie-rock quartet Little Legends, and lo-fi singer-songwriter Jeremiah Nelson performing as a duo with Aaron Scholz.
Demetri Martin, Thursday, April 20, Orpheum Theater, 8 pm: Comedy fans are well aware of unconventional standup Demetri Martin. Widely known for his deadpan, literal one-liners, ambidextrous drawings on giant note pads and for playing every single instrument in the hipster’s repertoire at the same time, he’s also put out four comedy albums, starred in various films, and had his own Comedy Central show (Important Things with Demetri Martin). Martin is coming to Madison with his palindrome-filled comedic stylings to celebrate that day of the year when everybody seems to be laughing a bit more than usual. With David Freeburg.
The Flaming Lips, Friday, April 21, Orpheum Theater, 7 pm: Let’s face it: The Flaming Lips are really weird. Between their unpredictable, sprawling psych-rock and frontman Wayne Coyne’s penchant for doing things like rolling out over the audience in a giant hamster ball, the massively influential Oklahoma City-bred group have been letting their freak flag fly since the early 1980s. They released their 17th album, Oczy Mlody, earlier this year. With Cherry Glazerr.
MONO, Friday, April 21, Union South-The Sett, 9 pm: Call it post-rock, call it instrumental, call it an epic wall of sound. MONO, the acclaimed and prolific Tokyo-based four-piece, defies categorization. The group’s ninth and most recent album, Requiem for Hell, was inspired by Dante’s Divine Comedy and comes as close as anything could to matching the epic poem’s intensity. The sound is heavy, deep, emotive and (as evidenced by the 18-minute slow burner of a title track) almost overwhelming.
Madison 420 Fest, Friday, April 21, Brink Lounge, 4:20 pm: Dave’s not here. But he’ll probably be at 420 Fest. The annual stoner holiday is being observed with 12 bands on two stages, marijuana-related vendors and good vibes in hopes of finally ending Wisconsin’s prohibition on the sticky icky. Performing on the Lounge stage: Anima, Gary David & the Enthusiasts, Beefus, Mudroom, the Material Boys, Tani Diakite & the Afrofunkstars and Dub Foundation. Performing on the Nightclub stage: the Woods, Sweet Delta Dawn, Dogs in a Pile, the Family Business and the Grasshoppers. Tickets are $20 and benefit Madison NORML and Hempfest.
Caitlin Canty, Saturday, April 22, Stoughton Opera House, 7:30 pm: Factoid of the day: Americana singer-songwriter Caitlin Canty’s last album, the atmospheric, hypnotic Reckless Skyline, was produced by Whitewater native Jeffrey Foucault. Multi-instrumentalist Shane Leonard (Kalispell, Field Report), an Eau Claire denizen, strengthens this bill’s Wisconsin connection with an opening set.
Beatallica, Saturday, April 22, The Frequency, 9 pm: It’s the mashup you never knew you needed in your life. The Beatles + Metallica = Beatallica, a funny and surprisingly brilliant novelty group that blends the infectious pop sounds of the Fab Four with the growling vocals and face-melting guitar riffs of heavy metal’s reigning kings. Even Kirk Hammett has gone on record as a fan of these guys. No word yet from Sir Paul McCartney.
Stephanie Miller’s Sexy Liberal Resistance Tour, Saturday, April 22, Barrymore Theatre, 8 pm: Are you a special snowflake? Does saying the phrase “President Donald Trump” make you physically ill? Come laugh away the gloom and doom with progressive talk radio star Stephanie Miller, along with fellow left-leaning funnyman John Fugelsang and Los Angeles-based comedy duo Frangela, featuring graduates of The Second City. They want you to know that you are not alone. And you are not insane.
Wisconsin Vinyl Collective album release, Sunday, April 23, High Noon Saloon, 7 pm: Stone After Stone Records’ Erik Kjelland and producer/Garbage drummer Butch Vig teamed up on WVC Volume 1, a compilation LP released in conjunction with Record Store Day featuring previously unreleased songs by BoDeans, Cory Chisel & Adriel Denae, and Vig’s own Emperors of Wyoming project. Also on the LP are the release show’s performers: The Mascot Theory, Kyle Megna & the Monsoons, Future Stuff, Seasaw and Jesse Laz (a member of comp participant Locksley).
Crystal Garden, Wednesday, April 26, The Frequency, 7:30 pm: This new alt-pop trio is led by the virtuosic violin guru Boyd Tinsley, who is famous for his vital role in Dave Matthews Band. There are elements of DMB chill in Crystal Garden’s vibey rock ’n’ roll formula, primarily in their attention to melody and musicianship. The Lower 5th open.
Hari Kondabolu, Thursday, April 27, Comedy Club on State, 8:30 pm: Hari Kondabolu has always been funny, but since Donald Trump took office, he’s taken on new importance. Armed with a master’s degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a razor-sharp wit, the Queens-raised Kondabolu frequently tackles touchy subjects like race, identity and gender, and it has turned him into your favorite comic’s favorite comic. Sure, many standups get political onstage, but few offer solutions the way Kondabolu does. With May Wilkerson, Greg Bach. ALSO: Friday-Saturday, April 28-29, 8 & 10:30 pm.
Find the full rundown of this week's Isthmus Picks here.