Enjoy a compilation of selected tracks by artists playing shows we're excited about in Madison during the week of Feb. 16-23, 2017. For more information on these shows, read on under the Spotify playlist!
The Head and the Heart, Tuesday-Wednesday, Feb. 21-22, Orpheum Theatre, 8 pm The Head and the Heart are one of indie-pop’s great success stories. The Seattle sextet spent the better part of a decade playing second banana to big names like Vampire Weekend, Dave Matthews and Death Cab for Cutie before signing with Warner Brothers to release Signs of Light, their third LP, in 2016 (which went on to peak at #5 on the Billboard 200). With two other up-and-coming acts: L.A. chanteuse Springtime Carnivore and Chicago psych-pop throwbacks Whitney.
Madison Pop Fest, Thursday, Feb. 16, High Noon Saloon, 8:30 pm Pop Fest promises to be a great night for fans of the Smiths, Belle & Sebastian or just plain melodic goodness. Slumberland Records’ Real Numbers (Minneapolis) will headline, joining forces with Proud Parents, Pollinators, Jonesies and Exploration Team.
Hamilton Leithauser, Friday, Feb. 17, High Noon Saloon, 9:30 pm As frontman for the Walkmen, Hamilton Leithauser has long been a staple of New York’s tastemaking indie rock scene. But with his latest release, 2016’s I Had a Dream That You Were Mine, Leithauser steps away from his band, collaborating with a fellow buzz-band expat, Vampire Weekend’s Rostam, to create a haunting, lush album in the spirit of David Byrne’s work with Brian Eno. With Lucy Dacus.
Katie Scullin album release, Friday, Feb. 17, Funk’s Pub in Fitchburg, 8 pm The Madison-based singer-songwriter has a slew of awards on her mantle already, but her debut solo effort, Pieces, is truly remarkable. See story, page 29. With Trap Saturn, Miles Nielsen & the Rusted Hearts.
Ultrea CD release, Friday, Feb. 17, The Red Zone, 8 pm Madison metallists Ultrea unleash their third studio release, The End of Illusion, including the rousing call to arms (and lead single) “Divided We Fall.” The evening also includes the debut of the hip-hop/EDM/rock sounds of the Starfoxx Project; a tour kick-off/CD-release set by Dead Horse Trauma, visiting from Iowa; and more Madison metal by scene vets Breech and newcomers Desolate.
Dave Rempis with Stray Passage, Friday, Feb. 17, Arts + Literature Laboratory, 8 pm Jazz isn’t going to get much freer than it will be this evening with Chicago saxophonist Dave Rempis. Rempis, an accomplished player and collaborator extraordinaire, will perform a 30-minute solo set and then get down to business with the Madison-based improvisational trio Stray Passage.
Adam Devine, Friday, Feb. 17, Orpheum Theatre, 8 pm With high-profile roles in films such as Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates and the Pitch Perfect franchise, Adam Devine is inarguably the breakout star of Workaholics, the hit Comedy Central show he co-created. Now Devine returns to his standup roots to make Madison laugh with his charming, frat-boy-with-a-heart-of-gold sense of humor.
Colony House, Saturday, Feb. 18, Frequency, 8:30 pm With influences that include U2 and Cold War Kids, Colony House’s sound is as big as its aspirations. The Tennessee quartet dropped their second full-length, Only the Lonely, earlier this year, and if its lead single, “Lonely,” is any indication, the band’s atmospheric alt-rock is only getting better with time. With Deep Sea Diver.
Rocket Bureau, Saturday, Feb. 18, Mickey’s Tavern, 10:30 pm Do you like the rock ’n’ roll? If so, Kyle Motor’s home recording project Rocket Bureau is custom-made for you, so don’t miss this rare chance to see a full band bring the songs into clubland. An excellent lineup also boasts a pair of visiting Milwaukee bands: Static Eyes (including various former Gut Reactions players) and a rare appearance by Head on Electric.
Dead Man Winter, Sunday, Feb. 19, High Noon Saloon, 8 pm With his primary act, Minnesota folkies Trampled By Turtles, on hiatus, David Simonett has some time on his hands. So he holed up in a small town and got to work writing his most personal album ever, Furnace. It’s a modern folk-rock masterpiece, equal parts enlightening and harrowing — like any break-up record worth its salt should be. With John Mark Nelson.
Sinbad, Sunday, Feb. 19, Comedy Club on State, 7 pm (sold out) and 9:30 pm With a face that should be carved into the Mount. Rushmore of ’90s comedy, Sinbad (born David Atkins) has enjoyed a decades-long career in the industry. He’s appeared in beloved kids’ films Jingle All the Way and Good Burger, and is an in-your-face old-school comic. Don’t miss this chance to see the legend at work.
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, and the Majestic will be filled with fans on both sides of the mic. The diverse line-up includes Wisconsin Cash tribute act the Liam Ford Band, and Madison’s Wood Chickens, who are likely to hatch some hillbilly hell. It’s also a last chance to see Madison’s Whitney Mann perform. The evening’s June Carter is leaving the stage to concentrate on her career and growing family.
Prof, 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 whiskey and women 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.