Enjoy a compilation of selected tracks by artists playing shows we're excited about in Madison during the week of Oct. 20-26, 2016. For more information on these shows, read on under the Spotify playlist!
Charles Scott + John DeHaven, Thursday, Oct. 20, Capitol Theater, 7:30 pm: The winners of Overture’s 2015 Rising Stars talent competition have hit the big time. Part of the prize package is a chance to perform in one of Madison’s most distinguished venues, the Capitol Theater. The show features Charles Scott, a 19-year prodigy who headed to Nashville to continue his quest to create the perfect pop song, and trumpeter/vocalist John DeHaven (pictured), who has toured with Bon Iver and Capillary Action, now pulling together collaborators for his own act.
Turkeyfest, Thursday, Oct. 20-Saturday, Oct. 22, various venues: This year Turkeyfest extends its reach to the Capitol Square. Thursday at the Frequency (9 pm) features the most diverse lineup, including electronic sounds from Samantha Glass and Cave Curse, a rare set by guitar rockers Squarewave and the scarifying roots music of Those Poor Bastards. On Friday Mickey’s Tavern (10 pm) will host a garage rock pile up featuring locals Fire Retarded and New Orleans combo BottomFeeders. Hosts the Hussy can be caught Saturday at the Crystal Corner Bar (9 pm), along with the weekend’s headliner, the inimitable Nobunny. Come for the rabbit mask and potential shenanigans, but stay for bubblegum hooks sinking deep into your brain..
STS9, Friday, Oct. 21, Orpheum Theater, 8 pm: The synth and percussive-driven soundscapes of the group formerly known as Sound Tribe Sector 9 are as hypnotic and funkadelic as ever. Given that its latest release, The Universe Inside, is inspired in part by the Golden Records NASA included in its ’70s-era Voyager spaceships to give alien cultures a taste of our music and culture, you might find your perfect space jam.
Helado Negro, Friday, Oct. 21, Frequency, 6:30 pm: Helado Negro isn’t so much a band as an art project. The brainchild of Ecuadorian-American artist Roberto Carlos Lange, the Brooklyn-based outfit specializes in experimental, ambient sounds and penetrating lyrics, which switch intermittently between English and Spanish. The result is a haunting, eclectic spectacle that’s unlike anything you’ve heard before. Helado Negro’s most recent album, Private Energy, was released in October. With DJ Boyfrrriend, Sola.
St. Lucia, Friday, Oct. 21, Majestic Theatre, 9 pm: Born in South Africa, trained in Liverpool and based in Brooklyn, New York, St. Lucia is the definition of a modern international pop star. The musician, born Jean-Philip Grobler, has made two albums of soulful synthpop, most recently this year’s Matter. He’ll be joined by Baio, the brainy electropop side project of Vampire Weekend bassist Chris Baio, who last released The Names in 2015.
Joan Baez, Saturday, Oct. 22, Capitol Theater, 8 pm: If anyone embodies the term living legend it’s Baez, both for her music career and her parallel life as a crusader for human rights. Her fall tour will introduce some new songs and raise awareness about the Innocence Project and Innocence Network, organizations working to exonerate the wrongfully convicted.
Aziza, Saturday, Oct. 22, UW Memorial Union-Shannon Hall, 8 pm: Depending on the language, the name Aziza translates in English to powerful, gorgeous or precious. These are all apt descriptors for this new jazz supergroup that includes legendary British bassist Dave Holland, saxophone master Chris Potter, innovative West African guitarist Lionel Loueke and drummer Eric Harland. The quartet collaborated on the eight original songs featured on their self-titled debut album, released Oct. 14.
Post Malone, Saturday, Oct. 22, Orpheum Theater, 7 pm: With a velvety voice crooning over largely empty beats and with lackluster lyrical content, Post Malone is an inexplicable internet phenomenon who’s been lumped into the rap genre despite being a singer. But his fans love him. Since his breakout single “White Iverson,” he’s released a mixtape to lukewarm reception. With Jazz Cartier, Larry June.
Grouplove, Sunday, Oct. 23, Orpheum Theater, 8 pm: This could, in fact, be your fantasy: Touting a brand-new set of sunny, bounce-a-riffic songs from their latest album, Big Mess, the quirky Cali-based quintet seem more than ready to further cement their status in the indie-rock firmament. You can say you were there when. With MUNA, Dilly Dally.
Cass McCombs + Delicate Steve, Sunday, Oct. 23, The Frequency, 8 pm: The humorous and tender tunes of underrated singer-songwriter Cass McCombs (pictured) take on new life in his live shows, where McCombs gets to show some attitude and play guitar solos. Speaking of guitar solos, don’t miss openers Delicate Steve, whose joyous electric-guitar-as-lead-singer approach consistently delivers delightful results.
Teenage Fanclub, Sunday, Oct. 23, High Noon Saloon, 8 pm: In 1991, SPIN magazine got a heap of backlash for failing to choose Nirvana’s Nevermind as their album of the year. Instead, they went with Bandwagonesque, the third album by Scottish power-pop crew Teenage Fanclub. It’s awash in distorted guitars and sing-along hooks, much like the rest of the legendary indie rockers’ canon. Don’t miss the chance to see these ’90s icons in action. With Sam Evian.
The Felice Brothers, Tuesday, Oct. 25, High Noon Saloon, 8 pm: As the whiskey-soaked Americana of the Felice Brothers has barrel-aged over the past decade, the New York folk rock band continues to reward barroom crowds with wistful ballads and raucous barn burners. If you’re hankering for fiddle solos, here’s your band. With singer-songwriter Shelby Earl.
Mac Miller, Wednesday, Oct. 26, Orpheum Theater, 7 pm: As one of those rappers who never stops touring, Mac Miller is known for drug-laden, frat party anthems like “Weekend” (Feat. Miguel), “Knock Knock” and the now-regrettable “Donald Trump.” His pop radio success often overshadows some pretty decent punchlines, deep insights and deft delivery.
mewithoutYou, Wednesday, Oct. 26, High Noon Saloon, 7:30 pm: For the last 16 years, mewithoutYou has been letting its freak flag fly high. The Philly art-rock quartet combines esoteric spoken word vocals with a musical combination of art rock and post-hardcore — basically, they’re the emo scene’s resident bohemians. They last released Pale Horses in 2015. With Into It. Over It. (their second Madison appearance in as many months), Needle Points.
You can find the entire rundown of this week's Isthmus Picks here.