The week’s best events, from our partners at Arts Extract!
THURSDAY MARCH 6
Bitchin’ Bajas, Watch Out!, Baird, Adcock and Deveraux. Mickey’s Tavern, 10 p.m.
Chicago’s masters of stargazing, flute-tinged electro-psych, Bitchin’ Bajas, have been good to us here in Madison, paying almost quarterly visits for the last couple years. But while we’ve come to rely on the fact that they come around pretty often, this show offers a couple more undeniably rare treats in the form of Chilean fuzz-rockers Watch Out! and a lysergic, improvised team-up from Spires That In The Sunset Rise’s Kathleen Baird, Conjuror’s Ian Adcock, and Samantha Glass’ Beau Devereaux. The Bajas are currently supporting their questionably titled (but killer) Drag City debut ‘Bitchitronics.’
Classixx, Gems. Majestic, 9 p.m.
With a syrupy mix that borrows as much from the maddeningly hooky Valerie-collective school of French house as it does from classic yacht-rock, Los Angeles’ Classixx are a refreshing addition to mainstream dance music, even if they tend to err on the side of instant gratification. The duo are currently touring behind last year’s luxuriously catchy full-length ‘Hanging Gardens’ and the accompanying live set features both Michael David and Tyler Blake delivering a hybrid DJ and live set, as they play their synths over a series of original and remixed backing jams. The show should offer a much-needed dose of summery escapism for this sick of the deep freeze (and the assholes that insist on finding any excuse possible to bring it up).
Sean Patton. Comedy Club On State, through March 8, see madisoncomedy.com for showtimes.
Stand-up Sean Patton made a strong debut with 2012’s album ‘Standard Operating Procedure,’ showcasing a stand-up act that manages to sound deceptively like informal screwing off even as it builds into elaborately ridiculous bits. So even as you figure out that he’s doing material that clearly took some work (especially his meta-bit about a bad joke that has Alzheimer’s, or about a tragic dog incident), Patton still gives you the feeling that it’s coming off the cuff, as if you’re catching him in an unplanned but particularly inspired moment.
Repulsion. Central Library, 6:30 p.m.
In Roman Polanski’s 1965 film, Catherine Denevue stars as a young woman who descends into a hallucinatory, claustrophobic episode of madness.
Much Ado About Nothing. Union South Marquee, 7 p.m.
Joss Whedon’s 2012 adaptation of ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ is a debaucherous party set in a modern-looking world where folks are apparently really serious about virginity, but that’s the only thing that’s awkward about it. The cast, but particularly Amy Acker, Nathan Fillion, and Clark Gregg, brings off the twisty romantic comedy and side plot of political intrigue and renders Shakespeare’s language with a fittingly graceful, fast-paced approach.
Astronautalis, Steve Roggenbuck. Union South Sett, 8 p.m.
Andy Bothwell, currently based in the Twin Cities, has explored everything from left-field hip-hop to bizarre, grandiose art-pop in his work as Astronautalis. Over the past few years he’s been striking up collaborations with POS (as The Four Fists) and Justin Vernon. He plays here as part of a WUD event called “Variations of Spoken Word,” which will also feature a slam poetry contest and a performance from internet poet Steve Roggenbuck.
FRIDAY MARCH 7
Night Light: Cap Alan, Lens, Briony Morrow-Cribbs Art Opening. Central Library, 8 p.m.
This installment of the Madison Public Library’s monthly after-hours series features new works from Madison-based artist Briony Morrow-Cribbs and music curated by us here at Arts Extract. We’ve selected Cap Alan—an experimental, improvisational project featuring Czarbles drummer Jeff Sauer and All Tiny Creatures/Noxroy/Volcano Choir guitarist and synth manipulator Andy Fitzpatrick—and Lens, a throbbing mix of dub and drone whose 2013 tape ‘Visions Meet Light In the Cult House’ was among our top Madison releases of 2013. Morrow-Cribbs’ work in the past has often included etchings of strange, hybridized creatures, so we’re hoping the music we picked is a good match. Forequarter will be serving drinks at the event.
Mike Birbiglia. Capitol Theater, 7:30 and 10 p.m. (sold out)
Mike Birbiglia has succeeded in evolving his stand-up act into shows centered around long and frequently very personal stories, maturing a great deal while maintaining his low-key, sheepish charm. His current show, “Thank God For Jokes,” is all about the complex role that humor has played in his life.
Cinematheque: Marjoe. Vilas Hall, 7 p.m.
Sarah Kernochan and Howard Smith’s 1972 documentary follows evangelical preacher Marjoe Gortner, who over the course of the film reveals his cynicism and his own unbelief.
Twelve Monkeys. Union South Marquee, 11:30 p.m.
SATURDAY MARCH 8
The Midwest Beat, El Valiente, Non-Travellin’ Band. Crystal Corner Bar, 10 p.m.
Madison trio El Valiente has become something of a staple over the years, releasing three albums of epic and unpredictable instrumental rock. It’s still a pleasure to watch Eric Caldera’s fitful, twangy guitar playing and drummer Joe Bernstein pulling double duty with nimble glockenspiel melodies. There’s a chance they’ll play some new songs here, as they’ve been working on a new album to follow 2012’s ‘White Comanche.’
Jessy Lanza, Golden Donna. Memorial Union Rathskeller, 9:30 p.m.
Hamilton, Ontario’s Jessy Lanza serves as a strong reminder that electronic music can embrace playful pop but still delve into formidable, distinctive production. Lanza’s 2013 album, ‘Pull My Hair Back,’ was written and produced in collaboration with Jeremy Greenspan of Junior Boys. Songs like “Kathy Lee” and “Fuck Diamond” succeed on the level of flirtatious, catchy pop, but they’re crafted with depth and space. In other words, it’s a nice bridge between those who listen to electronic music for a few sexy hooks and those searching out something more elusive.
Cinematheque: Beau Travail. Vilas Hall, 7 p.m.
Cinematheque kicks off a series of films by contemporary French director Claire Denis with 1999’s ‘Beau Travail.’ In a loose adaptation of Herman Melville’s ‘Billy Budd,’ the film follows a group of French Foreign Legionnaires stationed in Djibouti, focusing on the sexual attraction and rivalry among three of the men.
James McMurtry. Stoughton Opera House, 7:30 p.m.
SUNDAY MARCH 9
Cinematheque: Strangers On A Train. Chazen Museum Of Art, 2 p.m.
Perhaps the most wickedly funny film Alfred Hitchcock ever made, 1951’s ‘Strangers On A Train’ finds an unsuspecting tennis pro (Farley Granger) drawn into a murder plot by a petulant playboy (Robert Walker). It’s a film that’s equally bold with humor and sinister, suspenseful imagery, fueled by Walker’s charmingly effete yet chilling performance.
The Grouch and Eligh, Madchild, Pigeon John, DJ Fresh, DJ Vilas Park Sniper. High Noon Saloon, 8 p.m.
Both members of the West Coast hip-hop group Living Legends since the 1990s, MCs The Grouch and Eligh have been working as a duo lately, recently releasing the collaborative album ‘The Tortoise And The Crow.’ They’re joined here by the infectiously lovable and frequently goofy L.A. rapper Pigeon John. It’s also worth getting there in time to hear Madison DJ Vilas Park Sniper.
Dan Deacon, Chants. Majestic, 8 p.m.
Over the past decade, we’ve watched Dan Deacon evolve from the prankster-vibed electronic art-punk of ‘Twacky Cats’ and ‘Spiderman Of The Rings’ (which admittedly sort of defied any dopey genre tags one could slap on them) to the deeper, more ambitiously orchestrated, and cat/dad-joke-free feel of 2008’s ‘Bromst’ and (even more so) 2012’s ‘America.’ With the humorous leanings of Deacon’s past cut away, we’re curious to see if his live show still packs all the goofy but admittedly fun crowd interaction–dance-offs, gauntlets, and so forth–that it once carried. Be sure to get there early to catch the brilliantly brain-twisting bass music of Madison’s own Chants.
MONDAY MARCH 10
Grindhouse Trailer-Bration. Union South Marquee, 7 p.m.
Revel in the trashy glory of exploitation films as Cinematheque and WUD Film present an evening of trailers from cult-film distributor Grindhouse Releasing. Yep, just the trailers, and lots of them, shamelessly wringing camp and grotesquery out of such features as ‘Dr. Butcher (Medical Deviate)’ and ‘Superchick.’
Getting Real: A Black Feminist History Of Hip Hop. Grainger Hall, 7:30 p.m.
Acclaimed feminist blogger for Crunk Feminist Collective and Rutgers professor of women’s, gender, and Africana studies Brittany Cooper will be doing a moderated Q & A and lecture for the fourth installment of the University of Wisconsin’s Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives’ Getting Real series.