This Week’s Shows- All You’ll Need

Need a break but lamenting the price of gas and the tumbling economy?  No need to leave town- experience the world through your local music venues.  This week in Madison offers up country, bluegrass, jam band, acoustic, americana, ska, reggae ,pop-punk, indie, folk, hip-hop, alternative, and surf from all reaches of the world.  Feel better?  Thought so.

Friday, October 17

YONDER MOUNTAIN STRING BAND

Genre: Country, Bluegrass, Jam Band

“With little radio support, Yonder Mountain has become one of the fastest rising touring bands in the country, its fanbase having ballooned over the past five years through steady gigging and high-profile festival sets, all of which are full of improv and none of which feature the same set list.” -yondermountain.com

Similar to: The String Cheese Incident, Railroad Earth, Phish, Old Crow Medicine Show

9:00pm @ Orpheum Theatre  (608.255.6005)   Tickets $25 adv $30 dos — all ages

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Saturday, October 18
An Evening with PERT ‘ NEAR SANDSTONE 

Genre:  Acoustic, Americana, Bluegrass

“They call themselves a ‘new-timey string band,’ but if you see them in action you would say they’re a steamroller of energy. Pert’ Near Sandstone plays bluegrass, both original and traditional, but they bring the old music to a young audience with their enthusiasm, tight harmonies and class.” -Dale Connelly and Jim Ed Poole, Minnesota Public Radio

Similar to: Twin-A, Will Bernard, The Goondocks

9:30pm @ Cafe Montmartre  (608.255.5900) $8 – 21+
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Sunday, October 19
SLIGHTLY STOOPID 

Genre: Ska, Reggae, Pop-Punk

Similar to: 311, Sublime, Fishbone

and B FOUNDATION with OUTLAW NATION  8:00 pm @ Barrymore Theatre (608.241.8864) $20 adv $25 dos – all ages
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JENNIFER O’CONNOR 

Genre:  Indie, Folk

“Over the past 6 years, Jennifer’s gotten scary good at this sort of thing, so much so that most other contenders for the hypothetical Nobel prize for Witty Pop Songs W/ Heart are either former members of this label’s roster (we’re thinking Manning/Phair/Daniel but if you wanna nominate someone more contemporary, please go right ahead) or they’ve already been embalmed in the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame.” -highroadtouring.com

Similar to: Elliott Smith,, Kathleen Edwards, Liz Phair, Kimya Dawson

with PATCHWORK 9:00pm @ Cafe Montmartre (608.255.5900)  $8 adv, $8 dos – 21+
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Monday, October 20
MURS 

Genre: Rap, Hip-Hop

“He may not have either the Democratic or Republican nomination, but California indie-hip-hop mainstay Murs (an acronym for “Making Underground Raw Shit”) is throwing his hat into the election ring with his seventh solo album and major-label debut, Murs For President, out tomorrow on Warner Bros. Murs For President finds the underground-rapper-gone-big-time retaining his verbose and engaging flow while sticking to the soulful, jazzy beats that have marked his best records, notably 2004’s Murs 3:16: The 9th Edition.” – SPIN

Similar to: Aesop Rock, Atmosphere. Brother Ali

with KIDZ IN THE HALL  9pm @ High Noon Saloon (608.268.1122)  $14 adv $16 dos – 18+
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MISSY HIGGINS

Genre: Pop, Alternative, Rock

“It wasn’t just that Missy Higgins played piano, or that she was barefoot. It was that she was, in her approach, doing what [Carole] King did in the 1970s: shunting aside any notions of how she ‘should’ look or what she “should” sound like, and focusing instead on strong melodies and earnest lyrics.” – Jon Gilbertson, JS Online

Similar to: Katie Melua, Norah Jones, Ingrid Michaelson, Kate Nash

with special guest JOSHUA RADIN 8:00pm @ Majestic Theatre (608.255.0901)  $16 – $23 – all ages
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Tuesday, October 21

THE EXPENDABLES 

Genre: Rock, Reggae, Surf

“Anyone who’s ever been to an Expendables show knows what Weers is getting at. To say that the band goes all out is a severe understatement. By the end of every performance, the band appears physically deflated–drenched in sweat, hoarse and half-drunk. But that’s the Expendables: balls to the wall, no exceptions.” -Garrett Wheeler, metrosatacruz.com

Similar to: The Aggrolites, Sublime, Pepper

with special guests OPM and REBULATION  8:00pm @ The Annex  (608.256.7750)  $12 adv $14 dos – 18+
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“Tag’s Deal”- or How I Became a Concert Promoter (for those too timid to ask)

I look forward to July 20 with some trepidation.

No, it’s not because we have Immortal Technique at High Noon on Sunday. We do hip hop shows on a fairly regular basis, and we generally have less problems – the occasional obnoxious tag (as in graffiti) notwithstanding – than, say, at a Yonder Mountain show packed with over-served hippies.

July 20 is the anniversary of my move to Madison twenty years ago. I moved here from Dayton, Ohio to pursue a doctorate in Agricultural Economics under the guidance of Dan Bromley, a thoughtful Natural Resource economist who was also one of the few remaining expositors of the Institutional School of economics. Institutional Economics, with its holistic multidisciplinary approach, offered an alluring respite from the arid confines of neo-classical orthodoxy and its extreme reliance on mathematical equations and statistics. I looked forward to studying with Dan in the hopes that my interest in economics as a means of grappling with the complex issues facing us – particularly global environmental crises — would lead to a career in academia.

Man plans, God laughs. Before I could get to the good stuff, I had to pass muster in the form of prelims, and in order to do that, I had to take classes in Micro, Macro, and Econometrics. My math training upon arrival was minimal – I had never before seen a proof. In short, I was screwed. For the first time in my life, I was a failure.

In retrospect, I should have transferred to Sociology or Political Science, but I tried sticking it out. I could write well, and consequently had a paper published shortly after my arrival. I was invited to present my ideas at a couple of conferences, and I ended up getting featured in a video shot at an academic conference exploring the emerging discipline of Ecological Economics, one that was shown on college campuses across the country, even making its way to the Clinton White House (true story.)

But then more reality set in. I fell in love, hard, only to see it end in a slow-motion train wreck. And my parents died, both of them, within six months of each other. I was in a world of pain.

So I dropped out and became a concert promoter.

I sometimes think I subconsciously started up this business so I could drink on the job, which I did in the early days to good measure. It’s an occupational hazard, one that I now try to avoid, but then it helped me when little else could. Of course, what drinking gave, it took back and then some.

I intended when sitting down to write to ruminate about my early recollections of the Madison music scene, kind of a “then and now” retrospective. I do remember the first time I went to O’Cayz. I can’t remember the band I went to see, but I do remember thinking it was a long walk from campus. I saw Negativland at Club D, Fishbone at Headliners, Mahlathini & the Mahotella Queens and King Sunny Ade & the African Beats at the Barrymore — as many shows as I could fit in while wading through those dense math equations of my early grad school days.

I remember Phil Gnarly & the Tough Guys at the Wagon Wheel, Marques Bovre at the Crystal, the Indigo Girls playing the Terrace in front of what seemed like 6000 people, Lou Reed signing autographs at Club De Wash, the Gomers doing their crazy theme nights, also at Club D.

Bunkys, R& R Station and GS Vigs have all been torn down. Inn Cahoots became The Chamber, which became Mass Appeal, which became the King Club, giving way, most recently, to Woofs. Club de Wash burned down on a miserable February morning, and, not five years later, the same fate took out O’Cayz.

All I can say is thank God for Cathy’s perseverance.

O' Cayz Corral, Post- Fire

O' Cayz Corral, Post- Fire

I’m sitting upstairs at High Noon while I write this, listening to Sarah Borges & the Broken Singles rock out and thinking about how I used to drink Budweiser while waiting for the guys at No Name Printing in the basement of the old Buy ‘n’ Sell — which stood in this very spot — to finish up my flyers so I could go hit State Street.

I wonder what life would have been like as a college professor, if my original intentions upon landing here 20 years ago had been fulfilled. It was my dream to be a public intellectual, to get paid to read and write and think. I still have my regrets, that restless longing for what might have been.

On the other hand, I wouldn’t have had the life experiences I’ve had. I get to chat with Lyle Lovett, hang out with Patti Smith, witness the ongoing explosive genius of an artist like Ryan Adams. It’s not all like that; there’s a lot of endless work, lots of nights like tonight with 50 people in the house and a few hundred shy in the till. But, all in all, it doesn’t suck.

I still remember the first time I drove into Madison, down Park Street until it dead-ended into Lake Mendota, lost and not a little bit scared. I’ve watched the buildings go up, the skyline change, the city grow and prosper. And, I like to think, I’ve grown up and changed with it.

I’m glad I was bad at math and good at rock. And I’m very glad I moved to Madison twenty years ago.

Thanks to all who have supported our shows over the years and continue, so generously, to do so.

Tag Evers

Tag Evers

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