A weekly update about upcoming concerts around Madison and notes on the local scene.
On the horizon
Athens, Ohio's Wheels on Fire, makes a first Madison appearance on Thursday, Oct. 15 at the Frequency. According to their MySpace page, the band earned their Big Legal Mess record deal after garage legend Jack Oblivian passed along their home-recorded tape to Fat Possum Records' Bruce Watson (who is at the helm of Big Legal Mess). That's a good enough reference for me. The music at Wheels on Fire's site indeed sounds like your basic basement-recorded rock 'n' roll goodness. What makes this show unmissable for garage pop fans is the trio of Madison bands on the bill. Noisy duo The Hussy will close the night; new band The Honey Slides, including members of The Grizzlies, The Midwest Beat and The Hussy, are in the middle; and The Hemlines (the female half of the Runners-Up, a band I was part of) will open the 10 p.m. show.
Wilco will return to Overture Center on Saturday, Feb. 20, on their second string of dates in support of Wilco, the band's new self-titled album. The disc neatly encapsulates the musical changes of the group's lifespan, now about twice as long as that of the band that spawned Wilco, the late, lamented Uncle Tupelo. Tickets go on sale at 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 16, and are sure to go quickly for the 2,200+ seat Overture Hall.
Help 'em out
Enjoying music and donating to a good cause ... what better way to spend a Sunday afternoon? The Halfway Hootenanny provides that opportunity on Oct. 18 at the High Noon Saloon. The "Halfway" part of the title refers to the halfway point of cancer treatments undertaken by local freelance photo stylist Kirsten Earley; she and her family decided to mark the occasion with a benefit concert for Wisconsin Ovarian Cancer Alliance and the UW Center for Patient Partnerships. Listeners can enjoy honky tonk by The Dirty Shirts, the bluegrass by Cork 'n Bottle String Band, and performances by Matt Earley and Glass Taxi. Music will be from 2 until 6 p.m.
Party with the Real Jaguar
He's heard nearly every Friday on WORT-FM's "Who Cooks for You," he's often seen manning the turntables at area clubs or dancing in the audience, and he's making the name Gabe Mad City stand-alone nomenclature (cf. Madonna). Now DJ The Real Jaguar has put together one heck of a lineup to celebrate his birthday at the Frequency, Friday, Oct. 16. The one out of town band is headliner Birds of Avalon, who create a psych-prog crazy quilt on their recordings that should be quite a spectacle reproduced in a live setting. The show kicks off at 10 p.m., and be on time for the subversions of pop music offered by the openers as well, including Steve Coombs' one-man improvisational freakout Trin Tran; and transplanted area duos Peaking Lights and Spires That in the Sunset Rise. James the Magician will also be on hand for non-musical sleight of hand.
Get your Sconnie on and dance the polka! The Don Peachey Band hasn't made a stop at the Essen Haus in 2009, but they'll be performing at a dance Saturday, Oct. 17, at Bayside Supper Club in Beaver Dam. A fixture in the Wisconsin traditional music world since 1951, Peachey was inducted into the Wisconsin Polka Hall of Fame in 1999. The dance will get underway at 7 p.m.