Ron Pope at High Noon Saloon
Win two tickets to see Ron Pope, Frances Cone and von Grey at the High Noon Saloon on Friday, October 3! This show is 18 and over. Clean-cut folk singer Ron Pope has ditched his old look of late for a bit more of the rebellious "long-hair/stubble" thing and has added a little more electricity to his previously paired-down style. Enjoy, the new, lean, mean, guitar machine version of Pope as he tours behind 2014's Calling off the Dogs.
Shovels & Rope at Barrymore Theatre
Win two tickets to see Shovels & Rope and John Fullbright at the Barrymore Theatre on Sunday, October 5! This show is all ages. Shovels & Rope, ewwww, no thanks gentle sirs, that sort of lot is the work of the peasantry. Tell you what, I'll poke around the servants quarters and see if Jeeves has some implements for such crudity. I should hope you have gloves if you're to handle these rough apparati. Oh, you were talking of the harmonic Americana duo touring behind the August release of Swimmin' Time. Right. Of course...sigh...I don't actually have a butler. Jeeves is my cat. Sometimes I like to pretend that I'm some fancy British guy on the BBCAmerica. So, uh, you think you could give me a ride? Hey, where are you going?
Jucifer at The Frequency
Win two tickets to Jucifer and Serpent Lung at The Frequency on Thursday, October 9! This show is 18 and over. Husband and wife metal outfit Jucifer must be fond of Madison, what with their making a second appearance in town in the last six months. Be prepared to have deafening Russian-themed sludge/doom from their latest album, За Волгой для нас земли нет, blasted at you from a wall of speakers that rival the seige-walls of Volgograd. They'll explain that reference in person using the gift of painful, painful song!
Isthmus Pregame at Budget Bicycle Center
Win two tickets to the Isthmus Pregame tailgate party two hours before kickoff at Budget Bicycle Center, 1230 Regent St., on Saturday, October 11! This event is 21 and over. Celebrate UW's return to Big Ten competition (or what passes for it in Illinois) with Bud Light from Wisconsin Distributors, Bloody Mary's with Tito's vodka, Qdoba and wings from Wingstop, as the Badgers stomp our corrupt, orange-clad brothers to the south back to their tollway-laden hill-free hovels. (Tickets are not available for sale or resale.)
Pixies at Orpheum Theater
Win two tickets to see Pixies and Royal Blood at the Orpheum Theater on Sunday, October 12! This show is all ages. They're the Pixies (mostly, close enough). Should be all you need to hear to enter this contest. PLUS FIGHT CLUB! BADDA BADDA BOP--DOOOO DOOOO DOOOOOOOOO-OOOOOOOOOWOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHH! Oh man, and the buildings like all fall and stuff and yeah...what were we talking about?
Delta Spirit at Barrymore Theatre
Win two tickets to see Delta Spirit and Sacco at the Barrymore Theatre on Wednesday, October 15! This show is all ages. With the release of Delta Spirit's Into the Wind coming literally just a few weeks ago, this show will be chock full of new material with a bigger, rockier sound than their earlier work and drive-Gram-Parsons'-body-to-the-desert-feeling name would lead you to expect.
The Hunts at The Capitol Theater
Win two tickets to see The Hunts at The Capitol Theater on Friday, October 17! This show is all ages. Five brothers and two sisters make up the harmonious family folk stylings of The Hunts. Win these tickets and be prepared for a host of strings, over half a dozen eerily similar smiles, and more tussled sun-touched auburn hair than you can comprehend in this plane of existence or your limited field of vision (there's a lot of them strewn across the stage, after all).
Dum Dum Girls at High Noon Saloon
Win two tickets to see Dum Dum Girls and Ex Cops at the High Noon Saloon on Thursday, October 23! This show is 18 and over. Dum Dum Girls have verged into New Wavey, layered, '80s-inspired stuff since their eponymous 2008 EP debut. Some are even calling lead singer Dee Dee the new Blondie! Okay, no one's saying that, but she's good and 2014's Too True is too...and a PR guy promised me a giftcard from Chi-Chi's if I made the comparison. I'd do things for fried ice cream that would curl your hair.
360 Allstars at The Capitol Theater
Win two tickets to see 360 Allstars at The Capitol Theater on Thursday, October 23! This show is all ages. A showcase of the best in BMX tricks, Cyr Roue (that giant hula-hoop thing), live looping (i dunno), drumming, breaking, and...basketball dribbling come together for a 'tude-laden "urban circus" that could give those francophilic Cirque du Soleil Canucks and their sad clowns the whatfor. Except for the acrobats. Those guys are huge.
Colin Mochrie & Brad Sherwood at Overture Hall
Win two tickets to see Colin Mochrie & Brad Sherwood at Overture Hall on Saturday, October 25! This show is for ages 6 & up. Improv pros Mochrie & Sherwood are instantly recognizable from their time on Whose Line Is It Anyway?, and guest spots on every sitcom imaginable. They improv so hard and so often they probably can't help but use tongs as crab clamps or do the can-can with turkey legs at treasured family dinners, ruining the holidays. Tragic, really. Better than getting kneecapped by one of Drew Carey's showcase model thugs for failing to perform, I guess.
Imago Theatre's Frogz at The Capitol Theater
Win two tickets to see Imago Theatre's Frogz at The Capitol Theater on Sunday, October 26! This show is all ages. Mime, humor, dance and terrifying frog costumes form like the misty green NyQuil fever dreams of your youth in Imago Theatre's seminal child-oriented production. Win these tickets and find out once and for all if the frogs manage to dodge the highway well enough to make it to the lilypad. Well, that's probably not part of the show. But it should be.
Smokey Joe's Cafe featuring The Coasters at Overture Hall
Win two tickets to see Smokey Joe's Cafe featuring The Coasters at Overture Hall on Sunday, October 26! This show is all ages. The '50s & '60s hits of songwriter/composer team Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller are still widely used as soundtracks and samples to this day. The Coasters, whose recording of Stoller & Leiber's hit "Yakety Yak" (among others) led them to the top of the charts and all the brightly colored suits a man could ever want, will bring you Smokey Joe's Cafe and memories of the days when songs could be as dirty as they want as long as they used euphemisms.
BalletBoyz at Overture Hall
Win two tickets to see BalletBoyz: The Talent at Overture Hall on Tuesday, October 28! This show is all ages. A mixed program of new & old material from different directors makes up the touring modern dance group's 2014 version of "The Talent," which makes its way to Madison to showcase the beauty of the sleek, powerful, multimedia-incorporating dance of our age as part of Overture's Ladies Night Series...which I guess almost makes sense.
Brother Ali at High Noon Saloon
Win two tickets to see Brother Ali, Bambu, DJ Last Word and Mally at the High Noon Saloon on Thursday, November 13! This show is 18 and over. Let's just get this out of the way, this show's right in time for the holidays, and we're all thinking it: Minneapolis hip-hop artist Brother Ali is actually Santa Claus. Think about it: the build, the hair, the speaking truth to power just like when Santa threw the moneylenders out of the temple. Laugh now, but when Brother Ali returns to Madison (the land of his snowy birth) and you guys don't have your missing teeth under your pillows for the reindeer pumpkin pie rapture, you're gonna be disappointed when you don't get your Easter baskets. (Full disclosure: I haven't been to church in a while.)