Here are some Madison show announcements from this week that you may have missed. Tickets go on sale Friday, Aug. 3 at 10 a.m. unless otherwise noted.
Reel Big Fish
Though ska’s popularity more or less died out in the 1990s, gone the way of the Tamagotchi, a select few bands are still bearing the torch. Chief among those is Reel Big Fish, the SoCal hornblowers best known for their 1997 hit “Sell Out.” Though some might relegate the band to heritage act status, RBF still puts on a pretty great live show, full of original favorites and energetic covers.
Michael Ian Black
These days celebrated comic and wonderful man Michael Ian Black is maybe best known for his combative, left-wing political views (which he flexes constantly on his hilarious Twitter account), but he’s been one of alternative comedy’s premier performers since the Clinton era, when he first broke through with the influential, unhinged sketch comedy group The State. He’s since appeared on numerous television shows, recorded three stand-up specials, and authored seven children’s books (for real), including this year’s I’m Sad. Tickets go on sale at noon.
Deafheaven / DIIV
Since releasing their watershed sophomore album Sunbather in 2013, Deafheaven have been marked by constant evolution. It was evident in the lush guitar hooks of 2015’s New Bermuda, and it’s on full display in this year’s Ordinary Corrupt Human Love (which is already one of this year’s best). The Bay Area black metal crew has always incorporated elements of psych and post-rock, but never to such a cinematic effect as they do on OCHL. In fact, Deafheaven is making it harder and harder to call them a “black metal crew.” Right now, “indie rock’s most interesting band” sounds a lot more apt. And speaking of, they’ll be joined at High Noon by kindred spirits in NYC dreampop outfit DIIV, who have spent the last year gearing up for their first album since frontman Zachary Cole Smith completed treatment for heroin addiction.
Matthew Houck is a well-traveled dude. Born in Huntsville, Ala., the man known to the world as Phosphorescent got his musical start in Athens, Ga. before moving to Brooklyn. Over the many map points, Houck has mastered his indie-folk craft, releasing six albums, with the most recent being 2013’s Muchacho. However, Houck earlier this week announced a new one, C’est La Vie, set for release in October, so expect to hear a few new standards from the modern master’s growing catalog. As a bonus, support on this show comes from upstart road warriors Liz Cooper & The Stampede, an avuncular trio who falls somewhere on the musical spectrum between Laura Stevenson and Neil Young.
Speaking of Uncle Neil, there’s always a bit of irony when Canadians can do the Americana thing better than actual Americans. One of those talented Canucks is Colter Wall, a Saskatchewan-born troubadour who may be The Great White North’s only outlaw country artist (though if you can prove me wrong, feel free to). Released last year, Wall’s eponymous debut was produced by Dave Cobb, the prolific country wizard who’s helmed instant classics for guys like Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson and Chris Stapleton. Take this chance to see Wall before he’s selling out huge concert halls like those other three, because it’s only a matter of time.