What to do in Madison this week: Banff Center Mountain Film Fest, Kishi Bashi, and more – Isthmus

Note: Many locations and businesses may continue to maintain individual mask-wearing requirements, along with proof of COVID-19 vaccination and/or a negative entry test. Before attending an in-person event, confirm that it’s still happening and check attendance guidelines on relevant company websites or social media accounts.

James Baldwin’s Creative Process: Theorizing the 1941 Manuscript of Go say it on the mountain, Monday, April 4, Zoom, 5 p.m.: More than three decades after his death, the work of writer James Baldwin occupies a prominent place in American letters, and a place that grows with current study (in addition to being refreshed in the visual medium with the Oscar-winning adaptation of If Beale Street Could Talk). Baldwin’s first novel, Go say it on the mountain, had an extended gestation period before its publication in 1953; how the novel got there will be discussed by Jacqueline Goldsby, Thomas E. Donnelly Professor of African-American Studies at Yale University. The talk is part of the Humanities Without Boundaries series organized by the UW Center for the Humanities and takes place on Zoom; register here.

Kishi Bashi, Monday April 4, Majestic, 8 p.m.: Omoiyari: A Song Film by Kishi Bashia companion to his 2019 album Omoiyari, premiered in March at SXSW. The album and film grew out of the songwriter and violinist’s research into the history of internment camps for Japanese Americans during World War II (and the recent government policy and political rhetoric fueling white supremacy). The music converts these heavy subjects into elegiac yet hopeful songs. Kishi Bashi’s current tour looks back on more recent history, celebrating the 10th anniversary reissue of his debut album, 151a; he will play the album in its entirety, with a full band. With big big trees.

Flight of Lights, From March 25 to April 17, on International Lane, from 7:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.: How do traditions hatch? This one was born out of the first year of the pandemic, when anything resembling mass entertainment was best within the confines of your car. This third annual spring light exhibit features six installations along the route around the airport, including tributes to first responders, the medical community, Wisconsin sports, animals and nature, tropical and nautical themes and to some favorite destinations. And just in case you forgot how to get to the airport, this can serve as a practice exercise. Vehicles enter the “Flight of Lights” road via International Lane. More info on flightoflights.com.

dance with the dead, Tuesday April 5, High Noon Saloon, 7 p.m.: The duo of Tony Kim and Justin Pointer create a horror-themed mix of electronic music and metal guitars in Dance with the Dead. Visit a skeleton rave in the video from “hexagon“, from the new album Driven to madness, released in January. Also on view: The Masked and Masked Idaho Magic Sword Trio; and the gothic synth pop of Das Mörtal from Montreal.

Jeffrey Bold, Wednesday 6 April, Leopold’s Book Bar Caffé, 6 p.m.: Good news for avid readers: with each passing month, more and more authors return to in-person events. Madison’s Jeffrey D. Boldt — a former administrative law judge from Wisconsin who earned an MFA in fiction three years ago — will launch his first novel, blue lake, in Madison’s brand new bookstore. This timely and highly readable environmental legal thriller, set in Wisconsin, has drawn comparisons to the work of John Grisham, and the rich depictions of the Upper Midwest will resonate with readers. Boldt ruled environmental affairs in this state for 25 years, and his passion for the land and our state seeps through every chapter.

Banff Central Mountain Film Festival, April 6-7, Overture Center-Capitol Theatre, 7 p.m.: It’s two nights of adventure movies (14 in all) brought to Mad City from the heart of the Canadian Rockies. This film festival is about sweeping landscapes, wild animals, borderline athletic feats (often literally) and environmental awareness. Awaken your senses, live vicariously and revel in the terrifying and the sublime. The April 7 program includes a screening of breaking trail, about Ice Age Trail hiker Emily Ford. Find tickets at overture.org.

Nectar, Wednesday, April 6, Bur Oak, 8 p.m.: Prog forebears Nektar returned in 2020 with an acclaimed new album, The other side, and finally hits the road to present his songs live. More than five decades after meeting as British expats in Germany, the rhythm section of bassist Derek “Mo” Moore and drummer Ron Howden leads the band (with the continued presence of Mick Brockett, who coordinates the show from light and visuals). Check ticket availability here.

Wolf Alice, Wednesday April 6, Le Majestic, 8 p.m.: With its bass-heavy riffs and energetic, often offbeat drums, Wolf Alice’s sound is reminiscent of grunge bands like Smashing Pumpkins and Veruca Salt. But vocalist Ellie Rowsell is sunnier than the big grunge gods and injects a modicum of hip-hop timing to bring this winning formula into the Roaring Twenties. It’s a big sound; delight in it. With Charlie Hickey.

Madison’s Funniest Cartoon, Wednesdays April 6-May 4, Comedy on State, 9 p.m.: Dive into the pool of up-and-coming comedians with Madison’s Funniest Comic competition, which returns after a year-long pandemic hiatus. The preliminary rounds will take place from April 6 to 27, with the finals on May 4; show time is 9 p.m., but the venue fills up quickly, so arriving closer to door time (7:30 p.m.) is a good idea. Stand-ups wishing to participate must register before March 31 on madisoncomedy.com.

Wisconsin Film Festival, April 7-14: Returning in person after a canceled 2020 and a virtual 2021, the Wisconsin Film Festival kicks off April 7 at the UW Memorial Union, with an opening reception and presentation of the Golden Badger Awards (5:30 p.m., Main Lounge) and a screening of the film Anaïs in Love about a young woman who has an affair with a married man but falls in love with his wife — yes, it’s in French (7 p.m., Shannon Hall). The festival continues through April 14 with documentaries, dramas, experimental films and entertainment at venues on campus and at AMC 6 Hilldale. Find more details on www.wifilmfest.org.

Angela Trudell Vasquez Thursday 7 April, Central Library, 7 p.m.: Madison Poet Laureate Angela Trudell Vasquez had a number of plans for her term, but then COVID hit. Fortunately, Vasquez was reappointed for a second term and big plans are back. In this Wisconsin Book Festival event, she will read excerpts from her new collection, My People Redux. Typical of Vasquez’s thoughtful works, the poems encompass stories from his past and his ancestors who came to the Midwest from Mexico in the late 1800s, but they don’t stop there — geographically or imaginatively. Additionally, Vasquez will be Poet-in-Residence at the Madison Public Library through May 2022, hosting workshops for all ages in which she will partner with an artist, dancer, or nature educator “to provide an interactive exploration that expands the ways we experience poetry.” See more details on madpl.org/poetry.

Amanda McCavour, until September 11, Chazen Museum of Art: First, don’t think about traditional embroidery. McCavour’s large-scale “thread drawings” in the exhibition Hanging landscapes will fill Paige Court to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Chazen Museum and its inaugural building Elvehjem. McCavour sews with a sewing machine on a fabric base that dissolves in water, leaving a strong but delicate-looking web of images. The Toronto-based artist has traveled to Madison several times to create site-specific work incorporating large-scale images of Wisconsin flora. McCavour also curated an on-campus art exhibit that inspired his installation, alongside his own drawings and preparatory materials. The installation is on display until September 11.

Essential Midwest James, Thursday 7 April, Arts + Literature Laboratory, 7.30 p.m.: Mills Folly Microcinema presents a sampling of the multidisciplinary work of James D. Gavins, a UW-Madison graduate and staff member of the Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives since 2019. The program includes a screening of Cicada, a film adaptation of a play written by Gavins and Karl Michael Iglesias that premiered at the 2021 Wisconsin Science Festival; dance-theatre performances by Gavins, Papa-Kobina Brewoo and Roel Hernandez; and music by Gavins accompanied by drummer Tim Russell. Find tickets at midwestjames.bpt.me.

Joe Hill: Living like you and me, Thursday April 7, Dark Horse ArtBar, 7:30 p.m.: Organizing efforts have been in the news lately, including a successful campaign by Colectivo Coffee workers and nurses’ continued efforts to have their union recognized by UW Health. Industrial Workers of the World activist and songwriter Joe Hill was an early 20th century exponent of the workers’ struggle for better conditions and one of the movement’s martyrs; he was executed in Utah under questionable circumstances in 1915. Hear his songs and learn about his life from the singer and storyteller Tom Castle. This Fermat’s Last Theater program also includes a post-concert discussion on the modern labor movement led by UW School for Workers Emeritus Professor Frank Emspak. Free entrance; proof of vaccination required.

We hope it is convenient for you to find selections grouped together in one article. Individual picks can still be found in the usual places online: collected hereand sprinkled everywhere all events.

About Herbert L. Leonard

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