4 fests for local punk, hip-hop, jazz and metal

Comedy and family fun on tap this weekend, too
13 local venues with local talent
Three Madison venues host music fests this Friday and Saturday nights.

Resolve to spend the first weekend of 2020 familiarizing yourself with local music. Dive deep into the punk, hip-hop, jazz and metal scenes by attending one or more shows devoted to those genres as expressed by Madison and Wisconsin musicians.

All that and more is in store this weekend in Madison.


Radoslav Lorković, North Street Cabaret
Friday, Jan. 3, 7 p.m.
Croatian-born folk and blues piano and accordion player Radoslav Lorković plays Friday night at the North Street Cabaret. Over his 30-year career, Lorković was a sideman to the late singer Odetta and counts her, the Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie as his primary influences. That’s evident in his story songs, which are often autobiographical.

Wisconsin Punk Fest, High Noon Saloon
Wisconsin Hip-Hop Fest, Majestic Theatre
Friday, Jan. 3, 8 p.m.
An annual winter series of homegrown, genre-specific shows is hosted at FBC Live venues starting Friday night. There will be punk at the High Noon Saloon and hip-hop at the Majestic Theatre. The punk show promises to be a riot of rebelliousness with nine acts: Gender Confetti, COASTING, Something To Do, Telethon, We Should Have Been DJs, No Question, Parsing, Courtesy of Tim and Clean Room. The hip-hop event, hosted by MC Rob DZ, will feature rappers and crews Lucien Parker, Mic Kellogg, Bravo, Genesis Renji, Outside Voices, Eli B and Supa Friends. At either event, there will be a lot of local music to be had and supported.

Wisconsin Jazz Fest, Majestic Theatre
Saturday, Jan. 4, 8 p.m.
The local music fests continue Saturday night with cool jazz filling the Majestic. Paul Dietrich and his Big Band take the stage after the Cammilleri Organ Trio and Isthmus Bones.

Mead & Metal Fest, Bos Meadery
Saturday, Jan. 4, 6-11 p.m.
Although unconnected to the previously mentioned fests, the seventh annual Mead & Metal Fest takes place at Bos Meadery Saturday night, offering up loud and proud music, libations, a metal and Viking costume contest and “brutal poetry readings between sets.” The band lineup includes Sabotage, Cowboy Amazing, The Garza and, headlining, Lords of the Trident.


Truly Remarkable Loon, Kids in the Rotunda, Overture Center for the Arts
Saturday, Jan. 4, 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m., and 1 p.m.
Long-time local juggler, comedian and family funmaker Truly Remarkable Loon takes over the Rotunda Stage at Overture on Saturday. Besides promising to spin plates and unleash spinning monkeys, Mr. Loon aims to pay tribute to Sir Isaac Newton and the laws of motion. See what all that is about at three performances that day.

Alex Moffat, Comedy on State
Thursday, Jan. 2, 8 p.m.; Friday, Jan. 3, 10:30 p.m.; Saturday Jan. 4, 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.
A “Saturday Night Live” cast member since 2016 and alum of “The Second City” in Chicago, Alex Moffat has done a wide array of celebrity impressions — from Eric Trump and Adam Schiff to Kit Harrington and Willem Dafoe. He may trot out a few during his stay at Comedy on State this weekend.

Joel Patenaude is associate editor of Madison Magazine.