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Music roundup: Lewis Black brings angry back with two shows at Pabst Theater

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By Bill Livick/Special to The Gazette
Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Richard Shindell, 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4, Café Carpe, 18 S. Water St., Fort Atkinson. Tickets: $22.50. Call 920-563-9391.

Singer-songwriter Richard Shindell, who has released 13 albums since his 1992 debut, returns to Café Carpe to perform songs from his catalogue.

Shindell puts emphasis on songs from his latest album, “Careless,” which he released last year. The album was recorded across three years in upstate New York and Buenos Aires, Argentina, and it includes Shindell's signature acoustic guitar style along with a return to playing electric guitar.

Shindell was born and raised in Port Washington, New York, and has lived with his wife and children in Buenos Aires, Argentina, for the last 20 years. His songwriting often involves storytelling from a first-person point of view.

He began performing in 1990, and his career received a boost in 1997 when Joan Baez recorded three of his songs for her album “Gone from Danger.” She later invited the aspiring singer-songwriter to join her 1997-98 tour.

Shindell collaborated with Dar Williams and Lucy Kaplansky to form the group Cry Cry Cry in '98 and released a self-titled album the same year. The trio toured in support of their album before resuming solo careers.

Kamasi Washington, 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 8, Majestic Theatre, 115 King St., Madison. Tickets: $30. Call 608-255-0901.

Jazz saxophonist Kamasi Washington has been performing professionally since 2000, when he first worked in the studio on a Ryan Adams' album. Three years later, he was featured on his “Young Jazz Giants” album, a group he established while a student at Academy of Music and Performing Arts at Alexander Hamilton High School in Los Angeles.

Washington released his first album as a bandleader, “The Epic,” in 2015, and it set him on a path as a torchbearer for progressive, improvisational music. The album features his 10-piece band, The Next Step, and includes elements of hip-hop, classical and R&B music. Released to critical acclaim, the album won numerous “best of” awards including the American Music Prize and the Gilles Peterson Worldwide Album of the Year.

Washington followed the album by collaborating with other influential artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Run the Jewels, Ibeyi and John Legend, and with the creation of “Harmony of Difference,” a standalone multimedia installation during the 2017 Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City.

Washington began playing saxophone at age 13 when he picked up his musician father's horn and proceeded to play a Wayne Shorter composition despite never touching a saxophone or knowing how to play.

After high school, he received a full scholarship to the University of California at Los Angeles, where he studied ethnomusicology. He recorded his first album with Young Jazz Giants during the summer after his freshman year, having written four of the album's seven original songs.

After his sophomore year at UCLA, Washington went on his first national tour with West Coast hip-hop legend Snoop Dogg, performing alongside some of the most talented young jazz musicians in the country.

Dave Simonett, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 17, Stoughton Opera House, 381 E. Main St., Stoughton. Tickets: $25. Call 608-877-4400.

Dave Simonett, founder and frontman of the Minnesota-based Trampled by Turtles, is heading to the Stoughton Opera House for a solo show.

The singer-songwriter formed the bluegrass band in Duluth in 2003, and over 14 years Trampled by Turtles recorded eight albums—three of which hit No. 1 on Billboard's Bluegrass chart. The quintet played festivals such as Bonnaroo, Coachella and Lollapalooza, and it sold out Colorado's legendary Red Rocks Amphitheater three years in a row. Two appearances on “The Late Show with David Letterman” and one on “Conan” further bolstered the band's devoted fan base.

In spring 2016, Simonett asked his bandmates for time off to work on a side project he'd started in 2010—a rock band he named Dead Man Winter. He returned to the rock band to record some of his most personal songs, which came in the wake of his divorce last year.

In interviews, Simonett said he considered the demise of his 14-year marriage the most traumatic event of his life. It became the basis of the Dead Man Winter album “Furnace,” which was released in January 2017 and is considered his most revealing work.

The album is the follow to Dead Man Winter's 2011 debut album, “Bright Lights” and, in contrast to his bluegrass music, features heavy electric guitar, a lot of reverb and a rotating cast of backing musicians.

Lewis Black, 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10, and Saturday, Nov. 11, The Pabst Theater, 144 E. Wells St., Milwaukee. Tickets: $55-$69.50. Call 414-286-3663.

Stand-up comedian Lewis Black performs two shows at the Pabst Theater next week.

Black is one of the country's top touring comedians, and he is known for his angry face and belligerent comedic style that often simulate a mental breakdown. His comedy routines tend to escalate into angry rants about history, politics, religion and other cultural trends, and he is well known for his left-of-center political views.

Black began his career in 1981 and starred in his first comedy special in 1998 on the series “Comedy Central Presents.” His act involves sarcasm, profanity, shouting and angry finger-shaking, and he lists as influences such performers as George Carlin, Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, Lily Tomlin, Bob Newhart and Shelley Berman.

Black starred in two additional episodes of the “Comedy Central Presents” series in 2000 and 2002. He also is an author, actor and playwright who has released 13 comedy albums, numerous DVDs and three books.

Black hosted the Comedy Central series “Lewis Black's Root of All Evil” and made regular appearances on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” delivering his “Back in Black” commentary segment.



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