Music roundup for May 22-28, 2014

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By Kareesa Wilson, Special to The Gazette
Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Big Bang String Thing at 8 p.m. Friday, May 23, Cafe Carpe, 18 S. Water St., Fort Atkinson. Call 920-563-9391.

Violins and string instruments aren't just for tuxedoed crowds. Big Bang String Thing makes that clear with its genre-bending mashup of classic instruments and cool sounds.

The band—guitarist/mandolin player/singer Bob Westfall, bassist Mary Gaines, violinist Chris Wagoner and guitarist Micah Olsan—has a singular sound that's hard to describe because it dips into many styles, including swing, pop, bluegrass and rock.

Bottom line: BBST makes music that's great for dancing.

Atlas Sound at 9 p.m. Friday, May 23, Majestic Theatre, 115 King St., Madison. Tickets: $15. Call 608-255-0901.

Atlas Sound is the brainchild of Bradford Cox, a guitarist for rock band Deerhunter. Cox is making a name for himself as a songwriter, and Atlas Sound is his solo outlet.

Cox, 32, has released four albums as Atlas Sound, the latest being 2011's “Parallax.” His haunting vocals and alternative rock sounds create a powerful mood.

He also has made forays into the film industry, playing Jared Leto's lover in the Oscar-winning “Dallas Buyers Club” and contributing music to the soundtrack for the 2009 film “Where the Wild Things Are.”

Psychostick at 9 p.m. Friday, May 23, The Back Bar, 1901 Beloit Ave., Janesville. Tickets: $10-$15. Visit thebackbar.com.

Here's a band for all the metalheads out there.

Psychostick is heavy metal with a sense of humor. Band members Rob Kersey, Josh Key, Alex Dontre and Matty J are known for comical lyrics, double entendres and slapstick humor paired with heavy guitars.

The band's 2006 debut album, “We Couldn't Think of a Title,” made Billboard's Top 100 and included the hit single “BEER!!” A second album, “Sandwich,” arrived three years later and did better, climbing into Billboard's Top 20. The band released “Space Vampires vs. Zombie Dinosaurs in 3D” in 2011, and a fourth album is expected this year.

Psychostick recently started a crowdfunding project to raise money for a studio.

The Subdudes at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 29, The Pabst Theater, 144 E. Wells St., Milwaukee. Tickets: $29.50. Call 414-286-3663.

These New Orleans dudes are Southern-comfort-meets-Cajun, a melting-pot band with a sound that includes blues, zydeco, soul, funk and folk.

The Subdudes also sound different because they use a tambourine player instead of a drummer.

The Subdudes have been around for more than 20 years, and they've worked with plenty of pedigreed musicians. Blues master Keb Mo produced the group's 2006 album, “Behind the Levee,” which included the minor hit “Papa Dukie and the Mud People.” Another album, 2007's “Street Symphony,” was recorded at Nashville's Blackbird Studios and produced by George Massenberg, who has worked with rock band Little Feat.

The band self-produced its most recent album, 2009's “Flower Petals.”

The Subdudes are considered part of the New Orleans scene, and band members Tommy Malone, John Magnie, Steve Amedee, Tim Cook and Jimmy Messa have appeared in the HBO series “Treme,” which is set in New Orleans.

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