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Event Archive - 2017

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Jan 13, 2017The East Nashville Ramblers - $7Steam-Powered Bluegrass

Named after their creative, independent neighborhood on the other side of the Cumberland River, The East Nashville Ramblers will bring their forward-leaning, traditional bluegrass to Mother Fools on Friday, January 13th. The group features two noteworthy up and comers in the acoustic music world, Amanda Fields and John Mailander. Virginia native, Amanda Fields hails from the same rugged countryside that was once home to the Stanley Brothers, the Carter Family and more. She's an unforgettable, true vine singer of the highest caliber.

John Mailander is one of the finest fiddlers of his generation. John is a already a seasoned veteran of the bluegrass and new acoustic scene having performed with musicians such as Tony Trischka, Tim O'Brien, John Reischmann, Darol Anger and others. He was recently honored as a nominee for the 2016 IBMA Momentum Award that recognizes leadership and innovation within the bluegrass community.

Long time friends of Mother Fools, John Fabke (bass) and Jon Peik (banjo), will complement the proceedings with their wit, charm and excellent musicianship.
Jan 6, 2017The Madtown Poetry Open MicIn times of political and social uncertainty the Arts afford us one way to respond. On Friday, January 6th, we will forgo the usual featured reader spot and instead ask that those who wish to read in the open mic do so with at least one original poem, or a poem written by someone else, that addresses in some fashion our current political climate. The possibilities are endless and I hope many of you will participate, as I hope many more will come to listen and support our event. The usual guidelines will apply, i.e. a maximum of three poems for no more than a total of five minutes. Please join us on the first Friday day of the New Year and let your voice be heard.

The Madtown Poetry Open Mic, hosted by Ron Czerwien at Mother Fool's Coffeehouse, welcomes all forms of poetry. Readers in the open mic are invited to read their original work for up to five minutes. Sign up starts at 7:30pm and the event begins at 8:00pm.

For over ten years Ron hosted poetry readings as well as an open mic at Avol's Bookstore in Madison. His poems have appeared both on-line and in print journals. His manuscript, "The Office of Uncomfortable Admissions," received an honorable mention in the Concrete Wolf Chapbook Contest. Ron serves on the board of The Council for Wisconsin Writers, and sells used and out-of-print books on-line under the name Avol's Books LLC. If you have questions about the open mic, call Ron at 608-255-4730, or email him at avols@chorus.net.
Jan 15, 2017Art Reception for Clairanne GodfreyCome meet January's featured artist.

6 - 8 pm.

Free and open to the public.
Feb 4, 2017Yid ViciousGROUNDHOG DAY 2017: THE DE-ASHENING

Dear Klezbyterians,
Well, it’s a brand new year! Time to put behind the detritus of the past and focus on what’s ahead. But also, time to reflect on what came before. Perhaps these are mutually exclusive goals. But, what if, perhaps NOT? While you were spending the holidays enjoying yourselves with family gatherings, gift shopping, crying jags, and yelling at the television, we at Yid Vicious Enterprises LLC were hard at work in our spacious offices coming up with a theme for the upcoming Groundhog Day blowout at Mother Fool’s.

Reflecting on the year past, many ideas presented themselves. All of these potential themes had merit. They included:
*sports teams that won that we never thought would;
*Lemmy, we hardly knew thee;
*another Star Wars all of a sudden;
*cats we miss;
*what the fuck happened;
*tribute to the least-liked guy in the Eagles;
*no, seriously, what in the fuck just happened;
*mid-winter blahs;
*garbage fires;
*orange is the new blllaaaaarrggggghhhh;
*seventy degrees in November: totally normal;
and many others.

Finally, we landed on a theme of positivity: rising above the ashes.

As many of you are no doubt aware, Yid Vicious found its true home at Mother Fool’s more than two decades ago, when Mother Fool’s was a new business and Yid Vicious was just starting with the bulgars. Over the years, the band and the business grew, thriving separately but always coming together for the most sacred of days: Groundhog Day. Then, in August 2016, Mother Fool’s suffered an involuntary re-model thanks to some moron driving when he shouldn’t have been. Thankfully, no one was seriously hurt, but the front exterior, including its beloved sparkling mosaic, was demolished. We were aghast, wondering if Mother Fool’s would recover from this terrible misfortune.

And they did! And they’re still open and serving not but the finest ice coffee and hosting music and helping us all celebrate together the sacredest rodent-themed holiday that we can think of: Groundhog Day! This year, to celebrate Mother Fools’ tenacity and pluck, we’ll be shoving our beloved marmota monax aside to celebrate another fabled creature: the phoenix! Because, rising out of the ashes! Like how Mother Fool’s rebuilt! To help remind us that everything’s not horrible, and even when it is, there’s hope for renewal and rebirth! Like we all need in the middle of winter, especially now that Princess Leia is gone!

For this extra-special twenty-second annual Groundhog-and-Phoenix Day reunion concert blowout, Yid Vicious will be rolling out its exciting new version of Igor Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite. Finally, Russian modernism meets Wisconsin klezmerism in a bold and possibly inspiring manner that will offer hope and tranquility to us all. Then, past and present members of Yid Vicious, numbering into the hundreds, will assemble for the annual Yid Vicious Reunion Sher-off, a Madison klezmer institution where dancing, singing, whooping, and plate-spinning are not only allowed, but encouraged.

Please join us if you’re able. If not, catch us next year or the year after that. Yid Vicious and Mother Fool’s are going to be here for a long time to come.
Jan 28, 2017Freedom Night [open mic]Open mic. Come read your latest poem or short story or play a song on the guitar. Tell some jokes, etc. Open mic at Mother Fool's!

Host: Angelica Engel
Feb 3, 2017The Madtown Poetry Open Mic w/ Oscar MirelesOscar Mireles is the Executive Director of Omega School, where he has been employed for the past 22 years. Prior to working at Omega School, Oscar was the Associate Executive Director of the United Community Center/Centro de la Comunidad Unida. His educational background includes a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. He has received numerous awards and recognition for his service to the community.

Oscar is a published poet and is also the Editor of three anthologies titled “I Didn’t Know There Were Latinos In Wisconsin.” He has a chapbook titled “Second Generation” published in 1986. Oscar was recently appointed the fifth and first Latino “Poet Laureate” for the City of Madison for two years (2016-2018).

The Madtown Poetry Open Mic, hosted by Ron Czerwien at Mother Fool's Coffeehouse, welcomes all forms of poetry. Each month a featured reader is showcased for 15-20 minutes, followed by the open mic. Readers in the open mic are invited to read their original work for up to five minutes. Sign up starts at 7:00pm and the event begins at 8:00pm.
Feb 18, 2017Auralai w/ Paul Fonfara (Painted Saints) - $8With Stephanie Tschech providing a foundation of cello and voice, complemented by mulit-instrumentalist Nate Lehner, Auralai combines the best of classical beauty with pop-esque rhythm and melody. Stephanie's abstract but vivid lyrics, and complex yet catchy rhythms and melodies are often described as "transporting", sometimes haunting, sometimes hilarious, always fiercely engaging. No slave to both conventional songwriting and classical cello form, Auralai brings a much needed fresh breed of indie-pop music that is nothing short of captivating.


Painted Saints is centered around the songwriting of Paul Fonfara. With odd cinematic twists, and a transparent sense of sincerity they tackle a Spaghetti Western, Heroin Klezmer, Experimental Sad Bastard Chamber Folk, Psychadelic Shoegaze Dirge Motown, Andrew Bird if he was from Twin Peaks sound.

A transplant to Minneapolis from Denver, where after finishing a degree in music studying Clarinet, Fonfara got his start in DeVotchKa, then moved on to record and tour internationally with 16 Horsepower/Woven Hand and with Jim White on David Byrne’s Luaka Bop label. When Fonfara settled in Minneapolis 9 years ago, his well-honed and exploratory talents were immediately recognized as he became a member of local favorites Spaghetti Western String Co., balancing the precision and delicacy of that band with the raucous playfulness of the Brass Messengers, and silent movie film scores of Dreamland Faces. To fill out Painted Saints, Fonfara recruited many of Minnepolis’ finest players including members of The Poor Nobodys, and Dark Dark Dark.

Throughout all of his time working with other bands and collaborators, Painted Saints has remained Fonfara’s outlet for his own songwriting. A talented painter, his songs become sprawling sonic landscapes of visually imagistic lyrics, often as melancholic and forceful as they are shimmering and lovely. Lyrically, the songs are populated by escapist dreamers, flailing underdogs, and children’s imagined civil wars. Songs find inspirations in Henry Darger paintings, a boxer comtemplating his life between the moment he takes a hit on the chin to hitting the canvas, children watching the world below from the tallest Pine tree in small town Wyoming, and bike rides through blizzards.

Feb 25, 2017Freedom Night [open mic]Open mic. Come read your latest poem or short story or play a song on the guitar. Tell some jokes, etc. Open mic at Mother Fool's!

Host: Angelica Engel
Feb 24, 2017Hanah Jon Taylor Trio - $10Hanah Jon Taylor - Saxophones / Flute / Wind Synth
Dushon Mosley - Drums
Darius Savage - Bass
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