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The Daily


MadTracks: 'Ups & Downs' by dumate

For some musicians, songs are almost exclusively about the music, whether it's beats, harmonies or a hook in the chorus. For the Madison hip-hop crew dumate, the music's important, but so is the message. >More
 MadTracks: 'Pray for the Dead' by Something To Do

The five guys in the ska group Something to Do also channel the political consciousness many punk groups are known for -- plus the driving tempo and thick guitar that make hardcore exciting -- in their song "Pray for the Dead." However, they do it without losing the zany energy and absurdity of their genre. It's activism you can skank to. >More
 MadTracks -- 'Names' by The LeeDing Zeros

Lynda Higgins, the band's singer says the song hearkens back to the way kids yell "do-over!" when a game or some other adventure doesn't quite turn out right. But it's definitely a piece about ugly, grown-up kinds of struggles. >More
 MadTracks -- 'Paper Sky' by Gladstone

Gladstone is still a rock band -- and quite a poppy one at that -- but the sound is more produced and more suited to a three-minute single than an epic, album-length jam. >More
 MadTracks -- 'Bus Ride Kutacane To Brastagi' by Venice Gas House Trolley

While this title doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, Adam Gregory Pergament's spoken word, layered atop a free jazz composition for drums, guitar and more, gets listeners freestyling along -- or at least bopping their heads -- at live shows, including the performance of: "Mad Toast Live" at which the song was recorded in May. >More
 MadTracks -- 'Porter House 650' by Aaron Williams & the Hoodoo

When most people think of a porterhouse, they imagine a thick, juicy slab of meat and perhaps a cattle rancher or two. Madison blues-rock band Aaron Williams and the Hoodoo don't think about the steak or the farm as much as the saucy lady who served the meal. >More
 MadTracks -- 'Hypnogogic' by Sunspot

The boundary between sleep and wakefulness has intrigued artists and thinkers for centuries, from Aristotle to Edgar Allan Poe to Richard Linklater in his popular 2001 film Waking Life. Most recently, the three musicians in Sunspot have been exploring hypnagogia, the mysterious bridge from "awake" to "asleep." >More
 MadTracks -- 'Siamese Babies' by Amy Curl and Dan Kennedy

Almost everybody knows at least one couple so enamored with each other that it's a wonder they can function for five seconds when separated. Madison recording artists Amy Curl and Dan Kennedy jokingly call these folks Siamese twins and have even written a song about this condition called "Siamese Babies." >More
 MadTracks -- 'All Night Party' by Brainerd

With ties to other popular, hard-rocking bands from the area -- Killdozer and Mad Trucker Gone Mad via Crustacean Records and Bongzilla, which also calls Mike "Magma" Henry a member -- Brainerd's got a good start on its fame quest. And its brand-new album, The Goat, takes care of the shaking and slashing. >More
 MadTracks -- 'Call the Cops' by Whitney Mann

There are a lot of things that could be considered a crime, but trying to make someone else crack a smile is rarely one of them. Smilemongering, however, is one of the crimes Whitney Mann addresses in her song "Call the Cops." >More
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