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Wednesday, August 20, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 78.0° F  Partly Cloudy
The Daily

MADTRACKS

MadTracks -- 'Derailed' by Mud Angels

Nashville's embrace of twangy pop acts that keep a governor on the country side of the equation ought to be a boon for blues-rockers like Mud Angels. While the Madison-area quintet has recorded some simmering blues grooves on their new album, A Bolt from the Blue, it kicks up the most dust on up-tempo tunes that give lead singer Laura England and the band's two guitarists a chance to display some carefully modulated aggression. >More
 MadTracks -- 'Emergency Caller/Utah Desert' by El Valiente

You've gotta hand it to El Valiente: They have a way with musical textures. To be honest, their skills are such that it's easy to imagine this accomplished instrumental trio putting their guitar, bass and drums (and glockenspiel) lineup in the service of obvious evocations of desert landscapes that owe much to Ennio Morricone and Ry Cooder or post-punk-flavored prog that samples the legacy of Don Caballaro. >More
 MadTracks -- 'Explosive Improvised Device' by The JoAnne Pow!ers Trio

Saxophonist JoAnne Pow!ers has worked long and hard around these parts trying to establish herself as a serious "free" player. It's been a courageous and, at times, lonely pursuit in a city, that for all its charms, has never been especially kind to musicians who prefer to dance outside the lines. >More
 MadTracks -- 'People's Temple' by Icarus Himself

To be honest, I don't recall all the details of charismatic-cum-paranoid cult leader Jim Jones and the 1978 Jonestown Massacre in Guyana that ended the lives of 913 people, including hundreds of children. But that's not important to connecting with the chilling sense of horror that ripples through "People's Temple," Nick Whetro's masterful evocation of that impossibly savage day. >More
 MadTracks -- 'Forevertron' by Freighter

Although heavy metal has long embraced ornate riffing, technically inclined mathcore acts like The Dillinger Escape Plan have made complexity even more popular in "heavy" forms of rock. That's good news for Freighter, who boast an academy trained drummer in El Clan Destino percussionist Jamie Ryan and a potent, prog-minded guitarist (okay, axe-wielder) in Travis Andrews. Toss in Jason Braatz's Mach I bass parts, and you've got a metal machine that's ready to match pretty much and riff factory, beat for beat and note for note. >More
 MadTracks -- 'Journey Through Dark Waters' by Ka-Boom!Box

The echoed keyboard and the interplay between the bass and drums at the beginning of this edited version of "Journey Through Dark Waters" by Ka-Boom!Box all suggest that the local sonic alchemists are embarking on a fairly standard update of the music that made King Tubby and Lee Perry famous. >More
 MadTracks -- 'Things Fall Apart' by The Gomers

Say, doesn't that howling, squalling, downright otherworldly freak-out guitar work punctuating "Things Fall Apart" from the new Mike Zirkel (The Album) by The Gomers sound familiar? Well, it should. At least to connoisseurs of weirdo pop and rock. >More
 MadTracks -- 'Go' (a 'dirty' master) by Flukie Stokes

Chicago rapper Flukie Stokes reports that he'll be taking off for points east in the coming months, so his occasional appearances in Madison will likely become even more infrequent. Luckily, he's been in the studio, working up pointed rhymes like those in go "Go" that salute his rough 'n' ready hometown and the happy/sad realities growing up African-American in the City of the Big Shoulders. >More
 MadTracks -- 'There is No War on Christmas' by Schabow and The Egg Nogs

It's no surprise that local pop tune maven Adam Schabow (The Shabelles, The Kites, etc.) skips and gambols through "There Is No War On Christmas," just one of the holiday-centric originals on the new Christmas disc by Schabow & The Egg Nogs. Released in concert with a party at the High Noon a couple of weeks ago, the Nogs feature members of Goat Radio and Something To Do. >More
 MadTracks -- 'The Freak Outside' by August the Creep

August the Creep sheds his rhyming pal Horton the Irrelevant in his recent solo instrumental effort The Creep, a previously unreleased collections of songs he created over 2002-05. The results range from bracing and antic to pleasantly calm, and on "The Freak Outside" he samples a broad aural palette. >More
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