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Thursday, October 30, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 40.0° F  Overcast
The Daily


Thirty 2013 concerts to remember -- and a few to forget -- from Madison and beyond

Leonard Cohen was old -- 33 -- when he released his first album in late 1967. A respected Canadian poet and fiction writer, he put aside a proper literary career at a critical cultural moment. This was risky. Many of his musical compatriots from the groovy "Summer of Love" were a good decade and a full generation younger. Forty-six years later, I saw Cohen perform in Milwaukee, and it was easily my favorite show of 2013. >More
 Middleton Community Orchestra avoids Christmas music, to good effect, in 2013 finale

The Middleton Community Orchestra concert on the night before Christmas Eve was marked by novelties and exceptionalities. As is now its tradition, the December program studiously avoided any Christmas music, such a relief for seasonally battered ears. Also, as is now standard for the ensemble, the concert was set on a weekday evening, instead of adding stress to our overtaxed weekends. >More
 F.Stokes wraps up a monumental 2013 by showering a Madison family with songs and gifts

After F.Stokes finished his post-Christmas show in Madison last year, he hopped a plane to London to record with alt-rock act Bastille. It wasn't long before that band got big, setting the tone for one of the most important years in the hip-hop artist's career. Now the Madison native, whom some locals know as West High grad Rodney Lucas, has returned for another after-Christmas show. >More
 The Flavor That Kills turn retro-rock parodies into funky showpieces

The Flavor That Kills have only been together since 2012, but they've gone through an impressive amount of change between then and now. With members of Awesome Car Funmaker and Screamin' Cyn Cyn & the Pons, two hilarious bands from Madison's past, it's no surprise that the group began as a humorous homage to '70s rock. >More
 WheelHouse bring a modern rock approach to old-fashioned country music

The term "country music" is a lot broader than it used to be, even a few years ago. When you turn on country-pop radio and hear Sheryl Crow and Darius Rucker, you may think you mistakenly landed on a '90s rock station. >More
 Communion concert series comes to Madison

Madison appears on many "best of" lists, in part because it has such a large number of concerts by touring acts each year. Having many live music options is a good thing, but it can be hard for an unknown artist to bring in an audience when famous performers come to town regularly. >More
 My first Madison house concert

It's natural to head to a bar or club for live music, but sometimes you don't have to look any further than your own backyard. Concerts are thriving in living rooms, basements and, yes, backyards all over the Madison area. After a friend took me to my first house concert this past summer, I was hooked. >More
 In 20 years, John DeMain has built an electrifying Madison Symphony Orchestra

John DeMain, the Madison Symphony Orchestra's music director, is known for his skillful conducting. But what is he like off the podium? In a word, gracious. He and his wife, Barbara, and their boisterous little dog, Max, welcomed me into their west-side home recently. I came to discuss his professional achievements on the occasion of his 20th season with the symphony, but I also glimpsed his rich personal life. >More
 Madison's folk musicians serve up creativity and generosity at Wintersong

Music can nourish the soul and provide food for thought, but unfortunately, it can't be eaten when times get tough. Luckily, a group of local musicians have found a way to turn songs into sustenance: Wintersong, an all-ages holiday show at the Majestic Theatre on Dec. 6. >More
 Compact Duo turn the Fountain into a time machine with live music and vintage films

The videocamera is an instrument in organ-and-drums act Compact Duo. The local two-piece combines music and film to create a multi-sensory experience at the Fountain on Tuesday nights. >More
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