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Thursday, December 18, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 25.0° F  Light Snow
The Daily

MUSIC

Horseshoes & Hand Grenades gallop into Madison music scene with This Old Town

Horseshoes & Hand Grenades made a big mark on Madison's concert calendar in 2013, gigging with local bands as well as national acts like the Infamous Stringdusters and Pert' Near Sandstone. Every show, it seems, is a celebration. They'll headline the Majestic Theatre's Wisconsin Bluegrass Festival (Saturday, Jan. 11) then bring down the Stoughton Opera House with Charlie Parr (Saturday, March 15). >More
 Andrew Sewell, the malleable maestro of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra

A passion for conducting doesn't always develop in glamorous concert halls packed with admirers. It's often passed down from masters to fledglings on drafty stages and in rooms cluttered with music scores. That's how it happened for New Zealand-born Andrew Sewell, music director and conductor of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra. >More
 A polar vortex of rock at FRZN Fest 2014

Now in its third year, FRZN Festival has solidified its role in Madison's music scene, bringing up-and-coming acts to town at a time of year the concert calendar gets mighty sparse. It also serves as a kickoff for the awesome shows to come in the early part of 2014. >More
 Field Report show off their local roots at the Wisconsin Folk Festival

When Field Report take the Majestic's stage for the Wisconsin Folk Fest on Jan. 4, the performance won't just mark their first show of the year. It will demonstrate just how far Milwaukee's Chris Porterfield and company have come as they march toward the release of their second album. >More
 My top Madison albums of 2013

Madison has cultivated great blues, jazz and jam rock for ages, but electronic music and new breeds of psychedelia have adopted larger roles in recent years, especially in 2013. While several of my favorite albums from the past 12 months traverse well-worn guitar-rock territory, I was pleasantly surprised by many local recordings featuring programming, synths and sounds culled from field recordings. >More
 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
 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
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