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Friday, August 22, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 81.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
The Daily

MUSIC

Madison turns up the metal and noise music in November and December

Madison's selection of heavy music isn't always as diverse as it should be, but that stands to improve over the next couple of months. Bookers here seem to have a safe zone that doesn't often extend beyond the red meat of doom- and stoner-metal riffs. That means we hear from decent acts like Weedeater, Witch Mountain and the mighty Skeletonwitch on a fairly regular basis, but rarely see many other varieties of heavy music performed live. Luckily, November and December offer some more compelling angles on metal, noise and post-hardcore. >More
 Glen and Grant-Lee Phillips fill Redamte Coffee House with autumnal acoustic music

For some, Glen and Grant-Lee Phillips -- the frontmen of Toad the Wet Sprocket and Grant Lee Buffalo, respectively -- summon memories of the early 1990s and the sensation of falling in love. For me, they represent fall and the emotions the season brings. Perhaps I suffer Seasonal Affective Disorder, but these artists can conjure sniffles in an instant with their autumnal chords and poetic lyrics. I watched both perform at Redamte Coffee House last night. >More
 Madison Opera's A Masked Ball is a beautiful display of Verdi's power and passion

While enjoying Madison Opera perform Verdi's Un ballo in maschera (A Masked Ball) at Overture Hall Friday evening, it struck me that perhaps the smaller, local companies are keeping opera honest. Unlike the major, big-city companies, smaller ones cannot afford the whiz-bang new directors who impose quirky "concepts" on their productions and in turn do such damage to the art form. >More
 Hey Rosetta! turn the Frequency into a miniature arena with their lush, anthemic rock

Though their name suggests that they're a pop-punk band for teenagers, Hey Rosetta! is a symphonic rock band that creates anthems, much like Coldplay and the Fray. You know, the types of songs that cause tears to well up in your eyes while watching an episode of Grey's Anatomy. They're good, they're emotional, and they translate well live. Really, really well last night at the Frequency. >More
 Hardcore, metal and noise albums that will rule your stereo this fall

October is the cruelest month. This year, it's brought new releases from bands that have advanced the status of heavy, abrasive music both locally and nationally. These albums may actually be more kind than cruel, since they show listeners just how much talent exists in the metal, hardcore and noise-rock genres. I found a lot to like as I took them in. >More
 Dinosaur Jr. blow the roof off the Majestic with eardrum-shattering rock

Great bands have a signature sound, and Dinosaur Jr. have it in spades. Sure, these three musicians play loud enough to shatter dental fillings, but their chemistry is truly unique. Friday night at the Majestic Theatre, they bulldozed through new material and old classics alike, which made for an amazing set. >More
 Youngblood Brass Band brings the noise at the High Noon Saloon

Last night was a homecoming of sorts for Youngblood Brass Band, which was founded in 1995 by a group of Oregon High School students. It was also a send-off, as the band will soon tour of Europe, where they've headlined at least one major music festival. Ten of the group's members took the stage as fans filled the High Noon Saloon to capacity. >More
 Mayer Hawthorne, Living Statues impress with back-to-back sets of rock and soul at the Majestic Theatre

The first thing I noticed at last night's Mayer Hawthorne show was the diversity of the audience. Sure, there were a few fanboys in bow ties and suspenders at the Majestic Theatre, but overall you couldn't put a pin on the audience. In the end, the only unifying factor for was the music. Fans came for the soul, and for the most part that's what they got -- after the opening act. >More
 The revolution comes to an end for Madison post-hardcore band the United Sons of Toil

With the United Sons of Toil, I got off on the wrong foot, or at least the wrong question. As I got ready to write about the Madison post-hardcore trio's 2007 debut album, Hope Is Not a Strategy, I e-mailed guitarist-vocalist Russell Hall to ask, "Is this a gimmick?" I wasn't referring to the music. >More
 Big Gigantic build youthful electronic tunes on the fly

The electronic dance duo Big Gigantic have sandwiched a Madison gig between stops on a two-month tour. The night before, they're in Tulsa, and the night after, they're in Columbia, Mo. Hauling their usual stage rig across the Midwest and back in two days' time is impossible, so the duo are flying light to Wisconsin and devising their stage production on the fly. >More
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