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Saturday, December 20, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 27.0° F  Overcast
The Daily

MUSIC

Milkhouse Radio cranks out 'Christmas on the Isthmus,' a bluegrass ode to Madison (video)

Despite being what guitarist Russ Cannon calls a "ridiculous idea," local bluegrass band Milkhouse Radio has managed to write and record an original Christmas song in less than a month. The result is "Christmas on the Isthmus," which is as much a string-band carol as a love note to Madison. >More
 Take a delightful 'Sleigh Ride' with Madison expatriates Nate Palan and Kari Bethke (video)

Please step out of the frame, M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel. We've discovered a far more adorable Christmas-caroling duo. >More
 The August Teens turn traditional Christmas carols into festive surf-rock experiments

The August Teens' decision to mark Christmas with a Surf Holiday Dance Party at the High Noon Saloon on Saturday, Dec. 15 -- and with a similar show at the Frequency on Tuesday, Dec. 18 -- might strike some fans as eccentric. But this local band isn't really that peculiar. As it turns out, the connection between Christmas and surf-rock is much older than Trans-Siberian Orchestra's histrionic holiday noodlings. >More
 The top ten Madison albums of 2012

Madison music felt especially disorienting in 2012. I often think it's silly to look at local music in terms of broader trends or themes. Then again, it's no mistake that my list of the year's most compelling albums is heavy on electronic, instrumental and avant-garde releases. Heady, abstract music reared its head in a way I've never seen before. >More
 DJ Nick Nice digs the 1960s at the Majestic's Mad Men Holiday Soiree

Scalissi morphs into the King of Cool. There are many things you could call the Majestic Theatre's Mad Men Holiday Soiree on Saturday, Dec. 15: extravagant, sophisticated, awash in martinis. But don't even think of calling it inaccurate. The venue will indulge in 1960s-inspired holiday revelry for the second year in a row, and its emphasis on correct period details is nothing short of exacting. >More
 FRZN Fest to grow and evolve in 2013

FRZN Fest, a live-music event organized by local concert promoter True Endeavors, will return in 2013 with bigger lineup and a Saturday-night dance party. >More
 With UW Madrigal Singers and Festival Choir of Madison, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra performs a jubilant Messiah

The Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra made a jubilant noise last night with George Frideric Handel's Messiah. This was the orchestra's fourth performance of the epic oratorio, and the house was sold out. It joined its chorus, plus the UW Madrigal Singers, the Festival Choir of Madison and four soloists, at Middleton's Blackhawk Church. >More
 DJ Shadow's superb technique is easy to see but hard to hear at the Majestic Theatre

"If you're not open-minded, if you're uptight, then you're gonna struggle," said DJ Shadow before his prophetically titled "All Basses Covered" DJ set at the Majestic Theatre last night. I appreciate his honesty, but I doubt that my complaints about the show spring from closed-mindedness. Mostly, they have to do with my struggle to hear what he was doing. >More
 PHOX celebrate an eventful year on Madison's music scene

For the alt-rock collective PHOX, the holiday season marks the anniversary of their move to Madison and a curious incident that brought them closer. After forming in their hometown of Baraboo, PHOX plunged into Madison's music scene when they started getting offers to bring their eclectic sound to the area. >More
 How Madison venues, labels and performers have evolved in 2012

Year-end lists tend to be nice and trim, while local music is messy: provincial yet sprawling, repetitive yet ever-changing, frustrating yet exciting. To provide some perspective, I'll discuss a few factors that altered Madison's music community in 2012, and what these changes mean for the future. >More
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