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Wednesday, March 4, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 10.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
The Daily


MadTracks: 'Death of Disco' by Venus in Furs (video)

Named after an S&M-themed Velvet Underground song, Madison's Venus in Furs are one whip-smart surf-punk outfit. A video for their new song "Death of Disco" shows off their dark side as they stage a funeral for the musical genre that spawned acts such as the Bee Gees, Donna Summer and Chic. Don't freak out, though: Between grisly shots of a wake and a burial, you'll see an adorable bunny and other whimsical details that prove that these tough, tuneful gals are big ol' softies after all. >More
 Dillon Francis begets Moombahton madness at the Majestic Theatre

On my way to the Majestic Theatre for Wednesday night's Dillon Francis show, I noticed a group of lost-looking teens. They huddled together on Capitol Square, trying to find their way to the massive dance party they'd heard about -- the same one I was about to attend. Dressed like beach-bound fraternity pledges from the 1980s, they seemed marooned in the wrong decade. Apparently this is the uniform for fans of Francis, a brash young DJ from sunny L.A. >More
 Majestic Theatre celebrates five years of live music and downtown revitalization

Los Angeles, circa 2005. Roommates Matt Gerding and Scott Leslie have a vision. It isn't caused by heat, smog or celebrity sightings, but it does lead to a risky situation. They quit their jobs and move to Madison, Wis., a faraway city with an unfamiliar culture. With the help of two investors, they purchase a crumbling vaudeville theater with a checkered past. Some call it a money pit, but Gerding and Leslie don't listen. To them, it's a diamond in the rough, the perfect spot for the concerts of their dreams. >More
 Legs McNeil resurrects Please Kill Me for a new generation of punks, drunks and music-history junkies

In the beginning, there was Legs McNeil. He lived in 1970s New York, otherwise known as hell. To him, it was heaven. He started a magazine called Punk with a couple of friends. The name symbolized what they loved about their favorite musicians. It meant "drunk, obnoxious, smart but not pretentious, absurd, funny, ironic, and things that appealed to the darker side," he and Gillian McCain explain in their 1996 book Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk. >More
 Butch Vig takes Nirvana to #1: A 20th anniversary appreciation

One of the most important albums in rock history -- Nirvana's Nevermind -- got its start at an unremarkable brick building in the 1200 block of East Washington Avenue. This was the home of Smart Studios, where a little-known Seattle trio came to record with Madison producer Butch Vig in April of 1990. >More
 Pearl and the Beard charm fans with harmonies and cuteness at the Majestic Theatre

A folk-pop trifecta -- Pearl and the Beard, PHOX and Anna Vogelzang -- won over the Majestic Theatre's crowd Friday night with sweet harmonies, cute instruments and even cuter melodies. >More
 MadTracks: 'Apology Accepted' by the Midwest Beat

Listening to the Midwest Beat is a bit like riding with the Joad family: The band is crowded with personalities and conflicting tendencies, and it's liable to shed members. Their new single "Apology Accepted" is the first time I've heard them truly embrace their messy side. >More
 John DeMain sticks with the Madison Symphony Orchestra while becoming one of the world's top conductors

When John DeMain raises his baton on the Madison Symphony Orchestra's podium, nearly 100 musicians come to attention, awaiting his mighty downbeat. During his 19 seasons as the orchestra's conductor and music director, DeMain has given our city masterpieces by the introspective Mahler, the flamboyant Strauss, the brooding Sibelius. >More
 Beyond Bright Eyes: Conor Oberst sheds his famous moniker for a solo tour

For a long time, Conor Oberst was synonymous with Bright Eyes, the manic folk project he often helmed alone. Only his birth name will appear on the bill when he comes to the Overture Center's Capitol Theater Sept. 23. At this show, he'll likely perform songs from his latest Conor Oberst releases: 2008's self-titled LP and Gentleman's Pact EP, and Outer South, his 2009 release with the Mystic Valley Band. >More
 The Avett Brothers' Gap ad doesn't sit well with some local musicians

When I was 10, a new coach was hired at my swim club. Mr. Buell came from Houston, a charming hustler in short pants. I was all in. Then one afternoon, during his first week on the deck, while I was swimming backstroke, I looked over on the sidewalk next to the outdoor lanes, and there he was smoking a cigarette. What? I flipped over onto my stomach and swam on, boiling with disappointment. >More
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