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Thursday, December 18, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 22.0° F  Overcast
The Daily

THE BIN

Birth of Tragedy

The Madison-based progressive-metal duo Birth of Tragedy continues to do more with just guitar and drums than many larger, better-known hard-rock acts manage to muster. To Die of the Truth finds them still mainlining Nietzsche, suggested by the title's reference to the German philosopher's oft-quoted early proclamation about the protective quality of art. >More
 The John Popper Project featuring DJ Logic

On his sophomore effort as musical alpha dog, Blues Traveler frontman John Popper shines brightest when groovemaster DJ Logic, fellow Blues Traveler alum Tad Kinchla and Mosaic drummer Marcus Bleeker are emphasized in the mix. When that happens, his high, aqueous voice seems grittier, and his looping arabesques on harmonica carry more weight. >More
 The Scissor Sisters

Hit singles can be the curse of an album. Fans are drawn in, expecting 10 more songs that will be just as dynamic and compelling, and disappointment often results. The Scissor Sisters face such a fate on their new album, which opens with the irresistible disco track 'I Don't Feel Like Dancin',' featuring Elton John on piano. >More
 Sparklehorse

In the five years since the last Sparklehorse record, Mark Linkous' battle with depression and drug addiction has been no secret among his faithful fans. His state of mind is evident on Dreamt for Light Years. The ever-so-slowly building tempo and volume of 'See The Light' suggest someone coming out of the numbness of deep depression. >More
 Driftless Pony Club

Madison ex-pats Driftless Pony Club excel at herky-jerky beats, boyish vocals and oblique lyrics that focus on the confusing/invigorating in-between time that comes after college and before substantial careers and budding families change everything. >More
 Earl Foss' Brown Derby

With major influences like George Jones and the original cosmic cowboy Gram Parsons as guides, Madison newcomers Earl Foss' Brown Derby Band have produced one of the better country disks to come out of this gussied-up cow town in recent memory. >More
 M. Ward

Along with Sufjan Stevens and Colin Meloy of the Decemberists, M. Ward is on the short list of musicians who are reinventing folk-rock for the 21st century. >More
 Sonic Youth

It would have made a certain kind of sense if post-punk graybeards Sonic Youth had filed a freaked-out, more-outrÃ-than-thou album of pure noise as their last CD for Geffen. But to their credit, they've put their variously tuned guitars and famous (though now somewhat mellowed) New York attitude in the service of a much different kind of muse. >More
 TV on the Radio

The soul/art-rock cross-pollinators TV on the Radio could probably be a great genre-crossing platinum seller à la OutKast. In fact, if you close your eyes for a second and ignore the CD booklet, you might well figure the two relatively normal pop offerings on Return to Cookie Mountain, "Province" and "Wolf Like Me," to be outtakes from a suppressed Andre 3000 solo disc. >More
 Calico Drifters

Madison's Calico Drifters make acoustic Americana noted for the strength of its vocals. Thomas Burns and Sue Prodell turn many of these songs into duets, a strategy that matches his country singing style against her more wide-ranging influences of folk and blues. >More
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