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Friday, December 26, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 43.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
The Daily

TOUR STOP

Cheyenne: Musical mileposts

The music of Beau Jennings is smudged with the fingerprints of the places he's been. >More
 Gary Louris and the Mekons: Highs and lows

It took Gary Louris 20 years, but with the recent release of Vagabonds, the prolific Jayhawks singer-guitarist has finally made a solo statement. Unsurprisingly, Louris dips into Gram Parsons-influenced country-rock, which for much of their existence was the Jayhawks' bread and butter. What is a surprise is that beautifully recorded alt-twangers like "She Only Calls Me on Sunday," with its lugubrious peels of pedal steel and Emmylous Harris-style reinforcing vocals, don't represent the high point of Vagabonds. >More
 Ladyhawk: Shock 'n' roll

If you pay much attention to Ladyhawk's promotional materials, you might get too grossed out to ever take a listen to their excellent new CD. >More
 Gutter Twins: The stars align

Super groups often don't turn out well. Egos clash, individual creative preoccupations don't mesh the way the participants imagined they would, and restless fans aren't always tolerant of the fact that their idols have abandoned old hits in favor of unfamiliar material. But the Gutter Twins, a potent pairing of ex-Afghan Whigs front man Greg Dulli and former Screaming Trees singer Mark Lanegan, appear to have sidestepped the jinx on the just-released Saturnalia. >More
 Brother Ali: 'Peace in my struggle'

Brother Ali may be an albino and legally blind, but what defines the 29-year-old hip-hop artist from the Twin Cities is a gift for fighting his way to musical redemption. >More
 Bang Camaro: Novelty night

Boston's Bang Camaro aren't breaking any molds. They play basic hair metal in much the same way their predecessors in the '70s and '80s did. Co-founders and lead guitarists Alex Necochea and Bryn Bennett have clearly copped pretty much everything they know from a careful study of old Kiss and Skid Row records. And the verses of heavy-rockin' tracks like "Push Push Lady Lightning" - which has found a home on the playlists of both Guitar Hero II and Rock Band - course with a river of testosterone. >More
 Matt White: UW grad makes good

Matt White's major-label debut brims with the kind of easy melodies and love-struck lyrics that recall John Mayer and James Blunt. But the New York singer-songwriter has something else going for him those other famous guys don't. >More
 Basia Bulat: Star power

The headline to a recent piece on veryshortlist.com about Canadian singer Basia Bulat screams: "Play this album before Steve Jobs puts it in an iPod ad!" And, frankly, that pretty much sums up the likely trajectory of Bulat, a charming, autoharp-strumming pop-folkie whose throaty voice recalls old-school heavyweights like Joni Mitchell and Natalie Merchant. >More
 Ra Ra Riot: Hype and tragedy

Less than two years ago, Ra Ra Riot formed as a Syracuse University student band. Already, they've been through more hype and tragedy than most bands ever face. Their lo-fi, up-tempo indie rock is a blend of strings, keys, guitar and soft vocals. Praise from Rolling Stone and NME preceded the shock of drummer John Pike's accidental drowning at age 23. >More
 Hot Hot Heat and the Editors: A hit of ecstasy

Get a kick out of creative coifs, singers in love with their own hyper-dramatic delivery, and pumping bass and synth parts that keep the kids bouncing up and down until long after the Jager and the weed wear off? Then the double bill featuring Canada's Hot Hot Heat and the U.K.-based Editors is an absolutely must-see affair. >More
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