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Wednesday, October 1, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 49.0° F  Overcast
The Daily

MUSIC

Looking back at my (mostly local) year in music

I ended 2006 the same way I started it: Down at the Harmony Bar to hear alt-country troublemaker Robbie Fulks on New Year's Eve. I came late, about 11:15, and missed his smart-ass rundown of the year's top ten songs. But his breezy topicality and drop-dead sarcasm still had gas to burn as he sang a song celebrating the year in religious hatred, followed by his virtuosic white-boy rap of the famous people who died in 2006, and capped off with his brief nod to Ray Charles with his parody of "It's Dieing Time Again." >More
 Made in Madison

Now that you've got all that Hanukkah gelt and Christmas dough burning holes in your pocket, we suggest blowing some of it on a few of the great CDs released by Madison-area acts over the past 12 months. >More
 WSUM announces its top twenty albums of 2006

With the end of another year and the approach of its fifth (broadcasting) birthday, UW-Madison student radio station WSUM is pushing forward. One way that the march of time is marked at the broadcaster is through the annual release of the top twenty albums played on the air. Based on WSUM's "Weekly Top 30," the 2006 edition of the list was released on New Year's Day, along with a thanks to the stations listenership. >More
 My favorite five albums of 2006

I don't know what releases were really "the best" albums of 2006. I just know the ones that I liked more than others and the ones I actually listened to more than a couple times. Five of these favorites follow below. >More
 Downs and ups

Let me begin by casting my vote for the best national CD released this year: Post-War by M. Ward. When I reviewed it in September, I wrote that Ward was on the short list of musicians who are reinventing folk-rock for the 21st century. >More
 My top ten Madison discs of 2006

Madison-based rockers, rappers and blues players were busy in '06. Here's a list of my top 10 local albums, including work by Awesome Car Funmaker, Clear Blue Betty and the Dorothy Heralds. Every local essential follows below, in alphabetical order. >More
 Don't believe the hype

'That's in tune, right?' she asked while attempting to tune her guitar for her 'first ever' performance with her new instrument. Admitting to the audience that they just forked over money to watch an artist who has no idea what she's doing? >More
 Strictly Discs launches online retail service

Even though people have been able to purchase music online for years now (not to mention the bonanza of digital freebies available promotionally or illicitly), there remains a strong culture of supporting local merchants. At least in Madison, that is, where there are three independent record stores going strong in the heart of the city, as well as several other indies citywide featuring used tunes and more specialized genres of music. >More
 Out with the old

The landscape of popular music is changing so rapidly that no one really has a handle on where it's going. A decade ago, few record-store devotees would have predicted that the mighty Tower Records chain would dissolve completely in a bankruptcy proceeding or that overall sales of the hard-copy CD album would decline to the point that even the notoriously change-averse music industry would question its future. >More
 Drunk Drivers, Brickshithouse and Belles of Skin City keep the faith at the High Noon

Beer-handling skills. Keep them sharp, especially if your favorite club is getting a visit from Eau Claire's Drunk Drivers. It seems hard to believe, but the band is already into its second decade delivering rock and roll (and collective crowd hangovers) to the regional club scene. Compared to legendary alcohol-fueled shenanigans of the past, Friday's performance at the High Noon Saloon was a tad more sober. But the rambunctious Wisconsinites don't look like they'll be slowing down musically any time soon. >More
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