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Friday, December 26, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 36.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
The Daily


The new, improved Madison Pop Festival could be the start of something big

UW psychology grad student Jamie Hanson has his fingers crossed that this weekend's Madison Pop Festival will become a fixture of the local music calendar. The festival culminates on Saturday night at Memorial Union's Great Hall with a much-anticipated concert by harp-playing indie phenom Joanna Newsom and Bill Callahan of Smog. Hanson spoke with Isthmus last week about the event and its prospects for the future. An excerpt of this interview follows below. >More
 Catch a rising star

'With 'The O.C.' or 'One Tree Hill' featuring the 'hot new band' every week, you see these bands going from 100-seat venues to big theaters overnight, literally,' says Hanson. 'So we thought maybe we could get at something before it becomes huge and maybe can't come to Madison because it's too big.' >More
 Knock your Zox off

Twenty-one year-old Ari Herstand supported Zox and Tally Hall at the High Noon Saloon as a one-man band of vox, acoustic guitar, trumpet, beat box, and loops. At first glance, this "Poster Boy Celebrity" looked like just another folk act, but quickly pleased with a voice similar in texture to Ron Sexsmith, and songs filled with catchy hooks and intricate layers. In the future, Herstand will hopefully wield his skills for deeper muses. >More
 DeVotchKa brings an imperfect recipe to Madison

Friday night at the Annex, DeVotchKa served a musical meal of red wine and pizza; a little bit of class with a little bit of trash, making a whole lot of delicious feel-good -- and a side of gas. >More
 Oasis live -- sort of -- in Madison

The PR gods smiled on Madison last night'or at least on the handful of Oasis fans who live in Madison. Those lucky souls were treated at Hawk's Bar & Grill to a preview of the Brit-pop superstars' film Lord Don't Slow Me Down at an event that doubled as a release party for the band's new greatest hits package Stop the Clocks.

 Jazz you can dance to

Palmieri mixes Afro-Cuban dance rhythms with monumental American music better than anyone else on the planet. >More
 Days of wine and roses

'I get the sense that a lot of people who connect with our music are hopeless romantics looking for true love,' says Urata, whose Denver-based Gypsy-rock quartet plays the Annex on Friday, Dec. 1, at 9 p.m. >More
 A little bit country

To the right of contemporary country singer Eric Church is a mohawked guitarist in a tight black shirt, ear pierced up and down, arms covered in tattoos. The plucked and inked picker embodies the theme of this one act show: Just how close to the rock 'n' roll border can Church move his familiar North Carolina country?< >More
 Starlight and standards at the Ivory Room in Madison

At 25, Jack Sosnowski, co-owner of the new Ivory Room piano bar at 116 W. Mifflin, is hardly a member of the core demographic for the music of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. But he admits he's always had a soft spot for the golden throats of the Rat Pack and the songs they helped cement in the standard repertoire of club and lounge performers everywhere. >More
 Otherworldly circus punk

Members of the Chicago ensemble Mucca Pazza style themselves an "astounding circus punk marching band," and they are indeed astounding. Last night at the High Noon Saloon, Mucca Pazza treated a (sadly small) audience to a lavish, energetic, at moments bewildering show that, sure enough, brought a punk sensibility to marching band music a genre that is, let's face it, badly in need of retooling. >More
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