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Friday, December 19, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 26.0° F  Overcast
Music

MUSIC

Punk, funk, bluegrass and folk fests at Majestic place regional artists on a big stage

January can be a slow time of year for music venues. Touring acts are largely on hiatus until a bit later in the season, and customers can still be recovering from the whirlwind of the holiday season. >More
 Star soprano Hayley Westenra to sing holiday favorites with Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra

Acclaimed soprano Hayley Westenra, who has mesmerized audiences across continents with her clear, innocent voice, will appear with the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra at the Orpheum Theater on Dec. 18 and 19. >More

MUSIC

The Cardinal Bar celebrates four decades of music, dance and progressive politics

For 40 years the Cardinal Bar has been the spot to check Madison's pulse for Latin music, innovative dance music theme nights and progressive politics. And much of that has to do with founder and owner Ricardo Gonzalez. >More
 Can Otis Redding songs teach a baby to love music?

In 1967, the 26-year-old rhythm-and-blues singer Otis Redding died in Madison's Lake Monona when his plane crashed en route to a concert here. Madison has not taken this piece of music history lightly. >More

MUSIC

Anna Vogelzang tries a grueling approach to songcraft for Driftless

Anna Vogelzang traded leisurely songwriting retreats for hectic musical-production spurts in preparation for Driftless, a new EP she'll release Nov. 16 at the Old Sugar Distillery. A grab bag of tracks from her work with Real Women, Real Songs, a collective of 20 or so women who compose a new piece each week for a full year, the recording shows just how versatile the local folk artist can be. >More
 Driftless is an intriguing departure from Anna Vogelzang's previous folk records

Many of the songs on Driftless are more intense than Anna Vogelzang's past work. She juxtaposes contrasting elements beautifully, like swelling choruses and quiet bridges. >More

MUSIC

Isthmus Live Sessions: Wintersong 2014

Charity and collaboration coalesce at Wintersong, the third edition of an annual benefit concert that features an impressive lineup of local folk musicians. These artists visited the Isthmus office last week to record a special holiday edition of Isthmus Live Sessions. >More
 Isthmus Live Sessions: Three songs by Mikhael Paskalev

For a Norway-born and relatively new artist, Mikhael Paskalev sure feels familiar. Chalk it up to those Hollywood looks or Risky Business-like confidence, but the guy seems downright American. >More

CLASSICAL MUSIC

Beethoven's Fidelio is a stirring 2014-15 season opener for Madison Opera

Madison Opera rousingly opened its 2014-15 season at Overture Hall on Friday night with a great work not often encountered: Beethoven's only opera, Fidelio. The work typifies the "rescue opera," a style that flourished in the years after the upheavals of the French Revolution, exploiting stories of escapes from danger and oppression. >More
 Sarah Chang sizzles on a Sibelius Violin Concerto with the Madison Symphony Orchestra

The latest Madison Symphony Orchestra concert is mistitled "Scandinavian Wonders." One of the three composers represented is a Finn, and the Finnish are Scandinavian in neither language or culture. "Nordic" would have been the more appropriate label. >More

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TOUR STOP

Is Steel Panther a novelty band or parody band?

The four aging, heavily made-up men in Steel Panther look like the bastard offspring from an unholy union of Poison and Mötley Crüe circa 1989. They write over-the-top hair-metal songs ripe with melody, muscle and machismo, fearlessly creating an amalgam of that maligned era's sound and embracing all its excesses and debauchery. >More
 Indispensable lifehacks from the surreal Riff Raff

Riff Raff doesn't have many secrets left. A 2013 LA Weekly profile fully pulled back the curtain on the rapper. Finding out that Riff Raff's real name is Horst Simco adds precisely zero fun to the gaudy Hypercolor and Zubaz world he invites us into with his junk-food-fueled non sequiturs. >More

NIGHTLIFE

VINYL CAVE

Vinyl Cave: Dollar bin diving with Racey, Jeffrey Cain, Dan Sorkin

Believe it or not, I haven't been going too bonkers picking up weird bargain bin LPs lately. It's partly because I still have a pile of past purchases that weren't keepers and need to find new homes, and partly because the pickings have been somewhat slim in recent months. >More
 Vinyl Cave: Heavy by Iron Butterfly

Another autumn mini-edition of Record Store Day came and went this past Black Friday. It must be said: Like many other LPs in the current "vinyl revival," the pricing on some of the special releases is getting pretty ridiculous. >More
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