For more photos, click gallery, above.
Every fall, Madison is new again.
In apartments and dorm rooms that sat empty all summer, roommates meet. Bucky is rested and ready for Camp Randall and the hope of a Big Ten championship.
It's the season, too, for local musicians and music fans new in town to hook up.
Consider this your matchmaking service.
This 10-week local music fall planner touches on the spectrum of Madison sounds, from hip-hop to indie, from folk to metal.
Welcome to your local music scene. Here are 10 chances to become part of it.
Week 1: Indie City
The Wisco, Friday, Sept. 11, 9 pm
Indie isn't just short for independent anymore. It's a genre all its own. Cousin to electric-guitar-oriented 'alternative rock,' indie emphasizes experimental strains of folk, acoustic and lo-fi rock. Indie musicians' preference for varied instrumentation sometimes embraces electronics.
Madison is home to a thriving indie scene. The Madison record label Science of Sound has blazed the trail in recent years, distributing releases from Pale Young Gentlemen, Sleeping in the Aviary and Whatfor.
This year Nick Whetro's project Icarus Himself joined the Science of Sound pack. The April release, Coffins, is true to its self-described 'minimalist' sound. The title track manages a sweeping and dreamy feel built on stripped-down acoustic guitar that gently unfolds in lush but restrained piano, guitar and drums.
If you want to get connected to the best indie rock to come out of Madison so far this year, this is your show.
Week 2: Fall Festivals
Forward Music Festival
High Noon Saloon, Friday, Sept. 18, 8 pm
There's likely to be more local music in Madison on the weekend of Sept. 18 than any other this fall.
Besides all the shows at our regular venues, this weekend features the Willy Street Fair and the Forward Music Festival. That means just about every significant Madison band will be performing somewhere.
The Willy Street Fair is the annual block party of Madison's most eclectic neighborhood. Walk down Williamson Street past the intersections of Few and Ingersoll and you'll hear bands jamming in what seems like every other parking lot. The Forward Music Festival is an ambitious national festival featuring acts like Andrew Bird and Ra Ra Riot, along with more than a dozen Madison bands.
If you go to Forward, you won't want to miss Flatbear, a four-piece indie folk group. Plenty of buzz has surrounded Flatbear this year. That's because lead vocalist Jentri Colello is one of the most commanding vocalists to come out of Madison in a long time.
Week 3: History Lesson
High Noon Saloon, Friday, Sept. 25, 9:30 pm
Killdozer is on the short list of the most famous Madison bands that ever were.
The band's eccentric and sludgy sound was produced by Butch Vig back in the 1980s. Killdozer's albums, especially Twelve Point Buck, became Exhibit A for Vig's capacity to sort and order the sonic layers of heavy rock into something palatable for a broader range of listeners. Twelve Point Buck became a launching point for Vig's eventual association with Nirvana, and the rest, as they say, is rock history.
Inactive for many years, Killdozer reunited in 2006 for the Touch & Go record label's 25th anniversary concert. Their shows remain rare. Here's a chance to get your grounding in Madison's musical past.
Week 4: Jenny Street Jam
Wild Hog in the Woods at the Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center, Friday, Oct. 2, 8 pm
The branches of Madison music spread beyond downtown nightclubs into a variety of non-traditional venues. Off Langdon Street, the Nottingham residential co-op has been a live-music hub for years. On the east side of Madison, local scene supporter Kiki Schueler has opened the basement of her house to regional and national touring acts. It's a place she calls Kiki's House of Righteous Music.
Wild Hog in the Woods is one of Madison's longest- running alternative venues. Inside a former church turned community center on Jennifer Street, Wild Hog is home to weekly folk and roots music concerts.
This show features Josh Harty, a North Dakota transplant who came to Madison a few years ago and has emerged as one of our best singer-songwriters. Harty's meandering guitar work reinforces the vagabond feel of his country- and Americana-influenced songs.
Week 5: Campus Detour
Club Inferno, Thursday, Oct. 15, 8 pm
The Inferno is an off-the-isthmus destination in the shadow of the Oscar Mayer plant for music lovers and goth fashionistas.
Known as an electronic haven, Inferno has never shied away from rock bands. Owner Apollo Marquez is originally from Pardeeville, so you have to wonder if the guys in Petroleum Pantry (also from Pardeeville) sought out a homey to land a gig.
The band's fast-paced metal and power pop lives up to its high-octane hype on male-energy aggro-anthems like "She Sux." Petroleum Pantry's website glibly advertises gas at $8 per gallon and woos visitors to apply for their own Petroleum Pantry credit card.
Week 6: The Future's Still Bright
Harmony Bar, Friday, Oct. 16, 9:45 pm
Another icon of Madison music's past, mAcdonald formed Timbuk 3 while living here in the mid-'80s. The group went on to be nominated for Best New Artist at the 1987 Grammys on the popularity of the hit "The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades."
Timbuk 3 may have been a one-hit wonder, but mAcdonald's impact on Wisconsin music has been long-lasting. He now resides in the Door County community of Sturgeon Bay. Each June for the past few years, he's hosted the Steel Bridge Songfest, a songwriting clinic that's featured Jackson Browne and Jane Wiedlin of the Go-Go's.
Wiedlin moved to Madison in 2007 after attending Steel Bridge and hooking up with Travis Kasperbauer from the local rock band Whore du Jour.
mAcdonald's solo 2009 release is the bluesy Purgatory Hill, which features the unusual sound of his cigar-box guitar.
Week 7: Madison's House Band
Slappy Hour Variety Show featuring the Gomers and El Donk
Frequency, Friday, Oct. 23, 6 pm
You don't know Madison music if you don't know the Gomers. These comedy-rockers began making noise with Tom Jones impersonations in the 1980s, but their local legacy has been anything but a joke.
The Gomers are eight of Madison's most talented musicians and showmen. Their two regular gigs are widely known. Rock Star Gomeroke is the Gomers' live-band karaoke show, held every Tuesday night at 9 at the High Noon Saloon. Gomeroke highlights the Gomers' amazing capacity to play just about any song you can remember.
Late in 2008, the Gomers began hosting a biweekly variety show at the Frequency on West Main Street. The Slappy Hour Variety Show features vintage cartoon videos, guest musicians and, of course, the wit and wisdom of the Gomers themselves.
This episode features El Donk, the Madison cult/comedy act known for songs like 'Smells Like Teen Funeral.'
Week 8: College Town Rock
Freakfest, Saturday, Oct. 31, 7 pm
The campus scene wouldn't be complete without a witty, high-energy party-rock band - especially if it's chock-full of members who are gregarious, brew-lovin' UW students (or very recent alums).
The Nod are perfect for the job. Guitarist and vocalist Brett Newski has penned features about freshman parties and the consumer culture of the Lucky Apartments for the Badger Herald. The band's promo photo shows them shaving, showering and defecating together in happy harmony, despite sharing an unglamorous dorm-like bathroom.
Newski is now busy writing songs that lament "frustrating the shit" out of his girlfriend and watering holes running dry. The Nod released a debut EP, Shoddy Heart, this summer.
The group's Oct. 31 gig on the Memorial Union Terrace is part of Freakfest, the annual State Street Halloween party that's quintessential Madison. If you see this show in this setting, nothing about local nightlife is likely to surprise you again.
Week 9: The Art of the DJ
The HoneyPot Crew
Area 51, Thursday, Nov. 5, 9 pm
Weekly DJ residencies abound in Madison. They're found in small restaurants like Jolly Bob's on Willy Street and large venues like the Orpheum lobby on State Street.
Area 51 is an east-side bar and grill that began hosting hard-rock bands and DJs this year. Its weekly DJ gig comes courtesy of the HoneyPot Crew, a collective of more than a dozen local spinners committed to the art of making the dance floor move. The collective was founded in 2002 by Techsmith and StickeeFingazz. The crew's Dr. Diction is a hip-hop DJ whose local mixes salute Madison. Playing off our area code, he's made a track called '608's Where It's At.'
With a fall local music lineup like this, who could disagree?
Week 10: MadTown Beatz
Orpheum Stage Door, Saturday, Nov. 14, 8 pm
There's been lots going on in the Madison hip-hop scene in recent years. Top local producer DJ Pain 1 landed a track on Young Jeezy's #1 Billboard album The Recession in 2008. Local radio station Madtown JAMZ (93.1 and 106.7 FM) has become a scene booster. Its live Saturday night mix shows feature local talent.
This Orpheum Stage Door gig features one of our best local hip-hop acts. L.O.S.T. S.O.U.L.S. is built on the rap duo of Tefman and Bane, longtime friends who attended Madison West High School together in the '90s. The group's acronym stands for Living Off Society's Tensions, Surviving on Utilizing Life's Struggles.
L.O.S.T. S.O.U.L.S. released a new album this summer. Theory is a mix of dark reflections and youthful nostalgia.
If hip-hop is your haven, this is your show.