Several Madison acts have been selected to take part in the sixth annual Steel Bridge Songfest this June in Sturgeon Bay. Blue Olives, Boheme '66, Elf Lettuce, Jeremiah Nelson, Jim Schwall, Josh Gregory, Justin Bricco, Little Marsh Overflow, Pauli Ryan, Pete Ress, Taki Allstars and Tony Menzer will spend a week in Door County, writing songs with 150 national bands and solo acts, including Texas troubadour James McMurtry. Then they'll perform those songs over four days at indoor venues and outdoor stages, June 10-13. More information is at www.steelbridgesongfest.org.
Last week Pitchfork premiered a new music video by the former Madison goth queen Zola Jesus, a.k.a. Nika Roza Danilova. "Night" is a fashionable thriller that finds Danilova crashing through a mirror into a black and foggy love world. She woos a creature akin to Darth Vader, or maybe it's all just symbolism for alienation. One thing's for sure: Zola Jesus tours with Wolf Parade in the U.S. this summer and with Fever Ray in the U.K. this fall.
Music promoters compete for turf in the Madison club scene, but now two of the city's most prominent concert organizers are joining forces to bring high-profile shows to Overture's Capitol Theater. Frank Productions and True Endeavors have teamed up to book American Idol winner Kris Allen on June 1, blues guitarist Jonny Lang on July 11 and "Walking in Memphis" singer/songwriter Marc Cohn on Aug. 7. It's like old times for Frank Productions founder Herb Frank, who moved to Madison in the early 1960s to manage the Capitol Theater when it was a movie house.
Summer is starting with new releases by several Madison bands, including the Nod, Mighty Short Bus and Icarus Himself, and an LP reissue from the Midwest Beat.
Sprite may be a lemon-lime soda, but those marketing gurus at Coke want it to have musical swagger. So at sprite.com you'll find a link to the Spark Music Project, a Facebook application that "allows you to create your own mixes of tracks from up-and-coming artists from around the world." One of those artists is Fall Guys, the Madison hip-hop duo featuring DJ Pain 1 and MC Starr. "We're pretty excited about it because it's an international thing," says Pain 1, a.k.a. Pacal Bayley. "It's our first corporate co-opting, too."