A weekly update about upcoming concerts and notes on the local scene.
Help 'em out
Like much of the rest of the world Madison is rallying to gather financial support for Haiti, as the country continues to try and recover from the Jan. 12 earthquake. Here's a roundup of upcoming music events working toward that goal that have been announced as of this morning:
Tuesday, Jan. 26, 8 p.m., Cardinal Bar: Madison-Arcatao Sister City Project, Community Action on Latin America (CALA) and the Madison-Camaguey Sister City Association host Bonobo Secret Handshake, Aniv de la Rev, V05 and DJ Trini; donations directed to Doctors Without Borders.
Thursday, Jan. 28, 9 p.m., Majestic Theatre: Dance party with WSUM-FM DJs; $5 donation directed to Doctors Without Borders.
Saturday, Jan. 30, noon-6 p.m., High Noon Saloon: Say Hey For Haiti, live WORT-FM broadcast during the programs Tropical Riddims, PanAfrica and La Junta, with performances by Mash'Allah Reggae, Roots Collective, Tani Diakite, Que Flavor, The Handphibians & Tony Castaneda Latin Jazz Sextet; $5 admission, and pledges taken via phone (256-2001) for Partners in Health.
Tuesday, Feb. 2, 5 p.m., Cardinal Bar: Caribbean Association of Madison and African Association of Madison host speakers plus DJ's Trini, Lasisi, Dr. Beat, David Muhammad, Chamo Candela, Ken Horn & others; $10 donation.
Saturday, Feb. 6, noon, The Annex: Redemption, The PlayGround of Sound, The Sinchiladas and The Mighty Joe White; donations directed to American Red Cross. Also, at 8 p.m.: L.O.S.T S.O.U.L.S, Rickaby, Young Deucez, Opal Ellyse, MC Starr, Smokes, Dudu Stinks, Born Brothaz, Rambunxious, Prophet, MSP, Isodynamics, Zubie and Rob Dz; $5 admission directed to American Red Cross, and nonperishable food donations for local pantries also encouraged.
Saturday, Feb. 6, 8:30 p.m., High Noon Saloon: Natty Nation, Mt. Zion Soundsystem, Zach Deputy, Heatbox, Tropical Riddims Sound System; $10; Natty Nation also asks fans to donate via Direct Relief International.
Downtown venues offering live music on a regular basis have been surprisingly scarce on the UW side of the Capitol Square during recent times. Things continue to look up for campus-area music fans, however. Samba Brazilian Grill has offered weekly music on various nights for the past couple years (though at last word music is on hold downstairs at the Cabana Room); and Opa Cafe and Lounge has also been offering music several nights a week for the past few months. Joining them is The Pub, 552 State St., which after remodeling and a change of management plans to host more live music. Keep an eye on the venue's upcoming schedule in The Guide.
Already on the schedule is a series of shows booked by contemporary rock band Eden's Empire, which originally formed during songwriter Mike Tecku's time at St. Olaf College. He re-formed the band after moving to Madison last year following an internship in New York with Columbia Records. "I'd never been to Madison but it seemed like my kinda town and a great place to start a rock band, so I came last year with little more then my guitar and bag of songs," says Tecku.
Eden's Empire will open upcoming Friday night concerts at The Pub featuring artists in an "adult alternative" groove (and all Madison Area Music Award winners), including Mark Croft on January 29, the Lucas Cates Band on February 12 and Gladstone on February 20. "It's a trial run that hopefully will continue as Friday nights at the Pub." Tecku says. "We are hoping that getting musicians together to make a downtown music scene will be a good thing for everybody."
On the other side of the Capitol Square, the Up North Pub (part of the Come Back In/Essen Haus/Hotel Ruby Marie complex) has long hosted music on weeknights, most recently featuring Catfish Stephenson and Lefty Joe. The success of an addition to the weekly lineup, newly formed Madison modern rock band You Karate Do Yes, has led to an expansion of the bar's live music offerings -- and a new job focus for the group's drummer, Alex Moskoff, as Up North co-manager in charge of music and event organization.
Moskoff has been working at the bar since last March, and says business had been slow overall for some time when he proposed trying out a weekly gig for You Karate Do Yes after a successful debut show in November. "When I set up my band's shows on Monday nights, that event increased sales three or four times what they were before," Moskoff says. After a management shakeup at the beginning of January Moskoff asked to be given a chance to replicate the success of Monday nights during the rest of the week. "Music is vital to me and as soon as I got the opportunity to start rallying a scene together I jumped at it."
The full schedule.
Moskoff says there will soon be music on the weekends as well, with plans in the works to bring back open mike night to the Up North on Saturdays, and acoustic music on Sunday afternoons. Performers interested in playing at the Up North can contact the bar via email at email@example.com.