Neil Zaza at The Frequency
Win two tickets to Neil Zaza at The Frequency on Wednesday, September 24! This show is 18 and over. Neil Zaza is so much better at shredding the ol' axe than you that he has his own line of pedals and such that you can buy to help pretend you could beat Buckethead in a solo-off. Plus, he always looks happier than you'll ever be in your life while playing, which is a welcome change from the blank stares you get at work, home and on the street.
Justin Townes Earle at Barrymore Theatre
Win two tickets to see Justin Townes Earle and American Aquarium at the Barrymore Theatre on Wednesday, September 24! This show is all ages. Justin Townes Earle is an accomplished singer-songwriter in his own right, but with lofty expectations foisted upon his name (Townes Van Zandt inspired the middle) and lineage (in his esteemed father, Steve Earle), it's tempting to forget that and just ask questions about his dad's time as Walon on The Wire. Was he ever on set with him? Is Idris Elba nice? I bet he is.
Sebadoh at High Noon Saloon
Win two tickets to see Sebadoh at the High Noon Saloon on Thursday, September 25! This show is 21 and over. Sebadoh plays melodic lo-fi rock with all the polish of a group that's been together for almost 30 years now. They're touring behind 2013's Defend Yourself after a 14-year hiatus, and, consequently, have some pretty great Y2K stickers affixed to their amps.
Movits! at High Noon Saloon
Win two tickets to see Movits! and The O'Mys at the High Noon Saloon on Friday, September 26! This show is 18 and over. Swedish jazz hip-hop. Yeah, there's no good way to really convey that, but that's Movits! Luckily, The O'Mys bring a more explicably funky, at times folky, approach to hip-hop along to balance things out.
Yakov Smirnoff at The Capitol Theater
Win two tickets to see Yakov Smirnoff at The Capitol Theater on Friday, September 26! This show is for ages 12 and over. Some random things you might not know about Yakov "What a country!" Smirnoff: He was an art professor in his native USSR; owns his own theater in Branson; holds a masters in applied positive psychology (yeah, i don't know either); and, judging from press photos, has not aged a day in 20+ years. Taking shots at your homeland must have some rejuvenative power. Lemme try: In America, police oppress YOU!...if you're not white. Well, that didn't make me feel young at all.
Isthmus Pregame at Budget Bicycle Center
Win two tickets to the Isthmus Pregame tailgate party two hours before kickoff at Budget Bicycle Center, 1230 Regent St., on Saturday, September 27! This event is 21 and over. Bud Light from Wisconsin Distributors, Bloody Mary's with Tito's vodka, Qdoba and wings from Wingstop will all be on hand to get through another hapless victim in UW's stretch of non-conference tomato cans. South Florida is on the execution docket this week, and while they scored a star recruiting class this season (in the AAC, mind you), they're not too confident in handling even second-tier Big Ten teams, let alone Bucky & the Watt family. (Tickets are not available for sale or resale.)
il sogno del marinaio at High Noon Saloon
Win two tickets to see il sogno del marinaio and Vanishing Kids at the High Noon Saloon on Monday, September 29! This show is 18 and over. Bassist Mike Watt pared up with Italian musicians Stefano Pilia and drummer Andrea Belfi to form an atmospheric Apennine rock outfit befitting of a dreamy nautical title and Watt's oft-described legendary status. Win these tickets and you'll have the opportunity to stare angrily at Watt as you think about what a huge crush you still have on Kira Roessler.
Rubblebucket at High Noon Saloon
Win two tickets to see Rubblebucket and Body Language at the High Noon Saloon on Sunday, September 28! This show is 18 and over. Former John Brown's Body members Alex Toth and Kalmia Traver formed indie dance act Rubblebucket in 2008 and have released a handful of EPs and full lengths since. Their brand new, John Congleton- produced (that guy, just, wow), Survival Sounds is a more electronic-y, polished work with a celebratory tone befitting Traver's recent recovery from ovarian cancer.
Ron Pope at High Noon Saloon
Win two tickets to see Ron Pope, Frances Cone and von Grey at the High Noon Saloon on Friday, October 3! This show is 18 and over. Clean-cut folk singer Ron Pope has ditched his old look of late for a bit more of the rebellious "long-hair/stubble" thing and has added a little more electricity to his previously paired-down style. Enjoy, the new, lean, mean, guitar machine version of Pope as he tours behind 2014's Calling off the Dogs.
Jucifer at The Frequency
Win two tickets to Jucifer and Serpent Lung at The Frequency on Thursday, October 9! This show is 18 and over. Husband and wife metal outfit Jucifer must be fond of Madison, what with their making a second appearance in town in the last six months. Be prepared to have deafening Russian-themed sludge/doom from their latest album, За Волгой для нас земли нет, blasted at you from a wall of speakers that rival the seige-walls of Volgograd. They'll explain that reference in person using the gift of painful, painful song!
Isthmus Pregame at Budget Bicycle Center
Win two tickets to the Isthmus Pregame tailgate party two hours before kickoff at Budget Bicycle Center, 1230 Regent St., on Saturday, October 11! This event is 21 and over. Celebrate UW's return to Big Ten competition (or what passes for it in Illinois) with Bud Light from Wisconsin Distributors, Bloody Mary's with Tito's vodka, Qdoba and wings from Wingstop, as the Badgers stomp our corrupt, orange-clad brothers to the south back to their tollway-laden hill-free hovels. (Tickets are not available for sale or resale.)
The Hunts at The Capitol Theater
Win two tickets to see The Hunts at The Capitol Theater on Friday, October 17! This show is all ages. Five brothers and two sisters make up the harmonious family folk stylings of The Hunts. Win these tickets and be prepared for a host of strings, over half a dozen eerily similar smiles, and more tussled sun-touched auburn hair than you can comprehend in this plane of existence or your limited field of vision (there's a lot of them strewn across the stage, after all).
Captured! by Robots
Win two tickets to Captured! by Robots, Helliphant and The God Damns at The Frequency on Thursday, October 23! This show is 18 and over. Snarky, murderous robot instrumentalists have disemboweled and blinded their human slave/creator known as JBOT and forced him to play classic rock covers, as well as originals that disparage the weak, inferior, oft-drunk human race that makes up their audience. The future is now.
360 Allstars at The Capitol Theater
Win two tickets to see 360 Allstars at The Capitol Theater on Thursday, October 23! This show is all ages. A showcase of the best in BMX tricks, Cyr Roue (that giant hula-hoop thing), live looping (i dunno), drumming, breaking, and...basketball dribbling come together for a 'tude-laden "urban circus" that could give those francophilic Cirque du Soleil Canucks and their sad clowns the whatfor. Except for the acrobats. Those guys are huge.