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Thursday, July 24, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 69.0° F  Fair

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Sharon Van Etten's Are We There is a violent, brilliant masterpiece

Sharon Van Etten understands ultraviolence. Lana Del Rey has cultivated an ill-gotten notoriety with her album and song of the same name. But while Del Rey earns groans by shoehorning in an obvious Crystals reference, Van Etten causes deep pain by breathing smoke into troubling imagery with her mournful voice. >More
 La Fête de Marquette brings French and Cajun acts to a grassier version of Central Park

La Fête de Marquette is going home. On July 10-13, the annual celebration of French-speaking cultures will head back to its original spot between Baldwin and Ingersoll after six years of sweating it out on a patch of blacktop off East Washington Avenue. But the rocky lot La Fête made do with in 2006 has been replaced with the new Central Park. >More
 Daikaiju's masked musicians meld prog, surf rock and absurdist fiction

Daikaiju make for a good mystery. The four-piece surf-rock outfit from Huntsville, Ala., take many of their song names from Japanese monster movies. The members go by the names Blast-man, Pulse-man, Rock-man and Secret-man. All four of them perform with Kabuki masks on. Their real identities are a secret. >More
 Chromeo: White Women

Chromeo have already solidified their reputation as consummate electro-funk scholars. White Women, the fourth LP from the Montreal-based team, builds on their legacy with three impossibly catchy opening tracks, all monster singles. From there Dave 1 and P-Thugg find room for sparse heartbreakers like "Ezra's Interlude," which coaxes a delicate falsetto from Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig, and the timely disco flourishes of "Fall Back 2U." >More
 Madison musicians, comedians and dancers explore the concept of affection at the Acts of Love Old-School Variety Show

Love plays muse to a variety of creative expressions, so it's fitting that local artist Mallory Shotwell organized a variety show featuring music, dance and comedy for her most recent project, A Discourse on Love. >More
 Bear Claw wallop listeners with two powerful bass guitars

Bear Claw make pulverizing post-rock with the power it takes to snap a double-neck bass in half. That's because they have two bass guitarists in addition to a drummer. The band call Chicago home, but Midwest shows like a May 9 gig at Mickey's Tavern could become scarcer now that bassist Rob Raspolich is relocating to New York. >More
 Dub experimentalists Peaking Lights return to Madison to give fans a glimpse of their upcoming album

After a short hiatus to double down on parenting, Peaking Lights almost have their new album finished. Dub experimentalists Aaron Coyes and Indra Dunis made the music together, Coyes produced it and Matt Thornley from LCD Soundsystem is mixing it. Ahead of the band's May 6 stop at the High Noon Saloon, Isthmus talked with Coyes about touring with kids, opening for Panda Bear and making the new album. >More
 Say hello to spring with 18 fresh local concerts in Madison

After a seemingly endless barrage of polar vortexes, spring is finally here to soothe poor Madison's freezer burn. It was a long slog, and a lot of us survived by hibernating with a few good records. But now that weather conditions have climbed down from "life-threatening," we're all clear to get back out there and support our local music scene. To that end, Isthmus has picked out a dozen and a half local shows to help defrost frozen ears, feet, hearts and minds. >More
 Can Neutral Milk Hotel's upcoming show at the Orpheum live up to the mythology fans have created?

An element of mystery helps sustain Neutral Milk Hotel's popularity. Soon after the 1998 release of their sophomore album, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, mastermind Jeff Mangum pulled the plug and all but vanished. >More
 France's Jack of Heart craft glammy garage-punk that teases the senses

A language barrier might be to blame, but it's difficult to figure out French garage-scuzz sorcerers Jack of Heart. The band, who hit the Frequency on Jan. 13, do have a big catalog and a bonkers live show, both of which give some clues. >More
 Various Artists: Purple Snow: Forecasting the Minneapolis Sound

Despite his diminutive stature, Prince did not spring from the womb fully formed. The Purple One came from a vibrant funk and R&B culture in Minneapolis. Reissue specialists Numero Group have taken up the noble task of cataloging the sound. >More
 F.Stokes wraps up a monumental 2013 by showering a Madison family with songs and gifts

After F.Stokes finished his post-Christmas show in Madison last year, he hopped a plane to London to record with alt-rock act Bastille. It wasn't long before that band got big, setting the tone for one of the most important years in the hip-hop artist's career. Now the Madison native, whom some locals know as West High grad Rodney Lucas, has returned for another after-Christmas show. >More
 Rapper Lupe Fiasco tours Tetsuo & Youth, an album that isn't quite finished

Typically, an artist will put out an album and then tour. But when Lupe Fiasco visits the Orpheum Theater on Nov. 27, he'll give a sneak peek of the forthcoming Tetsuo & Youth, his fifth full-length. After canceling Food & Liquor 2: The Great American Rap Album Pt. 2 earlier this year, the Chicago rapper is probably anxious to get back in fans' heads. >More
 All Tiny Creatures evolve: The experimental band bring vocals to the fore

All Tiny Creatures' new album, Dark Clock, is pretty accessible, so it's strange to think that it might alienate some fans. The local experimentalists insist that this was not part of the plan. Like many creatures, they're just evolving. >More
 Disclosure: Settle

As if sent to stop the annoying annual conversation about "the song of the summer," U.K. house duo Disclosure have delivered an entire album of summer tunes. Settle, the debut full-length by brothers Guy and Howard Lawrence, arrives expertly assembled and overflowing with fun. >More
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