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Our favorite Madison records of 2014

Madison music in 2014 was invigorated by auspicious debuts and sustained by veteran artists. These 10 local releases were our favorites of the year. >More
 A countdown to New Year's Eve 2014-2015 parties in Madison

Whether you wish to bid a fond farewell to 2014 or just say good riddance, there are plenty of ways to party and dance your way to 2015. Here are some spots around town where bands will be rocking, bootys will be shaking and booze will be flowing. >More
 The Cardinal Bar celebrates four decades of music, dance and progressive politics

For 40 years the Cardinal Bar has been the spot to check Madison's pulse for Latin music, innovative dance music theme nights and progressive politics. And much of that has to do with founder and owner Ricardo Gonzalez. >More
 Indispensable lifehacks from the surreal Riff Raff

Riff Raff doesn't have many secrets left. A 2013 LA Weekly profile fully pulled back the curtain on the rapper. Finding out that Riff Raff's real name is Horst Simco adds precisely zero fun to the gaudy Hypercolor and Zubaz world he invites us into with his junk-food-fueled non sequiturs. >More
 Madison musicians criticize city's decision to block Frank Productions' plans for an east-side concert hall

On Nov. 7 city officials announced their opposition to a 2,000- to 2,500-seat music venue slated for the 1000 block of East Washington Avenue. Proposed by Madison-based concert promotion company Frank Productions, the venue is part of a Stone House Development project that includes residential and commercial space. >More
 Madison Fall Music Preview 2014: Touring

Concert announcements rain down on Madison this time of year, like colorful leaves making their descent to the earth. Isthmus has raked through the pile and chosen more than 50 essential shows that haven't sold out yet, all of which take place between now and mid-December. >More
 Madison Fall Music Preview 2014: Local

Hundreds of fantastic touring acts will visit town this fall, but there's also a staggering amount of talent growing in our backyard. The local concert calendar is just beginning to fill out, so consider this list of over 25 must-sees a starting point >More
 Sinking Suns explore revenge fantasies on a new EP of menacing rock songs

Sinking Suns drag darkness with them everywhere. The Madison trio, whose ominous name evokes the end of day, squeeze the light right out of their music. But on their new EP, Songs of Revenge, the path to catharsis is clearly marked. >More
 The Raveonettes: Pe'ahi

After three consecutive albums with black-and-white covers, the Raveonettes needed a little color. The art on the front of Pe'ahi breaks the cycle with a switchblade floating in a wash of sea-foam green. The music is also flush with new life, surfing along on stadium-size breakbeats and drastic dynamics. >More
 Jamming with roots-music stars at the 2014 Sugar Maple Traditional Music Festival

The Sugar Maple Traditional Music Festival is as much a pop-up community as it is a concert. When the 11th annual event comes to Lake Farm County Park Aug. 1-2, there will be performances, workshops, discussions and jam sessions that migrate to the camping area before each night ends. >More
 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
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