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Friday, December 19, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 25.0° F  Overcast


Rap duo Run the Jewels radiate enthusiasm at UW Memorial Union Terrace

The UW Memorial Union Terrace is filled with people who live in Madison, so it's easy to forget how rare a space it is out of context. It's a scenic hangout, a place to eat ice cream and rent paddleboards, a place for families to waste an afternoon. It's also a place that books three-hour rap shows by acts like Run the Jewels, a new duo composed of El-P and Killer Mike. >More
 Killer Mike and El-P are twice as menacing in Run the Jewels

This Saturday, the UW Memorial Union Terrace plays host to one of the most impressive underground hip-hop bills in recent Madison history. Run the Jewels, a duo composed of Atlanta's Killer Mike and Brooklyn's El-P, headline a show that also features Das Racist's Kool A.D. and Despot, a talented MC from Queens. Here is an essential track from each of them to get you prepared for the impending verbal Olympiad. >More
 METZ make ears ring with joy at the Frequency

Canadian power trio METZ have just one gimmick: They make livewire, chest-pummeling hardcore punk that's turned up to 11. They don't wear matching outfits (unless you count blue jeans), they don't have a xylophonist, and they don't have alter egos. They don't even have an entry on Wikipedia. They're just three regular guys who spent their formative years listening to Drive Like Jehu and Jesus Lizard records and now make a living punching holes through eardrums with their sonic assault. >More
 Danny Brown leads a fantastically filthy hip-hop sing-along at the High Noon Saloon

When Danny Brown performed for a sweaty, sold-out High Noon Saloon Saturday night, all the chips stacked against him toppled. There's no reason -- well, except for his filthy lyrics -- that this guy shouldn't be the biggest rapper on Earth. His electric live show falls somewhere between Mötley Crüe's live ribaldry and a hardcore-punk thrasher. >More
 Freddie Gibbs didn't need an LP to launch his rap career

When rapper Freddie Gibbs visits the UW Union South Sett this Saturday, he'll bring along a deep catalog of songs. This may come as a surprise since he hasn't released an LP after nearly 10 years in the game. But the Gary, Ind., native hasn't let years of false starts and label drama hold him back. >More
 Shabazz Palaces electrify Union South with celestial electronic meltdowns

For a group that started in relative anonymity, Shabazz Palaces have become a road workhorse. Mastermind Ishmael Butler released the duo's first two mini-albums online in 2009, with no fanfare or information. The group have toured pretty much constantly since 2011's critically acclaimed Black Up, turning into something more than the shrouded-in-mystery act they were at the start. >More
 Wax Tailor's Dusty Rainbows From the Dark sounds more like a film score than an album

Wax Tailor, France's Jean-Christophe Le Saoût, makes music that amasses descriptors. Post-hip-hop, trip-hop, downtempo, turntablism: All of these words have been used to characterize his four-LP, nine-year recording career. >More
 The Coup pair political polemics with funk, rap and dancing at the Majestic Theatre

Despite the recent presidential election cycle, the funk-rap blasting I received last night at the Majestic Theatre last night may be the most political 90 minutes I've had this year. That's to be expected of the evening's headliner. The Coup might be, at this point, the best funk band on the planet, but first and foremost, it is a soapbox for frontman Boots Riley to decry the social ills of America. >More
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