Night Moves w/Pony Bwoy and The Great Duck War: Saturday, November 15th, der Rathskeller

I’m normally not one to put genre labels on bands. But today, I AM THAT PERSON. “Psychedelic Country” is TOTALLY Night Moves. If I had to describe them in terms of other bands (which I’ve been trying to do for years now with almost no success because they are so original) I would mayyyyybe say something along the lines of Fleetwood Mac beats with twangy/Tame Impala-ish/Temples-ish vocals. But even that cannot describe them in all their glory.

Look at at all that hair.

Look at all that hair.

I listen to a lot of hip-hop/rap and alternative artists, and not much country music. However, I find myself scouring the interwebz in search of more Night Moves.

Between their charming twang, groovy bellbottoms, and echoing vocals, there is something for everyone to love.

This Minneapolis-based group has played on campus before. I first saw them on complete accident in high school in 2011, and INSTANTLY fell in love. Since then they’ve returned every year, probably Madison’s music taste is impeccable and we don’t want to escape those dreamy chords.

Check out their live performance of “Headlights” on KEXP here:

Night Moves’ return to Madison is special this time. They’re bringing some friends with them: Pony Bwoy.

Pony Bwoy must have caught the Night Moves fever.

Pony Bwoy must have caught the Night Moves fever.

When wandering around Youtube Narnia one night I discovered Pony Bwoy’s most chill music video; it oozed synth and bled passion. My eyes were glued to my Ba$ic Bitch Macbook Pro. I was hooked.

Here is that video, PREPARE YOSELF:

TURNS OUT THEY’RE FRIENDS WITH NIGHT MOVES— WHO KNEW?? It was perfect. This show was ‘bout 2 be off da hook.


Who doesn’t like jamming to your friend’s band like you would in a house show??
The Great Duck War to the rescue!

Reid Kurkerewicz and Noah and Justin Huber combine Modest Mouse-esque vocals with energetic drumming and delicate guitar to create one hell of a sound.

How could you not love these g00nz??

The Great Duck War killin' the photo game.

The Great Duck War killin’ the photo game.

You can catch all these gnarly bands this Saturday in der Rathskeller. You don’t want to be that person at your neighbor’s house party next week who missed this show, do you?

Oh, did I mention it’s FREE?!

Potter’s Last Stand: A Tribute to Our Open Mic Host’s Final Night


Greetings, Dear Blog Reader,

You might not know me, but my name is Courtney Byelich – and for the last 3 years or so now, I’ve advised WUD Music. Often, upon finding out that I advise the students that book the bands on UW’s campus, the next question people ask is something along the lines of, “Wow. You must see a lot of bands. What’s the best thing you’ve ever seen? Who’s your favorite band?” And to that end, my answer is simple. My favorite program always and forever will be Open Mic Night.

The Wisconsin Union’s mission, simply stated, is to help folks in the campus community make connections with one another. I might be biased, but I think that WUD Music is pretty good at this. We facilitate somewhere in the neighborhood of six concerts a week, of varying styles, genres, and instrumentation. We garner thousands of people each year, dancing in front of the stage, sitting back listening to the music, and clapping for their favorite performers. Open Mic though, takes all of this and puts the opportunity into the hands of our community members to provide entertainment, to learn from their performances, and to develop a local audience.

For the last three years our Open Mic host, Martin Potter, has helped each of our performers do just that.  Usually wearing his signature duck hat, Martin plays one song at the beginning of each set, and then facilitates the next three hours of music from anyone who wants to perform. From determining if the mics are positioned appropriately, to loaning out his guitar in a pinch, Martin has made sure that everyone who performs with us feels comfortable and welcomed.

I’m sad to report that Martin is moving to California at the end of this Fall, and as a result, his last Open Mic Night as host will be on Wednesday, October 8th. In celebration of three great years of service as Open Mic Host, I’d like to invite you to save the date, and join us for some cake and a brief ceremony to thank Martin for donning his duck hat on our behalf.

Martin Potter’s Last (Open Mic) Stand
Wednesday, October 8th, 2014
7:45pm, Der Rathskeller
Cake will be served! (While supplies last)

Saturday at Der Rathskeller: Paper Mache

Who is Paper Mache?

Paper Mache is an alternative/indie rock band from Austin, TX. Headed by frontman Chelsea Seth Woodward, the band developed a cult-like following by playing over 450 shows in the two years following their first album release, Easier to Lose.


The band combines genuine, heartfelt lyrics with soothing instrumentals and catchy melodies. It’s the lyrics that will get you, though. Chelsea Seth Woodward is undoubtedly a master storyteller. In fact, I remember the first time I saw the band live–at a warehouse festival in Dubuque, IA. Woodward headlined as a solo acoustic artist. The packed warehouse swayed, trance-like, for the entire set of this Spokane-based artist. Songs like this make it easy to see why:

Videos like this make it even more apparent:

So if you’re looking for a chill Saturday night in Madison, head to Der Rathskeller for a FREE show, featuring fresh talent that you’ll be glad you discovered. Show starts at 9.

Here are some quick links for more information:
Bandcamp (listen to all of Paper Mache’s music here)
Paper Mache’s Facebook
YouTube Channel

Friday Night at Der Rathskeller: Seabird w/ Briar Rabbit

Friday Night at Der Rathskeller: Seabird w/ Briar Rabbit

Kentucky alternative rock band Seabird will be bringing their rich, melodic, and lyrical music to the Rathskeller this Friday. Here’s what you need to know:

Briar Rabbit, a singer-songwriter from Chicago, will also be there. You should check out his Facebook and his website. His music is described as “romantic melodies and colorfully layered narrative that evoke painfully beautiful imagery through honest lyricism.”


The show starts at 9pm Friday night, and it’s at Der Rathskeller. As always, the show is FREE. If you’d like to hear about more free concerts and happenings, sign up for our newsletter. As a bonus, if you sign up in the next few days, you’ll be entered to win free Comedy Central on Campus tickets!

Friday Night at Der Rathskeller: Jonathan Allen Guerra w/ Sara Masterson

I discovered Jonathan Guerra, and doing my homework has been a joy ever since.


No, really. As always, I put on my headphones and zone in, and this music is so relaxing and comforting that good creative work is inevitable.

Not only that, but it’s incredibly heart warming. “If I was a chef and a three star michelin,” he croons, “I would make a dish to make you wanna spend all of your evenings with me”.

You need to watch this video:

If I Was by Jonathan Allen Guerra from Joseph Andrew Productions on Vimeo.

Especially in “Time”, which is on his See EP, I can’t help but compare Mr. Guerra to The Weepies. Just beautiful and happy music.

Sara Masterson, author of the Always the Beautiful album, will be joining Jonathan Allen Guerra in Der Rathskeller on Friday. And what a match that is.

A prolific singer with a pretty voice, her optimistic ballads provide a stunning start to the night.

Make sure you check out Mrs. Masterson’s music here and her Facebook page here.

So this free Madison concert is happening on Friday, December 6th, in Der Rathskeller inside the Memorial Union. It is at 9:00pm.

We host a lot of free local concerts in Madison. Would you like to be kept up to date with all of our happenings in The Sett or Der Rathskeller.?Click here to join our mailing list.

Friday Night at Der Rathskeller: John Mark Nelson w/ Kalispell

On this day, November 22, throughout history:

-November 22, 1959: my Dad was born.

-November 22, 1963: JFK was assassinated.

-November 22, 2013: John Mark Nelson visits Der Rathskeller.


This 19 year old from Minnesota is “on a role.” He’s young and talented and rising. NPR called him “a teenager with serious talent.” He’s the kind of singer-songwriter that should be playing The Rathskeller (for free) on a Friday night: warm vocals, infectious melodies, and pensive lyrics.

Watch this video of his newest single and picture yourself with a warm cup of coffee (or a cold pitcher of beer), surrounded by a few close friends and maybe some extra schoolwork:

Complementing John mark Nelson this weekend will be Kalispell, an “Appalachian influenced songwriter and multi-instrumentalist.” Kalispell is the solo project of Shane Leonard, and much like John Mark Nelson, his music is comforting and cozy.

The show starts at 9:30 pm and it is in Memorial Union (Der Rathskeller). It is free. For more free live music in both Union South and Memorial Union, check out WUD Music’s calendar.