WUD Music’s List of Lists #6: The Spring 2015 Lineup (So Far)

This is Mod Sun. (Photo copyright by Evan Dell)

This is Mod Sun. (Photo copyright by Evan Dell)

We’re just over a week away from free live concerts picking up again at Memorial Union and Union South, and we have a solid bunch of shows we’d like to share with you. Save the dates!

Friday, January 23rd in Memorial Union – Raura w/ Xoe Wise
Friday, January 23rd in Union South – Pat McCurdy
Saturday, January 24th in Memorial Union – The Racing Pulses w/ Busy Living
Saturday, January 24th in Union South – F. Stokes
Friday, January 30th in Memorial Union – Saturday Looks Good To Me
Friday, January 30th in Union South – Chicago Afrobeat Project
Saturday, January 31st in Memorial Union – The Living Statues
Saturday, February 7th in Memorial Union – Barley Jacks
Saturday, February 14th in Memorial Union – White Arrows
Saturday, February 14th in Union South – A Ferris Ferris Ferris Valentine’s Day (featuring music curated by the one and only Ben Ferris)
Friday, February 20th in Memorial Union – TV Girl
Saturday, February 21st in Memorial Union – JMSN
Thursday, February 26th in Union South – Cakes Da Killa
Friday, March 6th in Memorial Union – Lust for Youth
Friday, March 6th in Union South – Sidewalk Chalk w/ Kiernan McMullen
Saturday, March 7th in Union South – Wave Chapelle w/ Charles Grant and Max Meridius
Friday, March 13th in Memorial Union – Mod Sun
Saturday, March 14th in Memorial Union – Jake Armerding
Friday, April 10th in Union South – Foxygen
Shows in Memorial Union will take place in Der Rathskeller, and shows in Union South will take place in The Sett. All showtimes are 9 PM, except for shows in Memorial Union in February, which will be starting at 8 PM (it’s a pet project!).
Hope you like the list so far! We will be announcing more shows periodically throughout the semester, so make sure to check back here, like our Facebook page, and follow us on Twitter! Peace!


Show Review: Horse Feathers with Special guests John Mark Nelson and Sara Jackson-Holman

Horse Feathers performing at Wisconsin Union Theater

Horse Feathers performing at Wisconsin Union Theater

Tonight’s performance by Horse Feathers at Wisconsin Union Theater was presented with openers Sara Jackson-Holman, then John Mark Nelson and band. Overall, I was exhausted from a late night of studying, a midterm in the morning, homework after that, and was still very impressed by the performances.

I arrived early to do an interview with artist John Mark Nelson and I took a front row seat in the theater. The theater seating was amazingly comfortable and the room was quite dark, which may have had an adverse effect on the crowd’s engagement with the artists. There was laughing and clapping as the artists interacted with the crowd, but no one stood or danced.

The first opener, Sara Jackson-Holman, re-started her first song just a line or two in. She asked for more volume on her vocals and continued. This awkward-laugh-inducing pause was well worth what followed. She sang, in my opinion, like a softer-voiced Adele. I unfortunately did not have time to research her music before this, so missed song titles, but my personal favorite included the lyrics, “I could be the one.” It had an awesome base, and even she got into dancing to it. The last song she performed was a cover of “Baby come back” by Player. Despite the completely different eras of music, she adapted it well to her voice and style. Her crowd interaction was pleasant, but minimal. She did say she was sick and when she spoke normally her voice was much higher. Given this, I still find it impressive that she went through seven songs.

John Mark Nelson and his band played next. He himself played electric and acoustic guitar, Kara Laudon sang and played keyboard, Steve Bosmans played electric guitar, Benjamin Kelly played base, and Gabe Hagen played drums. They came across as very crowd friendly especially as Nelson did a small introduction while playing his guitar. On a non-musical note, they presented themselves very well. Going across the stage they looked almost uniformed all in jeans cuffed at the bottom and either a light blue or plaid shirt. Watching how much they enjoyed themselves on stage actually made me smile back at them.

They opened with a song off of his album “Waiting and Waiting” called “Home.” It was well performed, but as I expected he asked sound for less base so his lyrics would be clearer for the next number. Slightly muffled lyrics were unfortunately common throughout the show, all artists included. The band interacted really well with each other and they were all clearly introduced. He next played “Boy”, and “The Moon and the Stars” which is about Duluth, from his album “Sings the Moon.” The band also played an original number by Laudon who is starting to compose. They played four other numbers with varying degrees of their modern folksy feel and connection to pop or singer/songwriter styles.

Horse Feathers, the headliner came on shortly after. Whereas John Mark Nelson had a unique sound because of creative composition, this band had similarly creative composition and unique instruments. They played a saw, a banjo, a trumpet and a harmonica throughout the show. The cast was introduced, but once again the sound was muffled and I could not make out who was there and who wasn’t. The band usually consists of Justin Ringle with Guitar and Vocals, Nathan Crockett on Violin, Mandolin and Saw, Dustin Dybvig on Drums and Piano, Lauren Vidal on Cello, and Angie Kuzma with Violin and Vocals. They were crowd pleasers but seemed less interactive than the earlier John Mark Nelson.

Horse feathers played several of their older numbers including “Fit Against the Country.” Next they played “Where I’ll Be” which is when they introduced harmonica to the performance. They played a total of ten songs and two as an encore. The encore included a catchy performance of “Belly of June” and it was in their last song that they broke out the trumpet. It was a total crowd pleaser and applause continued until the lights came on.

Interview: John Mark Nelson, touring the midwest with Horse Feathers

John Mark Nelson and band playing at Wisconsin Union Theater this past Wednesday night as openers for Horse Feathers.
John Mark Nelson and band playing at Wisconsin Union Theater as openers for Horse Feathers this past Wednesday night.

John Mark Nelson is currently, and for the last year or so, has been traveling with a band. It’s him and four other members. He plays electric and acoustic guitar, Kara Laudon sings and plays keyboard, Steve Bosmans plays electric guitar, Benjamin Kelly plays base, and Gabe Hagen plays drums. This group, with slight alterations has been working with Nelson for past year. They are playing here in Madison because Nelson’s manager caught word of the Horse Feathers tour and wanted the group to tag along with them for a portion of it. They have played in Madison before. They played at the Terrace about 2 years ago, then the Rathskeller, High Noon, and now Wisconsin Union Theater.

Are you excite to open for Horse Feathers on this First National Support tour?

Absolutely. I think it should be a blast. We are super excited to be along with them. As we were driving out here we listened to some of their tunes.

What are you working on right now? Any new music?

We’ve just wrapped up a long series of writing so we’re going to get into the studio and record a new record in January. We’re kind of in the process of starting to introduce some of those tunes and get a feel for playing them live. I think as I move forward my songs still speak to a lot of different elements of my life – people I know or stories I’ve encountered. They are all very much story songs and have elements of who I am woven into them.

How did you develop your style and do you have a favorite artist that inspired you?

I actually like a lot of different kinds of music. I can point to a couple of different artists. A lot of the music I listened to as I was growing up I think shaped what I do now. My mom was very much into the pop music of the 60’s and 70’s so Peter, Paul and Mary and Simon and Garfunkle. My dad was very influenced by classical and jazz music. I think somehow a lot of what I make is sort of influenced by a meeting of those two worlds where there’s arrangements and compositions with different instruments, but blended in a very kind of like pop-relatable way.

How old were you when you started writing and what inspired you to start doing this?

I think I started really having a sort of idea that I was making songs with lyrics and stories and stuff when I was maybe 13 or 14. What inspired me was a very slow gradual process. When I was younger my dad brought home one of the first Mac computers with Garage Band on it, where you can take the loops, drag them around and rearrange them. I would make horrible loop songs and then I bought my first microphone. I started recording myself playing guitar. I just fell in love with recording and capturing sound. That slowly, over a couple of years, morphed its way into writing original songs.

What was the first song you ever wrote?

I don’t think I could pinpoint one exactly because the first record I put out was called “Still Here.” It was just a hand-picked assortment of different songs I had done. It wasn’t that I sat down at the beginning thinking I wanted to make an album.

How did you learn to play all the instruments featured in your videos?

I don’t actually play all of them but I can play guitar, drums, and accordion. Those are the three instruments that I actually feel comfortable playing. I certainly tinker on the keyboard and can play a base, but I shouldn’t.

Do you have any advice for aspiring artists?

As soon as you can start doing what you love, do it. If you have a passion for songwriting or for any form of art, just find outlets for it. There is that intimidating first step of “I want to do this but I don’t know how” or “I don’t know where” and you just need to find an outlet. If you’re a songwriter, start going to open mic nights. Don’t be afraid to jump into it and figure things out as you go.

An Interview with Low Roar’s Ryan Karazija

Source: bernardinai.lt/

Source: bernardinai.lt/

Last Saturday, we here at WUD Music hosted a special  performance in Memorial Union’s new Play Circle theater, featuring Icelandic singer-songwriter Asgeir and fellow Icelandic band Low Roar. Low Roar’s frontman, Ryan Karazija, was able to take some time during their busy tour schedule to answer some questions and provide insights on their newest music.
Andrew Mackens: So, Ryan, you used to be in a different, California-based band, Audrye Sessions, and then decided to move to Iceland and begin recording as Low Roar. What was the catalyst for this change? Can you tell us what the adjustment process was like?
Ryan Karazija: I moved for a few different reasons, one of those being a girl, and then once I moved I decided to write a record, and this is what came out . I didn’t have a hard time adjusting at all, it felt completely natural to me. Granted the weather is a bit different than California, but still, I had no real problems or issues.
AM: What’s the biggest connection musically between Audrye Sessions and Low Roar for you? Did anyone from the first band transition to the second with you?
RK: There is no connection between the two for me. They are almost like two completely different lives…
AM: How did you link up with Asgeir for the tour? I imagine it was through music in Iceland?
RK: We all live very close to each other and are friends, and when our booking agent saw this pop up, we just submitted for the tour. It has been a lot of fun.
AM: I watched the video for “Breath In”, a song off of your new album 0. Can you tell us about the overall concept of the video and what you were thinking about the roach scene? (It made me think of Tyler, The Creator’s “Yonkers” immediately.)
RK: Well, I actually had no input on this video; someone offered us a video. They wanted an upbeat song, so I sent them the slowest, and it all worked out.
AM: How does “Breath In” fit with the sound for the rest of 0?
RK: I think it fits perfectly, it is the opener on the album…just kinda leads you in….for me it is a very important piece of the album.
You can check out more of Low Roar’s music at lowroarmusic.com.

Just Announced: Life happens before and after spring break


Hopefully everyone was able to breath a sigh of relief after their end-of February midterms, and for those of you with midterms in the near future, may you study long and prosper.

It is getting towards that time though where everyone just pushes through these last few weeks of March before their much-anticipated spring break. But did you know that you can find insane entertainment before AND after spring break?

WUD Music knew. We’ve always known and just for the enjoyment of students all around campus, we announce these sick shows below:

3/15  RAGELIFE w/ CRASHprez + Lord of the Fly- Memorial Union: Der Rathskeller

4/12 Behind the Beat: John Christensen Jazz Quartet- Memorial Union: Der Rathskeller 

4/13  Deastro w/ Lord Scrummage: Memorial Union: Der Rathskeller 

4/19  Purling Hiss w/ Claps + Spires That in the Sunset Rise- Memorial Union: Der Rathskeller 

4/26  Heavy Times w/ Pleasure Leftists + Dharma dogs- Memorial Union: Der Rathskeller 

4/26 Behind the Beat: Green Means Go- Memorial Union: Der Rathskeller 

5/3 Behind the Beat: Unnecessary Bells- Memorial Union: Der Rathskeller 

Friday Night at Der Rath: The Daredevil Christopher Wright w/ Cuddle Magic

Every weekend, WUD Music tries our best to bring you bands that are both enjoyable to listen to and entertaining to see. It is time yet again for another weekend with just that, and we are starting it off this Friday night with The Daredevil Christopher Wright and Cuddle Magic in Der Rathskeller at Memorial Union.

The dim lighting in Der Rathskeller will create the perfect ambiance for the whole-hearted and soothing sound of The Daredevil Christopher Wright. You can almost hear the twinkle in Jesse Edgington, Jonathan Sunde and Jason Sunde’s eyes as they produce folk music that sets them apart from most indie bands originating from Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Considering that most bands from that area usually fuse the nature of their surroundings in soft and soothing tones, The Daredevil Christopher Wright stand out by pushing their sound further and interacting with physical surroundings.

Ironically, in reference to nature, their latest album release is named The Nature of Things, which was described by Consequence of Sound to “offer a kind of cheery foreboding, a quality that seems uniquely Midwestern.” The song “Divorce” immediately draws you in with the comforting strum of the guitar combined with the intriguing high pitch vocals and percussion that sounds like subtle rain drops- if they had a note on the musical scale.

Splitting that 7″ with The Daredevil Christopher Wright is Cuddle Magic, a perfect addition to the soft, mesmerizing indie music taking place tonight. Although not from Eau Claire, New York instead, Cuddle Magic delights any stage with their harmonic presence. Their name is no lie, songs like “Expectations,” and “Ring of Gold” speak to your emotions and cuddling just seems to be the most enticing thing to do.

The only logical thing to do then is to come to Der Rathskeller and find a cuddle buddy, it is the beginning of the winter season after all. Check out free downloads below for both The Daredevil Christopher Wright and Cuddle Magic.

Download>>The Daredevil Christopher Wright- “Divorce”

Download>>Cuddle Magic- “Disgrace Note”

AV Club Local Wednesdays: Double Ewes & Dietrich Gosser

Dietrich Gosser

All right, all right, all right, folks! This week, AV Club Local Wednesdays is bringing us two fantastic local acts, Double Ewes and Dietrich Gosser!

Hailing from the not-too-far Janesville, Wisconsin, Double Ewes possesses a unique and experimental sound like none other. The band released Caravilla, which gives listeners a taste of melodic guitar swoons with smidgens of other whimsical instrumentals. You can download it for the price of your choosing at their bandcamp and listen to their full Lost City Music Festival set at J William Sound’s bandcamp.

Also playing on Wednesday evening is Dietrich Gosser, a Madison local with infinite amounts of indie lovin’ to offer. After releasing his debut album, City of Windows, in 2005, Gosser released two follow-up albums. His most recent album, What the Buzzsaw Sings, contains 11 romantic yet nostalgic tracks and can be download for free at his bandcamp page. With emotional voice breaks similar to that of Damien Rice, every listener can identify with Gosser’s creations. The A.V. Club sums it up nicely: “Gosser’s music has a quiet, unassuming quality that can set a convincing mood with just a few patient notes…

Come out to the Terrace on Wednesday night, because you definitely do not want to miss this phenomenal set of local acts. Check out a video of each Gosser in action below.


Tonight! Jeremiah Nelson with Cedarwell and Chants

Tonight the Terrace features three relatively local acts, including a recent expatriate of Madison, Jeremiah Nelson.

In 2008, Jeremiah’s band The Achilles Heel put out the album Take Me Down the Interstate. After the band split up, Nelson followed up with a well-accepted solo EP, Drugs to Make You Sober With a raw, honky tonk sound, Nelson definitely brings a unique sound to the Madison music scene. In its year-end Best of Madison Records list, A.V. Club called the title track to Drugs to Make You Sober “stunning,” with a “clickety-clack percussion leading listeners through the wandering intro and into perhaps the most powerful, arresting chorus you’re likely to hear this year.” Check out that title track and download the album for the price of your choice at Nelson’s bandcamp. Nelson recently relocated to Minnesota, so tonight’s show will be a great (and free) homecoming.

Also playing this Thursday night is Cedarwell, a band from Sheboygan. With his Iron & Wine appearance and Justin Vernon aura, Erik Neave has surely attracted a strong Wisconsin following. Cedarwell is a perfect example of a great Wisconsin folk act. “We’re starting to believe that there really is something lurking over the grassy hills and slipping through the tree trunks and foliage of rural Wisconsin that unhinges a man’s soul, just a little bit more than other hills, tree trunks and foliage,” Daytrotter said in their description that accompanied Cedarwell’s session. Traditionally, Cedarwell is a three-man band, but Neave will often fly solo, and even put out his own self-titled album in 2003. The band’s recent 2010 album, A Stone, A Leaf, A Door, (also available for preview at bandcamp) was received well by the alt-folk community. We can only hope that Cedarwell will obtain the same success that Bon Iver has.

Last but not least is Chants. The solo project of Mama Digdown’s Brass Band’s bass drummer, Jordan Cohen, you’d never guess this talented artist was in a funk-and-jazz outfit by hearing Chants’ music. The title track from the May-released Night After EP draws comparisons to James Blake and Jamie Lidell. Check it out at Chants’ bandcamp. It’s definitely worth your time.

Come on down to the Terrace for great music tonight. Check out Nelson’s “Nothing to Lose” video below.

This Thursday Night: Elephant Revival with PHOX

Who doesn’t love a transcendental folk band? This Thursday night on the Terrace, Elephant Revival and PHOX will be hauling their plethora of folk instruments to make each and every audience member ogle at their folky awesomeness.

With roots in Colorado and Oklahoma, Elephant Revival is the epitome of Americana folk bands. The band employs a wide array of instruments like washboards, stomp boxes, banjos, musical saws, mandolins, violins, and an upright bass, producing a hauntingly resonant sound for only five members. Not too surprisingly, each member plays multiple instruments during their shows.

In July, 2008, Elephant Revival released their self-titled debut album, produced by David Tiller (Taarka, ThaMuseMeant). Their second album, Break in the Clouds, was released in November, 2010. Now known as one of the pioneers of the genre “transcendental folk,” The band has recently played with Michael Franti, Bela Fleck, and the Yonder Mountain String Band. Akin to Horse Feathers and many other great folky-bluegrass bands, Elephant Revival will undoubtedly make you ready to give up your day job and learn the banjo.

Opening for Elephant Revival is PHOX, who originally started in Baraboo, WI.  The band plays most of the their shows in Madison and surrounding areas. PHOX has that swanky, rock nostalgia sound that is perfect for hand-holding on a warm summer evening. Check out recently released EP Unblushing at their bandcamp.

Get your folk-loving behinds out to the Terrace tomorrow night for some Americana therapeutics. Download Elephant Revival’s “Drop” and check out a video for the unreleased “Remembering a Beginning” below, and head over to the calendar to see what other great shows you can catch on the Terrace.

Download Elephant Revival’s “Drop”

This Saturday: Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles with Save the Clocktower

As University of Minnesota natives, Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles started off in a regular college house, not expecting much to rise from their jam sessions. However, Lucy Michelle’s personal lyrics mixed with her bright ukelele sounds really gave this band a unique vibe to spark nationwide intrigue. She’ll bring that successful formula to the Terrace this Saturday at 9:30.

On June 11th, MTV premiered the band’s fourth album, Heat, which was written about Minnesota’s chilling temperatures during the winter of 2010. The album was produced by Brooklyn’s own Matt Boyton, who has previously worked with bands like Beirut, Bat for Lashes, and even MGMT.  With their energetic and refreshing rock sound, this band will undoubtedly blend perfectly with the Terrace’s summer feel.

Opening for Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles will be Chicago’s own Save the Clocktower. The band’s sound is a combination of alternative melodies with a laid-back, electronic beat. It immediately makes you ready to roll down the windows and take a drive.  The band will surely play songs off their upcoming third album, Through the Glass, due in July. (Update: Download new single “Like That” at Ear Milk)

See you on the Terrace this Saturday for some home-grown, Midwestern entertainment. Grab the “Just A Kid” mp3 below, watch the video for it (Spoiler: there’s a cute bunny at the end), and head over to Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles’ site to stream all of Heat.

Download Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles – “Just A Kid”