Friday Night at Der Rathskeller: The Usual Things w/ Lake Avenue

Join us Friday night in Der Rathskeller, as Minnesota alternative rock takes over Memorial Union.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • As always, the show is free.
  • Both bands are based out of Minneapolis, MN.
  • The band interests of The Usual Things members is described as such: “Pop Tarts.”
  • This is their Facebook. This is their website.
  • The Usual Things just released a new album called “Sweet Home Alone.”
  • ‘Incredible songs and solid musicianship without indie haircuts or too-tight pants. Please God, send more.’ -Maximum Ink
  • This is their video for “Middle Coast”:
  • Lake Avenue just released an album called “You Can’t Take it With You”
  • This is their Facebook page. This is their website.
  • They put on a hell of a live show:
  • They have received international exposure in Germany.

This free live show will start at 9:30pm Friday in the Rath. Make sure you stop by and jam to some happy and infectious tunes.


Friday at The Rathskeller: The New Trust

Soaring vocals, earnest lyrics, and heartfelt melodies. These elements comprise Bay Area punk rock band The New Trust.

The New Trust, a coed band including members Josh Staples, Sara Sanger, and Julia Lancer, writes love songs. However, according to their bio, their love songs have nothing in common with “other sappy indie-rock bands pouring their hearts out.” Instead, they claim to “have more in common with bands like Shellac, Neurosis, or Party of Helicopters.”

Either way, their music is infectious, and they’re playing for free at the Memorial Union’s Rathskeller this Friday.



Check out the band’s Facebook here, or their official website here.

The band is bringing their hard hitting rhythm section and their endearing vocal melodies to UW-Madison this Friday at 9:30pm

We hope to see you there!


Friday at Der Rathskeller: Twin Peaks w/ Fire Retarded

Chicago Magazine calls them “the next big rock band out of Chicago.”

Windy City Rock describes them as “refreshing” and “bubbling over with reckless joy and seemingly boundless energy.”

Click to visit the band's Twitter page

Click to visit the band’s Twitter page

Twin Peaks will be stopping by the Memorial Union on Friday, and we certainly expect them to bring their “boundless energy” with them.

You might recognize them for their sound, which is both ethereal and anarchic. Or you might recognize them by their hit song “Stand in the Sand”, which goes “I’m just a pretty chill guy beneath a pretty pink sky in a purple stand in the sand.”

If you don’t recognize them at all yet, that’s all the more reason to show up and discover what the press seems to agree is the Midwest’s next big indie band.

Oh, they’re also with a local band called Fire Retarded, that plays “loud garage-punk.”

Click the photo the check out Fire Retard's Facebook page

Click the photo the check out Fire Retard’s Facebook page

Their music is rabid, driving, and chaotic–a straight ball of energy. It’s also super catchy. They’ll be opening for Twin Peaks, and thus, getting the party started out right.

As always, if you’re looking for free live music at UW-Madison and a great night out, make sure you check out the Ratherskeller at 9:30 this Friday.

Friday Night in Memorial Union: Purling Hiss w/ Spires That in the Sunset Rise + Claps

130219-purling-hiss[1]This Friday in Der Rathskeller, come see Purling Hiss, Spires That in the Sunset Rise, and Claps!  The highest temperature will be 41 degrees that day, so why not warm up with some fuzzed-out, psych rock courtesy of Purling Hiss and company.  Do your friends’ house party have loud guitars, a psychedelic folk band, and some synth pop all playing live?  If they do, invite me.  Otherwise, Der Rath is the place to be.

Purling Hiss is a lo-fi psych rock band out of Philadelphia that combines killer guitar riffs and hooks with a distinctive recording sound that, on their first few albums, sounded like it was made with microphones from the 1950’s in an abandoned basement. Their latest LP, Water On Mars, lost that aggressively lo-fi recording style, but kept all the catchy melodies and guitar lines.  Check out their song “Mercury Retrograde” below.

Spires That In The Sunset Rise is a psych folk band from Decatur, Illinois.  Consisting of Kathleen Baird and Taralie Peterson, they combine traditional folk instruments with experimental songwriting to create a truly unique sound.  You can sample their song “Morning Song” below.

Claps is a Minneapolis synth pop band with reverb drenched vocals and simple, but effective synths. Imagine if Joy Division decided it hated its guitars and traded them for analog synths. Claps’ songs are dark dreamscapes filled with ominous bass lines and sullen rings of electronic music. Check out their song “Strain”, off their album Glory, Glory below.

Purling Hiss-“Mercury Retrograde”

Purling Hiss-“Run From This City”

Spires that in the Sunset Rise- “Morning Song”


Monday Feature: Glocca Morra


Madison weather remembered it is the middle of April, and finally stopped keeping the temperature in the 30’s.  There is no better way to celebrate than opening your windows, listening to the steady dripping of rain drops, and then turning up your speakers to LOUD and blasting punk rock.  Show nature who is boss.  She can’t do anything now, it’s spring.  People usually assume “oh it’s so purty outside, lemme just put on dis quiet, pretty Bon Iver song on and then take a nap.”  No.  Stop that.  You need to drive cars at high speeds (only five miles above speed limit. Safety!) and jump around excessively.

“But,” you might argue, “all of the songs I listen to never exceed noise levels around the same volume as a solitary singing bird!” Well then listen to Glocca Morra, who’s music makes me want to run around outside and yell.  According to their Facebook page, there are four guys in the band; their names are Zack, Arik, Nate, and JP.  They happened to make two of my favorite albums from last year with their LP Just Married and their EP An Obscure Moon Lighting An Obscure World.  It’s on their bandcamp.

I have no idea how to describe what they sound like, but they make some of the best indie/punk/rock/whatever music on the planet.  And they pass through Chicago on the twentieth, so if anyone wants to give me a ride…


Monday Feature: Johnny Foreigner

Let me tell you about the greatest band you’ve never heard of.  Johnny Foreigner is a Birmingham, England based indie rock band that, for once, isn’t just trying to soundtrack every nap I’ve ever taken.  They also happen to be COMING TO THE SETT NOVEMBER 16th, so pay attention.

I suppose you’d like a description, yeah?  Well the band’s music is a bit bipolar.  One side is filled with hyperactive guitar riffs and lyrics that are yelped out like there are only three minutes left until the world ends.  A perfect example of this is perhaps their most famous song, “Our Bipolar Friends“.  Frontman Alexei Berrow and bassist Kelly Southern trade lyric lines back and forth over virtuosic guitar lines, while drummer Junior Elvis Washington Laidley plays drums and keyboard at the same time.

The other pole of Johnny Foreigner’s musical spectrum is best shown on an EP called There When You Need It.  It’s filled with mostly acoustic songs that would fit more in a playlist full of Elliott Smith and Bright Eyes than it would with punk music.  Doesn’t matter though, because the EP is fantastic.  In between these two types of music you can find songs like PS, Not Soon Enough, which combine slower, sadder elements of their acoustic songs with overdriven guitars they otherwise use.

They write like they mean it, and they play like it might be their last night on earth.  How is that unappealing?  They even like vocal harmonies!  As a punk band!

It’s been a very busy year for my favorite band.  Nearly a year ago, November 7th, they released their third album Johnny Foreigner vs. Everything.  Since then, they’ve added a second guitarist, their friend/visual artist Lewes Herriot, announced and begun only their second America tour, and released a new EP titled NAMES, which you can find over at their bandcamp page.  One song directly lifts a line from “Airplanes” by B.o.B.  That has to be a little convincing, right?

Which reminds me of their lyrics.  They’re all about girls or family or Birmingham.  They’re basically all relatable on some level.  Just trust me.

Just listen to them.


but i worked it out: the last however many months of fleeting friendships, goodnights and good nights, on that beach under those stars i would have spilled everything to the first pretty face i fell across. and, at least i picked the prettiest

“Things We Should’ve Left On The Beach”

“With Who, Who and What I’ve Got”

And because it’s close enough to Christmas, “Santa Fucking Claus”

Friday: Shonen Knife w/ White Mystery

Hello there, Madison. We’ve got some pretty exciting news about this Friday: Shonen Knife and White Mystery will be taking control of The Terrace, starting at 9:30pm. You may ask yourself, why is this so exciting? What a valid question. Let us tell you why…

Shonen Knife is not just any other energetic punk rock band. Not only is this band from Japan, but the band members are also three rockin’ girls who have released countless tracks and have received plenty of positive feedback. Formed in 1981 and inspired of The Ramones and The Beach Boys, Shonen Knife certainly has created a unique interpretation of punk rock. Back in 2006, their release of Genki Shock! caught the attention of Pitchfork where the album was given a 7.6 out of 10. Pitchfork enjoyed the vocals on the album, saying, “The band’s familiar, three-chords-and-no-frills guitar chug is typically offset by entertaining lyrical subversions pushed through the Japanese cultural filter.”  Have a listen to their latest LP, Pop Tune, at their Myspace. There is no way that while listening to their spunky guitar tones and their 60’s pop feel one could stay seated.

White Mystery will kick off the show at 9:30 p.m. Although they are not from across the world, White Mystery is a Chicago brother/sister duo that is far from lacking in the ability to rock out. This band is so full of energy, you can feel their excitement through the guitar riffs and crashing symbols. Their album White Mystery was given a 7.2 by Pitchfork, who asserted, “These songs beam with a sincere sense of pride.” White Mystery’s video for “Birthday” was chosen as #3 on MTV The Hive’s “Hive’s Weird Video Premieres – Best of 2011” list. That song came from their sophomore album, Blood & Venom. In April, the band returned with People Power, which the band describe as “a floor-stomping, fist-pumping EP.” Who doesn’t love to floor-stomp and fist-pump? Preview all their releases at their bandcamp.

Moral of the story: come to The Terrace this Friday night to rock out and appreciate the unique qualities of these bands. Check out the video for “Pop Tune” by Shonen Knife below.