Monday Feature: Revelry is Coming

toro-y-moi-600x399

You know a weekend is going to be great when you’re already anticipating for the week to be over on Monday at one in the morning. Whether you’ll be attending the annual Mifflin Street Block Party, hitting up capitol square for the weekly fresh market, or kicking back and watching a Star Wars trilogy (preferably the original one), there is no shortage of funtivities available for Madison citizens this first weekend of May.

And while all of these funtivities are respectable means of entertainment in their own right, I want to highlight the weekend event I will be attending: Revelry Music and Arts Festival. DISCLAIMER: I am in no way being prompted to write this feature by any member of WUD Music. I chose to write this feature because it’s music related, it’s Madison news, I love music, live concerts are awesome, and I want to give those that are or may be going a small preview of what they can expect out of the musical talent at the festival. So let’s get to that. I am going to give my short, unarticulated opinion of the artists that were highlighted in the wonderfully crafted video below. Here goes nothing.

Toro y Moi – Contrary to what your initial reaction may be, Toro y Moi is actually one man. And he may be one of the chillest men I’ve ever heard on a track. For starters, he combined both the Spanish and French languages to create his stage name. It doesn’t matter as long as it translates to English easily (Bull and Me) and sounds cool, right? Beyond this, his calm vocals and looped electronic beats are combined to him consider him a part of the genre known as chillwave. It doesn’t get any more chill than that.

Hoodie Allen – One of my close friends has been a Hoodie fan well before the Revelry lineup was released, and since its release I have hopped on the bandwagon hard. His All American EP was only $5 on iTunes, and provides eight solid tracks that exemplify his catchy music and smart lyrics. In addition, his newest mixtape Crew Cuts is on his website for free! Outside of his music, the former Google employee and UPenn Sprint Football player has collaborated on comedy videos with CollegeHumor that are just too funny to only watch once.

Phox – This seven-piece band from Baraboo, Wisconsin utilizes instruments that run the gamut of sounds, resulting in songs that are most often whimsical, but can also be hectic and heavy. No songs particularly called out to me, but there’s no doubt that the band is unique.

The Mowgli’s – While the only music I could find of theirs was the five songs from their Love’s Not Dead EP, this pop-rock octet has an established pedigree with a recent performance at SXSW 2013 and a scheduled performance at Lollapalooza 2013. Their eight-person chorus is extremely catchy, and “San Francisco” is an irresistible summer jam. 

Chance the Rapper – Chance the Rapper is definitely a different sounding hip-hop artist, with a significantly higher voice than your typical MC. His second mixtape, Acid Rap drops tomorrow, so hopefully Madison will be receptive to his new material come Saturday.

Delta Spirit – This band has a strong alternative rock sound, and many of the songs I listened to have the feel of a live show even though they’re master tracks. I trust that their live performance will be nothing short of a great display of musical talent. In addition, they have a song on the official first volume of The Walking Dead soundtrack, so I am sold.

Julian Lynch – Chill, instrumental, and articulate all at once, Julian Lynch’s music gives off good vibes. With a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology (!?) from UW-Madison, I think concert attendees will give the former city resident a warm reception.

Oh Land – Hailing from Copenhagen, Denmark, Nanna Øland Fabricius serves as singer, songwriter, and producer, for her music. Pianos and an extensive palette of electronic sounds make for a plethora of experimental tunes for Oh Land to sing over. It will be interesting to see how her music translates to a live performance.

So there you have it: A preview of the biggest acts that Revelry has to offer. It would seem that there is a little something for everyone in the festival’s first installment, and I couldn’t be more excited. Here’s to the joys of live music, summer, and the continued success of this festival for years to come. Revel on.

This Weekend on the Terrace

Got a great weekend in store for you! Including some amazing bands who will be playing in Chicago at/during the Pitchfork Music Festival this weekend and a wonderful evening of salsa.

THURSDAY NIGHT: PS I LOVE YOU and UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA (9:30 PM start time) –

Kingston, Ontario’s quick-rising duo, PS I Love You, unleashed their brilliant debut album on October 5th, 2010. The ten-track album titled, Meet Me At The Muster Station, is a relentless listen that grips and pulls the listener through just under thirty-minutes of squalling Marshall feedback, searing solos, soaring melodies and rock-steady beats and will surely be considered one of this year’s finest debuts.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra will also be performing, they first dropped into the world in late 2010 as a bandcamp account carrying a single, sweet little dose of ear candy called ‘Ffunny Ffrends’.

‘Ffunny Ffrends’ was everything you imagined it might be – alien beatnik pop music that echoed 60s psychedelia and krautrock minimalism with just a hint of gentle weirdness that suggested its roots might equally lie in the verdant indie of the equally distant New Zealand scene.

‘Ffunny Ffrends’ was immediately feted on hundreds of blogs worldwide. By the time a self-titled UMO 7” EP was then released from behind a veil of secrecy on the UK label, Sounds of Sweet Nothing, ‘who is Unknown Mortal Orchestra?’ was more than just a question on people’s lips, it was a full scale clamor for the unveiling of one of the most exciting new bands of the moment.

Check out this jam:

Ruban Nielson is a New Zealand native who had transplanted to Portland with his band Mint Chicks. UMO was a project conceived as Ruban’s escape hatch to a new musical dimension where his vision of junkshop record collector pop could be realized in a sound that recalled Captain Beefheart, Sly Stone and RZA jamming on some kids tv theme too dark to ever be broadcast.

Out of the home studio, Ruban was joined by local Portland producer Jake Portrait on bass and teenage prodigy Julien Ehrich on drums. They have been on the road all year, sleeping in ditches and running drunkenly from venues when needs be, curling ears and turning heads with their intoxicating sound all the way.

The eponymous UMO debut album was released on June 21st. It’s probably something you should listen to, both on record and on the Terrace!

FRIDAY NIGHT: MADISALSA (9:30 PM start time) –

MadiSalsa, an 11 member ensemble devoted to the musical traditions of Cuba, Puerto Rico, and The Dominican Republic has been serving the Midwest from its home base in Wisconsin’s capital since 1992. Its members bring a diverse wealth of experience to the group from their previous Latin music activities in such centers as San Juan, Los Angeles, and New York. With a repertoire ranging from traditional island classics to original material from within the band, each performance offers a wide variety of musical expression. From mambo to merengue, bolero to bomba, MadiSalsa’s exciting array of moods and grooves is guaranteed to please.

Vamos a bailar en la terraza!

MadiSalsa

SATURDAY NIGHT: MADFORK 3! – BATTLES w/ THE FRESH AND ONLYS and DELICATE STEVE (8:00 PM start time) –

Battles are an amazing New York based experimental rock-band who has put out some of the most progressive, unique and enticing music of the past decade. This is one of our most exciting shows of the summer, and we are honored to be bringing them to the Terrace! Despite the loss of vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Tyondai Braxton, the band really brought it with their second long-anticipated album, Gloss Drop. Don’t let the pile of silly string on the cover fool you, this stuff is tight and technical. It was tough to follow the critically acclaimed debut, Mirrored, but the amazing drum, guitar, and keyboard compositions which are the core to their music has only become more diverse and interesting. I dare say I much prefer their instrumental music to those with vocals.

Check out their video for the track “Ice Cream”. It really will blow your mind and is extremely visually stimulating, one of the best videos of the year due to that quality:

San Francisco’s The Fresh & Onlys  will be joining Battles on the Terrace. They play their own impressive brand of shimmering pop. Truly not to be missed, get out to the Terrace early! If you need any reason at all, check out this fantastic track and video! Perfect Terrace tunes:

Delicate Steve will be starting the show off at 8 PM, come for him as well! Another great act who you shouldn’t miss. He will dazzle you. Check out what Chuck Klosterman has to say about Delicate Steve.

Delicate Steve

“Steve Marion, a.k.a. Delicate Steve, is not your average 23-year-old musician. His complex tunes flirt with tropicalia, polyrhythms and pop, but the overall instrumental sound is not quite as straightforward. With waves of sound effects and electronics, Delicate Steve’s music is far more dense than it is delicate” -NPR

This is an absolutely unmissable show (an amazing value too), and remember that all 3 of these shows are out on the Terrace and FREE! Rain location is Der Rathskeller for all 3 shows. Have a wonderful weekend, everybody!

This Weekend at der Rath: Bowser with Midwest Hype and Trivia Night!

Friday, February 18th 9:30 PM @ Der Rath: Bowser with Midwest Hype

This Friday come out to der Rathskeller for a night of unique Midwest jam-band tunes and funk. Bowser will be headlining and their blend of musical styles truly needs to experienced to be appreciated. Hailing from Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, Bowser has been performing in a wide variety of music venues throughout the state of Wisconsin since 2000. ReverbNation describes their sound as “rock n roll blues rooted, abound with emotion and soul and blessed with a tinge for classic rock.”  The one thing that bleeds through while listening to this band’s music is just how much passion they have for their tunes. This is even more evident in their live show, so don’t miss this great opportunity to witness Bowser!

Be sure to come early and double the fun of your night with opener Midwest Hype. Another great Midwest jam-band (Jazz/Funk/Reggae) from Indiana that also utilizes a melting pot of musical styles and has a clear passion for what they do.

“By the time I was done jumping & headbanging, I was a sweaty mess and heading home with a charged up soul. The music had won me over again.” -Chicago Jam Scene

Saturday, February 19th 9:30 @ Der Rath: Trivia Night hosted by Nick Marx

Come win prizes at our trivia night on Saturday! Here are some details:

– Come with friends or meet new ones to form groups of 5 people.

– 4 rounds of 10 questions

– As always, our events are completely free!

This Weekend at Der Rath: In Tall Buildings and My Brightest Diamond

Friday 9:30 pm @ Der Rath: In Tall Buildings with Saturday Night Duets.

This Friday Erik Hall comes to serenade Der Rathskeller with his one man band In Tall Buildings.  His first album, inspired by Neil Young, Stevie Reich and others, sounding of acoustic pop, is a blended orchestra of guitar, drums, and synth.  It isn’t a breakup album but rather an album written by someone finding their own voice.

“There’s no mad scientist at work here. Only a guy crafting beautiful songs and augmenting them with a feathery touch.”  (Loud Loop Press)

(Skip ahead twenty seconds or so for the music.)

Starting the night, on Friday, is Saturday Night Duets, a two-man funky twist on Americana from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Saturday 9:00 pm @ Der Rath: My Brightest Diamond, Land of Vandals, and Corcovado

My Brightest Diamond will be playing in der Rathskeller THIS SATURDAY, February 5th, at 9:30PM with Land of Vandals and Corcovado.
Shara Wolden fronts the band My Brightest Diamond. If you have ever wondered what would happen if you combined an award-winning accordion player with a classical organ player, then Shara Wolden is your answer. If you have never wondered that, now you will be left with the burning desire to hear exactly what that sounds like. Wolden herself got a BA in opera but went on to study and record music with Padma Newsome in New York. Her musical background makes for a stunning combination of rock and classical music. Aside from her own musical endeavors she is able to boast collaboration with artists such as The Decemberists, Sufjan Stevens, and David Byrne. If you need a frame of reference…

… but I guarantee you won’t get the full experience unless you attend the show.

Joining My Brightest Diamond is the Madison minimalist band Land of Vandals (not actual Eastern Germanic Vandals).

Land of Vandals will put you in an interesting and ethereal mood and place with their haunting organ and space noises. Interesting being good.

Starting out the night with Corcovado, which also happens to mean Hunchback in Portuguese, a local Madison band.

Here’s What Happened

Last weekend. (media courtesy of Spencer Wells)


So it was raining like mad for most of Friday, but that didn’t stop anyone from having a seriously good time at Lakeshorepalooza. Dance parties in mud puddles, a mud FIGHT, you know, the usual fare.

For those who survived the afternoon at the Mifflin Street Block Party, Communist Daughter in der Rath was excellent. Check an acoustic set from them out along with some videos of The Goodnight Loving playing in a dorm basement at http://vimeo.com/spencerwells/videos since I can’t embed video from Vimeo on wordpress.

this is 91.7 fm wsum madison!

If you had happened to be up at 5 AM last Tuesday morning (or Monday night), you could have tuned in to the inaugural episode of the new WUD Music radio hour, Club 770, on 91.7 FM here in Madison, the student radio station. Don’t worry if you didn’t catch it, though, because here’s what I played.

Also, don’t worry, next semester the show will be at a real time.

What I Played [download]

These first two tracks commemorated the real Club 770 (R.I.P. Union South), where both played before they “got big.”

  • Together We’ll Ring In The New Year – Motion City Soundtrack
  • Ghost Under Rocks – Ra Ra Riot

A couple Memorial Union shows of the past…

  • Tiger Mountain Peasant Song – Fleet Foxes
  • Major Label Debut – Broken Social Scene

Some highlights of this semester so far:

  • Here Comes the Sky – Crocodiles
  • Pulling On A Line – Great Lake Swimmers

And now, for fun, “On Rotation In The Office” — what we’ve been listening to around the Union, wishing we could book, obsessing about, and singing along to in our bedrooms… That last one might just be me though.

  • Dreams – Smith Westerns
  • Swim (To Reach The End) – Surfer Blood
  • Let’s Go Surfing – The Drums
  • Love Is All I Am – Dawes
  • Animal (Mark Ronson Remix) – Miike Snow
  • are you still in vallda? – jj
  • Eminent Victorians – Princeton
  • Lust For Life – Girls

You can hear my lovely voice again in a couple days either over the airwaves or streaming on wsum.org and through iTunes. Or you can just wait and download the file of what I played because you are not masochistic and like to sleep.

– Brigid