The Biggest Rap Albums of 2015 So Far


What’s up music lovers?! We are officially one third through the year, and music album releases–particularly in hip hop–have been high in both quantity and quality. The amount of ‘surprise’ drops we’ve seen already has been something special, and it can honestly be hard to sift through it all. That’s why we here at WUD Music have done our best to highlight some of the most prominent releases from 2015, with special commentary on our favorites. The following are listed in order of their release. Let’s dive in.

Rae Sremmurd – SremmLife

I heard “No Type” for the first time in a while last night, and it was glorious. A mood booster in any situation, Mike WiLL Made-It’s beats are designed to turn people up. While the duo known as Rae Sremmurd (‘ear’ and ‘drummers’ backwards)  are new to the bigger stage, don’t be deceived. These guys have an energy unlike many of their older rap colleagues, and this album reflects that energy.

Joey Bada$$ – B4.DA.$$

You can check my review of B4.DA.$$ for Jonk Music by clicking this long ass link here.

Drake – If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late

Year after year, Drake earns a bit more of my respect. With his shotgun drop of IYRTITL, he has finally been established in my personal lens as a legitimate hitmaker MC. Right from the opening track, “Legend” Drake uses this mixtape-album-hybrid to showcase the most boastful rap I’ve heard in recent memory. It’s confident, carefree, and chock full of lyrics ready for candid use at social gatherings (not necessarily because they’re appropriate, but because they’re fun to say). If you haven’t told someone you’ve been running through (insert your city of residence here) with your woes, you need to stop sleeping now.

Big Sean – Dark Sky Paradise

I don’t really fuck with Big Sean (as he doesn’t fuck with me, apparently), buuuuut he appears to have strung together enough songs to have a notable album in 2015.  Features from Kanye, Drake, and Lil Wayne with production credits from DJ Mustard, Boi 1-da, and Mike WiLL Made-it aren’t too shabby either. I haven’t listened to it too much, so I requisitioned the opinion of a friend for this one:

Sam would also like you to know how game-changing the extended version of “Paradise” is. Sean goes in.

Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly (By Joe McAsey)

Everyone has likely heard about Kendrick Lamar’s new record To Pimp A Butterfly, and that it is already in contention for album of the year. Any review that I can give for it would never be able to do it justice, but I hope to pinpoint at least some of the reasons why it could stand as one of the best hip hop albums of decade.

One aspect of this album that makes it so important is its cultural relevance in terms of lyrical content. With an increasing number of publicized incidents of police violence against black people, race has become a huge topic. Any given song off of the album addresses race in some way. You’ll find that Kendrick has quite a bit to say about race issues in society today.

Another interesting dimension of the record is its place in Kendrick Lamar’s discography. After releasing a classic such as good kid m.A.A.d city, it is nearly impossible to follow up and deliver. The album contains a strong funk influence, which reconnects with the some of the roots of black music and black pride. The genre also places Butterfly in a completely different realm from from his previous record. He does not try to recreate good kid m.A.A.d city, although some of the important themes carry over.

I haven’t even scratched the surface of the meaning within the album, but if you have not listened to it much or at all, you need to hear it. Even if you don’t enjoy the music itself, the lyrics say a lot about society today. If you are interested in reading more, you can check out my track breakdown off of the first song on the record “Wesley’s Theory.” This track manages to pack the major themes and metaphor of a “pimped butterfly” in under five minutes.

Thanks to Joey for this contribution. You can check out more of his stuff at Cup O’ Joe Music.

Action Bronson – Mr. Wonderful (By Brennan Haelig)

Back in March, gourmet chef-turned-MC Action Bronson released his major label debut LP Mr. Wonderful on Atlantic/Vice Records. After just the first few tracks, it’s clear that Bronson wrote the album as more of a cohesive project rather than focusing on individual tracks, even stating that “I don’t care about individual tracks, I’m trying to create a complete, classic project”. Overall the album favors production from live instruments over computerized beats. With production credits from Mark Ronson (of “Uptown Funk” fame) and Alchemist to Statik Selektah, Mr. Wonderful takes listeners on a journey through a variety of soundscapes. Most of the instrumentals are laced with influence from jazz, funk and blues. The lead single “Baby Blue” (featuring Chance The Rapper) stands out as one of the album’s most intricate tracks. Action Bronson tells a story of love lost, and makes his singing debut on the crooning chorus of the track. The album features various interludes and instrumental sections that add a nice flavor to the LP, seguing seamlessly from track to track. The lyrical content encompasses a lot of the same material we’ve heard from Action before, from lavish adventures to boastful metaphors, sprinkled with a fair share of references to marijuana and gourmet cuisine. The project concludes with “Easy Rider”, Bronsoliño’s bad-boy anthem to debauchery and the rock star life (“who gives a fuck? I’m a sinner”). The track sets the mood perfectly for Mr. Wonderful to “ride the Harley into the sunset”, closing out the album in true Action Bronson fashion.

Props to Brennan for this review. You can find him on Twitter.

I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside: An Album by Earl Sweatshirt
(by Laura Oberwetter)

2 years after the successful release of “Doris”, Earl Sweatshirt is back with the darkly minimal I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside. Doris was by no means the feel good album of the year, but it’s amusing samples and features, quick verses, and lighthearted beats are now almost completely gone. I Don’t Like Shit is a deep, grim motion of poignant maturation for Earl.

The opening track, “Huey”, is as lively as the album gets with its carefree organ and bright sound effects. Following the relatively cheerful “Huey” are songs like “Grief” and “Faucet”, laden with somber and distorted noise; the tempos lumber along so slowly that it feels like these tracks could fall apart at any moment. It’s stripped down, letting Earl and his verses take the front seat before wobbling and wavering melodies. The gloomy, bare music only makes sense paired with the lyrics. Earl Sweatshirt isn’t a “pop that molly” lyricist anymore. He talks about self-medicating to cope with the loss of his grandmother, the shadows of addiction, longing for solidarity while surrounded by people he mistrusts, and the trouble that fame and attention have brought him. It’s intimate, almost to the point of discomfort.

Although it’s a move in a new direction from his past work, this may be a more accurate representation of Earl as an artist. In at interview for NPR’s Microphone Check, Earl Sweatshirt says,“[I Don’t Like Shit I Don’t Go Outside] is the first thing that I’ve said that I fully stand behind”. It may take fans a couple listens to readjust their vision of Earl’s style, but the honesty and effort put into this album is salient, and likely well received. Some artists can’t pull off a dramatic shift in style; evidently, Earl Sweatshirt is not one of those artists.

Props to Lauren her contribution. She too, is on Twitter.

Tyler, the Creator – Cherry Bomb

Announced soon after fellow Odd Future friend Earl Sweatshirt’s album, Cherry Bomb is the most recent “surprise release” we’ve seen. What’s not a surprise is how Tyler’s sound continues to evolve, slowly shifting from internet rap to heavily jazz-influenced pieces. Tracks like “FIND YOUR WINGS”, “2SEATER”, and “FUCKING YOUNG/PERFECT” showcase Tyler’s jazzy style, while the album’s self-titled track and “DEATHCAMP” show the rapper can still exude the DGAF attitude he’s been known for. It’s wide-ranging project, so it definitely takes a more open mind to enjoy.

Hope this puts y’all on to some new stuff. By NO means is this a comprehensive list, so if you’re looking for more I would check out Wikipedia. Brennan would have you know that list does not include MOD SUN, and I would have you know it doesn’t include CRASHprez. Until next time, enjoy the Hip Hop.

WSUM and WUD Music Present: The Podcast E01: Revelry Music and Arts Festival 2015


Saying it was easy to get a bunch of music geeks together to talk about music for a podcast would be an understatement. So here we are, with a collaboration between WSUM, the official student radio station of UW-Madison, and yours truly. Check out our preview of Revelry Music and Arts Festival below, and let us know what you think!

DISCLAIMER: The following was recorded in March of 2015, before many details regarding Revelry Music and Arts Festival were available to the public. Commentary throughout this episode is meant to provide an analysis of Revelry’s Main Stage lineup. Enjoy!

These 5 Fake Shows Will Change Your Outlook On Live Music

Here at WUD Music, our mission is to produce free live concerts on a weekly basis that showcase quality music by local, regional, and national acts. We even book international acts sometimes (see: Mac Demarco)!

Because of the high volume of shows we put on and the smaller venues we book for, we obviously cannot afford to produce concerts at the level of quality everyone’s favorite superstars would expect. Regardless, it’s still fun to to see how much it would cost to make these fantasies a reality.

The following show fliers represent some of the awesome design work our marketing subcommittee has been up to, as well as what we would have to charge for tickets to these uber-intimate concerts that we would all kill to witness.

1. Lady Gaga 

Fake LadyGaga

Lady Gaga has been more focused on her duets with Tony Bennett for the last year or so, but that doesn’t mean one of her solo productions doesn’t still break the bank. Ticket Price: $3,555

2. Kendrick Lamar w/ ScHoolboy Q

Fake KendrickLamar

Speaking of “Break the Bank”, how about we have ScHoolboy Q come to Madison? That would be a dope show, but if he OPENED for Kendrick Lamar?! That show would be beyond lit. With the release of To Pimp a Butterfly, Kendrick is bound to cost a bit more for live concerts, but I sense that many hip hop heads would be willing to shell out the same amount as a weekend at Lollapalooza for a TDE set in a 500-person venue.
Ticket Price: $295

3. Lana Del Rey

Fake Shows - Lana

A favorite of college students at all campuses, somber pop songstress Lana Del Rey would put on an amazing stripped-down set in Der Rathskeller. Just so long as no one tries to run up on stage and hug her to death first. Ticket Price: $688

4, Mumford and Sons

Fake Mumford

The boys are back together! After a break up/hiatus for the past year or two, Mumford and Sons return to prominence with a new album set to release on May 4th. I guess they couldn’t resist making tons of money, as evidenced by another exorbitant admission price for a nonexistent show. Ticket Price: $1,425

5. Taylor Swift

Fake Shows - TSwizzle

Oh man. This show might be the most expensive of the five, but based on her impromptu performance at the SNL 40 afterparty, at least we know she’d be nice enough to make it happen if we could shell out the dough.
Ticket Price: $4170

There you have it. Have a favorite flier? Want to know the price of a different show? Hit us up on Twitter (@WUDMusic). You can check out our REAL list of shows via our Facebook events list. We hope to see you at one of our FREE shows soon!





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!


WUD Music’s Official List of Lists: #1

What’s up, loyal blog readers! It’s your friendly WUD Music leadership team here. We’re a music blog, and everyone knows that in order to keep your official music blog certification, you’re required by law to publish at least one “Best-of” list every year. So we’re being overachievers, and having our whole team make a best-of list of their very own. We’ll be publishing a new one each day, so keep checking back! 

Tori Dexter (Director): Top 10 Concerts of 2014

This is a total cop out of a list. In addition to bending the rules in order to include 12 shows in my list of 10 (hey look at me, I’m the Big 10 Conference!), I added a whole bunch of honorable mentions. But hey, I’m in charge, I do what I want.

Honorable Mentions:

Jack White w/ Benjamin Booker (The Rave, Milwaukee WI)
Pretty standard explanation here – Jack White was amazing and this was a great introduction to Benjamin Booker but The Rave is just the worst. Bad sound quality, and about 6,000 degrees with 900% humidity. I looked like I’d just hopped out of a bathtub when we finally got out of there.

Jack White forbids photography at his shows, so instead, here's a picture of me doing stupid human tricks before the show started.

Jack White forbids photography at his shows, so instead, here’s a picture of me doing stupid human tricks before the show started.

Outkast (Lollapalooza, Chicago IL)
Seeing Outkast live, while fireworks exploded overhead, on what was probably their last tour ever made a ticket to Lolla worth it even if I hadn’t watched a single other show. This show would be higher on the list, but the stage was so packed that I was almost half a mile from the stage (and I’m only barely exaggerating). However, I could have been on the other side of the park and would have still mentioned Outkast on the list- c’mon, they’re living legends!

This is actually a picture that I took on my phone while physically witnessing this happen. I know, right?

This is actually a picture that I took on my phone while physically witnessing this happen. I know, right?

Revelry Music and Arts Festival (Langdon Street and Memorial Union, Madison WI)
Revelry was AMAZING, but I was working it for so long that I hardly got to see any of the artists. However, I managed to find a free half hour to watch Dillon Francis from backstage, and the experience of watching a crowd go nuts in front of a stage that you watched appear out of the back of a truck 12 hours earlier is an experience that 100% deserves a mention. Long live Revelry.


WRECKFAST (Somewhere on Charter Street, Madison WI)
The CATCH WRECK label in Madison put on a house show where $5 got you CRASHprez, Lord of the Fly, Kiazma, *hitmayng, whoever else played before I got there, AND unlimited beer, bacon, and pancakes. I have yet to go to a single rap show that couldn’t have been improved by the addition of bacon and pancakes. Everyone else should be taking notes.

Sumo Cyco and Tartar Control (The Bovine Sex Club – NXNE, Toronto ON)
This was possibly the single strangest night of my life. Have you ever seen one of those dogs that’s so ugly it’s cute? It probably had something to do with all the Vodka Redbulls or the fact that I’d only slept once in 3 days, but this show was so weird, it was good

Now, on to the list! Drumroll please…

10. The Mowgli’s w/ Misterwives (High Noon Saloon, Madison WI)
The Mowgli’s also did a show at the Sett that was SO much fun, which would have made this list over the High Noon show, EXCEPT for the addition of Misterwives at the High Noon. The Mowgli’s are such professionals and they put on a happy, dopamine soaked set every time I see them, but I fell newly in love with Misterwives that night, and at the same time as this show went rocketing into the top ten, their EP went rocketing into my “most played” on iTunes.


9. St Vincent (Yonge-Dundas Square – NXNE, Toronto ON)

I didn’t quite know what to expect going in to this one. I’d had her most recent album on repeat for months and she was one of the artists I was most excited to see at this festival, but her recorded stuff was just so perfectly weird that I couldn’t imagine how it would carry that over to a live show. Suffice it to say, I’m a convert, and I completely stand by the statement that a love of St. Vincent isn’t even complete until you’ve seen her live. She comes out blazing with metallic outfits and teased purple hair, dances robotically, falls off of set piece in slow motion, and does all this while continuing to be one of the best guitarists I’ve ever seen. We dipped out early to catch LE1F and Danny Brown (a show that also deserves a shout), but I’m so ready to see her again and stick around for the long haul this time. Check out this video of her set at Pitchfork Paris for a taste.

8. Volcano Choir w/ Sylvan Esso (Turner Hall Ballroom, Milwaukee WI) / Astronautalis w/ Steve Roggenbuck (The Sett, Madison WI)
Could NOT choose between these two, so I’m cheating and including them both. Volcano Choir is a collaboration between Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and members of Collections of Colonies of Bees, and this show was the last stop on their tour/maybe their last show together? Ya never know with Justin. Anyway, they had one of the most phenomenal stage and lighting setups I’ve ever seen and my GOD that music is beautiful. Justin Vernon’s voice just breaks my heart every time I hear it. Plus, Sylvan Esso was the un-announced opener, which was one of the more pleasant surprises I’ve ever experienced.
Astronautalis was part of LitFest at UW Madison, and was one of the WUD Music shows I most enjoy bragging about. For as much as I’d talked about him and obsessively listened to his albums, I’d actually never seen him live, so I was looking forward to this for a long time. Steve Roggenbuck, a spoken word artist, was a really interesting opener, but Astronautalis was the main attraction and he did NOT disappoint. After a great set in a packed room, he went on a glorious rant about getting what you want in life right before he left the stage, and then I got to take a picture with him and he complimented my shirt. It was a good day.


7. Dessa w/ Caroline Smith (The Majestic, Madison WI)
I know, I know, Tori put a Dessa show in her top 10, what a surprise. I don’t even need the sass from ya’ll right now. Dessa and her band regularly put on a great show, but the addition of the goddess that is Caroline Smith and Dessa’s glorious whiskey-soaked rant at the end of the show about how we live in a wonderful and unique place and should appreciate that made this show even better than any of the other 15 Dessa sets I’ve stalked.

At this show, Dessa recognized me in the crowd from when I booked her at the Sett and called me out by name - at least I hear that's what happened, but think I blacked out.

At this show, Dessa recognized me in the crowd from when I booked her at the Sett and called me out by name – at least I hear that’s what happened, but think I blacked out.

6. The Naked and Famous (The Majestic, Madison WI)
Holy guacamole TNAF puts on a great live show. It was sold out, which is always fun in the Majestic, and the lighting was gorgeous. Everyone in the band just radiated energy and passion, and my ears were ringing for hours. I was not upset about it. I honestly don’t have much more to say, this show just filled me with so much joy and every time I listen to their album, it brings me right back.


5. Chance the Rapper (Lollapalooza, Chicago IL)
I’ve seen Chance a few times and it was honestly an amazing experience going from seeing him in The Sett with maybe 200 other people, to watching him headline one of the biggest music festivals in the world. Chance the Rapper is a natural performer – he’s goofy and charming and it was written all over his face how happy he was to be up on that stage. I really can’t say enough good things about this kid. But what really took this show from good to insane was the fact that R. FREAKING. KELLY showed up and they did “Ignition” together. Add that to the list of things I never in a million years thought I’d see. Also, shoutout to his surprise appearance during Vic Mensa’s set earlier that day – you can really tell how much those two genuinely enjoy performing together in the place they both call home.

4. Sylvan Esso (Majestic, Madison WI) / Lizzo (Some random streetcar – NXNE, Toronto ON)
Cheating again. Sylvan Esso is the coolest. With the notable exception of the topless chick gyrating all over her boyfriend directly in front of us, I loved everything that happened this night. Their album is great, but their live show blows it out of the water.
Lizzo bounced and twerked and rapped her face off on a moving train car as it careened around the city of Toronto. I have rarely seen someone tear it up as hard as she and Sophia Eris did, much less while standing on a seat or hanging off a handrail. The single bad thing about this set was that it didn’t go on for longer.


3. Doomtree Blowout (First Avenue, Minneapolis MN)
The Doomtree Blowout is an annual banger at First Ave, and it’s been going on for 10 years now. However, the Minneapolis rap collective decided that doing this for an 11th year sounded sad (I’d beg to differ, but nobody asked me), meaning that this year was the #LastBlowoutEver. Because it was the last one, they did a show every day of the week from Sunday to the following Saturday, and we drove 5 hours up for the Thursday one. If I hadn’t known, there’s no way I’d have guessed that we were watching their 5th show in 5 days because they tore it up like they hadn’t performed together in months. I’ve been to Blowout before, but there was an energy, an urgency to this one that was completely new. Add to that the fact that P.O.S. is finally healthy and performing again after a 2 year long health scare and the killer intermission set from a bunch of local performers (including the inimitable Har Mar Superstar), and you have a near-perfect way to spend a December night in Minneapolis while skipping your last two days of fall semester.

As many members of Doomtree as I could get in a single frame

As many members of Doomtree as I could get in a single frame.

2. Run The Jewels (Lollapalooza, Chicago IL)
Killer Mike’s dancing. That is all. On top of that, the banter between him and El-P always makes you feel like you’re kicking it in your living room with a couple of friends, if your friends happened to be some of the best rappers in the game. A lot of their material came from RTJ1, they played almost every song on the album, but the best part was that they also drew HEAVILY from RTJ2, which was still 2 or 3 months away from being released at that point. It really says something about what a devoted audience they’ve created that the crowd went nuts for every single track, old and new. Even though Run The Jewels performed at a small stage in the middle of the afternoon, they turned up like they were headliners and made the whole audience believe that they should have been.

Your girl was in the 2nd row for this one. Awwww yeah.

Your girl was in the 2nd row for this one. Awwww yeah.

1. Betty Who w/ DJ Nick Nice (The Terrace, Madison WI)
I’m almost certainly biased because I booked this one, but this was THE MOST FUN show. It was a gorgeous June night, the sun was setting, I got to hang out with Betty Who’s parents for a while, I danced a lot, Betty’s set was great, tons of people showed up for it, and I witnessed Nick Pjevach (the Director in 2012-13) pluck a mayfly out of a cup of beer and eat it whole. If I remember right, we even went to Plaza (the world’s best bar, for the uninitiated) after the show was over. It was as close as I’ve come in all of my 21 years to a perfect night.

Betty Who

Summer Terrace Lineup Announcement!

Terrace After Dark

Yes, the rumors are true, it’s finally that time of year again. May 7th is truly the most wonderful day on the calendar because (drumroll please)

…our lineup for the entire summer has been released! We have some incredible fun ready for you on the shores of our beautiful Lake Mendota between the months of May and August. Check out all of our concerts (along with all the Lakeside Cinema movies and other special events) at, for more detailed descriptions, times, contact information, band websites, and more. This website will become your go-to resource for all things “Terrace”.

As always, WUD Music will feature a weekly Open Mic Night, Wednesday nights from 7:45-11 PM. Singing, instrument playing, Comedy, poetry all welcome. No house instruments provided, backing tracks can be accommodated.

We will also be bringing back our much-loved Thursday Bluegrass Series, taking place from 5-7 PM. 

Our Friday “happy hour” series, Behind the Beat, will also continue as it has all school year, continuing to happen from 5-7 PM

And we have some INCREDIBLE headlining acts coming through, bringing you live music from 9:30-Midnight on every single Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night. Get pumped, you guys. It’s going to be another great summer.

Check out our band listing below: 

Fri 5/16/14 Behind the Beat: Tritonics

Fri 5/16/14 16 Candles (Graduation Weekend Dance Party)

Sat 5/17/14 V05 (Graduation Weekend Dance Party)
(two sets)

Fri 5/23/14 Behind the Beat: John Widdicombe Blues Band Combo

Fri 5/23/14 Handphibians

Sat 5/24/14 Jeffrey Broussard

Thurs 5/29/14 Kishi Bashi w/ Busman’s Holiday

Fri 5/30/14 Behind the Beat: The Firebirds

Fri 5/30/14 Swearin’

Sat 5/31/14 Trinidad Tripoli Steel Drum Band

Thurs 6/5/14 Bluegrass Series: Sparetime

Thurs 6/5/14 Brett Newski w/ Pete Donnelly

Fri 6/6/14 Behind the Beat: Drobka/Hastil/Christensen Trio

Fri 6/6/14 JR Donato w/ L.E.X.

Sat 6/7/14 Kikeh Mato w/ Limanya Drum and Dance Ensemble

Thurs 6/12/14 Bluegrass Series: tba

Thurs 6/12/14 Betty Who

Fri 6/13/14 Behind The Beat: The Sundogs

Fri 6/13/14 lazydeadpoet

Sat 6/14/14 The Whiskey Farm w/ Whitney Mann

Thurs 6/19/14 Bluegrass Series: tba

Thurs 6/19/14 Haley Bonar

Fri 6/20/14 Isthmus Jazz Fest (All Day)

Sat 6/21/14 Isthmus Jazz Fest (All Day)

Thurs 6/26/14 Bluegrass Series: Mad Pole Cats

Thurs 6/26/14 Wild Cub w/ Escondido

Fri 6/27/14 Behind the Beat: Little Margie’s Soul Band

Fri 6/27/14 Natty Nation

Sat 6/28/14 Roots Collective

Thurs 7/3/14 Bluegrass Series: Eric Lambert and Friends

Thurs 7/3/14 Carsie Blanton w/ Briar Rabbit

Fri 7/4/14 Behind the Beat: tba

Fri 7/4/14 Hometown Sweethearts

Sat 7/5/14 Gabe Burdulis w/ Sexy Ester & Beth Kille

Thurs 7/10/14 Bluegrass Series: Sortin’ The Mail

Thurs 7/10/14 tba

Fri 7/11/14 Behind the Beat: tba

Fri 7/11/14 Big Leg Emma

Sat 7/12/14 Maffa Rico w/ Zaramela & Ben Karbank

Thurs 7/17/14 Cajun Strangers

Thurs 7/17/14 Sharon Van Etten w/ Jana Hunter

Fri 7/18/14 Behind the Beat: Charlier Painter

Fri 7/18/14 tba

Sat 7/19/14 F. Stokes w/ Frankie Flowers

Thurs 7/24/14 Bluegrass Series: tba

Thurs 7/24/14 tba

Fri 7/25/14 Behind the Beat: tba

Fri 7/25/14 Madison County w/ Mark Croft

Sat 7/26/14 WADOMA w/ Tani Diakite and the Afro Funk Stars

Thurs 7/31/14 Bluegrass Series: Jack Klatt Trio

Thurs 7/31/14 San Fermin

Fri 8/1/14 Behind the Beat: tba

Fri 8/1/14 Ariada w/ Honey & the 45s

Sat 8/2/14 ROE

Thurs 8/7/14 Bluegrass Series: tba

Thurs 8/7/14 Matrimony

Fri 8/8/14 Behind the Beat: Tim Whalen Trio

Fri 8/8/14 Adelyn Rose w/ Softly Dear Jake & Armerding

Sat 8/9/14 Caroline Smith

Fri 8/15/14 Alison Margaret Jazz Quintet

Fri 8/15/14 Pat McCurdy

Sat 8/16/14 Johnny Chimes w/ The Queenie McCarter Band (Blues Fest)

Fri 8/22/14 Behind the Beat: tba

Fri 8/22/14 Kissers (Irish Fest)

Sat 8/23/14 Whiskey of the Damned (Irish Fest)

Fri 8/29/14 Behind the Beat: tba

Fri 8/29/14 Steez

Sat 8/30/14 John Vietnam Day

Fri 9/5/14 David Gerald

Sat 9/6/14 The Dig

This Saturday: Revelry Music and Arts Festival!

With Coachella out of the way, festival season is officially now in full bloom. So, why not kick off your summer with UW Madison’s own premiere music and arts festival–Revelry!


So why should you go? With five days remaining till the event, here are five reasons why:

1. You’re already a fan of the free shows WUD Music puts on every weekend in the Sett and Rathskeller. But do you realize that Revelry doesn’t last a mere three hours but rather is a rockin’ all-day-and-all-night festival?!**

*12:00PM-10:00PM to be precise

**Who says the party stops at 10? It’s Saturday night people!

2.  Dillon Francis. Waka Flocka Flame. Sky Ferreira. And a sh*t ton of other cool people:


3… And if you have no idea who any of those people are, you should definitely come because you’ll discover new music! Not to mention you’ll gain some street cred with all the hipsters in your bio class

4.  You’re broke or your friends are too cheap? Student tickets are $5. You paid $250 for Lollapalooza. Do I need to haggle you more?!


5. If you really need a better reason, then think about how epic it is spending the entire day parting with your fellow badgers?! Food, Music, Drinks, and Art?!

*5.5 And for those of you worried about the chance of rain on Saturday, all I have to say is: 1. It’s April.. 2. Put on your wellies and rain slickers and pretend like you’re at Britain’s coolest festival, Glastonbury (where it rains like every freaking year).

935644_546344705409233_303141046_nWe’ll see you kids this Saturday at Revelry! Get ready to “revel on their level.” More info can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and their site.



Tapedeck Tuesday: 2013 Wrap-up

It’s been one hell of a year here at WUD Music.

WUD dj table

We booked THREE HUNDRED AND FIFTY EIGHT different bands. We’ve hosted rappers, comedians, and poets. We’ve booked a country fest and a reggae fest. We’ve set up for bands ranging from a guy and his guitar to a full orchestra. Our shows have survived thunderstorms, snow emergencies, power outages, construction, equipment malfunctions and insanity of all kinds.

And now we’re here, completely finished with shows for 2013 and looking back on the year, filled with deep satisfaction and desperately needing a nap. But before we say goodbye to the year for good, we thought we’d wrap things up properly. Below is a playlist of just some of the artists that made a stop here at our humble home during this arbitrary period of the earth’s rotation around the sun.

Check it out, and let us know what you loved, what you didn’t, and what you’d like to see on the playlist by this time next year. And until then, stay warm, listen to lots of good music, and have a wonderful holiday. We’ll see you back here in 2014.


Friday Night on the Terrace: Whiskey of the Damned + The Kissers

Whiskey of the Damned

This Friday night, prepare to experience a show like no other. We’ve got back-to-back Irish-influenced bands performing, ready to immerse you in the country’s culture and the world of rock.

Our featured band of the night is Milwaukee-based Whiskey of the Damned, a Celtic influenced rock group formed by Ireland native and band frontman Eoin McCarthy. Although the band has gone through personnel changes over the years, their Irish punk sound remains the same. Gritty vocals and heavy drums accompanied by a happy violin and accordion make for great pub songs such as “All for Me Grog” and “Dock Boy”. I first saw Whiskey of the Damned when they opened for Dropkick Murphys at Summerfest in 2011, and I have seen them twice more since. I could not be happier with my experiences seeing them. They always put on an energetic show that is simply too difficult to not get into.

The first half of the night’s show features The Kissers, a Madison band known for its frenzied performances and on-stage humor. Their music bridges the gap between indie rock and Irish music.

The Kissers

Whiskey of the Damned + The Kissers
9:00 PM, Memorial Union Terrace
Admission: FREE

Saturday Night on the Terrace: El-P and Killer Mike w/ Despot, Kool A.D.


Tonight, WUD Music is presenting what is arguably the biggest rap show it has ever produced on the Memorial Union Terrace. Rappers El-P and Killer Mike have both gained mad respect over the years in the alternative and dirty south hip-hop scenes, respectively.

El-P is a former member of the underground group Company Flow, has produced music for a plethora of artists, and is the co-founder, owner and CEO of New York record label Definitive Jux.

Killer Mike has been in the game since he met Outkast rapper Big Boi in his college years, and has been on the grind ever since. While releasing six solo albums, he was also featured on a handful of songs in the early 2000s, most notably Outkast’s Grammy-winning single “The Whole World”.

Tonight, these decorated MCs come to you as a newly formed hip-hop duo, Run the Jewels. Their self-titled album can be downloaded for free here, and trust me when I say it is more than worth the time spent to acquire it. Clocking in just under 33 minutes, the duo brings 10 tracks with unique, hard-hitting beats and verses that seem effortlessly crafted. When El-P’s faster staccato bars mix seamlessly with Mike’s smooth dirty south flow, it leaves the listener more than satisfied. But my words alone can’t justify the album. Listen for yourself.

El-P and Killer Mike will be supported by Despot, a New York underground rapper with over a decade of experience, and Kool A.D., a former member of the New York group Das Racist.

Saturday, July 20, 8:00PM, Memorial Union Terrace
Admission: FREE