Garrett Born

Jazz, blues and sass

Davina & the Vagabonds formed in 2004 to showcase Davina Sowers’ “old soul” sound. The Minneapolis-based group’s music exudes a New Orleans charm, a Memphis swagger and a dark theatricality anchored by her bouncy piano and indefinable voice.

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Jeff Miller/UW Madison

Grammy nod for the polka prof

When the Grammy Awards launch on Feb. 15, UW folklorist Jim Leary will be paying close attention. He’s nominated for Best Album Notes for his massive collection of recordings and writings on the folk music of the Upper Midwest. more »

Feb 11, 2016 5:00 AM MUSIC

Vinyl Cave: “Mesmerized in Madison” compilation

The Bright as Night compilation, which is being released on vinyl at Mickey’s Tavern on Feb. 13, is an entertaining peek into the more iconoclastic corners of local music. more »

Feb 10, 2016 10:19 AM Vinyl Cave


Norman Wong

Guiding their own ship

Metric broke through the major-label logjam in the late 2000s to form its own label and place the band’s synth-fueled sound squarely in the vanguard of a massive indie-rock explosion. Today things look a little different. And eerily similar, too. more »

Feb 4, 2016 5:00 AM MUSIC

All-star Schubertiade

For the third year in a row, pianists Martha Fischer and Bill Lutes hosted a Schubertiade concert at Mills Hall. A host of colleagues joined the wonderful musical couple, commemorating the life and work of Franz Schubert on Jan. 30. more »

Feb 1, 2016 3:15 PM MUSIC

Isthmus Live Sessions: Hey Marseilles

Hey Marseilles perform an intimate acoustic Isthmus Live Session at the Isthmus offices in downtown Madison, Wisconsin on January 28th, 2016. more »

Jan 28, 2016 5:08 PM Isthmus Live Sessions

Isthmus Live Sessions: Ryan Bingham

Ryan Bingham performs an intimate acoustic Isthmus Live Session at the Isthmus offices on Jan. 27, 2016. more »

Jan 28, 2016 3:41 PM Isthmus Live Sessions

Welcome to the party

Wisconsin winters tend to turn us into homebodies with limited human interaction, but dance DJ duo Surf ’n’ Turf are working hard to build a community that can warm both your body and soul. more »

Jan 28, 2016 5:00 AM MUSIC 1 Comments


Anastasia Chernyavsky

Piano brilliance

The Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra played its first 2016 concert on Jan. 22. The brilliant young American pianist Adam Neiman joined as a soloist, playing two piano concertos. more »

Jan 23, 2016 5:24 PM MUSIC

The enigmatic Austrian

In the 19th century, composer Franz Schubert played house concerts, known as Schubertiades. UW’s School of Music presents the third installment of this delightful series. more »

Jan 21, 2016 5:00 AM MUSIC


Jason Gardner

Beat goes on

After a tough start, Chesney Snow is forging his own path as an actor and beatboxer in New York City. The former Madisonian appears with “Vocalosity” at the Overture Center on Jan. 28 and 29. more »

Jan 21, 2016 5:00 AM MUSIC


Jake Cunningham

Melancholy contentment

FRZN Fest performer Julien Baker is alarmingly upbeat for someone who crafts the kind of music she does. Her melancholy sound resembles early Bright Eyes in its lo-fi intimacy and deep-dredged feelings. more »

Jan 15, 2016 6:00 PM MUSIC


Jennifer Newlin

A transformative year

After their fiddle player left the band in April, Dead Horses required some reinvention. The Milwaukee-based bluegrassers had always been a jam-heavy quartet, and losing the fiddle’s high-ranging melodic and improvisational punch changed the sound. more »

Jan 14, 2016 6:45 PM MUSIC

Mazel tov!

Madison’s Yid Vicious celebrates 20 years of existence at an anniversary show at Mother Fools Coffeehouse on Jan. 22. Founding member Bob Jacobson reflects on the series of coincidences that led to the original lineup. more »

Jan 13, 2016 5:17 PM MUSIC 1 Comments


CJ Foeckler

Paint the town gold

Partying and job security rarely go hand in hand, but in the case of Milwaukee-based electro-pop band GGOOLLDD, lead vocalist Margaret Butler says the group’s first gig at a Halloween 2013 house party set the tone for their rapid rise. more »

Jan 13, 2016 4:43 PM MUSIC

Vinyl Cave: “The Man Who Sold the World” by David Bowie

David Bowie’s death has led to a remarkable outpouring of emotion from both his serious fans and those who maybe haven’t been paying as much attention since his major hit-making days in the 1970s and ’80s. more »

Jan 13, 2016 8:57 AM Vinyl Cave

Majestic Theater


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