Live music on the Memorial Union Terrace is part of Madison's summertime mystique. The 2010 lineup recently announced by the Wisconsin Union Directorate features diverse styles, including blues, punk, world and hip-hop. But indie rock is the main attraction.
This Friday, June 11, These United States will prove that musical diversity thrives within the boundaries of indie rock. Led by Jesse Elliot, the D.C.-based band makes unpretentious tunes that meander from jangly, jammy rock to folk and psychedelia.
The UW's hip-hop studies program, First Wave, brings one of the genre's legendary pioneers, DJ Kool Herc, to the stage on June 18. He'll trade beats with Madison's own Clyde Stubblefield.
Nashville may be America's country music capital, but you'd never know it when the Music City's JEFF the Brotherhood plays the Terrace on June 25. The band's psychedelic, punk and grunge sound recalls influences as diverse as Weezer and L7.
The rootsy side of Nashville shows up the next weekend when Justin Townes Earle performs on July 3. The 26-year-old son of Steve Earle will play some of the down-tempo, brooding country songs from his 2009 album, Midnight at the Movies.
Southern California's Dawes will open for Earle. The L.A. troubadours are reviving the mellow-rock, Laurel Canyon heyday of '70s acts like Jackson Browne, Joni Mitchell and the Eagles.
Terrace rock takes a bluesy turn starting in late July. You'll hear it in the heavy garage rock of Cincinnati's Heartless Bastards, who perform on July 25.
Wisconsin blues artists take center stage at the 2010 Terrace Blues Fest on Aug. 7. Joining Madison's own Jimmys and Velveetatones will be Milwaukee's Houndstooth, Door County's pat mAcdonald and Sheboygan's Sequoia.
By the time New Jersey's Roadside Graves bring their epic, symphonic indie rock to the Terrace on Aug. 20, UW students will be back in town, and the early autumn leaves will already be turning yellow.
Get your Terrace fix while the season lasts.