Ben Munson


Shawn Brackbill

On her recent album, Torres (aka Mackenzie Scott) snarls out complicated thoughts about her childhood and Baptist upbringing in Macon, Ga. The 24-year-old singer headlines the first night of FRZN Fest at the High Noon Saloon on Jan. 14. more

Jan 7, 2016 5:00 AM MUSIC


Myles Pettengill

While in college, Mikal Cronin was sidelined by chronic back problems. So when he decided to write “Circle” — side B of his latest album, “MCIII” — that was the story that emerged: a relatable anecdote of personal misery leading to pivotal awakening. more

Sep 10, 2015 9:30 AM MUSIC

Madison music in 2014 was invigorated by auspicious debuts and sustained by veteran artists. These 10 local releases were our favorites of the year. more

Dec 23, 2014 2:00 PM , , MUSIC


Craig Winzer

Whether you wish to bid a fond farewell to 2014 or just say good riddance, there are plenty of ways to party and dance your way to 2015. Here are some spots around town where bands will be rocking, bootys will be shaking and booze will be flowing. more

Dec 18, 2014 2:00 PM , , , MUSIC


Mad Media Productions

For 40 years the Cardinal Bar has been the spot to check Madison's pulse for Latin music, innovative dance music theme nights and progressive politics. And much of that has to do with founder and owner Ricardo Gonzalez. more

Dec 8, 2014 8:05 PM MUSIC

Riff Raff doesn't have many secrets left. A 2013 "LA Weekly" profile fully pulled back the curtain on the rapper. Finding out that Riff Raff's real name is Horst Simco adds precisely zero fun to the gaudy Hypercolor and Zubaz world he invites us into with his junk-food-fueled non sequiturs. more

Dec 1, 2014 8:22 PM MUSIC


Carolyn Fath, Allison Lenz

On Nov. 7 city officials announced their opposition to a 2,000- to 2,500-seat music venue slated for the 1000 block of East Washington Avenue. Proposed by Madison-based concert promotion company Frank Productions, the venue is part of a Stone House Development project that includes residential and commercial space. more

Nov 20, 2014 2:00 PM MUSIC

Concert announcements rain down on Madison this time of year, like colorful leaves making their descent to the earth. "Isthmus" has raked through the pile and chosen more than 50 essential shows that haven't sold out yet, all of which take place between now and mid-December. more

Sep 4, 2014 2:00 PM , , MUSIC

Hundreds of fantastic touring acts will visit town this fall, but there's also a staggering amount of talent growing in our backyard. The local concert calendar is just beginning to fill out, so consider this list of over 25 must-sees a starting point more

Sep 4, 2014 2:00 PM , , MUSIC

Sinking Suns drag darkness with them everywhere. The Madison trio, whose ominous name evokes the end of day, squeeze the light right out of their music. But on their new EP, "Songs of Revenge", the path to catharsis is clearly marked. more

Aug 14, 2014 2:00 PM MUSIC

After three consecutive albums with black-and-white covers, the Raveonettes needed a little color. The art on the front of "Pe'ahi" breaks the cycle with a switchblade floating in a wash of sea-foam green. The music is also flush with new life, surfing along on stadium-size breakbeats and drastic dynamics. more

Jul 31, 2014 2:00 PM MUSIC

The Sugar Maple Traditional Music Festival is as much a pop-up community as it is a concert. When the 11th annual event comes to Lake Farm County Park Aug. 1-2, there will be performances, workshops, discussions and jam sessions that migrate to the camping area before each night ends. more

Jul 29, 2014 5:16 PM MUSIC

Sharon Van Etten understands ultraviolence. Lana Del Rey has cultivated an ill-gotten notoriety with her album and song of the same name. But while Del Rey earns groans by shoehorning in an obvious Crystals reference, Van Etten causes deep pain by breathing smoke into troubling imagery with her mournful voice. more

Jul 10, 2014 2:00 PM MUSIC


David Michael Miller

La Fête de Marquette is going home. On July 10-13, the annual celebration of French-speaking cultures will head back to its original spot between Baldwin and Ingersoll after six years of sweating it out on a patch of blacktop off East Washington Avenue. But the rocky lot La Fête made do with in 2006 has been replaced with the new Central Park. more

Jul 8, 2014 5:52 PM MUSIC


Dan Jarvis

Daikaiju make for a good mystery. The four-piece surf-rock outfit from Huntsville, Ala., take many of their song names from Japanese monster movies. The members go by the names Blast-man, Pulse-man, Rock-man and Secret-man. All four of them perform with Kabuki masks on. Their real identities are a secret. more

Jun 24, 2014 12:33 AM MUSIC

Chromeo have already solidified their reputation as consummate electro-funk scholars. "White Women", the fourth LP from the Montreal-based team, builds on their legacy with three impossibly catchy opening tracks, all monster singles. From there Dave 1 and P-Thugg find room for sparse heartbreakers like "Ezra's Interlude," which coaxes a delicate falsetto from Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig, and the timely disco flourishes of "Fall Back 2U." more

May 15, 2014 2:00 PM MUSIC


Eric Tadsen

Love plays muse to a variety of creative expressions, so it's fitting that local artist Mallory Shotwell organized a variety show featuring music, dance and comedy for her most recent project, "A Discourse on Love". more

May 14, 2014 8:49 PM MUSIC

Bear Claw make pulverizing post-rock with the power it takes to snap a double-neck bass in half. That's because they have two bass guitarists in addition to a drummer. The band call Chicago home, but Midwest shows like a May 9 gig at Mickey's Tavern could become scarcer now that bassist Rob Raspolich is relocating to New York. more

May 6, 2014 4:37 PM MUSIC

After a short hiatus to double down on parenting, Peaking Lights almost have their new album finished. Dub experimentalists Aaron Coyes and Indra Dunis made the music together, Coyes produced it and Matt Thornley from LCD Soundsystem is mixing it. Ahead of the band's May 6 stop at the High Noon Saloon, "Isthmus" talked with Coyes about touring with kids, opening for Panda Bear and making the new album. more

May 4, 2014 6:07 PM MUSIC

After a seemingly endless barrage of polar vortexes, spring is finally here to soothe poor Madison's freezer burn. It was a long slog, and a lot of us survived by hibernating with a few good records. But now that weather conditions have climbed down from "life-threatening," we're all clear to get back out there and support our local music scene. To that end, "Isthmus" has picked out a dozen and a half local shows to help defrost frozen ears, feet, hearts and minds. more

Mar 20, 2014 2:00 PM MUSIC