RSS

Rich Albertoni

From 2002 to 2008, Katie Powderly spent her Tuesday nights barefoot and dressed in overalls, playing upright bass in the Lonesome Rogues bluegrass band at Wonder's Pub. Then she got the itch to start writing original music. "I ended up quitting the band," she says. "I was tired of playing bass and cover songs." more

Dec 8, 2011 3:00 PM MUSIC

I wrote my first story for "Isthmus" 12 years ago. It was a piece about the underage music venue the New Loft being evicted from their space on Fairchild Street to make way, ironically, for "the arts district." This column is my last. A new job and life changes are taking me in a different direction. It feels like the right time to put closure on 15 years of freelancing about the Madison music scene. more

Dec 8, 2011 3:00 PM MUSIC

Last year, my favorite local music video was the well-known, Badger-boosting short film, "Teach Me How to Bucky." The mood of this year's winning video is altogether different. more

Dec 6, 2011 8:00 PM MUSIC

Madison musicians created another bucketload of great recorded music this year. They put out more than 100 long and extended play albums during the last 12 months, cutting across all genres. more

Dec 6, 2011 8:00 PM MUSIC

Sound waves pierced the Capitol Square more than usual this year. Between the protest chants, there was music. Sometimes the two were inseparable. Nine monotone notes, distinguished by a one-of-a-kind time pattern, became a clarion call across downtown: "This is what democracy looks like!" The anthem was tapped out on car horns. It was beaten on drums. It was wheezed by snarky kazoos. more

Dec 1, 2011 3:00 PM MUSIC

Rap may once have been a renegade genre, but today it's a predictable pop radio staple, an essential ingredient for record producers looking to make a hit, alongside beats and catchy melodies. So many hit radio singles have song structures in which the chorus is sung and the verses are rapped. more

Dec 1, 2011 3:00 PM MUSIC

Fambly Fun! have carved out their own little corner of the Madison music scene. It's a place where hip-hop, pop and electronica collide. Fambly Fun! don't take themselves seriously. After all, this is a band that is most comfortable with no fixed lineup and has members with names like C.D. Sandwich and Turkey Boy. more

Nov 23, 2011 3:00 PM MUSIC

Finding the local band that's right for you is a lot like finding a romantic partner. You want one that's talented, looks good and doesn't sound too abrasive. And since everyone seems to be finding romance on the Internet these days, why not venture online to discover your musical soulmate? more

Nov 23, 2011 3:00 PM MUSIC

I've long admired this Madison rock trio for their tireless work ethic. Come weekends, they are road-bound for less glamorous parts of Wisconsin, where live gigs are still uncommon enough to be a big deal. more

Nov 23, 2011 3:00 PM MUSIC

The Loft at the Goodman Community Center on Waubesa Street is an incubator for Dane County's high school bands. Last month, Verona's Modern Mod proved that some teenagers still prefer alt-rock to rap-pop. The coed five-piece group won the Loft's Battle of the Bands competition. more

Nov 10, 2011 3:00 PM MUSIC

June Millington was 13 when her family moved from the Philippines to Sacramento, Calif. The year was 1961. "We felt blatant prejudice when we first came here," she says. "It was horrible." But June and her sister Jean knew how to play ukulele, and they used their musical talent to win friends. "We played at the junior high school variety show," recalls June. "Kids started coming up to us and telling us they liked it. So it dawned on us this was a way to make friends." more

Nov 10, 2011 3:00 PM MUSIC

The Indigo Girls' most famous song includes a line that suggests the limits of spiritual and political engagement: "The less I seek my source for some definitive, the closer I am to fine." It's from the song "Closer to Fine," off their self-titled 1989 album. more

Nov 3, 2011 2:00 PM MUSIC

Joe Nosek made a hobby of perusing the pop albums archived at the Whitewater public library when he was a kid. The Rolling Stones were among his favorites. "I would study the back of the album and see all the Jagger/Richards songwriting credits," says Nosek. "But I would also see names like Chester Burnett, and that made me want to dig deeper to find out who these other songwriters were." more

Oct 27, 2011 2:00 PM MUSIC

Madison blues band Aaron Williams and the Hoodoo have been placed on the official ballot of the 2012 Grammy Awards by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. The categories are Best New Artist and Best Blues Album. Academy members must cast their votes by Nov. 2. more

Oct 27, 2011 2:00 PM MUSIC

Last August, Straight No Chaser singer Dave Roberts got a note from a female fan who'd been wowed by his stage presence at an Atlantic City show. "I was lucky enough to sit near the front and really got to experience the eye contact and famous Dave Roberts smiles that everyone is talking about," she wrote. "I love your baritone voice." more

Oct 20, 2011 2:00 PM MUSIC

Along with Green Day and Jimmy Eat World, Chicago's Smoking Popes helped pioneer the melodic pop-punk movement of the early 1990s. In 2011, they are sounding as youthful as ever. That's due in part to "This Is Only a Test", a new album that shines a light on life from a teenager's perspective. more

Oct 13, 2011 2:00 PM MUSIC

This Madison-based indie-rock trio stick with the wistful sound they carved out on their 2009 debut CD, "Coffins". On "Anywhere You Go," the modest tempo, delicate breaks, lo-fi production and waves of reverb all sync with chords that evoke the tender side of love. The easygoing vibe continues on "Mornings at the Bar," whose meandering electric guitar notes are drenched in foggy emotion. more

Oct 13, 2011 2:00 PM MUSIC

What suspense is there, really, in putting on a new Lou and Peter Berryman album? The Madison folk duo have played shows together for nearly as long as the combined age of freshmen roommates in the UW-Madison dorms. On the 11 other albums they've released since 1990, we've grown familiar with the way Lou's accordion skips along in gleeful and playful time with Peter's guitar. more

Oct 13, 2011 2:00 PM MUSIC

Madeleine Peyroux sings in French with the same grace and dexterity as when she sings in English. It's a talent that casts her as exotic, cosmopolitan and European, despite the fact that she was born in Athens, Ga. Now Peyroux is trying to forge a new persona to broaden her identity beyond the jazz-pop genre. more

Oct 6, 2011 2:00 PM MUSIC

It's not every day that Merrill, Wis., turns out a goth-industrial-electro music artist who earns a significant fan base throughout Europe and the United States. But that's just what Zola Jesus has done. She logged time in Madison, too. During her time as a student at UW, she began the musical recording path that propelled her to international recognition. more

Sep 29, 2011 2:00 PM MUSIC