Andrew Brandt

For the first time since 2010, we did not see albums dropped by any of the three national darlings from Wisconsin: PHOX, Field Report or Justin Vernon. That left the field wide open for debuts by newcomers and some excellent sophomore successes. Read more

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Milwaukee’s Midnight Reruns was forged out of a previous group (the Sleazybeats) and blends punk, classic rock and pop into lively, addictive anthems. The four-piece band plays at Mickey’s Tavern on Oct. 22 and releases a new album the next day. Read more


Erasing the boundaries between high and low, serious and silly, our fall arts preview has something for everyone. Read more

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Robert Zammarchi

Our fall music preview includes nearly 100 concerts, ranging from local up-and-comers to national touring acts and venues as tiny as Dragonfly Lounge to as gigantic as the Kohl Center. On the Madison music scene, there's room for everyone. Read more

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Erik Ljung

A collaborative, multimedia venture of Milwaukee-based percussionist Jon Mueller, Death Blues will hold a final performance June 10. The project takes the finality of death and uses it as a catalyst to celebrate life. Read more


Appleton. Chicago. Eau Claire. Madison. Milwaukee. Spring Green. The days when Summerfest was the only game in town are long gone. Read more

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Dave Maupin

A number of non-mainstream bands — including METZ, FIDLAR, Nothing and Merchandise, each playing in Madison in the coming days — are hoping to broaden their audience by using a method that doesn’t rely on 21st century technology: co-headlining tours. Read more


This year’s Revelry Music and Arts Festival on May 2 boasts 21 student-friendly acts on three stages, at Library Mall and Memorial Union Terrace. Revelry also features art installations, food vendors and a silent disco. Read more


Isthmus recently spoke with Joe Pug about four of his favorite tracks, which he played during an Isthmus Live Sessions performance in January. Pug returns to Madison April 10 for a concert at the High Noon Saloon. Read more



Daniel Silbert

Bleachers' "Strange Desire" is the rare rock record that's both a soundtrack for summer cookouts as well as personal crises. Now this side project is a full-time gig for fun. guitarist Jack Antonoff. He visits Majestic Madison on March 31. Read more



Søren Solkær

Isthmus recently spoke with keyboardist and founding member Chris Geddes about the band’s quietly influential career. Belle and Sebastian will perform their first-ever concert in Wisconsin at Overture Hall on April 4. Read more


Chance the Rapper and the Social Experiment, the Chainsmokers and AlunaGeorge head up the one-day festival, the UW-Madison's end-of-school student celebration, this year at the Library Mall, on Saturday, May 2. Read more



Matthew Bushey

Willy Porter's latest release, "Human Kindness," showcases his charming songs and masterful guitar work. If you want to dive into the back catalog before his March 28 show, these seven songs are excellent entry points. Read more


Just because a performance is acoustic doesn't mean it can't rock. In their Feb. 21 visit to Isthmus, frontman Rob Grote and drummer Braden Lawrence showcased what makes the Districts such a compelling live act: their bold, baby-faced energy. Read more

Isthmus Live Sessions


Ryan Farber

The Districts aren't a young band. Its members have been playing together since late 2009. But they "are" a band of youngsters: Groupmates Pat Cassidy, Rob Grote, Connor Jacobs and Braden Lawrence still can't legally sip beers at the bars they play. Read more


Just as music lovers emerge from hibernation, so do their favorite acts. There's no better time than spring to catch buzzed-about artists before they hit it big or to enjoy a beloved band testing out new material. Read more



Steve Gullick

For some musicians, it only takes one or two albums to ascend the ladder of success. But singer-songwriter Damien Jurado has seen too many artists from the Pacific Northwest catapult to fame then crash and burn. Read more



Benjamin Nadler

New York-based comedian Demetri Martin is poised to record a new standup special this spring, release a book of illustrated short stories this summer and finish editing his directorial film debut — starring Kevin Kline — later this year. Read more



Michelle Mosqueda

Cold War Kids weren't literally kids when they dropped their infectious single "Hang Me Up to Dry" in 2007. But the band, founded in 2004 by Nathan Willett and Matt Maust, was young enough to stand out in a crowd of fresh-faced indie rockers. Five al Read more


Origin stories are used in comic books as a way to familiarize readers with how heroes or villains became their super selves. Fittingly, origin stories are almost always placed at the beginning of the story. Read more