by Max Ink
Previews of shows around the Madison, Wisconsin area for March 2017
Previews of shows around the Madison, Wisconsin area for March 2017
Old-school Americana artist Lou Shields is a recent Wisconsin transplant who has been touring the world for years. Originally from Chicago, Lou recreates the sound of an era before Modern Pop and Rock n’ Roll. While originally influenced by modern artists from MISFITS to MY BLOODY VALENTINE, he’s taken up the mantle of a style that predates Billboard and American Bandstand, before superstars and music moguls. It’s the tradition of the traveling troubadour singing for his supper. While growing up in Chicago and spending much of his adult life on the road, he’s recently relocated to a cabin on a homestead in rural Wisconsin’s Driftless Region. His latest release, Bad Ax County comes out this month and people can pick up a copy for themselves at The Crystal Corner on February 18th or The Woodshed Ale House in Sauk City on February 26th.
One of the fun parts about living in a college town like Madison is the influx of musicians who come into the city for school, constantly bringing new energy to a music scene. While university students often stay in their bubble and don’t venture out to the rest of the live scene, FIN ZIPPER has been exploring the edges of psychedelic rock all over town. The band is Seth Hasseler and Jon Porter on guitars and backing vocals, Dan Graf on drums, and Alex Ferron on low-end and lead vox (who plays a lot like another Madison band with jammy tendencies, THE GUPPY EFFECT’s Joe Leonard, and come to think of it, I’ve never seen them in the same room!) With a growing live schedule and a Southern tour planned for this Spring (over Break, natch!) FIN ZIPPER is looking to break out of the college rock bubble and make a dent in the Madison jam and rock scene.
Pop-punk with a science fiction and humorous bent, Madison’s DOCTOR NOISE plays hooky and fun rock songs that can swerve from psychedelic singalong (“Crazy Town”) one minute to straight up Doctor Who tribute (“Captain Jack Harkness”, “The Blue Box”) the next. What started as a solo music project of YouTuber Bill Martin is now a full-fledged band with guitarist Tim Budzsiewski and drummer Jon Kussow (also in GOVERNMENT ZERO) and bassist Joe Golemb (also a horn player in 4 ASPIRIN MORNING.) We talked with Martin about the band’s upcoming performance at The Frequency on Friday, January 13th.
With quirky songs about murder and mayhem, Madison’s SPARKLEFUCK is all about a punky and poppy sound about taboo topics and a ridiculous stage show. Male and female vocals collide with circus keyboards and aggressive bass to cultivate an unconventional sound that’s undeniably fun. While the band stopped playing regularly in 2015, they’re reuniting for a special pre-New Years party at The Frequency on December 30th. We talked with the whole band, including vocalists Sascha Strange and Susan Galasso, guitarist Kyle Jaco, and bassist Ryan Schremp.
Madison native Noah Gilfillan might have moved to the Midwest artistic meccas of Minnesota’s Twin Cities, but he keeps true to his Wisconsin roots. His release party for the latest effort of his electronic music creator identity NØÅ will be at The Frequency in Madison on December 23rd, kicking off the Christmas weekend. We talked with Noah about the new release, entitled I Was Sleeping, I Just Woke Up… Robots Coming! and what people can expect from the show.
With traditional rock n’ roll licks, bluesy vocals, and even a little bit of twang for good measure, Madison’s HICKORY ROAD is grown-up Hipster-Beard-free heartfelt Americana music. You can hear the years spent listening to the classic rock of LYNYRD SKYNYRD to NEIL YOUNG in their music and they’ve got a laid back 70s vibe. Forming in 2014, the band the band is Mike Pindilli on vocals and guitar, drummer Lars Forde, Herb Charlan on guitar, Derrick Henrickson on bass, and Merle Bailey keys and the saxophone. We took a little time to talk to the band about their upcoming performance at Yahara Bay Distillery on November 18th.
MI: What was the big inspiration for you guys to get into music in the first place?
HERB CHARLAN: Like Hank Williams Jr said…“It’s a family tradition.” Something we individually have always done in some capacity.
MI: Who were your favorite artists growing up?
HC: Stevie Wonder, Hendrix, Jessie Johnson, The Doors, Tim Alexander, really…too many to list… life.
Female-fronted rock with a Pat Benatar-vibe, Madison’s INSTEAD WE SMILE is vocalist Amanda Ikens, bassist Ed Feeny, guitarist Jeff Muendel, and drummer Tom Pier. They are debuting their first release, Earthly Stew at Chief’s Tavern on October 22nd. It’s a free show and people will be able to pick up vinyl copies of the new music.
Two-man heavy metal juggernaut BIRTH OF TRAGEDY ripped through the Madison scene in the late 90s and early 2000s with a blend of prog and hardcore. Singer/guitarist Cory Divine and drummer Ryan Peterson delivered a concentrated sonic enema of what they called “Cathartic Metal” that was often more about emotional release than it was about entertainment. After quickly becoming Midwest metal darlings and even a tour with MUDVAYNE, the duo decided to take a break from the music and since 2002 have only sporadically recorded and released music. The good news is that they’re back this month for the Maximum Ink Halloween Spooktacular on October 29th and we spoke with Cory from the band about what they’ve been up to and where they’re going.
MAXIMUM INK: BIRTH OF TRAGEDY is back after a hiatus. On your Facebook page, you mention success and excess getting to your heads, what does that mean?
CORY DIVINE: Part of that is just Spinal Tap-esque sarcasm. Like one of the final scenes where they’re talking about what happens after the band ends, “The end is something that’s happening, but not happening”. Funny thing is, I think we may have been at that very pool side roof top when we played in Hollywood with MUDVAYNE many years ago. On a more serious note, we just kind of moved into a different chapter of life for a while, domestication, families, careers, school, etc… Ryan and I are pretty much best friends so this band has always been an extension of that, ever since we drifted away from “rock” per se and started delving into heavier territory when we were about 20, we’ve always stayed connected. Our families are close, we still go to shows together, hang out all the time. There were months that would go by where the drums/guitars sat idle in the basement but yet we always stayed connected. If we felt the itch, we’d rock out a few old ones, but it wasn’t really until last fall when I started seriously writing again that things began to take form for this new chapter.
The first time I attended Harvest Fest was during my Freshman year of college at UW-Madison. I was walking down State Street when I noticed way more hippies and much more marijuana smell in the air than usual. In 1995 and my first year of living in Madison, hippies and open pot smoking was still kind of a novelty for me, so I figured it was some kind of holiday. People were marching down State Street just toking in the streets while police watched. I had to ask one of the passersby what the Hell was going on, did I walk into some kind of universe where the Drug War never existed?
Partners: Rökker Vodka