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King Llama - photo by Chad Elder

KING LLAMA

An interview with Ryan Bailey, Guitarist for King LLama
by Mike Huberty
October 2017

Progressive music takes precision and concentration. Time signatures change, genres bend in and out into one another, and a song can start in one place and end somewhere entirely unexpected. It’s this adventurous fusion of jazz, rock, and funk that KING LLAMA prides themselves on. A Los Angeles power trio consisting of guitarist Ryan Tanner Bailey, drummer Luis Briones, and bassist Nico Staub, KING LLAMA has toured from Illinois to Argentina with their instrumental fusion and they’re coming back to the Midwest on their latest tour. We talked with Ryan to get a little taste of what the intrepid music of KING LLAMA is all about.


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320 ViewsPermalinkKING LLAMA Website
Cold Black Ribver

Cold Black River

An interview with Cold Black River bassist and vocalist Eric Cobb
by Mike Huberty
October 2017

A fat sludge of doom-y sound slithering right into your earholes, COLD BLACK RIVER is Madison’s minor chord distorted retort to the happy Electronic Pop on the radio. If you haven’t heard Doom rock before, think of it as slower blues-based heavy riffs with deep bellowing vocals. And the lyrics are usually about something horrific, like the fact that there is no God, but if there was he would hate you. Or monsters and demons eating your soul, killing children, etc… stuff like that. It’s called DOOM for a reason!


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Janesville's VERSUS ME - photo by Elizabeth Wadium

VERSUS ME

An interview with Janesville metal band, VERSUS ME
by Mike Huberty
September 2017

Janesville’s VERSUS ME is talented AF. If you like hard rock there’s lots to like. Singer James Milbrandt has a fantastic voice when he’s singing, usually on the chorus ‘cuz the verses are always gutteral, more percussive than melodic. Bassist Lee Milbrandt and guitarists Patrick Thompson and Clint Greendeer are super heavy (but maybe give the 6-stringers a solo a sometime, c’mon!) On recordings, drummer Dustin Helgestad sounds like triggers and MIDI, but that’s the way heavy rock sounds now, if he can even play half of it live, then he’s awesome.

Alright, this all makes me sound like an old man (back in my day, drummers had to do cardio to be able to double kick!) The fact is, these guys are on the upswing with cool videos, major label level production, and you just know that they’re going to be rock n’ roll heroes with the hometown Janesville crowd at WJJO Sonic Boom - and they’re better than half the stuff JJO plays most of the time. I watched all their videos and then talked to them about their upcoming performance, influences, and more. Sunday October 1st they’ll be performing early, so don’t get too drunk on Saturday and come down and see these guys!


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678 ViewsPermalinkVERSUS ME Wiki
J Marsden

J MARSDEN

An Interview with Singer/Songwriter J. Marsden
by Mike Huberty
August 2017

Former WALL OF FUNK leader J. MARSDEN has consistently been one of Madison’s most underrated guitarists. With plenty of technical skill, a great sense of melody and most importantly, a surplus of heart, Joe’s first solo album, Gravity is a mix between ALICE IN CHAINS (Sap and Jar of Flies specifically), DAYS OF THE NEW (lower-register vocal melodies and hooks), and RADIOHEAD (expert guitar work ala The Bends).


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349 ViewsPermalinkJ MARSDEN Website
Porky's Groove Machine from Appleton, WI

Porky’s Groove Machine

An interview with nerd-funkers Porky's Groove Machine
by Mike Huberty
July 2017

With their tongues firmly planted in their cheeks, Appleton’s PORKY’S GROOVE MACHINE plays campus-ready dance-able white guy funk that is ready to help you get on with your baddest self. They’ve got tracks like a “PSA (Porky’s Service Announcement)” proclaiming to “Don’t be silly, wrap your willy!” or with titles like “Hey! Fatballs!”, so you might have guessed that their music isn’t quite the deep introspective soul-searching kind.


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The Claudettes from Chicago

The CLAUDETTES

An interview with Johnny Iguana, founder and pianist in punk-blues act, The Claudettes
by Mike Huberty
June 2017

After spending the 2000s with Chicago indie rock/popsters, OH MY GOD, keyboardist and singer JOHNNY IGUANA started a piano/drum band in 2011 as the house act at a little Illinois bar called Claudette’s (and named themselves after the club and its wild owner.) Starting with good old American Roots music, he began borrowing elements from punk, blues, jazz, and even classical to create their sound and since the spare beginning they’ve added more musicians to the mix to fill out the sonic spectrum. In addition to Johnny Iguana on piano and vocals, THE CLAUDETTES are Berit Ulseth on vocals, Zach Verdoorn on bass/vocals, Matt Torre on drums. We talked with Mister Iguana to discuss their upcoming show at AtwoodFest at 2pm on July 29th.


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647 ViewsPermalinkCLAUDETTES Website

The Mannish Boys

An interview with Jesse Steinberg, Guitarist for Mannish Boys
by Mike Huberty
April 2017

Jesse Steinberg, the guitarist from THE MANNISH BOYS is on a mission to dispel the myth of Blues music as a genre for sad sacks whining about wayward women, downtrodden men, and lives lived too hard. They call themselves “booty-shakin’ blues” and Steinberg, a professor at the University of Wisconsin, has even authored a book on Blues Music and Philosophy.  The rest of the band is Andy Smith on vocals, Paul Schwoerer on harmonica, Jesse Olson on piano, Tim Payne on bass, and Johnny Watson on drums. We talked with Steinberg about THE MANNISH BOYS and their upcoming show at Capital Brewery on May 2nd.


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1360 ViewsPermalinkMannish Boys Website
Ladyscissors

Madcity Nights - March 2017

Previews of shows around the Madison, Wisconsin area for March 2017
by Max Ink
March 2017

Previews of shows around the Madison, Wisconsin area for March 2017


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Lou Shields

Lou Shields

An interview with Americana original, Lou Shields
by Mike Huberty
February 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.


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1569 ViewsPermalinkLou Shields Website
Fin Zipper

Fin Zipper

An interview with Madison psychedelic rockers, Fin Zipper
by Mike Huberty
February 2017

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.


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1224 ViewsPermalinkFin Zipper Website
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