Eclectic Vibes - August 2013

by Andrew Frey

Madison brews up some amazing FREE shows and these are certainly a couple of them! The versatile and ever-amazing Keller Williams will be playing the “Live on King St” concert series, which takes place on King Street in front of the Majestic Theater. On 8/16 catch Keller along with Steez and Evergreen Grass Band, followed on 8/23 with the equally incredible Reverend Horton Heat plus Wayne “The Train” Hancock and White Iron Band. WOOT!
Somehow surviving since the 70s, the rock band The Sweet is still dishing out their hits and will be appearing a the Watertown River Festival on 8/8. Known for their classics, Ballroom Blitz, Love is Like Oxygen and Fox on the Run, this musical relic will certainly stir memories and invoke the spirit of the 70’s. Other headliners include Soul Asylum on 8/9, Sal Llanas Band (former Bodeans) on 8/10 and The Fabulous Thunderbirds on 8/11.

This Month's Rating Scale is from 1 is Transgressive - 10 is Trans-harmonic

Michael Franti and Spearhead - All People

Michael Franti and Spearhead - All People

Michael Franti and Spearhead

Album title: All People
Record Label: Universal
Rating: 9

Celebrating the beauty of diversity through peaceful, loving melodies and lyrics is a trademark of Franti and crew. Now, 8 studio albums in, Franti has still managed to cling to the peace-loving, socially active principals that propelled him to this point. Supremely danceable grooves and compelling anthemic pop delights will again and again have you on your feet and shaking your wild thang. See them on 9/25 at the Orpheum Theater in Madison, WI. 

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Michael Franti and Spearhead online:

Download All People from Amazon
Purchase All People on Amazon

The Green - Hawai’i 13

The Green - Hawai’i 13

The Green

Album title: Hawai’i 13
Record Label: Easy Star Records
Rating: 9

After chart-topping success (#1 Billboard and iTunes Reggae) and high profile awards (iTunes Best Reggae Album 2010), The Green’s third release focuses on their homeland by charting a journey through Hawaiian life and music in 2013. Boasting 4 singers amid the 5 separate song writers in a 6 member group results in grand diversity amongst the stability of their reggae roots. 

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The The Green online:

Download Hawai’i 13 from Amazon
Purchase Hawai’i 13 on Amazon

Pretty Lights - A Color Map of the Sun

Pretty Lights - A Color Map of the Sun

Pretty Lights

Album title: A Color Map of the Sun
Record Label: Pretty Lights Music
Rating: 10

After three years of gestation, experimentation, and community-building, Derek Vincent Smith, AKA Pretty Lights, has unfurled one of the most anticipated releases of 2013. Over the last year he collaborated with fellow musicians of all ages and genres, creating a musical journal of their activities (and made a video of it) that emulated time periods spanning the last century, which were then pressed to vinyl and used in conjunction with a custom built analog synth to create his latest masterpiece, with the title inspired by Isaac Newton.

On first listen, the release might blend into a jungle of glitch-ridden jazzy atmospheres, but soon your mind will decipher and unravel the many layers of depth and beauty hidden in each track. Ear candy of the highest order! Like all of his music the entire thing available completely for FREE. But he has also printed hard copies on CD and Vinyl which along with an enormous amount of other fantastic and fashionable PL goodies are available at the PL web page.

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Pretty Lights online:

Download A Color Map of the Sun from Amazon

Tal National - Kaani

Tal National - Kaani

Tal National

Album title: Kaani
Record Label: FatCat
Rating: 8

Before becoming the national treasure and pop phenomenon of the West African country of Niger, Tal National honed their craft for 6 long years before recording their first release. Known for their playing all-night-long shows five nights a week in their native country, the band rose to huge success and are in high demand.

Kaani, their first international release, is sung all in Zarma, Haossa (Niger’s main languages), and French. It is a non-stop flurry of Afropop with dancing guitar melodies combined with traditional regional inflections and percussion plus touches of desert blues and soukous that deftly combines the traditional with the modern. Their first international tour stops on 9/21 in Milwaukee, WI at Global Union Festival: Humbolt Park Bandshell.

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Tal National online:

Purchase Kaani on Amazon