Rock of the Arts

... all indie, all the time



Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires' "Sweet Disorder!" b/w “Stars” single dedicated to the memory of pioneering openly gay Birmingham musician

Lee Baines

Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires are not your stereotypical southern rock band. The Alabama foursome have roots from Birmingham steeped in blistering guitars and piercing lead solos, but you won't find them defending the Confederate Flag. You will find introspective lyrics dealing with social and political issues packaged into one hell of a live show.


Eaux Claires’ Justin Vernon and Aaron Dessner challenge the music festival status quo

Justin Vernon Aaron Desser

The inaugural Eaux Claires Music and Arts Festival will put Wisconsin on the alternative leaning map Friday and Saturday. The two day extravaganza featuring headliners Bon Iver, The National, Spoon, Sufjan Stevens and 38 other artists is one of the largest independent music festivals to ever grace the Badger State.


Acoustic Minstrels: Jonny Fritz, Matt Vasquez, Robert Ellis and Ian O’Neil hit King Street

Delta Spirit and friends
L to R, Jonny Fritz, Matt Vasquez, Robert Ellis & Ian O'Neil 

What does any smart touring indie ensemble do on their night off in Wisconsin? You park your tour bus on East Doty Street in downtown Madison and take in the vibe of the Capitol Square. To keep your chops fresh, maybe put together a free impromptu acoustic show at Ancora Coffee Roasters? That's exactly what Delta Spirit and a few close friends did on a quiet Tuesday evening.


All hail to Royal Blood! UK power duo delivers while Mini Mansions impress

Royal Blood

There’s an old adage in rock n roll “blowing the doors off a venue.” In the case of Royal Blood, it’s blowing out the circuit breakers.

Bassist Mike Kerr and drummer Ben Thatcher have been on quite a whirlwind since we saw them opening for the Pixies in Madison last fall. The duo won the Brit Award for Best British Group presented to them in London by none other than Jimmy Page. Their debut self-titled album released ten months ago just surged into the top ten in America, while their sold-out club tour is a warm up for dates with Foo Fighters. Hard rock fans with a liking toward blues-based influences flocked to the High Noon Saloon in Madison selling out the show well in advance.


Brooklyn sax/synth wiz Jonah Parzen-Johnson melds analog sounds with Google Maps

Jonah Parzen-Johnson

Jonah Parzen-Johnson is a Brooklyn, by way of Chicago, purist who records live saxophone and analog synth on two track tape without loops or overdubs. The experimental soloist is on tour supporting a new album Remember When Things Were Better Tomorrow on Primary Records. Parzen-Johnson stops by Bright Red Studios in Madison on Saturday night for a musical conversation about the negative effects of nostalgia on creativity and his crusade to look to the future for inspiration. He refers to his creative energy as lo-fi folk with a minimalist synth attitude.

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Rock of the Arts

Club Crawl

w/ Simon Balto
Majestic Theatre
Thu, August 6

& Webster X
w/ Noname Gypsy
Memorial Union Terrace
Thu, August 6 (Free!)

Mile of Music
Downtown Appleton
Thu, Aug 6 - Sun, Aug 9

Live on King Street
feat. Sonny Knight
& The Lakers
w/ Water Liars,
The Jimmys
Majestic Theatre (outside)
Fri, August 7 (Free!)

Steve Earle & the Dukes
w/ The Mastersons
Barrymore Theatre
Sat, August 8

Ha Ha Tonka
w/ The Sharrows
Memorial Union Terrace
Sat, August 8 (Free!)

I Am Chris Farley
(Documentary Premiere)
Orpheum Theater
Sat, August 8 (7pm)

Live on King Street
feat. Dessa
w/ Astronautalis, F. Stokes, Marrow
Majestic Theatre (outside)
Fri, August 21 (Free!)

James Vincent McMorrow
w/ Kevin Garrett
Majestic Theatre
Tue, August 25

Earth w/ Holy Sons,
Droids Attack
The Frequency
Tues, Sept. 8

Eagles of Death Metal
High Noon Saloon
Thu, Sept. 10 (sold-out)
w/ TBA
Orpheum Theater
Fri, Sept. 11

Mikal Cronin
w/ The Cairo Gang
High Noon Saloon
Fri, Sept. 11
Low w/ Andy Shauf
High Noon Saloon
Fri, Sept. 18

Live on King Street
feat. Benjamin Booker
w/ Hippo Campus and
The Hussy
Majestic Theatre (Outside)
Fri, Sept. 18 (Free!)
Father John Misty
w/ TBA
Orpheum Theater
Sun, Sept. 20
w/ Twin Peaks,
Steep Leans
Majestic Theatre
Mon, Sept. 21
Zola Jesus
Memorial Union
Shannon Hall
Thu, Sept. 24 (Free!)
Holly Miranda
w/ Gracie & Rachel
The Frequency
Fri, Sept. 25
Toro Y Moi
w/ Astronauts, etc.
Majestic Theater
Fri, Sept. 25
Heartless Bastards
w/ Alberta Cross
Majestic Theatre
Sat, Sept. 26

The Decemberists
w/ Olivia Chaney
Overture Hall
Wed, Sept. 30
Avett Brothers
w/ Brett Dennen
Nicole Atkins
Breeze Stevens Field
Fri, Oct. 2 (sold out!)


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