Rock of the Arts

... all indie, all the time

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Milwaukee road trip with King Tuff, Cassie Ramone, Whips

King Tuff
Kyle Thomas aka King Tuff

Madison usually satisfies my craving for emerging independent touring acts, but every now and then a band bypasses us for no apparent reason. Tonight, I’m headed to the Cactus Club in Milwaukee to check out King Tuff and former Vivian Girl Cassie Ramone.

The Cactus Club reminds me of a slightly larger version of the Frequency in Madison, complete with a back room where the bands play. An added bonus is Club Garibaldi, a local music hangout and venue just down the street within walking distance.


Anna Vogelzang on Wintersong and Second Harvest Foodbank

Anna Vogelzang

Folk songstress Anna Vogelzang had no idea a few original Christmas songs added to her set list at the now defunct Project Lodge several years ago would grow into such a large charity event. Wintersong hatched in true DIY fashion from a grassroots effort to celebrate Christmas and help those in need during the holiday season. 

With contributions from an array of local musician friends, Anna is now spearheading the effort to bring the festive giving spirit of Wintersong to the Barrymore Theatre on Saturday, December 13th. This year’s lineup includes Madison musicians Count This Penny, Corey Hart, Paul Otteson & Faux Fawn, Whitney Mann, Crane Your Swan Neck, and Dietrich Gosser. All donations benefit Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin. Anna took some time out from her hectic schedule to talk about the upcoming show.


Dolores picks up PHOX among new fans


A funny thing happened to Dolores after their first club gig at the High Noon Saloon in October. They got popular. Within two weeks of the High Noon Saloon show, Dolores was opening for Australian psychsters POND and picking up a slew of new fans in the process.


Pixies rule with Royal Blood!


Maybe there is life after a reunion tour. I was leery of this Pixies show, having never seen them live back when grunge and flannel shirts were all the rage. Could they still be relevant without the nostalgia baggage? The band had recently released a new album for the first time in ten years erasing the stigma of the never ending reunion tour that hints of cashing in. Isn’t Kiss still on their final reunion tour that began in 1996?


Sleeping in the Aviary alumnus Elliott Kozel performs Tickle Torture on Minneapolis

Tickle Torture

Elliott Kozel was never one for boring live shows. No indie-folk snooze-a-thons or pretentious guitar solos. His quirky old band Sleeping in the Aviary used to call Madison home before pulling up anchor and heading to Minneapolis five years ago. In true rock n roll fashion, the band fell on hard times and broke up in 2012.

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Rock of the Arts

Club Crawl

w/ St. Paul Slim,
Charles Grant,
Chris LaBella,
High Noon Saloon
Sat, Jan. 31 

Yonatan Gat (NYC)
(former Monotonix guitarist)
 w/ Lover's Spit, Fire Retarded, The Amigos
The Frequency
Tue, Feb. 3

and Rob Sonic
w/ DJ Abilities
& Homeboy Sandman
Barrymore Theatre
Tue, Feb. 3

Wild Child
w/ Cheers Elephant
The Frequency
Wed, Feb.4
Sturgill Simpson
w/ Anderson East
Majestic Theatre
Wed, Feb. 4

JOHN MARK NELSON w/ The Ragbirds
The Frequency
Thur, Feb 5
Local H
w/ The Traveling Suitcase
Bron Sage
High Noon Saloon
Fri, Feb. 13
Nikki Lane
w/ Jonny Fritz,
Hugh Bob
High Noon Saloon
Sun, Feb. 15

Hey Rosetta
w/ Communist Daughter
The Frequency
Wed, Feb. 18
Portland Cello Project
Honoring Elliott Smith
High Noon Saloon
Thu, Feb. 19

w/ Open Mike Eagle,
Greg Grease
Majestic Theatre
Sat, Feb. 21

The Districts
w/ Pine Barons
High Noon Saloon
Sat, Feb. 21

w/ Rochelle Jordan
and DPAT
Memorial Union
Sat, Feb, 21 (Free!)

w/ Disappears &
DJ Tolerance
The Frequency
Sun, Feb. 22
Robyn Hitchcock
w/ Emma Swift
High Noon Saloon
Mon, Feb. 23

The Growlers
w/ TBA
High Noon Saloon
Tues, Feb. 24

w/ Turbo Suit
Orpheum Theater
Fri, Feb. 27

High Noon Saloon
Wed, March 4

Helmet "Betty"
20th Anniversary Show
High Noon Saloon
Thur, March 12

w/ Gateway Drugs
High Noon Saloon
Fri, March 13

The King Khan & BBQ Show w/ Milk Lines
High Noon Saloon
Sun, March 15

w/ Dylan Ryan Sand,
See Through Dresses
High Noon Saloon
Thurs, March 19

w/ Split Single
The Frequency
Mon, March 30

Belle and Sebastian
w/ Honeyblood
Overture Hall
Sat, Apr 4

w/ TBA
The Sett - Union South
Fri, April 10 (Free!)

Diarrhea Planet
w/ Lee Bains
& the Glory Fires,
Fire Retarded
High Noon Saloon
Wed, April 22 
w/ Sarah Neufeld
of Arcade Fire
Orpheum Theater
Tue, May 26


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