Courtney Barnett: Aussie with an attitude

Courtney Barnett

Maybe it's because the ozone layer is thinner over Australia that so many great rock bands come from Down Under. Too much ultra violet radiation can make you crazy. Take Courtney Barnett, the Melbourne rocker has single handedly reignited the torch for female guitar savvy heroics with witty lyrics and lots of attitude.

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Foxygen proves breaking up is hard to do

Foxygen

Foxygen have always been shrouded in controversy, whether it was backstage feuding, freaking out at SXSW or the recent declaration that the current ...And Star Power tour would be their last. Nothing like pumping up your ticket sales with a false impending final tour announcement, and the band wonders why their music takes a backseat to gossip fodder. Tonight, the capacity crowd at the Sett in Madison got a first-hand look at the chaotic live show that harnesses the friction, energy and unpredictability of the Foxygen ethos. 

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Jason Narducy of Split Single has deep indie-rock roots that started with '80s punk scene

Jason Narducy

Jason Narducy keeps his indie sideman credentials intact. Having played bass and provided backing vocals for such underground icons as Bob Mould, Robert Pollard, Superchunk and Seattle’s Telekinesis, Narducy is stepping out front as a guitarist with a new project christened Split Single.

“I was happy being a band guy, and still am,” explains Jason. “I’ve had enough day jobs to realize this is the best one ever, but I ended up writing forty more songs. I realized I had to do something with them.”

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Reptar continues Athens, Georgia tradition of eclectic weirdness

Reptar

Reptar can't be categorized, no matter how hard people try. Pitchfork described the band as “Afro-tribal-electro-twee-pop” for college kids who “seriously like nothing more than to throw the fuck down." We're not sure what that means but the jist is good.

Reptar fuses horns, keyboards, guitars and drums into a lethal dose of spontaneous progressive weirdness as evidenced by their latest album Lurid Glow. The band has played Madison before and their intense live shows pique your curiosity about what's in the water and music scene of Athens, Georgia. 

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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.

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