Saturday at Der Rathskeller: Paper Mache

Who is Paper Mache?

Paper Mache is an alternative/indie rock band from Austin, TX. Headed by frontman Chelsea Seth Woodward, the band developed a cult-like following by playing over 450 shows in the two years following their first album release, Easier to Lose.


The band combines genuine, heartfelt lyrics with soothing instrumentals and catchy melodies. It’s the lyrics that will get you, though. Chelsea Seth Woodward is undoubtedly a master storyteller. In fact, I remember the first time I saw the band live–at a warehouse festival in Dubuque, IA. Woodward headlined as a solo acoustic artist. The packed warehouse swayed, trance-like, for the entire set of this Spokane-based artist. Songs like this make it easy to see why:

Videos like this make it even more apparent:

So if you’re looking for a chill Saturday night in Madison, head to Der Rathskeller for a FREE show, featuring fresh talent that you’ll be glad you discovered. Show starts at 9.

Here are some quick links for more information:
Bandcamp (listen to all of Paper Mache’s music here)
Paper Mache’s Facebook
YouTube Channel

What’s Your Biggest Musical Pet Peeve?

Music is good. But music isn’t always good. Sometimes it’s pretty bad. Sometimes it’s downright awful, to the point where you’d rather listen to this. Other times, and these may be the most frustrating times, you hear music that would be utterly perfect, a complete masterpiece, an inarguable classic–were it not for one conspicuous flaw.

Today’s Topic: What’s Your Biggest Musical Pet Peeve?

My Answer:

I’m interested in music production, so I’ve developed a bit of a producer’s ear over time. This has led to a newfound appreciation of well-produced music and a newfound hatred of over-produced or poorly produced music. It’s also given me a list of pet peeves longer than the Nile. I hate fade-outs (and their rarer counterpart, fade-ins), but I also hate songs that abruptly end because they’re supposed to segue into the next song on the album (Pink Floyd did not predict the Shuffle era, apparently). I hate 80′s synth, 80′s drum machines, and the 80′s. But for my biggest pet peeve, I’m going to have to forget my producer’s instincts and go with a classic; a lyrical cliche that has been with us as long as the English language.

The unpardonable crime of rhyming “girl” with “world.”

I get it: “girl” and “world” are both common lyrical themes, and there’s not much out there that rhymes (or is at least assonant) with them. “Girl” and “world” are also fairly open terms with regard to how they relate, whether one is traveling around the world and seeing many girls, or wanting a girl more than anything in the world, or possibly even envisioning a girl who is also, coincidentally, a world.

But the second you throw that line into a song, you lose the right to call yourself a lyricist. You’re destined afterwards to be known as either a lazy, talentless hack, or John Lennon. You’re just asking for the girl in question–or the world in question–to reject you. There are few sins in art, but this is one of them. Don’t do it. Ever.

And while you’re at it, stop saying “baby” unironically.


Your Turn: What’s your biggest musical pet peeve? Can you still enjoy songs that feature your pet peeve?

Friday Night at Der Rathskeller: Seabird w/ Briar Rabbit

Friday Night at Der Rathskeller: Seabird w/ Briar Rabbit

Kentucky alternative rock band Seabird will be bringing their rich, melodic, and lyrical music to the Rathskeller this Friday. Here’s what you need to know:

Briar Rabbit, a singer-songwriter from Chicago, will also be there. You should check out his Facebook and his website. His music is described as “romantic melodies and colorfully layered narrative that evoke painfully beautiful imagery through honest lyricism.”


The show starts at 9pm Friday night, and it’s at Der Rathskeller. As always, the show is FREE. If you’d like to hear about more free concerts and happenings, sign up for our newsletter. As a bonus, if you sign up in the next few days, you’ll be entered to win free Comedy Central on Campus tickets!

Does Genre Matter?

When you ask someone what kind of music they like, the most common response by a landslide seems to be “I listen to a little bit of everything.” This is, of course, seldom true–most people just give me blank stares when I ask them which Angolan Kizomba artists they would recommend–but it reflects an interesting development in music culture: genre is going out of style. The past few decades have seen an unprecedented mingling of genres. Punk rock mixed with ska and reggae, hip-hop blended with metal, and EDM found its way into everything. Eventually we gave up and started referring to everything as “alternative,” even after it had become the mainstream standard. It’s easy to see genre as an archaic concept that no longer has any use.

Today’s Topic: Does Genre Matter? Is There Any Point In Genre Labels?

My Answer: Yes–in theory.

No doubt, genre labeling is a messy issue. It always has been; even Debussy railed against being wrongly labeled. Lots of musicians resist genre labels, believing that they hamper creativity and promote conformity. In some ways, genre labels could be considered synonymous with typecasting for actors.

But genre does serve a purpose. It helps music fans discover music they might not have sought out otherwise. If I say some artist is a rapper, that’s imposing a genre label on them, but it’s also perking the ears of any hip-hop fans in earshot. Genre builds community: if you say you like music, well, good for you. If you say you like jazz, that’s a much stronger connection that we have. It implies other things we may have in common in a way that a broad interest in music does not. The genres you like or play are a key part of your identity.

Is genre restrictive? Yes, it can be. But believe it or not, that’s a good thing. Rather than lessening creativity, restrictions can actually improve it. It’s easy to become lost in the ether when trying to create; often the mind becomes overwhelmed by the possibilities, and succumbs to option paralysis. The conventions of a genre can form a foundation amidst the chaos, and set soft parameters and limits that you are free to break or abide. The vast majority of creative people begin by playing within the conventions of their medium, testing the waters to see which laws can or should be broken.

That being said, our current genres are in disarray. Half of our main genres (pop, rock, the aforementioned alternative) have no defining characteristics and mean virtually nothing. We have a strange and unecessary schism between classical and “popular” music. Music also has a shameful history of dividing genres by the race of the artists rather than the content of the music, a practice that subconciously continues today. (The label of R&B is often the modern equivalent of “race records.”) Ideally, we’d demolish our current genre concepts and start over. Since that probably won’t happen, we’ll have to try and shape the concepts we do have into reasonable approximations of meaningfulness. Otherwise, we’ll all end up listening to a little bit of everything, and being defined by lot of nothing.


Your Turn: Does genre matter? Is genre a dying concept? What genre are you most closely associated with?

Typhoon & Tacocat- Saturday 4/5

Saturday at UW-Madison is going to be a good one..

As the badger basketball team advances to the Final 4 Game, campus is going to be buzzing this Saturday.

But what to do before and after the game one might ask…?  Come out to see the two great shows Typhoon and Tacocat!


Typhoon @ The Sett 1:30 pm

Typhoon is an energetic Indie Rock band from Oregon. The huge 11 member band brings intense energy to their shows and their songs are those you can easily sing along to while having a great time.

Typhoon has currently released four Albums. ”White Lighter” and “Hunger and Thirst” are the most recent; both albums have inspiring, and creative tracks. The band has made some big showings lately including an appearance on Late Show With David Letterman, where they performed one of their biggest hits “The Honest Truth”.

The band is currently underway with an expansive tour hitting a wide variety of venues including Lollapalooza, in Chicago. So don’t miss them while they are here in Madison!

If you are looking for some great music, or just something to do before the game, come out and check out Typhoon at 1:30 pm at The Sett. They put on a great show, and will get you fired up for the game!

“…but what am I going to do after the game..?”

Tacocat @ Der Rathskellar:


As described in their bio, Tacocat is “Like a fluorescent-lit snack-aisle oasis in some desolate interstate road stop, brimming with Skittles and limited-edition Sno Balls.” The colorful indie group originates out of Washington and consist of four members, covering the basic rock ‘n roll bases with guitar, bass, and drums. The groups high, light, and catchy songs are reminiscent of bands like the Go Go’s, the Ramones, and Cheerwine.

The foursome quickly found success in the music industry with songs like “Crimson Wave” and “Volcano”. The energizing power-pop makes for not only great songs, but great shows. Currently, the band is on a long tour, playing almost every night.


Tacocat’s “sly, unbashed 90′s revivalsim” has drawn crowds from all over and will definitely bring many to Der Rathskellar after the game Saturday night.

Come out and celebrate the success of the badgers with upbeat, surfy swag Tacocat. You will be smiling ear to ear all night long.

Comedy Central on Campus Presents: Kevin Barnett

Who is Kevin Barnett?

According to his bio, Kevin Barnett is “a cool guy, who doesn’t usually smell, and showers relatively regularly.” However he’s best known for his roles on Comedy Central, College Humor, and MTV2′s The Guy Code.

And most importantly, he’ll be performing in Madison at Varsity Hall on April 25th. Get your tickets here.

(Video NSFW)

Select Tweets from Kevin Barnett

  • I don’t give a fuck about science and the warnings it gives. I’m bout to walk thru these streets with these 3D glasses on lookin fly as fuck
  • Hey look, y’all need to remember boners don’t cost nothin
  • Real niggas listen to Drake and miss their old pets.
  • I got a blt with egg on it and thought I changed the game. I didnt.
  • The dude next to me on this flight is watching ghostbusters and I’ve never thought some one was so selfish for wearing headphones.

Review of Kevin Barnett

  • “Enter New York comedians Jermaine Fowler and Kevin Barnett. In their new series, “Homo Thugs,” they take our idea of stereotypical homophobia and gangsterism, turn it on its head and wring all the closeted bigotry right out of it. Oh, and they do it in a hysterically funny way.”-HuffPost

More Lolz

Get your tickets here($13 for students), or click here to RSVP to the event on Facebook.

Comedy Central on Campus Presents: Thomas Middleditch

Who is Thomas Middleditch?

According to his Twitter bio, Thomas Middleditch is an “actor, comedian, writer, MURDERER!!!” from Los Angeles. However he’s better known for his roles in The Campaign, Wolf of Wall Street, The Office, CollegeHumor, and for his star role in the upcoming HBO series Silicon Valley.

And most importantly, he’ll be performing in Madison at Varsity Hall on April 25th. Get your tickets here.

Select Tweets from Thomas Middleditch

  • Just saw a guy with Google Glass walking around. More like Google ASS! Yessssss! HIYO! Burn of the century.
  • I don’t know much, but I know that girls love Porkies 1 & 2. Such chick flicks
  • So whaddya think, am I jacking off to much?
  • Rob Ford and Paula Dean; best couple of 2013.
  • Was there a memo to every hipster in Los Angeles to wear their knit sweater today?


Review of Thomas Middleditch

  • “Even if you don’t know an algorithm from an alligator and think techies are aliens who came to Earth in a Google bus to abduct your children, prepare to laugh your ass off at HBO’s “Silicon Valley.” It’s not only the best show about the culture-dominating tech world to date but one of best new shows of the season.”-SFGate


More Lolz

Get your tickets here($13 for students), or click here to RSVP to the event on Facebook.