It is the final Saturday of the semester before finals, and what better way to kick off the night than to catch two-sets of Zongo Junction at The Sett. The band features a five-piece horn section, and a six-piece rhythm section, and are bound to get you dancing.
Exploding out of the New York City Afrobeat-scene, Zongo Junction has mastered the craft of laying down infectious grooves in front of audiences across the country. Formed in 2009, this 11-piece band, which holds its roots in Brooklyn, New York, brings a freight train of energy every time they step onto the stage. The band, whose Fela Kuti influence oozes from each horn blast, also combines the numerous influences from each of its members, which range from Rock to Hip-Hop, and everything in between.
Zongo Junction goes on at 9 PM and you don’t want to miss either set of this rising star of the burgeoning Afrobeat scene.
Zongo Junction – “Matador”
It was the middle of January on a tepid night in New York City when hundreds of people showed up early to an Umphrey’s McGee show at the Best Buy Theater to catch a glimpse of the opening band. As I found myself standing next to Hip-Hop mogul Damon Dash as The London Souls filed onto the stage, I knew this band had to be on the verge of breaking it big-time. Fast-forward 45 minutes and I had texted everyone I knew about this band.
That night happened in 2012; however, the band has been around since 2008. Originally formed by lead singer and guitar player Tash Neal (graduate of The Dalton School – my high school), drummer Chris St. Hilaire, and former bassist Kiyoshi Matsuyama have created a power-trio that harkens back to Cream or another New York area band, Mountain. The band’s inaugural album, The London Souls, was highly critically acclaimed, receiving 4 1/2 out of 5 stars by Glide Magazine.
As the band was on its quick rise through the New York City music scene, and as they began to break out nationally, tragedy struck as Tash Neal was in a hit-and-run accident involving a drunk driver, and had emergency brain surgery. While for many, this would be life ending, Tash survived the accident, as has begun playing again, just six short months after his accident.
The band recently announced the release of their second album, Here Come the Girls, due out January 8th, 2013. You can hear the lead single, “City of Light” here. Stay tuned for a fresh batch of tour dates in the coming days as well. Check out “The Sound” and a live performance of “Old Country Road” below:
Old Country Road:
Friday night at the Rath features a pair of eclectic acts. Headlining the evening is Franz Nicolay. Franz has been a mainstay of the New York indie rock scene since he got his start in the early part of the 21st century when he joined the World/Inferno Friendship Society. Nicolay is notable for being a member of the acclaimed indie rock band The Hold Steady for five years. Since leaving The Hold Steady in 2010, Nicolay has released two solo albums, Luck and Courage in 2010 and Do the Struggle in 2012. Nicolay has also appeared with such acts as Against Me! and has sat in the producer chair for bands such as Pearl and the Beard and Anna Vogelzang.
Speaking of Anna Vogelzang, she will be appearing in support. This Boston born singer who currently resides here in Madison is a unique blend of Americana and Soul music. This 2010 Madison Songwriter Showdown Winner’s most recent album, Canary in a Coal Mine, featured Nicolay and one shouldn’t be surprised if the two of them share the stage on Friday.
Between the smooth sounds of Vogelzang and the eclectic talents of Nicolay, this is a can’t miss night for a fan of indie rock. Check out a video from Franz Nicolay and Anna Vogelzang below:
Franz Nicolay – “This is Not a Pipe”
Anna Vogelzang – Volcanoes
Tonight, The Sett brings White Denim along with Maps & Atlases on the Bonnaroo 365 Tour, which has traveled from East to West before the tour wraps up in White Denim’s hometown of Austin.
2011 was a banner year for White Denim. The band released their fourth full-length album, D, to widespread critical acclaim, and from there, the band has not looked back. Rolling Stone gave the album four stars, and said they are, “like a jam band that refuses to be boring,” as they mix “psychedelia, hard blues, boogie, prog rock and fusion riffs…” This elaborate mix of styles, along with such high praise is what has catapulted the band to such great heights.
In 2006, Josh Block, James Petralli, and Steve Terebecki came together in Austin, Texas and formed White Denim. The band combines a number of influences, ranging from garage to psychedelic rock and just about everything in between. This seamless shifting amongst genres has garnered them acclaim from sources as disparate as Rolling Stone to Relix, a jamband magazine.
While their studio output has been increasingly fine tuned, their live performances have taken the band to where they are now. After years of heavy touring, their hard work paid off when they were selected for an opening slot for Wilco on their early 2012 West Coast tour. They then followed that up with appearances at many of the major festivals including a hallmark performance at Bonnaroo.
This is absolutely a show you do not want to miss for fans of any genre with the word “rock” in it, and the best part is, the show is free!
Here is a clip of the band performing at Bonnaroo:
Saturday night at the Rath features one of the biggest shows of the Fall. Laetita Sadier of Stereolab brings her unique sound and lyrical style to campus. Sadier’s career began during the 80s, but continued in earnest when she teamed up with Tim Gane and formed Stereolab. While in Stereolab, the band released ten albums, five of which charted on the Billboard 200, and their breakthrough album Dots and Loops reached the #2 spot on the Heatseekers chart. Since leaving Stereolab, she has released two solo albums, The Trip, which received an 8.2 on Pitchfork, and most recently, Silencio. Pitchfork called her most recent effort “as timelessly hip as a pair of Wayfarers or an Eames chair.” Sadier’s highly political lyrics and washes of sound makes her performance a can’t miss.
Opening up the night is Orca Team, a self-described “Pop-Surf-Post Punk” band from Seattle, Washington, whose sound matches their home-base perfectly. Blending walls of sound with minimalist lyrics, and driving bass lines, they have been described by Brooklyn Vegan as “early ’60′s pop and surf pop with Krautrock rhythms and basslines.” The band currently finds themselves in the middle of a tour which has them playing for 69 straight nights.
Between the up-and-coming yet road-tested Orca Team, and the star power of Laetita Sadier, this is a can’t miss night for a fan of indie rock or fans of good music in general. Check out a video from Laetita Sadier and Orca Team below and also a free download from Ocra Team:
Download>>Orca Team- “Michael”
Starting this Tuesday, every week we will bring you a fresh batch of songs revolving around a theme, available below. This week, we are bringing a taste of New Orleans. Starting at the earliest iterations of New Orleans funk, Professor Longhair and Buckwheat Zydeco show the foundation for the next generations of music. Dr. John and The Meters followed, borrowing heavily from their fore bearers, and a song such as “Cissy Strut” exemplifies the progression towards a more guitar driven sound. The next four songs are New Orleans standards performed by a range of modern artists ranging from the Jazzy quartet of Medeski Scofield Martin and Wood to the three trombone attack of Bonerama. Big Freedia represents a new facet of music from New Orleans called “bounce” music. Trombone Shorty represent the future of New Orleans music as he has quickly risen to national prominence, reestablishing New Orleans’ music in the national spotlight.
Tonight features a contrast of styles between The Terrace and The Sett. The Terrace features Hip-Hop in Lushlife and Madison’s own Defcee, while The Sett features another local Madison band, the Sparetime Bluegrass Band.
The Sparetime Bluegrass Band is an energetic four-piece outfit who play a variety traditional bluegrass covers; however, their repertoire digs into more mainstream music such as covers of The Rolling Stones, and many more. The band, made up of Bob Batyko on Guitar, Jim Robarts on Banjo, Dale Ward on Mandolin, and Lorie Docken on Bass, have been staples on the Madison music scene for the past few years, and always crowd favorites.
Lushlife, a Philadelphia born and raised Hip-Hop artist whose latest album, Plateau Vision, was met with incredibly high praise will be at The Terrace. The New York Times raved that his lyrics featured “rhymes with audacious, gorgeous production…” while Stereogum called his mixtape No More Golden Days the “Mixtape of the Week.” His sound is a unique blend of influences ranging from De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest to The Pixies and Phil Spector.
Opening up the night at The Terrace is Adam Levin, known as Defcee. This Hip-Hop artist from River Forest, Illinois is a current student at UW-Madison where he is a member of the First Wave Spoken Word and Urban Arts Community. Throughout his tenure as an emerging artist, he has shared the stage with titans of the Hip-Hop world including Wale, Brother Ali, and many more. Check out his song “The Tempest” below, which he wrote at only 19.
Whether it’s Bluegrass or Hip-Hop you are pining for, we have you covered on Saturday night.
The Sparetime Bluegrass Band: