This Saturday: Revelry Music and Arts Festival!

With Coachella out of the way, festival season is officially now in full bloom. So, why not kick off your summer with UW Madison’s own premiere music and arts festival–Revelry!

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So why should you go? With five days remaining till the event, here are five reasons why:

1. You’re already a fan of the free shows WUD Music puts on every weekend in the Sett and Rathskeller. But do you realize that Revelry doesn’t last a mere three hours but rather is a rockin’ all-day-and-all-night festival?!**

*12:00PM-10:00PM to be precise

**Who says the party stops at 10? It’s Saturday night people!

2.  Dillon Francis. Waka Flocka Flame. Sky Ferreira. And a sh*t ton of other cool people:

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3… And if you have no idea who any of those people are, you should definitely come because you’ll discover new music! Not to mention you’ll gain some street cred with all the hipsters in your bio class

4.  You’re broke or your friends are too cheap? Student tickets are $5. You paid $250 for Lollapalooza. Do I need to haggle you more?!

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5. If you really need a better reason, then think about how epic it is spending the entire day parting with your fellow badgers?! Food, Music, Drinks, and Art?!

*5.5 And for those of you worried about the chance of rain on Saturday, all I have to say is: 1. It’s April.. 2. Put on your wellies and rain slickers and pretend like you’re at Britain’s coolest festival, Glastonbury (where it rains like every freaking year).

935644_546344705409233_303141046_nWe’ll see you kids this Saturday at Revelry! Get ready to “revel on their level.” More info can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and their site.

 

 

Saturday in Great Hall: Ra Ra Riot with Pacific Air

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I had the great fortune of coming across Ra Ra Riot through a Spotify advertisement about a year and a half ago. After listening to their 2010 album The Orchard, I was immediately drawn in. Their arrangements of a standard band’s instruments along with a violin and cello create a sound that should not be missed.

Formed in 2006 at Syracuse University, Ra Ra Riot’s high-energy campus performances quickly drew the attention of the indie music scene. The band was signed to Barsuk Records in 2008, whom they have produced all three of their albums under.

Even though Ra Ra Riot is relatively young in terms of their work, their newest album Beta Love indicates a change in the band’s sound from previous years. This change was most likely influenced by the departure of cellist Alexandra Lawn, but the music doesn’t skip a beat because of it. The album (which can be streamed here, complete with unique music visualizer) is filled with significantly more electronic and synth sounds, but still meshes well with Wes Miles’s soothing falsetto’s and the now more occasional but welcomed violin stylings of member Rebecca Zeller. It will be interesting to see if the band is able (or willing) to perform any of their songs from The Orchard, given the new dynamic they have immersed themselves in.

Accompanying Ra Ra Riot on stage will be Pacific Air, (formerly KO KO) an indie pop duo consisting of brothers Taylor and Ryan Lawhon. Signed to Republic Records in 2012, they have since released a four song EP titled Long Live KO KO. In addition, the music video for their song “Float” dropped on February 26th, and definitely shows promise for the duo’s future. 

The show starts at 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 2nd in the Great Hall in Memorial Union. The doors open at 8:00 p.m., but I hope to see you there earlier to be front and center for this great indie show.

Saturday Night at Der Rathskeller: Laetita Sadier with Orca Team

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, SilencioPitchfork 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”

Laetita Sadier:

Orca Team:

Friday: Now, Now with Tu Fawning and AU

Three indie-pop acts take over the Terrace Friday night at 9 p.m. The Midwest meets the Pacific-Northwest when Now, Now shares the stage with AU and Tu Fawning.

Now, Now have been attracting attention in the Midwest for half-a-decade (As “Now, Now Every Children” until 2010) with their meloncholy indie-pop songs featuring Cacie Dalager’s delicate vocals and room-filling instrumentation. With March’s release of the Minneapolis trio’s sophomore LP, Threads, the attention-grabbing has reached a far greater scope. The album was their first on Trans Records, owned by Death Cab for Cutie’s Chris Walla, who made them his second signing to the label. Produced by Howard Redekopp (Tegan & Sara, An Horse), the young band’s Threads is described by Consequence of Sound as “an exploration of the push and pull of growing up and growing apart.” The success of the album landed them recent tours supporting The Naked and Famous and fun. After playing the Terrace, and before supporting Motion City Soundtrack on a 29-date national tour in October and November, Now, Now will jet off to the UK to support the August 27th release of Threads - so don’t miss them before they leave the States.

As Now, Now are now on a Pacific-Northwest-based label, run by one of its legendary residents, they’ll surely have a lot to talk about with the two opening bands from the indie utopia of Portland. You may have caught AU opening for WHY? in Der Rathskeller a few years ago.  If you did, then you probably know something that someone introduced to the band through their April-released third LP, Both Lights, probably wouldn’t be able to detect: They’re a trio. Their experimental pop sound is so full, and at many times frantic, it’s hard to believe that beings with only two arms and two legs could produce it. No shortage of praise can be found from publications like Pitchfork and Stereogum for their sophisticated sound and unique instrumentation. Head over to Stereogum to download two songs from Both Lights and watch the trippy, colorful video for “OJ.”

Tu Fawning released their sophomore album, A Monument, in May. However, with 31 Knots frontman and Menomena touring member Joe Haege on its creative team, they were able to bypass the normal growing pains of a band working of its follow-up and release complex-but-listenable tunes. Perhaps the best word one could use to describe Tu Fawning would be “eclectic,” with each member of the band rotating through various instruments, both recognizable and not, throughout their live sets. It’s definitely a unique and enjoyable experience, not to be missed. You can download “Anchor” over at their bandcamp. Oh, and did I mention Corrina Repp and Joe Haege are featured in a Portlandia skit also starring Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse?

Fun fact: Between the three bands on the Terrace tomorrow night, the lineups are made up of five males and five females. I’m not sure how to segue from that, but I thought it was too cool not to share. Just come to the Terrace for the 9 p.m. start of the show. You won’t regret it. Download an mp3 of Now Now’s “School Friends” and watch the video for “Dead Oaks” below.

Download>>Now Now – “School Friends” from Threads

Tonight in the Sett: Kina Grannis w/ Imaginary Friend, DTF w/ Gabe Herrera

Everybody has their favorite YouTube sensation, and we wouldn’t be surprised if Kina Grannis was yours. Before Grannis became a YouTube maverick, she self-released three EP’s at her alma mater, USC. In 2007, her video “Message From Your Heart” aired during the Super Bowl as part of the “Dorito’s Crash the Super Bowl Contest,” which propelled Kina into the national spotlight. In 2011, Kina re-released a newer version of her album Stairwells, which included four new tracks. Her light, bubbly voice has brought nearly 97 million views to Kina’s YouTube channel, and she even has done a few collaborations with another YouTube favorite, Boyce Avenue. Kina has covered a handful of popular songs, including U2′s “With or Without You” and Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car.” She is currently touring for her “In Your Arms World Tour 2012.” It’s pretty evident that Kina’s popularity will keep escalating not only on YouTube, but in the pop industry as well.

Imaginary Friend, effortlessly compatible with Kina’s voice, will be opening for her tonight. With his acoustic guitar and sleepy voice, Imaginary Friend has the perfect sound to woo plenty of fans. Imaginary friend and Kina even do ocassional YouTube collaborations, covering Coldplay’s “Fix You” and Foster the Peoples’ “Pumped Up Kicks.”

Add a few more views to Kina Grannis’ channel by checking out the adorable “In Your Arms” video (made with stop motion and 288,000 jelly beans) and the aforementioned “Pumped Up Kicks” below. The show gets started at 9 p.m. at the Sett. Stick around after Kina’s set for DTF when DJ Gabe Herrera will be throwing it down.

Friday at Der Rath: Lower Dens w/ Yellow Ostrich + Grace Weber Band + 1,2,3

Baltimore’s Lower Dens formed in 2009 and hasn’t stopped makin’ music since. Vocalist Jana Hunter was previously known for her folky experimental work as a solo artist. However, the quartet of Lower Den is something more along the lines of drone-pop/ post-punk. Hunter is known for her haunting and enthralling vocals that are backed up by echoing guitar and bass. Their second album, Nootropics, is set for release on the first of May off of Gnomonsong Records, and with the growing craze over their mesmerizing single, “Brains” (released back in January), it’ll be awesome to finally hear what other alluring beats the band has in store for us. They’ll be at Der Rath this Friday so come hear them play for free!

Formed in Brooklyn, Yellow Ostrich is currently made up of three very talented musicians: Alex Schaaf, Michael Tapper, and Jon Natchez. However, Schaaf started Yellow Ostrich independently back in 2009 as one-man-band project. They just released their second album from Barsuk Records this past Tuesday (March 6) available on iTunes or at your fave record store. On the same label are indie legends Death Cab for Cutie and favorites such as Rilo Kiley and Phantogram.  On the new album you can expect to hear upbeat rockity rhythms that are a bit different from their 2011 album, The Mistress, but excellent and catchy all the same. “Strange Land” will get your head bobbing and heart throbbing so come be one of the lucky few to hear it live at Der Rath on Friday! Also, want a sampler of 9 Yellow Ostrich tracks for free?! Click here!

Did you hit up Starbuck’s sometime this past January? Of course you did—who can resist those holiday-friendly beverages of the gods? While you were waiting in line for your caffeinated goodness you may have heard Grace Weber’s track “Baby Come Down” off her self-released album Hope & Heart. A Milwaukee native and past member of the city’s Inner City Youth Gospel Choir, Weber’s music is both soulful and poppy. With the release of Hope & Heart back in September, Weber made a top ten spot on iTunes singer/songwriter charts and was Billboard Magazine’s “Artist to Watch.” She’ll be hitting up Madison after a show in Milwaukee in which she’ll be opening for Men at Work / singer-songwriter legend Colin Hay at Turner Hall. Weber describes her musical output as a “modern version of soul, in that I try to tell stories through my lyrics that I hope can touch people, and I always try to sing from an honest place.” You can read a full WUD Music interview with her posted earlier this morning by clicking here. With a presence and passion as fierce as Weber’s, it’s obvious you won’t want to miss her show.

Touring the country with Yellow Ostrich is 1,2,3. This up-and-coming band is comprised of four members: Nic Snyder, Josh Sickels, Mike Yamamoto, and Chad Monticue. Last June, the band released its first album New Heaven (it’s on iTunes!) through Frenchkiss Records. This label has discovered some excellent bands, such as The Dodos, Local Natives, and Passion Pit… I wouldn’t mind french-kissing them. Anyway, their music is both soulful and delicious— definitely worth being heard, so come see them along with Lower Dens, Yellow Ostrich, and Grace Weber Band this Friday 3/9 at Der Rath!

Check out a music video from each band below and check out Lower Dens, Yellow Ostrich, Grace Weber Band, and 1,2,3 in Der Rath tomorrow with a 8:30 start.

Interview: Grace Weber (Der Rath, Friday)

Tomorrow night, we’ve got a powerhouse of a lineup for you in Lower Dens, Yellow Ostrich, Grace Weber Band, and 1,2,3. For the middle two bands in that sandwich, the show will be something of a homecoming, as both Grace Weber and Yellow Ostrich are originally from Wisconsin and relocated to New York City. We were recently able to chat with Grace Weber about her Wisconsin roots, among other things – including Cash Cab and cheese curds. Check that out below followed by her music video for “Everything to Me,” and make sure to come to the free show, which starts at 8:30 at Der Rathskeller, to see if she wears her  “I was on the Cash Cab” shirt.

What was the hardest adjustment moving from Wauwatosa, WI to New York City? The absence of cheese curds?

The absence of cheese curds was definitely a difficulty I had to overcome (hoarding them in your apartment doesn’t work), but I learned to substitute slices of New York pizza for the curds. Otherwise, I think just getting used to the fast pace, high intensity atmosphere of New York was the biggest switch. In the right doses, the buzz of New York can be so inspiring and can keep you on your toes, but getting back to the Midwest recharges my batteries. I don’t know if I could handle New York if I didn’t get back to Wisconsin here and there throughout the year.

Who are your favorite Wisconsin acts?

Jeanna Salzer Trio, Paul Cebar, Yellow Ostrich, and Willy Porter!

How far back does your friendship with Yellow Ostrich go and how did it come to be?

Well, I know Alex through my good friend, Jeanna Salzer. I met him in New York actually when he played bass for Jeanna at a double-bill show I set up in the city. So, we don’t go very far back, but I know he’s an incredibly nice and cool person. It’s so exciting to see his and the band’s career take off.

Not only did you attract attention through an appearance on Oprah singing “Natural Woman,” but you were also on an episode of the game show Cash CabTell us a little about those experiences. Which was more surreal? Are there any plans for a Grace Weber talk show, game show, or variety hour?

Haha, oh yes, I was on Cash Cab, and it might have actually been more surreal than Oprah. When my Mom and I realized that we were going to be on Cash Cab, it kind of felt like winning the lottery. Like, one of those things you always dream of but never actually think will ever happen. We did horribly on the ol’ cab, but I got a shirt that says “I was on the Cash Cab!” so it was allll worth it.

I’m actually considering pitching a reality show to the Oprah Winfrey Network…I’ll keep you posted ;).

What’s the concept of your debut, Hope & Heart? Who and what inspired or influenced the album?

For Hope & Heart I really just wanted to introduce myself as a songwriter and pick out the best collection of songs that showed off my range as a singer and writer and represented who I am as an artist right now. We wrote around 35 songs for the album and out of those narrowed down the best 12. I wanted to touch on different topics in the album, have upbeat tracks and ballads, so that I could take the listener on a journey with me through the whole record. I’m so happy with how it turned out because I feel like it’s really me and it introduces people to who I am as a complete artist, the full palate so to speak.

Starbuck’s added “Baby Come Down” to its store playlist in January. What’s your Starbuck’s drink of choice?

Tall Chai latte!

If you weren’t a musician, what would your profession be?

Hmmmm, I think, I’d either try to be an actress on Broadway or be a producer of a really big TV show. The former because I’ve always kind of wanted to get back into musicals and theater and the latter so I could wear a headset and look important.

As succinctly in your response as possible, why should people come see your free show on March 9th with Lower Dens, Yellow Ostrich, and 1, 2, 3?

It will blow your mind. And I’ll give you a hug if you come. I promise.

Just Announced: Dirty Beaches + Xiu Xiu on the Terrace

It may be hard to believe after this last week of sub-freezing temperatures, but Terrace season is just around the corner. We’re excited to announce that one of the first events of 2012 to happen outdoors will bring two indie heavy-hitters to Madison. 2011 Polaris Prize nominee Dirty Beaches and dramatic synth-poppers Xiu Xiu will share the stage – and a Lake Mendota backdrop – on May 18th.

2011 was a breakout year for Vancouver-via-Taiwan artist Alex Zhang Hungtai, known by his stage name of Dirty Beaches. After a series of buzz-creating EP’s, he put out Badlands, his first full-length. Its lo-fi alternation between haunting (See: “Sweet 17″) and sullen (“Lord Knows Best” video below) grabbed the attention and superlatives of fans and critics alike. It earned an 8.2 and Best New Music from Pitchfork, landed Dirty Beaches a spot on Stereogum’s 40 Best New Artists, and (as previously mentioned) achieved a rare feat of being nominated for a Polaris Prize as a debut album. Dirty Beaches is definitely an artist to watch in 2012, and your chance to do the watching is May 18th.

As if that’s not enough, indie legends Xiu Xiu will play them in. Led by Jamie Stewart, 2012′s Always is definitely not their debut. In ten years the project’s produced 11 full length albums (not to mention just as many EP’s and 7″), all of them fantastic, known for their raw emotion and outside-the-box style. “Hi,” the first single and video from Always (See video below), shows that the quality of Xiu Xiu’s releases are not affected by their frequency, pairing Stewart’s pained vocals with intense electronic sounds and beats. Always comes out March 6th in the U.S., but is streaming over at Spin or available for immediate download with all pre-orders of CD or vinyl.

Openers Father Murphy will bring intensity themselves through their own brand of doom pop. “In Their Graves” from 2009′s …And He Told Us to Turn to the Sun displays just how well the Venice, Italy-based trio complement the styles of the headliners. It goes without saying that Father Murphy’s music is meant to be a spiritual experience. You’ll have to show up for their set on May 18th to see whether it achieves its goal.

Check out videos from Dirty Beaches and Xiu Xiu below and keep your eyes peeled for the Facebook event for more details. Head over to the calendar to see other upcoming dates.

The Poison Control Center, Sat. Nite Duets, and The Fatty Acids take over Der Rath Saturday

Sat. Nite Duets

Cancel all previous Saturday night plans (with the excuse of “i’m going to a sick concert”), for you will not want to miss this show that WUD Music has so kindly booked for you. As The Fatty Acids start off the night with their named “quirk pop” sound (or according to the band themselves “psych polka” and “scramble pop”), standing still will not be an option. Their new album Leftover Monsterface (available for free download on their bandcamp), released in June 2011, has an unusual alternative rock feel, but also resembles electronic pop. With their hometown in Milwaukee, the band’s fan base continually grows through passionate live performances.

Next, Sat. Nite Duets set high expectations from their recent album, Summer of Punishment. Revealed in a recent CNN interview, Sat. Nite Duets use their songs to “poke fun at societal outrages” during the political tension residing in Wisconsin. Their humorous stance adds that much more to their rock and roll performance.

To end the night on a fantastic note, The Poison Control Center will take the stage, hailing from Ames, Iowa. There unique personality can be heard in songs such as “Some Ordinary Vision” or “Dracula’s Casket.” But just listening to them on your speakers does not do this band justice. The prominent sounds of the guitar combined with hard vocals can only result in a heart-pounding performance– In conclusion, it will be awesome.

Download a song from each band below and join us at Der Rath at 9:30 on Saturday.

Download The Fatty Acids’ “Memory Banks”
Download Sat. Nite Duets’ “Way Behind My Age Group”
Download Poison Control Center’s “Underground Bed”

Your Friday Night with YACHT, Asobi Seksu, and Asumaya

Tonight’s the night! Your Friday’s going to be filled with indie excellence. Seriously. The headlining tours of two powerhouses, Asobi Seksu and YACHT, will collide in Madison at The Sett tonight at 9 p.m., but the action gets started in mere hours and doesn’t end until the wee hours of the morning.

Around 5 pm Asobi Seksu will be in the studio on WSUM, 91.7 FM. So sit down with your bowl of ramen and click on this link when the time comes to get a preview of the blissful dream pop you can expect tonight when Asobi Seksu hits the stage. Or just start listening now since WSUM (celebrating it’s ten-year anniversary this year) has excellent programming all day.

At nine the party gets started with Madison’s own Asumaya. Asumaya is the highly-experimental solo project of CONTROL’s Luke Bassuener, who combines smooth vocal melodies with organically-shaped beats that makes you wonder how a man with only two arms and two legs can manage to recreate such a thing live. Get there early to find out the answer to that curiosity and listen to “Marketing is My Culture” to get an idea of what he sounds like.

A little before 10 p.m. Polyvinyl’s Asobi Seksu will take the stage, displaying why they’ve been at the forefront of the shoegaze and indie pop scene for nearly a decade. “Trails” (available for download below) off their latest, Hush, is a perfect example of the band’s style, attacking with sound from all sides, but above all displaying the beauty and power of Yuki Chikudate’s voice. Their skill is truly admirable and something you won’t want to miss in action.

Around 11 p.m., DFA artists YACHT will take control of your night and not give it back. No stranger to Madison (You may have caught them at 2009′s Foward Music Festival), they’ll be sure to get a sizable crowd moving. Their latest, Shangri-La, explored the dualisms of life – good vs. evil, utopia vs. dystopia, and more. It takes skill to create music that has meaning, and more to keep it danceable, but that’s the kind of band YACHT is. And the party doesn’t stop there – after YACHT has played their last song of the night, the DTF afterparty begins with members of the band spinning tracks. That’s right, you’re feet won’t stop moving until 2 a.m.

So clearly this isn’t one to miss. Get down to The Sett at 9 p.m. Check out some videos below from both Asobi Seksu and YACHT, and be sure to download Asobi Seksu’s “Trails.”

Download “Trails” from Asobi Seksu