Madison Concert Ticket Giveaway: THE WALKMEN

The Walkmen

“He’s sad and pathetic and needy and yet somehow still smooth, which is sort of the central animating paradox at the heart of the Walkmen. They make these wounded, anxious songs, but they make them so confidently, with such unearthly rich-guy assurance.”  — Pitchfork

Lisbon is like a treatise on the untapped power of the have-nots, delivered by the kind of people who could turn a raw potato, a cup of water, and a pinch of salt into a five-star dish.” — The Onion A.V. Club

The Walkmen have created a modern classic with the release of their latest album, Lisbon.  Critics and fans alike have been hailing the record as their finest work to date, and we feel so fortunate to be able to welcome the band back to Madison in support of it.  Read on to find out more about these indie rock darlings and enter to win a pair of tickets to see them live this Thursday at The Barrymore.


Thursday, October 14, 2010


Barrymore Theatre – 8pm – $17 adv $19 dos – all ages


BIOGRAPHY (by JT Griffith,

The Walkmen feature three members from Jonathan Fire*Eater and two from the Recoys. When Jonathan Fire*Eater disbanded in 1998, the group took the remainder of their Dreamworks funding and established an uptown rehearsal space in New York City that doubled as a 24-track recording studio where they use a wide variety of vintage equipment. The 900-square-foot Harlem industrial space, dubbed Marcata Studios, was completed in the fall of 1999. (Bands that have recorded at their studio include labelmates the French Kicks and experimental rockers Arto Lindsay and Nação Zumbi.)

The Walkmen, some of whom had gigged in the city under the moniker Today Okay, formed in 2000 and consist of Fire Eaters Walter Martin (vocals, organ, etc.), Paul Maroon (guitars), and Matt Barrick (drums) and ex-Recoys Hamilton Leithauser (vocals) and Peter Bauer (bass). Like Jonathan Fire*Eater, the members of the Walkmen grew up together in the Washington, D.C., area and have played in the same bands since the fifth grade. Perhaps the only way the group could be any closer is if they were all related. (Martin and Leithauser are cousins, so the semi-merging of bands is also somewhat of a family reunion.)

The Walkmen make a conscious attempt to evolve away from the raw, fiery garage sounds of their previous bands. They incorporate piano into the new songs as well as take the compositions in new directions by experimenting with instrumentation and recording techniques. The Walkmen are influenced by such diverse bands as the Pogues, Joy Division, Bruce Springsteen, Björk, U2, New Order, the Smiths, and the Cure. Their new music has favorably been compared to Pixies, Brian Eno, and the Velvet Underground with strong hints of U2 and Television. An online advertisement for the Marcata Studios explains that the owners appreciate the sonic recordings on Joy Division’s Peel Sessions, Talking Heads’ Fear of Music, the Specials’ The Specials, and Royal Trux’s Singles, among others.

The Walkmen released a self-titled, four-song EP in 1999 through the small Brooklyn label Startime International (Brendan Benson) and completed a vinyl-only release to be made available at concerts. The first Walkmen concert was at Joe’s Pub in the East Village in September of 2000, shortly after their EP was released. In 2002, the Walkmen made their proper full-length debut with Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me Is Gone. It was a favorite among indie crowds and the album led the Walkmen to tour the world in support of it. Bows + Arrows, the band’s first for Warner Bros.’ Record Collection label, appeared two years later. Along with touring and appearing in a cameo on the Fox TV series The O.C., the Walkmen began writing a novel, John’s Journey, together.

The band returned to the studio in 2005, working with Don Zientera at Arlington, VA’s Inner Ear Studio on their third album, A Hundred Miles Off, and at their own Marcata Studio on a song-by-song cover of Harry Nilsson’s Pussy Cats, which was the last album recorded in Marcata before the band closed it. A Hundred Miles Off was released in spring 2006, and Pussy Cats arrived that fall. The Walkmen recorded their fourth album in New York’s Gigantic Studio and the same Oxford, MS, studio in which they recorded Bows + Arrows, releasing You & Me in 2008 on Gigantic Music. Lisbon, the group’s sixth studio album, arrived in 2010 on the Fat Possum/Bella Union label.


WIN A PAIR OF TICKETS: With the band’s song, “If Only It Were True” in mind, we want you to tell us about a myth, fable, movie, song, or fictional idea that you wish could enter the realm of reality.  Post your thoughts in the comments section below and you’ll be entered to win a pair of tickets to see The Walkmen live in concert.


Please have your responses in by tomorrow (Wednesday, October 13th) at 8:00pm.  We will be choosing and notifying the winners at that time.  Good luck everyone!

11 Responses

  1. It would be absolutely hysterical if the world worked the way it did in musicals. Spontaneous dance parties in the street, sing-speaking, and snazzy, well-timed one liners.

  2. When I was in middle school, I fell into Ray Bradbury stories. I was always fascinated by the idea of the Illustrated Man- a man who was covered in tattoos that would be animated, come to life and tell stories. I’ve always had such a vivid image of this character in my mind ever since I had read about him. I can imagine how interesting it would be if tattoos moved about in their own world on people’s skin.

  3. I wish going to the hospital was more like it’s portrayed on Scrubs. Seeing a doctor is never that much fun.

  4. I wish that politicians never could lie. A pipe dream I know.

  5. Probably my favorite movie when I was younger was “The Mask,” starring Jim Carrey. I have to admit that the idea of the movie is still pretty intriguing to me, despite its apparent risks. And despite the fact that the movie is not good.

  6. If only it were true
    that summer could last
    all year with you.

    Leaves would fall
    when we wanted to wear sweaters
    and rain would make us melancholy
    but never make us wet

    the only wind blows
    between our lips
    As our lust greens
    and blooms and grows

    if only it were true
    that I will never
    know winter with you

    • If we all lived in the world of Avatar, I think we would be a lot happier. Plus, there’s nothing sexier than a 10-foot tall blue woman. Real exotic. Probably a nympho too.

  7. I think id be great to live in a world where amazing musicians didnt die because of drugs at a young age and lived on to do more. we could have Kurt Cobain and Jimi Hendrix writing songs together!

  8. Santa Claus. I can’t believe this wasn’t said yet. Everyone wants a jolly old man with a huge white beard coming down their chimney when they are sleeping and giving them gifts. All he asks in return is a glass of milk and a couple cookies. How great is that?

  9. I’d like it if inanimate objects as well as animals were able to talk. Chairs, food, everything. Sort of like in Pee Wee’s Playhouse. The world would be a really weird and wacky place, but definitely entertaining and unusual.

  10. Congrats Stacey—the tix are yours. I could definitely go for some spontaneous dance parties in the street!

Leave a Reply to Mike Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: