Media Roundup: Hot New Mp3 Overload!

What’s been going on in the world of music lately? Read on to get the scoop on your favorite artists, and start some discussion about current music-related events!

The Decemberists’ Colin Meloy recently chatted with Rolling Stone about “metal, musicals and scary jobs.”

Colin Meloy

Colin Meloy

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Media Roundup: Tegan and Sara rock Coachella, and more!

Coachella, the mother of all alternative music festivals, took place this past weekend, and even if you weren’t fortunate enough to take in the cornucopia of sounds from the California deserts, a number of outlets are providing extensive video, audio and blogging coverage. In addition to the headline-grabbing indie coronation of Prince and the chilling comeback performance of Portishead, a number of performers coming soon to Madison also made their mark.

Tegan and Sara, performing at the Barrymore next Tuesday, May 6, first gained a moment in the spotlight three years ago on a small stage of Coachella and performed on a larger stage at this year’s festival. The Canadian twins continue to gain notoriety on a larger scale for their quirky stage banter and emotional songwriting, blogging a number of entries from the festival for Tegan and Sara are also just off the heels of an impressive performance last week of their current anthem, “The Con” on the Tonight Show, viewable below:

Taking a break from the midst of a tour that is selling out nearly every theater it touches, The Swell Season (Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova) also performed an alluring set; a preview of what’s to come when the duo plays the Overture Center on Monday, June 16. The “Once” stars were recently featured in the San Francisco Chronicle discussing their newfound fame. Recent acts passing through town this spring, including Man Man, Vampire Weekend, Stars and Jens Lekman also played the festival.

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club are currently touring around the globe and have been grabbing headlines from a decision earlier this year to part ways with its record label, RCA. They are currently going it alone, looking toward independent release options in the near future. BRMC will be hitting the High Noon Saloon with guests The Duke Spirit on Saturday, May 3.

Performing at the Annex the Sunday night following BRMC, Ra Ra Riot will be splitting a bill with The Little Ones for a $10 show — likely the last time Madison music fans will be able to see the up-and-coming indie-string-pop troupe, recently interviewed on, in such an intimate venue.

In other news, we are happy to announce that Madison fave Lyle Lovett will be passing through down this summer — on Sunday, July 13, at Overture Hall. The Capitol Times wrote a nice preview of the show, for which tickets went on sale this past Saturday.

Finally, in case you missed a few of the recent shows in Madison, here’s a few reviews to find out what you missed:

“[Colin] Meloy charmed a modest but enraptured crowd at the Barrymore Theater Wednesday night with his quirk, his humor and his unbelievable solo chops.” — Wisconsin State Journal

“Decemberists shows are giddily geeky affairs, full of high-energy, literary-minded rock songs that draw the audience in with singalongs and other audience participation bits. By comparison, Meloy’s solo shows are less of a three-ring circus and more of a friendly conversation between singer and his audience.” — The Capitol Times

The [New] Pornographers nearly had that show stolen right out from under them by opening act Okkervil River, which played a flat-out amazing hourlong opening set. The Pornographers have been touring with the Austin roots-rock group for about two weeks, and you have to think that following that every night forces Newman and company to raise their game even higher.” — The Capitol Times

“This was my first time hearing material from Challengers live, which really cemented my appreciation for that record. I’ll concede the stage looks a little bare bones sans Neko [Case] and Dan, but that didn’t stop the band from putting on a great power pop rock show.” — Muzzle of Bees

And that’s it for now. Tickets for many of the shows mentioned above are still available from See you at the shows!

Meloy rolls into town Wednesday

Like democracy? What about the Decemberists? Perhaps just the letter “D,” in general? If your answer to at least two of the questions was a “yes,” celebrate the joy of alliteration by clearing your schedule this Wednesday, April 23, to come check out Colin Meloy at the Barrymore. Meloy, currently on hiatus from his troupe and touring across the nation in support of his first solo album, “Colin Meloy Sings Live!,” released earlier this month. Meloy is joined by the non-threatening singer-songwriter Laura Gibson for the show, which is also serving as a fundraiser for the Madison-based non-profit Liberty Tree Foundation for the Democratic Revolution.

Meloy has been filling venues and garnering glowing reviews throughout the spring with his deeply personal and nuanced sound. Recent shows in Boston and Toronto have turned the spotlight on Meloy’s gift of storytelling through music, which has taken on an added, perhaps slightly softer, dimension with becoming a father (to a son named Hank with girlfriend Carson Ellis) little more than two years ago.

“… It’s a cliché, the songwriter having a baby and then writing these weepy saccharine ballads about how wonderful it is to be a father,” Meloy told The Hook earlier this month. “I actually found I was writing more darkly and more violently in some way. I used to sing him a battery of songs every night. Recently, for whatever reason, he doesn’t like to be sung to and likes stories to be told to him, so I’ve been making something up. Of course, he’s a really easy audience; he’s kind of a pushover.”

Liberty Tree, a “new organization with old roots,” is rooted in the belief that “American revolution is a long tradition whose greatest promise is democracy,” and provides support to pro-democracy campaigns through policy research, publications, legal assistance, consultative services, and the convening of pro-democracy organizers. The organization is currently gearing up for a number of events educating and providing networking opportunities for activists and advocates, including June’s Democracy Day conference and a community organizing retreat, as just two examples.

Tickets for the show, beginning at 7:30 PM on Wednesday at the Barrymore, are still available for $20 from the venue at 241-8864 or online.

– Joe Erbentraut, True Endeavors Communications and Public Relations Intern

Shows To See This Week (Plus Free Tix)

Grab your neighbors, cousins, and mailman! Come out to celebrate spring (we lived!) with some great musicians this week..

Tonight Friday April 18!


“..the Gourds have also moved past bluegrass as an endpoint and have begun using it as a base for forays into other sounds and styles..the Gourds have more than a few tricks up their sleeves. For them, being underestimated just means they can surprise you more.” -Pitchfork

Cover of Snoop Dogg’s Gin and Juice- The Gourds

9:30 pm @ High Noon Saloon 268-1122 $10 adv – 18+ BUY TICKETS NOW!


This Monday April 21

THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS ( featuring: Kathryn Calder, Neko Case, John Collins, Kurt Dahle, Todd Fancey, Carl Newman, and Blaine Thurier ) w/ special guests OKKERVIL RIVER

Challengers- The New Pornographers

8:00 pm @ Orpheum Theater 255-6005 $22 adv/ $25 dos – all ages, TICKETS STILL LEFT SO BUY THEM NOW- BEFORE THEY ARE OUT! $1.00 per ticket to benefit AIDS Network


Tuesday April 22


“Fitting perfectly articulated rhymes to efficiently catchy beats in an accent as Middle American as canned peaches, he’s a contemporary cross between a folk singer and a stand-up comic.” -Rolling Stone

9:30 pm @ High Noon Saloon 268-1122 $10 adv – 18+ BUY TICKETS NOW!


This Wednesday April 23

A Solo Performance by COLIN MELOY of The Decemberists w /special guest LAURA GIBSON

“Without a full band around him, Meloy projects his voice and lets his guitar sparkle and chime, doing greater justice to his ear for folk-y essentials.” -Onion AV Club

O Valencia, on Letterman- Colin Meloy with The Decemberists

7:30 pm @ Barrymore Theatre 241-8864 $20 adv – all ages BUY TICKETS NOW! $1.00 per ticket to benefit Liberty Tree

Win 2 tix to this show by being the 3rd person to email me,, with the subject heading “Colin Meloy is Mine”. I’ll shoot you an email back if you’re our winner!


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