Astronautalis Heads To Madison Hot Off SXSW Stage


Sporting specs, suspenders, and a Euro-trance side part on his witty blonde head, Astronautalis is a self-proclaimed theater geek and critically acclaimed badass. The Twin Cities MC will bring his live band and overpowering charisma to Madison’s High Noon Saloon Saturday night (tickets here).

At 5’10″ and 150 lbs, the voice that bellows from the gangly rapper is astonishing; embodying low tones of Barry White, the grit of Tom Waits, and the intensity of Dre in his 20’s.

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Just Announced Madison Concerts + Presale Info: Talib Kweli, 04.23.11

Saturday April 23, 2011

Blacksmith Presents


Talib Kweli

Gutter Rainbows Tour

Capitol Theater, 8pm

$25 ADV, $27.50 DOS, General Admission

Tickets on sale Friday, March 11 at 11am.

Presale this Thursday, March 10 from 11am to 10pm through the Capitol Theater.   (Password: RAINBOWS)




Win Passes To Doomtree’s Concert, Meet & Greet Party + Free P.O.S. MP3 Download


Madison stages have been dominated by more than a few members of the Doomtree crew as they’ve boldly charted their solo tours over the years.  It’s been a blast watching these talented artists strike out on their own, but we’re so excited to finally see them all performing with each other once again.  Doomtree’s Sunday evening show at the High Noon Saloon is quickly approaching, and if you’re a fan of hip hop in any capacity, you need to be there!

We’re giving one lucky reader a pair of tickets to the show and a pair of passes to attend Doomtree’s pre-concert meet and greet party! This is an incredible opportunity to hang out, grab a drink, and gab with some of the hip hop world’s most respected names: P.O.S., Dessa, Sims, Cecil Otter, Mike Mictlan, Lazerbeak, and Paper Tiger.  Read on to find out how that lucky winner could be you, and grab a free mp3 download from P.O.S.!

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Just Announced Madison Concert: Snoop Dogg 02.01.11

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Snoop Dogg

Orpheum Theatre, 8pm

Tickets $30 adv, $35 dos

Tickets on sale this Saturday, December 4 at 12 noon on our Music Calendar.


Get To Know Your Local Superhero: F. Stokes (+ mp3 love)

F. Stokes

F. Stokes

Born on the South Side of Chicago and raised in Madison Wisconsin, Rodney “F. Stokes” Lucas endured the extreme conditions familiar to the millions of American’s who have experience with America’s urban ghettoes.  F. Stokes, the eldest of six siblings, grew up in a single-mother household.  In F. Stokes case, the term “household” is a misnomer, as his childhood was characterized by frequent address changes, and a stint at a homeless shelter in Madison.

F. Stokes music depicts the stark and brutal realities of the impoverished urban experience.  However, F. Stokes chooses not to glamorize the circumstances of his upbringing.  Rather than capitalizing on the misconceptions of the modern black experience that have begun to dominate the hip-hop landscape, F. Stokes provides thoughtful insight into the plight of black men in our nation’s largest cities.  Through vivid imagery and skillful wordplay F. Stokes reinterprets the thematic traditions of the soul and blues movements for a new generation of music fans.  Beneath F. Stokes undeniable talent as a lyricist, he is driven by a deep sense of responsibility to promote progress and compassion with his music.

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Brother Ali Ticket Giveaway Inspires Deep Thoughts

It’s no secret that some of the most intelligent, discerning music fans in the area routinely read and comment on our blog, and for this, we feel incredibly fortunate.  One of our goals in creating this blog was to provide a forum for discussion of a variety of topics that resonate with music lovers.  Naturally, it’s very exciting when such discussion breaks out.  This has been most recently evident when reading the comments posted in response to our recent Brother Ali ticket contest.

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Editorial: The Game’s Game is Lame

Reading Rich Albertoni’s preview of The Game’s Madison performance made it sound like the rapper had turned emo, scarred inside and out by the horrors of thug life. Albertoni implied this supposed sensitive side was due to the 3-month bit The Game recently served for packing heat in a school district.

If that were indeed the case, one would think The Game’s lyrics would be chock full of cautionary tales, a loud and clear denunciation of all things gangsta, and that the artist himself was busy doing voluntary community service warning inner-city youth not to follow in his footsteps.

If that’s so, the evidence is lacking. Despite Albertoni’s cut and paste attempt to put a positive spin on The Game’s new release, anything but a cursory listen to the lyrics reveals repeated threats of violent gunplay and constant shout-outs about his Phantom Rolls Royce, his Rolex, and his mansion in Beverly Hills. True to form, The Game is big on braggadocio, battering his audience with endless boasts about being a true, and decidedly unrepentant, gangster:

“It ain’t a movie dawg, hell yeah this is a real fucking Uzi dawg”

Gangsta rap is The Game’s game, and accordingly he trades on black on black violence, exploiting the ongoing tragedy of America’s racist legacy. He’s done well with this dead-end game, and The Game makes sure you know it. One might add the music industry doesn’t seem to mind a bit – rapping about killing niggaz makes for a nice bottom line.

I recognize the need to be cautious when criticizing an entire art form, moralizing being the gateway to censorship. But being cautious does not mean ignoring the obvious: gangsta rap is post-modern minstrelsy, black culture grossly caricatured for the entertainment of predominantly white audiences.

Albertoni’s short preview pointedly ignored the big local picture – the ongoing controversy in Madison about hip hop. To wit, many, particularly the police, routinely paint all hip hop with a broad brush. This simplistic reaction conveniently ignores the many powerful voices found in the underground “conscious” hip hop movement, a divergent art form that stands in direct opposition to mainstream commercial hip hop and its dominant mode of celebrating thug life.

This won’t do. We just elected Barack Obama and his message of hope, a message that includes a riveting critique of greed and short-sighted materialism. It is time for a change, and that alone makes gangsta rap look woefully passe´.

None of this was touched on in the Isthmus’s whitewash of The Game’s repugnant oeuvre. One would think, in light of the current moment, Madison’s Alternative Weekly would dig just a little deeper.

– Tag Evers

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