Win A Pair Of Tickets To See The New Pornographers Live At The Orpheum

New Pornographers

Just like the title says, if you’re hoping for the chance to see some of indie rock’s finest pop masters live in concert for free, then you’ve come to the right place!

We’re thrilled to welcome The New Pornographers back to Madison for their show at The Orpheum (tickets still available for purchase here) this Wednesday, August 4th.  Their latest release, Together, has been called “another masterstroke,” “explosive and infectious yet tight and glossy,” and sure to “satisfy orchestral-rock geeks and hook-heads” by the music press.  Yup, it sure is hard not to love these guys…

Enter to win a pair of tix after the jump.

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Artists You Should Know: The New Pornographers

New Pornographers

Since the beginning of rock n’ roll, two factors have lead the cause of band breakups:  1) veering creative differences of lead singers and 2) interband sexual tension.  However, even after 13 years, The New Pornographers truck on tighter than ever, despite 3 lead singers, 2 songwriters, and an overwhelming amount of male and female talent.

With the majority of the band’s members playing multiple instruments, The New Pornos are heavily armed in their instrumentation arsenal. Wurlitzers, mandolins and banjos hide in the cervices of twangy rhythm guitars and subtle bass lines. But a crowded stage doesn’t lead to a crowded sound. The New Pornos understand the “less is more” philosophy. Despite an overpowering mass of instruments and vocal microphones, members share the limelight, and unselfish musicianship allows it to all come together.

Pop hooks have always been piled high by The New Pornos, which is why they are careful to make sure their riffs don’t sound too familiar. “We’re jamming so many influences together all at the same time that it’s too dense a salad to be something that you could put your finger on or pick apart,” said bassist John Collins in an interview with the Cornell Sun.

The New Pornographers’ sound manages to straddle the fine line between indie and mainstream, snagging fans from multiple generations and musical palettes. While “scene-cred” was probably never a concern for the band, they’ve earned it nonetheless.

Canadian indie-pop outfit The New Pornographers bring their indie-pop mojo to the historic Orpheum Theatre on Wednesday, August 4.  The Dodos kick off the night at 8pm.  Get your tickets here.

-Brett Newski

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Todd Snider and The New Pornographers On NPR

New Pornographers

It’s no secret that we love NPR—even more so when they feature some of our favorite artists on their site.

They recently posted live concerts from Todd Snider and The New Pornographers, both of whom will be in Madison in the very near future.  If you like what you hear, we suggest you grab your tickets ASAP!

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THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS @ Orpheum Theatre – August 4th

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TODD SNIDER @ High Noon Saloon – July 16th

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Tag’s Reflections on 2008

Our first show in 2008 was Poi Dog Pondering, performing an acoustic set at High Noon, with one of my favorite regional bands, Romantica, opening. Such a great way to start the year

February, the shortest month of the year, was long on pleasant surprises. Basia Bulat’s set at High Noon was so endearing, and her single “In The Night” remained one of my favorite songs of the year. Sara Bareilles played live on The Today Show and then, that same day, flew into Madison for her sold out show at High Noon; her piano-driven set made it obvious there’s a lot more substance to her than the ubiquitous “Love Song,” as catchy as that song is.

Nicole Atkins blew us away with her single, “The Way It Is” from 2007’s Neptune City…it’s an amazing piece of post-modern cabaret and it went down smooth at Café Montmartre. The opener Parlor Mob, with their loving send-up of Led Zep, was a fun contrast. And, speaking of metal tributes of sorts, who can forget Bang Camaro and their cheaper by the dozen approach to old-fashioned cock rock?

February was also the month Matt Costa’s van and trailer went off the road on an Iowa highway on their way to High Noon. Though rolling over three times, the band escaped with only minor injuries. We’re grateful that was the worst of it and look forward to Matt’s return. (Yes, Wisconsin winters are a challenge, so be careful out there folks!)

Trampled by Turtles March 7th at High Noon sold out unexpectedly. From the rush of people going outside to get a cigarette and the people making their way back inside on that frigid night, I joked it was no longer trampled by turtles–I thought I was going to be trampled by human beings!

The Gutter Twins required us to bring in so much additional gear you would have thought that they were playing in from of 3,000 people instead of 300. Predictably, Greg Dulli was cheery and Mark Lanegan was not. The legendary X performed on March 21 at the Barrymore for a very fun show — it was the first time I’d ever seen a grey-haired moshpit.

Jens Lekman played Old Music Hall and demonstrated how the right artist at the right venue can create pure magic, in contrast to the night before with Lewis and Clark at the Annex in which we had the right artist at the wrong venue. Actually, that was also the case with Gary Louris & The Mekons, a great pairing at the Barrymore at the end of March that was dramatically under-attended, possibly due to The Weakerthans and AA Bondy playing the same night at High Noon. It’s tough playing traffic cop. Sometimes there’s no getting around these scheduling conflicts.

→ Free Download: Sounds Familiar – The Weakerthans

April 4th we had Vampire Weekend at High Noon. It sold out weeks in advance, benefiting from cover stories in the national press before their record had even been released. Sometimes we get lucky.

One of the coolest shows of the year was Blitzen Trapper with Fleet Foxes on a Tuesday night early show at High Noon in early April. Fleet Foxes and Blitzen Trapper would go on to receive end of the year acclamations for two of the best albums of the year.

On April 11th we had the first of 2 Bon Iver shows in Madison – this one a sold out show at the Stage Door–another artist that would go on to be on everybody’s top 10 list for 2008.

The New Pornographers with Okkervil River at the Orpheum…how cool was that? The word the day before the show that Neko Case had broken her leg reminded me of other female artists who played the Orpheum in years past with sprained ankles or broken legs, including Feist and Ani DiFranco. But Neko would not be making it until she came back to headline the Forward Fest in September-still the New Pornos/Okkervil show was a blast, with much discussion following as to which band was better. (My vote, diplomatically, was a tie.)

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club was the first band I’d ever seen that posted strobe warnings for the benefit of those with epilepsy and other conditions whereby they might go into a seizure. VERY INTENSE — enough to make people with “normal physiologies” dizzy and pass out. Dead Meadow played May 5th at High Noon’s fourth anniversary party–great stoner rock show, and True Endeavors supplied free pizza to celebrate the occasion.

Tegan and Sara played Madison a couple of times in years past to relatively small crowds – in May they came back and sold out the Barrymore Theatre. In contrast, Jim White again put on an amazing show at the Stage Door to a very small crowd. Sometimes quality is rewarded with a big show, sometimes not. Fortunately for us, we had our share of sell outs to wrap up the spring season, thanks to The Avett Brothers and Josh Ritter at High Noon, and KT Tunstall at the Barrymore.

→ Free Download: Snow Is Gone – Josh Ritter

MJ and I were at the National Conference for Media Reform the first weekend of June. We had the honor and privilege of stage-managing the conference where we rubbed shoulders with the likes of Bill Moyers, Dan Rather, Naomi Klein, Amy Goodman, Van Jones, Arianna Huffington, and Senator Byron Dorgan. www.freepress.net

June had some unexpectedly strong shows, starting off with the ever-strange, ever-amazing Buckethead. Stephen Marley sold out the Barrymore, and one of 2008’s most anticipated events was the sold out performance at the Overture with The Swell Season-music from the motion picture Once, featuring Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova. One of the special moments for me of the entire year was when Glen stood way from the mic and busked “Say It To Me Now” with his worn-out guitar and raspy voice, much like he did on that Dublin street in the early part of that amazing film.

→ Free Download: Buckethead- Three Fingers, 2005 Enter the Chicken

Speaking of the Overture, I hope you caught Lyle Lovett’s riveting performance in July – the 13-piece band, which grew to 20+ with the addition of local gospel singers from Alex Gee’s church, made this one of the top shows of the year.

The political hip-hop of Immortal Technique sold out High Noon in July and I was amazed at the number of leftie slogans on t-shirts, evidence that apathy is not a fair way to characterize this demographic. The Hold Steady sold out the Majestic convincingly and unsurprisingly for what many might argue was the best show of the year. Unless you are a Toadies fan, in which case you might make the case for their sold-out show with The Whigs on July 31 at the Annex.

→ Free Download: Chips Ahoy! – The Hold Steady

In August we were blessed to host at the Barrymore none other than She & Him, whose brilliant debut Vol. 1 was Paste magazine’s album of the year. The Onion’s over-the-top snarkiness notwithstanding, Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward put out one of the best albums of the year and their performance was wonderful, simply wonderful.

→ Free Download: She and Him- Why do you Let me Stay Here?, Volume 1 2008

We started the fall season with over 60 shows on sale. In reality, there’s just a glut of touring acts on the road these days, mainly because artists cannot make a living making records due to illegal downloads.

Big shows in September included Okkervil River with very special guest The Walkmen at the Barrymore. Both bands released new records that month and both performed amazing sets…without a doubt this was one of the best shows of the year. Australian surfer dude/didgeridoo-playing Xavier Rudd made his first appearance in Madison…his set was perhaps the most unusual of the year. The Dandy Warhols put on a great show to a smallish crowd, leaving us wondering if tough times were ahead.

Sure enough, we had more disappointment with shows like Abigail Washburn, Keller Williams, and Reliant K. It soon became obvious that the economy was going to be a factor. For the first time in all the years that we’ve been in business, it became clear that Madison wasn’t isolated form the recession affecting the rest of the nation.

Part of the problem, as already noted, was the sheer number of shows, all booked before anyone had heard of sub prime. There were 38 shows in the month of October alone. Among those shows, we had standout performances by Ray LaMontagne, Ryan Adams and the Cardinals, The Magnetic Fields, Nick Lowe, Pinback, Alejandro Escovedo, Murs, Lucinda Williams, Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, finishing up with a sold out Halloween performance by Atmosphere.

→ Free Download: Magnetic Fields- Always Where I Need to be, Live

Can’t forget that Electric 6 and Local H sold out the High Noon unexpectedly. We were able to keep on selling after Local H finished playing and some of their fans left. Electric 6 fans were waiting and were able to get in-we had a packed house all night long

But still business suffered-disappointing turnouts for top notch shows like Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, Southern Culture on the Skids, The Kooks, Sonja Kitchell, Dead Confederate, Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers, Amy Ray, Augustana, Slightly Stoopid, and The Acorn reminded us that we were, yes, in a recession.

In November, the number of shows dropped off a bit, but the quality was sky high. Amos Lee, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Horse Feathers, My Brightest Diamond, Devin The Dude, Subtle, The Rosebuds, Eagles of Death Metal, Deerhunter, Ingrid Michaelson (her second successful appearance at the Barrymore this year),Matt Nathanson, Pelican, Gaslight Anthem, Ladyhawk and Susan Tedeschi all put on memorable shows.

December was an unusually strong month for us, with well-attended and nearly sold out shows by Sharon Jones and Carrie Underwood mixed in with sold out shows by Bon Iver and the BoDeans. Unfortunately, we suffered a cancellation by The Sadies, only our second of the year – Matt Costa in February being the other. We look forward to getting both of them back in 2009.

A word about Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings: we promised you this would be the show of the year and we were not blowing smoke. While it’s impossible for me to pick a favorite among all the many shows we presented, this was certainly up there.

As great as the music has been through thick and thin, we had the great pleasure of serving our community through our fund raising wing, True Community Endeavors. This year, we raised money and awareness for the following organizations: Keep Wisconsin Warm Fund, The Progressive, WORT, Breast Cancer Recovery Foundation, Domestic Abuse Intervention Services, AIDS Network, and Liberty Tree.

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Lastly, there was a time in late September, early October, when we weren’t sure we were going to survive the economic downturn. We gradually came to the realization that we were selling concert tickets, not automobiles, and that you don’t need to take out a loan to buy a concert ticket. Indeed, people still have a need for entertainment even in difficult and challenging times, perhaps even more so, whether it’s a distraction from all the bad news or the sense of community and transcendence some glean from a great live performance.

At the end of the year, I’m again profoundly grateful for the privilege of doing what we do at True Endeavors. We look forward to the New Year, particularly January 20 and our new president — that exhale of relief alone seems to have made a difference in the local economy.

Whatever 2009 brings, we’ll be going through it together. With your help and continued support, we’ll be out there doing our best to promote a vibrant and relevant music scene in Madison.

See you at the shows!

Tag Evers

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 RollingStone.com. 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 GrooveShark.com, 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 TrueEndeavors.com. See you at the shows!

New Pornographers benefit AIDS Network

Tomorrow evening, Monday, April 21, Madison music fans will be in for a treat when the “power-poppy” New Pornographers — featuring Kathryn Calder, John Collins, Kurt Dahle, Todd Fancey, Carl Newman and Blaine Thurier — play the Orpheum Theater. The Pornographers are touring in support of Challengers, an album that the group consciously made with a more organic, less synthetic sound in mind, bringing in a full string section.

The band, whose name was derived from a Japanese film titled “The Pornographers” and has drawn comparisons to a Jimmy Swaggart quote calling rock and roll “the new pornography,” will unfortunately be without the accompaniment of the iconic redhead Neko Case, as reported by Madison’s own Muzzle of Bees. Case reportedly took a bad fall while on tour in Washington, DC, and despite attempting to play the following the two shows, has chosen to leave the tour and recuperate from her injuries. Nevertheless, the show is sure to be a memorable one, as the Pornos are accompanied by the also-wildly-talented Okkervil River as their openers.

Monday’s show will also serve as a benefit for the Wisconsin AIDS Network, with $1.00 from every ticket sold going to the Madison-based office. AIDS Network’s mission is to provide support, education and opportunities for well being to everyone touched by HIV/AIDS in south central Wisconsin and has been providing care and prevention services to the area since 1985. As the media’s focus has often shifted the focus of HIV/AIDS news coverage to focus on the African continent, where the disease has reached epidemic levels, many may not be aware that HIV continues to pose a threat to national and local public health.

“For Prevention, our biggest obstacle is complacency,” said Shawn Neal of AIDS Network. “When we go out and talk about HIV & AIDS within communities, many members of high risk communities [including but not limited to men who have sex with men and intravenous drug users] do not see themselves as being at risk. They know HIV exists, but don’t believe they could become infected.

“Those who have survived the 1980’s and early 1990’s when HIV infection was at its peak have now become relaxed in being safe. There isn’t that fear anymore of becoming infected. It’s easier to educate someone about HIV who doesn’t know about it and is concerned, then to change the already belief by many that it happens to ‘those’ people that they don’t associate with.”

AIDS Network has also encountered the recent stress of funding cuts limiting the scope of services they can offer to the over 350 clients they serve. Recently, the Emergency Financial Aid (EFA) program was cut entirely. EFA provided essential transportation or grocery vouchers for the organization’s clients, most of whom live in poverty. Without the program, clients face hardship in being able to get to medical appointments and to meet basic needs such as food, heat and electricity.

The impact of HIV/AIDS on south central Wisconsin (view recent, statewide statistics here) reaches far beyond the lives of AIDS Network’s 350 clients, including an estimated 800 HIV-diagnosed individuals in the area who don’t utilize AIDS Network’s services and even more individuals who are currently HIV positive without knowing so. These were numbers that Neal found to be particularly of note when asked to address skeptical readers:

“A person who tested positive for HIV didn’t believe all his or her life that he or she would be HIV positive one day. The dangerous thing someone can do is be ignorant that HIV is in his or her community, among his or her friends and/or is always in front of their face even if they claim to not see it. I meet people all the time that say they don’t know anyone who is HIV positive as they stand beside someone who happens to be positive. HIV is a virus that people are still discriminated against for having and so is still very undercover.”

If you’d like to help a very worthy cause in addition to some kick-ass music, be sure to come out to the Orpheum on Monday evening. Tickets are still available for $22 in advance or $25 on the day of the show.

– Joe Erbentraut, True Endeavors Communications and Public Relations Intern

Win Tix to New Pornographers or Cloud Cult/American Music Club!

Sure to sell out, this show is one to jump on..
THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS

new pornographers
( featuring: Kathryn Calder, Neko Case, John Collins, Kurt Dahle,
Todd Fancey, Carl Newman, and Blaine Thurier )

Monday April 21
$22 adv / &25 dos – all ages, w/ special guests
OKKERVIL RIVER
@ Orpheum Theater

BUY TICKETS NOW !

$1.00 per ticket to benefit AIDS Network!

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CLOUD CULT + AMERICAN MUSIC CLUB

“..melding folk, electronics, Arcade Fire emo, and quasi-hippie hoobajoo, Cloud Cult gird their ambition with solid tune.” -Pitchfork

Cloud Cult- Chain Reaction

Don’t miss out on Cloud Cult’s intense multi-media live art concert experience!

American Music Club- About Video From Earlier Years

“AMC works a deceptively simplistic vein of shadowy Americana, characterized by seductive blurs of acoustic guitar, twinkling leads, and circular compositions that complement the album’s obsession with the wheel of time.” – Pitchfork
with THE FORMS
@ High Noon Saloon
Fri. Apr. 11, $12 adv / $14 dos
BUY TICKETS NOW !

If you’d like a pair of tix to either show shoot an email to MJ@TrueEndeavors.com with the subject line “Win Tix To (fill in the show you want to see)” I’ll choose the fifth entry for each show and send you a congrats email back!

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