Lookin’ For Your Free MP3 Fix? Get It Here

White Rabbits

Need some new tuneage?  You’ve come to the right place.  Enjoy free (and completely legal) downloads from artists like Blind Pilot, Au Revoir Simone, White Rabbits and more.

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Media Roundup: Tips and Tricks for the Musically-Minded

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!


How cool is this?!  Sen. Russ Feingold is looking for YOUR musical recommendations!  Submit your ideas for songs to be included in his “Fein” Tunes playlist here.

Sen. Russ Feingold wants your cool tunes

Sen. Russ Feingold wants your cool tunes

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Cover Your Ears! Censored Music Through The Ages


The history of banned and censored music is, unfortunately, as long and varied as the history of music itself. Wherever there’s great art being made, the morality police are always close by. Read on as we revisit some of the most notoriously “vile,” “suggestive,” “vulgar,” “crude,” “un-American” and completely faaaaaabulous songs of the past half century!

Go ahead, click to corrupt yourself!

CD Review: Volume 1, She and Him


It’s no secret that actors haven’t had the greatest track record concerning their attempts to break into the music industry. Remember Russell Crowe’s band, 30 Odd Foot of Grunts, for example? Exactly. The musical efforts of other pretty faces haven’t fared much better, usually because, a.) they aren’t anywhere near convincing in their supposed passion for music, or b.) the product itself is just…well…crap. There are, however, a few pleasantly surprising exceptions to the thespian curse. She & Him, the pairing of actress Zooey Deschanel (Almost Famous, Elf) and indie folk favorite M. Ward, is one of these.

The two met while working on a song for the soundtrack to one of Deschanel’s movies, The Go-Getter. As their friendship grew, Deschanel revealed that she had been recording home demos of her own material for quite some time. Though initially shy about others hearing her work, she eventually gave into Ward’s encouragement and shared them with him. Impressed with the quality of her songwriting, Ward suggested a collaboration to formally record the songs and give the songs the audience they deserved.

It’s immediately clear upon listening to their album, Volume One, that whatever insecurities Deschanel might have had about her ventures into the music world were unfounded. Her voice sparkles over this collection of instantly classic songs, and leaves the listener with no doubts about her massive talent. Ward, already an indie darling known for his delicate, yet emotionally powerful folk, is the perfect musical partner for Deschanel. He is able to arrange the songs in such a way that Deschanel is always supported, but never overpowered or drowned out by superfluous production. As a result, Volume One is a lush, haunting throwback to the early ‘60s, with hints of old country, pop, and classic girl groups.

The first single, “Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?” is a bouncy, sweetly innocent plea to the boy who just doesn’t get how simple love can be. The Phil Spector-inspired beats and instrumentation coupled with the smooth oooo la, la, las on “Sweet Darlin’” are unmistakably reminiscent of girl groups like The Ronettes and The Crystals. Deschanel’s most compelling performance is on the country-tinged “Change is Hard.” A comforting aural arm around the shoulders, she sings directly to every broken heart within weeping distance. “I was never/ no I was never/ no I was never enough/ But I can try/ I can try to toughen up/ I listened when they told me/ if he burns you let him go/ Change is hard/ I should know,” she sings with equal parts regret and determination. Sure to be a pleasant listen any time of year, Volume One is supremely enjoyable in the current summer setting—the crisp, bright jangle of Ward’s George Harrison-influenced guitar on the easy-going “This Is Not A Test” is especially suited for warm, breezy evenings. The three covers on the album, “You Really Got A Hold On Me,” “I Should Have Known Better,” and “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” compliment Deschanel’s originals with a charming, gentle vocal approach. With a style that classic, she knows she doesn’t need to make any drastic changes to what comes naturally to her to appeal to music listeners.

What Deschanel and Ward have achieved with Volume One is nothing short of extraordinary. Listeners can forget about the track advance button for this album—every song offers something special and instantly unforgettable, sure to be surpassed only by being performed in a live setting. Madison residents are extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to experience just that. This Friday, She & Him will present their body of work at The Barrymore. Becky Stark of Lavender Diamond opens the show at 8:00 pm.

-Shelley Peckham

This Weeks Shows & Downloads

We’ve got lots of videos, interviews, and songs you can watch or download for your very own.


Friday June 27


Genre: Indie/Folk/Americana



Genre: Folk/Acoustic/Pop

The Boston Globe describes her sound as “elegant and free-floating melodies that feel both modern and rooted.

Song for Jeffrey Lucey- Meg Hutchinson

with special guest ROSE COUSINS

Friday, June 27, 6:30 pm early start time High Noon Saloon 608.268.1122 $10 – 18+



Sunday June 29

PETE FRANCIS (of Dispatch)

Genre: Rock/Folk Rock/Jam Band

In his songs a poetic tension exists between textured imagery and pure improvised rock and roll. The record expresses Francis’ soulful rock, folk and blues influences with layered instrumentation of B-3 organ, lap-steel guitar, mandolin, and a driving rhythm section.

Similar to: Slightly Stoopid, John Butler Trio, Matt Nathanson, & Matt Costa

Shooting Star and the Ambulance- Pete Francis

Pete Francis Interview


Genre: Pop/Rock/Experimental

messily refined indie rock..and innovative, yet catchy, melodies that work their way into your head without you even knowing it..wildly inventive shows, and it’s while performing that the band’s vivid personalities come through.

Similar to: The Flaming Lips, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, & Kings of Leon

Circles- Colourmusic

Free Downloads:

Colourmusic- Yes Yes Yes

Colourmusic- Circles

Colourmusic- Calling Your Name

Sunday, June 29, 8pm High Noon Saloon 608.268.1122 $10 –




Thursday July 3


Genre: Rock/Psychedelic

Though the band is pinned as producing the same kind of indie rock aesthetic à la My Morning Jacket and Band of Horses, Dead Confederate dabbles in darker shades than their compared predecessors..Dead Confederate echo the Drive-By Truckers’ bittersweet southern rock angst with the smoke-heavy swagger of the Black Angels.

The Rat- Dead confederate

Dead Confederate Interview

Free Download:

Dead Confederate

with special guests ROCK PLAZA CENTRAL

Genre: Folk/Americana

After a pair of glowing reviews from the influential music website Pitchfork they have recently come to prominence as a major indie rock band.

..evocative lyrics and powerful instrumentation..an outstanding fusion of alt-country earnestness and indie rock absurdity. Without any trace of flaunt or deliberateness, this homespun epic proves as casual in tone as it is ambitious in scope… sure to have tears welling and fists aloft in raucous salute.”- Josh Berquist, PopMatters, April 2007

Similar to: Okkervil River, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, M. Ward, The Avett Brothers, & My Morning Jacket

My Children, Be Joyful- Rock Plaza Central

Rock Plaza Central Interview 2007

Free Downloads:

Rock Plaza Central- My Children, Be Joyful, 2006 Are We Not Horses

Rock Plaza Central- We’ve Got a Lot to be Glad For, 2006 Are We Not Horses

Thursday July 3, 9pm High Noon Saloon 608.268-1122 $8 adv $8 dos




Friday July 4

WORT-FM welcomes


Genre: Country/Indie/Bluegrass

While most current country music is calculated to form an inoffensive backdrop to the suburban shopping experience, Robbie Fulks writes songs that make you think and feel and quite often laugh out loud.

Similar to: Steve Earle, Neko Case, & Lyle Lovett

Cigarette State- Robbie Fullks


Genre: Americana/Folk/Pop

With an album on Paste Magazine’s Top 100 of 2007 and comparisons popping up all over the place between singer/songwriter Ben Kyle and both Jeff Tweedy and Ryan Adams, it probably won’t be too long before you’ll no longer be able to catch these guys in such a cozy venue.

Drink the Night Away- Romantica

Free Downloads:

Romantica- The Dark (with Ryan Adams)

9:30 pm High Noon Saloon 608.268.1122 $15 adv and dos . 21+



Music as Life’s Narrator

What is the soundtrack of your life?

Even for those of us who don’t pay much attention to the hottest bands of the month, music still exists in our peripheries..and in our psychies.

Try this..if you were born in the 50’s or 60’s you probably have a particularly visceral and emotional response to these songs

or 60’s & 70’s?

or born in the 70’s & 80’s?

Most, if not all of us could probably tell the stories of our lives simply by playing the music we chose to listen to at that time; childhood hope..teen angst and insecurity..young adult disillusionment..and so on.

The attraction of the mix tape is essentially the inclination to package and express hopes and experiences in our lives, through music. I know my generation spent countless hrs. on bedroom floors pressing the record button on 2 deck cassette players. But each generation has their own version of musical storytelling, whether it be record collections or personalized Pandora stations.

But why is it that music resonates so deeply through our life experiences?

It turns out that music essentially has it’s own biology. Although the right hemisphere of the brain is often associated with creativity, studies show that neuro-pathways in the brain respond to music in both hemispheres. In fact both sides are essential for the accurate perception of musical components such as rhythm.

The biology of music effects us viscerally as well. The reason you want to shake it in response to music is because the human brain activates it’s movement centers as part of its neurological response. It really is unnatural to be stuck in your chair at a great show- formalities of the venue or not.

Other studies have shown that music affects the emotional centers of the brain- although that process is not entirely understood yet. Medical studies have shown however that this connection can help patients lower blood pressure, increase the efficiency of oxygen delivery to the heart, help dyslexics read more easily, & help premature babies gain weight faster.

Whether we understand all the connections yet or not, one thing is clear..we are hard wired to experience and process music in our lives.

Mark Jude Tramo, a Harvard neuroscientist, believes the explanation becomes clear when we take in to account that dance and music preceded verbal language in human evolution. In fact, there have been no cultures discovered in human history without archaeological evidence of a role for music.

But after all the analysis what does this all really mean for you? Keep rocking- your brain needs it.

-MJ Hecox

Reference: Music on the brain: Researchers explore the biology of music By William J. Cromie, Harvard Gazette

Shows To See This Week (If you like…)

Friday May 9

If you like Matt Pond PA, Stars, or Iron & Wine try..


Genre: Rock/ Indie/ Folk

Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s is an 8-piece indie-pop/orchestral pop band from Indianapolis, Indiana. The band’s sound, categorized as “chamber pop”, has been compared to the indie rock groups Arcade Fire, The Decemberists, and The Shins.

Quiet As A Mouse- Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s

9:00 pm @ Orpheum Stage Door 608.255.8755 $10 adv $12 dos – all ages



Friday May 9

If you like Blitzen Trapper, Ryan Adams, or Neko Case then try


Genre: Folk Rock

4 Free Avett Brothers Song Downloads

9:30 pm @ High Noon Saloon 608.268.1122 $15 adv /$18 dos – 18+


Presented with Muzzle of Bees


Saturday May 10

If you like Matt Nathanson, Nicole Atkins, or Ingrid Michaelson try..


1 Free Todd Carey Song Download

Saturday 9:30 pm @ Cafe Montmartre 608.255.5900 $8 adv $10 dos – 18+ BUY TICKETS NOW!


Saturday May 10

If you like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club or The Detroit Cobras try..

THE KILLS with special guests TELEPATHE

Genre: Rock/ Electronic/Indie

Fever- The Kills

NPR.org, April 4, 2008 Article and song of the day

Saturday 9:30 pm @ The Annex 608.256.7750 $12 – 18+



Monday May 12

If you like Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams, or Drive-by Truckers try


Genre: Rock

James on NPR’s All Things Considered

Monday 8:00 pm @ High Noon Saloon 608.268.1122 $15 adv – 21+



Wednesday May 14

If you like Ryan Adams, Okkervil River, or Jason Collett try


Genre: Rock/ Indie/ Folk Rock

“Ritter’s off-the-cuff approach intersects with a winning pop melody..the neatly arranged horns, fiddles, and piano play against Ritter’s tumbling lyrics. -Onion AV Club

To the Dogs or Whoever- Josh Ritter

3 Free Josh Ritter Song Downloads

Wednesday 8:30 pm @ High Noon Saloon 608.268.1122 $15 adv – 18+



Thursday May 15

KT TUNSTALL with special guest PADDY CASEY

Thursday 7:30 pm @ Barrymore Theatre 608.241.8864 $27 – all ages


Presented with JAM Productions