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..

MARGOT AND THE NUCLEAR SO AND SO’S with special guests CAMERON McGILL + JENTRI COLELLO

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

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Friday May 9

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

THE AVETT BROTHERS with JESSICA LEA MAYFIELD

Genre: Folk Rock

4 Free Avett Brothers Song Downloads

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

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Presented with Muzzle of Bees

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Saturday May 10

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

Three of Hearts Tour featuring TODD CAREY / ALEXA WILKINSON / JONATHAN CLAY

1 Free Todd Carey Song Download

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

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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+

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Monday May 12

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

JAMES MCMURTRY with THE DEDRINGERS

Genre: Rock

James on NPR’s All Things Considered

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

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Wednesday May 14

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

JOSH RITTER with DAWN LANDES

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+

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Thursday May 15

KT TUNSTALL with special guest PADDY CASEY

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

SOLD OUT!

Presented with JAM Productions

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A Week in Live Shows

Can you keep up after last weeks intense run? Oh yes you can! Summer is rolling around and that means tour schedules will slow down- so get it while it’s hot (or at least before you have to travel 4 hrs. for a touring band and a beer)!

Friday May 2

THE DIRTBOMBS with special guests DAN SARTAIN & TERRIBLE TWOS

Genre: Rock

“..rock and roll at its pure, shaggy best. If you’re tired of that, you’re tired of life…” -Splendid

Chains of Love- The Dirtbombs

10:00 pm @ High Noon Saloon 608-268-1122 $12 adv – 21+

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Saturday May 3

BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB with special guests THE DUKE SPIRIT

Genre: Rock

“..proclamations about life and the Devil growled over careful acoustic strums and tiny wisps of pedal steel…” -Pitchfork

Dane 101 Interview

Two Free BRMC Song Downloads

Saturday 9:30 pm @ High Noon Saloon 608- 268-1122 $16 adv / $18 dos – 18+

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Sunday May 4

RA RA RIOT + THE LITTLE ONES with special guests HEY CHAMP

Genre: Indie/ Folk Rock

“Ra Ra Riot – a band of Syracuse University students past, present and on hiatus – find that balance — already in its short life, literally putting heartbeats and pacemakers into the stuffing of all of the songs that they’ve thus far put to their name – an explosive tag of cheerful and misleading aggression…” -Daytrotter

Dying is Fine- Ra Ra Riot

Four Free Ra Ra Riot Downloads from Daytrotter

The Little Ones..are here for you to feel better about yourself, once the cabin fever has lost its control and you’re free to go. They taunt everything from the waist down — on everyone within a 10-mile radius — to not go on and freak out all over the place with euphoric spasms becoming dancing and universally recognized getting down…” -Daytrotter

Lovers Who Uncover- The Little Ones

Four The Little Ones Free Song Downloads From Daytrotter Sessions

Three The Little Ones Free Song Downloads

8:00 pm @ The Annex 608- 256-7750 $10 adv – 18+

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Monday May 5

HIGH NOON SALOON CELEBRATES FOUR YEARS featuring DEAD MEADOW with special guests DARK FOG & DROIDS ATTACK

Genre: Indie/ Psychadelic

“..the band can strum hypnotic, Eastern-tinged folk as it well as it pounds hypnotic, Sabbath-style riffs.” -Onion AV Club

What Needs Must Be- Dead Meadow

Five Free Dead Meadow Song Downloads

9:00 pm @ High Noon Saloon 608- 268-1122 $8 adv / $10 dos – 18+

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$1.50 PBR bottles all night & FREE Pizza from Glass Nickel!

Thanks to WORT FM and The Onion!

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Tuesday May 6

TEGAN AND SARA Out of Hibernation Tour with special guest AN HORSE

Genre: Indie/ Pop/ Alternative

“..defying conventional notions of rock rhythm, and featuring songs that seem to go through at least three melodic changes before recycling.” -Onion AV Club

Walking With A Ghost- Tegan and Sara

Free Tegan and Sara Song Download

7:30 pm @ Barrymore Theatre 608-241-8864 $25 adv – all ages

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Thursday May 8

JIM WHITE with VID LIBERT

Genre: Americana/ Alternative/ Country

“With accompaniment as varied as vocals from Ollabelle and Brazilian percussion from Mauro Refosco, White still keeps us off balance with rich, unpredictable textures that convey lost-in-the-backwoods disorientation.” -Billboard

If Jesus Drove a Motor Home- Jim White

Listen to NPR World Cafe – March 5, 2008 Jim White in-studio performance/ interview

8:00pm @ Orpheum Stage Door 608.255.8755 $15 adv $17 dos – all ages

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No giveaway on this post darlins’ but check back on Monday- that one’s a guarantee! Continue reading