New Album From The Hold Steady Now Streaming

Hold Steady

Holy cow, is this ever tasty!  (Not that we’d expect anything less from The Hold Steady.)  The band will officially release their latest album, Heaven Is Whenever, on May 4th, but you can preview the whole kit-and-caboodle over at NPR.

What tracks stand out to you on first listen?

As of right now, The Hold Steady have no plans to play Madison on their upcoming tour, but they won’t be too far.  Check them out at Summerfest on July 1st.

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New Hold Steady Awesomeness: “The Weekenders”

Heaven Is Whenever Hold Steady

The Hold Stead is one of those bands that just does. not. disappoint.  Their new album, Heaven is Whenever, is due out on May 4th, and from the sounds of it, it’s going to be another outrageously powerful sing-along epic.  MTV’s Buzzworthy Blog is offering a preview of things to come by streaming one of the album’s tracks (“The Weekenders”) for your listening pleasure.  Check it out and swoon.

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

Colin Meloy

Colin Meloy

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Monday Concert Connection – Haiku Master Showdown For Free Tix

Words are great. Especially when coupled with sounds, as you all know, to make music. April is national poetry month and as its end draws near, we here at TE would like to give you an opportunity to use your words. Read more to find out how you can collect a pair of tickets by having fun!

Scroll down for chances to WIN A PAIR OF TICKETS and express your inner poet with Peanut Butter Wolf and others, Robbie Fulks, Pert’ Near Sandstone, and Dan Deacon! Any ticket contest answers in a 5-7-5 haiku format will receive extra points.

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Media Roundup: What Will Spring Bring?

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!

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After making a stop in Madison to play a fantastic show at the High Noon Saloon, An Horse made their way to NYC to play “Camp Out” for David Letterman.   If you haven’t done so already, check out our interview with the band here.

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Paul and Ringo will lead an alarmingly amazing lineup of musicians who will perform at the upcoming “Change Begins Within” benefit for the David Lynch Foundation.  The foundation “raises funds to teach one million at-risk children to meditate — giving them life-long tools to overcome stress and violence and promote peace and success in their lives.”

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The Roots are settling into their new role as house band for Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.  Check out a video interview complete with rehearsal footage of the band here.

The Roots

The Roots

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Britpop legend Jarvis Cocker has a new album called Further Complications due out in May.  Let’s hope he’ll make time for an American tour after he completes his European dates!

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If you read the endlessly entertaining memoir Petal Pusher from Madison-native, rocker and author Laurie Lindeen (which you definitely should have), then you’ll be interested to know that her former band, Zuzu’s Petals, has a new retrospective album available from Rhino.

Zuzu's Petals

Zuzu's Petals

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Thanks to NPR, Dan Deacon fans can stream his new album, Bromst, in its entirety.  What do you think of the new tunes?  If you didn’t already know, Deacon will be in Madison on May 4th with Future Islands and Teeth Mountain.  Get your tickets here!

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Check out P.O.S.‘s new video for “Optimist.”

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It’s time to compare notes.  NME recently compiled a list of the “20 Greatest Goth Tracks.” What do you think of their selection?  What would you have included?
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Madison’s own Stu Levitan recently spoke with folk icon Joan Baez in an interview for 92.1 The Mic.  Click here to listen!  (Listed under March 8, 2009 Hour 2).  If you still don’t have tickets to Joan’s show at the Barrymore, get ’em here!

Joan Baez

Joan Baez

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If you’re thinking about picking up tickets to catch No Doubt on their upcoming tour, here’s a little extra motivation:  fans who opt to purchase premium tickets online will be able to download the band’s entire catalogue, plus exclusive content.
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Lots of exciting news from the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club camp!  A new album, DVD and tour are all in the band’s game plan for 2009.

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

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While you’re waiting for the indie folk trio that is Good Old War to play Madison on April 6th, check out this interview with the band from Blare magazine.  Need tickets to the show?  Head over here.
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Hardly a week goes by without some news from Oasis.  This week there are no brawls or international incidents to report on–just some free music on its way this spring!

Oasis

Oasis

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This year’s festival season is starting to take shape.  Pitchfork announced the first batch of confirmed acts for their July showcase, plus a brand new feature where ticket holders have the opportunity to pick the bands’ setlists.

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Jack White and The KillsAlison Mosshart are so strangers to being members of fantastic musical duos, so it only seems natural that they would join forces to create a brand new band called The Dead Weather. Along with The Raconteurs‘ “other Jack” (Lawrence) and Queens of the Stone Age‘s Dean Fertita, White and Mosshart plan to release the band’s debut album in June. Get the full scoop here, and check out a video of their first single.

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Congratulations are in order for Ryan Adams and Mandy Moore, who recently wed in a private ceremony in Georgia.

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A new Jeff Buckley CD/DVD package to mark the 15th anniversary of his debut album’s release will be available on June 2.  The set features live performances and rare TV clips. Find out more about what the package will include.

Jeff Buckley

Jeff Buckley

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Dahni Harrison talked to Billboard about the upcoming release of his band’s first album, as well as the new version of Rock Band featuring that one group his dad was in.  You may have heard of them…

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Check out a preview of The Hold Steady‘s new DVD, A Positive Rage.  When it’s realeased on April 7th, there’ll undoubtedly be more than a few Madison fans scanning the screen to catch a glimpse of themselves getting blown away by the band’s amazing show at The Majestic last year.

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A new solo Iggy Pop album is due out in May.  Read what the godfather of punk had to say about finding his inspiration as well as the furture of the Stooges after the passing of Ron Asheton.

Iggy Pop

Iggy Pop

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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

A 2008 Concert Photo Re-View

Before we look ahead to all the great shows True Endeavors will be bringing to us in 2009, maybe we should look back at some photos from 2008.  The gallery below includes an assortment of images from the shows that I was fortunate enough to attend.  From American Music Club to That 1 GuyKT Tunstall to Susan Tedeschi, Buckethead to Lyle Lovett and BRMC to EODM…it was a terrific mix of great music and interesting subjects to shoot. The full galleries for each show can be found via the “Live Concert Photos” link. Have a safe and happy new year! 

The Hold Steady

The Hold Steady

KT Tunstall

KT Tunstall

All photos © Copyright 2008 Bryan Gladding

Click HERE for more photos of these and other bands by concert photographer Bryan Gladding (In the Muck Photos)

Email IntheMuck (at) gmail.com for permission to use photos or for booking information.

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