Review: Wilco & Califone at Overture Hall Madison

I’m one of those people that like Wilco, but never had the band at the top of my list for a must-see show. That all changed Saturday night as Jeff Tweedy and company proved that through eight albums and numerous personnel changes they can still put on a flawless two-plus hour show that leaves the audience wanting more.


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The Runaways Movie Found in Madison


Cherie Currie Attends Show

Madison made history Thursday night as the Sundance Film Festival expanded its reach to eight satellite theaters across the country for the first time. One of the most-talked-about movies of the festival, “The Runaways” starring Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett and Dakota Fanning as Cherie Currie, played to a sold-out crowd at Madison’s Sundance Cinema with an added bonus. The Runaways' lead singer, Cherie Currie, was in attendance as a special dispatch from the festival and took questions from the audience after the show.

The Runaways chronicles the rise and fall of the legendary 70’s all-girl rock band that paved the way for future female rockers. Lead singer, Currie along with guitarists Joan Jett and Lita Ford were all teenagers when the band’s first album came out in 1976. The movie is rather uneven and tends to drag in spots coming off like a documentary. But, it does show the seedy side of rock n roll life well, with the manipulating freak of a manager Kim Fowley plotting world domination for the band, while ripping them off at the same time. Fowley basically marketed the band as rock n roll jail-bait. Currie’s substance abuse problems are highlighted, including scenes of snorting cocaine in a plane bathroom with Joan Jett and excessive drinking binges. 

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2009 - Madison Top Ten Indie Shows

Rock of the Arts web site went live on July 21, 2009. Becoming part of the indie music blogosphere over the last five months has been an exhilarating experience. Besides writing about decent shows in the Madison area, we’ve met a lot of really cool, passionate people that truly love music.

We are constantly amazed at the sheer volume of indie bands that come through Madison. On more than one occasion, multiple shows of high caliber competed for our attention; Bloodshot records BBQ or Rural Alberta Advantage? Daniel Johnston or the Breeders? Fiery Furnaces or Real Estate? And the list goes on.
Anyway, Rock of the Arts has plans for an exciting 2010, with more local band coverage, a trip to South by Southwest and a foray into the realm of direct-to-fan marketing. You will be hearing more about that in January.
With the flurry of end-of-year lists, we decided to put together our top ten Madison area show videos. Some of your favorites may not be on the list simply because we didn’t attend the show. Like your average indie music fan, we buy all our tickets to attend shows. We also work day jobs. Of course, we would like to see every band, but schedules, budgets and common sense prevents us from pulling that off. Here’s our list of top ten videos:
#10  Two Cow Garage - Suburban Home Records Tour
What could be better than Two Cow Garage? How about Two Cow Garage with Jon Snodgrass and Austin Lucas! This early show at the High Noon Saloon was an excersise in camaraderie among touring bands. All three acts played together and solo virtually nonstop for two hours. We look forward to them coming back to Madison!

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