Rock of the Arts top ten indie shows of 2011

As 2011 draws to a close, we take a look back at our top live shows of the year. A mixture of local and festival-curated performances that became etched into our memory banks. Madison lived up to its reputation as an indie rock magnet, pulling in a steady stream of cutting edge shows while the big festival experience added fuel to the fire. Let's get to it. Rock of the Arts top ten indie shows of the year: 

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Top 10 anonymous comments about Pitchfork’s top 50 album list


Tis the season for end-of-year album lists sprouting up around the Internet. Who thought you would see the day when Rolling Stone and Spin would try to out-indie Pitchfork? You know, it’s a sign of the times. Indie rock has crossed over into the mainstream generating big bucks and attracting a corporate crowd that passionate indie fans find nauseating.
Yes, the big independent music blogs that so adamantly defended the right to practice the DIY ethos are now becoming the very thing they hated. The old-school music industry has invited themselves to the party and have infiltrated the music blogosphere with all the crass commercialism they can muster.

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Madison’s inaugural FRZN Fest with two-day indie line-up

Frozen Fest

If you like discovering new indie bands and keeping yourself sane in January, FRZN Fest might be just what the doctor ordered. The inaugural two-day indie music festival will take place Friday, January 13th and Saturday, January 14th at the High Noon Saloon in Madison.

With a cross-section of emerging artists from Sean Carey (of Bon Iver) and Polica (featuring members of Gayngs) to Class Actress (known as Brooklyn's Madonna), the multi-day festival will bring a much needed spark to a traditionally slow time of the year for live entertainment. According to Chairlift's Facebook invite, Active Child may also be added to the festival. The line-up so far:

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Sleigh Bells return with Reign of Terror

Sleigh Bells
Photo by Philip Cosores

Brooklyn indie noise popsters Sleigh Bells are back with the track off their forthcoming album "Reign of Terror." The signature crunchy guitar sound explodes out of the speakers on "Born to Lose" with  pulsating riffs and sample-heavy percussion. A hypnotic attraction that increases your desire to hear the rest of the album Well, don't worry. "Reign of Terror" will be released on Feb 21st.

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Alabama Shakes - All the Buzz Without the Hype

 Alabama Shakes

Four months ago, the Alabama Shakes were gigging in their stomping grounds of Athens, Alabama just trying to bring a little attention to a newly released soul-soaked EP on Bandcamp. A few simple YouTube videos were made of a live performance at a small record store. Before you know it, the word and videos began to spread virally as several forward-thinking indie music blogs picked up on the grass-roots appeal of Alabama Shakes' earthy, down-to-earth personna. The raw rockin' R&B underpinnings of the band shone through to a promising future.

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