Tom Morello, Wayne Kramer of MC5 at Capitol in Madison to Support Public Unions

The ongoing labor union debate in Madison has spread across the country, attracting the interest of high profile musicians who want to lend a hand for the cause. Tom Morello aka The Nightwatchmen and formerly of Rage Against the Machine and Wayne Kramer of the legendary MC5 join Mike McColgan (Dropkick Murphys), Tim McIlrath (Rise Against), Tommy Gabel (Against Me!) and Ike Reilly for a Wisconsin Worker Rally show Monday at Monona Terrace, starting at 6pm. Tom Morello will speak on the steps of the Capitol at 5pm just before the show.

Tom Morello

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Bobby Hussy on his New Label and the Madison Music Scene

Bobby Hussy, the outspoken guitarist for Madison’s premier garage/punk duo The Hussy, is as enthusiastic about his new label Kind Turkey Records, as he is telling road stories about his DIY adventures across the country. Living in San Francisco right now, Bobby will be returning to the Midwest for a string of dates with the Hussy including a stop at Mickey's Tavern in Madison on February 24th.

Also on the bill will be The Honey Slides, Milwaukee’s Trent Fox and the Tenants and the Orange Iguanas from Appleton. We caught up with Bobby to ask him a few questions about his new label, the Madison music scene and the possibility that he may return to Wisconsin.

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Video: Yuck - Holing

One of our favorite new British bands, Yuck, with "Holing" from their debut self-titled album on Fat Possum records.

Nellie Wilson and the Hellbound Honeys: Nasty Alt-Country

Madison's Nellie Wilson and the Hellbound Honeys put a new twist on nasty underground country. The title of their new album “Taking the “O” Out Of Country” may raise a few eyebrows, but the lyrics are what set them apart from the dreaded manufactured Nashville sound. Nellie and her band came of age playing in various punk bands and that DIY vibe comes through in their performance.

At the band's recent CD release party, Nellie dressed in a purple hoop skirt and freshly cut hairdo, using her sweet powerful voice to keep the audience transfixed, while the Hellbound Honeys kept the old-school country sound intact. A sonic combination that creates authenticity few Madison bands can muster.

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Cloud Cult Live At the Majestic Theater in Madison

Nothing like a good blizzard to bring out the Madison indie rock faithful. Despite a ton of snow, the Cloud Cult show at the Majestic Theater was almost sold-out. Openers Dark Dark Dark returned to Madison with a mesmerizing set highlighted by the hypnotic vocals of Nona Marie Invie.

It was Cloud Cult's final show of the tour supporting "Light Chasers" and the band was pumped! The eclectic mix of art, violins, guitar dynamics and intricate harmonies culminated in an adhoc celebration of winter. Check out the video of Cloud Cult performing "Everybody Here Is a Cloud" for the final encore.

Rock of the Arts Best Indie Shows of 2010

2010 was a great year for independent music, as many indie rock artists broke into the top ten sales charts without the aid of major labels or mainstream radio airplay. The Internet, via social media and indie music blogs, paved the way for a new approach to DIY promotion that leveled the playing field for many artists.

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Locally, the closing of Madison’s Smart Studios signaled a changing of the guard, as the availability of low cost laptop-based recording software eliminated the need for large studios.

On the Rock of the Arts front, we saw over 150 indie shows in 2010 including multi-day stints at South by Southwest in Austin along with Pitchfork and Lollapalooza in Chicago. We wanted to come up with a list of our favorite shows. It was hard to narrow down the list to ten shows, but here we go:

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