We see a lot of bands and consider Madison to be one of the best cities in the Midwest for live music.
After attending South by Southwest in Austin, along with Pitchfork and Lollapalooza in Chicago earlier this year, we’ve grown to appreciate the diverse mix of indie rock acts that come through Madison on a regular basis.
We thought it would be nice to share our list of preferred Madison indie rock establishments that we like to frequent. Keep in mind there are numerous other clubs, coffee houses and restaurants in town that feature music, adding to the Madison live music mystique. Many of our preferred venues have matinee shows earlier in the evening for those of us who need our beauty sleep for that day gig or early morning class.
Patrick Stickles of Titus Andronicus best summed up the 2010 Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago, “Just remember that inside these walls is the perfect Utopian society,” he said. “But out there is the real world.”
Yes, the Pitchfork world, where everyone wears skinny jeans, owns a state of the art mobile device, and has enough disposable income to buy vinyl versions of all those free mp3 downloads. The Pitchfork world; where the pilgrimage to the Promised Land begins, as we join 54,000 sweaty music fans for three days to drink the indie kool-aid at Union Park.
Sleeping in the Aviary return to the scene of the crime at the High Noon Saloon. One of our favorite former Madison bands. We still consider them local because they've spent more time in Madison than their current home of Minneapolis. Sleeping in the Aviary shows are always unpredictable and that's what we love about them. They don't take themselves too seriously.
The band is working on a new album that should be out in the fall on Madison's own Science of Sound record label. Sleeping in the Aviary came in at number one on our list of the best Madison indie shows last year. Their bombastic, beer-soaked performance at the Forward Music Festival will live in infamy. The band is also bringing some Minneapolis friends, Teenage Moods and Bouncer Fighter to join Madison's His & Her Vanities and The Hussy to satisfy your cravings for a solid night of Midwestern indie rock n roll. Lead guitartist/vocalist Elliott Kozel took some time out to answer a few questions for us.
Nothing like a July 4th weekend with friends, food and great music. Even better when you can celebrate with Justin Townes Earle, Dawes, The Walkmen, These United States, Jonny Corndawg, Young Man and Daytrotter. How about seeing Justin Townes Earle and Dawes in Madison Saturday on the Memorial Union Terrace, followed by a road trip down to Maquoketa, Iowa for the Daytrotter Barn on the 4th show, with four additional great indie bands? Being the gluttons that we are, Rock of the Arts procured a half-barrel of Spotted Cow Beer as a welcome mat for the indie faithful in Iowa.
Why would I brave four hours of gridlock traffic into Chicago on a hot summer day? It would have to be a pretty special event to motivate such a trip, Delta Spirit at the Metro sparked this insanity. After being duly impressed by their intimate performances at Daytrotter's Barnstormer III in May, we took the trip into the Windy City to see them in an actual club setting where they were even more impressive. Delta Spirit hails from Long Beach, CA, playing an addictive concoction of soulful southern blues with indie rock sensibilities.
Carey Mercer of Frog Eyes music style has been referred to by critics as idiosyntric, bombastic and capable of creating an atmosphere of psychedelic unease. The band’s recording efforts certainly show elements of all those descriptions and more. Frog Eyes live adds another dimension to the very original sound that somehow emerges from the band’s unlikely home base of Victoria, British Columbia.