Saturday, May 27, 2017, 3:05am
George Clinton and the latest lineup of Parliament-Funkadelic headlined Friday night's beginning of Madison's annual Brat Fest celebration, demonstrating to those who attended why Clinton and his merry band of funkateers are both beloved and essential in the evolution of pop music despite offering a truly conflicting, confusing performance.
Saturday, April 1, 2017, 8:00am
On stage, Fishbone performs like an aged fighter backed into a corner and down on points. At the High Noon Saloon in Madison on Friday night, the band reinforced their reputation as uncompromising musical pioneers and thick-headed stalwarts even as bar-band doom stares them in the face.
Saturday, December 31, 2016, 3:15pm
With a new year upon us, it's time to reflect on all that the year 2016 gave -- and a little that it took -- from our collective listening.
Monday, December 26, 2016, 8:00am
George Michael never looked the role of a musical freedom fighter. Between his Adonis-like features, his stylish, camera-ready wardrobe and his devotion to dance music made him appear as a pop star keener to keep the party going than in tearing the whole proceeding down. And yet, Michael once stood up for artistic purpose and threatened to dismantle the pop-music machine that had built him into a global superstar. And he did it with the most unlikely of tools: a hit song.
Monday, October 31, 2016, 7:00am
As a treat for all the ghosts and goblins you love, here are a few songs that are worth adding to your Halloween playlist in time for the costume parties to come.
Friday, December 4, 2015, 2:35pm
Although sometimes seen as a divisive figure among music fans and the industry in general, former Stone Temple Pilots singer Scott Weiland had an undeniable impact with a steady string of alternative-rock hits in the 1990s and early '00s. His death on Thursday offers a chance to reflect on those contributions.
Friday, November 6, 2015, 7:45am
A new, massive box set released Friday documents Bob Dylan's whirlwind year of 1965 and 1966. While this compilation offers many examples of how masterpieces emerged in the recording studio, it also brings fans perhaps the greatest incomplete song in Dylan's canon.
Saturday, October 31, 2015, 8:30am
Although the members of the Dave Rawlings Machine took the stage in Madison Friday night dressed as every rural American archetype, the reason wasn't to get a start on Halloween trick-or-treating. This Appalachia-loving string band was just getting in character to do what musical evangelists do best: Bring the fire to the people.
Friday, October 30, 2015, 9:00am
As a favor for those ghost and ghoul wannabes, here are a few songs that are worth adding to your Halloween playlist in time for the costume parties to come.
Monday, October 12, 2015, 9:45am
Authors and critics might be correct when they write off Detroit-area saxophone player Steve Mackay as simply a sideman to the Iggy Pop-led Stooges in the early '70s, but doing so sadly undervalues the importance of his contributions. Hired hand or not, any musician would want to be involved in making a musical masterwork.
Friday, July 24, 2015, 9:35am
After a 30-year absence, Elvis Costello returned to Madison on Thursday night for a performance that seemed designed to prove a single theory: He's just gotten better over the years.
Thursday, July 16, 2015, 12:00pm
For the next two days, the center of the introverted, underground-rock world will leap from hipster blogs and snarky music websites to a real-world stage in western Wisconsin as the inaugural Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival begins on Friday in Eau Claire.
Thursday, July 9, 2015, 2:35pm
Indie-folk siren Ani DiFranco has joined dozens of other performers to contribute to an online songwriting protest against the flying of the Confederate battle flag in the wake of a shooting rampage at a historic black church in South Carolina last month.
Thursday, June 11, 2015, 9:50am
It's a cliché that a genius' work is often only recognized after death, but this will surely be the case when history renders its final assessment of maverick jazz saxophonist Ornette Coleman. His life's work was anything but a worn-out cliché.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015, 6:00am
When Dave Letterman is remembered in the history of television, it will likely be for his unique comedic persona and his pivotal role in upsetting the rather rote late-night talk-show format. Few, however, would recognize Letterman as a patron of pop music.
Friday, May 15, 2015, 9:10am
Hailed in his lifetime as "the king of the blues," B.B. King had a lot to live up to. Thankfully, this was one blues legend who truly lived up to the billing. He died on Thursday at the age of 89 years old.
Thursday, April 16, 2015, 11:45pm
With all the articles, books and documentaries that have examined and reexamined the hallowed history of 1960s rock 'n' roll, it's still surprising that an important group like the Paul Butterfield Blues Band remains unheralded for their crucial contributions to pop music. Put bluntly, if it weren't for the Butterfield band, both the American blues revival and Age of Aquarius would have been very different, or not occurred at all.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015, 10:30pm
Get a rundown of the latest pop-music news happening in rock, hip-hop and the like.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015, 2:30pm
To most of the listening public, the name "Percy Sledge" is the answer to a trivia question: What soul singer sang the 1966 romantic classic, "When A Man Loves A Woman"? However, Sledge was a lot more than just a one-hit wonder.
Thursday, January 8, 2015, 8:00am
Elvis Presley would have turned 80 years old on Thursday. Amid the remembrances and reflections on Presley's transformational impact on stardom and his unquestionable role in popularizing rock music, few might know that Wisconsin was the setting of two remarkable incidents that occurred as Elvis' life neared its end.