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.
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 evangelist do best: Bring the fire to the people.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.