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Sound Advice: Hopsin with SwizZz, Dizzy Wright, Jarren Benton and DJ Hoppa

Thursday • Bogart’s

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 7, 2015
At 30, Hopsin is one of second-generation Hip Hop’s old guard, a genre veteran for nearly half his life who has used devices both fresh (white contact lenses that give him the appearance of an extra in Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video, YouTube promotion, a positive spin in his lyrical message) and time-tested (artist feuds, label conflicts, a fake retirement announcement, run-ins with the law, an acting career) to widen his exposure.  

Sound Advice: William Fitzsimmons with Jake Phillips

Friday • Madison Live

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 7, 2015
With a voice like a choirboy and a beard like a lumberjack, acoustic-oriented multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter William Fitzsimmons is a striking visual and aural presence.

Sound Advice: Grooms with A Place to Bury Strangers and Leggy

Thursday • Madison Live

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 30, 2015
In a realization similar to my ex-wife’s, Travis Johnson concluded back in 2009 he’d made a terrible mistake and had to do something to correct it.  

Sound Advice: Reckless Kelly with Noah Smith

Friday • Southgate House Revival

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 30, 2015
All things Austin, Texas, have been coming to a head the last few years in the music world. Always a great music town, the scene has blown up to almost too-big proportions, with the South By Southwest festival growing to seemingly unsustainable levels. Reckless Kelly, however, has been walking the streets of Austin since the band migrated there from Idaho in the late 1990s.  

Sound Advice: Built to Spill with Helvetia and Clarke and the Himselfs

Monday • Woodward Theater

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 30, 2015
“All Our Songs,” the lead track on Built to Spill’s latest record, Untethered Moon, is an unabashed celebration of the band’s 23-year-existence, featuring six minutes of guitar-soaring bliss that includes this admission of contentment from enduring frontman Doug Martsch: “And I found a place/Where I know I’ll always be tethered/And I knew when I woke up/Rock & Roll will be there forever.”  

Sound Advice: Gang of Four with The New Regime and Evening Redness

Tuesday • 20th Century Theater

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Let’s get it out of the way at the start — Gang of Four’s 1979 debut, Entertainment, is among the landmark albums of the last 40 years, a politically charged, sonically angular slap in the face that remains as visceral as the day it surfaced.  

Sound Advice: Chris Robinson Brotherhood

Thursday • 20th Century Theater

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 23, 2015
In early 2011, just after The Black Crowes entered their second major hiatus, lead singer Chris Robinson decided to branch out, embarking on a solo endeavor that has become a new powerhouse of modern American Rock & Roll — Chris Robinson Brotherhood, known by devoted fans as CRB.  

Sound Advice: The Wood Brothers with Gill Landry

Sunday • 20th Century Theater

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Brothers Chris and Oliver Wood grew up in Colorado surrounded by the campfire music of their father and the storytelling poetics of their mother. So it was no surprise that both ended up as successful creatives, although, despite their shared roots, they didn’t work together for a significant portion of their careers.  

Sound Advice: Ivan & Alyosha with Plastic Ants

Monday • MOTR Pub

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 23, 2015
For the uninitiated, Ivan & Alyosha falls into the same nomenclature category as Jethro Tull and Pink Floyd — there are no Jethros, Floyds, Ivans or Alyoshas among their ranks. Ivan & Alyosha was initially comprised of vocalists/guitarists Tim Wilson and Ryan Carbary, who gravitated from working in a variety of musical relationships to forming an exclusive duo in 2007.

Sound Advice: Torres with Brandi Carlile

Wednesday (Sept. 30) • Taft Theatre

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 23, 2015
When it came time to pick a producer for the follow-up to her 2013 self-titled debut, Mackenzie Scott (aka Torres) decided to enlist PJ Harvey’s longtime drummer Rob Ellis, who in turn recruited several of his buddies, including Portishead guitarist Adrian Utley.   

Sound Advice: Death Cab for Cutie with Twin Shadow

Friday • PNC Pavilion at Riverbend

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 16, 2015
My three favorite band names inspired by unlikely sources would be: a) Steely Dan, after the chrome-plated dildo in William S. Burroughs’ Naked Lunch; b) Toad the Wet Sprocket, a band name concocted by Monty Python for one of its sketches; and c) Death Cab for Cutie, taken from a song by the critically underappreciated (in the U.S., at least) Bonzo Dog Band from its 1967 debut album, Gorilla.

Sound Advice: Beach House with Jessica Pratt

Friday • Bogart’s

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Now more than a decade into its artistic lifespan, Baltimore’s Beach House wanted a shift in approach when
it came time to write songs for what would become its fifth record, Depression Cherry.

Sound Advice: Marcia Ball

Friday • Southgate House Revival

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Boogie Woogie/Swamp Rock piano pounder Marcia Ball is the poster child for the phrase “born to the craft.”   

Sound Advice: alt-J with San Fermin

Monday • PNC Pavilion at Riverbend

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 16, 2015
When asked in a recent interview with Rolling Stone, the famously opinionated Liam Gallagher (formerly of Brit Rock stars Oasis) said this about music he was digging lately: “Do you know that track by alt-J, ‘Left Hand Free’? That is a great track. But alt-J can fuck right off as far as I’m concerned. It’s a great tune, and I paid 79 pence for it, but I am in no way a fan of alt-J.”   

Sound Advice: The Damned

Friday • Bogart’s

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 9, 2015
For anyone who would doubt the legitimacy of The Damned’s place in Punk history, the group’s early credentials speak for themselves.