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Sunday, April 20, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 57.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
The Daily


MadTracks -- 'Wedding Day' by Blueheels

A spare acoustic guitar figure serves as the intro to this country-rock morsel from the Blueheels. But that's a tease. As with a lot of the Neenah/Madison band's material, "Wedding Day" features brisk verses that jump to a gallop as twangy guitars, an urgent, train-kept-a-rollin' drum part and lead singer Robby Schiller's desiccated moan make a strong push for airplay. >More
 MadTracks -- 'Top of the World' by God-des and She

Ex-Madisonians God-des and She announce their arrival on the national stage with "Top of the World," the lead track on their new album Stand Up. This steady rolling track is lushed up by local knobtwister DJ Pain 1with echoed horn samples and slapped from behind with a floorboard rumbling kick drum that thumps the murky depths with all the power and glory of an old-school 808. >More
 MadTracks -- 'On the Bus' by Elliott Kozel

The Elliott Kozel of Sleeping in the Aviary and Elliott Kozel the solo artist are very different animals. With the former, Kozel careens through inspired pop tunes that are by turns ramshackle, anarchic and sweet. As a solo artist, he paints in far more muted colors. >More
 MadTracks -- 'Manic' by Jim Schwall

Jim Schwall adapts a conversational tone on "Manic," a nonchalant country blues number about a female partner who's unable or unwilling to master her moods. And since this is a live performance, it's easy to imagine a rapt audience leaning in a little closer at Mother Fool's Coffeehouse >More
 MadTracks -- 'La Policia' by Infantry Rockers

Now based out of both New Orleans and Madison, these days Infantry Rockers draw inspiration from across the Caribbean basin as well as Central America and Africa. But reggae still plays a big part in their propulsive, politically charged sound system. >More
 MadTracks -- 'Cloudy' by Ritt Dietz

A professor of French by day, Kentucky native Ritt Deitz spends his off hours perfecting evocative singer-songwriter material that runs from spare, poetic tone poems to tough-minded roots fare. "Cloudy" falls into the latter category. >More
 MadTracks -- 'Snow and Joy' by Null Device

Eric Oehler's elastic vocals are more out front on a number of the other tracks on the group's new album Excursions, but his performance here has a Romanticism about it that's redolent of the Moorish conquest and the cultural changes it wrought on the Iberian peninsula. >More
 MadTracks -- 'Out@11' by Baghdad Scuba Review

Baghdad Scuba Review clearly have studied at the feet of Jerry and Duane, but to their credit, they aren't in awe of their icons. And that makes all the difference in the world. >More
 MadTracks -- 'Crushes' by Charlemagne

An indefatigable creative soul, Carl Johns was the sparkplug that catalyzed a lot of indie-leaning pop-rock activity in these parts for many years. Geographically he's moved on, but a number of the musical interests he harbored here in Wisconsin remain on We Can Build an Island, his latest release under the Charlemagne moniker. >More
 MadTracks -- 'Ollie & Delilah' by Testa Rosa

"Ollie and Delilah," an infectious number selling bad luck love, opens the album in English and closes it auf Deutsch. Right from the get-go, it gathers swiftly in layers; propulsive drums, a driving bass line, and a synth harmony, all combining with the soaring vocals of Betty Blexrud-Strigens to make a jangly anthem that calls to mind The Pretenders or any number of '60s girl groups. >More
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