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Madison Music Project -- The Gothsicles

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Today's highlighted Madison musical act is The Gothsicles.

With roots in both Madison and Milwaukee, The Gothsicles brand of "ebn/industrial fueled with energon cubes and heart containers" is injecting electronic music with much more than an 8-bit dose of noisy, geeky fun. Led by darkNES (Brian Graupner), the act specializes in electronic body music for the gamer in all of us, with songs and schtick that focus on classic video games and the culture that surrounds them.

The hint given by the Zelda reference in The Gothsicles' self-description is unveiled in their debut album NESferatu. Released over the summer by Sonic Mainline, the album features fifteen tracks of sore-thumbed absurdity, its message driven home with a cover sporting Count Orlok wielding a Power Glove. One recent review describes the group's contributions to gothdom:

Never mind that The Gothsicles don't so much write songs as catch-phrases; these tracks were meant to be seen performed live with a crowd of spooky kids, with everyone screaming along and laughing. It's fun and packed with in-jokes that only gothy scenesters and Nintendo devotees can comprehend. From "Hey, I've Got That Font" to "English License 2.0", it's great to see a typically sensitive scene finally crack a smile and giggle at itself without being deprecating.

Three Gothsicles' tracks are featured on its MySpace page: "One Second Ghost," "Triple Shot," and "Konami Code IV," all from NESferatu. The group was also featured on the Sep. 15 edition of the Manic Mondays podcast, and now boasts a Wikipedia profile. The group is part of a tightly knit electronic scene in Madison, with connections to Stromkern and Null Device among other artists. More of The Gothsicles' music (including many earlier tracks), as well as lyrics, photos, merchandise and more can be found at

While recent shows in Atlanta, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Racine and Chicago under their belts, The Gothsicles have only upcoming Madison show listed in their schedule. This is the Halloween Party at the High Noon Saloon this Wednesday, Oct. 25. Playing with the spooky gaming geeks are Null Device, Black Clouds, Cervello Electronico and DJ Siberia. Their last major performance was a surprise appearance at this year's Reverence Festival at the High Noon.

This is the latest featured entry from the Madison Music Project, an online database of Madison-area musicians. Please register or update your current profile on the project for consideration in these highlights.

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