1101 Williamson St.  Madison, WI
"Business as Usual"

Event Archive - 2011

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Jan 16, 2011Becky Lotto ReceptionCome meet January's artist, Becky Lotto. Her show, Depth of Human Being, charcoal drawings of humans, is our featured art for January, 2011.

5 - 7 pm.

Free and open to the public.
Jan 21, 2011Bathtub Mothers w/ Doug Pahl - $6A benefit for Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin.

Each member of this southwest Wisconsin area band shares a love of blues, folk, rock, and acoustic music, creating a blend that is unique to the Mothers. Stripping away excess until only bare essentials remain, the result is soulful and haunting “folk-rock-blues with bite” that bears little resemblance to bluegrass groups with similar instrumentation. The vocal harmonies carry a simple beauty, and the stark lyrics conjure compelling visual images. Top it off with some rock and roll attitude and that's the Mothers!

Doug Pahl is a Madison born and raised musician with a penchant for clever lyrics and a rare talent for the acoustic guitar. The power behind his every piece is a well crafted song structure and chord progression with an overlay of heartfelt vocal melody.
Jan 28, 2011The Geoff and Kia Show - $6The Geoff and Kia Show isn’t your grandmother’s married-couple-musical-duo!

FACT: Steve and Eydie never played Wind Beneath My Wings as an accordion/theremin duet.

FACT: Sonny and Cher never wailed on a bunch of metal bowls accompanied by a WONDROUS RHYTHMICAL CONTRAPTION called the Horamatic 9000. At least not in public.

FACT: None of the afore-mentioned hacks offer the Geoff and Kia guarantee: sock puppets at every show. For this performance, Kia Karlen’s Kavalkade of Sockpuppet Artistry will feature scenes from the noir masterpiece Double Indemnity.

Also, Kia and Geoff play improvised music on a variety of instruments, including the vibraphone and Frenched horn, plus the items mentioned above, plus, WHO KNOWS WHAT?

Come and find out, why not. January 28, Mother Fool’s, the Geoff and Kia Show. Six dollar cover. You may not regret it, and as always, NO REFUNDS.

Geoff Brady and Kia Karlen have spent nigh on two decades making music together and unleashing creative mayhem on the Madison community. They currently perform together in Yid Vicious Klezmer Ensemble, Optometri, and Chick Singer Band; and separately in groups including the Madison Symphony Orchestra, Reptile Palace Orchestra, the Allison Margaret Quartet, and the Gomers. Together, they have launched many performative oddities over the years, including Sound Off: The Musical; Millennial Stew; Yammer Summer Guerilla Laundromat Tour; Theremania; The Sensorium; Car-Free Klezmer; The Witching Hour; and Sockrates’ Sock Puppet Carnival of Morals and Logic (making a guest appearance at this concert!).
Jan 29, 2011Yid Vicious - $6Come see Yid Vicious' 42nd show at Mother Fool's!

As local klezmophiles know, Yid Vicious members past and present gather each year at Mother Fool’s to mark the anniversary of the band’s debut concert on Groundhog Day 1996. This year we celebrate 15 years of music-making!!

Sure, in past years you’ve watched on TV as the befuddled rodent was cruelly snatched from its dwelling by deranged, tuxedoed men and held aloft as a symbol of man's terrible dominion over nature.

But is that what Groundhog Day is really all about?

Of course not; it's about community, sharing and, more important, SHERing. It's about fifteen, count ‘em, FIFTEEN YEARS of Yid Vicious tirelessly serving the community. It's about every past and present member of Yid Vicious, numbering well into the hundreds, all under the same roof, making with the freylekhs, the horas, and yes, even the bulgars. Most important, it's about, well that was pretty much it, but isn't that enough?

Fifteen years, FIFTEEN YEARS we've been out there, playing the klezmer, and all we're asking for in return is six bucks (no refunds!) and a couple hours of your time. Where we come from, Mister, that's what's called a bargain. The
best you've ever had.
Jan 22, 2011Caravan Gypsy Swing Ensemble Celebrates Django Reinhardt's 101st birthdayCaravan Gypsy Swing Ensemble Celebrates Django Reinhardt's 101st birthday

Caravan Gypsy Swing Ensemble is an instrumental group based out of Madison, Wisconsin. They are primarily influenced by the legendary Gypsy guitarist DJANGO REINHARDT. The ensemble also pulls influences from jazz, swing, traditional Latin, Parisian waltzes, and other vintage-jazz sources. Expect a range of tunes from the "Hot Swing" repertoire, originals and classic tunes done in a uniquely arranged style.

Come and join Caravan for a special concert to celebrate Django Reinhardt's 101st birthday! Django is a jazz icon, guitar legend, and Caravan's primary stylistic influence. The band will play a set heavy on the Django tunes, and talk a bit about Django to. Maybe there will even be some birthday cake.....
Apr 22, 2011Ivan Klipstein w/ The Auroratones - $8 admission / $12 bundle admission*Madison's favorite label-defying songwriter/producer/multi-instrumentalist/illustrator/adventurer/troubadour presents a very special evening to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the release of his Lifestyle! album, still shining bright as one of the most unique pop records in midwestern history. The Madison native, who now splits his time between New Orleans and Vermont, will return to town for one night only, to perform the sixteen song cycle in it's entirety before those gathered within the tall, vibrant walls of Mother Fool's. Opening act The Auroratones is Mr. Klipstein's current songwriting and record-producing outlet. Expect a one-of-a-kind evening of song and sound, ripe with delicious surprises.

*Bundle admission includes original Lifestyle! CD with new liner notes, plus commemorative poster, and a download code for the new alternate-version album of demos and other oddities... nearly three hours of recorded music in all!
Jun 17, 2011Ritt Deitz - CD Release Party - $6Come hear Ritt Deitz play songs from his new CD, Pop. He'll be joined by many of the musicians (including his children) who play on the CD. This is a fine collection of songs that show a more rocking/pop side to Deitz' songwriting.
Jun 4, 2011Danielle Ate the Sandwich w/ Carley Baer- $6Danielle "Ate the Sandwich" Anderson is a solid young songwriter, gifted with an ethereal voice and the talent for writing honest observations of an ordinary world. Her melancholy and often times vulnerable songs are nicely contrasted by her humorous and engaging stage presence. Dubbed "Joni Mitchell meets Sarah Silverman," Danielle tours nationally. Denver's Westword described Danielle as, "cripplingly enchanting with lyrics telling the story of a generation coming of age in an age of uncertainty." And as the postings of 29,000 loyal subscribers to Danielle's You Tube channel attest, she has rapidly developed an active fanbase who feel Danielle has something to say about what it means to be young in 2011.

Carley Baer is an up-and-coming original folksinger who makes her own dresses, hula-hoops avidly, and travels almost exclusively by train-- “original” just barely scrapes the surface of what this young woman is and does. She has been writing songs for over a decade, and has self-released many underground recordings. Her most recent full-length album, You Can’t Control The Weather, signaled a step forward in her career, with dazzling performances by Kevin Jackson of the Portland Cello Project, Robin Way of the Brian Copeland Band, and others; additionally, the album was released on her publishing label, Ursula Music. Carley travels (by train) as much as she can between her native Milwaukee, WI and her adopted Portland, OR, and plays shows wherever she goes.
May 21, 2011Bill Bynum & Co. - $6With songs both traditional and original and a sound that's at once as comfortable as old jeans and as fresh as a new blade of grass, Bill Bynum & Co. is the bands that's easy to love and hard to quit. The bands core of guitar, pedal steel, fiddle, bass and harmony vocals can lean into bluegrass, veer towards country, or take listeners on a unique journey through Bill's original songs...True, Blue, and On-Time!
Feb 4, 2011Benefit for Alliance for Animals. Stephanie Rearick, Carell Casey and Wendy Schneider.Mother Fool's will be hosting a benefit to raise funds for Alliance for Animals' efforts to make Dane County an "elephant free zone."

$5 and up sliding scale.

Stephanie Rearick is a pianist, vocalist, songwriter, sometimes trumpeter.

"Rearick faithfully follows her muse... allowing listeners into her oddball, often dark and always fascinating musical personality, which encompasses pop, jazz, classical and experimental tendencies." - Goldmine

Carell Casey is a local singer-songwriter whose work has been compared to Aimee Mann, Dar Williams, Brandi Carlile, and KT Tunstall. She will be playing ALL love songs at this show since Februaray is the month of St. Valentines Day! Songs from Carell's debut CD "A New Day" have been played on the BBC 2, WORT, and more. You can also find her on Pandora.com, Jango.com, CDbaby, and iTunes.

Wendy Schneider is a local musician who began her performance run in the early 90s as the lead singer/guitarist of the power trio, Bugatti Type 35. After the band dissolved in 2002, she toured solo as Wendy Bugatti for a few years, then vanished from the local music scene. Recently, Schneider has resumed performing both solo and with her evolving rock project, Shooter Jane.
Feb 13, 2011Corporations ar People Now Reception6 - 8 pm.

Come meet the artists and check out this show!

Live music and lively conversation.
Feb 18, 2011Frankie Lee & Richard Wiegel - $6Richard Wiegel has been a fixture on the Madison,Wisconsin music scene for more than 30 years. His stirring guitar work has added excitement to the performances of The Midwesterners, Johnny and the Hawaiians, The Wisconsin Opry, Out of the West, The Swing Crew, Clicker and The Bowery Boys.

More recently, Richard has added solo acoustic guitar performance to his credits. On his new solo CD "Out of the Blue", Richard covers classic songs from a variety of muscial genres: rock, ragtime, blues, jug band, jazz and rockabilly. The result is an upbeat and seamlessly entertaining album.

Following in the path of finger-picking guitar greats Chet Atkins, Doc Watson and Mississippi John Hurt, Richard pays tribute to these pioneers with his own treatments of classic songs: St. Louis Blues, Deep Water Blues, La Vie En Rose, A Good Girl is Hard To Find, and even a finger-picking version of Chuck Berry's devilish The Thirteen Question Method.
Feb 19, 2011Hanah Jon Taylor Trio - $8Hanah Jon Taylor brings his trio to Mother Fool's for one night only. A master improvisor, Taylor primarily plays saxophone but don't be surprised if he pulls out a flute now and again.
Feb 25, 2011Open mic w/ Ben ResierSign up at 7pm.

Show starts at 8.

Come down and show us what you've got.
Feb 26, 2011River Water Tribe - $6Up & coming Gypsy Blues Grass band from Milwaukee.
Apr 3, 2011Art Reception for Hannah Diament-TalmadgeCome meet this month's artist.

7 - 9 pm

Shandowboxes
Mar 5, 2011Melissa Czarnik w/ Ms. Cream - $6Melissa Czarnik
"With slammin’ poetry, precise beats, and DIY authenticity, Czarnik is an inspiration to young MC’s everywhere." - Bitch Magazine

"Her musicality is inclusive enough to envelop folk, jazz and pop sensibilities in loops and live instrumentation...Czarnik may not be out to set the world ablaze as a female counterpart to Eminem, but she'll fire up listeners to grab notebooks and microphones and set their observations to sounds not beholden to any commercial R&B radio format." - Shepherd Express

Milwaukee based Melissa Czarnik (Zar-nik), recently released her first full-length hip-hop/poetry based album, Strawberry Cadillac (Hyperdrive Motivator Productions). When asked why she named her first album Strawberry Cadillac, Czarnik responded, “Cause Strawberry Buick just didn’t cut it!”

The 17 track, Strawberry Cadillac, is the product of a year long project which focuses on issues such as sexism, politics, relationships, and love. Mixing her interests in poetry and Hip Hop, her song diversity exemplifies a strong influence of artists such as Lauryn Hill, Ani Difranco, and french songstress, Edith Piaf.

Her style is a powerful mix of poetry, precise delivery, and conscious content in a voice that ranges from sweet and playful to commanding and scathing. The music that backs her up is the product of producer Eric Mire, a classically trained composer and pianist with decades of experience in both classical and popular mediums. Together, Mire and Czarnik have founded Hyperdrive Motivator Productions, a record label that prides itself on delivering conscious, original, and innovative music to it’s listeners.

Strawberry Cadillac blends live instrumentation with beat machines, electronics and guest appearances by some of Milwaukee’s most talented musicians. Collaborative appearances include, but are not limited to; Robin Pluer’s vocal stylings on Rue Lafayette, Robert Figueroa of Nabori’s latin percussion on Garden of Eden, and Maurice Cotton of Cotton Gin Music Productions’ keys on Thunder Summer Storm and production of the Happy Song.

Thought provoking content is the foundation of Strawberry Cadillac. After spending two years in AmeriCorps as a Volunteer in Service to America and Public Ally, Czarnik worked for justice in areas such as poverty, k-12 education, the environment, and predatory lending. Her experience in these jobs is directly reflected in her lyrics.

Czarnik is the Marketing Director at Woodland Pattern Book Center, a non-profit destination book store. For her increasingly frequent shows, Czarnik performs live with the Eric Mire Band; a five-piece band made up of Eric Mire (vocals/guitar), Maurice Cotton (keys/bass), Don Bradshaw (latin percussion), Brad Bloom (sax), and Terence Pettigrew (drums).

Ms. Cream is a Milwaukee based poet and freestyle emcee who started writing poetry at a young age of eleven. She has performed in venues from Chicago to New York, and in 2003 opened for MC Lyte at Wisconsin State Fair’s Pride Fest. For her more frequent live shows, she performs a combination of spoken word and freestyle poetry alongside guitarist/songwriter Decoteau B Cool. Currently Ms. Cream is in the process of recording her CD of spoken word poetry and writing a book of short stories.
Mar 25, 2011Poetry ReadingThis is a free event that will feature undergraduates in the creative writing program at UW Madison. Many will be reading for the first time, so come out and show your support for young writers! If there's time, people are welcome to sign up and read some of their own work. Bring your friends! Berets are optional.
Apr 23, 2011Deanna Devore w/ Amy Musser - $6While most artists pack their bags for bigtime in New York, 24 year-old Toronto import Deanna Devore opted in 2006 to make music in Chicago. Just unpacked, she played anywhere she could find a stage and a PA system while spending her days at Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio, recording and co-producing a seven-song EP with Bjorn Thorsrud (Smashing Pumpkins, Dandy Warhols), on which she played nearly every instrument with some backup from drumming heavyweight Matt Walker (Morrissey, Garbage). Raised by musical parents, her voice, guitar playing and songwriting well exceed her years as she carries a lyrical sensitivity, a maturity and sophistication that spans across rock, folk, Brazilian jazz, electro-dance, and orchestral territories. With an ever-expanding song catalogue, Devore and her band have headlined and shared sold-out local, regional, and national fest stages such as CMJ, North By Northeast, and 80/35 with touring acts Tigercity, Bonobo, Joe Pug, Office, Colourmusic, Blind Pilot and fellow Canadians Basia Bulat and Juno Award-winning Lights. 2011 now bears the fruit of her early labor with regional tour dates in the works, a string of solo shows, and a debut full-length album to be recorded and released in the US and Canada later this year.

Amy Musser first began playing guitar around the age of fifteen and started to compose songs not long after. Inspired by the folk music played by her parents during her childhood, the psychedelic rock bands that played in friends' basements during college, and a love for French pop, she began crafting her own unique sound. Though people often compare her breathy and moody vocals to those of Hope Sandoval, Cat Power, and Vashti Bunyan- her song writing style remains unique, and is continuously evolving. She is currently working on an EP that will include several songs sung in French, and combines the sounds of 60s French pop with some folkier influences.
Apr 8, 2011Magic Show! - James the Magician - $4James the Magician is back at it with some new tricks up his sleeve. He is a comedic magician who has been performing for all ages since 1988. Come enjoy all varieties of magic and escape.
Apr 17, 2011Lake Howls: A Poetry Reading - freeIn the spring, the ice on the lakes cracks and yells. We’d like to join in. Poets Richard Wehrenberg, Jr. and Matthew Whispers will be breezing through town as part of their Midwest poetry tour. They’ll be joined by poetry friends James Payne, James Schiller, and Chris Taylor.

Richard Wehrenberg, Jr. is the co-founder of the cooperatively run publishing house, Monster House Press as well as the co-author of two chapbooks of poetry, think tank for human beings in general and Assuming Size. http://simperingfool.blogspot.com/ He lives in Columbus, Ohio.

Matt Whispers is a writer living in Chicago. He publishes the zine, Effigy. http://puttinghotsauceoneverything.wordpress.com/

James Payne is an artist, musician, and writer living in Chicago, Illinois. www.banalization.blogspot.com. He is the author of the newest release from Monster House Press, Austerity Pleasures.

James Schiller lives in Milwaukee and writes poems. He would like to meet you and push you down and then pick you back up so later you can have an interesting story about how you became friends. http://under-speech.blogspot.com/

Chris Taylor is a Madison native, an organizer and performer for Madison’s chapter of Naked Girls Reading, a collaborator with online letter-poem project AntelopeEnvelope, and she tries to write a poem every day in the months of April and November. http://whatulysses.tumblr.com/. Her work has been published or is upcoming in Praxilla, decomP, elimae, New Wave Vomit, Verse Wisconsin, and others.
May 7, 2011Feast of Mutton $6Feast of Mutton is a music group thats sound reflects their love for harmonic minor scales, unusual timings, gypsy music of Eastern European Countries, snake charmers and circus freaks. While remaining folkie this band pays great detail to the melody and musical arrangements creating haunting music for an opium den or gypsy caravan. Tenor banjo, guitar, dumbek, unusual harmonicas, double bass, and fiddle create the original works that make Feast of Mutton.
Apr 9, 2011Benefit for Madison Wellness Collective. Stephanie Rearick, db pedersen and Gloria HayesCome show your support for the folks who are vigilant throughout these days, our volunteer 1st responders who keep us safe and sound and fed and warm.

The benefit will be raising money for MadCWC medics to travel to the IMF protests next month in Washington DC, as well as to other parts of Wisconsin and other Midwest states (and growing!) to help with street medic trainings. As more anti-union, anti-lower class bills get introduced, uprisings similar to Madison will fight against them.

So...come to this benefit to support your hard-working healers and medics. Hear some great music and relax for a bit.
May 6, 2011subvocal (solo) w/ Brian Daly - $6subvocal, led by singer songwriter Mark Adkins, is an ambient psychedelic, folk noir, band. The band, consisting of Stephen Pingry on cello and Mark Adkins, guitar and vocals are based in Madison, Wisconsin. The duo has been performing together as subvocal for ten years. They are a multi Madison Area Music Award, winning band and have opened for National and International acts. subvocal plays dark, moody, compelling songs both emotive and thoughtful with some political bent.

The songs are heavily layered with delays, reverbs and some sampling. Pat Pattison, music writer, performer and Instructor at Berkeley School of Music, says ..."Mark is compelling performer. He sets a tone and mood with his playing that sweeps everyone up in it."
 
Brian Daly is a performer,songwriter, and sound designer. When performing solo on voice and acoustic guitar he brings these traditional sounds to songs which are catchy but unconventional. Rooted more in indie guitar rock than strummy singer/songwriter pop, Daly's songs explore themes of split reality, altered states, love gone right/wrong, and the transcendence of boredom. Coupling overt emotionalism with cerebral detachment is a favored compositional motif. Daly's experience as the leader of the rock band Sunshine for the Blind and his skills as a studio engineer are put to use in his solo act with the use well integrated sound treatments that enhance the mood of the songs.
May 14, 2011Kurt Gunn - $6Kurt Gunn is an Original Acoustic/Folk Rock song smith that has made a name for himself by playing live shows anywhere there is a stage and people to enjoy it.

With his grassroots approach to winning over fans and an unending appetite for the live show, Kurt is showing why he will be a force to be reckoned with in this business for years to come. The Northeastern Wisconsin Native's acoustic-based music combines many genres and emotions, resulting in one unforgettable sound.
May 13, 2011Frankie Lee and Richard Wiegel - $6Acoustic blues. Guitar and harmonica.

Richard Wiegel has been a fixture on the Madison,Wisconsin music scene for more than 30 years. His stirring guitar work has added excitement to the performances of The Midwesterners, Johnny and the Hawaiians, The Wisconsin Opry, Out of the West, The Swing Crew, Clicker and The Bowery Boys.

More recently, Richard has added solo acoustic guitar performance to his credits. On his new solo CD "Out of the Blue", Richard covers classic songs from a variety of muscial genres: rock, ragtime, blues, jug band, jazz and rockabilly. The result is an upbeat and seamlessly entertaining album.

Following in the path of finger-picking guitar greats Chet Atkins, Doc Watson and Mississippi John Hurt, Richard pays tribute to these pioneers with his own treatments of classic songs: St. Louis Blues, Deep Water Blues, La Vie En Rose, A Good Girl is Hard To Find, and even a finger-picking version of Chuck Berry's devilish The Thirteen Question Method.
May 20, 2011Emily Rose - $6Emily Rose is a songwriter and singer from Detroit, Michigan. Her music has been described as rebellious soul-folk, gutsy and emotionally provocative. She belts lullabies about consumerism and grooves inside existential anxiety, finding inspiration from both inward and outward explorations. In 2009 and 2010, Emily was recognized for her songwriting by receiving the award for “Outstanding Acoustic Songwriter” at the Detroit Music Awards. Her new album Porchlight Tragical will be traveling by her side on a solo summer tour of the West in the summer of 2011.
Jun 3, 2011Kevin Koutnik - $6Throughout Kevin's musical career, his sound has evolved from rhythmic melodies describing the epitome of his teenage angst to songs that reflect Kevin’s transition into alternative country anthems that are identifiable to the common man. In his early years, Kevin found music to be accessible through the punk rock scene. As years passed, his musical preferences branched out to everything from heavy metal to techno, eventually landing in on singer-songwriter methodologies. Kevin's latest music expresses relatable everyday experiences in a warm and classic form. He has found that this musical styling has the best connectivity with his fans because it allows him to be open and honest with himself as well as his audience.

Many individuals, settings and circumstances have influenced Kevin's music, but three artists have immensely impacted his writings; Bob Dylan, Jeff Tweedy and Johnny Cash. From Dylan and Tweedy's way with lyrics, to Cash's ability to take a song and connect with the average person, Kevin strives to better his music in hopes of one day being compared to these greats.
May 26, 2011James Leg - $5James Leg of Black Diamond Heavies - One night only!
May 28, 2011Caravan Gypsy Swing EnsembleCaravan Gypsy Swing Ensemble is an instrumental group based out of Madison, Wisconsin. They are primarily influenced by the legendary Gypsy guitarist DJANGO REINHARDT. The ensemble also pulls influences from jazz, swing, traditional Latin, Parisian waltzes, and other vintage-jazz sources. Expect a range of tunes from the "Hot Swing" repertoire, originals and classic tunes done in a uniquely arranged style.
Sep 16, 2011Carmel Mikol w/ Amelia Curran - $7If there's any romance left in the old State Highways. If there's still a story out on the Trans Canada. If there's a legend to be found in a cluttered bookstore, a crowded cafe. If there's any power left in a folk song, Canadian performing songwriter Carmel Mikol is out to find it. Her debut album "In My Bones" was nominated for three 2011 East Coast Music Awards and the title track took first place in the folk category of the Great American Song Contest. She tours extensively across the US and Canada and has been welcomed into the inner circle of Canadian folk, sharing the stage with David France, Connie Kaldor, Matt Andersen and David Myles.

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Amelia Curran
With the release of Hunter, Hunter, Canada's Amelia Curran journeyed both home and further afield than ever before. In front of an adoring hometown crowd in St. John's, Newfoundland, Amelia received her first Juno Award (Canadian version of a Grammy) for Roots and Traditional Album of the Year in April 2010. The album and artist also received a total of 13 other awards including a Canadian Folk Music Award, a USA Songwriting Award, and  a place on the 2010 Polaris Long List. A folk festival favourite, Hunter, Hunter has solidified Amelia's reputation as an heir to Leonard Cohen's songwriting throne.

Rich in metaphor, language and instrumentation, Hunter, Hunter speaks to unrequited longing, the notion of belonging and reflections on love both lost and found. "It's Hunter, Hunter, not Hunter, Gatherer, if that makes sense," she says. "It conveys a kind of haunting – a vibe of necessary cruelty to dig down to the deeper meanings of being alive day by day." From acoustic numbers to full band tracks, Curran grapples with notions of self, memory, forgiveness and desire. "There is a reason matters of the heart have been the subject for artists for centuries.  It is uncontrollable and owns us.  Even to give up on love is to break one's own heart, which in itself is a precious part of love."

"A voice as warm as an old Hudson's Bay blanket" - Halifax Chronicle Herald
Jun 11, 2011Graminy - $7Graminy – “class-grass” string ensemble

Michael Bell – mandolin
Mary Gaines – vocals, cello
Chris Wagoner – violin
Shauncey Ali – violin, viola
Chris Powers – guitar

Founded in 2010, Graminy is an instrumental and vocal string ensemble featuring some of the best of Madison’s veteran musicians. Graminy seeks to fuse the classical and grassroots traditions ("class-grass"), from Bach to bluegrass, from Copland to Celtic, from Gershwin to native American, from Kodaly to klezmer, and more. Drawing on all these styles, Graminy composes and arranges all its music, and includes lots of quick changes, generous improvisations, and occasional singing.
Jul 8, 2011Everett Thomas w/ Hayward Williams"Hayward Williams' earnestly jaunty folk-rock might seem anachronistic in the prevailing musical atmosphere of self-conscious irony, but his combination of melody, restraint, and unabashed enthusiasm saves the day. Williams also boasts a voice that sounds several decades older than he actually is, lending his songs of love and loss a gravity they might not otherwise possess." - The Onion

"Ahhh, where to start? The exquisite gruffness of a manly voice that belies the strip of a lad who appears on the photographs? The moving, intelligent storytelling, from which "Doctors" and "Problems with Hemingway" stand out – but only just - from the crowd? Or the new-alt-country-blues (and will you forgive me that phrase) of the sound, put to beautiful use on 'Devil's Lament'? In truth, its hard to put it into words; this is a fantastic record, one that's a treat from start to finish. On first listen, the cover of Thunder Road strikes a jarring note; when your songs are as good as Hayward's there seems no need to walk in another's shoes, but several goes later and it melds in seamlessly. You'll like this." - Americana UK
Jun 18, 2011The Sills - $5Members: Blair Clark, Jennifer Vaughn, Claire Kia, Christopher Moore, Dave Ross, James McKiernan

Uh, some of us have serious musical training (Jennifer and may Claire), others have trained themselves; Dave and Chris and Blair. Some of us think the real reason we are in the band is to provide a humorous respite from an otherwise grizzly assault on the urban sensibilities of our selected audiences. Yes that's a ramble but the GIST of it is that we just want to play the tunes that Blair writes and have no one tell us how to do it. So thanks for the hands-off approach Blair. Thanks also to my band mates for a great creative atmosphere. Let's rock the lower near west side of wherever!
Jul 9, 2011Windsor MarieWindsor Marie was born in a living room on Willy Street, Madison WI. It is the collaborative effort of guitarist Rockwell Windsor Rice, singer Annabel Lee, and string player Steven Ethington. Windsor Marie's sound is a carefully constructed mixture of smooth, sparkling vocals pushed along by a current of rhythmic intensity and adorned with soaring, symphonic lines of beauty.
Jun 21, 2011Art reception for Val Saxer.6 - 8 pm.

Come meet this month's artist.
Jul 2, 2011River Water Tribe w/ Boo Bradley - $6River Water Tribe is a Gypsy Blues Grass band from Milwaukee.

Boo Bradley is a hot blues stompin’, jelly roll jumpin’, rag jazz infusin’, two-man acoustic jug attack from Madtown, Wisconsin. These boys throw down a porch stomp boogie chock full of old time Delta moans from the likes of Son House and Charley Patton, the Piedmont shake of Blind Boy Fuller and the earliest Chicago Ragtime mastery of cats like Blind Blake and Big Bill Broonzy.
Jul 16, 2011John Fabke and Friends w/ Cajun Strangers - $7The first set will be the Cajun Strangers Trio-Traditional Cajun Music

Second set will be a reunion of the original members of the Nob Hill Boys.
Sep 9, 2011Nick Whetro of Icarus Himself solo w/ Jentri Colello - $5"It's beautiful in its pretty green-glassed bottle for much of the time and then it gets all over the place. We knew it would happen. We knew it would get messy - beautifully messy with the ghosts of the past, with the ghosts of the present and with the lingering last words."-Daytrotter

"a carefully considered pop gem....A-"-Onion A/V Club

"this is the elephant man meets once upon a time in the west. it's a highly-stylized, intricate production." - Pop Sucker

“‘lost Bowie demo tape overdubbed with acid confessions.’ That should warm you up for (Nick) Whetro’s eleven-track, half-hour romp and prepare you for what first feels like alt-country experiments with a lunatic wailing at the back.” —cokemachineglow

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Jentri Colello:
"One of the best things brewing in Wisconsin."-Muzzle of Bees

"Jentri Colello takes over a room completely."-The Isthmus

"Colello and band actually know how to create a mood with grace and starkness."- The Onion A/V Club
Aug 19, 2011Rose Polenzani - $8'Folk badass' might seem like an inappropriate term for an artist as intimate and soulful as Polenzani–but you know what? We’ll risk it." - Boston Weekly Dig 2009

“Not just another singer/songwriter... Polenzani’s songs are full of hidden lyrical corners and ghostly beauty.” -The Boston Herald 2010

Rose Polenzani was born in the midwest to a highly musical family. Her grandfather, Lynn Hauldren, sang in the award-winning barbershop quartet “Chordiac Arrest,” and was made famous in the midwest as the charismatic “Empire Carpet Man,” penning both the jingle and the commercials for many years. Her brother, Matthew Polenzani, is a world-class lyric tenor. She learned piano from an early age, and began writing songs in college on the guitar, later picking up the soprano and baritone ukuleles. Though she started as a solo singer/songwriter, musical collaboration has become the driving force behind her songwriting.
Rose has spent the past few years curating and developing the collaborative project, “SUB ROSA,” a monthly live show that brings the best and brightest of Boston’s songwriters together with some of the most talented and adventurous musicians (See below for a list of frequent flyers at SUB ROSA). The show's rich, layered harmonies and sprawling, dark, deep, playful instrumentation inspired the 13 new songs on Rose's upcoming August release, "The Rabbit." Envisioned with call-and-response components, and written along with elaborate harmony vocal arrangements, this new record was recorded live in a one-room studio over the course of three days, with 10 to 14 singers and musicians playing at once. The album was mixed by Gary Maurer (of Hem).
The songs on “The Rabbit” are a progressive mediation on fate, pathway, and the human desire to feel agency and purpose. Over the course of the album, the narrator is moving from the never-land of ambivalence and doubt into a joyful embrace of the beautiful and mortal world, and her voice is shepherded along by a reflective chorus.
Rose’s collaborations have also spawned several creative YouTube videos--YouTube’s music editor once pulled Rose aside at a music conference to confess that her channel was a personal favorite. Rose has been nominated for three Boston Music Awards, and won the 2008 Mountain Stage NewSong competition for her song “You Were Drunk,” off her 2008 album “When the River Meets the Sea.” She received grants from the Club Passim Iguana Fund and the Somerville Arts council for the completion of this record.

About Rose Polenzani’s New CD: “The Rabbit”

Recorded live in the studio, the 14+ musicians on Rose’s sixth solo release have been playing together as part of the Boston-based, collaborative project SUB ROSA since 2008.

The album features 13 new and original songs by Rose--at once darker, wilder, more joyful and more inspired than anything she’s written before.

Her voice is shepherded along by a siren-chorus including Amy Correia, Anne Heaton, Rose Cousins, Kristin Andreassen (Uncle Earl and Sometymes Why), Elana Arian (Catie Curtis band) and Laura Cortese, and the band includes members of Session Americana and the Josh Ritter band.

The record has an other-worldly, imaginative quality that ranges from the joyful (Track 2- “The Blue Seed”) to the whimsical (Track 4 - “Pretty Black Ship”) to the world-wise (Track 3 - “Living in a Country”) to the transcendent (Track 13 - “Alligator River”). These songs work as a narrative, tracking the heroine along her quest to find her true purpose. The title of the album is taken from Track 12, “Dead Rabbit,” where the narrator comes to accept that “not everything can be alive.” “The Rabbit” was mixed by Gary Maurer of the band “Hem.”
Jul 30, 2011Loup-Garou w/ Myles Coyne & The Rusty Nickel Band Loup-Garou

Comprised of six members, Loup-Garou is a group that pushes the singer/songwriter genre into a lush atmospheric realm. Utilizing musical influences of pop, jazz, and indie, they build scenic textures from subtleties and dynamics from auxiliary percussion and voices. The instrumentation presents organic tones that captivate listeners behind their hauntingly beautiful lullabies and adds to their lyrics to produce a sound that is original and fully defined.

Myles Coyne & The Rusty Nickel Band

A genius mix of their favorite elements of folk and pop music draw your attention, and once gotten, Coyne’s insightful song writing & bouncy stage presence will capture you forever. Backed by the passionate performance of The Rusty Nickel Band, this is a music experience not to be missed.

Having performed around the Midwest for the last two years, the gang returns to Madison with a batch of new songs, their new EP, and their contagious enthusiasm for life
Jul 15, 2011The Auroratones - $5We are very excited to present The Auroratones. This is Ivan Klipstein's current project and is a sonic treat for fans of sweet melodic pop.
Sep 10, 2011The Sunny Era - $6Building on the indie rock, world fusion musical style of This Darkness of Love, The Sunny Era brings you its third release, Gone Missing. The three-piece ensemble from Minneapolis continues to explore multiple instrumentation and world music, taking the listener from a French Café to the Eastern European countryside to a Moroccan Marketplace all while maintaining a strong, indie rock foundation. Experience old world music for modern times.
Aug 26, 2011Mary Bue - $6
What do songs sound like that come from a girl who: loves seaweed, seals and cats, bartends at a busy breakfast joint, has a bachelor’s in psychology, teaches yoga, used to attend rave parties in the late 90’s, adores Pee Wee’s Playhouse, and still hand-writes letters? You’ll get songs that run the gamut of curious human experience. From the epically melodramatic pop stuff of Rufus Wainwright, to the crunchy strumming of an acoustic guitar with driving, aching melodies akin to Neko Case; to the lovably raunchy poetry of Regina Spektor, the magical fairy never-never land of Tori Amos and the meloncholy lullabye drawls of Sarah McLachlan or Lucinda Williams -- Mary Bue draws from these influences to create her own home of sound. This is soothing, cathartic and quirky piano and vocal music, full of melodies with symbolic tendencies and the potential to "emotionally sucker-punch" you!

Since 1998, Mary Bue has been performing her extensive list of original songs all over the United States - 38 to be exact. Growing up in small town Minnesota, where the winters are frigid and long, Mary used the hours spent inside to be creative - writing thousands of stream of consciousness poems over the years eventually morphing into songs -- which made the poems complete at last.
Sep 30, 2011Spoken Word Open Mic - Calling all lyricists, story-tellers, poets, etc.Attention lyricists and story-tellers! Mother Fool's will be hosting a free, open-mic style reading on Friday, September 30th and you are all encouraged to participate. Sign-up begins at 7:30, so dust off those manuscripts, flip through your old diaries and show us what you've got.
Oct 1, 2011Safety Last! - $5Safety Last! - Come witness their premiere performance!

Mother Fool’s will ring with the vintage sounds of ‘20s and ‘30s Jazz and Western Swing as Safety Last! takes the stage. Featuring Garreth Paul’s warm and bluesy vocals, the gypsy twang of Chris Ruppenthal’s guitar, Gregorio Montero’s ingenious fiddling, and Mike Steen’s rock-steady bass, the band will transport you to another place and time - one that exists only in the moment.

Where Safety Last! plays, Bob Wills hollers and stomps while Django Reinhardt smirks and sneers through his cigarette’s blue smoke, a flapper’s dance steps are accented by the sound of cowboy boots shuffling across the floor, cotton fields wave in the warm evening breeze off the French Riviera, and you smile and tap your foot to the steady groove of classic swing with a Southern twist.

Safety Last! is a 4-piece acoustic ensemble, performing “Sophisticated Western Swing & Old-School Jazz.” Satisfy your wanderlust - don’t miss the chance to see Madison’s next great band!
Sep 23, 2011Dan Phelps - $6Dan Phelps is a Chicago artist who does one-man shows singing and playing traditional, acoustic blues such as the Delta and slide styles of greats like Son House & Charley Patton as well as ragtime styles like Rev. Gary Davis & Blind Blake.

Phelps has opened for and shared bills with Bob Brozman, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Woody Mann, Mike Dowling, Pat Donohue, Lightnin' Willie and the Poorboys and C.J. Chenier, among many others.
Sep 24, 2011The Sills - FreeMembers: Blair Clark, Jennifer Vaughn, Claire Kia, Christopher Moore, Dave Ross, James McKiernan

Uh, some of us have serious musical training (Jennifer and may Claire), others have trained themselves; Dave and Chris and Blair. Some of us think the real reason we are in the band is to provide a humorous respite from an otherwise grizzly assault on the urban sensibilities of our selected audiences. Yes that's a ramble but the GIST of it is that we just want to play the tunes that Blair writes and have no one tell us how to do it. So thanks for the hands-off approach Blair. Thanks also to my band mates for a great creative atmosphere. Let's rock the lower near west side of wherever!
Oct 28, 2011"The Biff Of Frankenstein" - $6Perfect for your pre-Halloween partying, musical weirdo Biff Blumfumgagnge (The Gomers, Reptile Palace Orchestra) submits an evening of vintage scariness and silliness for your approval... First, he'll screen a 16mm print of 1935's THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN starring Boris Karloff and Elsa Lanchester. Then, he'll accompany Salvador Dali's 1929 surrealist short, "Un Chien Andalou" with live music created from a mandolin-synth and a suitcase of doom. Add some Halloween appropriate 16mm shorts and you've got a fun 'n eerie evening of fine entertainment.
Oct 8, 2011Paul Geremia w/ Catfish Stephenson - $10For over thirty years, Paul Geremia has survived solely by the fruit of his musical labors. Having abandoned all other means of support in 1966, he has been traveling far and wide ever since, performing in every capacity from street singing to club and concert bookings, throughout the U.S.A., Canada and Europe.

In the years since, Geremia has built a reputation as a first rate bluesman, songwriter, a "scholar" of early jazz and blues, and one of the best country blues fingerpickers ever with his tools - six and twelve-string guitars, harmonica, piano and a husky soulful voice - and with an innate sense of the humor as well as the drama of the music, he keeps traditional blues fresh and alive with his performances.

Combining his interpretation of the earlier music of people like Blind Lemon Jefferson, Robert Johnson, Blind Willie McTell, Scrapper Blackwell and Blind Blake, with his original compositions, he has created a style which is very much his own and which has received accolades in the U.S.A. and Europe, too numerous to mention.

Catfish is a Madison icon, a rare breed of songster who has been playing Blues, Rags, Country and Tin Pan Alley tunes for over forty years.
Oct 7, 2011Michael Freer w/ Christopher Pond - $6W. Michael Freer is a national touring acoustic bluesman using 'blues uke', harmonica and rich baritone vocals to draw us into his music as we become 'one' with his blues.

Christopher's music is modern folk with indie, experimental, and pop-rock undertones. His lyrics come from a place of introspection mostly, as well as angst, intrigue, sarcasm, frustration, love, infatuation, etc.

He started playing drums around age 12, then guitar at 15, piano soon after that, and now on to banjo and ukulele. He got an analog four-track recorder when he was 17 which changed his life forever. He has been writing songs, playing in bands, and recording albums ever since.

Pond was voted a “New and Notable” artist on indie-music.com and was nominated for the annual Top 25 list in 2010 and again in 2011. "Angels out of Dust" and "Buried Alive" (from "Color Scheme" 2009) both ranked on the Top 30 chart on indie-music.com by IAIRA in 2010. He currently finished a new record called The Book of Laments which was released July 2nd, 2011.
Oct 15, 2011Tiny Magnets w/ Page Foster - $6Taking songs that rock in a full band context and stripping them down to all but their most vital rhythms and melodies, singer/songwriter/guitarist Brian Cremins and singer/noisemaker Allison Felus will show off the sensitive side of Chicago-based outfit Tiny Magnets. Playing sweet tunes with bite, smile, and heart, the duo is beloved by audiences just as much for their witty between-song banter as for their instantly memorable melodies, guitar wizardry, and sweet-and-salty vocals. Like the much-loved She & Him collaborations of M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel, Felus and Cremins proudly make timeless music for grown-ups who haven’t lost their sense of mischief and wonder.

--

From Minneapolis, currently stationed in Madison, Page Foster comes to this show presenting original and borrowed songs with an honest, captivating voice, accompanied by nylon-string acoustic guitar and by local upright bass extraordinaire Ben Willis.
Oct 21, 2011Spooky spoken wordsMother Fool's presents a night of ghost stories: fact and fiction.

Come celebrate Halloween a little early this year and share a supernatural encounter, an urban legend, etc. If it's scary, we want to hear it.

Sign-up begins at 7:30. Free.
Nov 6, 2011Art Reception for Tom DetwylerCome meet November's artist, Tom Detwyler

Free and open to the public.

Oct 22, 2011post-zinefest karaoke!All ages and free! 8 - 10:30 pm.

And, from 7-10:30 the Fly Away Zine Mobile will be parked outside, open for library/reading room hours and hosting a free swap!

* Mother Fool's is a costume-safe environment.
Nov 26, 2011Audrey Auld - $6"Sweet-voiced but tart-tongued and no-nonsense, Auld, from California and East Nashville by way of Australia, is a singer, songwriter and storyteller deluxe. She’s touring with a new CD, “Come Find Me."

One of the best country singers anywhere, Auld is a troubadour who takes no guff while singing songs such as “You Wish” and “Nails,” but she can be tender as well as “Beautiful Garden” proves, and “The Butterfly Effect” is about as good as a common sense anthem gets." ~ MySanAntonio.com, August 2011

Devils are not the only thing to come from Tasmania. Singer-songwriter Audrey Auld's heart is in Country, Folk and Americana music with a presence as big as The Outback. Her songs are the wry and poignant observations of a Tassie girl living in California and Nashville for the past eight years. Audrey calls it "Music with the dirt left on."

Auld is a memorable and uplifting entertainer. She's a spontaneous comedienne and a writer of humorous, provocative and soulful songs.

"It's one thing for singers to write beautifully and sing beautifully, but when they're also funny, as in stand-up-comic funny, it makes going to their shows not only pleasurable but also memorable, well beyond the exit ramp headed back home. How many times do you leave a concert and finding yourself quoting lines the singer says in between the songs? Such is the case with Tasmanian native Audrey Auld." ~ Dallas Morning News, August, 2011

A touring songwriter, Audrey won the 2006 MerleFest Song Contest and performed her winning song 'Losing Faith' with Rich Brotherton (Robert Earl Keen) on guitar to a thrilled MerleFest crowd.

Auld's debut CD was released in 1999 to award winning acclaim in Australia. Looking Back to See, which is a duet album with singer songwriter and guitar great Bill Chambers (Dead Ringer Band, Kasey Chambers), laid a foundation for Auld's next seven releases including The Fallen in 2000 which was nominated for Best Country Album in Australia. Losing Faith (2003) is a dark haunting release that put Audrey on the map in the US with Americana radio. She began touring the states opening shows for Todd Snider, Fred Eaglesmith and Kevin Welch among others. Texas, which came out in 2005, was also a Best Country Album nominee in Auld's homeland. It was recorded in Texas with Gabe Rhodes, a gifted musician, producer and son of legendary artist Kimmie Rhodes.

By 2004 Audrey had married very well (to directly quote her), became a United States resident and was living in Stinson Beach just north of San Francisco. She quickly became a favorite on local stations KRSH, KRCB and KPIG, playing frequently for Sleepy John's local shows and touring the region.

"I have hosted over 700 live music shows on KPIG radio, and, if asked to give the top 10 performers Audrey Auld would be on that list. She has a great voice and writes serious songs and humorous song that make you think and laugh, but the best part is that she is a great entertainer." ~ Sleepy John, KPIG Radio

While in California, San Quentin Prison became a regular gig for Auld via her involvement with the Bread and Roses organization. Her initial performance to a captive audience led to ongoing songwriting workshops with the inmates.

It was in Northern California that Auld was introduced to guitarist extraordinaire Nina Gerber (Eliza Gilkyson, Kate Wolfe, and Karla Bonoff amongst many others). The two musically-fast friends hit it off immediately, and their second show together was recorded and released in 2006. In the House is a stunning live release.

Lost Men & Angry Girls went to Number One on the Freeform American chart in 2007. This chart is compiled from the worldwide play lists of DJ's who play music for love, not money. The album showcases Auld's best writing to date and is proof of the heart and mind connection of her music and her huge capacity for compassion and humor in writing songs that everyone can relate to.

As Audrey Auld tours America, she delights audiences with folk songs from her homeland. Her EP Billabong Song (2009) is an acoustic collection of four songs that are an integral part of the fabric of Australian culture, a poem from 1908, plus one new song written by Audrey.

In 2010 Audrey published her songbook Write Out Loud, a collection of lyrics and chords of her complete recorded works to date.

Today, Audrey lives in East Nashville with her husband, dogs, chickens and frogs, writing songs and touring.

2011 sees the release of her new album Come Find Me, produced by Mark Hallman in Austin, Texas. The album earned a 5-Star review in Country Music People Magazine, UK.

"Audrey Auld is an amazing talent. Like a special flower in your garden. Her songs are a kind of beacon of hope, from a woman who cares, in this deeply cynical world we are all stranded in. You need to relax more, play this album." ~ Paul Riley, CMP

Career highlights:
* "I'd Leave Me Too" featured on episode 2 of "Justified" FX TV show
* "Hole In My Life" included on soundtrack of "The Good Guys" FX TV show
* San Quentin Prison - performance and ongoing songwriting workshops
* Performing at the Carter Family Fold, Hiltons, VA.
* Singing harmony with Buddy Miller and band in Australia.
* Touring with Fred Eaglesmith.
* International Songwriter Series (Australia) - with Jim Lauderdale, Kim Richey, Fred Eaglesmith, Jason McCoy.
* 2 ARIA Nominations (Aust. Recording Industry Assn). for self-produced and self-released albums on her own Reckless Records label.
* 4 songs cut by other artists (including Sunny Sweeney, Big Machine Records).
* 2 Golden Guitar nominations (Australia).

"Audrey Auld is a great singer songwriter. She holds a unique place in contemporary Americana/Roots music. I believe that this uniqueness is largely due to the fact that she is Australian. This affords her a totally different attitude as an artist than traditional American contributors to this genre. Audrey is one of the most honest original artists I know." ~ Fred Eaglesmith

"Audrey Auld's songwriting is honest, passionate and accessible. She's also one of the hardest workers I know. She has the most heartfelt contagious laugh I have ever witnessed and just thinking of her makes me smile. Having her near you will improve your day. She's a friend of mine, I love her dearly...give her a listen." ~ Mary Gauthier

"A singer-songwriter with smarts and a distinct vision who's capable of heartfelt sorrow or off-kilter humor.'' ~ Austin Chronicle

"I just finished listening to "Losing Faith" and it levelled me - I had to crawl to the computer to let you know how much it moved me, even after only one listen - I'm hooked." ~ Eliza Gilkyson

“Audrey is the real deal. I call her the Australian songbird. She has that wide-open sound & it’s easy to relate to her music because she sings from the soul.” ~ Jimmy LaFave

“The beauty of Audrey's work is that she understands the power of simplicity. Whether it be in a traditional country setting or on the more edgy tracks her voice stays honest and true." ~ Kieran Kane
Nov 5, 2011John Craigie w/ Marty FInkel - $6"Before open mics, before showcase slots, and before the hype, there was the traveling folk singer. Woody Guthrie, Ramblin Jack, Leadbelly, and others traveled the country armed with nothing but a guitar and a head full of songs. And while the tradition has long been shadowed by the ever growing music industry, the folk singer is still out there. John Craigie is one. Doing his best to keep the tradition alive, he travels from town to town, telling stories and singing songs. He has played in all 50 of the United States. Some nights to a crowded house, some nights for two people. His songs and stories cover the spectrum of human emotion. Some funny, some sad, some bitter and some sweet. With his roots style, Craigie has been gaining a cult following throughout the country. Despite the lack of any of the tools of the modern aggressively popular musician, his music continues to spread."
Dec 10, 2011Safety Last! - $6Mother Fool’s will ring with the vintage sounds of ‘20s and ‘30s Jazz and Western Swing as Safety Last! takes the stage. Featuring Garreth Paul’s warm and bluesy vocals, the gypsy twang of Chris Ruppenthal’s guitar, Gregorio Montero’s ingenious fiddling, and Mike Steen’s rock-steady bass, the band will transport you to another place and time - one that exists only in the moment.

Where Safety Last! plays, Bob Wills hollers and stomps while Django Reinhardt smirks and sneers through his cigarette’s blue smoke, a flapper’s dance steps are accented by the sound of cowboy boots shuffling across the floor, cotton fields wave in the warm evening breeze off the French Riviera, and you smile and tap your foot to the steady groove of classic swing with a Southern twist.

Safety Last! is a 4-piece acoustic ensemble, performing “Sophisticated Western Swing & Old-School Jazz.”
Nov 18, 2011Caravan Gypsy Swing Ensemble - $6Caravan Gypsy Swing Ensemble is an instrumental acoustic jazz group based in Madison, Wisconsin. They are primarily influenced by the legendary Gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt. The ensemble also pulls influences from jazz, swing, European folk, traditional Latin, Parisian waltz, and other vintage-jazz sources. Expect a range of tunes from the “Hot Swing" repertoire, originals and standards done in uniquely arranged styles.

The idea for Caravan started in early 2002 when Chris Ruppenthal, the group’s leader and an aspiring jazz guitarist, first heard recordings of Dutch Gypsy jazz guitarist Jimmy Rosenberg who played in the Reinhardt style. Chris soon turned away from the American Bebop style of jazz guitar to follow in the long shadow of Django and was inspired to seek out fellow Gypsy Jazz enthusiasts.

Caravan sprang out of that inspiration as a trio of two guitars, and violin. The trio played a barrage of open mikes and busked at local farmers markets to get their repertoire together. After adding a bassist and clarinetist they began playing coffee houses, clubs, and parties. Soon they were recording, and performing consistently throughout the Midwest.
Dec 2, 2011Ritt Deitz Family Band w/ Nicole Udriot - $6Ritt Deitz plays straightforward acoustic folk rock. He is joined by family members and friends on strings, dulcimer, acoustic and electric guitars. Basically a tube-amp electric harmonious cowbell stompfest thing. He'll be playing songs from his latest CD, Pop.

Nicole Udriot is a singer-songwriter raised in Switzerland, England, California and North Carolina. Inspired by Gillian Welch, Norah Jones, Alison Krauss and Madeleine Peyroux, her musical influences derive from female vocalists from a wide range of genres, such as pop, bluegrass, folk, and jazz. Her lyrics speak of travel, lost love and self-discovery through acoustic Americana-inflected songs.
Dec 3, 2011Sandra Beasley - freeWhen butter is deadly and eggs can make your throat swell shut, cupcakes and other joys of childhood seem out of the question. So Sandra’s mother used to warn guests against a toxic, frosting-tinged kiss with “Don’t kill the birthday girl!” Tackling a long-marginalized subject, this book intertwines a cultural history and sociological study of food allergies with humorous, sometimes heartbreaking real-life experience. From a short-lived gig as a restaurant reviewer to the dates that ended with trips to the emergency room, step inside the story of a modern young woman coming to terms with a potentially deadly disorder.

The Boston Globe said "In this charming book, part memoir and part handbook, poet Sandra Beasley forthrightly casts herself and others with serious food allergies as 'people who–for better or for worse–experience the world in a slightly different way.' Beasley is a warm and lively guide to the quirky world of allergies, demonstrating on page after page that this 'is not the story of how we [the allergic] die…[but] the stories of how we live.'"

Sandra Beasley is also the author of I Was the Jukebox, winner of the Barnard Women Poets Prize, and Theories of Falling, winner of the New Issues Poetry Prize. Her poetry has appeared in such venues as the 2010 Beast American Poetry, Slate, and The Believer; her prose has appeared in Psychology Today and the Washington Post Magazine. She lives in Washington, D.C., where she serves on the Board of the Writer's Center.
Dec 9, 2011Al Rose - $6"Rose blurs musical boundries while singing some of the sharpest, wittiest lyrics this side of Nas... One audaciously entertaining ride." - Chicago Tribune

What is Al Rose's music like? What are Al Rose's songs like? Good questions.

Imagine (if you will) your favorite cafe. Maybe it's Kopi Cafe on Clark Street in Chicago, Mother Fool's in Madison, or some place in Paris, or Rome, or Bali, or New York or some out of the way place in your head. It's late afternoon - or morning (if you've just gotten up). Either way, it's still a touch lighter outside than inside. You step in and your eyes adjust to the warm colors. Some of the tables are worn wood. Some are worn marble. All of the chairs are different and somewhat solid, but you have your favorites and you grab a seat.

Over by the wall, Bob Dylan is playing scrabble with either Allen Ginsberg or Serge Gainsbourg. It's tough to tell because bartender Richard Thompson makes sure to pour a shot of absinthe into every drink. Groucho Marx is over in the corner, chair back on two legs, playing ukulele and swapping songs with William Burroughs in a scene out of a Chagall painting. Henry Miller sits at a table littered with empty glasses and full ashtrays. Lucinda Williams sits on his lap, while under the table he tries, unsuccessfully to work his hand up Emmylou Harris's dress.

Neil Young sits at a table by himself eating popcorn and watching a movie that's playing in his head. While from the outside front window, Greg Brown looks in taking notes and sketching pictures.

Any other questions?
Dec 4, 2011Art show reception for Mariko Frost KostrevaCome meet this month's artist, Mariko Frost Kostreva.

7 - 9 pm.

Free.

More info.
Dec 16, 2011Words Spoken Open MicrophoneAttention lyricists and story-tellers! Mother Fool's will be hosting a free, open-mic style reading on Friday, December 16th and you are all encouraged to participate. Sign-up begins at 7:30, so dust off those manuscripts, flip through your old diaries and show us what you've got.
Dec 17, 2011Hanah Jon Taylor & Hamid Drake DuoHanah Jon Taylor emerges as one of the most inspiring musicians on the contemporary music scene today. A native of Chicago, Taylor has received the critical acclaim of audiences and media throughout Europe, the Americas, and Asia Minor. His unique and lyrical persona on flute, saxophones, and wind synthesizer has warranted him as a true innovator of improvisation.

Hamid Drake incorporates Afro-Cuban, Indian, and African percussion instruments and influence, in addition to using the standard trap set, Drake has collaborated extensively with top free jazz improvisers Peter Brotzmann, Fred Anderson, and Ken Vandermark, among others. Since the late 1990s, Hamid Drake is widely regarded as one of the best percussionists in improvised music.
Dec 26, 2011Solidarity Meet & Greet at Mother Fool's4 - 7 pm. Free and open to the public.

AJ O'Neil, owner of AJ’s Music Café near Detroit, MI, held a 'Solidarity with Wisconsin' concert back in March. This was AJ's third annual coffeehouse concert focusing on the plight of the American worker. This year the café broke the Guinness World Record for holding the longest continuous concert in history -- over 360 hours!

Part of the requirement for the Guinness record is to have a clock on stage as artists perform. O’Neil bought a decorative metal plate featuring the state of Wisconsin at a Salvation Army store and had a friend install a U.S.-made clock in it.

“Every time you look at the stage, you are going to see Wisconsin,” O’Neil said.

AJ O'Neil is now running for Congress (in Michigan) and is touring his state (his candidacy was recently endorsed by Michael Moore!). AJ will be taking a detour next week to stop in Madison and meet with some of the people of Wisconsin who have been standing up for workers' rights.
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