m|h’s short and sweet guide to fmf09

Are you in Madison, WI this weekend? Then get yourself to Forward Music Fest. Buy tickets here, print out the schedule, and then check out a few of these performances (our top recommendations are linked to music, starred are the acts we’ve seen live before):


Blake Thomas*
Richard Buckner

Dan Wilson
Daniel and the Lion
El Valiente*
Archie Powell & The Exports
Daredevil Christopher Wright*
Margot & The Nuclear So and So’s*

Crane Your Swan Neck*
Pale Young Gentlemen*
Maps & Atlases*
Andrew Bird*

If you’re only buying a single show ticket, and we had to pick just one thing to see, we’d say Cougar. They don’t play the midwest very often, and their shows have always delivered. They’re one of our favorite live acts, hands down.

To see our coverage of the inaugural FMF, check out our guide and review.

the m|h guide to forward music fest

September 19th and 20th marks Madison, Wisconsin’s Forward Music Fest. Boasting an impressive line-up, especially for a first-time outing, FMF offers a range of acts that cover a broad spectrum of genres and represents both regional and national acts.

Comprising seven venues and 72 bands, picking and choosing where to go and what to see can be a little overwhelming. Let your friends at M|H help you.


Orpheum Theater, 9 PM
The crown jewel of the Forward Music Fest lineup, Ms. Case offers up throaty, brassy vocals both as a solo artist and as a the female front of the New Pornographers. Aptly handling both alt-country and power-pop/indie-rock, M|H is quite excited to see what this lovely lady can do live.

Majestic Theater, 11 PM
The Israeli trio may be better known for their live antics than their music, but considering just how far they take things that may be alright. Setting themselves & their equipment on fire and crowd-surfing with drum kit in tow are just a couple examples of routine behavior for these gents.

Cafe Montmarte, 8 PM
Madison’s own CYSN put an Eastern European spin on American indie rock, laying violin, accordion, keys, and clarinet over the traditional rock set-up. Though not every song follows this format, CYSN is at its best when they do. Read our review of Crane Your Swan Neck’s live show.

Cafe Montmarte, 1 AM
A romantic, dreamy quality pervades Decibully’s brand of indie goodness, manifesting itself in big, multi-instrumental tunes that read more like sonic pictures than stories set to music. The small venue will provide an intimate setting for the band to wrap you in its sonic warmth.

Project Lodge, 9 PM
If you’re in the mood for an adorably quirky singer-songwriter, Kazutaka Nomura is your man. See what we had to say about his tunes.


Majestic Theater, 8 PM
This guitar-strumming troubadour has a slightly stilted vocal style, but it only serves to make him stand out against the sea of folky boys and girls singing heartfelt tunes. Sweet and relaxed, Jennings is the perfect panacea fall’s return to routine.

Stage Door, 11:30 PM
PYG’s anachronistic feel and string-augmented compositions have made them a refreshingly cool breeze on the indie scene. Don’t forget to wear your bustles and bowler hats. Figuratively of course…though we’ll totally give you high fives if you take that literally.

Majestic Theater, 11:30 PM
We midwesterners love our dance parties, and this is the perfect show to cap off the weekend with. OCD Automatic has been making a name for himself in Madison with his appearances at the ever-popular iQ Discotech, while Flosstradamus have gained national notoriety with their mash-up skills.


Tickets for Forward Music Festival are available now. General admission wristbands for the weekend are $40 for both days or $25 for one. Shows are first come, first-served and subject to capacity restrictions. Guaranteed admission for specific shows can be purchased in addition to the GA wristband for $10 each. A portion of the proceeds goes to benefit organizations that directly give back to Midwestern music.