unseen/unheard

Sometimes you see things you can’t unsee, and sometimes you hear things you can’t unhear. That seems to pretty aptly sum up Madison, Wisconsin’s ‘premier fog machine-oriented band’ Cribshitter.

While I’ve long heard of the colorfully-named band, I hadn’t given them a listen until this week. Bandleader Diaper Daniels (the wispy-mustachioed alter ego of Icarus Himself’s Karl Christenson) and pals make weirdly catchy tunes with unseemly lyrical content, brewing that perfect blend of ‘will never leave your head’.  Take, for example, the video below for single “Boom Goes the Vaginamite”:

Jarring as the title may be, I couldn’t tear my eyes from the video (a mildly strung-out nod to indie film’s self-aware quirk) and have been humming the chorus for days.

On the band’s latest release, Methlehem, my favorite tracks are the instrumentals – they showcase the underlying talent that makes the joke so funny. To judge for yourself, you can stream the album here, or check out Cribshitter at their free CD release show on Friday the 27th at the Dragonfly Lounge.

project lodge forever

Last Saturday the Majestic in Madison, WI played host to the Project Lodge Benefit Show featuring Julian Lynch, All Tiny Creatures, Icarus Himself, Whitney Mann, and Anna Vogelzang. For those unacquainted with The Project Lodge:

Project Lodge is a home for creators and explorers. Our small storefront on the near East side of Madison serves as an art gallery, performance space, and de facto community center for artists, musicians, filmmakers, authors, and anyone else interested in collaborating towards a thriving creative culture in Madison. We are all ages, 100% volunteer-powered, and completely donation-driven.

The five-band bill moved along swiftly – a decent set from everyone and not a whole lot of downtime (truly living the dream). Anna Vogelzang kicked off the night, her lovely voice and banjo bolstered by upright bass and cello. Next up was Whitney Mann, joined by Allen and Amanda Rigell of Count This Penny. Mann’s voice could easily knock over a linebacker, but she’s got a great sense of when to reign it in and when to belt away.

Transitioning from the country slant of the first two acts was Icarus Himself. Super-solid as usual, I can’t say enough good things about them. All Tiny Creatures put together a great set – interesting drumming, and an overall sound somewhere between indie and jam but sounding like neither genre. ATC was a nice segue to Julian Lynch, who similarly tiptoes around the outside of the indie-rock box.

In all, it was nice to see a solid block of hometown talent, the cornerstone to the success of The Project Lodge. If you want to support The Project Lodge but were unable to make the benefit (or you came to the show and want to give more), check out the ProLo’s Kickstarter campaign.

For more photos from the evening, click here.

nick’s mix – nick whetro of icarus himself

The first time I saw Icarus Himself was in May 2008 – back then it was just singer Nick Whetro, and he was opening up for Owen. In the passing years Whetro expanded his project into a full band, put out one of our favorite songs (“Digging Holes“), and made us this mix. On Tuesday, October 11th, 2011, the band will release their second full-length, Career Culture. Until then, you can listen to Nick’s mix, check out the band’s website here, and hit up their CD release show on Saturday, October 8th in Madison (FREE!).

NICK’S MIX
01| (Don’t Worry) If There’s Hell Below, We’re All Gonna Go – Curtis Mayfield
02| Girls Just Wanna Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper
03| Baby I Love You – Andy Kim
04| Baby’s Arms – Kurt Vile
05| Head Over Heels – Tears for Fears
06| Pictures of Lily – The Who
07| Don’t Cry – Deerhunter
08| Strangers – The Kinks
09| On Some Faraway Beach – Brian Eno