sing forward!

For too long people who pursue creative ventures have been without health insurance, and in Wisconsin we’re working to change that. Today marks the launch of Sing Forward!, a campaign to get musicians, artists, and the service industry workers who support us insured. Wisconsin musicians and industry workers recently got together to record a song to get the word out – watch below and get ready to be singing the chorus for days.

Like the song? Remix it, cover it, or post a sing-along video by February 14th for a chance to win concert tickets, cash, and more. Visit the Sing Forward! website to get the materials you need.

Also be sure to take a few minutes to listen to Tom’s story – no one should ever have to die like this again.

Find out more at singforwardwi.com, get covered at healthcare.gov, and spread the word wherever you can!

the black rose, the screaming eagle of soul

Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires brought soul, funk, and sequins to the High Noon Saloon on December 4, 2013. The victim of love himself shouted and shimmied his way through two sets and an encore, often proclaiming his love for the crowd and even stepping offstage to hug his fans. Click on any photo below to see more shots from the night, or follow this link.

back, back, back

Caroline Smith has been very popular in Madison, and for years I’ve been on the outside looking in. I first saw Smith with her band The Goodnight Sleeps at the High Noon Saloon a couple of years ago and was so bored that I actually went to go sit down in the back. I tend to be overly picky about female singers, and women in the singer-songwriter category almost never are a hit with me. I saw the band again after the release of Little Wind and while there was a song or two that wasn’t bad I still just couldn’t get excited about Caroline Smith the way so many of my friends did.

Smith released a new album, Half About Being a Woman, in October and it was reported that her sound was markedly different. When I saw she was opening for Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires at the High Noon Saloon on December 4, 2013 I thought I should give her another look.

What I’d heard was right – she has taken a new approach to her style. Most notably she’s replaced her band and moved from acoustic to electric. The more robust instrumentation allows Smith to push her voice and for the first time I noticed how lovely it really is. While some remnants of her shared past with Haley Bonar and Colbie Caillat remain, the new material references soul and 90s R&B. Generally Smith seems to have left some of the wide-eyed earnestness behind and has embraced fun – her set was full of smiles and dancing and even a few of Kendrick Lamar’s verses. I’m still not head over heels for Smith, but I can say that I’ll no longer skip her set when she’s on the bill.

Caroline Smith returns to Madison & the High Noon on January 16, 2013 as part of FRZN Fest.
See more photos from her December show here.
You can find more from Caroline Smith here.