the men you’ll grow to love soon

On their debut LP, Londoners Let’s Wrestle sing that they “are the most reliable guys in the world.” At their Madison, WI show at The Annex on April 16, 2010, they proved it.

Their live show is much like their album: a rough, punk aesthetic tempered with pop awareness and musical know-how. The songs have you nodding your head and dancing like those kids in the Charlie Brown Christmas movie, happy and with abandon.

Songs of note were the utterly infections and clap-filled single “We Are the Men You’ll Grow to Love Soon” and album opener “My Arms Don’t Bend That Way, Damn It!”. Let’s Wrestle closed their set with “In the Court of the Wrestling Let’s”, which seemed just as out of place and drawn out as it does on the album.

Despite the downer at the end, the band’s charm, approachability, and musicality will ultimately win you over.

Find out more about Let’s Wrestle here.
Check out our photos from the show here.

whiskey in the dust bowl

There’s a saying that hell gets all the good music, and I’m inclined to believe it. Swilling whiskey and spinning tales of Satan and deserted towns, Murder By Death chilled bones and warmed hearts at The Annex in Madison, WI on August 29, 2008.

The charm of MBD live is that they have the earthy, easy feel of a bar band, but have propulsive, cinematic songs that go above and beyond your average local fare. Lending to their often anachronistic quality is the grizzled voice that emerges from singer Adam Turla’s mouth, a man too young to possibly make such sound. Also, Murder By Death would not be the must-see act they are without Sarah Balliet’s emotive cello playing – nay, rocking. More than an instrument, it’s an extension of her being. An extension that at times is covered in Iron Maiden decals.

Playing a mix of tracks that spanned their catalogue, the band cranked out tune after tune in a set that unfortunately flew by. Peppering the set was stage banter that included lines like “I am serious, you do not want to fuck with robots,” and a story about Arnold Schwarzenegger that began with “it’s worth it, trust me,” and ended with “at least make me come with your hands!”

If you missed Murder By Death this time around, fret not: Turla mentioned plans for a winter tour featuring material from 2003’s Who Will Survive, and What Will Be Left of Them? and their most recent release, Red of Tooth and Claw.

and she runs through her days with a smile on her face

On Thursday July 31st, 2008, rockers Toadies and The Whigs played to a full house at Madison, Wisconsin’s The Annex.

Openers The Whigs blended a distinctly American brand of rock and roll with 60s brit-rock influences. Their single “Right Hand on My Heart” drastically under-represents their talent; every other song on their set list blew it away. The trio was particularly memorable when incorporating organ into the mix. Raucous and full of spark, The Whigs are a band meant to be seen live.

Headlining the night was iconic 90s rock band Toadies. Drawing on blues and the rich musical heritage of their home state of Texas, the recently reunited band played a mix of old favorites like “Away” and “I Come From the Water” as well as new material that was enthusiastically received. For many attending the show, it was their first time seeing the band and they did not disappoint. Todd Lewis’s voice is still powerful and the band was tight even after time apart and changes in lineup.

Toadies will continue to tour through September in support of their upcoming release No Deliverance.

To see pictures from the show, click here. To see a performance of “Possum Kingdom” from the show, go to our YouTube channel. Watch “Tyler” below.