Genre Archives: Pop
Look, we know what you’re thinking….ANOTHER Prince Tribute Band in Madison?? Let us tell you why this is the only TRUE Prince Tribute Experience you’ll find. Not only are Purple Veins based in Madison and comprised of some of the most incredibly talented musicians in the city, but Brandon Beebe & co. embody the spirit, look and essence of The Purple One like nothing you’ve ever seen before. This is truly the finest, most passionate and most true to form Prince concert experience you’ll find anywhere. Read all about why from this recent article in the Isthmus. Or better yet, watch some videos of their last performance at the Majestic right here: Let’s Go Crazy | Little Red Corvette | Rasberry Beret
It’s been over a year since they tore the roof off of a sold-out Majestic in Madison. Since then, a flurry of lesser inspired tributes have rolled through town cashing in on recent Prince hysteria….and it’s time for Brandon and his sexy band of talented funk-rockers to remind people why they are Madison’s best and only Prince tribute experience. “It’s always a thrill to get all of this musical talent together and bring Prince’s music to life, to keep it vital and just rock the crowd like no other show can. That’s the power of his music,” says Beebe. “Some of the best and hottest players in Madison will be on stage with me, with horns, dancers and more. It’ll be a challenge to top what we did last year, but we’re up for it.”
Let’s go crazy on Friday, October 6th!!
*NSYNC VS BACKSTREET BOYS
For fans of Bad Bad Hats, Fickle Friends, XY&O
The day after GGOOLLDD frontwoman Margaret Butler graduated from art school in Baton Rouge she packed a Uhaul and headed west. “I was like, yeah, I’m not going to live here anymore,” she recalls, laughing. Her first stop was Portland, Oregon, where she subsisted mostly on “ramen noodles and pumpkins people stole for me from Home Depot,” she remembers. “You sauté them down and add lots of black pepper and curry powder and soy sauce. It’s actually pretty good!”
Butler was riding high on that particular sense of freedom that comes when you’ve decided your life plan is to just say yes to pretty much everything. So you don’t really care that you’re broke and subsisting on stolen jack-o-lanterns, because you’re not in your suburban high school anymore, hiding your disdain for the cheerleaders. You’re in a weird and cool new town, hanging out with musicians and designers and artists. You’re free to mess around. Explore. And just when you’re starting to get a little over living “four people deep,” as Butler puts it, in your tiny apartment, another friend says, hey, come out to Wisconsin for a while. So you do. (Because: say yes!) And a while later, when, boozy in a bar one night, you hear some beats you think you’d like to write lyrics to, even though you’ve never so much as held a microphone in your life, you go for it. (Say. Yes.) And the next thing you know, you’re fronting a dynamic, dirty, synth-pop carnival of a band, hearing your single on the radio, and touring the country.
That’s Margaret Butler’s story. And that’s the story of her band, a group as inspired by the shimmery decadence of Queen as they are by the primal yowl of Black Sabbath as they are by the madcap joy of Yeah Yeah Yeahs. GGOOLLDD is one of the most resolutely celebratory rock acts to emerge in years.
It’s not hard to understand how someone like Butler, a woman with seemingly limitless natural charisma and an obsession with dressing up in outrageous costumes (Halloween is her favorite holiday) would eventually find her way onstage, but the singer insists that rock stardom was never part of her plan. “I never even considered being a musician, I always wanted to be a clothing designer, or a chef,” she says. “I’ve always created with my hands.” Butler’s father is jeweler, and technically that’s what she was studying to be as well. But she learned all her really important college-years lessons bartending at the Spanish Moon, a legendary venue in Baton Rouge. “It was the only cool place to go and watch music in the city,” she says. “I got to see every amazing band as they were coming up, from TV On the Radio to Of Montreal to Dirty Projectors.”
Even though Butler’s always loved music (she’s an obsessive of the first order) aside from the one time she “got really stoned and watched a John Bonham documentary then went right out and bought a pair of blue 1970s Ludwigs,” she never tried to become a serious musician. “I have great internal rhythm, I’m just too A.D.D. to sit down and actually play,” she says. “I own eight different instruments and I’ve gotten as far as like a week on each of them.” But her culture, her people, her tribe has always been connected to music. The people she met in and around the Spanish Moon were the ones she moved to Portland with, and it was through that world that she wound up, one random early fall afternoon in 2013, recording vocals, in the foyer of her house in Milwaukee, to what would become GGOOLLDD’s breakthrough debut single. “It was the first song we ever wrote and it was called ‘Gold,’” she recalls of the soulfully grimy track, on which bassist Nick Ziemann, guitarist Thomas Gilbert also played. (They added drummer Mark Stewart and synth player Nick Schubert soon after). “We were like, ‘Oh we need a name for the band – I guess it should be the same thing as the song title.” A quick Google search revealed “eight other bands named Gold,” but they were all basically unsearchable because the word is so widely used, “so we just decided to double letter it.”
Thinking nothing of it, they threw the song up on Bandcamp, planning to go back to their day jobs, but that’s when the serendipity hurricane began. “Somehow college radio picks it up,” Butler recalls. “And it starts getting really good responses. And then it’s on their list of top-ten-plays list, which is just insane.” So they figured, why not keep this going for a while? “We were like, this is fun! Let’s write like three more songs, do a cover, and throw a party for Halloween where we can all wear gold costumes!” The Halloween party is now the stuff of GGOOLLDD legend. “I was Santigold, but instead of dressing up like the singer, I made an all gold Santa costume,” Butler recalls, laughing. “We played a terrible show to eight-some people crammed into our attic and it was one of the funnest nights ever! After that, people just kept asking us to play.”
Butler, who had by this time opened a vintage clothing business with her friends, initially thought of the band mostly as a good excuse to express her most playful sartorial impulses. “We had our next show two weeks later so I made this weird tassled vinyl gold overlay on top of a crushed velvet gold romper,” she remembers, but it wasn’t long before they all realized this band had become more than an excuse to dress up. After that second show, CMJ picked up “Gold,” from the local Milwaukee radio station, 91.7, and from there, other college radio stations around the country began playing the track as well. The same un-mixed, un-mastered version they had made on Garage Band. “After about a year I was like, people like this a lot better and they want to pay me a lot more than they do for vintage clothing, so I think I’m just going to do this instead,” Butler recalls. “It’s been three years and we have ten songs that are out right now, and we’re working on the next album.”
GGOOLLDD isn’t like other bands. They formed on whim, decided to play their first show mostly as an excuse to host a killer party, and they eschew the traditional gotta-get-a-record-deal game in favor of playing a lot of shows and releasing their own material. That sense of whimsy blended with resolute autonomy is all part of the signature GGOOLLDD aesthetic. And it feeds into their sound, especially lately. “Undercovers,” their new single, is a soaring banger that conjures wind-in-your-hair glittery romanticism. Co-produced and mixed by Ben H. Allen (MIA, Animal Collective) it reflects that core tension in GGOOLLDD between winging it and great artistry. “I’m not going to lie, I’m great at writing a hook,” Butler says, and is quick to point out that her bandmates are “amazing,” musicians. “But if you ask me what I do, I’m going to tell you that I’m a performer before I tell you that I’m a musician.” She pauses and cracks up. “Unless you don’t know me at all,” she continues. “Then I’m going to say I’m a musician, because if I say I’m a performer, you’re going to automatically think that I’m a stripper, which is totally ok too but not my current profession.”
ROD TUFFCURLS & THE BENCH PRESS
Rod Tuffcurls and The Bench Press is an exciting cover band from Chicago, entertaining crowds at clubs, festivals, weddings, and other events all across the Midwest since 2008. Their unique song repertoire include hits ranging from Hall & Oates to Taylor Swift, Queen to The Beatles, and Wilson Phillips to Elton John! You may even hear some of our off-the-wall choices from Les Miserables, The Golden Girls, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and classic Disney movies!
Rod Tuffcurls and The Bench Press combine excellent musicianship, bone-crushing 3-part vocal harmonies, and a contagious stage energy that will keep you dancing!
With their vast array of experiences, Rod Tuffcurls and The Bench Press are prepared to handle any venue, and are happy to work with production managers, wedding planners, and events planners to make sure that every detail goes smoothly, regardless if it’s a festival for thousands, or an intimate wedding for a hundred.
w/ DJ Tanner
Part of the Miller High Life Concert Series
With an eye-catching signature blonde pixie cut, delightful nineties superstar fixation, and singing and songwriting prowess befitting of her stadium ambition, Betty Who commands the dance floor.
“I’ve spent the past two years on the road, and I walked away with this intense feeling of wanting to make dance music,” she exclaims. “All of that touring and living developed my sense of self. It’s a really fast learning curve out there. You have to learn how to get better immediately. Because of that, I’m in a place where I feel more aware of who I am and able to be vulnerable in a sincere and blunt way. My band and I have the best time ever. It’s about creating songs that feel huge in front of a crowd of 20 or 20,000. I know that I want to get people moving.”
That’s what the Australia-born and Los Angeles-based songstress has been doing since the release of her explosive 2013 independent EP, The Movement. Who’s 2014 full-length debut, Take Me When You Go [RCA Records], cemented her as a 21st century buzzworthy pop force “replete with skyscraper-size tunes that could rattle the screws in the nosebleeds”—as proclaimed by Vogue. While the lead single “Somebody Loves You” went on to amass over 26 million Spotify streams and counting, she earned glowing acclaim from Harpers Bazaar, Time, Glamour, Elle, New York Magazine, and Spin who dubbed Take Me When You Go the “Best Pop Album of 2014.”
Between high-profile tours with Katy Perry, Kylie Minogue and Kiesza, she performed on The View, The Today Show, and Late Night With Seth Meyers and guested on Troye Sivan’s RIAA gold-selling Blue Neighbourhood in 2015. Her 2016 cover of Donna Lewis’s 1996 smash “I Love You Always Forever” quickly racked up more than 11 million Spotify streams in a few months’ time, went platinum in Australia, and laid the foundation for what would become her sophomore offering.
“There are a bunch of different reasons I went in the direction I did,” she goes on. “I feel like I’ve grown up a lot along the way.”
Recording the bulk of the material in Los Angeles with a few sessions in New York, she quietly cultivated a style that’s equally smart, sexy, and spunky. The single “Human Touch” illuminates Who’s progression. Produced by and co-written with longtime collaborator Peter Thomas, the track begins with a hummable synth as finger-snaps propel the beat. Her inimitable voice takes the spotlight building from a breathy croon into a seductively connectable refrain, “Just need a human touch.”
“It was about this experience I had,” she admits. “When you’re in a relationship with somebody and that relationship ends, you’ll always live in this weird middle ground where you used to be the closest person in the world to this ex—but now you’re not anymore. It’s real to me, and I’m talking about when I got together with an ex-boyfriend for a week after everything between us had ended for a while. It felt universal enough for me to write about. ‘Human Touch’ is the introduction to that new version of myself I’ve found in the last couple of years.”
As a both writer and multi-instrumentalist, she continues to paint pictures with a hypnotic and heartfelt honesty. Drawing on everything from her childhood classical training at Michigan’s Interlochen Center of the Arts to a lifelong Joni Mitchell and Carole King obsession, Who brings a poignant and personal perspective to pop music.
“On this album, I implemented something of a rule,” she says. “All of the songs, except for maybe one or two, can be played at a piano or with a guitar. I can actually sing you the story of the song with everything stripped away. It was so important to me.”
Ultimately, Who is ready to make listeners move worldwide. “I love it when people tell me they’ve listened to my music on a shitty day, and it genuinely made them feel better,” she leaves off. “‘Human Touch’ makes you feel sexy and want to dance. No matter what it is, I want to be there for my fans and anybody who listens to what I’m doing. When a record moves somebody, that defines success for me.”