Jess & Jim's Birthday Bash

The Gran Fury

The Gran Fury is a rock and roll power trio out of Madison, Wisconsin. They specialize in driving, aggressive hard rock with metal, punk, and even industrial flavors melted in. The band’s sound is driven by the gut-busting raw tones of guitarist Brad Richter and the hard hitting, intricate drum assault of Chad Ovshak. Holding down the low end as he howls over the top is vocalist/bassist Joe Price. The guys have spent years forging their unique, colorful rock style, and decades in the local music scene. They are about to begin recording on their first album and are playing gigs all the time.

The August Teens

Somewhere along the line, the idea of "rock and roll" music evolved (or devolved, depending on who you ask) into the more homogenous "rock" music. This means a lot of music gets lumped together that doesn't necessarily match or really even "rock" in any traditional sense. The latest release from the August Teens, A Kiss in Wisconsin, is very much a "rock and roll" record, relying on traditional song structures and but mixing in modern heaviness and other elements with much success.

Singer/guitarist Dan Hargrove has a lot of woe on his mind, mostly about girls ("Shelia Doesn't Want Me") and girls ("There is No Amber Klein") and more girls ("Lovers Can't be Friends") which really fits the music well. Hargrove's songs are a nice mash of styles, ranging from Buddy Holly ("Mysteries) to Young Fresh Fellows ("Pizza in Your Heart"). With it's double-tracked vocals and prominant organ, "Headstrong Girl" gets my pick as the standout track. The title track is also a great pop moment, with its classic tale of distance making the heart grow fonder. While A Kiss in Wisconsin is far from formulaic, some of the best moments come when the band takes some stylist chances that step outside of the rock and push the pop envelope a little futher.

The August Teens are one of the tightest bands in Madison, featuring bassist Kyle Urban, drummer Josh Labbus (from the Motorz) and lead guitarist Dave Esmond (who helped anchor alt-country favs Mudride). Urban's shiny big-room production quietly adds to his pile of amazing work (The Motorz, The Midwest Beat, The Shabelles, The God Damns among many others) making him one of the best analog guys in Madison. While I hate to use music cliches to describe a band, these guys are the essence of power pop. The songs are hook laden and the playing is tight and when these guys kick it up (as they did at Halloween with fellow rocker Erika Zar as Joan Jett and the Blackhearts) they have few peers in Madison. A Kiss in Wisconsin is a great snapshot of a band that really must be heard (and seen) to be believed.

The Apologists

Boyce Johnson
Jim Merett
Marty Mulhern
Mark Penner


What started as a joke, has turned into an even bigger joke. Behold! The ROBOMAN!! See!!! The feet of fury and lightning hands of one drunken slob. Hear!! The amazing surf instrumentals and crazy garage beat! You'll swear its a whole band! But don't take our word for it. Here's what other people have said: " Um, that was, um..interesting." ..." The drums were'nt loud enough."..."Wow! That was just you?"..." You need to sing into the mic."..." How the fuck are you playing guitar and bass at the same time!? And drums?! and sing?"..." That was cool! Would you play my party?"..." Eat a dick Oman!" Here's what local press have said, " Roboman's ridiculous one-man-act proves that guitar, bass and drums can be played simultaneously by one person, if for no other reason than someone had to do it and prove it."--77 Square..." a harshly entertaining, bare-bones, garage-surf sound."--The Isthmus.

William O'Donoghue

Bill O'Donoghue, born and raised in a small Irish (Gaelic) speaking part of Co. Waterford, Ireland ~ an area soaked in traditional Irish and Folk music. Bill is a talented singer and musician who plays the mandolin, guitar, keyboards, tin whistle and bass whistle. Bill's instrumental ability ensured gigs with the likes of Liam Clancy (of the Clancy Brothers) and Kevin Evans and travels throughout Europe, Australia and finally America where he settled. In more recent years, Bill has spent his time playing clubs and festivals throughout the Midwest. His stories and songs range from the traditional to the more modern and topical songs of Irish immigration.”

We present s very simply gig of fast powerful tunes, songs chat and stories………. an aould poem thrown in for good measure

Tiny Band

Madison, Wisconsin's own Tiny Band make mighty, string-rich music with wee instruments. This is no novelty act, Bub, but real music that's really pretty. Melodies from ukuleles, a Mando Bird, and harmonicas mesh with powerful rhythms from the drummer's cocktail kit and lady vocals with lovely harmonies. Expect hypnotic original songs laced with a few special versions of old favorites from the likes of the Velvet Underground and Calexico.

Why tiny? We don't know. It matters not. Rock tinily with us.

$10 Suggested Donation

$10 Suggested Donation

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