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2010: 15 of the Best. #11 . . .

December 3, 2010

#11: Icarus Himself – Digging Holes

From: Mexico (EP)
Released: May 25, 2010
Label: Science of Sound
Buy it: Here.

I feel a little guilty everytime I mention to some acquaintance that Madison, WI has a pretty weak local music scene. It seems like I’m just dealing an unfair blow to a city that I really do love and inhabited for five years before a job change brought me to Chicago this summer. I saw some great shows in Madison. Ray Davies, Alejandro Escovedo, Old 97’s, Michael Penn and Lyle Lovett among them, but the thing about all the great shows I saw in Madison was that the artists came from somewhere else. I saw quite a few local bands as I whiled away hours and downed beers in venues like High Noon Saloon and the Frequency, but I always ended up getting bored or leaving by the third or fourth song. So when my good friend Cindy invited me out to see Icarus Himself this summer, just weeks before my move, I must admit I was about ready to suggest we just go grab a drink at the Brink Lounge instead. But I decided to go with her suggestion and lo and behold, they opened with this track and knocked me right out. Hints of David Bowie and the Doors’ take on “Alabama Song,” a mariachi horn, an arresting beat and Nick Whetro’s succinct musing on his tendency to say “horrible things, terrible things” all merged so fantastically. I’d finally found a Madison band worth telling my friends about. Of course, I also moved three weeks later. But these guys are breaking out of Dane County’s borders and burrowing into by-the-way venues throughout the country. Check ’em out. And wait til you hear this song live. I’ve experienced it a few times now and still get the same rush I got at the Frequency this summer. It’s the kind of charge all good songs should supply.

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