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WUDStock (free, multiple venues)

  • Union South Sett 1308 West Dayton Street Madison, WI, 53715 United States (map)

Jamila Woods headlines the latest attempt at a big spring music event on campus. Info

Jamila Woods. Photo by Zoe Rain.

Jamila Woods. Photo by Zoe Rain.

WUDStock is the latest iteration of WUD Music's attempts to get its end-of-spring-semester music day back in the pocket, and this one finally nails it. Since Chance The Rapper headlined the departed Revelry Fest in 2015 (alongside a then fledgling Chainsmokers LOL), WUD Music's school-year cappers have suffered from a lack of funding as well as a lack of identity. This year's event, however, manages to strike a balance between booking artists with national recognition (and they are actually good) and Madison-based artists.

It's also divided into two sections at The Sett and The Terrace/Rathskeller. At The Sett, Chicago's Jamila Woods, a frequent Chance collaborator, will be supported by Madison's own Trapo and others. Though Woods is often charged and forward in songs like "LSD" and Trapo reserved and introspective in songs like "Break From Me," they are complementary insofar as they take similar approaches in their beat selections and lyrical machinations. Both favor organic, swirling productions and both weave stories across tracks that are immersive yet abstract. Trapo also has a new album, Ford4Door, coming up soon, which could play a factor into his set.

At the Union Terrace, WUDStock offers a whole mix of other genres. There's country from Lavender Country, jazz from Madison's Goodie Two Shoes, and funk from Minneapolis' Pho. This bill is perhaps an unlikely mix, but a compelling one nonetheless. Hailing from the Pacific Northwest, Lavender Country is the underknown ur-band to country artists like Kacey Musgraves—it's one of the acts that led the way in writing Americana music with queer overtones, such as the devastatingly sweet coming out song "Come Out Singing." Their music is quite rootsy in nature, and hearkens back to Bob Dylan’s earlier days. —Henry Solo