The Smart Studios Story

Recent News 18 Apr 2016

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The Smart Studios Story

That was one big Madison music love fest that happened last night, both at the Barrymore, where the Smart Studios Story made its Madison debut, and at the High Noon where some notable bands from the glory years highlighted the celebration.

Here are some takeaways and a link to a blog post by Roy Elkins from Broadjam, who wrote about the film after the SxSW screening in March.

  • The film is a fantastic achievement and deep bows to Wendy Schneider and her crew for pulling it off. I was just as engrossed as I was when I saw Sound City, which also has tons of Butch Vig in it. It’s a little hard to have perspective because I lived through this, recorded there and frequented the venues but I believe anyone who has a passing interest in the studio, the bands (particularly Killdozer, Smashing Pumpkins, Garbage and Nirvana) or Vig will find lots to like. It was very well made and, as Schneider acknowledged in the Q&A at the screening’s completion, I could have freeze-framed every poster that flashed by and scrutinized it. The film is a testament to the power of Madison’s music scene, then and now, but there is no denying that there was a golden era that coincided with the rise of Smart Studios.
  • The Barrymore had the right vibe for the event – and make no mistake, this was a BIG event for a lot of us – but the sound system was inadequate and the screen too small. Small quibbles but this film begged for a rock-concert level of sound quality.
  • Thanks Jay Moran for organizing the afterparty – that was a fun time.
  • Andy Ewen may need to do a crowdfunder after he totaled the bridge on his guitar during Honor Among Thieves’ inspired set at the High Noon.
  • The Know It All Boyfriends did indeed perform starting out with Spooner’s “Mean Old World” and featuring Dave Benton on guitar. And that, my friends, is as close to a Spooner reunion as we may ever see. The band members were visibly drained but in great spirits.
  • And the most important takeaway of all – what a great day for Madison music!

Here is that link to the Roy Elkins blog review:


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← MAMA Cares City-Wide Fundraiser May 6-8: Are You Playing? ROCKONSIN Competition for Youth Garage Bands Making Summerfest Debut; Deadline to Get in is April 30 →

About the author

Rick Tvedt

Rick is publisher of Local Sounds Magazine, formerly Rick's Cafe, Wisconsin's Regional Music Newspaper. He is also the Executive Director for MAMA, Inc., a non-profit organization that produces the Madison Area Music Awards and raises funds to promote youth music programs.

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One Comment

  1. ML Krase
    April 18, 2016 at 11:40 pm

    Crap! I lived thru Spooner years partied through Spooner years and truly missed a happening event! Rock on old friends.

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