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November 15, 2009, 6 Comments
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In The Beginning, There Was Rick’s Cafe…
Local Sounds Magazine began as Rick’s Café, created in the fall of 2002 by Editor-in-Chief and publisher, Rick Tvedt. It was the product of frustration over the lack of coverage being given to Madison-area musicians coupled with his desire to contribute to the local music community.
For nearly a year he tracked the area’s publications and made several determinations, most importantly that the ratio of local music coverage to music coverage in general was far lower than imagined. There was a noticeable lack of any type of in-depth profiling, and virtually no live show coverage, and it seemed that the same few musicians were the only ones getting CD reviews, despite the fact that local releases were soaring in number.
To these ends, Rick’s Café was conceived. Feature stories that did more than scratch the surface became the immediate focus. Several lengthy profiles have been printed on the area’s most important established artists as well as the rising talent. Rick’s Café knows no boundaries of style, covering any and all genres. Four full-color pages were dedicated to live show reviews beginning with the first issue and Rick’s Café is the only publication that covers local shows with regularity. In addition, a multi-tiered rating system was developed for reviewing CDs. This allows for analysis on several different levels, lending depth to the music reviews. Several publications in the Madison area print club calendars, so Tvedt opted for a register of bands which gave contact information for each of the registrars in addition to describing their style and providing website addresses.
The first issue was printed in January of 2003. It was sixteen pages and 3,300 copies were distributed. There were nine bands listed on the band register. As of this writing, midstream in volume three, the newspaper averages forty pages and over 9,000 copies, with nearly four hundred bands on the register. Numerous columns have been offered along with music business articles. One of these is an underage music column entitled Vital Youth. That age group is being specifically addressed in hopes of offering an outlet for burgeoning underage musicians.
Rick’s Café grew from a one-man operation to a publication with over a dozen contributing freelance writers. In January of 2005, Joe Williams (Chop Shop Design) offered freelance graphic design of the color pages, which improved the appearance significantly.
In 2004 Tvedt formed MAMA, Inc, a tax-exempt organization that created the Madison Area Music Awards(www.themamas.org). That organization continues to promote local music by recognizing outstanding achievements by area artists while raising money to fund music programs for kids.
Local Sounds Magazine Is Born
In the fall of 2008, there was some talk about bringing Rick’s Cafe back but under a new identity. Since the identity known as Local Sounds had already been in existence since 2004, it seemed only natural to revive the publication under a branding with the same name. In the spring of 2009, Rick’s Cafe, now rebranded as Local Sounds Magazine, was launched.
Local Sounds Magazine is the place to watch for local music. As the publication continues to grow and the online capabilities expand, Local Sounds Magazine will remain dedicated to its single most important mission: giving local artists the independent media resources they need to survive and thrive.