A new compilation celebrates the strange and abrasive side of Madison music.
Talk with 10 people who are enthusiastic about local music in Madison, and you'll likely get 10 very different windows into the matter, 10 distinct cross-sections of genres and artists. Jason Hartman, guitarist for Madison post-punk/psych/prog outfit Vanishing Kids, offers his window on the new compilation Mesmerized In Madison, out now on CD and on Bandcamp and due for a vinyl release in Deember. Hartman included a few of his own projects on Mesmerized—a new Vanishing Kids track, one from a now-defunct metal band he played in called Sardonyx, and another from a new project called Diati—but he says his real motivation was the diversity of music he discovered upon returning to Madison after several years living in Portland, Oregon.
The 12 tracks on this comp celebrate the experimental and heavy sides of Madison music. "Diamond Bitch" is the first new track from the mighty thrash outfit Panther to come out in a couple years—one of nine new tracks the band recorded last year during the occasional reunions it's had since Marit Singh left town in spring 2014. Country misanthropes Those Poor Bastards contribute "Getting Old," from last year's album Vicious Losers, and wandering electronic project Samantha Glass opens the album with "A Traveler's Price," from his 2014 Surface Water Perceptions EP. Some of the artists here might be new even to folks who pay attention to out-of-the-way music in Madison, like metal project Emerald Douglas and eerie electronic project Red Museum. (Full disclosure: The comp also includes contributions from Auscultation, aka Joel Shanahan, who writes for this site, and DB Pedersen, who I play music with sometimes.)
Hartman joined me this week at WORT-FM studios to talk about Mesmerized. He plans to put together a release show once he has the vinyl pressed—follow the Mesmerized In Madison Facebook page for updates on that. CD copies are available at MadCity Music Exchange and Ear Wax. If you're interested in catching some of the acts from the compilation live: Samantha Glass plays October 23 at the Memorial Union, Vanishing Kids play November 6 at The Frequency, and Zebras play October 25 at the High Noon Saloon and November 4 at the Dragonfly.
Apologies for the audio roughness and interviewer-brain malfunctions on this one.
Segment produced by Dylan Brogan for WORT-FM. Keep up with the Tone Madison/WORT podcast on SoundCloud and hear a short version of it every Thursday on WORT's evening news show. And don't forget to join us on October 20 at the High Noon Saloon for a new live podcast, The Tone Cluster.