Music, culture, and strong points of view.

Tone Madison is an independent website, podcastemail newsletter, and event series covering music and culture in Madison, Wisconsin.

 These promoters were asked about their shows. What they said will amaze you.

These promoters were asked about their shows. What they said will amaze you.

We pick up on a pattern behind Madison's entertainment headlines.

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So today I was reading that the promoter of an upcoming show series in Madison thinks the shows will be “fun,” that one of the bands is “interesting,” that yet another performer in the lineup will leave the crowd “pretty blown away.”

Then I was thinking back to other stories I’ve read about events in Madison and I think I might be noticing a pattern. It’s almost as if event organizers and venue owners state that the events they’re doing are going to be good events, and then reporters write that down and it becomes an integral part of the story.

No, wait, really, hear me out. An organizer of the Madison Comedy Festival said that “audiences always love” some of the comedians they book, and that the organizers are focusing on “making each show feel unique and important.” A venue owner hosting a period-style party recently said—on record!—that the venue "naturally lends itself to creating this kind of fantasy world where you walk in and you feel like you’re in a different decade.” A concert review a couple years ago noted that the promoters offered a money-back guarantee to anyone who didn’t enjoy a Kathleen Edwards show. And when it comes to the big Halloween event Freakfest, one of the organizers offered this downright positive take on its history: "What was an ugly mark has become a signature event for Madison."

Whoa! So if you pay attention to the news and read between the lines a little bit and exercise a bit of historical memory, what emerges is that people who put on events like to say, in a public forum, that they think the various aspects of the events, like the atmosphere and music, will be good, that people will have a good time, that the event is not only well-put-together but also a credit to our fair city. Don't take my word for it, read for yourself—these folks say that stuff like it's their job!

Even when admitting that times haven't always been perfect, the folks involved at a major arts center in town have generally quite good things to say about the place, and apparently had no occasion to discuss that guy who went to federal prison and got the city sued. It's almost as if they tried to have a warts-and-all assessment of the organization's history, but minus the biggest wart. Whaaat!

And you just know this stuff is all going to be tight, because there is little alongside these glowing remarks to suggest otherwise. Imagine if you’re a writer and have thoughts of your own based on listening to the music or experiencing life, and you have to cut that down because you’ve just gotta have room for the priceless quotes you’re getting, or if editors and deadlines simply make it hard to tell the story behind those scintillating comments. Wouldn’t that be a bear! I mean, usually you’d expect event promoters to offer mere qualified praise, or even outright disdain, for the acts they’re booking, so imagine the extra legwork and intellectual rigor involved when the story suddenly takes you in quite another direction!

Wizard World: The “special guest” power rankings

Wizard World: The “special guest” power rankings

Faux Fawn gets darker by design

Faux Fawn gets darker by design

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