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Spencer Wells, Kainalu, Thomas Wincek (free)

  • Madison's 119 King Street Madison, WI, 53703 United States (map)

Photographer Spencer Wells visits to share a new book chronicling Wisconsin's early-2010s music scenes. Info/RSVP required


Photographer and Eau Claire native Spencer Wells currently lives in New York City, but before that spent several years visiting and living in various parts of Wisconsin, where he started focusing his camera on a diverse array of musicians. His new photography book Forward captures a few slices of the music scenes that popped up around Wisconsin between 2010 and 2015, from rapper Milo playing a basement show in Eau Claire to the agrarian whimsy of the Rock County Folk Symposium, a festival Wells helped organize. Wells, takes an intimate approach here, favoring candidate and intimate shots of musicians, often working in home studios or walking around their neighborhoods, over the climactic polish that usually defines concert photography. The book also incorporates short essays on several subjects, including Adelyn Strei (aka Adelyn Rose) and experimental percussionist Jon Mueller.

At this last-minute book-tour event, Wells will visit in person to discuss the book. Middleton-based electronic musician Thomas Wincek (All Tiny Creatures, Field Report, Volcano Choir, etc.) will play a solo set, and Madison multi-instrumentalist/producer Trent Prall, best known for his project Kainalu, will provide a DJ set. (Full disclosure: Wincek has performed and given workshops at Tone Madison events.) The event's organizers are hinting at once more special guest to be announced the day before the event. I recently recorded an interview with Wells about Forward, so look for that soon on the Tone Madison podcast. —Scott Gordon