May 25th, 2014
Earlier this week the Wisconsin State Journal reported on the launch of the Yahara Music Library. The YML is an initiative of the Madison Public Library which showcases music by Madison musicians. Patrons can use their library card to stream and/or download the tunes.
Musicians have been paid $200 to have a CD featured on the Yahara Music Library site, which along with original tunes includes features such as musician photos, bios, video, upcoming gigs and links to personal websites.
About 25 artists — ranging from well-known Madison bands The Gomers and Natty Nation to jazz artist Ben Sidran and the chamber music festival Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society — will be featured at the start, with the addition of about 50 more artists through the year, Hankel said. Eventually, an advisory board will be formed to oversee music selection.
Right now there are 23 albums available. (Biff Blumfumgagnge has his hands in at least three of them so he’s flush with cash which explains why he bought me a beer last time I saw him. That and I got engaged.) I was surprised that I had heard of most of them and even was familiar with a few of the bands. Plus I was pleased to see that the Iron Maiden-esque Lords of the Trident have their latest album available. Madison seems almost anti-metal as the indie/alternative/whatever-you-call-it scene dominates with most of the rest of music chatter in this town being about the struggles of hip-hop. Southeastern Wisconsin is more inclined towards metal being home to the Days of the Doomed festival in Cudahy, for example. I’m not sure if this is simply because Milwaukee is a much larger city than Madison and in close proximity to Chicago or if that part of the state is more working class. Or both. Or something else.
Still, Madison does have Ear Wax Record Shop, which apparently does good business purveying metal and punk. But I wonder how much business these days is done via the Internet as opposed to locals.
To finish my Arts Extract triptych, I’ll note that Scott Gordon at AE has reviewed the site. One thing I’d add is that the site’s main page should include some kind of welcome and explanation as to just what the site is all about. Oh, and why isn’t Ear Wax listed as a place to purchase the Lords of the Trident album? But the site is only two days old so it’s not fair to come down hard on its shortcomings at this point.