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Wednesday, April 23, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 40.0° F  Partly Cloudy
The Paper


Coda: Rich Albertoni's last column

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I wrote my first story for Isthmus 12 years ago. It was a piece about the underage music venue the New Loft being evicted from their space on Fairchild Street to make way, ironically, for "the arts district."

This column is my last. A new job and life changes are taking me in a different direction. It feels like the right time to put closure on 15 years of freelancing about the Madison music scene.

What I will miss the most is interviewing the talented songwriters, instrumentalists, club owners and producers who make Madison their home. My time spent with Katie Powderly last week at the Tiki Bar on State Street seemed like a fitting conclusion. As Katie talked and I earnestly took notes, a young guy approached us and said we looked out of place. What were we doing there? That's one thing these years taught me - great music scenes are made by people who might otherwise look out of place.

Last week I was in the car with my son when a song came on the radio that he hadn't heard in over a year. Even at his adolescent age, the sounds rekindled past feelings. "I remember this song," he said with a smile.

That's the thing - we never forget the melodies and beats we hear. For me, that's especially true of local music. It's been almost 20 years since I used to regularly go see Marques Bovre & the Evil Twins play at the Crystal Corner, but I still remember the way they always closed their second set with "I Like Gyrls Who Like Gyrls."

Madison's songs have come to be my idea of Madison. I won't forget them anytime soon.

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