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Wisconsin Film Festival 2009

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 54.0° F  Overcast
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Madison Music Scene & Heard: Smart Studios documentary; reuniting bands, Smart tapes


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The recent announcement that Madison institution Smart Studios is closing reverberated throughout the local music scene and triggered memories of the nondescript building at 1254 E. Washington Ave. A call for materials was posted on The Daily Page Forum by filmmaker and musician Wendy Schneider, who has started work on a documentary about the storied recording space. Schneider is no stranger to Smart, having worked there as an engineer in the 1990s before opening her own Coney Island Studios.

Video, pictures or audio from studio sessions or live shows are requested, as well as audio and video testimonials or stories about time spent at Smart, cover art, flyers -- essentially, any Smart-related materials are welcomed. Submissions should be mailed to Smart Studios Documentary, Attn: Wendy, PO Box 3253, Madison, WI 53704. Those with questions about the documentary can contact Schneider via email at schneiderdog35@gmail.com, but she says, "Folks should not send anything electronically ... only DVDs, CDs (with music/files) and written letters to the PO box."

The studio itself is working on a history project of a different sort: tracking down performers who have recorded at Smart, in order to return tapes and data drives to those involved in creating them. Smart has posted a call on its web site for musicians to stop by and pick up materials as soon as possible. There's a handy list of performers, reproduced below, but it's not all-inclusive; anyone not on the list who might also have tapes in storage at the studio should call Smart at 608-257-9400.

Smart originally planned to close by Monday, March 1, but are likely to remain open through the month of March while navigating the process. "We're working all that out, really," says chief engineer Mike Zirkel. "So far, we've gotten a lot of stuff back to people," as word has spread of the closing. And, he says, materials not reclaimed by the time the studio closes will find a temporary home somewhere. "We aren't gonna just toss things away."

The list itself is something of a Madison musical history dating back into the mid-1980s, with names both well-remembered and obscure (including "Someone Doing 'Chain Gang'"). There's various national clients peppering the list as well, from Cinderella (?!) to Natalie Merchant.

1st Person
23 Lies
400 Strength
A J Love
Alan + the Bachelor Pad
Alex Soren
Andrea Davis Duo
Angel
Travis
Aquadora
As Tall As Lions (ATAL 2003)
Atalanta
Attainment Company + Julie Thompson
Beat The Naked
Beck
Beer City Records #5
Ben Sidran
Best Boy Electric
Beyond Therapy
Big Spender
Black Dog Duo
Black Eyed Susan
Black Star
Blackmaker
Blackout
Blunt Instrument
Bob Mittnacht
Bobby Bluel
Burning Ernie
Cattleprod
Cinderella
Cinema
Circle of Knots
Citizen King
Clashing Plaid
Cliff + Jacket
Constance Walsh (Welsh)
Cosmic Psychos
Cougar/Dave Skogen
Creepy
Cris Plata
Crucifucks
CTM Narnia
Cupcakes
D. Benton / Popps
Dan Barker
Darnell Collins
Dave Goldberg
Dave Rhody
David Matthews
Devil 1 / Devil 2
Doc (Doc Dart?)
Doc Dart
Don Smithmier
Doug B. Vicky M.
Elizabeth Banner
Emerald Choir
End of Bigotry
Erected Wish
Eric Hartz
Eva Haze
Figure 5
Fizgig
Freedy Johnston
Freshwater Collins
Frogpond
Fromage D'Amour
Fun With Atoms
Galen Herod
Gary Norris
Gideon / East of Gideon
Go Motion!
Gomers
Graffiti in Japan
Greg Gill
Gufs
Habitat
Ham 'G'
Hearthrobs
Hey Mercedes
Holy Moses
Honor Among Theives
Hot Sauce
Hyundai
In Your Direction
Jackalopes
Jaime / Al Kamen
James Luther
Java / The And
Jay Moran
JCM Post
Jeff Larsen
Jerks
Jim + Janet
Jim Wachtendonk
Jingles Only
JMC w/Kid Kut
Joel P Trio
John Murdoch / Scott Caldwell
John Roach
John Wiedencombe (Widdecombe?)
Johnny B and the Leisure Suits
Julien
Kelly McHale
Kevin Clark
Kiljoys
Kilroy
Knupp + Watson
Kristy Larson
Kyle Fischer
L.S.B.
Laura Day
Le SonicLee + Kurt
Lee Conrad
Letter 8
Letters Burning
Lombardis
Loosegoats
Lovelies
LSB
Mad Trucker Gone Mad
Majesty Crush
Margie
Mark Mannenbach
Mark Prey
Maurice Gavan
Max Ward
Mecht Mensch
Medicine Show
Mel Bowi / Odd Logic
Melford
Michael Cain
Michael Penn
Michael St. John
Moon Gypsies
Mr. Peabody
Mr. Stiff
Mudhook
My Cousin Kenny
My Sister's Machine
N. U. Library / N. U. L. Master
Natalie Merchant
Nice Package
Nine Inch Nails
Nutrod
Oh My God
Old Skull
On a Sun
Ostertag Work Reel
Other Kids
Pablo Hunny
Pachinko
Pale Young Gentlemen
Paris, TX
Parish Blue
Pat The Blowfish / Gomers
Paul Black
Paul Filipowicz
Paulo
Peder Hedman
Phil + Kari
Pistols At Dawn
Plaza 9
Polar Crew
Pups
Pupy Costello
Purple Omen
Rainer Maria
Real Camera
Reason For Leaving
Reid Miller
Rescue 2004
Reverb HBO Theme and Bumpers
Rick Sutcliffe
Rob McCuen
Rousers
S.O.T.C.S.W.S
Sawtooth
Scott Fields
Scott Witt / Areon
Second Wind
Secrets of Terror Castle
Shane
Side Effects
Sigrid
Simple Simon
Smashing Pumpkins
So Livingston
Someone Doing "Chain Gang"
Sonic Foundry
Spiral Trance
Spooner
Square
Stationary Set, The
Statues are Falling
Stereotypes
Steve + Dennis
Steve Dandy
Steve Song
Sunscreen
Sunspot
Swamp Thing
Tar Babies
Taras
Tarith Cote, J. Ladage
Tee Jay
Terrorvision
Testa Rosa
The Blowtorches
The Cult
The Difference
The Healers
The Kicks
The Urge
The Whip Hippies
Thieves on Holiday
Threshers
Tomek
Tones For Jones Bones
Too Much Violins
Toys
Track Bros.
Transformer Lootbag
Tryangle
U2
Unicycle Dragrace
Uptown Sinclair
Urban Myth
Urby Demo
Vertical Hold
Wabash Jug Band
Waldbillig + Besteman
Watchmen
Weaker Youth
Weird Man
White Sisters
Zillman

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