Back in May, Isthmus received a Madison Area Music Association award as the "2011 Local Music Publication/Blog of the Year." I was reminded of that fact when a handsome plaque arrived on my desk recently. Now is an opportune moment to acknowledge it, because change once again comes to the music room, and it's time to recognize one of the folks responsible for that award as he exits the stage.
Rich Albertoni has been part of our music writers lineup since February 2000, when he wrote about the New Loft teen center being booted out of its home on Fairchild Street to make way for the construction of the Overture Center. He began writing a regular music column in November 2005. This week he joined the Public Consulting Group as a Medicaid program administration expert.
In his parting note to the editors Albertoni writes: "It feels like the right time to give up writing. I will always have that writer's spirit all of us at Isthmus are blessed and cursed with, but for now I want to throw my energies into making this new position work. And I see advantages to ending my run as a pop music columnist before I overextend my stay. Then again, I am reminded to 'never say never.'"
Last week Albertoni wrote on the best Madison albums of 2011. This week he talks to a budding singer-songwriter in his piece "The Transformation of Katie Powderly," his last regular column for Isthmus. We say thanks and good luck to him in his next endeavor. Next week? Well, we still have the contributions of Andy Moore and Jessica Steinhoff, and we're looking for an addition to the lineup. If you've an interest in writing about local pop music, see the ad on page 40.
And in the interest of encouraging local music, consider attending Band to Band Combat at the Frequency next Thursday night, Dec. 15. Four bands (TL;DR, the Big Payback, Sky Road Fly, El Valiente) perform in the finale of this year's competition. The music starts at 9 p.m.