Welcome to the leaner Isthmus, as we go on our 2009 austerity diet. In the interests of preserving our longevity, we've decided to use space more efficiently while affecting the editorial package as minimally as possible. Thus, this contents page is a quarter-page shorter, the TV column has been trimmed (it runs in full version online), and "Lulu Eightball" has left the building permanently.
There will be other modifications in the coming weeks, adjusting not just to the economy but also to a fluidity in content that occurs from time to time. This often involves new writers coming into the mix, as is the case with the author of our cover story, "Team Frequency."
Jessica Steinhoff is a native of Milwaukee and a UW graduate, with a B.A. from Madison and an M.A. from UWM. She's worked for scads of publications in the barely five years she's been out of school, a good number of them in New York, where she spent her early post-school years. She's back in Mad Town now and has been contributing reports on local music to Isthmus since last October. Over the years she's written for The Capital Times, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, The Onion and the Shepherd Express on various topics but mostly on music. She has also written and worked for dedicated publications such as Adelphi Eden Health Communications and HFN Magazine (home furnishings.)
This is the second Madison music-oriented cover she has done for Isthmus. On Jan. 9 she contributed "Rising Gael," about the so-named young group of Irish-inflected rockers who have become a regional attraction. This time she shifts from the performers to the venue, though there is still plenty to be said about performers in the piece.
Darwin Sampson is a musician turned impresario, and his club, the Frequency, claims to be "of musicians, by musicians and for musicians." It's an admirable credo, and Steinhoff recounts how it came about. It is one of many stories of Madison music that people like her will be telling you about in the weeks to come in the pages of Isthmus.