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Wednesday, October 1, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 64.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
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Art smart

We asked local notables to share their favorite album covers by local artists.

The Motor Primitives: Be the Engine (2006, Boat Records)

'It's basically just a silhouette of a person on a swing against a blue background. The image speaks to me because the person is at the widest arc of the swing, and anybody who has sat on a swing and felt that motion knows the kind of freedom that represents. The image suggests possibilities as to what people might find in the music. It's artful but oblique.'

' Dave Benton, owner, Madcity Music Exchange

The Tar Babies: No Contest (1988, SST Records), Honey Bubble (1989, SST Records) and Death Trip (1992, Sonic Noise)

The band's arty mix of contrasting colors and alternately violent, twisted and sweet imagery makes the Tar Babies 'just the coolest band ever.'

' Brian Daly, owner, DNA Studios

The Scott Fields Ensemble: Fugu (1995, Geode)

An illustration of a fish set against a background of pleasant greens, oranges and purples with Asian-style text has 'complexity, subtlety and class. It counts for something with me when it looks as though artistic effort has gone into the cover.'

' Jon Hain, owner, Mother Fool's Coffeehouse and Uvulittle Records

Stephanie Rearick: The Long Picnic (2001, Uvulittle Records)

'Stephanie's one of our most complete artists, and I really like this album. The artwork features her own drawings and is strikingly beautiful.'

' Rick Tvedt, publisher, Rick's CafÃ

Killdozer: 12 Point Buck (1989, Touch & Go Records)

'The starving-artist painting of a big strong 12-point buck, proudly gazing out from his hilltop perch in front of majestic purple mountains, is so bad it's great. It's in a flea-market picture frame with a brass plate emblazoned with the title and artist. The back side simply has illustrated instructions on how and where to cut and fold the LP's back cover to enable easy placement of the 'framed painting' above your television.'

' Steve Manley, owner, B-Side Records

The Rousers: Full Moon Bad Weather (1991, Boat Records)

Bill Feeny's illustration of a beat-up old car ambling down the highway with ominous storm clouds in chase 'is something I'd hang on my wall. Maybe it's a photo? Either way, I'd hang it on my wall.'

' John Urban, host, 'Urban Theater'

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