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The Isthmus' best Madison albums / songs of 2011?

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The Isthmus' best Madison albums / songs of 2011?

Postby wmhart » Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:48 pm

I know I'll probably get flak because this is my first post on the forum, but I couldn't help it after reading Rich Albertoni's "The best Madison albums of 2011" and "The 10 best Madison songs of 2011".

I have no idea how Rich actually finds out about or acquires the Madison music he listens to in a given year. But he really seems to be limiting himself. These lists sell Madison's music scene extremely short. He's ignored, overlooked, avoided some amazing Madison music that came out this year.
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Re: The Isthmus' best Madison albums / songs of 2011?

Postby wmhart » Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:16 pm

bump because it took a few days for the post to get approved.
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Re: The Isthmus' best Madison albums / songs of 2011?

Postby oranger » Mon Dec 12, 2011 8:03 pm

Ok, I'll bite. Like whom?
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Re: The Isthmus' best Madison albums / songs of 2011?

Postby supaunknown » Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:21 am

The list of amazing yet unrecognized local subterranean musiclones goes on and on. This is definitive:
Murklebone
Stanking
LadyLadyLady
zwallowz
The Cow Back Home
X-US.us
Brownie
The Soft Bods
Little Stan and the Pickle Bunchers
John Wayne III
The Haggots
The Gloria Hostetler Band
Honest Ape
Good Time Bri w/ The Fun
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Re: The Isthmus' best Madison albums / songs of 2011?

Postby wmhart » Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:24 am

Four local artists came to mind right away. Julian Lynch, All Tiny Creatures, Jeremiah Nelson and Peaking Lights. All 4 seem to be doing something a little different than most of the people on the lists. Julian is a NJ native attending UW grad school and Peaking Lights recently moved away but still. All 4 artists released some pretty stellar records in 2011.

And a few of them even got some national attention, which might not matter to a lot of people, which is understandable. But still I think the national recognition of some local artists can help provide motivation and inspiration for other local artists, which seems to be a positive thing for the scene in general.

There are a lot of repeats on the Daily Page's yearend "best of" lists over the past 5 years or so. Harmonious Wail, Null Device, Pale Young Gentlemen and Icarus Himself all get named at least twice between 2007 and 2011.

It just seems like there's more going on in Madison musically than the Isthmus would lead you to believe.
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Re: The Isthmus' best Madison albums / songs of 2011?

Postby defactobrigade » Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:46 am

the fact that the best records of the year list is almost identical to the best songs of the year proves that he's a lazy dipshit.
I mean seriously is the best song of the year actually ON the best record of the year? And so on down the list? NO, absolutely not.

Seems like Mr. Albertoni mentally checked out before he actually relieved his duties at the Isthmus....
Last edited by defactobrigade on Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Isthmus' best Madison albums / songs of 2011?

Postby defactobrigade » Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:51 am

Missed the Midwest Beat LP for one. Probably one of the only bands to make it to Europe and tour it this year. And again one of the few bands that has an actual label supporting them. While I don't think it's necessary or even right to completely judge a band based on it's merits in the label world, I DO think that it has an indication of quality. When a band has a label in America AND a label in Italy release their second LP of their career after a string of singles and then tour Europe, they are PROBABLY doing something right. Or at least definitely making good enough recordings warranting the attention of the local press. At least that's how I see it. I don't think it's necessary to only praise bands of this nature, but to completely overlook the release is quite odd to me. Maybe no one sent him a promo copy, and then he couldn't actually hear the whole thing (not sure if that's true). Maybe he's not paying attention to the scene (definitely true). Maybe he had no idea how to play a thing called an LP since the release only physically came out on Vinyl (mp3s/digitally as well, but it seems that Mr Albertoni has an affection for the CD format). Maybe it's a good thing...nay...a GREAT thing...that some young blood will hopefully replace him and actively seek out all nooks of the scene (I hope).
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Re: The Isthmus' best Madison albums / songs of 2011?

Postby jjoyce » Tue Dec 13, 2011 7:40 am

As long as your criticizing one critic's top ten, why not put your own out there and sign your name to it, thus opening yourself up to criticism?
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Re: The Isthmus' best Madison albums / songs of 2011?

Postby defactobrigade » Wed Dec 14, 2011 2:28 am

I'd like to hear a few more of the releases before I make that decision. I, unlike rich albertoni, do not have a whole library of Madison music to listen to for free/on the isthmus' buck (maybe? not sure about that.). I don't have the money to seek out and hear every release in town. And I guess his tastes are not eclectic, and that's sorta okay...a journalist has to like what they actually like (doesn't have to be fair). But to miss out on many great musicians that released records this year like The Midwest Beat, United Sons of Toil, Lonesome Wyatt, Jeremiah Nelson...etc...all who are musicians who have gotten OUT of Madison and gotten on real labels or have done real touring (most of these bands have been to europe as well), and been respected by more people outside their own community because their music is actually good/worth releasing. Those bands are getting little respect from Rich, even though many other communities have shown that the band is worth someone's time. That's odd to me. Some of the other staff writers at the Isthmus even get it. You look at the Onion and they completely get it. They write more about those types of bands, because those are the types of bands that might actually make a record that more than a few people in Madison will actually hear. I guess that doesn't mean they made a better record...but it's probably an indication of the quality. And at the end of the day those musicians DO matter more than the madison-only based musicians who might release a vanity CD or twenty in their lifetime on their own imprint and ultimately be forgotten (for good reason) by the snares of time. That's not to say that the other musicians will garner fame/attention, but I have a feeling a lot more people will be saving their Lonesome Wyatt/Those Poor Bastards records (and USOT, Midwest Beat, Jeremiah Nelson records) than about 70% of Rich's 2011 best of list.
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Re: The Isthmus' best Madison albums / songs of 2011?

Postby jjoyce » Wed Dec 14, 2011 6:21 am

Oh, you mean the kind of musice YOU like, personally.

He's different from you and, therefore, wrong. I get it.
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Re: The Isthmus' best Madison albums / songs of 2011?

Postby defactobrigade » Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:21 am

It's really kinda depressing to see that a staff member is essentially a troller. UGH.

Did you read my statement (probably not since you typically prove you too are a dipshit):
"And I guess his tastes are not eclectic, and that's sorta okay...a journalist has to like what they actually like (doesn't have to be fair)."

But there's a fine line there...as he sorta is a steward of Madison music and his JOB IS TO BE AS OBJECTIVE AS POSSIBLE ABOUT IT. (sorta the point of journalism...hmmm).
Which he obviously is not.

I've already heard from QUITE a few people about how happy they are he's leaving. No one has told me that they are bummed he is leaving...yet.
I doubt anyone will.

I remember when Tom Laskin left the Isthmus and EVERYONE I talked to was sad about that. No one felt like that was a good thing. Everyone I know thinks it's a good thing that Rich Albertoni is leaving, and I think for really good reason. Dude was/is a dipshit. If no one else is willing to stand up and say it...well then I absolutely will.
Last edited by defactobrigade on Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:40 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: The Isthmus' best Madison albums / songs of 2011?

Postby defactobrigade » Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:23 am

I also think it's safe to say that all 4 of the bands I named dropped are completely different sounding bands. Unlike 90% of Rich Albertoni's list. So yeah apparently he likes what he likes and sticks to it too. To me I'd rather listen to bands that actually have staying power instead of "vanity project" power (since bands with staying power are usually more often than not better bands).

The fact of the matter was that I was not only stating how I think he's a lazy douchebag for using the same list twice (and getting you guys to pay him for what I would call completely shoddy work), but also how he overlooked bands all the time during his regular "reporting" (if you could call it that). I wasn't just stating my disapproval of his list. It's a longer stemming battle than that. He consistently missed those bands that I mentioned above, and those bands have all been at it for years. To miss those bands proves that he should not be the main madison music writer (since he obviously isn't being objective at all).

Furthermore it's not as if he didn't have the time to seek out those bands. Instead he'd rather write the same story twice about the same musicians he's already pimped...proof:
http://www.isthmus.com/isthmus/article. ... icle=27421

http://www.thedailypage.com/isthmus/art ... icle=33971

In the simplest terms: I already knew his list was going to be shitty, but I thought a journalist would have enough self-awareness/training to know that posting essentially the same list twice and calling it "Best Albums of 2011" vs "Best Songs of 2011" is just outright lazy as shit and not something a good journalist would do.

So in other words...I completely expected something like this from him.
Last edited by defactobrigade on Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Isthmus' best Madison albums / songs of 2011?

Postby Stomach » Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:46 am

I think defacto is applying for the rock critic opening I saw advertised in last week's issue.
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Re: The Isthmus' best Madison albums / songs of 2011?

Postby defactobrigade » Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:50 am

Absolutely not. They all hate me at the Isthmus office which would make my life harder...and we all know life is about coasting through as easily as we can.

So in honor of not working for the Isthmus...here are 10 musicians that put out records this year that absolutely deserve praise (most were/are overlooked by Rich on not only his list...but also during his regular reporting duties). Anyone who spends any time at shows around town will recognize these bands:

Midwest Beat
Dead Luke
Lonesome Wyatt/Those Poor Bastards
United Sons of Toil
Jeremiah Nelson
Icarus Himself
Control
Jimmy Murn's new band
Cribshitter
Lonesome Savages
Antiprism
Phat Phunktion (not my thing, but I understand it)
Whitney Mann (again not my thing, but I understand it)

Maybe you could count Zola Jesus....maybe? Probably not tho.

Shit even Art Paul might deserve a mention. Dude's been at it for years.

I gave you more than 10. Now have fun criticizing my list even though I'm not a real journalist/don't get paid to write these lists/it isn't my job to promote madison music...
Rich asked for criticism when he posted the same list twice. I don't see how you can argue against the laziness and honestly just plain shoddiness of that.
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Re: The Isthmus' best Madison albums / songs of 2011?

Postby Kenneth Burns » Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:52 am

defactobrigade wrote:But there's a fine line there...as he sorta is a steward of Madison music and his JOB IS TO BE AS OBJECTIVE AS POSSIBLE ABOUT IT. (sorta the point of journalism...hmmm).
Which he obviously is not.


Point of clarification: Culture criticism is a particular kind of journalism, and critics by definition can't be objective when it comes to assessing artworks and making judgements.
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