Madison club mainstay and MC Audio owner DJ Mike Carlson and his family lost their home in a fire on Tuesday, Jan. 26. Thankfully, nobody was hurt in the blaze, but the family's possessions were essentially all destroyed, from everyday basics such as clothing to the tools for a working DJ -- a lifetime's collection of vinyl records.
News of house fires likely strikes fear into the heart of anyone who's a record collector; pretty much even the proximity of heat can damage a collection in very short order. The simple accumulation of time spent over the years digging through countless crates of vinyl to build a working collection creates something that as a self-contained unit is irreplaceable once it's gone.
In the fire's aftermath, donations have poured in for many of the everyday basics, and there's an email address set up for donations through PayPal (firstname.lastname@example.org) along with several upcoming benefit shows. Additionally, local DJ Alan Chin and electronic music fan Nate Marx have set up a vinyl record drive in conjunction with the Madfam music forum to help Carlson begin rebuilding his library.
For potential donors who may not know Carlson's tastes, Chin offers a bit of direction: "We feel the records donated to Mike should at least reflect what he spins and generally likes. Genres include house, techno, industrial, electro, acid/acid jazz, downtempo, classic rock, hip-hop and IDM (labels like Warp or Ninja Tune, etcetera)." Marx also pointed out '80s dance music, and mentioned that hardcore and drum 'n bass records can be skipped for now.
To arrange pickup, contact them via their Mike Carlson Vinyl Drive Facebook group; email Marx at email@example.com; or Chin at firstname.lastname@example.org. Records can also be dropped off at a King Cannibal show at the Inferno tonight (Feb. 5) at 9 p.m., and also during a benefit at the High Noon Saloon on Monday, Feb. 8. This event starts at 5:30 p.m., will include a raffle that closes at 8 p.m., and DJs spinning through the evening, including Wyatt Agard, Prognition, Corey Lee and event organizer DJ Eurotic (a.k.a. Matt Fanale).Fanale has also put together a benefit show at the Inferno on Thursday, Feb. 18, featuring performances by Sensuous Enemy, Null Device, Parasite Twin (Fanale and Brian Schuh), Gentlemen Loser and DJ Psych0tron. The cover is a $6 donation, and music begins at 9:45 p.m. Coming up later in February is a special edition of '80s vs. '90s at the Majestic on Friday, Jan. 26. Beginning at 9:30 p.m., DJs Nick Nice and Fusion square off in a battle of the decades, a series concept started by Carlson himself at the Majestic back in 2008.
So, dig through those closets, pull out that vinyl that's been languishing, and give it a chance at a new life. Maybe next time you hear an old favorite in a club, it'll be your copy that's spinning on the wheels of steel.