Musician and journalist Tom Laskin dies

Laskin was best known for fronting Appliances-SFB and for his writing in Isthmus.

A promotional graphic for the Mad Lit events series shows the series' logo and text stating (8 p.m. until 11 p.m., Every other Friday, 100 block of state St. July 1st-October 7th. A collage of performers and audience members is visible to the right, and the logos of event sponsors are visible along the bottom.

Laskin, second from left, with Appliances-SFB in the early 1980s.

Laskin, second from left, with Appliances-SFB in the early 1980s.

Word is spreading tonight that Tom Laskin, who played a long-running and important role in Madison’s music and media communities, has died. According to Facebook accounts posted by friends and family members, Laskin died in his sleep in the early morning hours of June 15. Laskin and his wife had been living in Paris and Amsterdam for the past several years.

As lead vocalist of Madison band Appliances-SFB, Laskin made a significant contribution to the Midwest’s fertile 1980s and early-’90s boom of punk and noise-rock. He also worked for 18 years as a journalist and music critic at Madison weekly paper Isthmus before his position was eliminated in a 2008 round of cutbacks. He contributed thoughtful, engaged criticism and reporting on local and touring music, as well as other corners of arts and culture.

We’ll try to provide more information and insight into Laskin’s life and work over the coming week.

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