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Secretly Group to bring “Paved Paradise” pop-up expo through Madison

Header Image: Poster art for the Paved Paradise Label Expo shows geometric shapes rendered in red, blue, and green, with the text “paved paradise label expo” running vertically up the left side of the image. Image courtesy Secretly Group.

The label group will table outside of Settle Down Tavern on Saturday, April 30.

Notable music pop-ups don’t tend to travel through Madison too often so when one does it’s, well, notable. Secretly Group—a “family of independent record labels” that includes Secretly Canadian, Dead Oceans, Jagjaguwar, Ghostly International, and Numero Group—launched its  “Paved Paradise” record fair last fall, bringing the event to Milwaukee. On Saturday, April 30, it’s set to hit Madison as part of a new spring tour (which will also include a stop in Eau Claire and a return trip to Milwaukee).

Settle Down Tavern will play host to the event, which will also include the streaming and download service Qobuz, which launched in France in 2007 but has only been available in the United States since 2019. While there won’t be any local collaborations for the Madison stop, the main draw remains the collected discography that Secretly Group has to offer. Kate Bollinger’s Look At It In The Light, a gold ripple double-LP of Mary Lattimore’s Collected Pieces: 2015-2020, Hana Vu’s Public Storage, Hatchie’s Giving The World Away, S. Carey’s Break Me Open, Fenne Lily’s On Hold, Faye Webster’s I Know I’m Funny haha, Unwound’s Leaves Turn Inside You, and Duster’s Stratosphere are among several releases currently slated to be available.

Secretly Group has earned its sterling reputation within music over the past several decades, having released acclaimed titles like Okkervil River’s Black Sheep Boy, Mitski’s last three records, and Phoebe Bridgers’ two full-lengths. Numero, a powerhouse of reissues and archival nuggets, has even set its sights on Wisconsin’s musical history with a series commemorating Sauk City-based Cuca Records. The involved labels have also released celebrated records from the likes of Bright Eyes, Dinosaur Jr, Japanese Breakfast, Simon Joyner, Sharon Van Etten, Songs: Ohia, Khruangbin, Major Lazer, Yoko Ono, Slowdive, Small Black, and many, many others. There’s an enviable depth of selection when it comes to Secretly’s combined roster that makes them ideally suited to host this type of event.

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Beyond just offering some excellent music and inviting a welcome reprieve from Madisonians’ regular Saturday routines, past “Paved Paradise” events have included soft merchandise vendors and listening stations. In a press release, “Paved Paradise” organizers boast that the event is “Equal parts pop-up shop, block party, and roadside fruit stand.” The best way to find out if it can live up to that description is by stopping by on Saturday, between noon and 6 p.m., and finding out for yourself. 

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