What to expect at The Tone Cluster #4

“Smart Studios Story” director Wendy Schneider joins us for a live conversation March 23 at the High Noon.


Wendy Schneider.

Wendy Schneider.

The Smart Studios Story, a new documentary about the dearly departed Madison recording studio, will have its local premiere on April 17 at the Wisconsin Film Festival. Director Wendy Schneider will be joining me for an in-person conversation, with an audience, on Wednesday, March 23 at the High Noon Saloon for the latest edition of our live podcast, The Tone Cluster. There’s no cover, doors are at 5:30 p.m., and the conversation will get going around 6.

Schneider began working on The Smart Studios Story since 2010 (when the studio closed down, ending a 27-year run), but this will be your first chance to hear Schneider talk about actually completing the film and getting it in front of an audience. The film just made its world premiere at South By Southwest this week. And as always, there’s so much more to talk about than the standard reference points that usually come up when people write about Smart Studios. Sure, you can’t avoid discussing co-founders Butch Vig and Steve Marker, or the studio’s connections to Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins, but what I plan to ask Schneider about on Wednesday is mostly, well, everything else that made Smart important. Especially lesser-known punk and noise-rock and hip-hop acts. The Crucifucks, from Michigan. Killdozer and the Black Poets Society, both from Madison. L7, Die Kreuzen, Tad, and so on.

We’ll also be talking about Schneider’s other pursuits over the years in Madison, from booking shows to playing music in Bugatti Type 35 and under own name to working as a recording engineer (which she first learned to do at Smart, actually). It’ll be a wide-ranging conversation with someone who has a long-term perspective on music and culture in Madison. I look forward to seeing you there, and stick around afterward for Nerd Nite Madison.

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