Established way back in 1981, MadCity Music Exchange in Madison, Wisconsin has changed ownership a few times, but its diverse selection and high level of service have remained just as high. Local weekly publication Isthmus recently bestowed its readers’-choice award upon MadCity, after fervent fans voted it the best in the area. Before current owner Dave Zero took the reigns in 2007, the store had run by Dave Benton since 1986. We spoke with Zero and learned what exactly makes Madison and MadCity great places for music.
What was your motivation for starting a music store? / What is your background in music?
I was a long-term employee and was lucky enough to be the first person that my boss, the previous owner, asked when he was interested in selling the store. I’m just another obsessive music fan that wanted to be around music as much as possible.
How has the Madison musical community changed over the years?
The musical community was greatly changed when we lost our beloved rock club, O ‘Cayz Corral, in a fire on New Years Day in 2000. It was a giant hole that has only recently started to feel closed. We now have a few places that are wonderful: High Noon Saloon, The Frequency, and Project Lodge. Within the past five years, there has been a great resurgence of a real DIY spirit with local bands, and we now have more great local bands than we might have ever had before. Those Poor Bastards, Midwest Beat, Burial Hex, The Hussy, Zebras, Shane Shane, United Sons of Toil, Second Family Band, Dead Luke…just to name a few.