The music of Madison was transformed this decade in ways that mirrored broader changes in the identity of the city itself.
Our media changed. Wide and thick newspapers became a relic of the past. Broadcast radio changed its business model to become a mostly prerecorded medium. CD sales fell and record stores closed.
The city and its musicians connected in a new digital world. We downloaded songs on our iPods. We bought and sold our stuff on Craigslist. We loaded our profiles onto MySpace and found friends on Facebook and Twitter.
We got more upscale. The smoking ban cleared the air inside Madison music venues, giving a whole new fragrance to a night out on the town. Our newest and most successful music venues weren't the kind of beer-stained dives that went out with O'Cayz Corral. The High Noon Saloon and the Majestic came with amenities like gleaming wood floors, balconies and chandeliers.
That mirrored the newfound luxuries of local culture. UW students moved out of Mifflin Street two-flats and into air-conditioned high-rises. Lattes, wine bars and downtown condos were in vogue until the economy crashed in 2008. At decade's end, the closing of Cafe Montmartre signaled the end of a gilded age.
We became more diverse. A new wave of Hispanic immigrants settled in Madison. Our elementary schools increasingly taught Spanish. The international foods aisles at Woodman's expanded.
Musically, Latin bands like Kali Kalor and Grupo Candela gained popularity. The Palace Latin Club opened in the space that was once Luther's Blues on University.
Madison hip-hop gained a voice in the forefront of local music. Despite unruly crowds that lingered at Club Majestic for its ill-advised all-you-can-drink specials, high-minded hip-hop by Rob Dz, El Guante, dumate, Da Ricanstructa and the Fall Guys made an impact.
Rock 'n' roll evolved. Remember the blues and roots-rock artists who defined the Madison sound in the '90s? The list included Marques Bovre, Paul Filipowicz, Paul Cebar, Honor Among Thieves, Mel Ford, Westside Andy and Paul Black.
This decade, rock ventured beyond guitar, drums and bass. Indie rock embraced the sounds of Decemberists and Sufjan Stevens, who brought horns and strings to their music. In Madison, Carl Johns undercut the conventional rock sound with his accordion. Pale Young Gentlemen played flutes, violin and xylophone, and took multi-instrumental rock to another level.
The evolution of rock signaled a broader search for new cultural boundaries in the wake of 9/11 and two new American wars.
These were the touchstones of our decade. And here are the bands, events, people and places we'll remember when we look back on a decade of Madison music.