Minnesota rock fans are partial to the recording mecca where Nirvana recorded its last album (Pachyderm Studio, an hour south of the Twin Cities), but they might also be interested in learning more about the Wisconsin facility where Kurt Cobain & Co. — as well as Smashing Pumpkins and Garbage — made their breakthrough albums.
Smart Studios in Madison, co-founded by producer Butch Vig, is celebrated in a new documentary, “The Smart Studios Story.” Picked as the official movie of Record Store Day 2016 (music geek alert!), the movie is touring clubs around the country just like the bands in it used to do. The local screening is Tuesday at the Turf Club (7 p.m., $8-$10).
As seen in the movie trailer below, the film recounts how a decrepit-looking building in Wisconsin’s capital city helped foster local bands such as Killdozer and the Tar Babies before becoming a creative hub for the early-‘90s alt-rock explosion. In addition to Nirvana's "Nevermind" and Smashing Pumpkins' "Siamese Dream," the studio hosted '90s sessions for L7, Soul Asylum, Death Cab for Cutie, Everclear and Vig's own band, Garbage.
“I think people thought it was a crack house,” Vig says on screen of his studio. “I liked being in the Midwest, kind of isolated, nobody knew what we were doing here.”
Yep, Minnesota music lovers should definitely be into this one.