This year, part of Epitonic's approach to amassing downloadable track involves using monthly themes to inform and expand our curation efforts. January was the start, in February we took it international, and throughout March we offered our take on that superglutted bastion of musical excess, South by Southwest. Our musings took the form of previews, playlists courtesy of those who attended (and those who didn't) and robust recaps of our editors' experience at SXSW 2012. Whew.

But now it's time to change it up. In April, we're taking to heart the importance of keeping it local, supporting hometown boys done good, and remembering where you came from. With those principles in mind, this month Epitonic will be zooming down to the local level and examining the rich variety of music scenes across the nation (and beyond). We'll be talking about the ones you know (Austin, Baltimore, etc.) -- and some ones you'd likely never be exposed to if you didn't live there.

Speaking of! Like most cities, people, and objects, my hometown, Knoxville, TN experienced a brief but glorious moment of cultural relevance in the late 90s. In our case, it was chiefly due to Superdrag. These dudes got power pop right in all the best ways -- sounding "of a moment" but never dated, a welcome addition to any playlist, always writing the kinds of songs you don't get tired of hearing. They encouraged me to view my city as a real college town -- not just an endless cavalcade of strip malls and T. G. I. Friday's that just happens to have a college in it. And thankfully, my attitude stuck. I started to think of Knoxville less as a place to run like hell from as soon as I turned 18, but as a little diamond in the rough with things of its own to offer a music fan.

Most small towns have a story like that, and we're eager to share them with you.