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Monday, March 2, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 21.0° F  A Few Clouds
The Daily


Daniela Mack dazzles in Madison Opera's incoherent Cinderella

Madison Opera's closing production this season is something entitled Cinderella. It opened Friday night in Overture Hall. If you close your eyes, you hear Rossini's wonderful comic opera Cenerentola, essentially complete, and in the original Italian. If you open your eyes, you see a wildly incoherent spectacle with a new plot (and frequently distorted surtitles). >More
 Garbage is ready to rock again

Butch Vig's home studio in East L.A. is a converted bedroom, a "stocked-out closet." Seated at the console, Vig can look up from his work and gaze out the window where Silver Lake, at the base of Carson Creek, shimmers in the sunlight. Beyond, a web of trails leads hikers from the heart of the Sierra basin up into the Ansel Adams Wilderness Area, then higher, above the tree line, toward the snow-capped peaks of Yosemite. >More
 Who is recording the best Wisconsin-themed protest songs?

As Wisconsin goes queasily to the polls to choose a recall candidate, can Madison musicians help steady voters' hands? Here's a sample ballot of local tunes of and about the Walker era, from sturdy anthems to messy sermons. You can hear songs by several of these artists on the compilation Cheddar Revolution: Songs of Uprising, whose release is celebrated at the High Noon Saloon on May 6. >More
 Smart Studios is closing -- no, really

So what's the deal with Smart Studios now? Is it closed, as was announced in 2010, or what? I asked the guy who still has the keys, longtime Smart engineer and producer Mike Zirkel. He said it is closed. Sort of. >More
 Madison Opera announces 2012-2013 season

Madison Opera has announced the three productions it will stage in the 2012-2013 season, the company's 52nd. It's the first season planned by general director Kathryn Smith, who joined Madison Opera midway through the 2010-2011 season. >More
 At the Brink Lounge, Duluth bluesman Charlie Parr sings of rough characters

Saturday night at the Brink Lounge, you could buy a tea towel with a woolly mammoth on it and the name of Duluth acoustic bluesman Charlie Parr. A man at the merch table explained that Parr ran across this musical-tea-towel tradition while touring in Australia, but he couldn't explain what the woolly mammoth was about. >More
 UW Choral Union's performance of Verdi's Requiem marred by Overture Hall acoustics

For its spring concert, featuring Verdi's grandiose Requiem Mass, the UW Choral Union, along with the UW Symphony Orchestra, were shifted from their usual base in Mills Hall on the campus to the greater cachet and capacity of Overture Hall. This was obviously a point of pride for conductor Beverly Taylor, to show off her forces, and to give added excitement to her performers. But the decision was, I am genuinely sorry to say, a mistake. >More
 Bluegrassers, drummers and a throat singer promote literacy at Busking for Books 2012

The performers who'll be along State Street on Saturday during the Busking For Books fundraiser can't use amplification, but expect them to make a lot of noise and quite a variety of it. About 25 acts will be posted along State Street from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., with guitar cases open for donations that go right toward efforts by the local nonprofit Literacy Network to provide free English and literacy tutoring to Dane County's adults. >More
 Vinyl love: LP fans wax enthusiastic about wax

The first music I heard on a CD was the Beatles' Revolver. It was at my friend Tim's apartment on State Street in the early 1980s. An accomplished recording musician, Tim was pumped to share the new technology. Tim purposely chose a Beatles recording because he believed my first CD sampling should be something I was very familiar with, so I would better recognize the differences. I did. But it wasn't all for the good. >More
 Thanks for the Madison music-scene ranking, Livability, but ... really?

There are days when Madison should change its city motto to "Gee, mister, thanks for noticing!" There's almost no form of out-of-town validation we'll pass up, and that's especially true when it comes to arts and entertainment. >More
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