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Sunday, December 28, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 27.0° F  Overcast


Madland: Policy pandering could make a bad 2015-16 session in the Wisconsin Legislature even worse

One old saw about the Wisconsin Legislature is that the Assembly is apt to charge ahead -- its members are up for election every two years, so they are desperate to pick up policy wins quickly. Their relatively compact districts also make it easier for an extremist to get elected. >More
382 Pixel LineVinyl Cave: Aerial Ballet by Nilsson

Along with the resurgence of vinyl reissues overwhelming the market in recent years has come a surprising amount of LPs featuring mono mixes, and not just for albums that don't have a good (or any) stereo mix. >More
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The Paper

Arts 2014: Isthmus critics rate the art performances of the year

Madison's cultural scene just keeps growing and getting better. So much so, in fact, that it's hard to keep up with it all. But we give it our best. Now it's time for retrospection. Five Isthmus critics look back on the year in theater, classical music, dance and comedy. >More
382 Pixel LineThe top 10 stories of 2014 in Madison

The stories that get the most press aren't always the ones that mean the most in the long run. Here's my list of the 10 state and local stories from 2014 that I think will have the most impact in the New Year. >More
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The Madison dining scene breaks new ground in 2014

Madison dining seems to be heading for new territory, and that territory is (envelope please...) East Washington Avenue. >More
 Crafting the ideal cup: Madison's coffee culture goes third wave

In latte art, there's more than meets the eye. Those frothy hearts and ferns are actually supposed to make your latte taste better. Painting, as the professionals call it, is all about the milk-to-espresso ratio with each sip. >More
Our favorite Madison records of 2014

Madison music in 2014 was invigorated by auspicious debuts and sustained by veteran artists. These 10 local releases were our favorites of the year. >More
 Our favorite 2014 touring concerts in Madison

In 2014, Madison continued its transformation from a skip-over city between Chicago, Milwaukee and Minneapolis to one of the Midwest's premier live music destinations. These are our favorite sets from some of our favorite touring artists of the past year, the shows that tugged at our hearts and beckoned our bodies to move. >More
Clarinetist Joseph Morris is splendid in Middleton Community Orchestra's 2014 holiday concert

The December holidays mean the concert calendar is full of music no one would think of tolerating any other time of the year. Who wants to hear "Silent Night" or "White Christmas" in July? >More
 Children's Theater of Madison keeps A Christmas Carol fresh in its 35th year

When the narrator invited the packed house in Overture's Capitol Theater to come closer to hear a very special story -- one that absolutely cannot begin with "once upon a time" -- there was a sense that hundreds of velvet- and taffeta-clad children and their parents leaned in to be newly amazed and enchanted by the classic tale of Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol. >More
Unbroken is a 'triumph of the human spirit' story that forgets the spirit

A life story generally doesn't fit a neat dramatic arc. When you're telling the cinematic tale of a real-life person -- as Unbroken does with the tale of Louis Zamperini -- you're going to be deciding what part of a cradle-to-grave timeline is part of your narrative, and what part isn't. >More
 Rob Marshall makes it work in Into the Woods

For large chunks of Into the Woods, it seems as though Rob Marshall is determined to do what we're all told never works: turning a stage musical into a movie while resolutely retaining its "staginess." But that's when Into the Woods is at its most delightful. >More



Isthmus Picks: Madison calendar for December 23, 2014 - January 9, 2015

Here are this week's Isthmus Picks. The Guide provides an extended listing of events in and around Madison. >More


Lessons learned from daring wilderness travel

In the winter of 2013, my boss handed me a copy of Wild by Cheryl Strayed -- for obvious reasons. Strayed and I had both completed daring wilderness trips in the late 1990s. Strayed hiked 1,100 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail; I paddled 1,700 miles on the Voyageur Highway. >More


'Twas a night in Wisconsin

Twas a night in Wisconsin, when all through the state,
Not a conservative was feeling anything but great. >More


Citizen Dave: The Cargo Bike Shop is ready to outfit workhorses

When you think of bicycles, it's likely that the first images to come to mind are super-fit Lycra-clad racers in summer or maybe bundled-up urban hipsters in winter. But Tim Staton wants you to think of a bike as a workhorse too. >More


Mama Madison: Time for New Year's 2015 resolutions

New Year's resolutions are hard to keep. In fact, something around 90% of people fail every year! But one way that you can increase your odds of victory is to get other people involved. >More


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Paul Soglin started his third stint in office in 2011 by blasting his predecessor, Dave Cieslewicz, for recklessly racking up city debt. So it was a bit weird to see hizzoner back in office eagerly pushing the most expensive project in city history, Judge Doyle Square. >More


New Year's Eve. So much pressure. Let's say you were supposed to get reservations for Sujeo's pork and oyster extravaganza, or to Chez Nanou's intimate French meal -- but by the time you picked up the phone, they were booked. >More
Whether you wish to bid a fond farewell to 2014 or just say good riddance, there are plenty of ways to party and dance your way to 2015. Here are some spots around town where bands will be rocking, bootys will be shaking and booze will be flowing. >More


This year we've seen brewery openings and expansions, new faces behind the brew kettles and top-notch Wisconsin-made beers. Not all are available in bottles, but if they were, it would make for a memorable six-pack. >More


If you're reading this, it's very likely that you followed Amy DeJong and Maya Warren as they traveled from New York to Los Angeles, taking the long way around the world, in a quest to win $1 million on the 25th season of The Amazing Race. Labeled the #SweetScientists by CBS, they visited 20 cities in eight nations over the span of about three weeks. >More



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