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Sunday, July 27, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 67.0° F  Overcast

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Your guide to Great Taste of the Midwest eve 2014 pre-parties and beer tastings

Madison is ascending as a destination city for craft beer enthusiasts, a status that's affirmed the second week of every August when it plays host to the Great Taste of the Midwest and a growing host of satellite celebrations. Here's your guide to the series of pre-parties known as Great Taste Eve. >More
382 Pixel LineVinyl Cave: Land of 1000 Dances by Chris Kenner

For a certain type of collector, vintage record label stock advertising sleeves can inspire a search for albums it can take years to locate. One prime example is Atlantic/Atco and its associated labels, which maintained company sleeves well into the 1970s. >More
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The Paper

Inside the minds of Human Head Studios

Any seasoned gamer who's dodged missiles and firestorms in a multiplayer deathmatch knows there's a time when it's best to crouch behind cover for a few seconds, honing a careful strategy rather than charging in with CRB Vector-submachine guns blazing. It's often the difference between surviving and ending up a corpse in another player's killing spree. >More
382 Pixel LineMadison Radicals seek to return to Ultimate title match for second year

Our little slice of heaven here between the lakes can scarcely compete with New York or the Bay Area for much of anything, but in the narrow world of Ultimate Frisbee, Madison is living large. That's right, the Madison Radicals advanced to the semifinals of the American Ultimate Disc League playoffs with a 25-16 thumping of Indianapolis last Saturday at Breese Stevens Field. >More
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Forget the naysayers -- wine and booze can blend to good effect

The 12th annual Tales of the Cocktail happened in New Orleans last week, and a number of Madison bartenders and beverage professionals made the trek to the Big Easy to attend seminars, volunteer at events, hobnob, and generally contribute to the mayhem that occurs when 40,000 alcohol industry folks descend upon a single city. >More
 Showboat Saloon brings sanity to Wisconsin Dells

To call Wisconsin Dells a sensory assault should neither surprise nor offend anyone. Neon novelty T-shirts, amusement museums and ghost tours aren't the attractions of the subtle tourist destination. I admit I'm far more likely to visit the Dells for a coffee en route to the Twin Cities than I am to hit a waterpark. But eager vacationers and resigned visitors alike stand to be in need of a break sometime, and if you're a fan of craft beer, boy does Showboat Saloon deliver. >More
Annabel Lee is seduced by the spotlight

It's hard to imagine Annabel Lee ever being shy or uncertain, especially if you saw her at the Madison Area Music Awards in June. Her show-stopping performance of her single "Pray" announced her status as one of Madison's hottest up-and-coming musicians. With remarkable vocal talent and a stage presence that oozes power and sex appeal, the 28-year-old artist had the audience in the palm of her hand. >More
 Dave and Phil Alvin stop fighting to make a record of Big Bill Broonzy covers

Thirty-five years have passed since the Blasters debuted their blend of blues, rockabilly and roots rock in a small city near Disneyland. Though they're brothers, founders Dave and Phil Alvin didn't record together for decades, probably because they fought constantly. Then came Common Ground, an album of Big Bill Broonzy covers released this year. It's the focus of the siblings' July 25 concert at the High Noon Saloon. >More
Music Theatre of Madison's Miscast challenges age, gender and race expectations with lovely singing and lots of humor

The annual performance of Miscast by Music Theatre of Madison asks questions like "Are eight year old girls with red hair and freckles the only ones who get to sing songs from Annie?" The answer, according to executive director Meghan Randolph, is no. At least once a year, the role is open to anyone with the nerve and talent to take the stage. >More
 Music Theatre of Madison's Bonnie & Clyde is a magnetic tale about two lawbreaking lovers in 1930s America

As part of the infamous Barrow gang of robbers and outlaws, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow basked in the media spotlight, drew the ire of law enforcement, and captured the American imagination in the early 1930s. In the midst of the Great Depression, this handsome young couple eluded police during a three-year crime spree that fascinated the public. >More
A tenderhearted woman tussles with an ornery widower in And So It Goes

In the opening moments of And So It Goes, Oren Little (Michael Douglas) visits the grave of his beloved wife, who has died of cancer. This scene is supposed to humanize Oren, who is horrible to most of the people he interacts with. Unfortunately, director Rob Reiner wants us to spend 90 more minutes figuring out that deep down, Oren's a sad guy, not a bad guy. >More
 Zach Braff reflects on the messiness of his 30s in Wish I Was Here

I'm not one of Garden State's belated haters. Zach Braff's portrait of generational anomie and mid-Aughties indie-film mores was on point when it was released in 2004. But a decade's gone by, and things change. Whether Braff has changed too is another matter. His latest film, Wish I Was Here, provides some clues. >More

THE GUIDE

Sunday, July 27
Brent Nicastro Tamarack Studio & Gallery
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Tyler Robbins, Graham Yeager Overture Center-James Watrous Gallery of the Wisconsin Academy
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WaunaFest Centennial Park, Waunakee
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Greek Fest Assumption Greek Orthodox Church
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Blooming Butterflies Olbrich Gardens, 10:00am
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University Theatre's "Greater Tuna" UW Vilas Hall-Mitchell Theatre
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Monday, July 28
Brent Nicastro  Tamarack Studio & Gallery
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Tyler Robbins, Graham Yeager  Overture Center-James Watrous Gallery of the Wisconsin Academy
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Trails & Ways, Bright Kind  Frequency, The, 9:00pm
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Blooming Butterflies  Olbrich Gardens, 10:00am
Tuesday, July 29
Brent Nicastro  Tamarack Studio & Gallery
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Tyler Robbins, Graham Yeager  Overture Center-James Watrous Gallery of the Wisconsin Academy
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Aaron Williams & the Hoodoo  Capitol Square, 12:00pm
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Blooming Butterflies  Olbrich Gardens, 10:00am
Wednesday, July 30
Tyler Robbins, Graham Yeager  Overture Center-James Watrous Gallery of the Wisconsin Academy
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Brent Nicastro  Tamarack Studio & Gallery
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Jeremiah Nelson, Paul Otteson, Oh My Love  Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, 7:00pm
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CRITICS' CHOICE

Isthmus Picks: Madison calendar for July 25-31, 2014

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

TELEVISION

R.I.P. Hercule Poirot: The detective must solve his own murder in Masterpiece Mystery!

Agatha Christie's Belgian detective Hercule Poirot (David Suchet) returns to Masterpiece Mystery! with his waxed mustache, three-piece suit and formal manner -- so formal that he even refers to himself in the third person. >More

RECREATION

Flyboarding is the new kiteboarding

"You've snowboarded or surfed before, right?" Bob Cook, instructor at Mad City Flyboards, is waving off my expressed fear of heights as he launches his jet ski. "Er, nope." >More

TELL ALL

Tell All: X-rated in public

Dear Tell All: I'm wondering why it's so difficult these days for many couples to keep private behavior private. I'm not referring to just kissing, hugging and handholding. I'm referring to such behavior as slobbering all over each other, "dirty embracing," French-kissing and other behavior bordering on lewd and lascivious conduct. >More

ISTHMUSPARENTS.COM

Mama Madison: Parental dice rolls?

Last week, in response to the county-wide Sleep Safe, Sleep Well public health campaign that encourages parents to "share the room, not the bed" with their sleeping infants, Isthmus contributor Ruth Conniff penned a lovely opinion piece in defense of bed sharing entitled "Confessions of a Co-Sleeper." >More

MADISON SNAPS

Madison Snaps: July 25, 2014

Today's image titled "Naila at La Fete" was photographed by Craig Wilson. >More
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COVER

Wisconsin's hyper-partisan climate is shaping the 2014 Democratic primary for attorney general

Democrats throughout the state are calling the attorney general's office more partisan than ever. But has the position really grown more political since current Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen was elected in 2006? Or have a slew of controversial issues given the impression that the focus of the state's "top cop" has changed from neutral enforcer to partisan crusader? >More
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HISTORY

Lost Madison: A Facebook page revives the city's magical past

If the number of construction crews in town is any indication, Madison is finally figuring out what it wants to be -- or at least how it wants to look -- in the 21st century. Sometimes change is excruciating, and other times we only notice it in retrospect. >More

BEER

Beer Here: Eastside APA from Next Door Brewing

Since taking on the lead brewer position at Next Door Brewing in May, Bryan Kreiter has been making subtle changes at the east-side brewpub that haven't gone unnoticed by its fans. Keeping the regulars happy has meant that Kreiter has kept up with demand for the mainstays like Wilbur (cream ale) and Sevex (English strong ale) while turning out a half-dozen new beers based on his own recipes. >More

PADDLE & PORTAGE

Isthmus Paddle & Portage 2014 results

More than 850 people in around 450 watercraft participated in Isthmus Paddle & Portage on Saturday, July 19. >More

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