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Friday, January 30, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 17.0° F  Mostly Cloudy


Wizard World offers fans a panoply of superheroes, zombies, vampires and pop-cult celebrities

Call it a geek-culture state fair, a pop-culture spectacle or an entertainment circus. But whatever moniker you choose to slap on it, you'd better also slap on your sword and superhero boots: Wizard World, one of the biggest pop-culture conventions in North America, is poised to land at Madison's Alliant Energy Center the first weekend in February, much like the Incredible Hulk will land on Tony Starks' Hulkbuster armor in this summer's Avengers sequel. >More
382 Pixel LineWisconsin Legislature votes to end seniority for Supreme Court chief

In a move that seems to target Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson, the Wisconsin Legislature voted to end seniority as a means of selecting the chief, and would like to add an age limit -- of 75 -- for all justices >More
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The Paper

El Burrito Loco brings good Mexican dishes to the far west side

I'd rather eat a bland burrito any day of the week than choke back an overcooked meat patty on a corn-syrup-laced bun. But I'd really prefer to sit down and eat real Mexican food, or even Tex-Mex, that's locally prepared and offers a wider array of dishes. So I was happy that El Burrito Loco, which also operates a restaurant in Oregon and a lunchtime food cart at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard at Main Street on the Square, opened a location on the far west side of Madison near the corner of Old Sauk and High Point roads. >More
 New eateries flock to the Square

A slew of new restaurants is headed to the Square and just off it. This is on the heels of last year's openings of Rare, a spacious steakhouse at 14 W. Mifflin St., and Cento, an Italian restaurant one block off the Square at 122 W. Mifflin. The only half-block of the Square that will remain restaurant-free is East Mifflin between Wisconsin Avenue and Hamilton Street. >More
Standup is only one facet of Demetri Martin's varied career

New York-based comedian Demetri Martin is poised to record a new standup special this spring, release a book of illustrated short stories this summer and finish editing his directorial film debut -- starring Kevin Kline -- later this year. >More
 Yonder Mountain String Band moves forward after founder's departure

Rather than folding or caving into pressure to change their sound, remaining members Dave Johnston, Adam Aijala and co-founder Ben Kaufman began collaborating with fiddle player Allie Kral and mandolin player Jake Jolliff. >More
Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra shines on Schönberg

The Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra's Friday evening concert was cunningly planned. Each half opened with unfamiliar, maybe off-putting music, followed by works of familiar composers. The orchestra was accompanied by Russian-born pianist Ilya Yakushev as soloist. >More
 Ensemble shines in The Beautiful Dark

Erik Gernand's script is sharp and witty, providing just the right amount of biting sarcasm. The snappy dialogue propels the story while still providing the necessary time for the pieces of the plot to unfold. >More
Jennifer Aniston is believable, but Cake falls flat

Cake marks America's sweetheart Jennifer Aniston's opportunity to flaunt facial scars and brood greatly, qualifying under the radar last December to nab a Golden Globe nomination, but failing to capitalize on any similar Academy Awards love upon its return to theaters. >More
 A Most Violent Year is unexpected, enthralling

Set in the semi-lawless New York City of 1981, A Most Violent Year is about an immigrant entrepreneur trying to expand his heating-oil business while fending off near-daily hijackings of his delivery trucks. It's kind of a thriller -- there are two chase scenes, at least -- but any genre expectations will be thwarted by writer/director J.C. Chandor's almost perverse pleasure in stopping shy of the boiling point. >More


Friday, January 30
Thomas Gaudynski, Brandon Norsted Overture Center-James Watrous Gallery of the Wisconsin Academy
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J.J. L'Heureux Madison Children's Museum
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Saturday Looks Good to Me UW Memorial Union-Der Rathskeller, 9:00pm
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Chicago Afrobeat Project UW Union South-The Sett, 9:00pm
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DJs Josh B. Kuhl, Andy Ash Majestic Theatre, 9:00pm
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Cocktails in the Conservatory Olbrich Gardens, 7:00pm
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Musical Theater Open Mic UW Memorial Union-Fredric March Play Circle, 8:00pm
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Saturday, January 31
J.J. L'Heureux  Madison Children's Museum
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Thomas Gaudynski, Brandon Norsted  Overture Center-James Watrous Gallery of the Wisconsin Academy
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Cure Cabin Fever  Wisconsin Historical Museum
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The Living Statues, Midnight Reruns  UW Memorial Union-Der Rathskeller, 9:00pm
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Frostiball  Overture Center, 8:00pm
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Isthmus Picks: Madison calendar for January 29 - February 5, 2015

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


Citizen Dave: Packers and climate change? I am happy in my denial

When someone so much as brings up the topic of football, I cut them off, change the subject or, if necessary, leave the room. Global climate change can be ignored in the same way, or so the U.S. Senate would have us believe. >More
 Citizen Dave: Let's talk about death

When patients in La Crosse started to think about end-of-life issues, costs dropped to half the national average, yet life expectancy is longer: "They want to end their stories on their own terms." >More


Isthmus on WORT: Sisterhood is Powerful

A. David Dahmer spoke with WORT producer Dylan Brogan about Madison's African American alumni sororities, who have helped generations of black women network and build careers in Madison. >More
 Isthmus on WORT: Life coaching, careers and professional development at UW-Madison

Isthmus contributor Jeff Buchanan reported on the growth of life coaching as a service and how a UW-Madison program is developing the profession in the January 8 issue, and discussed his story with WORT producer Dylan Brogan on that day's edition of In Our Backyard. >More


Tell All: Should parents tolerate their kids smoking pot?

Shrugging off a child's drug use is not acceptable behavior for a parent. >More
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The folks who lead the Freedom From Religion Foundation are used to drawing heat. In a move opposed by liberal and conservative religious leaders alike, the Madison-based group challenged a federal law that gives clergy tax-free housing allowances. Under current law, ministers can deduct housing costs from their pre-tax salary " including mortgage payments, property taxes and homeowners insurance " if the money is designated specifically as a housing allowance. >More


Four Bottle Openers! NightCall is my go-to all-around Karben4 favorite. It's just so drinkable, and it's great with food; it's not a beer you have to think too deeply about to appreciate. >More
Here's a link to pictures from the 2015 festival, along with links to vote for your favorite beer and cheese. >More
"This is unique," says Vintage brewmaster Scott Manning of his latest creation. InAbsinthia is a robust blend of English and Belgian brewing tradition, aged for nearly a half-year in an absinthe barrel. With its layers of flavor, spicy notes of licorice and alcoholic warmth, InAbsinthia isn't for everyone. Adventuresome drinkers and those who love to find rare, limited-release beers, this is one you need to try. >More



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