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Friday, December 26, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 43.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
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Crack that whip

Let the wailing begin. Our cover story this week gives us a rapid-paced tour of the Madison music scene from someone who has heard, and played, and commented upon, a lot of music in his years. He's new to Madison, so he's uninoculated by the prevailing wisdom, and his assessments will certainly rile a segment, if not all, of the local music cognoscenti. But that is always a possible byproduct of a critic doing what a critic does.

But different polarities, so to speak, are what make the world go 'round. In the interest of keeping the local musical orb spinning, we present "How We Sound," by the much traveled and well-experienced John Mendels(s)ohn. He marches through the scene in quick time, doling out the occasional compliment with the occasional zinger, all the while dropping bits of musical history throughout his narrative.

He has some musical history. His writing can be traced back to at least '69 in the usual reference sources, with record and performance reviews from the L.A. Times, Rolling Stone and other publications. As he states in his lead paragraph, he's spent time in the music capitals and worked in various aspects of the business. He's written songs, and he's written books. If you need to know more, you might check out his 1995 autobiography, I, Caramba, described by Rolling Stone as "Portnoy's Complaint as written by Pete Townshend." Having never met him, I've told you about all I know other than he's looking for a singer/actress for his one-man show in March.

If you have absolutely no interest in music, we have not abandoned you. You should be able to find something to help you in our special section, Health Beauty Fitness. And even if you think you're not interested in any of its contents, you should be. Ultimately, no one is taking care of you but yourself.

Our writers are taking care of you a little bit. Deb Mies tells you how to eat your way to a healthier heart, an idea that caught my attention. Rosemary Zurlo-Cuva delves into the mysteries of the personal trainer, in case you need someone to crack the whip over your workout. Erika Janik takes the old "every journey begins with a single step" dictum and turns it into a healthy exercise - hiking. As for beauty, hey guys, Andrew McDonnell says go old school. Go barbershop.

Feeling stressed? Dana Slowiak takes you to the "Art Asylum," where you may find peace through contemplative activity. I told you our writers would take care of you. It's up to you to carry on. And maybe take in a band while you're at it.

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