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Thursday, October 23, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 45.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
The Paper


Rising Gael

Not many relationships survive the transition from high school to college, especially the relationships among four band members. Local band Rising Gael has beaten the odds -- and managed to push the boundaries of traditional Irish music at the same time. >More


Democrats have seized control of Wisconsin state government. Now what?

Like their counterparts in Washington, D.C., Wisconsin Democrats are beginning 2009 with a powerful case of Be Careful What You Wish For. >More
 Will the Capital Times buy out Lee Enterprises?

Former Mayor Paul Soglin, on his blog, makes a modest proposal for what remains of Madison's daily newspaper dynasty: "Lee [should] sell its interest in Capital Newspapers Inc. to The Capital Times, which will then resume publication as Madison's morning and Sunday newspaper." >More
 Homelessness doesn't take a holiday

It's two days before the end of December, and the Dane County Salvation Army's homeless shelter for families is dealing with a crisis. At the last minute, a Madison landlord has backed out of a deal to rent to a family slated to leave the shelter. Another family was supposed to move into the vacated room. No other rooms are available. >More
 Bias complaints at Madison Water Utility circling the drain

As more information trickles out, it appears that the allegations leveled by employees of the Madison Water Utility are circling the drain. >More


Who knew the U.S. Senate could be such a source of comic relief?

Just when the news of war, economic collapse, mass layoffs, another record-breaking winter and the post-holiday blahs were conspiring to bring us down, what should come to the rescue? Our much-derided neighbor to the south, the great state of Illinois! >More
 Plopping down at the new Century House in Madison

In the comedy Knocked Up, two characters, tripping on mushrooms, reflect on the personalities and attitudes of chairs. One chair seems to stare incessantly, while another is droll. That scene finally made sense to me after I visited Century House's expansion location that features modern home and office furniture and accents, a place where plopping down and pondering how a chair fits you is serious, but fun, business. >More
 Brownie points

I can honestly say this is the first time I've ever seen the entire surface of the break-room table at one time. It is always laden with birthday or holiday treats, often both. And I must say, it was an utter relief not to have to resist temptation while passing by the door. Hasn't this phenomenon of the office snack table gotten out of hand? And isn't there anything those of us who would prefer not to participate can do? >More


Marty Finkel: Chasing the melodies

Marty Finkel, 22, can't stop writing songs. He's already written and recorded more than 50 of them since he graduated from Middleton High School in 2004. This Saturday at the Frequency he releases The Good Life, a collection of 14 alt-country and rock songs that establish Finkel as one of the best new music artists in Madison. >More
 Victorian Halls makes mayhem out of pop songs

Like many bands these days, Victorian Halls isn't really into labels, unless you're talking about the tags on the sweater vests its members found at the thrift shop last week. However, the Chicago four-piece, appearing at the High Noon Saloon Sunday night, gets described as all sorts of things, from garage-pop to post-grunge to a simple, startled "WTF?!" texted from one concertgoer to another. >More
 New to Irish music? Here's a primer

For some, Irish music is synonymous with the Irish Tenors and Riverdance; for others, it means the soul music of Van Morrison and the hard-rocking anthems of Thin Lizzy. No matter your preferred genre or artist, the folkier side of Irish song has most likely influenced your listening habits as a forerunner of American bluegrass, country, blues and, to some extent, rock 'n' roll. >More



Madison startup Sharendipity allows anybody to be a game programmer

Overlooking Madison's Capitol Square, in a small, open office, four programmers are diligently working on the next great online game. The catch is they're not actually creating it. They're building the tools so that anyone, with or without experience, can create a web-based game that he or she can instantly share with anyone. The company is called Sharendipity. >More
 Taking stock of Sundance Cinemas

We may be in a recession, but you'd never know it at Sundance Cinemas. "We are extraordinarily pleased with how Madison has done from the day it opened, and we've had a particularly fine late fall and winter season," says Nancy Klasky Gribler, Sundance Cinemas' executive vice president of marketing. >More
 Public television gone rogue in Apartment 3A

Kamal Marayati is a veteran of many television programs, including Desperate Housewives, Law & Order and 7th Heaven. Now he's making his Madison premiere in Strollers Theatre's production of Apartment 3A. Why would a Los Angeles Screen Actors Guild performer appear in rinkydink amateur theater? >More
 24: All in a day's work

24 was once an exciting experiment in long-form storytelling, each episode representing 60 minutes in a real-time tale. By season seven, though, that premise just feels like a gimmick. The season premiere (Sunday, 7 p.m., Fox) finds government agent Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) chasing yet another batch of terrorists, and not even a surprise villain can bring back the thrills. >More
 My Word Coach: Spell fast or lose

My Word Coach drills into your head unusual words you don't know (bauxite, anyone?), and it helps you remember odd words you know but never use in conversation, emails or living wills (doleful). But it is not just a spoonful of medicine. It is a game, featuring more than a handful of so-called fun exercises, and since I'm an occasional egghead, they are indeed fun to me. >More


Gran Torino: Clint Eastwood is perfect in latest role

Nick Schenk's Gran Torino screenplay wasn't written with Clint Eastwood in mind as the film's star and director, but you'd never guess it. >More
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Winter brews to take the chill away

The beers of winter are lush and vivid in appearance, aroma and flavor. Special wintertime brews can be traced well beyond the advent of the Christian calendar. During the celebrations of Winter Solstice special drinks, including beer, coincided with merrymaking and the change in season. >More


Playing off the playoffs

While Packer fans would prefer to relive last winter's playoff run, this weekend they're free agents, able to root for other teams. But on what criteria should they base their decision? Here's how I'm handicapping the field. >More
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