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Thursday, January 29, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 31.0° F  Overcast
The Paper


Madison conservative visits the car-light Vauban neighborhood in Freiburg

I have seen "The Greenest City in Europe" and lived to tell about it. I know what you're wondering: Did one of the Madison area's more likeable conservative thinkers take an unlikely carbon-neutral, Al Gore-approved "green vacation" in Europe this summer? Has he finally starting thinking globally so he can act locally? Did some mysterious transformation take place at the edge of the Black Forest? Not quite. >More


Garden sign draws fine

File it under "The Thanks We Get." This spring the city of Madison notified the Art Gecko store on Monroe Street that a citizen had complained about a stone carving in the garden it built to beautify the neighborhood. The carving, mostly obscured by foliage, bears the words "Art Gecko." According to the notice, "No permit can be obtained for this signage as displayed." >More
 Crimefighter thrown in jail

Kelley Howe gets through just about all of it. His arrest. The night he spent in jail. Being charged with three crimes, including a felony. His ailing mother's shock to see his mug shot on Channel 15 news. The theft of his own bike. The parking ticket. But when he gets to the part about his cat, Howe breaks down. He starts crying, then weeping. >More
 Noise critic chimes in

The other night, "Ruth Jones" was awakened at 4 a.m. by her neighbor's wind chimes. A gentle breeze had got them clinking, and Jones was unable to get back to sleep. "I had thoughts of going down and cutting the thing to shreds," admits Jones, who asked that her name not be used because she doesn't want to "create disharmony" with her neighbor. >More


Tell All: A man to come home to

Dear Tell All: I'm a guy and I'll be a sophomore in college next year, and a few days ago I moved into an apartment with another friend. Now I had never been too close with this guy, but we got along, and since we're both attending the same school we thought it would be cool if we both rented out an apartment. Anyway, lately I've been wanting to spend more time with him. Like, more than I actually would have ever considered. >More


Tunes land at Area 51

Brian Hahn books hard-rock and metal bands for the new music club he's opened near the intersection of Highway 51 and Pflaum Road. He even gave the club a paranormal name -- Area 51, after the Nevada military base that's the subject of UFO rumors. >More
 Retribution Gospel Choir cranks it up

When Alan Sparhawk and Steve Garrington play with Mimi Parker as Low, they create slow, minimal songs with vocal harmonies that give you goosebumps. When they play with drummer Eric Pollard, they're Retribution Gospel Choir, a project that's louder, faster and more likely to inspire air guitar. >More
 Dirty Projectors: Bitte Orca

It's no surprise that David Longstreth studied music composition at Yale. The Dirty Projectors' songwriter has assembled an album that brims with sonic diversity. >More



Idiosyncratic artist Brian Strassburg turns to fanciful creations

In recent years Brian Strassburg has seen demand for his cartoons and commercial illustrations evaporate. He cites a number of reasons, including the rise of the Internet and easily available clip art and stock art, as well as the decline of print media and their budgets. You might call that bad news. But it has given Strassburg time to work on other projects. >More
 NBC destroys the world in The Storm

In the Great Depression of the 1930s, Hollywood pumped out screwball comedies to cheer us up. In the current depression, NBC takes the opposite approach, trying as hard as it can to create fear and anxiety. >More
 No magic in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

The video game, on the other hand -- despite its nice, big sets and faithfulness to the main characters -- is too simplistic to hold interest (perhaps even for little kids), and not dazzling in any way. >More


(500) Days of Summer is an un-love story

"You should know upfront: This is not a love story," (500) Days of Summer's omniscient narrator warns us. The film then lays out the pop-cultural obsessions and core-rocking events that define the He and She of this un-love story, Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Summer (Zooey Deschanel). >More
 The Hurt Locker: Bomb squad

The hybridization of art house and action doesn't happen all that often, but it should, if mashing the two genres makes for film as riveting and rattling as The Hurt Locker. >More
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Tagging along with Tory Miller

"The most important thing is the relationships." It's 6:45 on a sunny Saturday morning, and I'm walking around the Capitol Square discussing how fresh food from Wisconsin farms gets to Tory Miller's kitchen -- and finally to your plate. >More
 Lake Vista Cafe elevates informal dining at Monona Terrace

If you can't afford a lakefront condo even in this tanking housing market, worry not: The Lake Vista Cafe provides a meal's worth of spectacular views with no fear of foreclosure. From the cafe's home atop Monona Terrace, the panorama of Lake Monona is gorgeous even on a cloudy day. Tucked away six stories above John Nolen Drive, Lake Vista Cafe provides a cozy little aerie. >More


A new day for old guys

On Monday, everyone wanted to talk about Tom Watson. Some folks who don't know a birdie from a bunker watched more golf on Sunday than they had in years as Watson vied to become the oldest player ever to win a major championship at the British Open. >More
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