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Saturday, December 20, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 27.0° F  Light Snow Fog/Mist
The Paper


The top 10 Madison albums of 2009

Rich Albertoni chooses 10 releases that represent the musical characteristics of our time. They're high on instrumentals, electronics and the experimental song structures of the genre that's come to be called indie rock. >More


Madison barkeeps face drinking ban

The city of Madison is considering a proposal to ban restaurant and bar workers from drinking while working. But some say that drinking is a necessary part of the job and that a total ban goes too far. >More
 Quaker's costs go through the roof

It was supposed to be just a routine roofing job. But it almost did in Quaker Housing, a nonprofit group that provides housing for low-income seniors and the disabled in south Madison. >More
 One-way to start a debate

Residents in the Tenney-Lapham Neighborhood Association have long wanted to return Gorham and Johnson streets back into two-way roads. >More


Justice for Forest Shomberg

It's hard to simply characterize what happened to Forest Shomberg. Obviously, a lot of things went terribly wrong for the Madison native to spend six years in prison for a crime he didn't commit. But, in the end, a few things went remarkably right. >More


Charlemagne takes Europe

Charlemagne was Carl Johns' swaggering indie-pop project. Johns came to Madison from southern Indiana in the late 1990s and played a leading role in changing the primary brand of local rock from roots/blues to indie. This weekend, Johns returns to play his first Madison shows in two years. >More
 Headlights find hope in gloom

Cars' headlights present a fascinating paradox. Though they keep drivers safe by illuminating dark roads, they can also blind the creatures in their path, creating danger. There's a similar twist in the music of Illinois indie-pop darlings Headlights, who craft gentle melodies to explore treacherous topics like death, loss and alienation on their new release, Wildlife. >More
 Dead Man's Bones: Dead Man's Bones

Celebrity rock musicians are usually nothing to cheer about (think Corey Feldman). Like celebrity politicians, they're frequently high on money and entitlement, low on authenticity and character. >More



A leaner Madison Ballet returns after trying times

Each year at this time comes an impish Nutcracker to delight children -- and hopefully provide Madison Ballet with 25% of its gross annual income. It's the holidays, when people part with most of their annual arts dollars to enjoy pops concerts, A Christmas Carol and sing-alongs to Handel's Messiah. The money gathered via populist December programming is slowly disbursed the rest of the year, making this a critical time for performing arts groups. >More
 Revolution Cycles mounts 'Art Pedaler' show

Angela Richardson describes "Art Pedaler" as an artistic celebration of bicycles, lasting "one fabulous night only." The Dec. 12 event at Revolution Cycles features prints, photos, sculptural work and paintings -- along with jewelry, belts, cuffs and bracelets crafted from recycled bicycle parts -- by more than 20 local artists. DJ MoPetto will provide the music. >More
 Steven Seagal becomes a real cop in Lawman

According to the reality series Lawman, second-tier action star Steven Seagal has spent the last 20 years quietly working as a sheriff's deputy in Louisiana's Jefferson Parish. Now that he's aged, gained weight and lost access in Hollywood, he's apparently decided to stop being so quiet about it. >More
 Viva La Resistance in The Saboteur

The Saboteur is a very good Grand Theft Auto-type game, set in Paris during World War II. You portray an Irish race-car driver who works in the French Resistance to kill Nazis, hijack cars and blow up anti-aircraft guns. >More


Morgan Freeman's Nelson Mandela eases racial tensions in Invictus

With Invictus, Morgan Freeman teams up again with director Clint Eastwood and fulfills his longtime desire to portray Nelson Mandela, South African president and international hero. >More
 Disney's superbly animated The Princess and the Frog trumps Pixar

The Princess and the Frog, Disney's 49th animated feature film, is a riot of oozing ultraviolets, dank graveyard blacks and incandescent star-field blues, a palette that seems more fit for All Hallows Eve than the holiday season. >More
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Kickshaw mixes high-end food and a laid-back atmosphere

Fitchburg's newest fine-dining restaurant, Kickshaw, makes a bid for the hearts of Madison-area gastronomes but doesn't want to leave anyone else out. The restaurant is spacious and spread out, colored in warm browns, reds and tans. And it sports a surprising accoutrement: flatscreen TVs, posted all around so that almost no table is without a view. If you want to watch the game while you eat your preserved pheasant leg risotto, look no further. >More
 Holy Mole Seitanic Chile (recipe)

Call me crazy, but I like winter. When I was growing up in the more monoclimatic parts of California, my family used to pile into the car to drive to "the snow." And snow, in my dad's worldview, usually meant chili for dinner, which usually meant lots of beer in the chili. To this day, I can't quite break the positive association between chili and cold weather. And with a proper Wisconsin winter in swing, chili is exactly what my gut wants. >More


Taking offense at Heisman picks

The Heisman Trophy is awarded annually to "the outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity." That statement makes no reference to positions, yet no lineman has ever won the trophy, inaugurated in 1935, when it went to University of Chicago halfback Jay Berwanger. >More
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