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Saturday, January 31, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 24.0° F  Overcast
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Fashion Conscious in Madison: Shopbop

Shopbop is a big deal, whether or not it's apparent from the street level of its new 165,000-square-foot warehouse and administrative space on East Washington Avenue. It's a big deal in fashion retail -- its straightforward presentation of designer wares and the latest trends prompted its acquisition by retail monster Amazon in 2006 -- and it's a big deal in Madison. >More


Kathleen Falk says she's the one who can beat Scott Walker

Kathleen Falk is not kidding around. The first Democrat to jump in the race against Gov. Scott Walker, she has been relentlessly building her campaign, traveling the state and gathering endorsements from all the big labor and environmental groups, including AFSCME, WEAC, SEIU, Clean Wisconsin Action Fund, IBEW Local 159, the United Food and Commercial Workers, and AFT. >More
 Will the GOP focus on contraception prove a political liability?

The recent controversy over access to birth control has almost done the impossible -- eclipsed the long war over abortion. Of course, birth control has been a target of anti-abortion forces for years, part of an incremental strategy to chip away at abortion access. It's been a somewhat quiet approach, though, and largely state-based. >More
 Protest in a box: Scottyopoly brings anti-Walker foment to the living room

Because one can only have so many clever Koch Brothers bumper stickers, pop-culture-loving opponents of Gov. Scott Walker have embraced everything from Wisconsin-politics-themed Christmas carol rewrites to a diorama that depicts the Capitol protests with marshmallow Peeps. Yet even those creative acts of obsession fall short of Scottyopoly, a Monopoly parody complete with properties, play money and potentially interminable round-and-round play. >More


The Block 100 Foundation proposal will make for a less interesting State Street

If you're going to mess with a block as historic as the 100 block of State Street, then you have to answer two questions: What's the justification for that change? And will what you build to replace it be better than what is there now? In my view, Jerry Frautschi's proposal for the 100 block (made through his 100 Block Foundation) doesn't come with sufficient reason for change, and it would be a good deal less interesting than the current buildings. >More
 Tell All: Wisconsin Supreme Court, behave!

Dear Tell All: I groaned after the latest headline about the Wisconsin Supreme Court -- the justices voting to close their administrative conferences to the public. It makes sense that they don't want people to see them in action, given the fact that they act like toddlers, choking each other, calling each other names, etc. What is the solution to this kind of behavior? I say that if they're going to indulge in juvenile behavior, we should treat them like juveniles. >More


A mother lode of tunes: SiriusXM promises so much, and yet...

I had forgotten how much I like the Grateful Dead. I had also forgotten that I was a high-schooler shooting the peace sign in the audience at the Freedom Hall Louisville show on June 18, 1974. And hey! Here's that show on the friggin' radio! SiriusXM friggin' radio! >More
 Hip-hop collective Doomtree comes together for No Kings

"I'll play, but it ain't your game and it ain't your rules," raps Sims on "No Way," the track that begins Doomtree's 2011 album No Kings. "And it ain't your world, and I brought my crew." The lines seem to promise that a multi-MC barrage of contention and determination is on its way. Indeed, this is a busy group. >More



Fashion Conscious in Madison: Context

Context's new studio is an echoing, cavernous space on Madison's near east side used for photo shoots, shipping and receiving, and apparently interviews with alt weekly journalists. The ceilings are sky high, and the decor is minimalist. I feel more like I'm in a trendy Manhattan loft than a renovated warehouse in a midsize Midwestern city. >More
 As chain bookselling contracts, independents see an opening

Long before Borders closed its doors last summer, the accepted wisdom was that bookstores -- and even the printed book -- were well on their way to extinction. Bricks-and-mortar booksellers couldn't compete amid online discounting, the rise of e-books and the economic downturn, the thinking went. There was also a widely touted belief that an increasingly distracted populace no longer takes the time to read books. >More
 Uncivil Disobedience looks back at the Sterling Hall bombing

Mike Lawler plunges into moral gray areas with his play Uncivil Disobedience, an oral-history-based chronicle of the UW Sterling Hall bombing in 1970. During two staged readings this weekend, 10 Forward Theater Company actors will portray 43 characters, all based on interviews, court transcripts, FBI records, police reports and media reports. >More
 Sarah Palin tries to pass as a credible VP in Game Change

Game Change expertly dramatizes a crazy moment in American history: Sarah Palin's selection as John McCain's running mate in the 2008 presidential election. The sagging McCain (Ed Harris) needs a "game-changer" to compete with charismatic Barack Obama, and campaign strategist Steve Schmidt (Woody Harrelson) convinces himself that Palin (Julianne Moore) checks all the right boxes. >More


John Carter gives familiar sci-fi material a spark of energy

John Carter could tip the scales over to silly, but it somehow manages to stay just on the right side of fun. Adapting Edgar Rice Burroughs' novel A Princess of Mars, director Andrew Stanton (Wall-E) and his co-screenwriters (including novelist Michael Chabon) introduce us to Capt. John Carter (Taylor Kitsch), a Confederate Civil War veteran whose death in 1881 brings his nephew Ned (erstwhile Spy Kid Daryl Sabara) to New York for a reading of his will. >More
 A community comes together in Le Havre

A fulsome optimism has crept into the world of Aki Kaurismäki, the Finnish director whose films have always been marked by their distinctive blend of deadpan humor and quotidian melodrama. To Kaurismäki's panoply of underdogs, outsiders and bohemians, Le Havre now adds a sense of people's willingness to do good. >More
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Namio's isn't a game-changer in the Fitchburg dining scene

Can casual dining restaurants in Fitchburg get out from under the long shadow of the Great Dane? At the Dane, the prices are a little less than you'd expect for the amount and quality of the food. Then there's its unusually voluminous menu. Then there's the handcrafted beer. Hard to beat. >More
 Getting jjigae with it: The Korean soup-stew is nothing to be afraid of (recipe)

I've always felt estranged from my Korean half. Aside from my mom, the rest of that side of the family is in Korea. Regrettably, I don't know the language, and I don't think my mom enjoys cooking, but she made a few basics at home. I do remember the house stinking to high heaven when she made kimchi stew, or kimchi jjigae, and from that I ran like hell. >More


Hard hits on the gridiron

There's a fun item in the Sept. 26, 1967, issue of the Milwaukee Sentinel I found on Google the other day. It details how Wisconsin Badgers linebacker Sam Wheeler received the "Savage" award from head coach John Coatta for his aggressive play that week. Two of Wheeler's teammates, Ken Criter and Tom Domres, were also honored and presented with black helmets. >More
 Try it before you buy it at The Tennis Shop

Try it. It's the only way you'll know if you like it. That's the philosophy behind letting customers at the Tennis Shop "demo" racquets before they buy them. "It's vital," says Peter Dermody, co-owner of the store. "You can pick up two racquets with the identical specs. They feel the same in your hand, but once you hit a ball you can feel the difference." >More
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