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Sunday, December 21, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 36.0° F  Overcast
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Madison remembers JFK

Residents reacted to the president's assassination with tears, music, prayers and, in some cases, cheers. >More


BadgerCare uncertainty continues

Come Jan. 1 some 92,000 low-income Wisconsin residents stand to lose their BadgerCare Plus health insurance or, if they continue to qualify for the program, start paying a premium. >More
 In Unintimidated, Scott Walker reveals depth of disdain for unions, protesters

There has been much debate on the origins of the Occupy movement. Some point to the "Arab Spring" uprisings, others to Adbusters, the Canadian magazine that floated the idea for a global protest against corporate greed. And still others say it started with the Madison protests over Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to eliminate collective bargaining rights for most public workers. On that last point, Walker agrees, though he sees it as a point of shame, not pride. >More


Wisconsin conservation tradition under attack

At dinner last week we knew where our food came from. Exactly where it came from. We knew it was a doe, probably 2 years old. We knew the exact date and time on which it had been shot and on what piece of land. And we knew where the cut of meat (the tenderloin or "backstrap") came from on that deer. >More
 Barber chair roulette

It was a big day the first time I was old enough to get dropped off at the barbershop. I sauntered in, settled into the waiting area, and plucked a plump Playboy from the pile of Field and Streams and Sports Illustrateds. >More
 Tell All: "The Snuggle House is just sad"

Dear Tell All: You asked for readers' opinions of the Snuggle House. The business wants to sell Madison on "touch therapy," in which professional snugglers cuddle with clients for $60 an hour in a supposedly nonsexual way. I don't exactly find this gross, like your letter writer "Hands Off." And I certainly don't find it appealing the way you do, Tell All. To me, the Snuggle House is just sad, in a number of ways. >More


Tyranny Is Tyranny mix left-wing politics with epic post-metal

Named after Chapter 4 of Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States, Madison quartet Tyranny Is Tyranny make their agenda clear from the jump. But they prefer to spread their beliefs with music rather than manifestos. >More
 Jesus "Chuy" Negrete shares Mexican labor songs with Wisconsin workers

With a guitar, a harmonica and a sweet croon, Jesus "Chuy" Negrete brings to life the history, culture and political movements of Mexico with folk music. He'll explore Mexican labor songs in a free presentation at the Madison Labor Temple on Nov. 21. >More
 Grammy nominations take JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound to cloud nine

JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound are walking on air following their European tour, and not just because they blew audiences away with their blend of spiky minimalist rock and passionate R&B. The singer and his band recently received exciting news: Their latest album, Howl, has earned several Grammy nominations. Expect the crew to be in a celebratory mood at the Majestic Theatre on Nov. 18. >More



Kanopy Dance's Lisa Thurrell and Robert Cleary channel Martha Graham's genius

"Take risks! You should feel like you can fall on your nose!" These exclamations resonate in Kanopy Dance's State Street studio as director Lisa Thurrell leads a class on Graham technique for high school and middle school dancers. A highly influential "movement vocabulary" that modern dancer Martha Graham started developing in the 1920s, the technique engages both the brain and the body. >More
 Forward Theater Company's Sons of the Prophet explores how two siblings make sense of physical and emotional pain

Some plays have an unfortunate tendency to package life a little too neatly: set-up, conflict, tidy resolution. No one can accuse Stephen Karam's Sons of the Prophet, a 2012 Pulitzer Prize finalist for drama and the kickoff to the fifth season at Forward Theater Company (through Nov. 24), of such a sin. >More
 In University Theatre's Summer and Smoke, a minister's daughter and a libertine doctor explore the body-soul divide

I caught the University Theatre production of Summer and Smoke on a wintry night. A small audience occupied the center section of the UW's Mitchell Theatre, a mix of students and older folks perhaps looking to escape the cold with some Tennessee Williams. >More
 A cop comes to love his android partner in Almost Human

Almost Human is a wild ride of a cop series. It boasts cool gadgets and thrilling action, not to mention poignancy in the human/almost-human bond. >More


Blue Is the Warmest Color ignites controversy by using straight actresses for girl-on-girl sex scenes

An alert, inquisitive 17-year-old, Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos), hungers for fireworks and fate, the coup de foudre of the great literature she adores. She stumbles into just that, in a glancing encounter with Emma (Léa Seydoux), a blue-haired art student in her 20s. >More
 All Is Lost shows a yachtsman's primal struggle to survive

We never learn the name of the grizzled yachtsman (Robert Redford) whose eight-day fight to survive on the open sea is chronicled in J.C. Chandor's All Is Lost. In a prologue set before we flash back eight days, we hear the content of a letter written to family members, referring obliquely to the mistakes of his life. But we never know anything more about the nature of those mistakes, or his relationships, or anything beyond his immediate need to keep his head above water. >More
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The Spot restaurant dresses up an underappreciated block of East Johnson

Joe Tachovsky has a long history in the Madison dining scene. In the 1980s he operated a popular restaurant called Porto Bananas, located where Natt Spil stands today. Then he moved to Minneapolis and opened Chez Bananas. It was an eclectic Caribbean joint funky enough to earn mention in Jim Harrison's book The Raw and the Cooked. >More
 New California wines for Thanksgiving

Jon Bonné's landmark book The New California Wine was released this month, and in it he describes a taste revolution in the Golden State. A smallgroup of creative producers with Old World sensibilities are making exciting, often biodynamically farmed wines that aim for balance (i.e., lower ripeness) rather than high scores. >More


Time to gloat over Bret Bielema and the Razorbacks

Enjoy the sweet schadenfreude, Badgers fans. Year one of the Bret Bielema era is a smoking disaster across the river in Razorback land. I don't have room here to document all the atrocities, so I'll start with the obvious: Bielema's starting quarterback, sophomore Brandon Allen, does not appear to be the answer. >More
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