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Friday, July 25, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 65.0° F  Overcast


Rubicon Cross: Rubicon Cross

CJ Snare, former vocalist for late-'80s hair-metal band Firehouse, now fronts the much heavier Rubicon Cross. About the only thing these veteran headbangers have in common with Snare's old band is the singer's distinctive voice. >More
 Operation Fresh Start's Youth Conservation Corps helps kids, and kids help parks

Last January, when temperatures dipped below minus 30 and most people between the ages of 16 and 24 did anything to stay inside, a small yet sturdy group of at-risk teenage boys and young men stacked wood and managed controlled burns at Festge County Park near Cross Plains. Five months later, following a temperature swing of more than 100 degrees, Isthmus found some of those same guys removing invasive honeysuckle and buckthorn at Lake View Hill County Park on Madison's north side. >More
 Clutch Sound brings music back to the old Smart Studios space

The battered brick building at 1254 E. Washington Ave. will finally hang a sign out front this summer. The former Smart Studios has a brand new gig: Veteran recording professional and lifelong musician Brian Liston opened Clutch Sound in September, with plans to focus not only on music production but also advertising, television and independent film. He's also giving the decades-old building a sign, something Smart never had. >More
 Richard Davis and Willie Pickens christen Shannon Hall at Isthmus Jazz Festival 2014

Ralph Russo, cultural arts director of the Wisconsin Union Theater, warned the near-capacity crowd Saturday night that there are "lots of touchups to finalize" in the renovated auditorium space now known as Shannon Hall. But iconic bassist and UW music professor Richard Davis, brilliantly paired with Chicago piano man Willie Pickens, quickly made the place feel like home during the headlining performance of the 2014 Isthmus Jazz Festival. >More
 Could Madison's east side get a sport fix with the Wisconsin Regional Athletic Complex in Sun Prairie?

The recent proposal to build a $15.6 million indoor/outdoor athletic facility on 58 acres along the south side of the Highway 151 corridor near Reiner Road signals a far-eastward shift of the Madison area's sports landscape. And it's about time. >More
 Make Music Madison gives young artists a chance to perform

The longest day of the year is upon us. For those of you keeping track, the sun will rise at 5:18 a.m. and set at 8:41 p.m. on Saturday, June 21. All that daylight, courtesy of the annual summer solstice, will provide the perfect backdrop for Make Music Madison, a daylong event featuring hours and hours of free performances in nearly every corner of the city. >More
 CSAs go solar: FairShare Coalition helps farms become more eco-friendly

Earlier this year, on cloudy days when it seemed as if the sun had abandoned Dane County, Mike and Cassie Noltnerwyss would go outside their Crossroads Community Farm residence in Cross Plains and look up at the 78 solar panels recently installed on their barn and home. "We thought 'Oh, they're so inspiring! But we can't do anything with them yet,'" Cassie says, laughing. >More
 A talk with filmmaker and eco-activist Shalini Kantayya

In A Drop of Life, Shalini Kantayya's award-winning 2007 short about the impact of water scarcity and water privatization in India, the filmmaker and eco-activist imagined a "near future" in which prepaid water meters determine how much drinking water individuals receive. "Water meters did not exist in India at the time of my film's production, but they do now," Kantayya says. "This is not a film I meant to be a prophecy, but it ended up being a dark one." >More
 Sons of Atom turn infuriating news reports into punchy punk songs

Tim Radl watches the news, gets pissed off and then writes songs. That's the modus operandi for the vocalist and guitarist of Sons of Atom, a punchy rock trio consisting of Madison musicians who've done time in countless local bands, including Digibot, the Madtown Vipers, the OuttaTunes and the Low Czars. >More
 John Wesley: Disconnect

Not to be confused with cynical folksinger John Wesley Harding, session guitarist John Wesley has recorded with post-rock giants Porcupine Tree, veteran blues-rocker Pat Travers, Christian band Jars of Clay and former Kinks guitarist Dave Davies. >More
 Sevendust: Time Travelers & Bonfires

Sevendust is one of those gruff, crunchy bands that came of age during the Creed era. But unlike so many of their peers, this Atlanta group have found a way to remain relevant. Time Travelers & Bonfires, an aggressively acoustic and radio-ready album, reveals lyrical depths and melodic nuances otherwise buried when the band is plugged in. >More
 Urban theorist Naomi Davis seeks to revitalize African American neighborhoods

The last time urban theorist Naomi Davis visited Madison, in the early 2000s, she was in search of communities that would help her create a model for revitalizing African American neighborhoods. Eventually, she came up with Blacks in Green, a national network advancing what she calls "green-village-building" in violent neighborhoods haunted by dilapidated housing, vacant lots, a hollow economic corridor and low median household income. >More
 Diving into a swimming pool

As one of the most brutal winters in Madison history mercifully comes to a close, residential swimming pool owners -- and there are plenty of them -- must be feeling antsy, awaiting those long and lazy days spent poolside with family and friends. >More
 Hawkwind: Spacehawks

Hawkwind, the space-rock band that spawned Lemmy, are persistent, to say the least. Their 29th album, Spacehawks, includes seven new songs, rerecordings of three tracks from 1975's Warrior on the Edge of Time (the last Hawkwind album to chart in the United States), and remixes of more recent cuts. >More
 Vanishing Point: Distant Is the Sun

Vanishing Point deliver a near-perfect slice of sophisticated progressive metal on their new album, Distant Is the Sun. As the first unsigned band to play Germany's revered Wacken Open Air metal festival, these Australian headbangers blazed a trail with aggressive riffs, epic hooks and bold vocals. Then, after 2007's The Fourth Season, Vanishing Point vanished. >More
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