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Monday, July 28, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 62.0° F  A Few Clouds

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Your guide to Great Taste of the Midwest eve 2014 pre-parties and beer tastings

Madison is ascending as a destination city for craft beer enthusiasts, a status that's affirmed the second week of every August when it plays host to the Great Taste of the Midwest and a growing host of satellite celebrations. Here's your guide to the series of pre-parties known as Great Taste Eve. >More
 Annabel Lee is seduced by the spotlight

It's hard to imagine Annabel Lee ever being shy or uncertain, especially if you saw her at the Madison Area Music Awards in June. Her show-stopping performance of her single "Pray" announced her status as one of Madison's hottest up-and-coming musicians. With remarkable vocal talent and a stage presence that oozes power and sex appeal, the 28-year-old artist had the audience in the palm of her hand. >More
 There and Back with New Glarus Brewing: Wisconsin gets a taste of Sierra Nevada Beer Camp 2014

Sierra Nevada Brewing originally conceived its Beer Camp as a project for homebrewers, with a lucky few selected each summer to participate in a VIP experience at the brewery's headquarters in Chico, California. But people have been filling their camping trips, road trips and tailgating sessions with beer since time immemorial, so when Sierra Nevada announced last July that the 2014 edition of Beer Camp would be a multi-state, multi-brewer collaborative affair, it tapped into something instinctive, primordial, in the craft beer fan's psyche. >More
 Flyboarding is the new kiteboarding

"You've snowboarded or surfed before, right?" Bob Cook, instructor at Mad City Flyboards, is waving off my expressed fear of heights as he launches his jet ski. "Er, nope." >More
 As tUne-yArDs, Merrill Garbus whisks listeners to a weird, whimsical world of morals and magic

With live performances that feature drum loops, field recordings, ukulele riffs and pom-poms, it's not hard to envision Merrill Garbus as a babysitter. That's how she got her start, and watching her perform as tUne-yArDs, you get the sense that she'd be great at it in a Mary-Poppins-on-an-acid-trip way. >More
 A taste of Segredo's new Liquid lounge

Segredo, the popular electronic music venue at 624 University Ave., has added a high-end hangout designed to draw monied young professionals. In the midst of a summer renovation, the club created a new 21-and-over lounge dubbed Liquid. After a soft opening last weekend, the spot is now ready to bring high-class nightlife to visitors eager to dance and drink. >More
 A new UW-Madison center helps veterans access funding and adjust to campus life

College students with military ties face numerous challenges. They must make the adjustment from active duty to campus life and try to navigate all the complexities of an updated GI Bill, which provides benefits to eligible veterans like assistance with tuition and living expenses. But now student veterans at UW-Madison have a new ally in the Veteran Services and Military Assistance Center, which opened May 15. >More
 The Flying Hound scores with a Euro beer list, Wisco sausage sampler

Among the top draws at the new Flying Hound Alehouse is poutine, a Canadian answer to chili fries that's sometimes difficult to find in acceptable form south of the border. The pub, opened this spring by the owners of Middleton's Free House, should also appeal to fans of good beer and those who prefer locally owned eateries. >More
 A new sustainability certificate will use the UW-Madison campus as a laboratory

For Cathy Middlecamp, placing academic disciplines in the context of sustainability comes naturally. Two years ago, Middlecamp decided to focus her introductory environmental studies course on issues specific to UW-Madison, using the campus as a living textbook to teach about energy use, food sources and waste management. >More
 Moving speeches and topnotch performances make for a memorable Madison Area Music Awards 2014

The 11th annual Madison Area Music Awards were filled with moving moments and heartfelt speeches, and more than a few laughs, especially as presenters and genial host John Urban made the best of a few technical issues regarding the teleprompter and the screen that listed the award recipients. >More
 Little Red Wolf find their niche in the twangy pop of Junk Sparrow

"What's amazing to me is that all four of us got along so well, pretty much instantly," Emily Mills says of her four-piece folk-pop band, Little Red Wolf. The group's members all performed in other local acts before joining forces in 2008. On June 26 they'll release Junk Sparrow, their follow-up to 2010's If Only We Were Just Like We Are. >More
 Octopi Brewing plans to offer Wisconsin a vision of better contract beer

Isaac Showaki has heard every complaint in the book regarding contract-brewed beer -- in fact, he's uttered most of them. As a cofounder of Chicago's 5 Rabbit CervecerĂ­a, Showaki was responsible for handling the brewery's contracts as the company started out. Frustrations with contract brewing, from sub-par quality to packaging compromises, plagued him constantly. >More
 East Wash bottle shop Trixie's celebrates third anniversary

"We get a lot of beer geeks," says Chris Welch, showing off the diverse selection he curates at Trixie's Liquor. He co-owns the shop with his wife (the famed Trixie, though her real name is Colleen) and in-laws at the corner of East Washington Avenue and Oak Street. In May Trixie's Liquor celebrated its three-year anniversary. Thanks to Welch's eye for quality and his commitment to customer service, it's become a beloved neighborhood shopping destination with a decidedly beer-geeky focus in addition to a strong offering of spirits and wine. >More
 Madison Area Music Awards 2014 are one small part of a big effort to empower local performers

With new honors for roadies and children's music, performances by acts like Kyle Henderson and Son Contrabando, and proceeds benefiting music education, the 11th annual Madison Area Music Awards will celebrate the talent, drive and diversity in the local music scene. The awards ceremony takes place on June 22 at Overture Center, after a red-carpet event that aspires to out-glitz the Grammys. >More
 The Frequency hires concert promoter Shah Evans to book Madison hip-hop acts

Madison hip-hop artists may finally have a supportive local venue thanks to a collaboration between two local figures with a passion for the genre. Joining the payroll at the Frequency is Shah Evans, an independent concert promoter who's also the vice president of the Urban Community Arts Network, an organization that advocates for Madison-area hip-hop acts. >More
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