The winners in the Arts & Entertainment category are a mix of old favorites and newbies, some of them in ripped fishnet stockings. Madison clearly likes to rock, but it also has a penchant for William Shakespeare, art movies and Latin jazz. Yes, we have a particular kind of taste in this town - and Lou & Peter Berryman have probably already written a quirky folk song about it.
Madison's Favorite New Band
1. Little Red Wolf
3. Sexy Esther & the Pretty Mama Sisters
The female rockers of Little Red Wolf caught your attention with soaring harmonies and unusual colors provided by such instruments as accordion and viola.
Madison's Favorite Rock Band
1. Screamin' Cyn-Cyn & the Pons
2. Pale Young Gentlemen
3. Mighty Short Bus
The artful mockery of Screamin' Cyn-Cyn & the Pons is hard to resist. They've improved from second place in the 2008 Annual Manual poll, suggesting that they cranked up the manic intensity over the past year.
Madison's Favorite Jazz Band
1. Tony Castañeda Latin Jazz Sextet
2. Harmonious Wail
3. Tim Whalen Nonet
All three of these bands can swing like mad, but only Castañeda's outfit can cha-cha-cha.
Madison's Favorite Blues Band
1. Aaron Williams and the Hoodoo
2. Clyde Stubblefield
3. Westside Andy/Mel Ford
The relatively new Aaron Williams and the Hoodoo have won fans with their hard-driving sound. But that takes nothing away from bluesy elder statesmen Clyde Stubblefield and Westside Andy/Mel Ford.
Madison's Favorite Hip-Hop
2. Rob DZ
3. The Crest
Dumate do a great version of backpack rap, fighting injustice with their rolling rhymes.
Madison's Favorite Electronica Band
1. Sensuous Enemy
2. Cemetery Improvement Society
3. TIE: Glass Ghosts, Caustic and the Gentleman Loser
Sensuous Enemy make a compelling noise, and their sexy goth outfits probably won 'em a few votes too. Love those ripped fishnet stockings.
Madison's Favorite Latin Band
1. Tony Castañeda Latin Jazz Sextet
3. Que Flavor
Tony Castañeda gets greedy, winning in the Latin Band category as well as Jazz Band. Doesn't seem fair, does it Madisalsa?
Madison's Favorite World Music Band
1. Reptile Palace Orchestra
2. Yid Vicious
3. Natty Nation
Reptile Palace Orchestra take you on a journey through rock, funk, world and lounge-music sounds. They offer something for everyone, and all those folks must have voted in the Madison's Favorites poll.
Madison's Favorite Singer/Songwriter
1. Jentri Colello
2. TIE: Ken Lonnquist and Sean Michael Dargan
3. Josh Harty
Jentri Colello's sensitive singing and strumming edges out Ken Lonnquist, Sean Michael Dargan and Josh Harty. Did her outrageously cool name put her over the top?
Madison's Favorite Cover Band
1. The Gomers
2. Hometown Sweethearts
3. TIE: Houses in Motion and Super Tuesday
The Gomers run away with this category. A band that can cover 2,000 tunes has a certain advantage.
Madison's Favorite Folk Band
1. Lou & Peter Berryman
2. Cork 'n Bottle String Band
3. Yid Vicious
Lou & Peter Berryman are the poet laureates of Wisconsin eccentricity, still funny after all these years.
Madison's Favorite Theater Company
1. American Players Theatre
2. Broom Street Theater
3. Mercury Players Theatre
The classical troupe American Players Theatre beats the edgier Broom Street Theater and Mercury Players Theatre. Admittedly, William Shakespeare has pretty high name recognition.
Madison's Favorite Live Music Venue
1. High Noon Saloon
2. UW Memorial Union Terrace
3. The Majestic
The High Noon Saloon features an amazing selection of bands. Then again, so do the Terrace and the Majestic. Let's make a night of it and hit all three.
Madison's Favorite Comedy/Improv
1. Monkey Business Institute
2. Comedy Club on State
3. Atlas Improv
Readers liked Monkey Business' improvisational games, but the traditional standup comedy of the Comedy Club on State also made a strong showing, as did the often hilarious Atlas Improv. In a recession, you take your laughs where you can find them.
Madison's Favorite Dance Club
1. Club 5
2. The Cardinal
3. The Inferno
Club 5 is an LGBT bar with a special room for women and a special room for men. Actually, the whole place is pretty darn special.
Madison's Favorite Place to Watch Films
1. Sundance 608
2. Star Cinema
3. The Orpheum
Everyone flocks to Robert Redford's Sundance 608 for the great slate of art movies, the comfortable interior and the excellent food. And then there's the outside chance of catching a glimpse of the Sundance Kid himself, who's visited Madison couple of times since the theater opened.