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Wednesday, April 23, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 35.0° F  Fair
The Paper


In defense of Madison

"Good news always sleeps 'til noon." That small piece of wisdom from Margo Timmins applies to my job pretty well. When my phone rings in the wee hours of the morning, it's never the comptroller telling me we've kept our Aaa bond rating, or the parks superintendent calling to say the golf courses made money last year. >More


Wisconsin Attorney General race between Hassett and Van Hollen pivots on role of office

There's a reason state attorney general is an elected partisan position: However much anyone tries to deny it, political ideology is key to how the job gets done. But oh, how they try to deny it. >More
 Gates of Heaven wedding reservations canceled after dust-up with the city

Like any couple, Ethan Fassbender and Mindi Stickel wanted their wedding to be special. They searched around town for the perfect spot before picking Gates of Heaven at James Madison Park. "It's a beautiful location," says Fassbender. "I'm not religious but I like the feel of a church. It's nice to have a sacred setting for your wedding." >More
 Planned high-speed rail line too close for comfort for Sun Prairie man

Pat Murphy just wants some answers. The martial arts instructor has lived at 541 E. Main St. in Sun Prairie with his family for 25 years. But for the past year, he's been a wreck. A train wreck, to be precise. Murphy fears what will happen when the high-speed rail line proposed for Milwaukee to Madison begins running. His house is a mere 40 feet from the tracks. >More


Tell All: Counterfeit world

Dear Tell All: I went to a military funeral recently that included an honor guard, five-rifle salute and a bugler playing "Taps," then found out later that the bugler wasn't actually playing! He was faking it! During the ceremony I thought, "This guy is amazing," because it sounded incredible and seemed so effortless. But something didn't seem quite right; it was too effortless. There was no pressure or movement in his face, and he wasn't breathing deeply enough. >More


Sunspot's live act evolves into a multimedia spectacle

Astronomers know sunspots as cool, dark areas of the sun's surface that result from a mother lode of magnetism. But here in Madison, stargazers of the musical variety think of local band Sunspot before they look to the heavens. The trio have established their reputation as cool, dark and funny rockers over the past 14 years, and their magnetism is on the rise thanks to a new project that's redefining what it means to go to a concert. >More
 Buckcherry parties hearty at WJJO Band Camp

Are you nostalgic for the age when rock was blissfully lowbrow? When T. Rex wanted to bang a gong and Kiss wanted to rock and roll all night and party every day? Buckcherry feel your pain and are ready to fix what ails you. >More
 Call Me Lightning: When I Am Gone My Blood Will Be Free

If you've heard Call Me Lightning, you might think their name is a reference to their drumming, which is about as thunderous as it gets. In actuality, it's a nod to a song of the same name by English rock gods the Who. On their newest album, the Milwaukee trio channel Pete Townshend and company in a garagey post-punk style, nodding at a few other heavy hitters along the way. >More



Verse Wisconsin uses modern methods to tout local writers

Even before the advent of writing, people used poetic forms to pass down stories through oral traditions. Now, Verse Wisconsin uses Facebook and the Internet to reach out to a community of poets and readers. Edited by Madison poets Sarah Busse and Wendy Vardaman, Verse Wisconsin published its inaugural issue in January 2010. >More
 Dennis Nechvatal's landscapes are too good to be true

Madison artist Dennis Nechvatal may paint landscapes, but you'd never accuse him of being a slave to botanical reality. Instead, he paints what you might call "magical hyper-nature." These landscapes are so lush, so green, they're too good to be true, but also a little creepy. They suggest the presence of humans, but no one is to be found. >More
 Laura Linney makes the best of terminal cancer in The Big C

The Big C joins the ranks of brilliant cable series that are beating the pants off most theatrical movies. Start with one of the greatest American actresses, Laura Linney, and give her a meaty character in extreme circumstances. She plays Cathy, a Minneapolis schoolteacher who reassesses her life after a terminal cancer diagnosis. >More
 Time-bending Singularity takes cues from Aliens

As with many shooting games, the vibe of Singularity owes a debt of gratitude to the movie Aliens. In Aliens, Sigourney Weaver travels to a foreign land to engage in a hallway-by-hallway battle against yucky aliens. In Singularity, you portray a U.S. soldier who travels to a strange Russian island, where you engage in a hallway-by-hallway battle against yucky zombies (and well-dressed Soviet soldiers). >More


Eat Pray Love mimics its heroine's identity crisis

When the script for Eat Pray Love landed in Richard Jenkins' inbox, one can imagine he must have twinkled at the pages-long monologue his character delivers in the film's midsection. >More
 Scott Pilgrim vs. the World captures its source material's quirky energy

In Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, the visuals pop with jagged panel-break split-screens and straight-outta-Batman onscreen sound effects. Key lines of dialogue and every significant plot point are snatched precisely from the source material, Bryan Lee O'Malley's graphic novel series. >More
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Fiesta 38 is another unique food stop on South Park Street

For the lover of street food, taquerías, pupuserías or authentic ethnic eateries of any stripe, the unpromising nature of the room is in itself promising -- hinting the focus is on the food, not wasted on decor. In the best of all possible worlds, Fiesta 38 would be the fabulous pan-South American restaurant I'd obsess over. >More
 A cool double-decker chocolate raspberry pie for the dog days of summer (recipe)

In a few weeks I start culinary school, and I can't wait to learn the rules so I can break them! My box of knives and chef uniforms have arrived, and there's nothing like the gleam of those new blades to spark some reflection on this upcoming chapter in my life, as well as my foodie roots. >More


What to expect at Ride the Drive and Bike the Barns

From the Dairyland Dare and Wright Stuff Century to Mondays Around Monona and all those Bombay Bicycle Club tours, there are so many bicycling events in and around Madison that it's remarkable how distinct one ride is from the next. To illustrate this, the Bicycle Crank has isolated two rides from the coming month for an exercise in comparison and contrast. >More
 Of golf and morality

When Phil Mickelson won the Masters back in April, beating rival Tiger Woods by five strokes, the temptation to turn the victory into the story of a family man defeating a sleazy philanderer proved too much for some. As Mickelson celebrated with his wife and mom, both of whom are fighting breast cancer, CBS's Jim Nantz declared it "a win for the family," a treacly spin on his designation of Woods' 1997 Masters title as "a win for the ages." >More
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