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Kitty Dunn

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In honor of National Punctuation Day

Today is National Punctuation Day! It's a day to geek out about exclamation points, semi-colons, ampersands and commas.

It's also a day to go back into the Radio Way-Back Machine, and listen to this song by Dan Baird.

It was a minor hit in 1992 for the lead singer of the Georgia Satellites.

Wait. What? 22 years ago?

(Sigh.)

 

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5 Things You Probably DIdn't Know about Bruce Springsteen on his 65th birthday

Bruce!!! 

If you've seen pictures of Bruce Springsteen with his shirt off lately, you might find it hard to believe that he's a senior citizen. He turns 65 today!

Here are a few things you may or may not have known about that guy who doesn't really like being called "The Boss."

1. Bruce has never had a number one single. That is unless you count Manfred Mann's cover of "Blinded by the Light."  That made it up to #1.

2. He has a comet named after him.

3. He was once visited backstage by Dr. Ruth Westheimer. She reportedly suggested he work some lyrics about contraception into his songs.

4. After a 1976 show in Memphis, he jumped the gates at Graceland, hoping to meet Elvis. Even if he got past the guards, that wasn't happening as Elvis was in Lake Tahoe at the time.

5. Bruce's kids used to burst into tears whenever they saw his bandanna-wearing guitarist, Little Steve Van Zandt, because they thought he looked like a pirate.

and one more, even though you already probably know about this one

6. At a John Kerry for President rally in Madison, he accepted some college kids' invitation to come up to their balcony and have a beer.  He was joined by Tom Brokaw and his wife Patti.  I'm pretty sure the beer was from Capital Brewery!

(Picture above taken by me at a rally for President Obama in 2012.)
 
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Like WifeSwap, only different

BandSwap is back in Madison!

The Madison Arts Commission is supporting this event, in which bands from different cities change places. This time, a band from Fort Collins, Colorado is heading to Madison, while Sexy Ester from Madison will be hitting the stage in Colorado.

The Madison Arts Commission is making a day of it this Saturday, with other opportunities for you to catch local music, and a way for musicians to network as well.

You can find all the info you need about Saturday's activities right here.

More info can be found on the BandSwap website.

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Are the new Beatles mono remasters on vinyl worth it?

Last week, the Beatles re-released their catalog on vinyl, in mono, the way the Beatles wanted you to hear their music.

Is it worth spending 400 dollars or so on the box set, or would it be better to just pick up some of your favorites--for around 22 dollars and up?

That depends how big of a Beatle fan you are! So far, I've only had a chance to listen to Sgt Pepper and Revolver--and I was blown away. Admittedly, that may be partially because it's been a while since I've sat down and listened to both those albums in their entirety, and I was just REMINDED of their awesomeness. But it's also because these songs are completely different mixes of the albums, as supervised by members of the Beatles. When the stereo versions of their albums were mixed, the Beatles weren't as interested as it took a while for stereo to catch on in England. So much more attention was paid to every detail of the mono mixes, back in the day.

I used to think that a mono version was just like pushing the "mono" button on your stereo--so the same sounds would come out of each speaker. But that is not the case...often different guitar solos are used, the vocals are more upfront, or there are completely different sound effects, etc.

Casual Beatle fans might not notice differences in the mono versions, unless they have someone like my boyfriend Mike pointing out the differences. But they'll still love how the albums sound.  Hardcore Beatle fans might just spend a week sitting in front of their stereo, gaining a new appreciation for the incredible music that was created all those years ago.

"We're not trying to recreate the originals but we're trying to (reproduce) the original intention." Sean Magee, Abbey Road Mastering Engineer.

 
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Worst souvenirs ever?

When most people go on vacation, they usually spend some of the time perusing gift shops, checking out cool souvenirs like snow globes depicting ocean views, miniature spoons, t-shirts, or potpourri and candles.

When my boyfriend Mike and I go on vacation, we avoid those kind of stores like some horrible illness, but we do hit a lot of pawn shops and secondhand stores, and on this vacation we managed to hit quite a few.

I found a couple of items that were so off the charts horrible. So horrible I had to take pictures.  I can't decide which is worse--the lamp, complete with glued on foreign coins of some sort, and a lampshade that appeared to be made from a sweater--or the flower bedazzled telephone.

I am feeling a little non-buyer's remorse, as I left both items for some other lucky individual to find. But that's good news for you, as they both still might be available. I think they were at a Goodwill store somewhere north of highway 10. Good luck and happy hunting!

   
 
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We still miss you Stevie Ray Vaughan

It's hard to believe it's been 24 years since we lost Stevie Ray Vaughan in that helicopter crash after a show at Alpine Valley.

I've talked to lots of people who were at that concert, which also featured Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, and Robert Cray...and what a show it was! I've never seen any video of that night, but there is a bootleg CD that's not to hard to track down. (It's called "Peace in the Valley," and I believe it's a soundboard recording.)

If you want to pay tribute to the amazing guitar player, you could visit his statue in Austin, or fork out 8.4 million dollars to buy Alpine Valley Music Theatre--wouldn't it be cool if it were a SRV museum?

But the best way to pay tribute is to sit back and enjoy the music. It still sounds fantastic!

This is reportedly the very last song that Stevie ever played.

 
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Butch Vig--the actor?

Butch Vig and his pal from Garbage Duke Erikson, Freedy Johnson, and Jay Moran get together every once in a while as "The Know-it-all Boyfriends."  Well they're getting the band back together, and this time they're doing it for a good cause--to fight epilepsy.

The show is September 7th at the Majestic Theatre, and also features a reunion of the Madison band Chaser. Tickets are going fast, so don't delay!  Find out more about it here.

You should also watch this video, produced by former Triple M Morning Show Host and all-around good guy* John Urban. It's really well done. And you get to see Butch Vig and Duke Erikson try to act!

*he did not pay me to write that

 
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Kitty's Summer's Not Over Checklist

Summer slips through our fingers so quickly. It seems we were just celebrating the longest day of the year--and now Labor Day weekend is upon us!

There are some things you wanted to do this summer that you haven't gotten around to yet, and probably some other things that never even crossed your mind. As a public service, I'm providing you with this:

KITTY'S SUMMER'S NOT OVER YET CHECKLIST

1. Run through the sprinkler.  Hopefully not while wearing shorts that are dry-clean only.

2. Enjoy a tasty shish-ke-bab on the grill. Because shish-ke-bab is as much fun to say as it is to eat!

3. Buy a refreshing beverage from a child at a lemonade stand. Resist the urge to pay with a $100 bill.

4. Enjoy a ripe juicy watermelon and see how far you can spit the seeds. If you can make it from the kitchen all the way to the living room, reward yourself with another slice.

5. Sing around the campfire. Instead of singing Kumbaya, get the whole gang going with a rousing rendition of "Hey Soul Sister." (Oops, now that song is stuck in your head. So sorry).


 
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The next Jonny Lang? Quinn Sullivan is the real deal

I was up in Wausau for the Big Bull Falls Blues Fest, and had a great time watching all the great live music.

The big surprise of the day was the guy who played at 3pm. He's just 15 years old and is a good friend of Buddy Guy, and even got to play Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival last year. His name is Quinn Sullivan, and he has all the earmarkings of a star.   I was blown away by this kid's guitar tone, poise, and his singing voice.  If he can stay grounded, especially as he gets older and ages out of the "prodigy" category,  I can see him having a good long career.

I didn't realize it at the time, but I had seen Sullivan before--on the Ellen Show when he was quite a bit younger. Check this out!

 
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The most beautiful spot in Dane County right now

If you get a chance to head out to Pope Farm Conservancy in the next couple of days--I highly recommend it!

Pope Farm Conservancy is 105 acres that sits on top of three recessional moraines in the Town of Middleton, where three different watersheds come together. A 360 degree panoramic view of Lake Mendota, the Capitol and Madison’s west side can be seen to the east, the Black Earth Creek valley to the North, and the terminal moraine to the South and West.

And right now, one of their seven prairie restorations is covered with sunflowers--and they're all in bloom!  Absolutely gorgeous--and a great photo opportunity.

Pope Farm Conservancy is relatively new--becoming a park in 2000, thanks to the Art Pope family that did not want this scenic property developed.

How do you get there? Take the beltline to Old Sauk Road and head west. It's about two miles down the road on the right.

More info here.

 
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Benjamin Booker is a 25 year old New Orleans musician who's been getting some attention with his debut self-titled album. He's been on David Letterman's show, toured with Jack White, and was reviewed in Rolling Stone. Of the song...
Read More
In honor of National Punctuation Day
Today is National Punctuation Day! It's a day to geek out about exclamation points, semi-colons, ampersands and commas. It's also a day to go back into the Radio Way-Back Machine, and listen to this song by Dan Baird. It was a minor hit in...
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World's Worst iPod: OMC "How Bizarre"
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5 Things You Probably DIdn't Know about Bruce Springsteen on his 65th birthday
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BandSwap is back in Madison! The Madison Arts Commission is supporting this event, in which bands from different cities change places. This time, a band from Fort Collins, Colorado is heading to Madison, while Sexy Ester from Madison will be hitting...
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World's Worst iPod: Helen Reddy "You and Me Against the World"
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