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Kitty Dunn

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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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Topics : Hospitality_Recreation
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Locations : Dane CountyMiddleton


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Madison has gone beer-crazy!

You could call it Madison Craft Beer Week, part two!

The week leading up to the Great Taste of the Midwest Beer Festival August 9th is chock full of tasty beer offerings all over southern Wisconsin, with plenty of tap takeovers, beer pairings, and other events to get you psyched up for Saturday. Or more likely, allow you to get your fill of interesting new brews even if you couldn't score tickets to the sold-out event.

Isthmus put together an amazing and comprehensive list of events, which you can see here.

If you don't want to do all that scrolling, check out these highlights:

Sunday August 3rd
Arts and Ales Festival at Hydro Street Brewing in Columbus. It's like a mini-Great Taste with beer from half a dozen area breweries, lives music and a homebrewers contest.  Bonus: arts and crafts! (Vendors 9-4pm, beer and bands, 9am-9pm)

Wednesday August 6th
Tap Takeover at Dexters. Try all kinds of varieties from Green Flash Brewing in San Diego and Oskar Blues (the brewery that brought you Dale's Pale Ale).

Thursday August 7th
Beer sampling at Inn on the Park.  Who knew this hotel on the square would get in in the Pre-Party beer action? Venture to Top of the Park for a tape takeover from St. Francis Brewery in the Milwaukee area. This brewery that names its beers after the seven deadly sins will have some special cask ales to try as well as a cucumber saison.  Starts at 7pm.

Friday August 8th
Brickhouse BBQ offers lots of choices in one place. How's this sound--25 different brews from Central Waters, ten from Shorts Brewery, and 12 from Hinterland. Starts at 5pm.

MOB the House Party. House of Brews on Helgesen Drive is having a big outdoor bash, with 20 or more different beers from House of Brews, Karben 4, Next Door, One Barrel and Vintage. Mobcraft, which crowdsources its beer ideas will be introducing another wild one--Rabbit's Bounty, which is made with carrots, walnuts, and brown sugar. Sounds interesting!

Remember, whether you're going to the Taste or not, sample responsibly!  (Above photo taken by me at the Great Taste in 2012.)
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Mayflies: faschinating, or horrifying? You decide.

The mayflies were out in full force over the past couple days. Now I've heard about these insects over the years, but have never experienced a mayfly swarm.  I think I'm pretty happy about that.

Apparently the mayflies were so thick they showed up on National Weather Service radar!  This fact intrigued me, so I thought I'd do a little investigating to learn more about these critters that show up in such massive hordes.

Lo and behold, I found this informative, and creepy, video on youtube.

Sleep tight, and don't let the mayflies bite.

 
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Topics : Human Interest


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RIP Johnny Winter--that guy sure could play

"For me, blues is a necessity."

That's a quote from blues guitar great Johnny Winter, who died on Wednesday in Zurich, Switzerland. He came to prominence in the late 1960's after he was featured in a story in Rolling Stone magazine, put out 20 albums and produced some others that were pretty amazing--three for Muddy Waters, and the hit song "Rock and Roll Hootchie Koo" for Rick Derringer.

I got a chance to see Johnny Winter twice--first at the Belleville Blues Festival, where I got to introduce his band (along with Triple M's Gabby Parsons), and again at the Crossroads Guitar Festival in 2010.  While he appeared to be quite frail on both those occasions, he could still play the hell out of the guitar.

Here he is at Crossroads, playing what might be the BEST version of Bob Dylan's "Highway 61."

 
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Warren Buffett and Paul McCartney: the conversation

By now you've probably seen that "selfie" taken by a kid in Nebraska with Warren Buffett and Paul McCartney sitting on a bench in the background. (No? Click here).

But I have something more exclusive..the transcript of the conversation these two rich guys had after they enjoyed a treat from a nearby ice cream shop.

Here's a portion:

 McCartney:  You never give me your money, you only give me your funny paper.

Buffett: And in the middle of negotiations, you break down. I never give you my number

McCartney: You only give me your situation.

Buffett: And in the middle of investigation, I break down.

(unintelligible garble)

McCartney: One sweet dream

Buffett: Pack up the bags and get in the limousine

McCartney: Soon we'll be away from here.  Step on the gas and wipe that tear away

(Disclaimer:  I listened to Abbey Road A LOT over the years, and this may or may not be part of the Buffett/McCartney chat).

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Locations : Nebraska
People : Paul McCartneyWarren Buffett


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The new Pink Floyd album won't be what you're hoping for

A lot of Pink Floyd fans got a little bit excited over the weekend, after the wife of David Gilmour announced that a new Pink Floyd album would be coming out this October.

Even though Roger Waters wouldn't be a part of it, the idea of the first new songs since Division Bell was certainly intriguing. But now a spokesman for the band says, in not so many words, that the new album will be made up of leftovers from the Division Bell sessions back in the early '90s...instrumentals and ambient music.

What?  I guess some never-before-heard jams from that era could be interesting. But let's face it, it's not nearly as enthralling as the idea of brand new songs.

While we wait to see what comes of this new album, enjoy this video in which the band seems to be in an unusual mood.

 
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Johnny Cash/Sheryl Crow duet is pretty cool

Johnny Cash recorded a version of Sheryl Crow's 1996 song "Redemption Day" before he passed away...and now Crow makes use of it in a new video. The song, with back and forth vocals from each of them, is haunting, and made even more so through the images used in the video.

Usually I'm not a fan of resurrecting dead people for new performances, but somehow I think this one works. Do you agree?
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Beatles albums return in glorious mono!

Good news for vinyl junkies and Beatle fans. The Beatles organization is finally re-releasing the British versions of the band's catalog in mono!

What's the big deal about that? In the 1960s, the British economy was a bit sluggish, so most people who bought albums bought the mono versions, since they were around a buck cheaper. And so to the Beatles, the mono mixes of the album were much more important. For example, when the Sgt. Pepper album was mixed, all four Beatles were in the studio and had a say in the finished product (along with George Martin of course). But when the stereo version was mixed, no Beatles were present and it was done much more quickly.

What's extra cool about this re-release is that the records were cut without using any digital technology using detailed transfer notes made by the original cutting engineers, using a rigorously tested Studer A80 machine  to play back the precious tapes, and the new vinyl was cut on a 1980s-era VMS80 lathe.  The original album art and packing is also being recreated.

If you are a Beatle fan and have never heard the mono versions, you are in for a treat! There are so many differences on the Sgt. Pepper record alone. For example, the song "She's Leaving Home" is actually recorded at the correct speed!  The stereo version came out much slower than the band intended.

These mono LP's will come out September 9th on 180 gram vinyl, available individually or in a super fab box set (that will only set you back $374.98 and includes a free T-shirt!)  You can pre-order them now on the Beatles website.

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Topics : Entertainment_Culture
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People : George Martin


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Listen to music, help kids!

Remember the '90s band Sister Hazel? Well they're going to be in Madison at the Majestic Theatre this Friday night (June 20th) for a benefit for Gio's Garden, along with opener Kings of Radio.

What's Gio's Garden? It's a great non-profit organization that helps families with special needs children up to age 6, helping them get access to needed services, and providing therapeutic respite care.

My buddy John Urban made this extremely cute video promoting the event. Be sure to watch until the end. It will definitely put a smile on your face.

Click here to buy tickets.

ROCK FOR RESPITE - THE RETURN OF BENICIO from John Urban on Vimeo.

 
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Topics : Entertainment_Culture
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People : John Urban


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World's Worst iPod: Exile "Kiss You All Over"
Kitty thought this song was an example of country disco and was not a fan...but just about everybody else was. "Kiss You All Over" was #1 for four weeks in 1978, and was probably one of the year's best songs. Exile rocks out with the song here...
Read More
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...
Read More
World's Worst iPod: Young MC "Bust a Move"
Kitty apppeared to be all alone on her dislike of this song, which made it to #7 on the charts in 1989. Rolling Stone described the song this way: "a G-rated funk-bomb integral to hip-hop's eventual mainstream acceptance." The G-rating probably...
Read More
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...
Read More
World's Worst iPod: Rex Smith "You Take My Breath Away"
Teen idol Rex Smith made it all the way up to #10 on the Billboard charts in 1979 with this song, which was actually featured in a TV movie called "Sooner or Later." Smith had a bit of an acting career and appeared in "Grease" and "Pirates of...
Read More
Madison has gone beer-crazy!
You could call it Madison Craft Beer Week, part two! The week leading up to the Great Taste of the Midwest Beer Festival August 9th is chock full of tasty beer offerings all over southern Wisconsin, with plenty of tap takeovers, beer pairings, and...
Read More
World's Worst iPod: Hall & Oates "Method of Modern Love"
Hall & Oates had a lot of great hits in the 1970s and 1980s, and if you believe a lot of folks, this is NOT one of them! This song with its amazing spelling lesson hook made it all the way to #5 on the charts in February of 1985. We're a...
Read More
Will this be Clapton's last record?
Eric Clapton definitely has retirement in mind. He hinted to Rolling Stone recently that he may quit touring and recording, and only play for family and friends. We can look forward to at least one more new Clapton record before he hangs up his Strat...
Read More
 
Recent Blog Posts
World's Worst iPod: Exile "Kiss You All Over"
Kitty thought this song was an example of country disco and was not a fan...but just about everybody else was. "Kiss You All Over" was #1 for four weeks in 1978, and was probably one of the year's best songs. Exile rocks out with the song here...
Read More
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...
Read More
World's Worst iPod: Young MC "Bust a Move"
Kitty apppeared to be all alone on her dislike of this song, which made it to #7 on the charts in 1989. Rolling Stone described the song this way: "a G-rated funk-bomb integral to hip-hop's eventual mainstream acceptance." The G-rating probably...
Read More
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...
Read More
World's Worst iPod: Rex Smith "You Take My Breath Away"
Teen idol Rex Smith made it all the way up to #10 on the Billboard charts in 1979 with this song, which was actually featured in a TV movie called "Sooner or Later." Smith had a bit of an acting career and appeared in "Grease" and "Pirates of...
Read More
Madison has gone beer-crazy!
You could call it Madison Craft Beer Week, part two! The week leading up to the Great Taste of the Midwest Beer Festival August 9th is chock full of tasty beer offerings all over southern Wisconsin, with plenty of tap takeovers, beer pairings, and...
Read More
World's Worst iPod: Hall & Oates "Method of Modern Love"
Hall & Oates had a lot of great hits in the 1970s and 1980s, and if you believe a lot of folks, this is NOT one of them! This song with its amazing spelling lesson hook made it all the way to #5 on the charts in February of 1985. We're a...
Read More
Will this be Clapton's last record?
Eric Clapton definitely has retirement in mind. He hinted to Rolling Stone recently that he may quit touring and recording, and only play for family and friends. We can look forward to at least one more new Clapton record before he hangs up his Strat...
Read More
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