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Kitty Dunn

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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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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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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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Who else read Gone Girl?

The book Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn was on bestsellers list for more than a year, and finally came out in paperback. I kept looking for it at used book stores, and finally got ahold of a copy last week. I read it in two days.

It tells the story of a man whose wife goes missing on their 5th anniversary. I can't tell you much more, I will give it away.

One thing I will tell you:  I have never before been so manipulated by a book. I was very excited to read this book because opinions on it were so far separated.

On the website goodreads, I gave it four stars, but did so reluctantly. The book completely sucked me in, but was driving me crazy at the same time. Who the heck is the protagonist here? I'm not accustomed to switching allegiances so many times in a book. This book was on the New York Times bestsellers list for over a year; I wonder how many people who bought it threw it across the room at some point!

What did you think of Gone Girl? I'd love to hear your opinion. In the meantime, check out this trailer of the movie version. It's coming out in October.
 
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A Kinks comeback? This could be awesome

So it looks like the Kinks may be getting back together. Both Ray and Dave Davies say they've been talking about getting the band back together, recording a new album and going on tour, and that drummer Mick Avory would be part of it.

Now the Davies brothers are famous for not getting along, but it looks like they agree that they don't want to reunite if it's just an "oldies tour," and Ray says he'd like to do some writing with his brother again.

A few years ago, I had a chance to interview Ray on the phone, and he told me he'll never run out of song ideas, because most of his songs are about characters he meets--and he carries a notebook around to jot down ideas at all times.

No timeline was announced for this reunion, but hopefully Ray and Dave can keep the fisticuffs to a minimum long enough for it to happen.

And I'm keeping my fingers crossed about them playing some of the old hits on the reunion tour.

Here's the last comback hit for the Kinks. When "Come Dancing" charted, they hadn't had a hit for ten years.


 

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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...
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Read More
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Recent Blog Posts
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...
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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...
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