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Posts from April 2014

Kitty's Picks for Craft Beer Week

So much beer...so little time!

Madison's Craft Beer Week kicks off on Friday, with just about every bar, restaurant, and liquor store planning something fun--and tasty!

Now there's no way to attend all of these events, so careful planning is a must. I just got my copy of the Craft Beer Week Field Guide, and I've picked a few events that are going into my day planner.

Central Waters Tap Takeover, Friday, May 2nd at the Malt House. Got to give some props to a brewery from my old stomping grounds. Okay, I've never done much stomping in Junction City, but I've been to this brewery's tasting room, and everything they make is fantastic. If you like dark beers, be sure to try to the Mud Puppy Porter. (7-10pm)

Cask Ale Festival, Saturday May 3rd at the East Side Club. Unlimited samples of dozens of special releases and cask ales and a fancy glass to drink out of, plus live music from a brass quintet playing beer drinking songs. I'm not sure what breweries are involved, but I'm sure there will be some real doozies. Tickets are $30 in advance or $40 at the door. 1-5pm.

Great Taste of the Midwest Ticket Sales, Sunday May 4th, noon at various locations. They sell out fast, and some people camp out for several hours to try and get a coveted ticket. The price went up to $60 for the 2014 event. If you don't score tickets at least there are a lot of places to drown your sorrows. Noon.

Sweety Tooth Beer and Dessert Night. Monday May 5th, at Next Door Brewing Company. Calliope Ice Cream featuring Next Door Brewing Company beer and other beer flavored taste treats? Will they really be serving beer pie?

Capital Brewery Night Wednesday May 7th at Old Chicago. If trying out Capital Brewery beers weren't enough incentive, they'll also be giving away a pair of Great Taste tickets. 4-7pm.

Rush River Happy Hour, Friday May 9th at Graze. If you don't get to River Falls too often, this is a great chance to sample some excellent beers. If you like hoppy beers, try the Bubble Jack IPA. 4-7pm

Disco On The Patio with Lakefront Brewery Saturday May 10th at Dexter's Pub. This is a complete tap takeover, so there will be plenty to choose from. And outside on the patio, a silent disco (that's my favorite kind). 10pm-2:30am.

$2 Guest Tap Beers and Music from Mike Droho at One Barrel Brewing Company. Look for a lot of the venues to be blowing out the barrels that have been on for Craft Beer Week, but at this one you get live music too! All day, Mike plays at 7pm.
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Topics : Hospitality_Recreation
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Locations : ChicagoJunction City
People : Mike Droho




 

Kitty's Arbor Day Playlist

Happy Arbor Day everyone!

I'm not one to go around hugging trees (since they rarely reciprocate). But I'm all for celebrating trees in song!

Here are some of my favorites.

1. The Trees by Rush. I admit I'm not a Rush fan, but this is a perfect song about trees.Listen to the words!
 
2. "Shaking the Tree" by Peter Gabriel
 
3. The Dreaming Tree by Dave Matthews
 

4. "These Pines" by Kasey Chambers
 
5. "If a Tree Falls" by Bruce Cockburn
 
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World's Worst iPod: Tiffany "I Think We're Alone Now"

A lot of people have fond memories of that little red-haired mallrat from the 1980s, Tiffany. And they wanted nothing more this morning than to hear her hit "I Think We're Alone Now."

Now the only good thing about Tiffany having a hit with this song would be it made some more money for Tommy James. While he had a hit with the song first, he didn't write it. So that goes out the window.

Tiffany's version of this song was #1 in the United States, the U.K., Canada and New Zealand. For Tommy James, it only went up to number 4.

In the world of pop music, there is no justice.

 
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Rejected Earth Day celebration ideas*

Like me, you probably try to be Earth friendly every day, but since it is Earth Day, you want to do a little something extra. Here are some ideas I considered, but for some reason decided against.

1. Hold a seance on Gaylord Nelson's grave. The Earth Day founder's cremated remains are buried in the family plot in Clear Lake, in northwest Wisconsin. Not carbon neutral.

2. TP the Aldo Leopold Nature Center with toilet paper made from 100 percent recycled materials.  Earth Day pranks are so last year.

3. Sow seeds of discontent. Already handled by Bill O'Reilly.

4. Reduce phantom energy use by calling Ghostbusters. Really? An '80s reference?

5. Hug a tree. They don't hug back--and my life is full of enough rejection already.


For purposes of self-disclosure, I originally wrote this blog in 2009. For Earth Day, I thought it was appropriate to recycle it.

(Image credit NASA; public domain)
 
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Kitty's Picks for Record Store Day

Vinyl junkies are chomping at the bit for this year's Record Store Day, coming up on Saturday.

Created to draw attention to the cool independent stores that still sell vinyl, Record Store Day has turned into a phenomenon. Bands that are cooler than most are releasing extra special vinyl-only recordings that you can't get at the big box stores.

According to the Record Store Day website, these Madison stores are participating:

B-side 436 State
Earwax Record Shop 254 West Gilman
Mad-city Music Exchange 600 WIlliamson St.
Strictly Discs 1900 Monroe Street
Sugar Shack Records 2301 Atwood Avenue


Not all stores will have all releases, so you might want to do some research beforehand to find out which places will have what you're looking for.

Here are my picks for Record Store Day:

1. R.E.M. "Unplugged: The Complete 1991 and 2001 Sessions."  Songs that didn't make it on air during the broadcast of MTV Unplugged. This is a 4 album set!  This collection comes out on CD and digital formats May 20.

2. Creedence Clearwater Revival "The 1969 Singles." Most bands would be happy to have one hit a year, but CCR had several, including "Proud Mary," "Fortunate Son," and "Bad Moon Rising."

3. Nirvana "Pennyroyal Tea/I hate Myself and Want to Die" (single). This was going to Nirvana's next single, but because of Kurt Cobain's suicide and the unfortunate name of the flip side, it was shelved.

4. Velvet Underground "Loaded." Lou Reed's last album with the Velvet Underground, on pink black and white splatter vinyl.

5. Ray Parker Jr. "Ghostbusters" 10" picture disc featuring the Ghostbusters logo. Who ya gonna call?

6. Bruce Springsteen "American Beauty."  12" vinyl featuring songs that didn't make the cut for his most recent album "High Hopes."

7. Jimi Hendrix "Live at Monterey."  This was the set that made Jimi a star in the United States. Watch the movie, then go buy the 12" vinyl.

8. Dave Matthews Band "Live Trax Volume 4."  This 1996 live set features songs from their first performances using a sound system they had just inherited from the Grateful Dead. It includes a nearly 15 minute jam of the song "Jimi Thing."

9. Grateful Dead  "Live at Hampton Coliseum." This is the first release of this 1979 show in any format.

10. Green Day "Demolicious" featuring out-takes from their recent Uno! Dos! Tre! albums.
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World's Worst iPod:Jay Ferguson "Thunder Island"

The late 1970s weren't necessarily a great time for music, but there were a few gems.

This song may or may not have been one of them. We got a lot of love for Jay Ferguson's "Thunder Island" which was a hit in early 1978. It made it up to number 9 on the charts.

He did have one more minor hit in 1979, called "Shakedown Cruise," and that one was truly horrible.  Be thankful this is the song that will get stuck in your head, and not that one!

 
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Songs for Tax Day

So I learned today that if you're getting a refund, there's no penalty for not getting your taxes in by today's deadline. But why would you want the government to keep your money any longer than they already do?

With that question in mind (and a few others) I present my Tax Day 2014 Playlist.

!. Sunny Afternoon by the Kinks  (This is a very cute video).

 

2. 1040 Blues by Robert Cray with the clever line "I hate taxes"



3.  Taxman by the Beatles. (Just to mix things up here's Stevie Ray's version!)

 

4. After Taxes by Johnny Cash. Everything you can't buy because taxes are so high.

 

5. What if We All Stopped Paying Taxes by Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings. I'm pretty sure I don't advocate this extreme option, but it's a pretty good song!

 
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Blood Moon: reason to stay up late, or end of the world?

There's a preacher in Texas who's a little freaked out about tonight's lunar eclipse, and the three that follow every six months over the next two years.

He thinks it's a signal of the end of the world!, and has even written a book about is theory.

I think it's just a good reason to stay up late (or get up early). Starting at 12:20 tomorrow morning, this astronomical phenomenon will begin.

Here's your new big word for today--"tetrad." That refers to the four "blood moon" eclipses that we can look forward to between now and September of 2015.

Now I don't really go for end of the world prophecies, because if I did, what would prevent me from having a chocolate milk shake every day with lunch?

Meanwhile, I was watching a special on PBS the other night featuring Jason Isbell of the Drive By Truckers. He says when he dies, he doesn't want it to be in a Super 8 Motel. That's also a bad place to be if it's the end of the world. On the other hand, you wouldn't have to worry about being late for check-out time, would you?

 
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Kitty's blog: what coming back from vacation feels like

I just returned from a wonderful vacation visiting family in the state of Oregon. We had some 80 degree days, I got to smell a little sea air, eat some great food, and try some outstanding beer.

All the same, it's great to be back in Madison. But I must admit, I'm feeling a little foggy.

Kind of like looking at the world through the bottom of a milk shake glass. In other words, I feel kinda like this little hedgehog.

 
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