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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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World's Worst iPod: Donny Osmond "Soldier of Love"

It's hard to believe that Donny Osmond scored his second biggest solo hit in 1989, but it's true!

"Soldier of Love" went all the way to #2 on the charts. When the song was released, the record company was afraid no one would buy a new Donny Osmond record, so they released it as being from a "mystery artist."  The intrigue sent people rushing to the stores to buy it, and the rest is history.

We think it sounds a little like George Michael. Note we didn't say good George Michael.

 
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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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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 on the Midnight Special. Enjoy.

 
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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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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 explains why Jonathan and Brian Olson liked it so much.

Bonus: Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers plays bass.

 
 
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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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Locations : Dane CountyMiddleton




 

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 Penzance" as well as the soap opera "As the World Turns."

Here'sa little bit of the TV movie "Sooner or Later" along with the song. About half-way through you get to see Rex Smith jogging in short shorts. Enjoy.

 
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People : Rex Smith




 

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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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...
Read More
World's Worst iPod: Donny Osmond "Soldier of Love"
It's hard to believe that Donny Osmond scored his second biggest solo hit in 1989, but it's true! "Soldier of Love" went all the way to #2 on the charts. When the song was released, the record company was afraid no one would buy a...
Read More
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...
Read More
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...
Read More
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...
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...
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
 
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