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Art
Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Skewed reality, subconscious anxiety at Madison Museum of Contemporary Art

 Heart-plucking Americana pictorial art, brash abstract expressionism, impishly ironic pop art and postmodern spin-offs can all make claims as “real American art.”
Books
Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014

Russell Banks explores human connection in a harsh world

 From a son’s massive saga of his father, Civil War firebrand John Brown, to his incisive new story collection, Russell Banks’ fiction has demonstrated acute insight into human relations in a myriad of intensely pressurized, comic and tragic permutations. Ostensibly about family in the broadest sense
Art
Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014

Grohmann photography exhibit evokes the romance of the railroads

 Thomas Garver understands O. Winston Link as a genius who “seduced” viewers with the romance of billowing smoke, thundering pistons and clattering train tracks. The analogy is apt given Link’s background
Album Reviews
Monday, Dec. 23, 2013
Tomasz Stanko is probably our greatest living lyrical jazz trumpeter, his style inspired by Miles Davis. Yet the Polish master speaks in his own almost uncannily disarming language. His sensibility—beautifully brooding, sly, witty—emits notes like snaking smoke. As they unfurl and ooze, the articulated effect is
Theater
Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013

John Mellencamp-Steven King comes to the Riverside

“Rain on the scarecrow, blood on the plow.” The image from 1985 shows John Mellencamp’s knack for literary horror, 15 years before he began writing a musical with horror writer Stephen King
Books
Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013
 Remember Antler’s acerbic epic “Factory”? He no longer rails, but his middle age still emits an eagle’s cry for vivid dreams and hope. The former Milwaukee poet laureate’s sly statistical research swirls into billowing “what ifs.” Then, “The Come-Cries of the Unborn Come” brilliantly marries birth
A&E Feature
Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013

Milwaukee jazz singer comes home

Few Milwaukee-born singers—Al Jarreau aside—have had as auspicious a career as Jackie Allen. But what is she? Ostensibly a jazz vocalist, Allen is sophistication and soul, a romancer and a restless stylistic roamer
Album Reviews
Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013

Live at Blue Rock (In the Black)

 The Austin concert setting intensifies musical storyteller Mary Gauthier’s fine-grained witnessing and unaffected recitative. She finds equipoise between tough clarity and generous compassion: “Everybody says you look real good / Ah think you look stoned / Your sister cried / all the way

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