Post by Sean Weitner on 4/24/2013 12:00pm
Key of Life could not have more mainstream sensibilities: It’s about an amnesiac (!), an impostor hitman (!!) and a woman who has pledged to find love by a certain date (!!!). Its festival qualifications are that it's Japanese, but there isn't a single beat that would've been out of step in a major American studio comedy. Of course, when the studios gift us with a glossy, “sophisticated” live-action comedy with witty stars and no obvious CGI, we get Date Night and Identity Thief. Some contrarians might sniff, and not wrongly, that there’s a lot confirmation bias that goes into privileging a festival film or foreign film over a multiplex draw, but the reverse is also true. Regardless, skill is skill, and Key of Life is a straight-up funny, happy movie about sad people.
Post by dane101 on 4/24/2013 6:00am
Today is April 23, 2013.
* UpWis: Making a killing Texas style
* MJS [paywall]: Wisconsin voucher students lag in latest state test
* WSJ [paywall]: Amid harsh criticism by Legislature, UW System defends cash reserve
* LaCrosse Trib: Wausau man charged after severed head found in trunk
Post by dane101 on 4/23/2013 6:00am
Today is April 23, 2013. On this day in 1982, the city of Key West, Florida declared war on the United States, formed the micronation of The Conch Republic, surrendered, and demanded foreign aid. Their motto: "We seceded where others failed."
* LaCrosse Trib: Quick warm-up could create planting crunch
* Duluth News Trib: New center in Ely will fight copper mining
* MJS [paywall]: Paul Ryan says immigration reform a national security issue
* Daily Cardinal: State, UW leaders respond to surplus
Post by Fareed Guyot on 4/22/2013 12:30pm
This post originally ran on the Willy Street Blog.
The Marquette Neighborhood Association voted this week to ask a City of Madison Committee to review the alcohol license of Plan B nightclub at 924 Williamson Street. In a letter approved by the MNA Board on Thursday, April 18, the association wants the City’s Alcohol Licensing Review Committee (ALRC) to separate Plan B’s license for closer scrutiny when the ALRC makes its yearly license renewals in June.
The battle over noise at Plan B has pitted a nightclub which appears to be in compliance with current noise ordinances against neighbors who nightly feel vibrations from the bass portion of the music being played at the club. The owners of Plan B say they have made good faith efforts and spent money to ameliorate the noise issues. The neighbors say that Plan B has only taken minimal steps to solve the problem and refuse to tackle the main culprit: a roof that is susceptible to vibration and is likely transmitting it toward the neighborhood one block away.
Post by Sean Weitner on 4/22/2013 9:30am
Computer Chess shoots the moon:
- It’s shot on lo-fi video, which is typically a curse, but it’s so lo-fi that is goes back around the bend into weird analog beauty.
- It’s half a mockumentary, which is as overdone on the festival circuit as it is in horror movies, but rather than go for (a) broad comedy, (b) improbable-behavior-in-front-of-a-camera drama or (c) foreground tedium while waiting for something exciting and “unexpected” in the background, its documentary sections are legit and as a result, the story’s surprisingly deep intrigue is perfectly fueled by appropriate buttoned-down reactions or public performance.
- The cast is primarily nonprofessional actors, but they are remarkable.
- It is, according to writer/director Andrew Bujalski, much less scripted than the movies that earned him a rep as a founder of mumblecore, and so while you might think mumblecore + more improv = yikes, each scene is coherent both in itself and in serving the story. ( OK, I’m excluding the cat scenes from that judgment.)
Post by dane101 on 4/22/2013 6:30am
Today is April 22, 2013. Today is Earth Day. On this day in 1983, a German magazine claimed that Hitler’s diaries had been found in East Germany; they were later revealed to be forgeries.
Post by Scott Gordon on 4/19/2013 11:00am
A new Madison music venue is opening this week. Lindsay Christians reports for the Capital Times about Crescendo Espresso Bar and Music Café on Monroe Street, which will kick things off with a Friday show from Anna Vogelzang and David Berkeley. The story makes proprietor Cait Shanahan sound a bit cautious, in that she's starting by just booking "musicians she knows." Then again, Crescendo could help meet Madison's need for more early-evening shows, all-ages spaces, and venues that aren't bars and encourage listening above all.
Last week I neglected to mention an Isthmus story about The Bubbler, a developing hands-on arts-workshop program at the Madison Public Library. Writer Lauren Pongan talks with ever-busy artist and MPL programmer Trent Miller (who also runs the Spackle Madison blog) and points out that it can be hard "to understand what the program is about."
The Overture Center announced its 2013-2014 season this week. Does anybody else find it a bit slim as far as music goes?
Madison-based band All Tiny Creatures got some attention from Impose Magazine this week for its A Lone Sound Mixtape. It's a promotion for ATC's second full-length, Dark Clock, and it expands upon one of the album's singles with some extended instrumental tracks and remixes. It runs about 15 minutes and it's much more compelling than the worn-out tactic of simply debuting one MP3 from an album.
Post by dane101 on 4/19/2013 9:00am
Did you pass notes in class? Did you write in your diary during middle school summer vacation? What about high school love letters, perhaps never sent?
Now the real question: did you save these?
Join a growing list of brave souls tonight, April 19, 2013 at 7 p.m. at the Johnson Public House, 908 East Johnson Street in Madison for What's Your Damage?! Described as the marriage between a bad high school reunion and an open mic night, this event, the first WYD?! since 2010, will feature a slate of Madison’s angstiest to kick off the show, including:
- Nate Bjork
- Harry Charles
- Sarah Koske
- Laura "Hobbes" LeGault
- Emily Mills
- Katie Muldowney
- Jeff Schultz
List subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances or last minute loss of nerve. Open mic to follow, or just cheer on those who have survived adolescence and lived to tell the tale.
The revival is sponsored by Dane101 and organized by a slew of Madison arts regulars: comedian and Dan Potacke Show host Alan Talaga; comedian Chris Lay of The Madison Podcast; arts writer and professional tell-all Laurie Stark; and Dane101 writer, editorial board member, and angst machine Christie Taylor. Lay and Talaga will emcee the free show.
Post by dane101 on 4/19/2013 6:00am
Today is April 19, 2013.
Post by Sean Weitner on 4/18/2013 2:00pm
Room 237 director Rodney Ascher took the stage before and after his film screened at Sundance on Wednesday, and the meta nature of a Q&A with the director answering questions about a movie about people watching a movie and asking unanswerable questions of the late Stanley Kubrick was lost on few (Maddie Greene reviewed the film for dane101).
Is there such a thing as a “straight” question in this scenario? Director of Programming Jim Healy found a couple, discussing how Ascher had managed to move this found-footage extravaganza which includes not only huge swathes of The Shining but nearly every Kubrick movie, and a dozen other movies besides, all in multiple interpreters’ attempts to disclose what The Shining is “really” about out of the festival circuit, where everyone is forgiving about rights issues, and into regular release, where they are not. (It reopens at Sundance on April 26.)