• creativity,  fiction,  music,  nerdiness,  writing

    What Oscar Wilde and Dolly Parton Have in Common

    “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” — Oscar Wilde I’m not usually in the business of providing inspirational quotes on this blog. My cynical nature, further honed by law school, prevents me from getting jazzed up over “Just Do It”-type mantras (in fact, sports analogies actually unmotivate me). However, I came across the Oscar Wilde quote above on another writer’s blog, The Siren’s Song, and it stuck with me. It got me thinking about the link between individuality and creativity. Lately, I’ve been listening to old Dolly Parton songs. And I’ve come to admire her– rhinestones, fake 40DDs and all. Yes, that’s right. If you would have told me,…

  • fashion,  green living,  local,  music,  vintage

    Rock Star-Worthy Looks

    Stars put on a great show on Friday night at the Barrymore, complete with multicolored lights, bubbles, and a keyboard kazoo. And guitarist and vocalist Amy Millan wore sequins, just like the last time I saw her. If I were a rock star, I would wear sequins every night. Seeing all of the beautiful young things in the audience in their carefully-selected concert clothes got me thinking about (what else?) fashion. Here are some rock star-worthy looks from three of my favorite style bloggers. I’d be happy to wear any of the following ensembles to a show. What the three looks have in common is that they all involve at…

  • fashion,  music

    Starry Starry Night

    Tonight I’m going to see Stars in concert… for the third time. If you’re a frequent reader of this blog, you know I love me some Canadian indie bands. Besides the music, one of the things I love about concerts is checking out the fashion onstage and in the audience. Last time I saw Stars at the Barrymore, their adorable vocalist, Amy Millan (left), wore a short, vintage-looking sequined dress. So what will I wear? A blue lace skirt with pockets from Kimchi & Blue, a cheap black tank top with lots of layered necklaces over it, a la Givenchy 2008 (similar to the ones below by LoveMaegan), and over-the-knee,…

  • art,  fashion,  local,  music

    Willy St. Fair: Be Anything but Ordinary

    The motto of the Williamson-Marquette neighborhood on Madison’s east side is “A Place for All People.” Nothing proves that motto better than our annual free-for-all, the Willy Street Fair. We’ve got robots for peace. We’ve got the Wacky Wheeler (see photo). We’ve got a cadillac that shoots giant bubbles from a tuba. We’ve got stiltwalkers and unicyclists galore. Come one, come all, and bring your kids and your dog. Just don’t be ordinary. Because being ordinary is the only way you won’t fit in. Photos courtesy of Connor Sabatino.

  • local,  music

    A Piece of Music History

    If you ever find yourself at Madison’s Essen Haus for German beer consumed from a glass boot, you’d do well to wander to the empty lot next door. There you can pay homage to a piece of music history. There’s nothing but a sign left, but 504 East Wilson Street was once the site of O’Cayz Corral–a bar and music venue that’s been called the CBGB of the Midwest. Nirvana and Soundgarden played there. So did Smashing Pumpkins. And the White Stripes, before they were big. O’Cayz came to an end when the club burned down on January 1, 2001, but its love affair with music lives on at the…

  • art,  local,  music

    Come to the Hobo Cabaret

    Tonight I will be rubbing elbows with sword swallowers, dancing dolls, fire eaters, burlesque dancers, and hobo poets. An average evening at home? Nope, the Fireball Masquerade at the Majestic Theater, put on by the traveling Yard Dogs Road Show. Described on their website as patchwork crew of “vaudeville and rock and roll,” the Yard Dogs promise to lead the “modern hobohemian on a visual and sonic journey through part of history that may or may not have existed – followed by an ambitious return to the emotional challenges of our punch-drunk contemporary world.” All of this for only ten dollars. What are you doing tonight? Photo by Hilary Hulteen.

  • local,  music

    Star-Studded Fall Concerts

    I recently did a post whining about how many bands were skipping over Madison this summer. I am happy to declare that things are already looking up for fall. The Stars just announced their fall tour and the Barrymore is once again on their list, with a show scheduled for October 8. Presale tickets are on sale today on their website (got ’em!) and the general release tickets go on sale Friday. Oh, and their new album, The Five Ghosts, was released today, too. I’m listening to my freshly-downloaded copy as I type. If you want to sample before buying, the album is streaming free on NPR’s website. It will…

  • fashion,  local,  music

    Cinched Dresses and Flippy Floppies

    I am loving loose-fitting, cinched dresses for summer, either dressed up with wedges or dressed down with flip flops (popularly referred to in my circle of friends as “flippy floppies” a la The Lonely Island). These three dresses (left to right) are by Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent, Tibi, and Rag & Bone. All are available at Twigs at 1925 Monroe Street, which I can’t believe I only recently discovered. It’s like a Lincoln Park boutique dropped in the middle of Madison, only with easier parking.

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  • fashion,  local,  music,  vintage

    Fashion? In Wisconsin? You Betcha

    Last night I attended the “Rags and Drag” Fashion Show at the High Noon Saloon. Everyone, from drag queens to models to members of the audience, stepped up their usual Madison uniforms of Chacos and t-shirts and put on their most flamboyant and fashion-forward attire. Proceeds went to the Respite Center, which is a great cause, but I would have gone even if the proceeds went to Satan. It’s rare to see so much so much creativity and all-out fashion ballsy-ness right here in Madison. Kudos to Rethreads and all of the other sponsors, as well as the fabulous bands, Screaming Cyn Cyn and the Pons, The Hemlines, and The…

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