Silversun Pickups is one of those bands you just know is going to be great live, but at their first Madison show ever last Thursday at the Barrymore Theatre, they exceeded the high bar they set. The intensity didn’t let up for a minute, from the squalling guitars to the hypnotic dance-rock beat, and singer Brian Aubert and crew seemed genuinely happy to be there, at one point inviting a young fan, Silas Pipson, on stage to dance during the joyful set-closing “Lazy Eye.” Don’t steal our children, but come back soon, guys.
DJ Shadow’s recent sold-out concert at the Majestic Theatre inspired us to delve into the crate digger’s back catalog. And while the standout remains his 1996 debut, “Entroducing,” we found ourselves spending time with its 2002 follow-up, “The Private Press.” The album is rich and detailed, packed with strutting funk breakdowns (“Walkie Talkie”), dense hip-hop bangers (“Mashin’ on the Motorway”) and mellow cuts steeped in vintage soul (“Six Days”). Then there’s the epic “Blood on the Motorway,” which weaves together “Phantom of the Opera”-worthy organ, melancholy piano and spooky vocal samples.
The only problem with washed-rind French cheeses, those wonderfully addictive rounds with their oozy, creamy middles, is that they’re, well, French, and this is the dairy state. For all of the taste but none of the locavore guilt, check out Crème de la Coulée artisan cheese, soon to be available at Underground Butcher for $25.99/pound (cut to order). Bill Anderson is the cheesemaker, and his St. Brigid cheese is made using organic milk from St. Brigid’s Meadow Farm in the Driftless.
Now that the exhausting 2012 election season is over, we can look back and appreciate it — in rhyme. New Yorker writer Calvin Trillin’s new collection, “Dogfight,” wittily sums up the entire campaign, from the tea party (“These folks were quick to vocally condemn/All handouts but the ones that went to them”) to Mitt Romney’s problem connecting with voters (“Reveal himself? No, Mitt would not be forced; The humanizing had to be outsourced”). At $16, it’s the perfect stocking stuffer for someone still reading Nate Silver’s blog.
The images of glaciers in the documentary “Chasing Ice” are undeniably breathtaking, especially on the big screen at Sundance. But it’s a little hard to enjoy them and not feel guilty, because what photographer James Balog is capturing is their demise, as climate change forces the glacier to erode and calve. For those sitting on the sidelines of the debate, “Chasing Ice” is a gorgeous, heartbreaking call to action.