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BEST OF | 2012 >>
  • Best of 2013

  • Road warriors: Lee Loughnane has been with Chicago since the beginning
    Chicago has been playing for more than 45 years now and has never broken up. They're still doing their thing, making hits, playing for the people, and loving it. Bill Clinton once called Chicago one of the most important bands in music since the dawn of the rock and roll era. They're No. 13 on Billboard's list of top 100 musicians. You know them even if you think you don't know them, that's how big they are. And they're going to be playing here in La Crosse during Freedom Fest on June 15. Recent
  • Everyone wants to be an actor and, conversely, everyone is an actor. We act up, we act out, we act like jerks, we act like we care, we act like we don't care, we act finicky, we act silly and we're always warned, "Don't act like your Uncle Murray". We say things like, "That's a class act" or "That's a hard act to follow." So in other words, act-ions often speak louder than words.

    Theatre, which means "a place for viewing," began in ancient Greece about 5,000 years ago and was basica
  • Meet Mayor Tim
    The mayor of La Crosse has an impressive view. From his office on the sixth floor of City Hall you can see all of downtown, most of the south side, the river and the Minnesota bluffs. Nonetheless, it is a very accessible place, and that's the way the new mayor wants it.

    In spite of all that, I was a little intimidated about going there for an interview. That was before I actually met the man. When I first found him in the office of Downtown Main Street Inc., he was working his last d
  • Trigger happy: One man's quest to pack some heat
    I hadn't thought much about the gun debate until one night Wayne La Pierre, head of the NRA, changed my life with a single sentence. It wasn't his stage presence that did it, which is, after all, roughly equivalent to the classroom manner of Ichabod Crane. Nor was it the force of his logic-free discourse. But one night, as I listened to him defend our God-given, constitutionally protected right to carry any weapon we like, whatever its size or killing capacity, he hit me like Moses reading the t
  • Spring's big Midwest fest
    Here's some good news: Spring will soon feel (and sound) a lot more like summer. The perennial Midwest Music Festival will be in full bloom for its fourth year and it promises to be bigger and better than ever. Get ready to scrap any plans you have to lounge around this upcoming 4/20 weekend. The MWMF, which takes place right up the road in Winona, runs from the 18th all the way through the 20th and offers so many performances going on simultaneously and at all times that it may cause a minor bo
  • Keller Williams plays well with others
    The career of musician Keller Williams is one marked by wanderlust. Grounded by his main act, a loop-heavy multi-instrumental performance that earned him the title "the one man jamband," he's also frequently found in the company of other folk, funk, and bluegrass musicians. His most recent project is Keys, a collection of Grateful Dead songs set to piano and released to benefit the Grateful Dead-created Rex Foundation, a charity which supports various artistic and cultural endeavors. However, th
  • The 1920s writer Andre Breton defined surrealism as "a way to resolve the contradictory conditions of dream and reality." Surrealist art tends to be unnerving and illogical; a reflection of an alien world where all is not what it appears to be; a world filled with bizarre creatures strange people and the impossible. Such is the show "Visual Curiosities" at Gallery 1311.

    Although this is a two-person show, I will be reviewing only Mary Solberg's work. You'll have to visit the gallery
  • How not to get a tattoo
    I guess you could say this all started out because I was in a rut. Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems to me that almost everyone has those moments of harrowing clarity, those moments when you become hyperaware of your existence and suddenly everything seems a little bit more concrete than normal. Eventually this leads to palpably real feelings of your looming mortality, and you put everything in your life into a newly aligned perspective that is eclipsed by a sense of impermanence and profound insign
  • The Rumba Review
    Thirty-five miles upriver from La Crosse is Fountain City, a small town nestled against the bluffs that seems a throwback to earlier times. There you will find Julia Crozier's paintings hanging peacefully in the Red Horse Gallery. Hardly a cosmopolitan mecca, this gallery is a truly unique find and so is Crozier's work.

    Many artists tend to limit themselves to a certain style or medium, but there are those who venture outside the art box. Julia Crozier is one of those adventurers. He
  • Downtown La Crosse isn't Anycity, USA. Architecturally, it retains the look of a 19th century boom town, and certain frontier values remain amongst the people who call this city home. We're not Washington, D.C., New York City or Chicago ù and we like it that way. Sure, there is plenty we could do to make downtown La Crosse a more vibrant place, but 41 surveillance cameras are not the way to go.

    If you hadn't heard the news, the La Crosse City Vision Foundation recently announced plan
  • 1. Electronic billboard
    2. Middle school football team
    3. Rail liquor selection
    4. Parking ramp
    5. Internet troll
    6. Graffiti artist
    7. Kwik Trip
  • 1. Pete Best
    2. Milwaukee's Best
    3. "Best in Show"
    4. Best Western
    5. Best Coast
    6. Best Buy
    7. 'My Best Friend's Girl"
  • Steve Harm

    What is your beverage of choice: I just love an ice cold water, or a chocolate malt. NOT A SHAKE.

Second Supper (The Free Press)
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