Jon Kjarsgaard


Dylan Brogan

We are a rather flat place, but that does not mean you can’t find an awesome view from above, or an intimate space below. Here are some staff picks for both. Read more

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Zoran Orlic

Live music is officially returning to Breese Stevens Field in 2016. Promoters have announced two summer concerts at the renovated stadium: Steve Miller Band on July 1 and Wilco on Aug. 19. Read more


This year’s Wisconsin Film Festival is heavy on documentaries, international offerings and “Wisconsin’s Own” films. Ahead of the schedule release on March 17, Isthmus asked director of programming Jim Healy which films are likely to sell out quickly Read more

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In the fourth episode of “Making a Murderer,” a news producer calls the Steven Avery story “the perfect ‘Dateline’ story,” and now the NBC newsmagazine says it’s preparing to air a new segment about the case about the convicted murderer on Jan. 29. Read more

TV & Video 3 Comments


Newsies: Deen van Meer, The Other Place: Ross Zentner, Tanya Tagaq: Ivan Otis, CRASHprez: Steven Potter

2015’s cultural landscape was rich in ideas and collaborations. Isthmus critics weigh in with their favorites from Madison’s stages, venues and museums. Read more

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“Making a Murderer” is a new Netflix documentary series that tackles the complicated story of Wisconsin’s Steven Avery, exonerated for a rape after serving 18 years in prison and then rearrested for murder. Read more

TV & Video 1 Comments

Before you make your way through the crowd of Donald Trumps, Left Sharks and Taylor Swifts, it’s important to be prepared. Here is our list of five must-see Freakfest acts. Read more

MUSIC 1 Comments


Bex Finch

John Hodgman’s jokes are like thesis papers — intensely researched, compiled and cited, for the purpose of wringing laughs from even the driest of topics. We asked the “Daily Show” vet to reflect on his story, from traffic counting to cheese hats. Read more



Robert Zammarchi

Our fall music preview includes nearly 100 concerts, ranging from local up-and-comers to national touring acts and venues as tiny as Dragonfly Lounge to as gigantic as the Kohl Center. On the Madison music scene, there's room for everyone. Read more

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Alvin and Verlie began writing letters in 1942 when Alvin was drafted into the Army to serve in World War II. Eight years ago, their grandson — the lead singer of We Are the Willows — inherited the surviving 350 letters and wrote an album about them. Read more


Yes, it’s been over a decade since Less Than Jake’s career-defining album “Anthem” dropped, but a packed Isthmus Live Session demonstrated that their showmanship is solidly intact. Read more

Isthmus Live Sessions

The Avett Brothers will perform at historic Breese Stevens Field this fall, organizers announced at a press conference Friday morning. The North Carolina-based folk-rock band last played Madison in February 2013, at a sold-out Orpheum show. Read more


Appleton. Chicago. Eau Claire. Madison. Milwaukee. Spring Green. The days when Summerfest was the only game in town are long gone. Read more

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Noah Willman

Despite being the same age as most UW seniors, Chance the Rapper commanded the stage at Saturday’s Revelry Music and Arts Festival with the bravado of someone way beyond his 22 years. Read more


A self-described “old soul with a child’s glow,” the Madison singer/songwriter brought two new songs to a four-song March 25 acoustic set at the Isthmus office. Read more

Isthmus Live Sessions

Following the fall release of their album “Space and Time,” Oshkosh bluegrass/folk band Dead Horses (who play the Isthmus Food Cart Fest on May 31) are premiering a new video for a song inspired by a John Steinbeck novel of the same name. Read more


Matt Costa hails from Orange County, and his songs play like the perfect soundtrack to a late-night fire on the beach. The singer/songwriter stopped by the Isthmus office for a six-song live acoustic session. Read more

Isthmus Live Sessions

Folk troubadour Joe Pug's gritty, narrative songwriting invites comparison to Bob Dylan and John Prine. But the former playwriting student says he also looks to literary figures like John Steinbeck and Walt Whitman for inspiration. Read more

Isthmus Live Sessions

This year marks the 100th anniversary of Orson Welles' birth. The Kenosha-born filmmaker and actor (who lived in Madison when he was 10) is revered for his groundbreaking work in theater, radio and film. Read more



Ryan Koch

In 2014, Madison continued its transformation from a skip-over city between Chicago, Milwaukee and Minneapolis to one of the Midwest's premier live music destinations. These are our favorite sets from some of our favorite touring artists of the past year, the shows that tugged at our hearts and beckoned our bodies to move. Read more