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Letter To The People - August 2015
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Owen Mays and AtwoodFest 2015, Adventures with Elizabeth and Nikko
Letter To The People - July 2015
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Michelle & Jerry celebrate 50 years and Adventures with Lizzie & Nikko…. Lizzie’s driving?
Letter To The People - June 2015
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Hasta la vista baby! goodbye to Troy Thiel - Rökker Vodka at the University Club - new Summer Intern - Lizzie goes to prom, Nikko is into Rush and Zeppelin
Letter To The People - May 2015
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Goodbye to The Inferno, news about Rökker becoming an on-air auctioneer for Wisconsin Public Television, Adventures With Nikko and Lizzie, and Allison Rocker birthday card.
photo by Mark Kroll
Letter To The People - April 2015
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This Month: The Madison Creed? Did you know Madcity had one? In fact, it’s the 100th anniversary of the document, read it in it’s entirety. Plus, Nikko racing in a custom video game chair!
Letter To The People - March 2015
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A word about the referendum regarding Supreme Court and how it gains leadership plus a word on Ann Walsh Bradley for Supreme Court by civil rights attorney Jeff Scott Olson
Letter To The People - February 2015
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Distill America, Race for Madison Mayor, Local Love Fest, Adventures with Nikko & Lizzie and Madison East Poms Team
photo by Rökker
Letter To The People - January 2015
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E-cig Ban, Madison 2014 music releases, Rökker Vodka, Adventures with Lizzie & Nikko
photo by Tommy Early
Letter To The People - December 2014
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Cornerstone reunion memories, Rökker Vodka - buy local for the holidays, Savatore’s Tomato Pies comes to Madison, Adventures with Lizzie & Nikko - Lizzie is competing in poms and Nikko performs 6 of the 12 Great Grooves with his dad
photo by Ferris.B Photography
Letter To The People - November 2014
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Rökker’s Birthday Party, Cornerstone Reunion, Halloween, Adventures with Lizzie & Nikko
photo by Allison Rocker
Letter To The People - October 2014
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Get Out the Vote, Food A Rama, Halloween Spööktakular, Rökker Vodka, Adventures with Lizzie and Nikko
Letter To The People - September 2014
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Author David Kulczyk and his new book, The Isthmus meets the Packers?, Evil Dead Rökker Cupcakes by Cupcakes A Go-go, Aventures with Lizzie
photo by Allison Rocker
Letter To The People - August 2014
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AtwoodFest 2014: By all accounts AtwoodFest 2014 was an “out of the park” success. Both stages were amazingly packed and very well attended at every other time of the day. I heard positive feedback on almost every facet of the new festival from the new staging (thank you Intellasound) to the placement in Monty’s Blueplate parking lot and in front of Tex Tubb’s on Atwood, to the greater selection of food and vendors (thanx Gary Kalas/Wil-Mar Center), not too mention the Kid’s Stage!
The music lineup was mentioned in almost every comment and special thanx go to our entertainment crew including Steve & Zach at the Barrymore, Dan Stoffels, Jimmy K, Jacob Hoang, Joshua Schmook, Brian McKay and Madison Media Institute interns Ian Mahone, Robert Horne, and Brittany Derr. They all kicked some serious butt getting over 110 musicians on and off the stages.
And most special thanx to my mom & dad (Michelle & Jerry) who are crucial to the backstage hospitality for bands. Her Famous pasta and meatballs fed all the afore mentioned musicians plus a ton of crew and personnel. I think it was around 600 meatballs. A side thanx to Banzo and Jamerica who also helped with vegan plates.
Not to be left out is Kevin and the staff at Monty’s Blueplate who really stepped up to the plate to assist us during insanity that took over their parking lot. I knew we had moved our stage to the right place when I showed up in the morning and the Intellasound guys had a pitcher of Monty’s special coffee blend. Monty’s assistance to our backstage and use of their facility was a tremendous help to us.
Ben Anton needs special mention as his efforts in organization and sponsorship were so crucial in saving the festival.
Another special thanx to the local celebs that showed up to introduce bands including Pat Gallagher, Bridget Maniaci, Teri Barr, Dannika Lewis, Dave Leucinger, Sal Serio, Marsha Rummel, Ledell Zellars, Rick Tvedt, Gabby Parsons, Jimmy K, Eric Stimson, and Vanessa Anderson who performed a Superbowl version of the National Anthem before the two mainstage headliners on Saturday and Sunday.
And to all 110 musicians, you rocked! I can’t name you all!
There were also a few interesting side stories.
Sonny Knight and the Lakers got stuck in NASCAR traffic coming from Cincinnati. They called and told us they were a little behind, leaving us with an unplanned gap to fill. We called up She She (Julia McConahay and Dana Perry) and said “Can you be here in a half hour and play our stage until the next band gets here?”. They were on stage and plugged in before you could say Sonny Knight and the Lakers who showed up, played an stellar set and amazingly were off stage in time for Steely Dane to take the stage on their scheduled time. Wow, sometimes it flows!
Gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke happened to show up to catch VO5 in action. As I was on the stairs up the stage overlooking the crowd the band announced they were going to take a quick bathroom break after the next song during their 2 hour set. As the words were hitting the audience (people as far as you could see) I saw Mary boogie-ing in the crowd. I got her attention, waved her back stage and asked if she would like to take up a few minutes of time while VO5 was on break. She didn’t have anything planned, but said “sure.” She had a great mini-speech and was treated to much cheering. To any naysayers who might have felt grumpy I will tell you, had the Governor showed up I surely would have afforded him equal time!
Adventures with Lizzie and Nikko: Summer camp is ending for Nikko and Lizzie has Poms starting up later this month as football season gets underway. Are you ready for some football? go Madison East Purgolders.
photo by Rökker
Letter To The People - July 2014
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AtwoodFest 2014: The music schedule for the first annual AtwoodFest is online at AtwoodFest.org. Click on “music” and it will take you to the schedule for both stages on both days (July 26 & 27) as well as give you full bio’s, music, video, and links to the performers’ Facebook, Reverb Nation and website.
If you are planning to use your smartphone, once you get to the music schedule page, click the word “Mobile Site” and you will be swept away to a smartphone enhanced site.
For the first time, you will be able to take the schedule around with you at the festival so that you don’t have to miss the artists you want to see, or try to find a banner or poster.
And give it up for my mom, she’ll be feeding over 110 musicians backstage at AtwoodFest. Viva la Meatballs!
Edward David Anderson: We weren’t able to get a story done with EDA and he’s playing our stage at AtwoodFest, so I’m pasting a little tidbit from his bio. “Best known for his work with the revered Midwestern rock band Backyard Tire Fire who released a string of acclaimed albums in the previous decade, Anderson returns to the national stage with his highly anticipated solo debut, Lies & Wishes. Produced by Los Lobos’ Steve Berlin, it finds Anderson creating his own mythology through a collection of songs that embrace vulnerability, while remaining grounded in his working class roots. Anderson sings, “I’m the son of a plumber, from a God fearing mother.” The lyric says much about where his story begins as an artist. He was born and raised just west of Chicago and lives a simple life, spending winters in an RV alongside the Gulf of Mexico in lower Alabama. Anderson’s an American songwriter on an existential quest who seeks and who searches through song.”
Chris Aaron Band with Jim Schwall: Just added to AtwoodFest lineup on Saturday, July 27th. Two legendary Wisconsin blues guitarists from two different generations join together to bring a unique spin on rockin’ blues! Jim Schwall gained fame in the ‘70s with the Siegal-Schwall Band, and Chris Aaron has been slining it for well over 20 years with bands like American Standard and Bandallmas! Add Pauli Ryan (Garbage, U2, Clyde Stubblefield) on percussion, Aaron’s wife Lisa Bethke on vocals, and pull a bassist and drummer from Chicago and you have a really fun, powerful blues band.
Rökker Vodka: I hit the Nautigal on Thursdays by 5pm for the music series. They feature a bunch of Rökker Vodka drinks on special and it carries over to their Saturday night music series as well as the Shrimp Boil on the first Thursday, 2nd Friday, and 3rd Saturday. Bands and dining on the patio and a plate of steaming shrimp, sausage, potatoes, corn bread and dessert. All cooked to perfection by Chef Kris Eckles. I spoke to Kris and we will be doing another Rökker Vodka Chef’s Table at the Nautigal in the fall! www.Nautigal.com
Eastside Club: The Sunset Music Series on Thursday nights at the ESB is a whole lot of fun! Live music by the water’s edge, a Tiki Bar serving Rökker Vodka on special, and a sunset taking form behind the capitol. Hard to beat that!
Jimmy K Show: Hey Folks, remember we’re back at the Wisco on Willy Street on Tuesday nights from 7-10pm broadcasting live on Max Ink Radio! Maxinkradio.com
Adventures with Lizzie & Nikko: Lizzie has been elected one of the team captains for the Pom Squad. She worked very hard to get there and I am very proud of her. She is very motivated and a good leader who leads by example.
Nikko is back in summer camp along with his best bud Nick. They get to swim, go on hiking trips, scavenger hunts, laser tag…. I think when I went to camp they had masking tape, construction paper, crayons and Elmer’s Glue. There weren’t even friendship bracelets back then.
Enjoy this pic from the Vilas Zoo.
photo by Rökker
Letter To The People - June 2014
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Jimmy K Show: The live show is moving back to the Wisco this month. A few format changes, a few new wrinkles and lots of fun! Make sure to find the Jimmy K Show on Facebook to keep up with all the changes and listen in at Maxinkradio.com.
Atwood Fest: Big changes for Atwood Summerfest. First, a name change, Atwood Fest. Second is that a triumverate of the Barrymore Theater, SASY Neighborhood Assoc., and the Wil-Mar Center will be hosting the festival. Third is that I was retained to do the booking and stage management by the new team for my 12th year and this year’s music lineup is better than ever before.
Here is a sneak peak at some of the spoils: What would Atwood Fest be without VO5? We don’t want to know, so they’re booked and will close our Saturday night, but a new surprise will be the 20 piece local all-star-band STEELY DANE. They will close the festival on Sunday to music of Steely Dan.
Other highlights include Chicago’s Steepwater Band who will play the fest just days after returning from a 2 month European tour, Edward David Anderson of Backyard Tire Fire, Kwamikaze reggae from Chicago that features West African vocalist Kwame Bediako, local Madison funksters The Mustache, and Barrelhouse Chuck who will be performing with local blues legends Westside Andy and Mel Ford.
There are many more, but I would really like to highlight a r&b band from Minneapolis called Sonny Knight and the Lakers. This amazing band featuring Sonny on vocals sports a killer horn section and seriously, they know how to bring it! We are incredibly excited to announce this!
Other notables include local Rastabilly jammers Mad Polecat’s, blues outfit Altered Five, local Whiskeypreneurs Mighty Wheelhouse, our own local rockstar Kyle Henderson, and the local slide blues sound of Lazy Dead Poet, and Mojo Radio.
There are still more to announce and we’ll feature more on what’s happening next issue, till then, mark July 25-26, 2014 for the first edition of ATWOOD FEST.
Adventures with Lizzie: I had a great time at the Virginia Davis School of Dance’s 2014 recital. Lizzie had three performances this year in ballet, jazz dance and a duet with her BFF Lexi. Every performance was amazing and the audience roared in appreciation. All of her grandparents made it to the recital and we all went out to Salvatore’s Tomato Pies afterward (Lizzie’s favorite pizza).
This coming year, Lexi is joining Lizzie on the Madison East Poms Team, and they will compete as team for the first time. Everyone is very excited.
Happy father’s day to my dad, Jerry.
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