Copy // music, culture, and strong points of view
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MICROTONES by Ben Munson, editor and child-haver at large

During my daughter’s school picnic to mark the end of kindergarten, a hawk with a mouse in its claws flew over the crowd. The kids loved it. They jumped up and down, incredulous, the way adults do when watching touchdowns or knockout videos. But this was nothing so crude—these children were rejoicing in a graceful yet brutal act of nature. It was so excellent, made even better by the fact that we could all watch from a safe distance.

I began to think about other events that might improve as the observer gets farther away, adding a buffer zone where anxiety can take the wheel. When my daughter’s recent Girl Scout meeting was scheduled directly adjacent to Festa Italia in Fitchburg, I was able to mildly appreciate a set from local Dean Martin impersonator Joe Scalissi while protecting myself from making regretful cannoli decisions. (On a side note, here’s a quote from Scalissi’s official bio: “In 2013 Mr. Scalissi was chosen by World Wrestling Entertainment to record the song The Midas Touch to honor Donald Trump as the new owner of Monday Night Raw.”) What other Madison traditions are best enjoyed from afar? Is the Terrace still as magical when you’re looking at it from a boat? Is the Farmers’ Market still fun when you’re hurling tomatoes at it from the Capitol balcony? Let me know, because I want to be close, but not too close, to the action this summer.

New this week: Madison garage-punk band Paint finally gets its album out. The Madison Mallards' promotions are a bit iffy this year. Violent French people and 1940s film critics dominate the summer UW Cinematheque schedule. Trapo's She EP is getting a vinyl release this month. A new sketch show makes fun of startups.

This week's Madison calendar: Waterfront Fest, Daniel Bachman, Man Mantis, three solid outdoor film screenings, and more.

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Tone Madison events!

June 29: Sissy Spacek with Grave Texture and TrashSquirt. Arts + Literature Laboratory, 7 p.m., all ages, $8

August 5: Tatsuya Nakatani with Tar Pet. Arts + Literature Laboratory, 7 p.m., all ages, $8

August 11: Sam Amidon with Tony Barba. Gates of Heaven, 7 p.m., all ages, $12 at door, presale for $10

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