Beyond Boundaries

  Photo courtesy of diannereeves.com. The recent death of Abbey Lincoln made it official. The golden age of female jazz singers is over. But that doesn’t mean the genre is played out — not by a long shot. Contemporary women are finding a way to sing jazz without slavishly imitating Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan, the three titans who set the standard over half a century ago. One of the best is Dianne Reeves, who appears as part of the Wisconsin Union Theater’s Isthmus Jazz Series on April 8. Reeves rivals her idol, Vaughan, in virtuosity. She shapes…

The Talk

Dear Nikol, I’ve been watching your show and reading your stuff for years. I have two kids, and the oldest is about to be a teenager. I figured I would take your advice, and have always been open with them about sex, letting them know they should come to me if they have questions. The trouble is: they have never come to me. And on top of that, if I try to bring up anything sex related to them, they pull a disappearing act or cover their ears. So, I am totally willing to talk to them about sex. But…

Add On Style

  Vintageous Boutique If you know anything about me at all, you know I’m a sucker for a well-turned phrase, stuff that works, people who walk their talk, events that deliver, relationships that last, emotions that are sincere, or in the case of most of our chats, retailers who succeed because of their passion for what they sell. Case in point, Christine Walkeam, owner of Bay View’s Vintageous Boutique. Whether vintage fashionista or not, shoppers will find browsing through the store’s racks something akin to a veritable hands-on exploration of recent fashion history. Pairing her passion with a practiced collector’s…

Music Under the Glass

  The Domes This is the last week to hear live music and gaze at lasers under the Mitchell Park Domes (524 S. Layton Blvd.). Sponsored by the Milwaukee County Parks, the Music Under Glass series runs November-March and brings live music among lush foliage every Thursday. Catch The Britins, a Beatles Tribute Band this Thursday, March 31. The concerts run 6:30-8:30 p.m. But there’s more… Marvel at a light show at intermission and post-concert. While you are there, tour all three Domes and the rare and exotic plant life from every continent on earth.   Chasin’ Mason Reggae, Rock,…

Trend- Shorts with cowboy boots yee-HAW!

With “a little help from my friends” at the boutique I work at… I asked what trends they saw on a recent buying trip in Dallas, Texas. They shot off a list of the cliche’ big hair, big makeup, big tan… big big big. Then they refined the trend attention to something I thought was adorable: shorts are back, and they were wearing them with cowboy boots. I like this! It’s a bit innocent in a way, and real down home cute. I did a little research and these stars are rocking the look (they just so happen to be…

Eavesdropping on Media Cousins

  They say watching legislation being crafted is a bit like watching sausage being made. You could say as much for journalism. That’s what occurred when someone brought to our attention this exchange of tweets between Charlie Sykes of WTMJ-AM 620 and Dan Bice at the Journal Sentinel: SykesCharlie Charles Sykes I actually almost never hear from Jeff Stone’s campaign. No releases, no response to news stories. Oddly oassive [PressroomBuzz here: he means “Passive.” No copy editors in Twitter-land.] Probably not a good sign. Noquarterr Daniel Bice Interesting to see @SykesCharlie call Stone campaign “oddly passive.” Is he bailing a week before the…

The Anti-Social Network

I recently went to a presentation about the growing use social media in college courses. Confirming what I already suspected, Facebook and Twitter have taken over the lives of most college students (and maybe some adults, too). The presenter, someone with more than a decade of experience teaching with and researching social media emphasized the positive effects of using social media in her college courses. She indicated that creating a course “fan page” worked to build community, fostered spontaneous participation, and enhanced student learning. She cited several examples, including feedback from other instructors who have started using Facebook. Increased student…

Perks and Parties

Have you noticed the increase over the last few years of tempting store parties and promotions? Given current spending habits, smart retailers know it’s not so much about slashing prices (those they save for end-of-season clearances and holiday sales) as much as satisfying shoppers with a blend of bargains and fun-to-create, entertaining shopping experiences. Aided by the advent of email, Facebook and Twitter, independent retailers are able to find out exactly what their customers are looking for and create marketing, pricing and promotional plans to help them deliver it. As it costs about five times more to establish a new…

I’m Not a Pilot

  I’m Not a Pilot. Photo courtesy Caroline Jaecks. Call it a generational thing, but it seems like many 20- and 30-somethings today have a serious creative pursuit outside of their careers. Take, for instance, the band I’m Not a Pilot. It released its debut, full-length album this year, was both Radio Milwaukee’s “Band of Year” and the Shepherd Express’ “Best Rock Band” for 2010, and it just returned from a Midwest tour. But the members all have full-time jobs, not necessarily music related, to support the music pursuit. The members of I’m Not a Pilot are incredibly passionate about…

Does Schiller = Sherrod?

So last week the GOP-led House of Representatives voted to defund NPR, in a move that is all but certain to die in the Democratic Senate. The story isn’t really over though. James O’Keefe, the pimply-faced provocateur who engineered the sting that cost NPR CEO Vivian Schiller her job the week before last, has collected more than his share of scalps. His undercover scam on an Acorn office essentially helped drive that activist group out of business. And the sting on NPR’s (now ex-) fundraising guy, Ron Schiller, led to Vivian Schiller’s (no relation) forced resignation a day after it…