From Athens, of Montreal, and digging Madison


The psychedelic glam-pop act is pumped for the Majestic

The weird, sexy glitter circus known as of Montreal is rolling into Madison, a place where the band feels right at home.

“I like Madison. It’s a progressive town with a big college,” similar to the band’s native Athens, Georgia, says Kevin Barnes, of Montreal’s androgynous founder and driving force. “The Halloween show we had in Madison [in 2013] was epic.”

That’s quite a compliment coming from the the offbeat, artsy, psychedelic glam-pop act, famous for frenetic, rainbow-colored performances. The band plays the Majestic Theater on Sept. 20.

This year marks of Montreal’s 20th anniversary. The band’s had at least that many rotating members in those two decades, with Barnes being the sole constant. The band’s 13th record, Innocence Reaches, released in June, is an upbeat, rhythmic infusion of electronic dance music.

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Incubating artists and writers


Arts + Literature Laboratory has found its niche as a creative hub

At the Arts + Literature Laboratory, last night’s art show swiftly becomes the backdrop for tomorrow night’s reading series and next week’s concert.

For these reasons and more, Rita Mae Reese and Jolynne Roorda founded Arts + Literature Laboratory (ALL). The experimental, collaborative space opened in January and has since been packed to the gills with people attending multimedia exhibitions, theater and musical performances.

The nonprofit was recently awarded two local grants to further its mission: $2,885 from the Madison Arts Commission to fund ALL’s Professional Development Series for Writers, which includes monthly craft talks and write-ins, and a $960 grant from Dane Arts to help support a series of exhibitions by emerging Dane County artists and related professional development programs for visual artists.

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Soaring past obstacles


Violinist and songwriter Gaelynn Lea headlines Disability Pride Festival

Gaelynn Lea is a rising music star who happens to have a disability.

Ushered into the national spotlight in March, the Duluth resident beat out 6,100 entrants, including several from Madison, to win NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert Contest. The energetic 32-year-old is a classically trained violinist who, with the help of a middle school teacher, learned to hold her instrument like a cello to accommodate for effects of brittle bone disease, a congenital disorder that requires her to use a wheelchair.

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From trauma to joy


An exhibit at the Chazen Museum highlights experiences of people of color

Jay Katelansky was walking home from her Frances Street art studio about three years ago when she noticed a police officer trailing her. Newly arrived in Madison from New Jersey, with iPhone in one hand and groceries in the other, she stopped to ask why. The officer said she matched the description of a woman who was reportedly begging for money in the area. She said it was a case of mistaken identity, but the officer did not believe her. He offered to drive her to a women’s shelter.

“I had to explain my existence, and that’s something that will always happen,” says Katelanksy, who recently won the 2016 Chazen Museum Prize for an Outstanding MFA Student. “I don’t know one person of color that isn’t depressed here.”

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