Music, culture, and strong points of view.

Tone Madison is an independent website, podcastemail newsletter, and event series covering music and culture in Madison, Wisconsin.

Podcast: Pedal pubs are capital-B Bad

Podcast: Pedal pubs are capital-B Bad

Our classic essay on pedal pubs, now in audio form.

  Illustration by  Rachal Duggan .

Illustration by Rachal Duggan.

So now that it's officially spring, we're waiting for the weather to turn, and maybe thinking about all the nice outdoor things we enjoy in Madison in the spring and summer. Sidewalk cafes, bike rides, free outdoor concerts. But in Madison and many other cities, there is a dark side to the outdoors becoming hospitable again. I'm talking, of course, about pedal pubs. Those loud, clumsy, roving vehicles full of obnoxious drinkers that make their way up and down State Street and make the rounds of downtown bars.

One of the most popular pieces we've ever run on Tone Madison is an essay about pedal pubs by our contributor Chris Lay. Chris tries to get to the bottom of why these things bother him so much, and ends up uncovering some broader truths about the cultural direction that Madison is heading in. The essay initially ran in summer 2014 under the headline "My hatred of the pedal pub is deep and true." This week we're bringing you that piece in audio form, read in its entirety by the author. Give it a listen below.

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The specter of American violence in "Dark Night"

The specter of American violence in "Dark Night"

Madison calendar, March 30 through April 5

Madison calendar, March 30 through April 5

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