Song Fight! Live 2019: Location

All about the next annual live event. Are you coming?. Discuss travel & lodging. Recruit band members, discuss equipment, setlists, etc.
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Re: Song Fight! Live 2019 Location

Post by owl » Wed May 22, 2019 7:56 pm

As far as hotels, I've had guests who have loved this B&B and I can attest to the view being amazing. When I got married, we sent our wedding guests here, which is right on the square, a couple of blocks from the Rigby, and it seemed fine. There are a lot of hotels in the area, and I'm not aware of any to avoid; personally, I'd just recommend staying downtown for ease of transportation. Or in one of the other walkable neighborhoods, which include Williamson (Willy) Street and Atwood on the East side (these are the more bohemian/hippie neighborhoods), and Monroe Street on the West side (more bourgeois) and then you can bike/bus/Lyft/drive/walk to downtown.

I usually just take a taxi from the Madison airport (Badger Cab and Union Cab are a couple of the more affordable options, I think)--it's not super far, just about 5 miles/a 15-minute drive from downtown. My husband has also taken the regular city bus from the airport, which I can't personally vouch for, but he says it's very easy and cheap! Some of the hotels have courtesy shuttles. (I think Lyft/Uber aren't allowed to pick up from the airport, but I could be wrong, I've never tried it.)

Once you're downtown, most things are accessible via taxi/Lyft/Uber, biking (we have those hourly rental station things), or walking. Or bus, if you need to hop neighborhoods. Or motorcycle, if you're Pigfarmer Jr.

A car will make it easier to access some of the things I mentioned, like the Arboretum or the zoo, but probably actually harder to access others, like most things in the State Street area, which will require a lot of annoying driving in circles trying to navigate one-way streets and find parking.
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Re: Song Fight! Live 2019 Location

Post by owl » Wed May 22, 2019 8:17 pm

The mustard museum! How could I forget! (It's more of a mustard store but it is still a delightful attraction)

If we're adding things as far outside of town as APT (which I agree is really wonderful), The House on the Rock is COMPLETELY INSANE in the best way, and I recommend it to everyone who I think will appreciate it. I bet you all would. (It features in Neil Gaiman's American Gods!) I don't even know how to describe it... it's kind of like taking a walk for a couple of hours through someone's dream? It is my #1 recommendation for local attractions in the general Madison area.

You can also go see Taliesin, Frank Lloyd Wright's home, where his whole family was murdered. It's famous, but I don't really recommend it to people unless they're really huge architecture buffs. It's very expensive and underwhelming.

And yes, experiences are good. I recommend we all go have some drinks on the Terrace. We could also do a rooftop thing like Eno Vino or The Graduate, and/or the Edgewater, which is right on the water and is really gorgeous.

If people like video games, there's a newish arcade bar that has a Killer Queen cabinet that I know people are generally excited about.

Paddleboarding is fun, as Mike mentioned--there are also boat rentals at a couple of different lakefront spots (kayaks, canoes, paddleboats) and swimming if you're not afraid of seaweed and algae and dead fish.

If two nights of Songfight Live isn't enough singing, this is my favorite karaoke bar. It's in a Middle Eastern restaurant/hookah lounge/belly dancing place/gay bar in the middle of a trailer park on top of a hill at the edge of town.

We also have an axe-throwing place. I haven't been there yet, but that could be fun, depending on how mad I am at you all after the next batch of Nur Ein reviews ;)
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Re: Song Fight! Live 2019 Location

Post by grumpymike » Wed May 22, 2019 8:28 pm

owl wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 8:17 pm
If two nights of Songfight Live isn't enough singing, this is my favorite karaoke bar. It's in a Middle Eastern restaurant/hookah lounge/belly dancing place/gay bar in the middle of a trailer park on top of a hill at the edge of town.
STOP. THE. PRESSES. I PROBABLY HAVE SEEN YOU BEFORE. Ben used to host there!!!

Unfortunately this crowd doesn't love karaoke. Or at least they didn't when I forced them to in Austin. They may have not forgiven me since then.
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Re: Song Fight! Live 2019 Location

Post by grumpymike » Wed May 22, 2019 8:37 pm

owl wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 8:17 pm
The mustard museum! How could I forget! (It's more of a mustard store but it is still a delightful attraction)
It's about the most touristy thing I can think of, short of doing a day trip to the Dells. I've actually never been there. Going there and hitting up Capitol Brewery next door afterword might be fun.
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Re: Song Fight! Live 2019 Location

Post by fluffy » Wed May 22, 2019 8:40 pm

grumpymike wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 8:28 pm
owl wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 8:17 pm
If two nights of Songfight Live isn't enough singing, this is my favorite karaoke bar. It's in a Middle Eastern restaurant/hookah lounge/belly dancing place/gay bar in the middle of a trailer park on top of a hill at the edge of town.
STOP. THE. PRESSES. I PROBABLY HAVE SEEN YOU BEFORE. Ben used to host there!!!

Unfortunately this crowd doesn't love karaoke. Or at least they didn't when I forced them to in Austin. They may have not forgiven me since then.
exCUSE me? I absolutely love the fuck out of karaoke
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Re: Song Fight! Live 2019 Location

Post by grumpymike » Wed May 22, 2019 8:48 pm

fluffy wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 8:40 pm
exCUSE me? I absolutely love the fuck out of karaoke
Well, I’m always game if we have the time and buy-in. I would say this place isn’t exactly the best characterization of Madison, but I suppose it also kind of is, in a way.
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Re: Song Fight! Live 2019 Location

Post by owl » Wed May 22, 2019 9:02 pm

grumpymike wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 8:28 pm
owl wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 8:17 pm
If two nights of Songfight Live isn't enough singing, this is my favorite karaoke bar. It's in a Middle Eastern restaurant/hookah lounge/belly dancing place/gay bar in the middle of a trailer park on top of a hill at the edge of town.
STOP. THE. PRESSES. I PROBABLY HAVE SEEN YOU BEFORE. Ben used to host there!!!

Unfortunately this crowd doesn't love karaoke. Or at least they didn't when I forced them to in Austin. They may have not forgiven me since then.
Ha!! Yes, it's entirely possible! Although it's not like I'm there every night or anything. What does Ben look like? I want to see if I recognize him!
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Re: Song Fight! Live 2019 Location

Post by bennyharv3 » Thu May 23, 2019 4:36 am

owl wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 9:02 pm
grumpymike wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 8:28 pm
owl wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 8:17 pm
If two nights of Songfight Live isn't enough singing, this is my favorite karaoke bar. It's in a Middle Eastern restaurant/hookah lounge/belly dancing place/gay bar in the middle of a trailer park on top of a hill at the edge of town.
STOP. THE. PRESSES. I PROBABLY HAVE SEEN YOU BEFORE. Ben used to host there!!!

Unfortunately this crowd doesn't love karaoke. Or at least they didn't when I forced them to in Austin. They may have not forgiven me since then.
Ha!! Yes, it's entirely possible! Although it's not like I'm there every night or anything. What does Ben look like? I want to see if I recognize him!
I sadly don't go there anymore, but I was a karaoke host for about 3 years before I moved to NYC, from 2014 to the end of 2017. I miss that place so much! You can see my face over here https://twitter.com/bennyharv3. The regulars still know me, and I am usually known as the guy who sings Dream On.
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Re: Song Fight! Live 2019 Location

Post by owl » Thu May 23, 2019 5:21 am

bennyharv3 wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 4:36 am
I sadly don't go there anymore, but I was a karaoke host for about 3 years before I moved to NYC, from 2014 to the end of 2017. I miss that place so much! You can see my face over here https://twitter.com/bennyharv3. The regulars still know me, and I am usually known as the guy who sings Dream On.
Hmm. You don't look familiar but that doesn't mean we didn't cross paths there at some point :) I bet you know my friend Erin S though, who used to host there too?

So are you coming back to visit for SF Live?
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Re: Song Fight! Live 2019 Location

Post by bennyharv3 » Thu May 23, 2019 5:41 am

owl wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 5:21 am
bennyharv3 wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 4:36 am
I sadly don't go there anymore, but I was a karaoke host for about 3 years before I moved to NYC, from 2014 to the end of 2017. I miss that place so much! You can see my face over here https://twitter.com/bennyharv3. The regulars still know me, and I am usually known as the guy who sings Dream On.
Hmm. You don't look familiar but that doesn't mean we didn't cross paths there at some point :) I bet you know my friend Erin S though, who used to host there too?

So are you coming back to visit for SF Live?
Uh, yeah I do! I'm why she started hosting! I miss that girl.

I will not be there this year. My wife and I are traveling through Italy all of July, so I can't spring for a trip right after that. Say hi to the hookah for me, though!
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Re: Song Fight! Live 2019 Location

Post by frankie big face » Thu May 23, 2019 5:43 am

Mike, if you ever make it to Lancaster, I will show you my office. You can help me sort some music and grade a few papers.
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Re: Song Fight! Live 2019 Location

Post by frankie big face » Thu May 23, 2019 5:49 am

BTW, I have been to Madison and it is a charming little city. I don't think of it as a tourist attraction - just enjoy the vibe. (Maybe I'm wrong about this - happy to be shown otherwise!) If you want tourism, rent a car and head to Chicago, I say. (Is there a train? That would be even better. Chicago traffic sucks.) I think when I was in Madison, I toured the capital (BIG!), went to a movie in an old theater maybe? (could have been Milwaukee) and walked around down in a college-y area where there was a lot of activity and beer. I had a very nice time for just being alone and killing time on my way to somewhere else. I'm looking forward to coming back!
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Re: Song Fight! Live 2019 Location

Post by ken » Thu May 23, 2019 8:47 am

grumpymike wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 7:40 pm
I don't want to oversell it, because it's a bunch of office buildings, but they're office buildings that look like Disney World on the outside, so it's probably the only place you'll see something quite like it.
Also on the inside!

Now I want to go to the Mustard Museum. Who wants to go on Saturday?!?!

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Re: Song Fight! Live 2019 Location

Post by ken » Thu May 23, 2019 9:35 am

How's the brunch at the Rigby? I see that they have a Beatles Brunch every Saturday and Sunday 10-2. Beatles Music Videos, Bottomless Mimosas, Bloody Mary Bar.
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Re: Song Fight! Live 2019 Location

Post by owl » Thu May 23, 2019 9:57 am

bennyharv3 wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 5:41 am
Uh, yeah I do! I'm why she started hosting! I miss that girl.

I will not be there this year. My wife and I are traveling through Italy all of July, so I can't spring for a trip right after that. Say hi to the hookah for me, though!
haha, how awesome that you're the one who got her into karaoke hosting! Small world. She went to college with some good friends of mine.

Where are you going in Italy? I lived there for a bit.
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Re: Song Fight! Live 2019 Location

Post by owl » Thu May 23, 2019 10:05 am

ken wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 9:35 am
How's the brunch at the Rigby? I see that they have a Beatles Brunch every Saturday and Sunday 10-2. Beatles Music Videos, Bottomless Mimosas, Bloody Mary Bar.
I haven't tried their brunch yet, but if I get a chance to before August, I'll report back! Keep in mind though that dinner will probably be at the Rigby unless people are wandering in and out of the event, so it might be more fun to try a different place for another meal, just for variety. There are lots of brunch places around the area--Heritage Tavern is a nice one. Graze is fantastic. There's a secret room in the back at Cooper's Tavern that we could snag with enough people.
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Re: Song Fight! Live 2019 Location

Post by bennyharv3 » Thu May 23, 2019 2:30 pm

owl wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 9:57 am

haha, how awesome that you're the one who got her into karaoke hosting! Small world. She went to college with some good friends of mine.

Where are you going in Italy? I lived there for a bit.
Northern Italy stuff. Venice, Milan, and a couple other spots that I forget. My wife is doing all the planning because she's more passionate about where to go, and we have to be in some small village for a wedding in the middle somewhere.

I'm a detail-oriented person, obviously :mrgreen:

Where were you in Italy? Any places I have to see?
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Re: Song Fight! Live 2019 Location

Post by owl » Thu May 23, 2019 9:01 pm

bennyharv3 wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 2:30 pm
Northern Italy stuff. Venice, Milan, and a couple other spots that I forget. My wife is doing all the planning because she's more passionate about where to go, and we have to be in some small village for a wedding in the middle somewhere.

I'm a detail-oriented person, obviously :mrgreen:

Where were you in Italy? Any places I have to see?
I lived in Venice. Definitely go see it :) The absolute best thing to do there is just go and get lost and wander around as much as possible! The whole historic center is ancient and beautiful, so you won't go wrong just diving into twisty little side streets until you have no idea where you are... there aren't really any ugly or bad neighborhoods.

Take a boat or two (the water bus or traghetto are cheapish and the water bus that goes down the Grand Canal is a great way to see a lot of beautiful buildings the way they were meant to be seen; gondolas are ridiculously expensive but hey, you're on vacation, it's probably worth springing for one. I believe prices are now standardized and regulated. The traghetti are gondola ferries--they're also gondolas rowed by gondoliers, but they are strictly utilitarian, a service for people to cross the Grand Canal at points between the 4 main bridges. So you can pay like 1 Euro and get on a gondola for 2 minutes while someone rows you across and then you can say you were on a gondola.)

Also, I think you'll be there during the Venice Biennale, so go see some influential modern art alongside the ancient treasures.

The Guggenheim and the Accademia are great museums. Look at all the little treasures in the artisan boutiques (I love this one).

If you have time, take a boat out to Murano and Burano and the farther islands and explore (Burano is definitely worth the trip IMO. Small village vibes, colorful houses, artisan lacemaking).

Feed some pigeons in St. Mark's Square, it's the touristy thing to do.

Go to the Rialto fish market and look at weird fishes (canoce aka mantis shrimp aka cannocchie are crazy-looking! and not a common seafood in the US) and interesting vegetables (check out the guys trimming artichokes at top speed with a paring knife) and the horse butcher.

Eat some weird seafood (people recommend this place). Wander around one evening and do a bar crawl to get cicchetti (small plates of bar food). Venetian food is honestly not my favorite in Italy, it's mostly kind of weird, but if you want some specialties, you can try sarde in saor (sweet and sour sardines), fegato alla veneziana (liver and onions), risi e bisi (rice and peas), bigoi in salsa (hollow spaghetti aka bucatini in an anchovy sauce), and baicoli (a traditional crunchy rusk-style cookie). Get a Spritz, it's the unofficial city cocktail. Drink some prosecco.

If you want to hire a tour guide, call my friend Francesco, we were conversation partners when I lived there and he's very nice, and was born and raised in Venice so he knows the city inside and out.

Cinque Terre is my other Northern Italy favorite destination! Go there if you can and hike between the villages--it's just gorgeous. If you can go on a weekday it should be less crowded than the weekends, when it's jam-packed with Italian tourists along with foreigners.

Edit: oh and how could I forget, go see an opera at La Fenice!

Sorry this thread is now 99% Owl's Rough Guide to Everywhere On The Planet.
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Re: Song Fight! Live 2019 Location

Post by fluffy » Thu May 23, 2019 10:08 pm

Yeah I know I’m not the best about this myself but could we please try to keep it on-topic to Song Fight! Live? Thanks.
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Re: Song Fight! Live 2019 Location

Post by Caravan Ray » Sun May 26, 2019 3:43 am

fluffy wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 8:40 pm
grumpymike wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 8:28 pm
owl wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 8:17 pm
If two nights of Songfight Live isn't enough singing, this is my favorite karaoke bar. It's in a Middle Eastern restaurant/hookah lounge/belly dancing place/gay bar in the middle of a trailer park on top of a hill at the edge of town.
STOP. THE. PRESSES. I PROBABLY HAVE SEEN YOU BEFORE. Ben used to host there!!!

Unfortunately this crowd doesn't love karaoke. Or at least they didn't when I forced them to in Austin. They may have not forgiven me since then.
exCUSE me? I absolutely love the fuck out of karaoke
I am the king of karaoke
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Re: Song Fight! Live 2019 Location

Post by grumpymike » Mon May 27, 2019 9:47 am

I’m getting word that hotels are expensive/booked. How are people doing with accommodations so far?
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Re: Song Fight! Live 2019 Location

Post by ken » Mon May 27, 2019 9:22 pm

Flights purchased. I will be there Friday afternoon and leaving early Sunday.

All the hotels are booked. Is there something else going on that weekend?
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