Hammock dreams

In Microtones, our newsletter-first column.

In Microtones, our newsletter-first column.

Everyone spends the tail end of winter—and we’re still in in it, even if this past Tuesday officially marked the first day of spring—looking forward to finally being able to finally get back to some specifically summer thing. We’re still a little ways off from packing up the puffy jackets, but next week we’re scheduled to break 50 degrees for two consecutive days! Erratic and cruel as Wisconsin weather can be, maybe it’s finally safe to start planning for the outdoorsy leisure thing of your choice. Maybe it’s backyard bonfires, cookouts, baseball games. Or swimming. For me, it’s finding a nice spot (preferably near some body of water) and stringing up a hammock in which I will catch up on some reading, drink a beer, or, what the hell, maybe just take a nap.

Now, you may be thinking, “Hey Chris, that sounds great, but I’m not one of those deep-pocketed so-and-so’s who can swing(!) a high priced portable camping hammock!” Well to you, dear reader, I say that they can be had for the cost of a Thursday night’s bar tab over on Amazon (or a little more than that if you wanna buy local at, say, Fontana).

Even with the dread emerald ash borer thinning the options, there is still an abundance of great spots to be had around town where you can stretch yourself out between two trees. The trick is getting the right balance of distance between trees and the circumference of the trees themselves. Too skinny, and you run the risk of sagging. Too thick, and you’re gonna use a lot of the tension straps just getting around them. I have had the best luck at the east side’s Orton Park and Yahara Place Park (the latter is where I found a nice spot in a tree that extends out over Lake Monona), but it’s hard to imagine that you’ll have much trouble getting comfy at any one of Madison’s wonderful system of parks and other such green spaces.

Wanna tell us what summer stuff you’re looking forward to? Sound off in an email, or send us a short audio clip using the voice memo function of your phone, and we’ll put some of the best ones at the end of an upcoming Tone Madison podcast.




John Wilde,
John Wilde,


John Wilde, “Muss es Sein? Es Muss Sein!” 1979-1981. Image courtesy Chazen Museum of Art.


New this week:

Reid Kurkerewicz reflects on the legacy of Wisconsin’s greatest painter, John Wilde.

Poet and performer Andy Gricevich visits our podcast to discuss his approach to writing and read aloud some of his work.

Madison band Drug Spider’s new live album captures some delicately textured instrumental rock and a bit of unfortunate hooting.

Bone up on the 2018 Wisconsin Film Festival’s notable filmmakers with this streaming guide.

Elsewhere on Madison internet: WUD Art’s upcoming comics symposium will include an art show from King-Cat Comics creator John Porcellino. Displaced jazz club Café Coda is eyeing yet another locationThe Capital Times reports. Touching The Singularity, a compilation project we wrote about earlier this year, is now available on Bandcamp. Also finally available: Love Wins, the latest album from pianist, composer, and UW-Madison jazz studies director Johannes Wallmann.

This week’s Madison calendar: Ali Siddiq at the Comedy Club on State, Educational Davis at The FrequencyZama at UW Cinematheque, Earth Wind & Fire at the Overture Center, Erica Eso at Mickey’s Tavernand more!

Help us publish more weird, questing, brilliant, feisty, “only on Tone Madison” stories


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