Monthly Archives: June 2012

Music For Fine Dining

From Yesterday:

I can’t figure out why Desnoes & Geddes hasn’t called these guys yet.  That song is WAY better than those lame “Hooray, Beer” commercials.

Title Lonk

Off to do robots now.

Serious Bedtime

Ok, OK, I went a day without posting, I get it.

It does seem to me that the obvious solution is for everyone to come up here, so we can meatspace-blog Summerfest.  That way y’all can experience it as it happens!

But really, here’s the thing.  We were there WAY late on Thursday night, closed the damn thing, and then I got up WAY early this AM to get some Klark Kent obligations out of the way, taking until 1 PM or so; at which point I ramped through the ‘shit shower and shave’ routine, and we headed down again.  It’s a Man’s life spending every day at Summerfest!

From the vantage point of Wednesday, Thursday looked….difficult.  The weather droids were predicting appalling heat and scaring the bejeezis out of everybody with dire heat-stroke warnings, so Wife Sublime even planned on opting out and I didn’t even plan to go down until late afternoon.  I was determined to see the Balconies at a minimum, and by waiting I could avoid a parking fee by using the building lot of one of my clients.  And by 4:30…hey!  The weather is actually not too bad!  And teh temp dropped another 3 or 4 degrees by the time I got to the Third Ward (cooler near the Lake yanno).  And once in the grounds there was a decent wind from the lake, so even though humid it was not bad at all.

So I met Zorg-elmo (2 days in a row! amazing.) and we did, indeed watch the Balconies and they were amazing.  I got the lead singer to sign the latest EP (the “Kill Count” from the prior post) and got my picture taken with her; I am like 7 times her size.

While talking to the Merch guy:

“we need to sell this stuff to afford to go back to Toronto”

“Hey, you don’t have to go back to Toronto on OUR account.  Stay here and play some more shows”

“uh, yeah, we have jobs and shit we need to get back to”

“Oh, JOBS, sure.  I forgot you were from Canada, where people still have those.”


After all that, Wife Sublime decided to join us, and we wandered around a bit, ate some unhealthy food and sat in a nice little patio at the new BMO Pavilion stage.  Architecturally, there is a lot to like about it, but the real drama starts at night:

Ben Folds played there later.  Let me tell you something about Ben Folds:  It’s hard to be a dynamic front man when your instrument weighs a half ton.  Suffice to say, it wasn’t working for us, so we bailed.

And wound up watching the Promise Ring, local boys who didn’t quite make good. In fact, Wife Sublime works with one of them.  But they have been doing some gigs, even though they don’t have records or merch or anything. It’s like they do it because they love making music or something.

And that shines through. The band was energetic, warm and polished, playing for a small crowd and enthusiastic about it anyway.  Basically, they made Ben Folds look like shit.

As great as all of that was, something even more incredible went on that night.

Zelmo started the day by hating the new Pavilion, hating change, and by the end of the night, after enjoying the pleasant breeze there, the spectacular lighting, and the acoustics, was pleased with the addition; further, after we discussed how the Promise Ring didn’t quite hit the big time, he conceded that pigeonholing bands was perhaps not desirable.

We all thought the Promise Ring was superb, and we regretted never having seen them before (although as I consider, I suspect we may have seen some a show at Summerfest at some point; “Emergency Emergency” sounds AWFUL familiar.

Gotta go hit the sack.  Early time tomorrow, with much robot content, and some good bands later.  Bizzy bizzy day…..

Like Teenage Gravity

Wow, it’s hot today.  Summerfest is allowing people to bring in their own water; I don’t recall them ever doing  that before.

Or bring in a camelback, to be filled at the fountains (and does anybody besides me think that some creative drunk will be filling one with beer?).  Image below for Wife Sublime, who did not know what a camelback is:

I really do want to go tonight to see the Balconies, a Canuck power-poppy band that D-KW turned me onto.  Braving the heat may be necessary; perhaps it will keep the crowds down a bit; last night seemed to be quite a busy Opening Night.

Here’s a rocker from the Balconies:

If I last, there’s Ben Folds or the Promise Ring later; Wife Sublime tells me that she works with one of the guys from Promise Ring, who have re-formed and are touring a little bit once again.

One down, second on deck, 9 to go.

Here We Go Again

Title Lonk

Day One.  My first beer did not last long enough to get a photo:


OK, Lots of initial impressions.  First and most important, the Leinie Festweizen is a serviceable weiss beer, if you like weiss beers.  Which I do not.  Don’t get me wrong, I will not turn my nose up at a good weiss beer like I will at Budweiser swill, but it’s not my gig.  Especially when teh ABV  is only like 4.5.

Also, there is a full service bar, so my prior complaining to mikey about unavailability of rum is inoperative.  Yet to be determined is whether Sailor Jerry is on duty, and the cost.

Contrary to Jennifer’s dire warnings, the 90 degree temps were effing lovely, and the breeze varied from SE to SW, so there was an occasional nice cooling breeze from the lake.  AND, as I had predicted, there were MANY VENDORS in convenient locations with refreshing beverages on hand.  IN all, a well planned kerfuffle!

I did not get there as early as I have in the past.  After many other things attended to, I found a relatively affordable parking space, and halfway to the gate, realized that I had forgotten my 11-day pass FUCK FUCK FUCK.  being left with crappy choices, I elected to pay for a ticket at the door, which was at least discounted to 9 bucks before 4 PM.  As one of my bat-painting friends will say, ONWARD (bats show up later also.  it’s kind of a theme).

Oh hey, here’s a beer.  So then I texted Zorg at his day job, because taunting him is one of my only remaining joys in life.  Yes, I am an asshole.  I caught locals 10 Paces, Fire at the Cascio stage, and a bit of Nathanielf Rateliff.  Verdict:  The local boys show promise, and Rateliff was good, but maybe did not come across well in S-Fest land.  Hey, look, here’s another beer.

OK, band break and time to wander a bit.  yes, the Refugee stage is operational.  I was worried because I could not find much in the way of web presence.  BUT NEVER FEAR, there they are, acoustic guitars and hula-hooping hippie girls and everything!

The BMO stage is pretty nicely done, and I was VERY SATISFIED on a professional level to see the planners finally used a bit of topography to make sightlines work better, so when you approach, you walk p a rise and then descend again to the seating areas.  We have yet to see how the actual shows work out, and might actually not do so until later this year when Elvis (not the fat dead one) plays there, because the lineup for Summerfest at this stage SUCKS DINGLEBALLS.  Not even a cursory appearance by BOC, what the fuck?  [ although I admit I like the curvy canopies.  One of my clients is always disappointed when I design something that doesn’t have a gratuitous sexy curve].

So: then I walked on back, pestering clients for money via email and text, and continuing to harass Zorg-elmo.  Saw a couple of people I knew and chatted, because that is S-Fest, you know?

And wound up back at the Emerging Artist stage for the Fruit Bats.  Now, these dudes are from Chicago, but you can’t hold that against them, they’re actually pretty good.  In a neo-folk-alt vein, anyway, they pulled their rockier stuff for the afternoon festival show.

After that, a Milwaukee Geek-rock band called the Fatty Acids played, and they had a crappy mix.  I respected the use of a percussionist, geeky keyboards, and a trumpet, but it didn’t come across in this venue, we wound up talking with Zorg-elmo and others, (when fully counted, it was SEVEN. SEVEN!  the Rule of Six doomed it from the start.) They moved on to find some fried foods, and a tremendously entertaining combo named Ready Goes played, which to me sounded like Loverboy filtered through a 90’s alt-rock filter, and yes that sounded just fucking fine, it did.

After that, we moved on down the grounds, people watching, drinking beer and talking, and eventually going through the Summerfest Swag Store where Wife Sublime passed on the cowboy hat (which I and the clerks all thought was quite fetching on her melon) and opting for a nice graphic shirt, novelty Summerfest sunglasses, and, once I demonstrated the special properties, a flexible rubber Summerfest Shot Glass.  When combined with the Free Hot Lunch glow-in-the-dark shot glass, we really are prepared to drink shots in nearly any conditions.

Young Zombie was down there separately, and at last sighting, was walking away from his painfully uncool parents as fast as possible.  Reports were that he planned to hang out for Lupe Fiasco; I intend to beat him severely if he spent any time whatsoever at the Steve Miller Band episode.

It appears that I missed a spot or two with sunscreen;  the back of my hands are turning a lovely shade of pink.  I am well and fairly drunk, and my feet hurt a bit; there is a mild ringing in my ears.  I had my first Famous Dave’s Hot link and tomorrow looks to be hot and the Balconies are playing. It is Summerfest, yes it is.

Please Stand By


So of course, there’s a work crisis that needs some attention.  So Zelmo may have to open the gates without me (that’s snark, btw.  Zelmo probably hasn’t even picked the lock on his neck chain yet.)


See you there, right?


Title Lonk.  Milwaukee band from the days.



After 30 years the db’s released a superb album.


Unfortunately, it seems they will not stop by Summerfest.   Dang.

Here Come The Warm Jets

The Big Board at the Big Gig has been filled out, so I’ve got much more of my schedule in mix, check out the Dailies and make your plans accordingly.


Annual faves like Tony Memmel and Something To Do are now on the list.