These Days Are Numbered

Jeepers, you can’t let Summerfest get behind you, or suddenly you are stuck on the couch late at night with a Kooba Zombre; watching a Clash doc and trying to catch up.  Writing deadlines are as much of a bitch as architect deadlines.

Sunday.  Fucking lawn looking like a hayfield with special doggy landmines scattered throughout, and a fucking rendering company waiting for updated 3D models.  So I picked up dog shit, mowed, and sat down to get the other crap done, and although I had optimistically thought 4 or 5 PM for time of departure, we made it before 6.  Yeah, whatever.

After catching some food items, we also caught a decent local power-poppish band called Living Statues.  Young but energetic and with loads of potential, and playing for a crowd that was starting to fill in for Kitten and later, The Neighborhood.  We went ‘meh’ and after meeting Zelmo, moved on.

Saw some other friends, and then moved on to be pretty un-moved by the updated barf’n’boogie of The Wild Feathers, so we got more beer and sat on the rocks for a while.


In the background there is the BEEMO Bankster stage, with Bad Boy winding down and  38 Special trying to figure out the chords to their old hits.  mikey be disappoint, but we were not tempted at all.

I wanted to catch The Head And The Heart, ever since someone turned me on to their first single and I was either too poor or too busy to catch their previous two stops in town at Turner Hall and the Riverside.  But here’s a great video that has some Milwaukee content from the Turner Hall show:

I laughed at the stage setting; it was like they started setting up their instruments from stage left, and filling to the right.  And there was a big blank spot on stage right.  Like they hadn’t figured out how to fill up a bigger stage yet.  And the band admittted that they had to figure out how many full band songs they could work up, as they had to play a headlining set for a large crowd at a large festival.

But the band rose to the occasion, I think; the crowd was pretty full (and none of the youngsters would offer us elderly folks their seats and they wouldn’t get off my fucking lawn either) and the youngs liked em and so did the olds.  Yeah they had a bit of a hippieish vibe, but they also had a groove and were tight and professional and made sure the crowd enjoyed themselves.  I think they are what Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros SHOULD be.  The new material shows an evolving mastery of instrumentation and dynamics, and the show they put on… well, it made us happy.  Zelmo in particular liked this song:

Yeah, it’s got that modern hippie vibe, but the band is SO GOOD at song writing, and  after a mere two albums, they are developing a real command of musical dynamics and give and take between three singers.  They seemed to be  a bit nonplussed at the size of the crowd, and were as adorably inept at stage patter as Genesis was after Peter Gabriel left.

Zelmo had to leave early; but when he asked us if we were coming down tomorrow (the Blank Monday) we traded increasingly unlikely bands we would be coming down on to see – BOC, the Mekons, Genesis, REM, and then talking about reaching through the gates for beers until he finally caught up.  It was much fun, it was.

And you know what?  Food, drink, friends and just a general rollicking good time – that is what Summerfest is about.

Well, that and a righteous sunburn to remind you that winter is not forever.




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