Monthly Archives: June 2017

Stand Up and Be Strong

Whoooo.  What a day.

The rain was gone, at least.  It was pretty humid though.  Also, it was Throwback Thursday, with bands aimed at old dudes like me playing in the afternoon, and half price beers until 6 PM.  Nothing like saving a buck on beer to bring Milwaukeeans out in force, so it got packed.  Felt like a 100,000 attendee day to me.

Funny day.  We saw all kinds of friends and people we knew, most of whom said they were wondering if they would see me.  Hmm.  Perhaps I have a habit…..

So we started by seeing a local band with a couple of friends in it, FS Camels.  I liked ’em, never really saw them 30 years ago  when they were mostly active.  so then, we went and saw a local act, the Salford Lads Club, who did Smiths covers and they were surprisingly good.

At that point, we called an audible and abandoned the plan to watch the Suburbs, to move down a couple of stages to see Fishbone.  Good choice!

The stage was packed for Soul Asylum, but mainly kids who I figure were there to reserve seats  for the later bands, whose names I did not even recognize.  KIDS THESE DAYS!!

Soul Asylum, of course were great.They’ve had a bumpy path; the drummer quit a while back, and they tapped New Orleans musician Michael Bland to fill in; then the bass player died, and Dave Pirner’s partner and alter ego, Dan Murphy decided to hang it up during the recording of a recent album.  Pirner was initially willing to release what they had, but Bland refused, saying that calling it quits was one thing, but releasing an unfinished album he refused to do.  It wound up being a really good album, too.

My only issue is that I apparently jinxed the show, by posting on Facebook about the above song, which they’ve played almost every time I’ve seen them.  BUT NOT TONIGHT.  Ahh, well.  they were still great.

Ran into some other friends, saw a couple of other bands, talked briefly to local musician Brian Wooldridge, and at that we called it a night.  Isn’t that enough?

NO IT IS NOT.  NOT ENOUGH. Zorg, the former Hell-Beast, was in attendance.  He was also in attendance yesterday.  FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, ZORG IS KEEPING EVEN WITH ME ON ATTENDANCE.  2 FOR 2.


Paleo shows up tomorrow and we do it all again.

A Drop Of Rain

Last night, was the time to take out the recycling.  On the way back in, I saw what I thought was dog poo on the sidewalk, then stopped.  Since when does dog poo have eyestalks?  It was a decent size slug, a full 5 inches long.  I realize that other places get larger ones, but that is unusual up here.  Gives you an idea how much rain we’ve been getting.

But today was Opening Day, and no goddam doctor was going to keep me from it, not this year.  Fuck, a heart attack only kept me away for one day; how much of a shit am I likely to give for lousy rain?

this song is kind of not really fully appropriate in the lyrical content, but DAMN if it is not just a gorgeous song.  Listen to that 12 string….

Opening Day, yes, and there is much to report, even if I left before the second wave of downpour came through.  Caught up with Zelmo, brief as it was, which is always good and he gets SO SO jealous, total jelly baby, when I talk about going for the Eleven-fecta.

Oh!  We also coined a new term!  See, the Outlaw music Festival is hitting the Fest on the final day at the big amphitheater – Bob Dylan, Sheryl Crow, Willie Nelson, Jason Isbell, Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real, My Morning Jacket.  It is a full day festival that is part of our Summer-festival, a music festival totally enclosed by another festival.  It is a Festi-ducken!

So, I walked the grounds to begin (beer in hand) to find that locals Lakefront Brewery has been reduced to a single beer stand!  Boo!  But, they have East Side Dark.  Yay!  Also, Leinenkugel’s has an acceptable anniversary beer, so I will cope.  I will cope.

The North Entry has been significantly improved, with the transit traffic improved, and pedestrian traffic made more direct so the walk to the gate seems half as long as it was.

The Miller Stage and the adjoining Marketplace has been remodeled to match the rest of the new construction, with viewing stands above, and a neo-industrial aesthetic.  The Summerfest merch store has received a long-overdue update, and looks kind of like a bright red Christmas present.

for the 50th Anniversary (did I mention that this is the 50th anniversary?  There is much commemorative merch available, and I just bet I will have some, yes it seems quite likely) they have had food vendors (almost all are local restaurants, no crappy festival food for us) include some specialty items.  I had two:  Bavarian pretzels at Water Street Brewery, which had an awesome beer cheer sauce, and Famous Dave’s new pulled chicken B-B-Q sandwich.  It’s no Hot Link, but it was good.

Music-wise, I played the Wave.  I listened to Queen being played at the BMO stage while I planned my afternoon, then caught perfectly serviceable heartland rock from Dave Fitzpatrick Band.  Then, I caught a band from Minneapolis (which was in the covered Johnson Controls stage, fortunate when the harder rain moved in) called Denim Matriarch, a metal/prog band that seemed a bit unusual for 3 PM on a weekday afternoon, but I liked ’em.  Pretty dumb name, though, guys.

After that was a pretty good EDM/Pop trio from Sweden called the Magnettes, two tiny tiny blondes in cheerleader uniforms and  a drummer doing propulsive and catchy dance-pop.  Until, that is, they completely slaughtered “Dancing In The Dark”.

At that point, Zelmo showed up, and the beer drinking started in earnest.  We went to the ever-entertaining and completely awesome Rebel Stage, run by Friend of Zombie Eoin McCarthy, guitar student of Van Morrison (really!) and leader of Whiskey Of The Damned, to see a few by the Atomic Spins, then back to the north end to catch a few from locals Eagle Trace.

At that point, Zelmo was going to turn into a pumpkin, and although I know this will come as a disappointment to friend mikey, I decided to follow the advice of my medical team, and not attend shows by the Moody Blues, the Spin Doctors, or Tesla, and got my ass home.  Not only was the really heavy weather still to come (scared the fraidy cat dog) but I have to make a couple of phone calls tomorrow.

Because the schedule for Thursday this week is an embarrassment of riches, and results in ridiculous conflicts that are nearly impossible to resolve.  If I really try, there’s an AC/DC cover band at noon, then the Belfast Cowboys.  Locals FS Camels, including a Friend of Zombie on lead guitar and a guest appearance by OTHER Friend of Zombie Scott Wooldridge. Then there’s a Smiths cover band, Salford Lads Club.  Fishbone is at 4 PM, which conflicts with the Suburbs.  Foghat is a distant third at that time slot, plus I don’t want to see them fall off their walkers.  I can’t even for Tommy Tutone.  The Church is somewhere in there (still bitter about them being prima donnas in the late 80s) and Berlin too.  Soul Asylum is at 5:30, and FUCK YOU I AM NOT GETTING OLD that my favorite bands are playing in the fucking afternoon.

IF WE REALLY get through all that, Brian Setzer has a rockabilly party at 9:30, or Peter Wolf, or Toto.

And then, somehow, I need to get up to welcome paleotectonics to Casa Zombie, and do it all over again on Friday.


No One Lives Forever

Summerfest is just a couple of weeks away, as of today.  FWIW, I cobbled together my schedule – although the available lineup listings do not have much time information, so I could only list the bands I am likely to see-….

If you check it out, this is the 50th anniversary of the Fest, and they are doing a pretty big deal.  They asked the food vendors to have something special to offer for the 50th…

And Mader’s came through, in a completely Wisconsin way.  With a beer battered Brat on a stick, and deep fried.

Also in the brat vein, see what Trinity Pub is offering:

Take a Usinger’s smoked sausage, put it on a stick, wrap it in spiral-sliced sweet potato and fry it. Then load it up with pimento cheese sauce, beer braised onions, chipotle ketchup and pickled peppers. You had me at “pimento cheese.”

My cardiologist just felt a huge disturbance in the Force.