Monthly Archives: July 2017

4th of July

Saw X recently, and finally; and Billy Zoom was with them.

Yes, it’s the 4th of July, and the kids are setting off firecrackers outside.  The City fireworks were last night, and local fireworks are tonight; the Gordon Park fireworks are very loud here, and the whole thing has Lucifer so desperate for succor that she is cowering at my feet.  I console her as best I can, then get a new drink.  It is, after all, the 4th of July….

The 3rd of July, yesterday, was Monday Gap Day at Summerfest, the Saddest Day of Summerfest.  Also, gives them a chance to clean the puke off the grounds and hose down the toilets.  I spent  the day mowing the lawn, then putting in some hours in the office, bookkeeping and doing some invoices, and then sat on the deck listening to my new music and drinking the whiskey Paleo did not.

Side note to Paleo:  2 Gingers, for a year or two, sponsored Whiskey Of The Damned.  I would be embarrassed about not remembering this, but I was drinking.

Today, there was one band in mid afternoon that I would have seen if I was already there, and one headliner that I felt the same way.  But that was a lot of commitment for middling results.  So, as disappointing it will be to the ZORG-Zelmo alliance (who, of course, struggles to make more than two festival days) we decided that discretion was the better part of Summerfest.

I stayed in, did some work on a project, and catching up on updating this blog.

Bad news for the ZORG/Zelmo axis:  Wednesday this week looks like a weak draw from  my POV as well, so while I may go down for lunch, it looks like a mid-Fest day in the office.  The tribulations of being a Sole Practitioner!


Art for Art’s Sake

On Sunday, we tried for lunch at Pizza Man, a perennial favorite but this was the second time in the last two tries that we had abysmal service for brunch.  Although last time it was like two hours, this time we got served in a brisk 45 minutes.  Sheesh. Dropping rapidly down our list of favorites.

But a downpour occurred and rain was going to be off and on all day.  So we called an audible and acted on another Paleo desire, to visit the Milwaukee Art Museum.  Towards the end of our visit, Paleo exclaimed “THIS. PLACE. IS. AWESOME!!!”  It sure is, buddy.  It sure is.

There were many good bands this day, including local faves the Whiskeybelles, but the on again-off again rain kept us away and we sent Paleo home in acceptable shape.  Lucy, the orange, leaky-ass dog misses him already.

Also, we missed Friends of Zombie King Solomon, and Ziggy Marley.  When younger, we certainly wouldn’t have cared; but this body has seen a lot.  In fact, the commemorative 50th anniversary t-shirt I bought says “this is what happens when you party for 50 years!”


Fizzy Fuzzy Big And Buzzy

Paleo opened the Saturday by pronouncing “I am invoking Guest Privileges to insist that we see Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, or there will be trouble….”  Since I was on the same page, we had no trouble.

We had a fine breakfast at Ma Fischers, local greasy spoon institution, and then, it was time once again.  The day was warm and beautiful, and as ever, the Emerging Artists series did us right, with an early set by Madison bluegrass outfit Wheelhouse. They sold me with a song called “No Hockey in Milwaukee (but a girl in St. Paul), which regrettably is not recorded yet.  The singer hit me with the hard sell:  “10 bucks for one CD, all three for 20, which goes to record that song!”  Guess what I did. Also, Wheelhouse has their own whiskey.  No, really.  This is Wisconsin; we are serious about our drinking….

The following act was Chicago’s Humphrey-McKeown, which impressed Paleo, and they were giving their CD away.  They don’t have their own booze, though.  However, at this time, the Vikings landed:


Paleo insists that his tattoo says “Bite me”.  I wasn’t going to look at his ass to confirm.

We watched Milwaukee locals Zach Pietrini Band for a while, but they didn’t really do anything for any of us, so it was guilty pleasure time; moving north 2 stages to see John Waite.  Yes, THAT John Waite.

Since seeing his name in the lineup, I had been singing “Missing You” to myself occasionally, and the previous night I heard Wife Sublime listening to music previews on the Summerfest App, and since then the damn ear worm had latched itself on my cerebellum like that creature that crawled into Chekov’s ear in the Wrath of Khan.

But what I didn’t expect was just how MANY of his songs we knew.  We had a swell time, sang and danced along; he was still in great form and we waited for the middle age white women to leave after he was done.  Because next up on the stage was RCPM, and this was our mission.

As blog friend mikey will tell you, Roger Clyne is pretty awesome and this tour was in celebration of the anniversary of “Fizzy Buzzy Big and Buzzy”. And he was excellent, and the music was fun.  That is until this dickwad showed up and climbed on the bleachers to stand in front of me.  This was my view for most of the show:


Text exchange with Snag:

If I punch the guy standing in front of me in his fucking melon, will you defend me?
That’s a massive head.  As your lawyer, I advise you to punch it.

To make matters worse, he and his friends were dropping all their empties on the ground at their feet.  OF COURSE they were all light beers:


I feel certain that Big Melon Dude is a FIB.  Paleo sums up my feelings perfectly:


Anyway, we still enjoyed RCPM quite a bit.  We bought CDs, then hung out at the merch tent, because the only thing cooler would have been getting a picture with me, Paleo and Roger for mikey; but Roger never came out.  We got some food, then realized that if we scampered, we could get to the liquor store and then sit on our deck drinking whiskey and shooting the shit.  Which we then did.


Paleo hit the sheets and I did a blog post.

Another Day Dead

One thing I’ll say about Paleo, his timing estimates are spot-on.  He said he planned on being here at 1 PM, he texted from I-94 that GPS said 12:55, and he rang our doorbell are 12:57.  I will allow him the two minutes walking from where he parked to our front door.

So we got Friend Paleo situated in Domicile Zombie, and headed right the hell down. We caught some noms, and started talking.  Paleo pulled the trigger on the first round of beers.  I knew there was a reason I liked this man; I mean, other than he is a bleeding heart liberal union tradesman with pretty fucking damn good musical taste, who also has a Good Dog.

We walked the grounds for a bit, and I talked about the changes to the grounds since last time he visited.  Pointed out all the places I’ve seen amazing shows by amazing bands, and the best places to pee and get beers, in whatever order you’d like.  We walked by an interesting sounding band called Hell On Heels (great name!)  from Germany, but they were…umm, OK.

At this point, and after 4 days of use in-field, I have to say that they got the Summerfest App right in a usable way.  It allows you to review the schedule in a couple of different ways, customize selections for your personal selections, and view what is playing RIGHT NOW, as well as all kinds of other information when you need and want.  And delivery times are good, even when the grounds are filled with 100,000 of your best friends.  IN prior years, my first stop upon entering the grounds was to pick  up the daily schedule, since the advance printed schedule often changed, and it was the only way to see who was ACTUALLY going to play on this particular day.  This year, for the first time, I have not bothered, not once, because ZombiePhone has everything I want to know.  

But then, hey dammit, we went to the Emerging Artists series (perennial favorite location, second only to Rebel Stage!) to see a Madison bluegrass badass band called Wheelhouse, who not only had a FANTASTIC song called “No Hockey In Milwaukee” but they have their own damn Whiskey.  I had the option to buy one CD for 10 bucks, or three for 20.  Guess which option I chose?

We sat in for a few songs by another Milwaukee band, Devil Met Contention, who were not bad at all and easily the best dressed on the Fest, but maybe need to find a real groove, a real click.  So….

We moved to the ever-esteemed Rebel Stage, which a pick-up band trying to figure out a Kanye West song, so Wife Sublime moved on to the shopping tents, while paleo and caught the fiery end of a set by local R&B band the Jimmys.  And then back to Rebel for Whiskey Of The Damned.  Who I may have mentioned once or twice.

Backstory, of course, is that we caught WOTD at the Rebel stage (when it was the Renegade stage) and were completely amazed.  And since then, when we have brought people to see a WOTD show, our friends are completely fucking blown away.  Seriously, they played a tight hour, and would have played longer (they were doing shots of whiskey administered but their roadie DURING THE GODDAM SONGS), but they had another fucking gig!

And Paleo was, as is tradition, was completely blown away.  Mission fucking accomplished, and I wish it was due to anything I did other than dragging a friend to a tiny, jury-rigged tent along the rock-strewn lakefront.  They were amazing, as they always are; they play 200-250 gigs a year, sometimes opening for the Dropkick Murphys and sometimes playing for 30 people in Cedarburg, and there is not a damn spit of difference in energy for either of those shows.  Also, they not only played a punk version of “Hit Me Baby (one More Time)” but they went overtime by 4 minutes to do “My Heart Will Go On” and the amazing thing is that they played both with not one iota of irony.  Do I love this band?  You tell me.  This is one of my favorite songs of theirs, because the opening line “WHERE’S YOUR FUCKING APOCALYPSE” and now has been changed to “HERE’S YOUR FUCKING APOCALYPSE”

Whew.  We scooted, best we could, half way across the Fest to the North to catch Sammy Llanas do a great few songs, but Summerfest forces you to make choices. I love Sammy, but Eoin McCarthy and his band have the same fire and spit I saw that Sammy and Kurt had when I saw them in an East Side Dive on like their fourth time playing out, and we all were fucking goddam children.

But sweet living fuck, after that afternoon, we had had enough.  We bailed, went to Hooligans Super Bar for an awesome pub fish fry in the shadow of one of my projects.  And then we went home, chatted for a bit, paleo very nearly passed out on the couch because he had been up since 4 AM, and frankly I was not long behind him, so the day drew to a close.