My home computer's in the shop, and I'm in severe withdrawl.
I was going to write this whole big essay about how great the Vertebrats were, and how I wished I could go to their reunion show this past weekend, but you know what? Unless you, dear reader, were in Champaign during the early 80s, you probably know nothing of the Vertebrats, and nothing I could say would make you understand about their greatness, about how on their night, they could (and often did) save lives playing great garage rock with earnestness and aplomb. Great great pop garage with enough raw edge to make even the most cynical wallflowers pogo, they were. And if you were in Champaign IL during the early 80s, you know this because you were there, and you don't need me to take up bandwidth telling you everything you already know: that they were supreme songwriters, that they made you feel good about music again, that they were object lessons of the power of two guitars, a bass and a set of drums, singing songs that Courtney Love, try as she will (and pay them royalties that they deserve), cannot do justice to.
And if you were in Champaign IL during the early 80s and still knew not of the Vertebrats, then you were probably not one of those people for whom music is something more than wallpaper, and I therefore probably still won't convince you. I really do wish I could have been there, but I couldn't afford a whole weekend (and I'm NOT driving 4-6 hours just for one night) away from my kiddos, away from stuff around Milwaukee I had to deal with. And besides, I went to a terrific reunion show 10 years ago; it was magical, but I didn't want to risk it not being magical again. Lightning rarely strikes twice.
So instead I rode my bike with the family to the Bay View Bash, and also to the World Music Festival in Humboldt Park. Take that, Fashionable East Side! Not only do us southsiders have a really fine street festival that is finally growing to rival Locust Street, we had world renowned musicans two blocks away, including those incredible Tuvo throat singer guys, who opened their set covering Tom Waits and took it from there.
I took lots of pictures, uploaded them to my computer, and got too lazy to upload them from there to Flickr before my hard drive died. Its in the shop. Boo hoo. Hopefully they can recover them. If so, I'll update this post and link back. You will want to see the shots I got of Couch Flambeau, I promise.