Sunday, November 26, 2006

Could Somebody Give Me A Push?

Busy Saturday night in Mil-town. We started off the evening with the Bucks. OK, now I'm starting to get really annoyed. I'm hoping this is the opposite of last year, where they came out like gangbusters and petered out and looked like hell by the time the playoffs came 'round. Rather, I hope they're getting all their crap games out of their system now, and then start playing some basketball already. They're playing the games themselves like the whole last season: tonight they went into halftime with lead only to run out of gas by the fourth quarter.

The anthem? Warren Wiegratz himself stepped away from Streetlife, took center court, and I'll tell you, I'll never give Jeremy Scott, or for that matter, Kenny G Himself any more grief for noodly apeggio for the sake of noodly arpeggio ever freaking again. Sweet Jesus, Warren, you don't have to prove anything to this crowd. We already know you can play the Midwest Express Airlines commercial like nobody's business, but did you have to make the National Anthem sound like a Midwest Express Airlines commercial? Wiegratz is a fine sax player, and he puts together a good house band, and he has pretty much a standing invitation to sit in with any of the jazzbos who ever get booked at Summerfest anymore. Still, I guess he has something to prove to somebody, and the crowd loved it, so there you go. But Warren, dig out those Charlie Parker records and try to understand how far a touch of restraint goes. Going not for just an octave jump, but a double octave jump plus noodly arpeggio was great for "laaaa--aand of the free ---eeeeeee", but not for every freaking phrase.

Actually, I felt sorry for the Bucks tonight, thanks to the idiot heckler that was sitting a couple of rows behind us. I hope he doesn't have the same set of season games we do. He started out clever ("Hey, Redd, you gotta defend against that guy, you gotta be picking his nose hairs!") but then early in the 4th quarter Gadzuric missed a free throw and that pretty much broke open the heckler's pent-up anger. (It should be noted that the missed free throw didn't even hit the rim, a major biff on Gadzuric's part, but oh well.) But that became the heckler's theme the whole rest of the game. He would just not let it go. Every five seconds he's going on about this missed free throw: "My mother could have hit that rim!" Oh, the ol' "my mama coulda...". How clever. Brian mumbled, to the snickers of everybody around us, "You mother shoulda hit the rim about eight and a half months previous." But the Bucks themselves are starting to really frustrate me. This is a team full of talent; they shouldn't be losing this much, and this heartbreakingly. Somebody needs to give them a push.


The White Hot Tizzies
Originally uploaded by V'ron.
We left early so as not to witness the full damage, and headed over to the Miramar Theatre to give Rob McCuen and the White Hot Tizzies another chance to worthify, and they delivered. We knew they were playing with a bunch of other bands of various persuasions, but we had no clue what the unifying theme was -- "Frightfest" until we got there. Man, I thought *I* went through a goth phase in my late 20s. The place was crawling with multiple pierced, black haired, black lipsticked, vinyl-wrapped girls from something out of a Rocky Horror reject party. I was dressed totally in black, but with my blonde hair, minimal makeup, and let's not forget age, I was definitely out of place. So if you think *I* was out of place, imagine how the White Hot Tizzies must've felt! Not to worry, Rob was on top of his game, totally unintimidated by a crowd full of kids waiting to see the muitalation act that was to follow him. He went and belted out the Hollies "Bus Stop" anyway, in perfect harmony with Dan Mullen. That's right, he sang a song about innocent love at first sight in the pouring rain to a S&M crowd of sinister goth kids. Man, that guy's got balls, and that's why he rocks. He and Mullen ended their set with a pretty damn heavy tune that I wasn't familiar with, but it bodes well for this partnership. Dan Mullen can indeed get as sinister and heavy as anybody needs to, and it subtly told the crowd that appearances can be deceiving. So for everything he did last time I saw him, Rob more than made up for it as he lectured the kids about the importance of the Beatles. I'll definitely be back to see them again: anybody who can lecture this crowd on the relevance of the merseybeat deserves many more chances. Maybe they needed a push, too, and I was just the bitch to do it. Now they need to push themselves to learn Rob's songs.

Lockjaw
Uh, could somebody...?
Originally uploaded by V'ron.

So while they were cleaning up the stage, the next band, Lockjaw, was preparing to do their thing. And their thing turns out to be something you'd catch in the Jim Rose Sideshow: this band features two (later three) guys who have pierced their backs with hooks, and then are suspended over the stage for the entire set. I have to admit, I found myself whincing as they were raised above the crowd, but honestly, by the second song I got over it, and by song three, it had almost become a parody. Especially since musically, they started out giving us a sort of Marilyn Manson sound, heavy on the cold blue steel metal, and by song three brought to mind early Kiss. (The Kiss reference, I'm sure, will be taken as an insult, but honestly, from me it's kind of a compliment.) So if you didn't have the 2-3 guys gently swinging over the stage, I'm not sure what would have made this band stand out. Maybe I'm old, and I've seen the original Alice Cooper, and I've seen Marilyn Manson, and I was even in Quarters that night when the Vomit Posse got their nipples pierced on stage. (Admittedly, I wasn't there for the actual piercing: "V'ron, you missed it!" Oh well.) So I guess I'm a little jaded, but Lockjaw didn't help me musically. What made them compelling was the initial whince they got when their two sideshow guys were hoisted up. But really, you know what was flashing in my head by song three? That scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail where John Cleese, as Lancelot, has crashed through the castle, and doesn't get enough oomph while swinging on a rope, and is left there swinging just as gently as the Lockjaw guys, asking meekly, "Uh, could somebody give me a push?"

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