Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Bucking the Anthem?

We've been so busy lately that I haven't reported in.

Brian did indeed go to see Fu Manchu at Vnuk's Saturday night. The report? Well, Fu was Fu. No "Godzilla" but devastatingly heavy all night. Apparently it was a huge (four band?) bill; Brian arrived in time to catch the openers Artemus Piledriver. "Artemis?" I asked later, "The Goddess of the Wilderness?" No, Brian said. As in Artemus Pyle, from Lynyrd Skynyrd. (Sorry, I guess I'm just not up on my Skynyrd history.) However, that pretty much paved the way for Brian's description of them: What if Ozzy Osbourne fronted Skynyrd instead of Sabbath? Brian's not Mr. Rock and Roll Essayist like me, so that's pretty much the report: Fu Manchu rocked a packed house. A few notes for Vnuk's, though. First, if you have a sold out show, it would probably be a good idea to schedule more than two bartenders to work that shift. Second, if you're going to have a giant, vintage BLATZ sign out front, you should probably have a supply of (cheap) Blatz to serve to your customers.

Sunday night, after I rehearsed with my band, I took in a hour or so of the Low-Fi DJ before heading over to the Stone on South Howell, where Paul Cotter runs a open stage on Sunday nights. No open stage this night, though, because the project closest to Cotter's heart, McTavish, was busy warming themselves up for, as mandolinist Dan Mullen refers to it, "McTavish Season," otherwise known as St. Patrick's Day weekend. (More about them later this week, suffice to say that's where I'll be this weekend.) I'm generally not a whiskey drinker (as a polack, my hard poison is Vodka) but when bassist Bob Jorin slapped a $50 bill on the bar and shouted "Whiskey for my friends," I knew I was going straight to Purgatory if I didn't begin to prime my liver for the upcoming weekend by downing a shot. Yes, complete with Terry "The Animal" Garguilo, McTavish is basically Mark Shurilla and the Greatest Hits with Special Guest Star Paul Cotter, being the American Pogues they always wanted to be. Inconspicious by his absence: Mark Shurilla. Conspicuous by their whiskey presence: Paul "The Fly" Lawson, who will be busy with Dr. Chow's Love Medicine Saturday night, Chris Lehmann working the sound board, and McTavish Alumnus Paul "Waitin' For the Gin to Hit Me" Setser. Should I just bold all these "spotted in the crowd" names so that I come off as a rock and roll Boris and Doris or what?

Monday night with the Bucks: Everybody's getting all bent out of shape over Bogut flipping the bird at a fan. I say, its about time Bogut starting flipping people off, over the way he's being played, over the way he has to listen to "Down Under" every time he DOES hit a shot, over people getting on his case. Terry "The White Shadow" Stotts should have tried to earn himself a technical -- I've never seen such horrid officiation in my life as I did Monday night. But Stotts isn't exactly an emotional guy, I'm learning. Last season I thought he seemed bemused by it all, now, even with bad reffing, he only seems mildly annoyed. If I were head coach, I would have gotten myself thrown out of the stadium over some of these bad calls by this ref who looked like a young Felix Unger, perhaps even fined by the league. I normally don't like to blame bad official calls for a game loss (they're certainly not going to make up for the deficit the Bucks lost by), but you'd think you were at a Troma Film festival the many times this crowd groaned. I'm even going to show you a picture of #56, this terrible ref who mustv'e just liked the feel of a whistle in his mouth, he used it so much. And afterwards, we're driving home and listening to the call-in show, and some fans are reporting that Stotts' wife, (Mrs ReevesI'll call her), went and confronted some hecklers with the ol' "Well what do you suggest?" Oh, Yoko, please don't get involved with your husband's public life.

Very odd promo tonight: they gave out inflatable Bango the Buck toys to all the kids, but during the fourth quarter, they released a whole bunch of them and they fell from the ceiling like some kind of commando landing. It was fun, but given all the weird feeling going on, it was strange, like they were attacking us.

I think this game started out with bad juju the moment we realized there was no anthem. Since the visiting team was Toronto, we were looking forward to hearing both the Canadian anthem AND the USA Anthem. What a fun critique that would have been! But they did countdown to game time (and they've changed the opening montage for the better, I'll discuss more at my next game wrapup) and I'm waiting for "Please rise for the singing of the national anthem" and, no. They go straight to the montage and the game. What happened? Was Tom Green scheduled to do this (if anybody could have successfully pulled off two anthems, it was the late, great Tom Green) and they coulnd't find anybody, not even Warren Wiegratz, at the last minute? What, do we not have anybody in Milwaukee who knows the Canadian National Anthem? No wonder the night was full of bad calls from Felix Unger's Dumber Brother, disgruntled fans, Mrs. Ken Reeves thinking she could win an argument with hecklers, and Bogut losing his cool. It all started when they skipped the anthem. That's just not right.

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