Riding my bike to work today, my iPod on "shuffle", and I hear the perfect song: The Breeder's "Saints" with Kim Deal's anthemic cry: "Summer's Ready! Summer is ready when you are…. I like all the different people, I like every kind of fair, In the crowd, you bet I'll be there, walking' around going nowhere, seeing sooey and saints, at the fair -- Summer's Ready, Summer is Ready When You Are!"
Indeed it is. Friday night is Riversplash, and thus begins my conundrum of outdoor summer festivals. I've written before that basically, the summer festival season is basically the Summer Cover Band season, sprinkles with a few gems, and I reluctantly admit some of those gems are cover bands. And among them are the so sexy its alive sounds of the Five Card Studs. Suspiciously coincedentally, they start at 9:30, and the fireworks begin at 10. Hmmmmm. I'll have to miss Pat Travers at Vnuk's. (Back up. Pat Travers, Pat, "Boom Boom Out Go the Lights" Travers? Pat "Snortin' Whiskey, Drinkin' Cocaine" Travers? Yes, that Pat Travers. God, I'd rather play the Waukesha Taste of Summer or even a Church Festival rather than a small room like this if I had a perennial Stadium Rawk hit in the rotation at Lazer.)
Saturday -- Speaking of church festivals, I'm reminded of the Peder Hedman Quartet at St. Robert's Church festival Saturday on East Capitol. Right after mass, remember? 5ish. Bring the kids. Peder has a kid of his own, so he understands "family friendly." Besides, this is a church festival. A hip church festival to be sure: why this is the "St Robert's Fair" with bands like King Solomon, the Jill Jensen and Jack Grassel Jazz Quartet, and the B-Side Apostles all on the bill. Well, that's what you get for an East Side/Shorewood parish, no?
Hopefully that will wear the kids out so I can finally go to see Snooky, at, speaking of, Vnuk's! Snooky, as you may recall, has Tony "Francis" Rogan on drums; he played in a snotty little jazz-tinged punk band called the Moths who I have a musical crush on to this day. He brought the attitude with him to Snooky, who is more on the metal/rock side of things, but they still have intense little melodies that make them a treat. As they are more from the Racine/Kenosha area, they just don't play Milwaukee County as much as I'd like. They're on the bill with some 6 other bands (with names like "Shit Outta Luck" "Sky and the Execution" and the lead band is some outfit called "Carbellion."), so it's going to be a long night at Vnuk's.
I'll probably cut out early, because the family unit is racking out of bed to do the Miller Lite Ride for the Arts Sunday. Stella insisted, after last year, that 15 miles was too short, but now she's having second thoughts about doing the entire 25 miles she insisted we sign up for this year on her bike. Sammy doesn't care -- he'll be in the trailer. I have to wonder how long we can stretch out using the trailer. Its nice to have, not only to cart around the kids, but to cart around the beverages, extra food, and extra provisions that you can dump in the back. It's like giving up the stroller when the kids get too old. Contrary to popular belief, carting the kid around was only one reason you had a stroller. It became a little shopping cart for whatever you wanted to schlep around at festivals, zoos, parks, etc. Not having a tired toddler or little kid takes away your license to drag four wheels around; now you just look like a crazy bag lady. A bike trailer does last longer for this purpose. Kids love it until they're about 5 or so, then they start to get a little big for it. But I suppose instead of dreading the day I finally have to post it on Ebay, I should enjoy this summer of popping a helmet on Sammy's head, (that he picked out -- it's got red and orange flames on it! Fire! Woo!) strapping him in, and wheeling away. And we might wheel away back to Riversplash after the 25 mile ride. Why, there's all sorts of kid attractions, plus the Studs have a 2:00 set scheduled at The Harp. Nothing like a little Studly Afternoon Delight at the beginning of the summer.
Next week, the Summer really starts to kick in. Every cover band in the universe is converging on the Waukesha Taste of Summer, including my friends Mark Shurilla and the Greatest Hits. I dunno, though, might have to see "Hotel California". Not. But Local H is onstage later in the night. Might want to go see Mickey Dolenz there on Friday next week. (Mickey was always my favorite Monkee -- Davy was too short and kind of a dork.) Really, Check out this lineup. What a weird mix. Wow, is that really Eric Burdon? He can't possibly look that good. God bless Adobe Photoshop. Is he going to do "Spill the Wine" or just stick to Animals hits? And the Cowsills are putting in an appearance! Will Susan be there? With hubby Dwight "Iiiiiiiiii'mmmmmm ooooonnnnnnnnn Fiiiiiiiire!" Twilley? I never thought anybody would ever need Pat Travers, but this is one festival that could really use some Pat Travers. Maybe they could work something out with Vnuk.
I'm ready. So is summer. Bring it on!