Some will slap me up for even asking, because PrideFest is this weekend! I often marvel at how this not-SanFran or notDC midwestern city puts on a great gay pride festival. Musically, it's not all "gay music." Then again, what is "gay music"? Pride Fest points out that its exactly the same as music in general. (IT's like saying you're for "Gay rights." Fuck that. "Gay Rights" are human rights. Don't get me started.). But back to the music, which makes this point wonderfully. Besides disco and showtunes, you got your straight-up (and I use that term loosely) Rock and Roll (Joan Jett), your scorching rhythm and blues walin' (Chaka Khan) and a bunch of others. Others that honestly, I'm not all that familiar with. But if there's one stereotype (or reputation) you can count on with this community, they sure do know how to put on a good time. I've never seen a crap act at Pride Fest, musically, or even among the contest and such. I've seen music that wasn't necessarily my thing, but they were good at what they did. It just so happens that I love show tunes, high energy disco as well as straight up rock and roll and rhythm and blueswailin. I'm hoping they get good weather this year -- their history is plagued by rainouts but they always bounce back.
Locust Street fest is this weekend, too, Sunday to specific. There's where I'm stuck. Musically, it's always hit or miss. Maybe I'm out of it, but usually there's at least one or two must-see acts playing. (I was first introduced to the Cocksmiths, the Danglers, and the Riveters at past LCFs) and this year perhaps I'm overlooking the bright shining star. I've heard good things about Matt Hendricks, who will be at the Klinger's stage late afternoon. The Riverwest Commons stage has some reggae before that. Lakefront brewery stage has an outfit I've heard of that I should catch called Decibully (gee, I bet they're loud!) and there's those amazing Afro-Brazilian Martial Arts and Dance guys in early afternoon at the "Grupo Maculele Capoera" stage. You already know how I'm starting my day: after some strong coffee at the Art Bar, chatting with my Cream City Photogs colleagues, me and the rest of Team Prom Queen will suit up and run that Beer Run. But where's oldschool Locust Street mainstay Paul Cebar? Where's Feedback Freddie? Isn't there anything involving either Jeff Hamilton, Paul Kneevers or Rick Hake besides one of them running sound? Dr Chow and company have whispered that they will be playing off-Locust sometime that day. (This guy I married leaked this to me.) Otherwise, please, Riverwest denizens, who am I missing? Who's the "can't miss" act this year?
OK, the clubs. Friday night nothing besides Marlavous' Karaoke is calling out to me. Saturday, on the other hand, brings choices. Julie Brandenburg is only one of many top prog artists for a massive Day and Night Of Prog-- the First (hopefully to be annual) M.A.R.S. (Milwaukee Art Rock Showcase). Locals Strange Land, Dimension X, and Far Corner will be there and Drew "Hey, Remember Me, I'm The Only Chapman Stick Player In Town" Rittgers and Strange Land's Sean Gill will turn in some solo sets. They start at 11 in the morning, and they're going until midnight. It's gonna be a long day for Miramar proprietor Bill Stace.
Might want to swing past the Foundation Saturday night, for "Fresh Riot." This is a new, two-piece combo with Lemonie Fresh on drums and "Miss Riot" on apparent vocals. That's all I officially know about them, but here's what I can tell you about Lemonie Fresh. She played guitar with grrrlll group The Riveters (and I've heard they've unofficially disbanded, bummer), and she was threatening to pick up a bass for awhile there. Now she's eschewed chordal melody completely for the drums. Good. This world can't have enough badass women drummers. And anybody who goes by the moniker Miss Riot already has points in my book. But the Foundation? Tiki Bar extraordinaire the Foundation? I'm not picturing somebody named Miss Riot giving it to ya whilst the fans adjust their umbrellas to get the booze in their systems faster. We will see.