Locust Street Part II: Everything Else, Officially or Not

Pupy Costello
Originally uploaded by V'ron.
Locust Street is and always will be Locust Street, which means its really not about music and bands and stuff, but about people watching. You can always count on the drum circle to hypnotise you for a few minutes. And those Afro/Brazilian/Martial arts people were incredible. But as lamented previously, we were really in a quandry as to who the "band to see" at Locust Street was going to be this year. Plus, with two kids in tow, you're not hanging around a packed street for more than a couple of songs anyway, so in honor of the fact that I could only catch bits and pieces, here's a very bits and pieces rundown of what I caught between finding a way to break it to Sammy that he's getting Ice Cream, not Cotton Candy.

  • The slushies I bought Stella and Sam took forEVER to make, because the vendor I got them from didn't have a slushie machine, they just made them to order with a blender, a 2-liter of Sprite, some ice, and those pump jugs of pure sugar syrup flavored and colored with flavors and colors that don't occur in nature. At least they made them to order, which might preserve my membership in the Crunch Granola Mama club. I've lost a corner on my membership card for the pure processed sugar part.

  • Matt Hendricks at Klinger's East turned in some seriously twisted blues and lived up to the hype I've heard about him. I'm pretty sure that was him, sliding away at an axe that bore no resemblance to Dylan, but was more worthy of the term "subterrainian homesick blues" than I ever though Dylan was.

  • Klinger's East, I'm sorry, but food-wise, our old standby just didn't have it together. It shouldn't take 10 minutes to get a bratwurst ANYWHERE in Wisconsin. It just shouldn't. I will forgive you, Klinger, next time I stop in and get one of your delicious, artery-clogging cheeseburgers, but for Locust street, you need to have people working for you that have a clue how to run an outdoor food vend.

  • Micah Olson, (who I've seen with Julie Brandenburg) leads a nice little band with prog jacked up enough to entertain a street festival audience on a hot summer afternoon at the Riverwest Commons Stage.

  • Jax's Corner Pizza took forEVER with the chicken wings, but once we got them, they were among the best BBQ flavored chicken wings ever. That's the verdict from both me and Stella.

  • Riverwest Artist Mike Brylski very quietly had his studio open and in his laid back way, sold at least two pieces that I know of. We own three of his -- and we never tire of them. Every time you look at one of his works, there's something new to it. On one hand, I think he seriously underprices himself. On the other hand, if it's selling, it might be the right price. However, both the people I either talked to or overheard buying admitted they'd have been willing to pay more than what they paid.

  • The Hill Climbers at the outdoor Linneman's stage were good, dancable bluegrass that didn’t skip a beat when the PA died on them. "Keep playing!" the audience rightfully cheered, and indeed they did. People just came closer to hear the detail, and the overall effect was perfect for a breezy, beautiful summer afternoon.

  • I'd have to say that the act to see/hear on the official Locust Street programme turned out to be Pupy Costello and His Big City Honky Tonk at the Riverwest Commons. What a wonderful breath of fresh air for those of us who hate that nu-country crap they play on mainstream "country" radio! These are guys who would fit right in on WMSE's Chicken Shack show, who don't say Hank Williams senior because, well, who else was there? It was all there, right down to the outfits, the smooth voice, the expertly played white hollow-body Gretsch. They've made my list, that's for sure.

Floor Model house party
Originally uploaded by V'ron.
But unofficially, the band to see/hear was at an off-Locust Street party, and that band was Floor Model. Since I last saw them over a year ago, they've added the bass player, and that's a good thing. The bass fills them in nicely, especially in the open air. Still good n' snotty, and since this was a yard/house party, I could reasonably leave the kids be while taking in the whole Floor Model experience. Snotty punk ethos, underground literature mindset, off-kilter chords, chord progressions and rhythms. This was the kind of band I normally expect to see either at 3:00 at the Lakefront Brewery stage, or very late in the day at Linnemans: edgy, sharp witted, tight. The general sentiment going on at this party was "This is the place to be; there's nobody at Locust Street I really need to see." Well, unfortunately, as I point out above, there were bands worth seeing, but either we're all out of it, or they haven't learned to cultivate the buzz.
I know, I know, how exactly does one cultivate the buzz? Heck if I knew that, I'd have had my car paid off by now.


Anonymous said…
wow! sorry you missed the buzz at Linnemans stage around 6 pm. Stealin' Strings came on and put on an excellent show.

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