Labor Day Weekend For Real, Maaaaaan

I'm looking at what's coming up this weekend, Labor Day weekend, and frankly, I'm a touch disappointed in the absence of offerings. Shank Hall is blank, the Cactus is still closed, nobody seems to be booked at Lulu. Nothing's on Points East's website for this weekend. I can't believe this is for real; major party weekend and all the music haunts are shut down. The Cocksmiths are at Union Grove, but really, what are all the regular music venues afraid of? What is up?
But that's actually good for me, because I'm Djing with Darrell 'The Brains' Martin' at The Circle A Café Saturday Night and I don't need any competition. Actually, even if I wasn't Djing, I'd be there early to catch Bobby Rivera and the Rivieras. I already trust they'll be fun and good because my successor in the Psychobunnies, Brian "Rev Johnny Fever" Wurch is one of their guitarists, and that's enough for me, but here's the descrption from their website: "With Patrick's experience and vast knowledge of the genre's drumming styles, Brian's stage-bravado on the mighty 4-string, and Bobby's general disregard for his vintage guitars, amps, and audience; this new lineup came together in a hurry. Blending their combined knowledge of R&R, Surf, Exotica, Honky Tonk, Rockabilly, Blues, 60's Garage, and Jazz, they took off like a windmill in a tornado!" Hell, I'm there. And you should be too. If I do say so myself, Darrell and I are the perfect DJs to follow up on this; we'll keep the Rivera fans happy while throwing in enough different but complimentary genres in so you don't totally get sick of it all.
As for the rest of the last week before school really kicks in: (MPS goes back to school after the holiday, and Stella and Sam's school usually mirrors MPS, but not this year. They start tomorrow, but I really don't imaging any knuckling down until next Tuesday.) I'm still in denial that summer is over, but all the darn registration forms for everything have reminded me it's for real.
  • Thursday night, you have a chance to see the fabulous blueswailin' jazzscattin' Deirdre Fellner and the Whole of Soul at Jazz in the Park. It's about time JITP noticed what an amazing artist Deirdre is, and I know she will wow the audience, and hopefully this will lead to the kinds of major gigs such a her talent deserves. (Full disclosure: Deirdre is a dear friend who I don't get to see that much because we're both very busy, but she's sung at pretty much every milestone event in my life in the past 10 years, and those events were richer for it.) But for real, she is that good. She doesn't blueswail for the sake of wailing or showing off her voice -- she shows you her power when the song calls for it, like Aretha. Her jazz arrangements (co-written, likely, by the virtuoso-class musicians she attracts to back her up) are complex, innovative, but still melodic and listenable without being that boring "smooth jazz" dreck you hear in doctor's offices and Kenny G fan club meetings. Pack a fabulous pic-a-nic basket, grab a bottle of good wine, and enjoy a night of the last week of true summer with Deirdre in Cathedral Square Park.

  • Sunday afternoon is the annual Punk Picnic, just over the border in Illinois, a stone throw away from the Renaissance Faire. They say to "bring a tent" and other camping gear, but I'm like, why, man? So it can get trashed? I'm totally sure. The lineup looks to be a good day of in-your-face punk. Phrenology, who was actually featured in The Daily Kenoshan "Band of the Week" feature last June, will be there. They describe what I've always suspected about the SE Wisconsin punk/hardcore scene, calling it "Keno-core" : "We represent Keno-Core along with other bands like The Yates Kids, BB Slags, Pistofficer, Army of Cretins Self-Destrickt and quite a few others. Keno-Core is kinda like an underground family of musicians and people who love the scene. We have played all around the surrounding areas, and hope to tour within a year or so all around the US. We've smashed various items with our wheel in many different places (some getting us in trouble)." Last year's picnic was marred by police overreacting to what appeared to be a standard hardcore show, this explains the venue change. Oh well. Still looks like fun. Beautiful Bert will be there, too. I won't be there the whole night, but hopefully Bert will grace us with his beautifulness sometime in the afternoon, because I've always wanted to see his radiant self in broad daylight. Don't worry, he doesn't really put a salami up his butt, as you may have heard tell. And he doesn't have to. Even if wasn't purposefully gross, even if he lost 300 pounds, even if he didn't say things for shock value, he'd STILL write and perform great punk songs with some of the tightest punk musicians in the region. So either ignore the moment in the show when he breaks out the salami, or simply remind (and convince yourself) it's not for real. It's theatre.

  • Totally unrelated to the music scene this weekend, but I'm getting increasingly obsessed with the presidential campaign of Christina Gerasimos Elias-Billings, mentioned earlier in this blog. Julie Wichmann pointed me to this link where a somewhat MSM reporter tries to makes sense of it all, virtually shaking his head at his realization that Billings has already registered with and is filing campaign finance reports and thrown a "major" fundraiser. There's the MSM for you, the reporter doesn't even follow up on this. What a wiener. All we get is this little essay about how strange it all is, when a real journalist would have dug up this chick's story and agreed to interview her, because I'll bet that would have been a hoot, and this writer, in his attempt to be jaded and hip, totally missed a great opportunity. Especially in this day and age, when we apparantly don't have Lyndon LaRouche to kick around anymore. So, my feelings toward Princess Christina are summed up by a commentor at the link: "I so want this to be for real."


Buzz said…
I'm amazed the Cocksmiths are performing in Union Grove. I was forced to spend a couple wasted-now-I'll-never-get-them-back teenage years there. Now I gotta know what the venue is that they're going to be at. By the way, The newly remodeled Cactus Club quietly opens grandly at 3PM Friday. I'll be sure to mention your spin on my show tomorrow.

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