Everybody's got a little ramble, under the sun, under the sun

  • Well, I really can't offer any kind of new insights to George Clinton. He is who he is and he said it best at the beginning of the show: "We're gonna party like it's 1979." Except not disco 1979. Funk. Throw in a little Zappa, too, And some Allman Brothers-style free form jamming. Oh, and pop in a medley of Jerry Lee Lewis and Fats Domino and or early rock era I-IV-Vs at the end, just to seal the "flip you out with the funk" factor. And of course, they cycled through three different drummers, several guitarists, a couple of keys, various characters and singers: at any given point there were anywhere from 10-20 performers on the stage, all getting the funk down whether singing, posing, dancing, jamming, or simply existing. It was like I was watching a party full of talented, interesting people and wanted to join. That's when I realized maybe the Northern Lights Theatre at Potowatomi wasn't the right place to see George Clinton and P-Funk. Yes, it's a beautiful room and there's not a bad seat in the house. But the floor seats were tables, and when you're sitting at an elegant table with top service, it sort of puts the kabosh on wanting to get up and par-tay and tearin' the roof off the sucka. Not that there weren't people who did anyway, but the environment just wasn't conducive to it. Save for the language, this is a show I'd want to see at Summerfest or something, where its perfectly appropriate to just jump on a table and go nuts. (People who know me are probably thinking "When have you ever worried about what other people thought about your reacting to a band?" Well, I was in the balcony, there were people behind me who paid $40 a seat like me, they didn't seem like the sort who wanted to stand all night and I didn't want to block their view. If I were on the floor, it might have been different.) But the party was on stage, and as the song goes, "Ain't nothing like a P-Funky party 'cos a P-Funk party don't stop."

  • We read in Stingl's column yesterday that Andy Kochanski has purchased and is taking over Art's Concertina Bar, and is expanding the scope a bit. (He'll allow accordions, for one thing, and he'll have surf, rockabilly, and likely other Americana on Thursdays.) Stingl has covered the "Art's retiring and so another quirky Milwaukee institution bites the dust" angle well enough (thanks Jim for documenting this!); but I'm thoroughly confident in Kochanski to continue to make that place a Destination. Back when we had Warner Cable, Brian and I were MATA Devotees. We loved local cable access community programming. Besides appearing on a few shows (I did a bit part on an episode of the old Joy Farm series, and my first band, Fistfull of Bimbos, appeared on Where the Waters Meet), Brian and I once help judge the Philo awards, and we were taken by the level of devotion and talent that was being put forth. But there were two shows that we really held out making the switch to satellite for. One was a hip-hop rap show called "The Mental Fitness Zone Other Level Pitt," hosted by this local called Professor Pitt, whose "Pitt and the Pendulum" thang was damn good. The other was -- you guessed it -- Andy Kochanski's "Threshold of Pain." Man, that was some hardcore metal, and Kochanski, while no Rikki Rathman, was clearly an enthusiastic fan whose Wayne's World-esque charm made up for his beginning video skills. It's always good when somebody who actually loves music opens an establishment (see also McAuliffe's Pub in Racine), so go to the MATA archive library, dig up some old Threshold of Pain episodes to see the emergent joy of a music lover sharing his enthusiasm, and then join us when the new "Kochanski's Concertina Beer Hall" opens its doors.

  • Email from Blaine Schultz pointing out that Damon and Naomi, formerly of the gone-but-not-forgotten Galaxie 500, is at the Mad Planet Saturday night, with opener Boris, a Japanese band Schultz heard on 'MSE that piqued his interest as well. Poop. I'm already going to be pooped from an all day affair on Saturday, (I'll already have to miss my husband playing with Dr. Chow's Love Medicine at Koppa's Sausage Fest at noon, and Sigmund Snopek -- with likely his usual suspects -- later), and now I have to choose between this, Beautiful Bert at Vnuk's, or blissful sleep?

  • I visit the Princess Christina Gerasimos Elias-Billings for President website on a regular basis so that you don't have to. Recent highlights include a video from some charismatically-challenged paralegal at Skadden Arps endorsing Billings, and dropping the hint that he would be more than happy to serve as her vice-president if elected. (Now this is getting somewhat -- if not frighteningly -- real. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom is one of the largest corporate law firms in the country-- I'm not making this up, they're for real. I'd like to be a bug on the wall at their next marketing department meeting once word of this video gets out.) Oh, and tee (sic) shirts are available now! I want the one that's tunic style with the logo where a pocket would be. Only 65 shopping days 'till my birthday, hint, hint.


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