Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Today really is Halloween


our family's pumpkins
Originally uploaded by V'ron.
No, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. Sometimes I just have to take a break from the cultured lifestyle and just chill with the family. And that's what I did last weekend -- literally. Good chilly Saturday night for trick or treat with the kids. Our not-quite-Bay-View neighborhood does a nighttime trick or treat complete with costume contest and post-party at the local park, and that's how I spent my Saturday night. Stella was the "candy fairy" and Sammy was a "skeleton with a mask" (although the mask lasted a grand total of two minutes). I got something nutritious in them before the sugar onslaught began (well, if you want to call Kraft Macaroni and Cheese nutritious, OK) and we were off.

I'd invited a friend and his daughter to join us, since our 'hood actually does this quite well, and its as close a Trick Or Treat experience as we're going to be able to give our kids. We both reminisced about how it was for us, growing up in the 'burbs: Trick or Treat took place on October 31, no matter what day of the week it was. You wore your costume to school, (where nothing academic got accomplished that day), and you planned your route home to efficiently cover those streets between school and your house. You'd get your own neighborhood taken care of by dinner, and mom would shove some Kraft Macaroni and Cheese down your gullet. Then you'd help hand out candy until some big kids (oooohhh, cool teenagers) would come by. There was some unwritten rule that said that if you were older, and perhaps even a teenager, it was just accepted that you'd pick up little kids and escort them along with you, justifying your 15-year-old existence knocking on doors for candy.

Was it always this unstructured in the 'burbs and this structured in the city? It seems like it almost has to be, yet there's just something wrong about trick or treating on Sunday, while a football game is going on, nonetheless. Still, we carved our pumpkins and roasted seeds, and toured our neighborhood, lit up and decorated to the point where you'd think it was Christmas.

Spent the rest of the weekend riding a bike in these last fall days. My rule of thumb is when the basil dies, the bike gets put away, and the basil's still alive, so we obviously haven't had a frost yet.

Actually, I did have a bit of a rock and roll weekend. Paul Kneevers and Jeff Hamilton threw a great party at The Compound, which is what Kneevers is calling his latest venture these days. Great rock and roll factory on South first street including 2 recording studios (one analog, the other state of the art digital), web designers, practice rooms and studios, and a big ol stage where a sparring ring used to be. It's a perfect place for a rock and roll party, and the only reason I didn't plug it here yet was that it was a private party whose invitation-only status was strictly enforced because alcohol was served. But I got to see IROCKZ again, and I'm glad I did. A little of the new wave sound seems to have been shaved off since I last saw them, but I still like their all-over-the-map songwriting, attitude and delivery. Chief also did a set -- and you know I'm already a fan, so this was more of a fun party with friends by the time they hit the stage. They had lots of fun with a smoke machine that was set up. Finally from LA came a set of guys called Run Run Run. They were part straight up hard rock, part goth, with musical smatterings of U2 thrown in there. There was a guy who was clearly with the band playing the lights -- I say playing the lights because he obviously knew every note, line and rest in the band's songs and choreographed the light show to match the band. This was when it became obvious why the smoke machine was there. The didn't need the light show and smoke machine, but it did add to the experience and admittedly made them seem like the headliner, if there was such a thing at this party.

A bit of disclosure here: Kneevers and Hamilton are friends of the family, they invited me to display some of my music photography at this party, and both Brian and I have used their recording studios in various incarnations in the past. But that doesn't detract from the fact that the Compound is a great idea -- a one-stop shop for musicians to get their ideas on tape, on stage, and to work them out. We need more businesses like this, run by people who have been all around a rock and roll stage -- from the front as fans, to the stage as performers, to behind the stage as technicians.

Anyway, from relaxing to busy again, now, that for my purposes, Halloween is over, two seasons and a favorite artist kick off this first November weekend:
  • The Milwaukee Ballet opens the season Thursday with Hamlet, danced in Armani suits to Phillip Glass. I'll be taking Stella, as usual, as well as Talia the Hip Babysitter. Must find a way to explain the entire plot of Hamlet to Stella.


  • The Bucks, open their Bradley Center season Saturday night against Da Bulls. There's a big "oh how international" they are section in today's Journal. Right, one Chinese guy and one Austrailian and a whole team full of Americans constitutes "multicultural international." I guess for the NBA, it is. Anyway, nice home opener against those neighbors to the South.


  • Oh, and Friday night Robyn Hitchcock is at Shank Hall and that makes me a happy girl. I need Hitchcock's warm yet dark humor and wonderful songcrafting these days.

1 comment:

Cynthia said...

have a great time at Robyn Hitchock.....I'm jealous....