Monday, April 30, 2007

Catching up: Previously in the life of a writer-musician-photog....

Well, since I last blogged, my amplifier blew up, my artsy little black dress turned out to be a little more see-through than I thought, but otherwise we had a fine coupla of sets at the Circle A café. It was a good place for, as our friend Dave referred to it, our punkadelia. (How many punk bands do you know cover CountryLife-era Roxy Music?). Completely friendly crowd whose appreciation for loud, in-your-face music in a small room belies their age: many were thirty and forty somethings like us who still cringe when somebody tells them to "turn it down." Then it was a lovely way to wrap up as Da Brainz and I spun tunes for folks.

It was also (probably predictably so) an exercise on being on the other side of the camera lens. Andy Aeros Kaiser put it best when he commented that it was like a baby's first steps -- there were seemingly a room full of cameras going off at every moment. Annie Chase fought with the limitations of a digital camera's shutter lag and still got memorable moments. Brian joined the others in attempting available light, and giving up, did a good job with flash anyway. And I should have expected that somebody would do the kinds of things I do to get the shot : crawling all over (above and below) the stage, lying prone below the guitarist to get the rockstar pose, standing on charis to get that odd angle. That somebody turned out to be wiseacre Bob Jorin. I have to decide if he was influenced by me or simply satirizing me. I suspect, as I've written about other such dualities, a little of both. Kaiser, no slouch himself in the smartass department, shot film with a classic Pentax K1000, so you're just going to have to wait to see what he came up with. And Marlavous Marla should be posting her stuff soon. It was fun to see how several different pairs of (albeit friendly) eyes saw us.

Of course I mugged it. We all did. Like I said, this is a comfort zone for all of us, Miles, Andy and myself, and while it hasn't happened to me in a while, I still remember how not to get freaked out when a lens is pointing at me. Or a microphone, for that matter. We told stories, we worked the crowd, we gave away product, we got some laughs and we got some claps.

Thanks, everybody who came, for welcoming us back so warmly. As I told you all, this wasn't a reunion show. We're back, working on setting up more gigs, and we're available for weddings and bar mitzvahs.

Friday morning I detoxed with a massage and a facial, hung out with my kids who have seen precious little of me these past two weeks. I ventured out Friday night to Marlavous' Karaoke at the Bavarian Inn, where this evening's special guest stars turned out to be a pair of Brians I've not seen since St Patrick's Day: Brian Kurzinski, who turned in a terrific Frank Sinatra, and Brian Wurch, who flattened me as he became a wasted Jim Morrison crooning "Riders on the Storm." The two took turns being Bobby Darin for (what else) "Mack the Knife." Wurch is still recruiting for MOMBOB2 -- a Battle of the Bands that covers several genres, so sign up now.

I was going to hit Linneman's Saturday night, but I was already exhausted from massive bike riding and recovering from the surreality that is Marlavous' Karaoke, so I rejoiced in the fact that the tulips did not get killed from the frost. But still, I really wanted to know what the opening band for the Uptown Savages -- "The Huge Beaumonts" was going to be about. Did anybody go? Reports? Reviews?

Anyway, here's some set lists you may or may not be interested in:


My band, Loblolly, did this:
Is It So
You're Getting Really Weird on Me
Face
Going Nowhere
Andy's Stolen Lighters
Running out of Reasons
Tell You a Story
Novemeber Man
Deal

Set II
White Flight Suburban Nightmare
Burning Feet
Out of the Blue (b. ferry, p. manzanera)
I Can't Play Poker For Shit
Tell me About Your Perfect Smelling Dreams
She Just Wants to Sleep
Prowl
I'm Just Annoyed
The Beat Goes On (s.bono)

Then Darrell played us off the stage with the theme from the Mickey Mouse Club, and about a half hour later, I took over the turntables with this:

Wreckless Eric, "Veronica" (my theme song)
Patti Smith, "Are You Experienced"
The Pixies, "Tame"
Cream, "Falstaff Beer Commercial"
Ten Years After, "One of These Days"
Rose Royce, "Car Wash"
The Ultras, "Nice Face"
Frank Black, "You Can't Break A Heart and Have It"
Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers, "She Cracked"
David Bowie, "Boys Keep Swinging"
The Chambers Brothers, "Time Has Come Today"

Then Darrell played a bunch of great 60s stuff, and then I came back with this:

The Cramps, "TV Set"
The Vertebrats, "Mystery of Love" and "The Brat"
Mott The Hoople, "Violence"
Tonio K, "The Funky Western Civilization"
Siouxsie and the Banshees, "The Passenger"
New York Dolls, "Personality Crisis"
Psychedelic Furs, "Flowers"
Roxy Music, "Both Ends Burning"

And then, as both of my ends were burning out, I let Darrell finish off the night with his mix.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

My soul up on the wall.

Well, if I do say so myself, Cream City Photogs Gallery Night was a huge success, more so than any of us thought it would be when we sat down last winter and mused to ourselves, "Wouldn't it be neat if…." We got very nice plugs in the Milwaukee Journal and MKE Magazine, and WUWM was kind enough to give up some 20 minutes on Lake Effect to plug it. I felt like I was on Letterman or something, plugging the show. This is how we knew it was a party: the cops showed up! Well, we had free beer and wine, but we also had a licensed bartender who didn't want to lose said license, so we really enforced drinking age laws, and the cops appreciated that. Still, it was quite the party. A lot of people who came were people we met in person for the first time, but have known for a longtime as online friends. People I haven't seen in awhile stopped in, and people who simply heard us on the radio or read about us in the paper were there too. I tried my best to welcome my friends and still make the strangers feel welcome, as opposed to "outsiders." I think we all did. I'd never hostessed anything like that, it's usually either total strangers or familiar friends at a party.

An art opening is a weird thing. I found myself trying to eavesdrop on people looking at my work, but the din of the room prevented me from doing so. I had to rely on comments in my guestbook afterwards, and frankly, I'm not used to that. I'm used to an audience immediately clapping (or screaming "You suck!"). Nobody gives you direct criticism. They either gush, or just nod "very nice" and walk out. But massive thanks to everybody who stopped by, either on the night, or afterwards. And I've already thanked privately my colleagues, but I need to thank them publicly here. They are amazing photographers, incredible artists and I find myself inspired and influenced by their continual wonder and vision. The fact they give me the time of day is a dominant reason I can now confidently call myself a "photojournalist." The exhibit will still be up through next week at Bucketworks. They're open from 5-10 weeknights, and Noon-5 weekends. And feel free to be brutal or leave me specific advice for improvement. I've had crap thrown at me on stage. Being a punk rocker puts callouses on your soul. I can take it. It makes me and my art stronger




I'll tell you though, slapping your art up on a wall, even if it is just to see what happens, is an emotionally draining thing. I found myself often physically going to this picture of mine, which isn't even one of my favorites (And certainly not my best, "Blessing of the Bock" is my favorite), but I found it brought me to my comfort zone: standing in front of a microphone, with friendly faces in the audience, (and a few hipper-than-thous dour faces -- wouldn't be a punk show without 'em, eh?). It was a conveniently virtual way to go to my happy place. I'll have the rest of my show available online in the future, but for now, you have to see it in person if you want to see it. And this isn't even the final version of this shot that's up on the wall.

Saturday during the day was much more mellow, more of the kind of quiet browsing you normally picture goes on in galleries. But we were all zoned out, partially recuperating from the physical drain of hosting an art opening, partially from the emotional drain of putting our souls up on a wall for everybody to see. For me, the prescripton was Dr Chow's Love Medicine at the Pub, featuring Brian sitting in on acoustic guitar. What a treat for both of us! A pub full of our friends, playing great garage blues and psychedelia, some of the best and most overlooked musicians in the city, and reasonably priced beer. And me getting to say, "I don't pay. I'm with the band."

It was also the birthday of Valerie Lawson ("Mrs. Fly") and we spent a wonderful few minutes persuing some of the fine literature given to her as a birthday gift by the fabulous Eliet Brookes. Vintage discussions of womens phisology from the 1930s, academic studies of the sexual habits of marauding seamen, and advice on where not to store poisonous chemicals will keep our Valerie well-infomed on these topics for many birthdays to come. Of course, I ended the night in my usual fashion, adding to my "self portraits in rock and roll restrooms" series.>

One more plug for me standing up in front of a microphone, for real, tomorrow (Thursday the 26), my band, Loblolly, is back for the first time in 8 years at the Circle A. We start promptly at 8. Then Darrell Martin and I will spin guilty pleasure music (that's how one patron at the Foundation referred to our sets) for the rest of the night as DJs "Veronica and The Brains."

For the rest of the weekend, I'm chilling out. Might check in with the Uptown Savages at Linnemans, or finally get my butt out and see my drummer Andy Pagel pretend he's Keith Moon in "Substitute" -- a Who tribute band. Saturday afternoon Linda Beckstrom will be displaying her artwork at Apple A Day studio, and Phat To Fabulous' L is having a birthday party. "The L" is an online buddy of mine who I am finally going to meet as I toast her birthday. She hasn't updated her blog in months, which is a damn shame because she's a riot. I'm going to give her grief about this.

Speaking of Bucketworks, what an eye opener of a place that was. Why hadn't I investigated it before? It basically reminded me of being a kid in school, with an art room chock full of supplies ready to go. Except there isn't an art teacher handing you some stupid assignment where you have to color inside the lines. At Bucketworks, you can paint, sew, work on computers, do fabrication, put on a theatrical production, or, (like we did), exhibit your work in a gallery, without thematic constraint.

Milwaukee desperately needs a place like this but of course, its not all peaches and cream. They need you. Their building got sold, and they were able to negotiate a lease extention to late summer, but they've got to be out by September. That's not a lot of time to find a new location and then move, and so they need your help. There's an organization meeting May 12 from 10am to 2pm where it looks like it's going to be a roll-up-your-sleeves and figure out how to continue to make this work. If you go check our Bucketworks, you'll see it's a place worth continuing.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Meta Poly Promotion

Lots of great upcoming stuff this week and weekend, and because this is MY BLOG, I'm going to start with MY STUFF first, because as great as the arts and entertainment calendar is, I have my own fish to fry this week. Have I plugged my own stuff enough yet? Because I'm about to begin an exercise in Meta-Poly-Promotion, a term I just coined when I was thinking about promoting myself promoting myself and others promoting themselves and myself. Sooooooo...


OK, time to plug other things to see and hear this week:
  • Tonight (Tuesday April 17), go hear, among other people, my writer friend Susan Maciolek read from her writing at Redbird Studio this evening. Redbird is an amazing writer's resource and workshop that has produced some great writers (or more accurately, simply opened up the world to some great writers). A selection of current workshop participants will be reading from their work this evening, Maciolek is one of them. She says she's honored to be chosen, but frankly, I'm not surprised. Last time I saw her work, it was in conjunction with an art project she participated in. The theme was "Elvis" and her contribution was a collage of articles and images related to two young girls who were fans of the King. They were on their way to see him back in the early Elvis years, when they were abducted and killed. The story was all but forgotten but not by Maciolek, who researched historical records and old newspaper archives, and put together a short essay and imagery collage which I daresay was the most arresting work at this particular "Elvis" show. This is a woman who understands the value of researching detail. I'm looking forward to her reading. They begin at 6 pm -- snacks and drinks will be served.
  • Thursday night, after I'm done basking in the glory of my re-visit to a radio station, I'm going to be working with my colleagues to ready our show for Gallery Night. Afterwards, I'm going to need to head out and see a band to clear my head. But which band? Do I relax with the always wonderful caberet of Eat The Mystery at Linneman's, or do I rev up for the big night with an evening of folk punk with Chicago's The Tossers, Milwaukee's The Avoided and the Mighty Lumberhorn at the Mad Planet? I think my level of hyperness or exhaustion will make that call.
  • Friday, besides our show at Bucketworks (have I plugged this enough?!?!?) there's plenty of wonderful stuff on Gallery Night I totally recommend: Try the COPA (Coalition of Photographic Arts -- greal local photoarts group, my Cream City Photogs colleague Monica Gerds is exhibiting there too!) at the P&H Dye House, 320 E. Buffalo Street (2nd Floor). I'm going to drop in there myself. I'll check MKE Magazine and the Journal Sentinel and trust their picks. Maybe we'll be one of them!
  • When you're done with high art on Friday, go see a pair of cover/tribute bands! My drummer in Loblolly, lifelong Keith Moon fan Andy Pagel plays with "Substitute" -- a Who tribute band. They're sharing a bill at Club Garibaldi in Bay Viewwith "Shattered" (a Rolling Stones tribute band, of course) and calling it, (what else) the Rock and Roll Circus.
  • Saturday? Another packed musical schedule in Riverwest. My picks? The Chop Top Toronados at Linneman's, and the always wonderful Dr. Chow's Love Medicine at the Pub.

Sunday? Oh dear God. I think I'll just go for a long bike ride.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Bucks: I still believe in 'em, just like T-Shirt Guy

Well, at least the Bucks ended the season with a Royale-With-Cheese worthy win, easily knocking off the Atlanta Hawks, another team with a crappy record that really should have been better. And if there's anything you can say about the whole Bucks organization, they sure do enough to make sure you have a good time at the game. It was fan appreciation night, and as my headline reads, with their record the past four months should be referred to as Fan Appreciation Season. Really, only my experience as a Cubs fan got me through this season, always looking for a silver lining, savoring any little glimmer of hope or win I could find. At least we got drama: whisperings about the relationship of Terry "The White Shadow" Stotts to players like Andrew Bogut, wondering how much of a hand Kystrowiak forced to get the head coach job. Injuries injuries, injuries. Oy.

The whole season, in retrospect, seemed to not have any kind of direction: they never seemed to have a clear roadmap to get where they were going. Even the promos were odd -- from the opening montage that never seemed to have a kick to it, to giving away $1,500 coupons toward the purchase of a new boat. At least Bango came through. He really is an amazing mascot. I'm surprised he wasn't seriously injured. They showed a montage of his finest moments last night and it brought back the memory of the time he sledded down the stairs all the way from the top of the section directly across from us. "Don't get any bright ideas," I told Stella. "Don't worry mom," Stella replied in the same horror.

T-Shirt Guy, of course, was there , and as a Bucks Season subscriber, he was clearly taking advantage of the pair of upgraded seats you get as part of the package. Rather than being behind the basket, he was seated this evening pretty much behind the Bucks' bench. T-Shirt Guy basically wears a different T-Shirt every game, with some positive message for the Bucks Players and fans. It's sort of like seeing what Bart's going to write on the chalkboard at the beginning of the Simpsons: Hey what's T-Shirt Guy going to have on his chest tonight? He even knows he's T-Shirt Guy, and his shirt tonight (which I didn't get as clear a picture of as I would have liked) read: "T-Shirt Guy Says Don't Let Mo, Reuben or Charlie go. Hope he's back next year, because he's hit my sentiments exactly. Being the Cubs fan that I am, I'm with T-Shirt guy: I still believe in 'em. Not quite sure what it is I believe about them, but there's a reason I keep coming back. Maybe next year I'll figure out exactly what it is.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

50 Years of LIving Large: Party Like a Rock Star


voot and john
Originally uploaded by V'ron.
I lied about staying home and chilling this weekend. I had a perfectly excellent thing to do on Saturday night; but it was a surprise birthday party for two of Milwaukee's more influential (but commercially underrated and unrecognized) musicians and I didn't want to risk that they might stumble upon the blog and alas, ruin the surprise. John Frankovic and Voot Warnings are married to two of the coolest women I have ever come across, and besides being cool, Amalia Schoone and Rhonda Greenhaw-Wood are master party planners. A party at the Uptowner would have been too obvious: no, they herded all their husband's friends into the back room at Von Trier's (you didn't know Von Trier's had a back room, did you?) and Frankovic and Warnings were fairly surprised. (As you can almost count on, as they arrived in the building, there was the inevitable latecomer arriving with a obviously-wrapped birthday gift, but still. Holding a surprise until even 5 minutes before everybody hollers is still a remarkable achievement.). And Schoone and Greenhaw-Wood catered the thing with fabulous Thai food to soak up all the beer that an old-fashioned German gasthaus could provide rock and roll musicians with. If you know John and Voot, and you didn't know about this, don't be offended: I know for a fact that Amalia and Rhonda did everything they could to get the word out to everybody while still keeping it a surprise. But it looked like they did a good job covering the amazing cross-section of people whose lives were touched, enriched, and influenced by Voot and John's music, art, and friendship.

If you don't know Voot and John though, you should at least familiarize yourselves with their art/music. Besides being a founding member and bass player for Plasticland, John's put out some great solo stuff and has sat behind the recording console for a number of bands, and he's sat in with a variety of instruments for other bands, including Brian's outfit, F/i. I had the pleasure of working with him on a one-off project where we covered a Pixies tune in a German caberet style: just his presence in the room was invigorating as we hashed out the arrangement. (He played trombone on it, and just fell into the arrangement as naturally as can be.) He loves to play, he's a consensus-minded producer, and you should run out right now and buy his stuff. Voot? Look, we can comment on the obvious, and tell you to run out and buy "Platinum" (the only CD available of his work), and hear all his classic hits: "Dance Motherfucker Dance" (which he performed at mine and Brian's wedding) and "Sampson-Bruce" and my personal favorite "You Flinch." Or I can reminisce about all those wonderful versions of those bands he put together to back him up: The Fresh Sounds, The Band of Steves, which did his own tunes as well as covers of all his 45s' one hit pop gems from the 60s and 70s. Or I can tell you simply to seek out his stuff, and get thee to a bar on one of those (unfortunately now rare) times when he plays out.

So that's what I did this weekend: drank a toast to two wonderful musicians on their 50th birthday, with mutual friends I only get to see once or twice a year. We've all "grown up" and none of us get out as much as we used to, so I felt like I was at this high school class reunion, chock full of people I actually liked way back when and regret that I don't get to hang with more often.

We interrupted the Frankowarnings party to catch the Bucks versus, oh, who cares? The season's pretty much over and the stars aren't even on the court that much. Coach K all but has admitted he's treating the remainder of the season as exhibition, most of the "stars" are on the injury list, and when it became obvious that they once again weren't going to pull it out, we pulled out and headed back to Von Trier's. Then the whole party moved to the Uptowner, a bar I more closely associate with Voot and the platoon of friends all facing our rock and roll age.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Winter Whining, because it's still winter

It's Friday the 13th, what better excuse to whine, eh? But first, weekend plans to get out of the way: I really don’t have much. There's not a lot of bands I must see this weekend, rather, I need to practice my own stuff for my show coming up. Plus I've got the Cream City Photogs Show coming up. I need to just freaking chill. If I do anything, I'll pop into Marla Karaoke Queen's Karaoke tonight, at the Bavarian Inn at Old Heidelburg Park in Glendale. Marla won't be there tonight, but First Lieutenant Dave will be, banging out the Alice Cooper, and if I do anything, I'll attempt, get this, Motorhead's "Ace Of Spades" only because I'm impressed that there's a Karaoke list with "Ace of Spades" on it.

So I had this whole, "random ramblings" blog entry I was planning on that would have ended up being just a bunch of whining about stupid little things that tick me off lately, but Kurt Vonnegut died and that's not insignificant. I'm very sad about this; I know that people die sooner or later, and Vonnegut was getting up there, but still, I need to pause and say thank you to a man who indirectly taught me how to read. What I mean is that, at the point in my life, (high school), where I was beginning to realize that a great book wasn't just a story in and of itself, it was a "work" that needed to be digested, it was "Cat's Cradle" I was reading when I hit that epiphany. It was a reason I ended up majoring in English in College, and to this day, I still refer to that undergraduate time as "when I learned how to read." Like Dr. Seuss taught so many of us to read when we were kids, I think Kurt Vonnegut taught us how to read as adults.

Anyway, back to living, and my rants.

  • Reason No. 57 why you shouldn't count on myspace too much: Right when I've got a bunch of things to "post bulletins" about, the whole bulletin feature is down. How am I gonna find out what to do this weekend? How am I going to broadcast to all my "friends" that I've got this photo show and Loblolly gig coming up? Thank goodness I still know how to configure an email client and use Google/Yahoo. It's sort of how you learn to back up your computer regularly AFTER you lose all your precious data after a hard drive crash. I've learned to keep in touch with my pals outside of myspace ever since that time a few months back when they had that funky bug caused glitch that kept me from being able to log in for a week and a half. But, like restoring a backup, it's still a hassle getting around. Oh, and now a bunch of my "friends" are spamming me. One sent a real message apologizing for the spam and I replied, "Look, if you're ticked off about spam on Myspace, you have way too high expectations to be on myspace. No problem. Its quite obvious you've been hacked, and I'm not going to de-friend you for that. Hack victims need all the friends they can get."

  • The Walgreens Policy of Having To Pay For Your Cosmetics At the Cosmetics Counter: God, I hate this. What, will the register at the front blow up if you try to scan some nail polish through it? If you have to pick up a whole bunch of things PLUS a tube of mascara, you MUST pay for it all at the Cosmetics counter. There are some Walgreenses that get really anal about this. My Walgreens just gets visibly annoyed. What is this all about? Is it because it's easy to shoplift a lipstick? Got news for you, there's NOBODY at the Costmetics counter unless you're buying something, so you could just as easily slip a nail file into your purse whether you're supposed to pay for it at the cosmetics counter or the front. I remember one time I actually got yelled at by the bitch at the east side Walgreens' cosmetics counter. It's like I was robbing her commission or something. I swear to God, the only thing that keeps me going back to Walgreens (besides the convenience, its not like anybody in Milwaukee lives further than four blocks from a Walgreens) is my total and complete hatred of Wal-Mart.

  • Will somebody please post a sign or something to remind drivers going North on I-94/43, approaching the Interchange to I-794/I-43 North that the right lane goes to I-794 East, leaving only two lanes to go North? I can't tell you how many near accidents I've seen (or almost been a victim of) because some dufus decided to merge into the northbound lanes about 50 feet after they were established on the exit ramp to I-794 East. And I flipped the bird at all of them, until I realized that the only reason I know that exit (and thus termination of that far right lane) is indeed an exit is because I drive it every day to get downtown to work. There is really no warning, no obvious clue that this is coming up. If you're just passing through (and I started to notice that a large percentage of people who blow this have out-of-state license plates) and not familiar with this interchange (and the confusing construction around it), you'd have no clue that you're about to make this bonehead dufus move. Now, really, what you shoulddo, even though it's not your fault that you got stuck on this ramp, is be safe, continue on down the ramp, deal with Downtown Milwaukee, and get back on the freeway at, say, McKinley. I know this is inconvenient, but so's having your car in the body shop for a week.

  • Yes, the snow is really grating on me too. April. April snow showers kill May flowers. I already put my snow boots away, and this isn't even fun snow.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Shamless Self Promotion


Cream City Photogs
Originally uploaded by V'ron.
Well, this is it. This is the photo show that I'm doing on Gallery Night. Myself and 7 other local emerging photographers are literally throwing our work up on a wall to see what happens.

Find out more about us here. My "theme" for the evening will be The Audience. You've seen enough of my work on the people on the stage. I turned the camera around for this one. With one or two exceptions, this will be work I have not shown before, ANYWHERE. Not even online in my Flickr stream. It's not even in my "portfolio" at the Cream City Photogs site. Why not? Well, for one thing, most of it is good old silver gelatin prints, and I haven't gotten around to scanning them in to load them up for a digital audience. But more importantly, well, i figure, if you can see it online, you might just skip the big art opening, despite there being free food and drink. I know, that's a sin in Milwaukee, passing up free drink, but, it might be too convenient. No, if you want to see this stuff, you're just going to have to show up. I promise, its not like anything I've got on line.... yet.


My colleagues have amazing, amazing work you need to see too. Be there. Gallery Night, April 20 at Bucketworks.

More Shameless Self Promotion: Elwood, we're getting the band back together!


Loblolly at the Circle A
Originally uploaded by V'ron.
This is it. Just like it says in my "about" blurb, I got myself some fresh callouses, I had to re-learn all my songs, I had to learn all of Miles' songs, I dropped a few pounds, Miles grew this atrocious beard, Andy is squeezing us in between all his other projects, and [deep breath] I'm strapping it on and playing.

I know, with some of the harsh criticism i've given to bands here on these electronic pages, I'm really setting myself up for a tough audience. Guess I love a challenge, eh?

Somebody needs to show up with a camera. I can't be doing self-portraits all night can I? Especially since it's at the Circle A, where I already did a self there.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

DJing my way out of watching a Bucks loss

Well, I'm sure glad I had this DJ gig to do tonight so that i would have a perfectly good reason for leaving the Bucks game early:I'm just worn out and tired of watching them lose a game they should've won, without even going into overtime. Charlie Bell finally got off his no shot streak; I never thought I'd be glad to hear "Ring My Bell" so many times. I was actually pining to hear "Ring My Bell."

The game started out wonderfully and innocently enough: The Midwest Vocal Chorus brought the anthem wonderfully, as they usually do. By the end of the first quarter, they're actually up by 12. But even the fans behind us know a foreboding gloom. One of them has a theory about the Bucks of late: they're coming out like gangbusters to show us they can play, and then they blow it so that they'll get the first draft pick. Interesting theory, but having the crappiest record just gives you a better shot at having a good draft pick. No guarantees. And on top of that, the Bucks don't need "fresh young talent." They have plenty of fresh young talent. They need some more experience. And maybe a touch of style on the court, like New York's Renaldo Balkman. You can say a lot about him, but you can't deny he has style, the way he weaves in and out of pockets, or a little flourish as he tosses off a rebound.

At least the sideshow stuff was fun. Cute video of Bango frustratingly playing golf: the bed music of "Theme From Benny Hill" should give you an idea of the flavor of that little schtick. But I had a job to do and I needed to leave to do it.


Tiki bar light at the Foundation
Originally uploaded by V'ron.
And that job was DJing with Darrell "The Brains" Martin at the Foundation, a lovely little bar in Riverwest that has a tiki theme and, to our delight, a clientele who likes all sorts of music, and I like to think we delivered. Darrell and I traded off sets, so I didn't write down everything he played, but here's my sets:

Set 1:
Baby's On Fire/Eno
Kasmir/ EZ Pour Spout
She Loves Strangers/David Johansen
About the Weather/Magazine
Flowers/The Psychedlic Furs
Hospital Food/Eels
Down On The Farm/Tom Verlaine
Insanely Jealous/The Soft Boys
I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts/X

Set 2:
Opera Star/Neil Young
So You Wanna Be A Rock And Roll Star/Patti Smith
No. 13 Baby/The Pixies
Leaky Tunnel/The Fiery Furnaces
Beck's Bolero/Jeff Beck Group
High on Life/Rasputina
We Live As We Dream, Alone/Gang of Four
Randy Souse Git/The Monkees
The In Crowd/Bryan Ferry
Threshold Apprehension/Frank Black
People Who Died/Jim Carroll Band
Preach The Blues/The Gun Club
Everybody's Happy Nowadays/Buzzcocks

Set 3:
Theme From The Vindicators/The Fleshtones
Left in the Dark/The Vertebrats
Don't you Just Know It/The Fendermen
Brand New Cadillac/Big Daddy Sun and the Outer Planets
Pipeline/Anthrax
Space Invaders/The Pretenders
Harlem Nocturne/Danny Gatton
Slaughter on 10th Avenue/Mick Ronson

So many faces in the crowd, I can't list them all here, but suffice to say a bunch of people I know and love showed up and that made the Easter Vigil all the more lovely. (What's the Easter Vigil without Anthrax and the Gang of Four, eh?) Especially since it's too darn cold to do my annual Easter Sunday bike ride. It's even too cold for the daffodils. I hope my tulips survive this cold snap.