Saturday, January 05, 2008

Rollercoaster


fire jugglers at bucketworks
Originally uploaded by V'ron
Up Up Up: The new Bucketworks! It's beautiful. We stopped in on our way to the Bucks game and James Carlson and his crew has worked wonders on that site since that day last summer when I helped them move. I feel kind of guilty that I haven't had a chance to help out since, but still. I'll make the time next year: the energy in that place, full of people ready to create, figure out what's in side of them, and just sheer determination to build something good, was just too intense for me to forget.

The rooms are bigger, the temperature is more comfortable, and each place is more conducive overall to its purpose: the theatre area seems more like a theatre, the playspace really works as an area where one could put together ideas or simply meet and and do what Carlson calls "value gatherings." The art area is much the same, but it's much better organized, and the business incubator really looks like its name. "We're not done yet," Carlson said, almost apolegitically, like this place isnt' where he wants it to be yet. Give yourself a break, James. You just got an occupancy permit a week or so ago (at what trouble over the past six months I can only imagine.) Of course places like this will grow and improve. But they're off to a great start, and I left energized, thinking about the next year, slightly high off the fumes from the fireeaters they had as celebratory entertainment.

Down Down Down So we went to the Bucks game. Should I just link to or just copy everything the Bratwurst had to say about this? If you even know what's going on with the Bucks, you read the paper and so you don't need me to tell you all the sordid details. A couple of game highlights, tho: Yi rocks. He led the team scoring with something like 11 points. But instead of "leading the team scoring" I should be writing about him, "Yi had an off night, only scoring 11 points, well below his usual average." And like The Bratwurse, I'm singing the Andrew Bogut tune again. Despite stupid hair, he's back in my good graces, playing like he has something to prove (because he does.). But the team overall is forgetting they're a team. Brian noticed that Michael Redd, hurting from an injury, didn't even join the team for the huddle at the beginning of the game, despite being waved in by Desmond Mason. (All the other injury list guys in their armani suits did.) C'mon Michael. You're on the team. Act it. But that's all I'm going to write about the team.

Anthem tonight from the Franklin High School band. Franklin High School? They're relatively large and well-funed aren't they? Then why does their band suck so bad? I'm sorry, kids, but I expected better. First of all, tune up for pete's sake. They played warmup in the entry lobby, and perhaps I should blame their teacher for this, but the entry lobby is significantly colder than the stadium floor, enough of a temperature change to warrant a re-tune before you play in front of a crowd of 20K or so. Second, hey, rhythm section! PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR CONDUCTOR! You were waaaaaaay behind, not even in time with your conductor's waving arms. It was godawful. Very noticeable when the drums dropped out for "rocket's red glare" and the band sounded all together at that point. Crowd reaction should tell you the story: you got polite applause only because you're playing a song we'll all get arrested for in this day and age if we don't cheer. If this were a junior high or elementary school band, your out of tune and rhythmic biffs would have been cute and charming. I expect better from suburban high schools.
On the other hand, Franklin High School's Pom Pom Dance squad, who entertained at halftime, kicked everything, including ass. Tight, well-choreographed, great stage presence. Lines were straight, fan kicks were high and even, routine was creative and top notch. I hope these girls don't have to rely on their band for the majority of their shows (like my high school's dance squad rehearsed to my high school's band.) Outfits were sparkly, flashy, but not slutty. Good job, girls. Go kick your band into shape now.

Really, that was the major entertainment at the Bradley Center. Moving on....


headed for Sun
Originally uploaded by V'ron.
Around and Around and Around:Caroline's Jazz club is located at 401 S 2nd street, but it might as well have been at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, TN, when I walked in to catch Liam Ford and the Men in Black at the end of the night. Because, Billy Staff and his band of top notch musicians wonderfully re-create the early roots of rockabilly and melting pot of the mississippi that they could easily entertain anybody into the Memphis Seven's music. Of course, they start out with a few Johnny Cash numbers, but they swing easily through the whole set. "Liam Ford", covered with tattoos, looks like a guy who will try to get you in trouble ("you've come to the right place") but his smile and stage demeanor indicates that he'll be the first to bail you out if he succeeds. Gravely voice, love of what he's playing -- good party band that stands on its own musically. Frank Calarco easily riffs off guitar runs that give lesser pickers a hard time, and his own spin on "Sleepwalk" was the highlight of the night for me. These guys, if there's any justice, should definitely be a Summerfest and general festival draw when the weather gets warmer.

OK, I'm off to see a rare Milwaukee Snooky appearance at the BBC tonight. Can't wait.


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