Thursday, April 24, 2008

I looked and I did not hear

So I did a lot of gallery night walks, but I was too pooped to hit any bands this past weekend. Friday night I stayed in the third ward, and checked out the CoPA show at the P&H Dye House, and it was indeed impressive. The thing about CoPA is that they do have a variety of styles amongst its membership, and the show was wonderfully varied in those styles. It was almost overwhelming, the size of the show, but still very good.

Walked over to the Marshall Building next, and ran into Danielle Champagne, whose rock and roll photography seems to have faded into the film age. She mentioned that she has a stockpile of photographs of Beautiful Bert (who, you may know passed on recently, and no, I have no more information other than what I've already posted about him) that I'm going to help her get scanned and online, and hopefully can talk her into putting a lot of her other work online as well. She pretty well documented the underground Riverwest music scene in the 90s -- I'm sure a lot of people would be very interested in her work. We also popped into The Cedar Gallery to see some illuminating paintings by Charles James Kaiser. Illuminating is the right word for his work -- it seems to glow about, a very otherworldly treatment of what could have been very mundane subjects: people near a swimming pool, backyards, etc. Guiding us through was Kaiser's second cousin, Milwaukee political gossip Michael Horne, whose own writing has been a favorite of mine from his old "Plenty of Horne" column in the Shepherd to his now current blog. Enjoyed the art, enjoyed the company, and I went home to enjoy a fine carry out dinner from Royal India. I was thoroughly planning to go out and enjoy more art, as well as a few bands, but I laid down on the couch, and the next thing I knew it was 2 am. Guess I was tired.

Saturday I didn't fare much better when it came to listening to music. Stella and Sam and I made it to Diamond Ink, where Washday's Cigar Box guitars were even more impressive than they sounded. They are quality instruments, and they take the beauty of their origins as ornate cigar boxes and wonderfully incorporate that history. Mike Fredricksen's paintings never fail to disappoint. He has a way of capturing a persona in his paintings (I've seen him perfectly nail people I know, so I am taking a calculated guess that I can trust he did that with others as well) that captures the personality as well. Someday when I can afford it, I'm going to commission something from him. Finally, Jim Eanelli had some work that was more abstract, but warranted further investigation. I'm not a huge abstract fan, but his work seemd to fit in with Washday, Fredricksen, and John Lennon's sketches.

Again, I had totally planned on going out that night, but stayed in with the kiddos instead.

Finished off the art week checking out the Foto exhibit at the Milwaukee Art Museum, and if you haven't had a chance to check it out, I heartily recommend it. It's nicely curated, and amongst some of the predictably depressing work (face it, the first half of the 20th Century wasn't a happy time for Central Europe), there are moments of humanity that seem timeless -- from the soccer goalie barely missing the ball (and that moment of regretful agony on his face), to portraits of couples in love, to women finding the source of their mystery and power, it's a great survey of what Central Europe was all about, socially, artistically, and emotionally. Bravo, MAM.

Anyway, on to this weekend. Serious power pop bill at the Cactus Club Friday night: The Box Social (from Madison, saw them a half year ago and was mighty impressed), Molitor, and headlining will be The New Loud, back from a national tour. Saturday night at Shank they're celebrating the release of the Thunder and Lightning movie -- the story of the Milwaukee couple who made the Neil Diamond show their life -- with Mark Shurilla and the Greatest Hits providing the tunes. Sunday, there's a terrific private show (worth trying to see if you can get tix for) at The Ring -- Run Run Run comes back from LA with the White Hot Tizzies and sixthstation favorites IROCKZ. Maybe this time around I'll be able to not sleep through the weekend.

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