Thursday, June 19, 2008

Ups and Dows and Ins and Outs and Balance


Tiny Bubbles, Accordion Style
Originally uploaded by V'ron
Let's starts with the Ups and Ins and Outs: the wonderful Squeezettes at Humboldt Park Chill on the Hill last Tuesday. That's the only show I made it to since last weekend. (Unless you want to count the surrealism that is the Marlavous Marla Karaoke, especially on Marla's birthday last friday. Marla was in fine form, and there was some wedding going on that night, and Frank Chandek stepped out of his comfort zone to do Jim Morrison -- and he did it well. Highlight of the night -- besides the delicious custard from Kopps, the "pancakes and syrup" flavor was to die for -- was this one dude who [unpurposefully] did LennonMcCarney's Help answering the question, "What if Bob Dylan was the Beatles' lead singer?")
Back to Humboldt park and yet another spectacular summer evening. The Squeezettes, featuring the wonderfully clear voice of Sarah Kozar, were a perfect backdrop for a family day in the park. They approach the accordion-ized versions fo the songs they pick -- everything from Tiny Bubbles to to Folsom Prison Blues to 99 Luftbaloons -- with not a hint of irony, and yet make every one of them sound joyful and fresh and perfectly natural accompanied by squeezeboxes. (And yes, they did that Who song too). I mean, how can anybody not love Kozar's clear, strong, "What if Kate Smith got laid on a more than occasional basis" voice waking you up with an Abba medley, surrounded by bubbles, little kids chasing them, a perfect summer breeze, and a spectacular sunset.

The people who have put together this series have really done their best to make it a varied series, and it's bringing out the Bay Viewers to really establish their neighborhood as "The Other East Side." This is a 'hood that embraces all that it's about, and that's great to see.

Spotted in the Crowd: Riverwesterners Mark G.E., and former Riverwesterner Mary Jo Klein (with son John in tow), Transistor Royale's Eric Knitter, former Kozar bandmate Don Turner, Oh what a tangled web we weave Ted Jorin (in a band with Knitter and Turner) and his family, a pack of Downtown Montessori kids and parents, Miss Spent Youth (otherwise known as artist Linda Beckstron) and husband Ken, and finally, Mr. Grant Richter.
Here we see the CEO of Wiard Synthesizers with his latest find -- the last known pack of Solo coffee cups. This is the thing about Grant. He finds these things. Heunderstands these things. It's a good thing, too, because I never really got the point of Solo Cozy Cups (made in my alma mater's town of Urbana, Il, BTW). What, so you'd have a perfectly clean coffee cup every time? Is that shape supposed to keep the coffee hot longer? Help, me somebody.

Anyway, it's been a weird week since the storms hit.
  • Fond du Lac skapunks Offend Your Friends met with an awful tragedy -- a freak explosion at their house/rehearsal space resulted in not only a major wreck of a house but the loss of ALL their instruments, gear, and clothing. They're selling t=shirts to begin to put a dent in their loss, but I'll report back if I learn of any major fundraising going on for them. They're a terrific tight ska band from up north of here, and I hate to see them going through this.

  • Oh, and get this. Some asshole stole Beautiful Bert's ashes/remains right out of his freaking grave. The dirt wasn't even packed down when the jerk went and stole it. I.Am.So.Sure.

To get over all this, I think I'm going to need some remarkable music this weekend, and there's a lineup that should not disappoint:
  • I'm missing the wonderful Powertrane featuring the legendary Deniz Tek of Radio Birdman at the Ring tonight. I hope i can count of Blaine Schultz, who pointed this out to me, to report in on this.

  • Friday night, Eat the Mystery is at the Astor Theatre, which will be a perfect place to see their poor man's stage show.

  • Julie B does jazz and prog Saturday night at the Riverwest Commons, which might be a great way to follow up the Les Paul show at the Pabst that Brian and I have nosebleed seats for. (We were in on the presale, and this was still the best we could get.)

  • Or, Dax Riggs (former deadboy) headlines a show at the Cactus Club that includes Altatl as well as Danny Price and the Loose Change.

  • And Sunday, the Les Paul exhibit opens at Discovery World.

  • Will all this balance out eventually. I hope so.

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