- Last I wrote, I was looking forward to Mardi Gras in Riverwest, and that did not disappoint. The Electric VooDoo Gris Gris band did indeed redeem themselves, and just generated an overall party atomophere at the first stop, the Uptowner. Eric Griswold, dressed in what I'm sensing is his official Mardi Gras outfit, complete with flashing lights, led the happy crowd down the street to the next stop.
- That next stop was Club Timbuktu, where Eat the Mystery was in fine form, doing their poor stage bit in a club well named for not only its African decor, but for delicious snacks. Admittedly, the fish soup Marlavous ordered took a bit long to be served, but it was worth the wait, and 9 pm on a Tuesday night isn't exactly when any kitchen is humming at top speed. ETM fit in wonderfully with all this, though: MArdi Gras is definitely a poor peoples' celebration, and ETM is are just a different kind of poor people. Angie is recovering well from a bicycle accident that took out some of her teeth, but she's no less lovely for it. The addition of Danny Price added a touch of Tom Waits to the mix, which, in a gumbo-like way, just seemed to work.
- Next stop: House of Frank n Stein. Great place, great dogs, but they'd run out of whiskey. Mark Shurilla and Bob Jorin both agreed: "What? No band? No whiskey? Outta here!" I helped Dave Alswager finish a a beer as well (I'm just not really a whiskey-drinkin gal, ever since that one night in college....) so we were behind them.
- Last stop, Linneman's, where we warmed up the room for the rest of the revelers that arrived about 45 minutes after us. That gave Sigmund Snopek and his able buddy (whose name shamefully escapes me) time to sing a few songs, and warm up the able buddy's Satchmo voice. Good thing too -- the rest of the crowd arrived and were welcomed to a racous trombone blowing, multi percussioned (albeit synthed, but still good) processional, which merged into a Riverwest take on "When the Saints Go Marching In." Excellent end to a Milwaukee pub crawl-cum-Mardi Gras. I wouldn't have it any other way.
- OK, here's the thing about the Bucks. their top two guys are out, and they're still contenders for the playoffs. They're losing a lot of games lately they should have won, but still... it's like watching Gonzaga or Valpo at the Tournament. You know they're not going to the final four, but like a powerball ticket you buy into it just in case. The other night the family hit the game (enduring an anthem from a high school choir that was so atrocious I'm not going to embarrass them by naming them: you know who you are and you are NOT ready for the big time) and had a good time, despite the fact that the New Jersey Nets did not win this game; the Bucks lost it. Oh, and fans, grow some class and quit with the booing Yi already. I've said it before and I'll say it again, it's not like he screwed us royal or anything. You'd think he was Brett Favre the way he was booed.
- A quick kudos to the always helpful staff at the Bradley Center. A week ago Sunday Sammy and I were at the game, and in his excitement to get a couple of thundersticks (we sit in the section behind the opposing team's basket for the second half), he tripped and his cheek landed right on the concrete steps. Ouch. First reponsders were appropriately giving him the ice, but also related to him on his level and friendly. Well, when we arrived at the game this past Tuesday, the usher who first helped us out was taking tickets, saw Sammy, remembered him, and asked him how his cheek was. Sammy's used to be remembered by people, but I was genuinely touched at the concern.
- Tweeter @riverwest wants to know, and I do too: What the hell is Saylece's and why has it overtaken Riverwest Commons? The Accidental Wisconsinite spotted the fact that Rivewest Commons seems to be under new management, and she reports that there's a vague myspace posting saying it's no longer going to be a music club. I'm going to investigate this during my musical travels this coming weekend.
So, speaking of the upcoming weekend.....
- First, tonight, I see my favorite musicians in the world, my sweet Stella and Sammy. Tonight is their school's annual Winter Sing (and it's expanded to be basically Winter Music night). The theme this year is Jazz, and Sammy's been singing his class' offering all day, dropped names like Duke and Ella as though they were his contemporaries. So I'm a parent; the sound of my children's music is second only to their laughter as the sweetest sound in the world.
- Friday night I'm going to have to go on tour, there's just too many of my favorites and "what are they doing now" events happening. Scott Wooldridge and his brother are back in town, at Turner tonight to celebrate the release of their newest CD in a while, "Days Went Around." It's really good -- lots of that good folksy but strong power pop that doesn't skimp on good lyric writing. Binky Tunny is at Live on North avenue. The Julie B Well, featuring Julie Brandenburg, is at the Miramar with three other intense (and likely proggy) bands, so there will be no shortage of top musicianship there. And on my side of town, a double whammy of rare outings: McTavish and the Velvet Underground project at Liquor sweets. They share many of the same personnel, just different costumes.
- Saturday night is cover night. Right now, I'm torn between a fix of the 5 Card Studs (at the Ale House, always a fun place to catch them) and Brother Louie at Liquor Sweets. I'm still trying to confirm a Transistor Royale sighting (at Serb Hall?) but last I heard this might have been cancelled. I'll post again if I hear. In any event, the Bucks have a game that night; we do too, and boys, we need a win from you going into March Madness, or March will be mad, indeed.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have a bazillion Girl Scout cookies to help my kid deliver.