Friday, May 08, 2009

Random ramblings in Web 2.0


Setser eats the mystery
Originally uploaded by V'ron
Back again, from another hiatus, with a pack of random ramblings, since I've been gone awhile. And I'm going to credit the internet for keeping me somewhat connected, as much as many internet tools are getting dissed these days by people who don't use them or didn't do their homework on them. We begin with a quiz I took on Facebook.
No, I'm not Setser, but I took the " Are you Setser" quiz on facebook and learned that I'm an ingenue. And I also realized that I haven't blogged in a while. I've got this new job and all, and settling in there, and I've been busy with my girl scout troop (back to back weekends riding horses and camping.) And getting ready for school-year-end stuff. But it was that Facebook quiz that got me writing again.



rainbow, first of 09
Originally uploaded by V'ron.

Last night I saw yet another rainbow! I'd twittered that was it coincedence or what that I've seen more rainbows since my kids were born than I've seen my entire life! At least two or three a summer -- and before that, I think maybe only 2 or three over 38 years. Go figure. I posted this fact on both Tiwtter and Facebook, and was reminded that it's nocoincedence -- that perhaps it's the kids in my life that brought the rainbows (get the bucket, I know, but then again).... or that because of the kids I'm noticing the rainbows more. Whatever it is, last night was the first one this season. Between that and my tulips in full bloom, I'm happy to say that Spring is finally here.


Speaking of Setser, yes indeedy, he was in the last band I saw before I went on this random band-seeing-blogging hiatus. You don't normally see him with a guitar around his neck, but that's what he did with the Aimless Blades at Frank's Power Plant a couple of Fridays ago. I think of the Aimless Blades more as The Blaine Schultz Experience, but they're really a band, a band that loves its American songwriters (Young, Dylan, et al) as much as it loves a good garagey, psychedelic jam. They sounded more like a garage band that night than their CDs, especially the most recent, Rara Avis, would suggest, but I do like both flavors. Wish they would play out more. Opening the show that night was a grrl fronted outfit out of Peoria called Tina Sparkle. (Note to Tina's lead singer: If you're going to acknowledge the other bands on the bill -- which you absolutely should as a guest in town -- make it a point to get their names right, so it looks like your "thank you for having us" is sincere. You're young, though, I'll letcha slide this time.) Interestingly complex songwriting and a passionate rhythm section, they were, although a little long on despair and a little short on triumph. It's a trap that these sort of bands fall into, but they were damn good. Wrapping up the night was the always enjoyable Floor Model. Found out about this show from a good old fashioned email.


The Dark Dan
Originally uploaded by V'ron.
Previous to that, I finally caught a former co-worker's band at Zad's Roadhouse. I worked with Dan Clark (frontman for the Dark Clan, get it?) last year at Anonymous Interative Design Firm and knew I wanted to see his band, who just finished a quick east coast tour. Dan's even more animated on stage than I pictured this app dev to be, and he straddles the line between seriouisness (as regards his musicianship) and parody (as regards his stage presence). That sense of humor keeps his combination of goth/vamp and rock from slipping into overindulgent prog, and I thus found the Dark Clan to be an enjoyable bunch. The only criticism I can level at this point is admittedly based in my bias for wanting both a bass and guitar in a band. Clark plays both, but not at the same time. He's a good bass player, but a more fun guitarist to watch, so my advice is find a bass player, Dan. This town's full of 'em, it shouldn't be all that hard. The other musicians in the band are two keyboards and a drummer. The full gothy sound that I'm expecting from these songs really needs both-- they keys aren't making up for the missing guitar or bass. But that's about it. They were musically competent, visually fun, and lyrically clever. Good combination, I'm looking forward to another show. Learned about this show by Tweeting Dan Clark (@downrightamazed) about his tour and he tweeted back this particular gig.


Enchanted fairy dolls
Originally uploaded by V'ron.
It's a bit long to comment on Gallery Night, but Stella and I stopped into the Villa Terrace (not on the official Gallery Night tour) to see Enchanted Doll and we're sure glad we did. It's running through June 7, and it's worth the price of admission. Marina Brychkova creates dolls based on folk tales and legends (mostly european and russian) but that doesn't tell you the half of her amazing work. Some of the base dolls she uses are ceramic, which presents challenges when tattooing some of them. Her costume-making and beadwork are especially amazing. And the overall comment on the definition of female beauty (and many variations are explored) is compelling. Stella was a little freaked out by some of them (there are near-nudes, especially amongst the fairy folk, and they're precise…) but overall, we're glad we went. Oh, and BTW, you Twitter-haters. I heard about this show on Twitter. See, it's useful!

OK, since it's timely I'll comment. No, I probably won't buy the near certain release of Danny Gokey's album, but I like *him*. He seems like a good guy and he's got a terrific voice and all. I'm just not that into Michael McDonald. Nevertheless, even if I hated him, this whole gokey-mania is good for the city. It's going to put a positive national spotlight that millions will see next Tuesday when the "hometown hero" segment runs on American Idol. The world needs to see that there's more to Milwaukee than Jeffrey Dahmer, which is still the first phrase you hear when you're traveling and you mention you're from Milwaukee. So, yes, bring on the parades and the endless coverage. It won't be any worse than traffic during that annoying Circus Parade. You can catch the entire itiniery on the Milwaukee Journal's website, www.jsonline.com. Good old school web page.

And tonight, Mike Brylski and his artwork are BACK. He's opening tonight at Jackpot Studio, right across the street from the Fuel Café on Locust, and I shamefully forgot the name of the joint. Our family owns three Brylskis -- and as former (and hopefully future) gallery owner Kurt Mueller points out, "It is said that no home in Riverwest is complete without a Brylski." We don't live in Riverwest, but still. We find new things to see in our Brylski pieces all the time. Found out about this via a oldschool phone call from Brylski himself! And get this, he called my land line -- ostensibly from his land line. Oh, how 1997!

And finally, since Riverwest seems to be a good place to be this evening, its worth at trip to the Art Bar to see Julie B do her solo thing early in the evening, and some of her jazz later in the evening. She's just finishing up her piece for her graduate work, and I'll blog more about that in the future. This I learned from both her Facebook posting and her myspace posting. Get over it, Web 2.0 snobs. If you have a band, as butt-ugly as the UI is there, myspace is where you have to be. It's still to musicians as Flickr is to photographers.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to put on something to get "Takin' It To the Streets" out of my head. Damn that Michael McDonald. And no, I'm not downloading it via iTunes. Why pay for something you've got going in your head?