Thursday, August 25, 2011

Everybody I Know Has a Big But....


Herr Seagull
Originally uploaded by V'ron
So, the end of summer is really creeping up on me. Just last night I went to a Girl Scout organizer kick-off meeting which means, well, we must be kicking off to something, which means, school is coming. Here in Wisconsin, we generally wait until after Labor Day, just like the old days.

The weather got to me this week, meaning I missed the fabulous Robyn Pluer at Chill on the Hill the other night, but I did catch the week before, a three-punch of lush rock. The headliners were the Championship, a band i've been meaning to see for some time, and Chill on the Hill was the right place to see them, because they are not exactly what I could call a street fest party band. They are lush Americana-- a little too hard to be called folk, but not quite rock and roll. They, along with openers Testa Rosa, are what I would call housecleaning music. It's lush, it's bright enough to keep you moving, but it's the kind of thing you want on the speakers to keep you on track to get all those PITA chores you have to do. I've cleaned the house to Testa Rosa before, and like their music, it sparkles from Betty Blexrud-Strigens clear, crisp vocals. The night started with some psychedelic gypsy folk from Luvahl, which happens to be Jason Loveall's new outfit. I talked to him afterwards and he explained that he just wants to go straight gypsy. We'll see about that.

A few days later, Humboldt Park played host to their first movie night, and the offering was perfect for Bay View: Pee Wee's Big Adventure. it brought in the Bay View hipsters who used to get up on Saturday mornings for wake and bakes to watch Pee Wee's Playhouse, and little kids and medium-sized kids love it too. I'm glad they've brought this tradition to the neighborhood-- I used to love the movies at River Rhythms and was sad to hear they're not doing this anymore in Pere Marquette Park. It's just as well -- it's easier to park in the Humboldt Park 'hood and the Bay View Neighborhood Association knew to bring in more vendors for snacks. It threatened to rain -- right during the scene where Pee Wee is in the giant dinosaur with Simone, who wants to explore Paris, "... but...." and Pee Wee cuts her off and says, resignedly, "Everybody I know has a big 'but' ". It's so true. I would have gone out to see Robyn Pluer a few days later, but.... I would really have loved to catch the Eels when they were in town, but.... And I definitely would be writing in the blog more often, like I used to, but.....

It's like this wonderful art installation from Herr Seagull at the Grand Avenue Mall that I missed last weekend. Thanks to Tom Strini at Third Coast Digest, who pointed me to an explanation for this odd, slapped up poster I saw early Monday morning as I made my way to the YMCA, and thought to myself, "WTF is this." It's the sort of thing that a few years ago, I would would have already known about it, and had dragged the kids to it. But.... it was very brief, and now it's gone.

I did manage to drag the kids out to a few cool things. We spent the night the other weekend at Snooze at the Zoo, an annual overnight camping trip on the Zoo grounds, so that you can hear the sea lions snorting at 3 am, and wake up to a peacock strolling by your tent. This was our second year, and we were assigned a lovely spot right near Lake Evinrude, so it really felt like we were on safari. But.... this year none of the buildings were open at night and that's a big but. Last year we got to catch mama kangaroos with their adorable little joeys in their pockets, nursing them and hopping around... and we caught lots of other twilight cuteness too. The official word is that the buildings are never open for Snooze, which I know is false. I ran into a friend who works part time at the zoo and he explained that everybody there basically has their butt cheeks clenched over the lion cubs that were born just this month, so I'll let 'em slide on this.

We also hit a church festival, this time at Our Lady of Lourdes, mostly to catch the surreal concept of seeing the Five Card Studs deliver their seventies' sexy to a bunch of middle aged Catholics, and Lourdes did not disappoint. It was a great church festival: reasonably priced (and long!) rides, real cotton candy that was made right there, bingo, piles of italians and polish festering in giant nescos (um, that's sausages, not people, hence the lower case), throw up on the Tilt-A-Whirl (which Stella discovered AFTER we took our seat on that carnival ride that forces you to work for your fun). And it was a breezy but hot summer night, watching the Studs take on the Doors "Touch Me" and subversivly sequing into "The End" while none of the faithful blinked an eye. We'd have stayed longer .... but....

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