It's not Center Street Daze without.....
|Frank, at his last emcee performance|
|Miss Amber overseeing the festivities|
|The ultimate speed winners|
|the kid in a rare moment of non-obliviousness|
|Start your day off right with the Hullmen|
|One of the Size 5s|
|Domestic Terrorist takes a maintenance break|
Quick blast to Quarters to see a refreshing female-fronted band called Faux Fiction, who sounded great but had the unfortunate task of having to play at the roughly the same time as Voot. Plenty of people whose opinions I trust assured me that they're worth looking out for to catch again, and that I will. Lead singer Gabriella Kartz has one of those arresting voices that brings to mind X-Ray Spex's Poly Styrene - it can be harsh and shrill, but she knows how to control it well enough that it was a pleasant soundtrack for my walk down Bremen to my ultimate destination.
So, Voot Warnings. I'll let the title of this post call it. What is there to say? Lately he's gotten darker and heavier (a lot of the feel of the Gargoyles/Gothics, a band he briefly did with Peder Hedman and Vic Demechei about 20 years back) but you can still count on old classics like "I'm God" to make it into the set. During "Jesus Christ Is My Wife," expat Kristie Reinders (in town during a whirlwind tour of Wisconsin weirdness, if you know her, ask to see her pictures of the Woodcarver's Museum) let me know that she's helping Voot translate it into Spanish "so he can offend even more people." I'm particularly liking some of the more complex stuff he's putting together lately. I wish I could remember the title of this song he once introduced as a "Y2K Disaster Movie Soundtrack" because it's one of my faves. Paul "The Fly" Lawson later informed me it's "Death Ray 2000" so I wasn't that far off.
I ran to take a lap at the fest between sets, specifically to see Mary Firary and Lori Sometimes-Allwaise's latest act, Sordid Details, but although they were scheduled at 5ish, they weren't up yet at Studio Central. Probably because Lori was still hammering away on her washboard as part of Mood Vertigo recordings (that's my guess as to what this act was called, it matched the schedule) over by the Uptowner. It was Lori and another guy I didn't recognize behind those Foster Grants (earlier I didn't even recognize the Hullmen behind their sunglasses-- that was embarrassing!) playing along to some prerecorded guitar and bass work and sounding great doing it. Lori told me later that it was Kirk McFarlin -- glad to see him out and about again. The Ryan Meisel Quartet was outside of the Jazz Gallery, playing, duh, some lovely mellow jazz, and I got back to the Bremen Cafe in time for Voot's second set but didn't see much of it because, well, you know how it gets at festivals where everybody you know is lurking around somewhere -- walking five feet takes forever because by the second foot you've run into somebody you haven't see in ages.
So I camped outside during one of the more beautiful summer evenings we've had in Milwaukee and got caught up with folks like Stoney Rivera and Mark, Paul The Fly Lawson, Julie Brandenburg, Whispering Jeff, Jessica Knurr (still basking in the glow of her solo Riverwest 24 run), and a new friend we made that we all recognized as the naughty woman in the Cart Race, all of those folks who have seen Voot a hundred times (but never miss him for the same reason my Catholic mother never missed Sunday Mass), and got caught up in a conversation such that I only caught Voot's last song in his second set. I was pooped out, and didn't make it back to Studio Central to see Sordid Details, but if the scuttlebutt on Facebook is any indication, they blew the house away and had a lot of fun doing it. Like a lot of the acts I only caught a glimpse of, (including Klaus Nomi's Homies, who have been out for over a year and I STILL haven't seen them) I'm going to have to come back and see them on a day when there aren't fifty other bands playing. But it's like eating at a smorgasbord, you only get a little of everything, and you feel too full afterwards. Crap, consider how long this blog post is! Well, it's not a festival post without a complete rundown, eh? Here's photographic evidence of just how the whole day felt.