I could make out mostly blues and black dripping down his shoulders in the dim light. If my sight’s going along with my hearing then I’ll credit it to never wearing sunglasses, over wearing contacts & staring at eclipses as a child- however, Bob’s shoulders draped with ink, it clicked in my head the second we greeted to say, “Hey hipster”… A twitch in his eye fluxed with the rest of the bar. I think a man turned his barstool towards me while the bartender considered losing his job over jumping me. I’d handle my own, but logic prevailing I’d be up against at least two blades and a bartstool, none the means of a fair fight. Welcome to Riverwest, Milwaukee.
“…Aaaaaaaaay”, defend Bob to my hipster comment, shakes my hand and we get to work. The show’s setup was fairly easy, the drummer had already organized his equipment on stage, guitar amps were placed nicely about the platform, and my guys were loading while Bob and I conversed logistics. There’s something to Milwaukee, mainly Eastside, that I’ve fallen in considerable love with. The crude, blunt-natured, cutthroat, drug induced pit of it all… feels like home. Credit it to the mass of friends that I initially met at our first Mifflin St. Block Party performance, or the fact whenever we’re hanging out I’m getting paid to speak, would be nice guesses. It’s part of the love, but not the whole. The essence of Milwaukee is in its ease. Relative to New Orleans (if you’ve never been, what the fcuk are you doing! Stop reading and GO NOW), the culture is socially simple- There’s an uptown (Brady St./Eastside), an anti-uptown (Riverwest), a brutally rich portion of the city, and an equally brutally neglected portion of the city (Westside). My dream is to throw a street fest on the Westside and get everyone from Brady to make the voyage over. Gimme 5 years, I’ll get it;)
The beginning of the evening’s show went slower than a play at the Guthrie. I’ve gotten over the nervousness of playing to an empty crowd, and’ve just learned to vamp out and run with it. The effort, energy, and time put into this one hurt to see the outcome. And just as Melissa Czarnik stepped on stage, in came the cavalary. Roadie, a super long time friend, and company start showing up by the Taxi-load. Funneling into the club, all of a sudden we have a half-full Stonefly Brewery and the pending doom to any musician to performing in front of nobody is easily out of sight.
We drink, we dance, we lose our voices, as the night rounds out singing Happy Birthday to a kid named Clay, a week earlier than intended… seeing as he’s scheduled to go to jail in the next few days… for a year.
The privilege to rock a man’s last show before he goes to the clink, run around a foreign city for a night where more people know your name than you think, and do what you love on top of it all… yah, it’ll bring a smile to your face at some point.
K, gotta get to finishin’ this song with Mayda. It’s the last f’ng song on the mixtape… and we have the mixtape party next weekend- geh!
FRIDAY, JULY 8
CAUSE SOUNDBAR (3001 Lyndale Ave. S.)
ME, THE BLEND, DR. WYLIE, GORDHEAD, & THE JUMPSHIP
21+, $6, 9PM
You should go: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=127489030666951