Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Dead of winter, but Marcus Amphitheater bookings to start

Yes, it's November. There is a layer of light snow on the Summerfest grounds. Marcus Amphitheater tickets from shows in the past are stuck to my cork board. By March of 2009, we might have our first Summerfest concert announcement. Tom Petty stated that he likes to work his tour around the Summerfest show. Usually we get a flavor of the day band, a few classic bands, a couple country acts, and a surprise act for the Summerfest run.

The announcements are spaced out through the spring, and some come as late as May.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Leo Kottke, another local favorite

Leo Kottke performs at the Barrymore Theater on February 6th, in Madison Wisconsin. This wise performer is touring the south and west coasts during most of this coming winter. What a great plan. He's lived in many places, most notably Minnesota. We consider Leo to be a Midwestern man.

Kottke has the strange picking style, he fought off tendinitis, and he has worked with many of the greatest guitar players of the past fifty years. He's been around so long that he has started to rework his older recordings from the 1970's. With over thirty five recordings to his name, why not go back around and redo the oldies.

The Barrymore Theater is a perfect place to see Leo play his songs. I haven't been there in years. I wonder if the Barrymore still has the tiny lights in the ceiling. It looks like the stars come out when they turn the house lights down.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Kenny B's for the wild times

I had trouble getting out of there last Halloween. Kenny B's in Manitowoc was open late because daylight savings time pushed all the clocks back. There was this killer rock band from Milwaukee on stage. They were all in pirate suits. The club was hot and sweaty.

When I needed a break, I went over to the karaoke side of the bar. There, I found a good pizza and a cold brew. I put my name in to sing a Devo song. The only ones they had were Whip It and Peek A Boo. I chose Whip It. Some woman wanted to sing the parts with me. When the song started up, she chickened out and I was on my own. After the first few lines, I was in the zone. It was great.

The stage is not huge, but that's nice. You feel like you are right there with the band. The pole in the middle can be a distraction, or an added prop. I met a couple of farmers last time. They were both chicks who worked on diary farms. They were tough women who wanted to drink and dance to the music.

The place is worth the trip if you are within an hour of the club. I'm renting a room the next time I go up there. It's not worth the effort of driving back to Milwaukee after going through the ringer at Kenny B's

Friday, November 7, 2008

Beatallica pulls a Spinal Tap

I have a friend who plays bass in the Milwaukee band Beatallica. Their rise to fame is something of a Hollywood script. A few years back, the band formed as a joke for a one-off gig. They mixed the Beatles and Metallica, forming Beatallica. Someone video taped the show.

When it was over, the guys in the band thought nothing of the gig afterwords.

Then it exploded. The tape ended up on the web, the video caught fire in Germany, and the boys in the band were told of their cyber-success. They reformed and started playing out.
The gigs drew big crowds, and the attention of the lawers representing The Beatles.

They demanded that Beatallica stop performing.

Of all people, Lars Ullrich came to the rescue of Beatallica. He found a way to get the Beatles lawyers off the backs of the Beatallica boys. Their novelty style is a hit in Japan. Sony records released the latest Beatallica album, and now they are even bigger.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Sleeper show and AC/DC crawls up from the dirt

One would think that after all the years, all the albums, and the Napster debacle, Metallica would have called it quits. Apparently the opposite holds true for Milwaukee fans. The show is sold out in the lower level, and people are still looking for good Bradley Center tickets for that show.

AC/DC came out with their album this week. It hit the charts at number one in thirty countries. Walmart reported sales topping 750,000 in the first week that Black Ice filled the store shelves. This is album number 15 for the old men of rock and roll. It beat out High School Musical 3 in sales. That makes this music fan very happy. Spin Magazine gives this one two devil horns up. Other reviews compliment the production. calls this one a "Rock and Roll masterpiece."

Other words that I hear on the street is that this cd came out at just the right time. I guess that waiting eight years works for this aged group of legends. It works for me.

Even though this album was leaked out prior to release, it still blew through the charts, and that is just another testament to the quality of the songs. Some reviews have pointed out that there are three songs with the words "rock and roll" in the title. So what? That's what this band is all about.