Monday, June 28, 2010

Miramar Theater and Latest Flame Records Presents Fu*k Face

Latest Flame Records and the Miramar Theater join forces on July 10 for a show that has been fifteen years in the making. I'm talking about Fuck Face from Milwaukee. They broke up a long time ago, but the fire never went out. As luck would have it, there was a full length album waiting to be released. The band never put the record out after a contract dispute, coupled with a bit of band infighting. Would the masses enjoy this record so long after it was put down digitally?

So far, the only crazy Fuck Face review started out like this: "..Fuck Face is easily in the top5 strangest musical experiences I've been given during my seven year span as a music critic." The AV Club Fuck Face review added: "Fuck face lived to pound skulls and flay minds with a crushing ensemble of guitars, bass, three drummers ."

Yes, these eight men and one woman have put down some miles between the summer of 1995 and the upcoming tour. Will Fuck Face have what it takes to live up to the hype? I caught up with two members and asked that question directly. Dave S. the singer, and Danny K. the band's guitar player both agreed that the preparation for this mini-tour started three months ago. "I feel like we could have gone on the road after the first month of rehearsals" said Dave. "We have one drummer here in Milwaukee, and he's playing all the parts as best he can until the other three fly in." Yes, the band members have scattered to the four corners of the world. Ok, perhaps they have scattered to two corners of the United States, and one corner of Europe to be exact, but the mere fact that three of the four drummers have agreed to take time out of their lives to come to old Milwaukee tells me that they will be prepared.
Fuck Face plays Chicago July 9, at Quenchers, July 10 Miramar Theater, July 11 at Crunchy Frog in Green Bay. From there, the band will scatter once again. That's the way it should be. No long, drawn out, cobbled together remakes for these guys. See this band.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Summerfest Tom Petty ZZ Top June 26th

Tom Petty ZZ Top Summerfest Milwaukee
I'm going to Summerfest Tom Petty with ZZ Top on June 26. I have been spoiled as of late, when it comes to Marcus Amphitheater tickets. I can't remember the last time that I sat in the "yellow" sections. It's been the first 31 rows or nothing. I'll be sitting in section 6 this time. I needed a group of eight tickets, and that was the best I could do.

At least I am sitting on the aisle at the Summerfest show. I suspect that I will be coming and going a lot. My wife is a big ZZ Top fan. I'm so-so for both bands. We're going to join the family for that show, so it's not really about the bands. They are flying in from Seattle the day before, and I'm always happy to see them. My nephew has not missed a Summerfest season in the past 12 years.
Tom Petty and ZZ Top are playing two shows at the Marcus Amphitheater this year. I don't know what to think about that. Is Milwaukee that fired up for Tom Petty? The festival starts on June 24, and runs through July 4. I'll be going down there a second time and I plan to see DEVO on the last night. This will make two years in a row, where I head to the festival grounds in Milwaukee on two separate nights.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

When Do Old Drummers Retire?

retired drummers
Do old drummers retire? Is 45 too old to rock? Do I start learning some other instrument? Perhaps I just pick up a pair of 2B's and beat the crap out of my drum kit and stop thinking about it.

I'm feeling my age this morning. As we prepare for the three city tour with my old band, I'm noticing that what I played at age 30 is not as easy to play today. I'm not writing this issue off to my age just yet. At age 30, I think I was just a bit myopic to key parts that make up a good drummer. I wanted to play the crap out of my drums, party, and remind everyone that I am who I am. Ego was certainly a part of my style back then.

What makes me a better drummer today?

  1. I know my limits, and I won't push it too hard at a live show, just to show off.

  2. I learned that what I eat before a gig will either help or hurt my performance.

  3. Warming up before a show will make your first song sound great.

  4. The singer is the face of the band, and the drummer just support.

  5. I'm never going to be a star, and knowing that fact helps me enjoy those Tuesday night gigs. (not that I ever had visions of being a star)

  6. I can afford better gear.

  7. The drama is easier to blow off. Yes, the singer has an ego, yes the guitar is never loud enough, according to the guitar player.

  8. I can think beyond the evening, knowing that I have another show the next night, and save energy for the next town.

  9. A gig is not a gig until you are actually on stage and playing your drums. You never know when a show will be cancelled.

  10. If two people show up for a show, play even better because they are probably uncomfortable being the only fans there. Make them feel special.

  11. Being forced to do full volume rehearsals, three nights a week is probably not going to make you a better drummer. It's just going to make you hard of hearing. Turn it down.

I don't have all the answers. Sorry, if this comes off as preachy. As I was rehearsing last night, I thought about those musicians that have perhaps one or two shows to call their own. They might have played in a high school band. They might have played at a dance, or basement show. They might have spent 12 months getting ready to play a gig only to have their singer quit the band a week before their debut. (this happened to me) I'm eternally grateful for what has come my way.

If I were to break it down even further, I would say that I'm happy that I can play a double stroke roll down the rack. At age 45 you are probably too old to get noticed by a 20 year old guitar player. I'm happy to say that it doesn't bother me too much. Those 20 year old guitar players have to go through what I went through, and I don't want to live that all over again. I'll do more stretching, eat better, sleep better, be wiser, sober, and wake up the next day feeling like I can crush it. When I'm 60, I'll start playing the vibes.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Resch Center Star Wars In Concert

resch center tickets
What is this Resch Center Star Wars In Concert all about? I first heard about it at SpoofFest 2010 from my friend Kliff McBurtney. He's a huge fan of Star Wars, and the Wisconsin Renassance Faire. He was all about the Milwaukee tour stop, but this one at the Resch Center is more in line with my day off.
The music of Star Wars is played by a full symphony orchestra, while movie clips play on a giant high definition screen. There is talk of movie props to view before and after the show. There are millions of fans that would love to hear this music played live. There are over 60 dates on this North American tour. Many cities will have two shows to choose from.
The Resch Center Star Wars shows are both on July 3rd. There is even a VIP section for the most rabid fans. Resch Center tickets to the VIP section gets you early admission to the Art and Craft exhibit, refreshements, a laminate, and access to the merchandise without all those other peons pushing you around. I'll bet that the laminate is the most coveted item.