Monday, June 30, 2008

Jake Messes with Minneapolis; Loses...

Saturday, July 28th, 2008.
It's 10am. 4 men begin their journey to Minneapolis, MN for a one Mark Lange. You see, Mark Lange is mentally handicapped because he thinks it's a good idea to get married. Anyways Jon, Schmill and I pile into Dustin's Saturn Ion for the 5 hour trip to the 'sauce. I have approximately 1 cubic inch of room in this car, and am immediately uncomfortable. What's on tap: a bunch of dudes going to the Metrodome to watch the Brewcrew take on the Twins, followed, most likely, by drinks. Mark's brother Eric, and his friend Dick (not Eric's appendage) are following us up there as well. Dustin went ahead and booked 2 rooms at the Holiday Inn downtown, conveniently located about 4 or 5 blocks from the stadium. We're not on the road for more than 5 minutes, and we see a hilarious country bumpkin white Ford F-150. This thing had to be lifted about 4 extra feet. In bold font above the back bumper read something along the lines of: "I lift my truck to keep the fat chicks away". It was hilarious. Why you'd want to drive around in public embarassment is beyond me. I gave my digicam to Jon and he snapped a very good picture of it. Now you'd think I'd post said pic here, but unfortunately I can't. More on that later.
3:00 comes and we're in the hotel. Deciding not to mess around at all, us boys go straight to the overpriced Holiday Inn bar and order a round of drinks. We're sadly notified that there are no Miller Products available. This will be a common occurence. I got a "Shock Top" orange beer. It was...orangy. Jon, sad that no Miller was available, checked the drink menu after calmly ordering a Coors Lite. Sure enough, at the bottom of that menu, read "Miller Lite" and "Miller High Life". Fecking MN bartenders already trying to sabotage our trip. Whatever. After the sudsy goodness, we brought our bags up to the room - room 921 to be exact. We discuss pissing out of the window later at night (from The Cincinnati Affair, Summer 06), but sadly cannot due to the window not having any mechnism to open it. To my surprise, Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery is directly below us. I had done my research beforehand, and I really, really wanted to go to this place. It did not dissapoint. The bartender was pissed that he had to pour 2 samplers (a total of 16 four-oz. tasters) for me and Jon. He was grumpy. The beer was magnificent. The "Pursuit of Happiness" Blueberry Ale was especially good. The IPA, not so much. Ask Schmill for his bitter beer face next time you see him. We spend an hour or two there, and decide to head to the 'ballpark'.

Let's clear the air on the Metrodome. Simply put - this place sucks. It looks as if Miller Park had an abortion. "It looks like a giant caterpillar" said Jon. I concurred. It's a caterpillar that will not morph into a beautiful butterfly, oh no. It'll stay an ugly, boring, snot-resembling contraption its entire life. Not surprisingly, Brewers fans were everywhere. It was almost an even ratio of Twins to Brewers fans, which was nice. One thing that none of us understood was the amount of fucking Cubs fans there. It's like a cancer. I'm willing to bet you could go to any MLB game anywhere in the country and you'd still have some assholes there wearing their retarded-ass Blue & Red Cubs gear. Cubs fans are like Herpes - you may not always see them, but they're always there. We decide to bypass a long line at the bar across the street, and instead buy MILLER LITE (Finally!) at a vendor outside the stadium. We people watched for a bit and find ZERO hot girls. None. You think WI is fat? Take a trip to MN. You'll be happy you live here.

Inside the stadium now, and it's just a mess. Signs here, signs there. No Miller products here, no Miller products there. But - there's a Papa Johns. Upgrade! We head to our general-seating type seats in the upper deck. The arrangement sort of resembles a first-come first-served deal. I don't know what it's called, but I immediately don't like it. No beer service was ever brought to the upper section(s). I miss Miller Park. I miss the Iceman. We're sitting directly below some rowdy ass Brewers fans, which were absolutely hilarious. For approximately 9 straight innings, the 20 or so people we had were just straight up chanting as loud as we could. JA-SON KEN-DALL..........JA-SON KEN-DALL (chanted/sung to when your grandparent's grandfather clock rang on the hour, every hour. I'm tellin ya, this chant will sweep the brewer faithful in no time. Glorious.) I had a few Budweisers, as did everyone else. I felt like I was cheating with every sip. At any rate, I think I was drunk by the end of the game, because at this point my night gets very, very cloudy. The Brewers win 5-1, and we start our walk back to the hotel.

After a quick change of clothes & a little freshening up (wtf am I talking about?) we hop in the Holiday Inn shortbus and arrive at Rick's Cabaret. The bouncer, who is a very intimidating large bald man, tries to swindle us into getting the VIP treatment & whatnot, but we're not having any of it. We get seated in the back of the club, as it's already mildly crowded in there. I approach the bar, and order a Miller Lite (#2 of the day...) "$7.75", said the lady with the hilarious fake tits behind the bar. Not cool. I decided to order 2 shots of Patron as well, and they came in a ROCKS glass, and definitely enough for 2.5/3 shots worth each. $30. This was going to be an expensive night. After we realized how much drinks were here, we came to the group decision that VIP treatment might not be so bad. Closer to the entertainment, and 2 bottles of Kettle One. $316. You read right. I also took a picture of that receipt (cuz apparently I'm retarded). It ended up being about $40 a person, but in the end, probably a good decision. No more than 5 minutes later, a few ladies came over & started schmoozin. I bought Schmill his 1st lapdance a few minutes prior as he had never been to a strip club before. It was just "OK", because "her legs were hairy". Right. Cuz I'm sure a stripper isn't going to shave her legs before she goes to work. Damn you Schmill.

Keep in mind that I'm way in over my head now. I'm a big Ketel One fan. It's my vodka of choice when I go out. But now I'm playing bartender. It's my time to shine. And by shine I mean fail. Our 2 mixers were cranberry juice and Sprite. I immediately make a Ketel One & Sprite, going half & half on the mixology. Bad idea. From my recollection, I did this 2 or 3 times. Fast forward an hour or so (I'm guessing), and I'm sitting RIGHT next to the stage - our VIP couches behind me. I'm most likely swaying and drooling like a lumbering idiot. I've thrown a $20 bill on the stage, as Mark's friend comes up to me and explains that it's not going to do anything. "You're not gonna get anything out of this, you know" said Mark's friend Zach. "It's fine." I say. "'s fine". Swiiiiing & a miss. At this point, I've also been told by large, intimidating bouncer that if I don't clean up my drunk act fast, that I'll either be told to leave or get kicked out. Splendid. This is where my night officially ends from memory.

I wake up to bright sunlight cutting into my eyes the next morning. My body feels like the apocolypse. I smell of straight vodka, and my neck and arms are sore as hell. I'm still wearing the clothes that I wore the night before, and my mouth tastes like french-fried excrement. The bed I'm sleeping in is so uncomfortable that my entire right side of my body is in agony. I then realize...

...I'm not sleeping in a bed.

"...what the fuck", I say as I struggle to turn myself upright. I'm in the middle of the hallway of the hotel. I actually laugh to myself out loud, as to why on Earth I spent the night on the hallway floor. I stand up to the chorus of my joints violently snapping and cracking. Wiping my eyes somewhat clean, I try to get my bearings and figure out where exactly I am, and why exactly, I'm not in my room. In front of me, was room 916. Now I'm just pissed, because I think I'm only 5 rooms away from a comfortable bed. Wrong. I'm at the end of the hallway already, and room 916 is the last room on this side of it.

"What the FUCK" I mumble again. Dragging 101% ass, I shuffle around the 9th floor, frantically trying to find room 921. I must have circled that floor 3 times before I realized there was not, in fact, a room 921. Walking back over to 916, I notice a window, which was allowing the sunlight to kill my face 5 minutes prior. I walk over to it and look out onto the Minneapolis skyline. It was then that I knew something was wrong.

The Metrodome was not where it was supposed to be. Instead of the short 5 blocks to the west that I saw it the first time from our room yesterday, the Metrodome was now what seemed 10 or 12 blocks away to my east. I was NOT in the Holiday Inn. I couldn't even SEE the Holiday Inn from this vantage point. I am immediately pissed. I feel my back pocket and locate my wallet. Check. My new cell phone is also in my front pocket. Check. Alas, my left front pocket is empty. This is the pocket that housed my digital camera. I look around my 9th floor hallway/bedroom and cannot locate my Sony Cybershot digital camera. It's at this point that I feel a stinging pain in my right arm. I check over myself, to see that I have various cuts and bruises on my elbow, forearm, and shoulders. This can only mean that I fell numerous times last night. There's also some slight red marks near my left temple, that I discover later.
Locating the elevator, I break out my phone and see that it's still only 6am. My new phone has tornado-alarm volume level speakers on it, so i'm flabbergasted to see that I slept through 6 phone calls from 12:30am-3:30am. This makes me somewhat happy, as I Know that my friends were drunk, yet still coherent enough to care about my well-being. This also makes me somewhat sad, as I think about what a complete fucking goon I was for just 'walking out' of the club after I'd had too many. In a strange city. At an odd hour. I'm what you would call...not bright.

I step out of the elevator, and still have no idea what building I'm in. The city is pretty quiet, as it's 6am and no one in their right mind should be up at this hour. I leave the lobby and look back at what the place is called. "Rivergate Apartments" it read. Hmm. Well that's definitely not the Holiday Inn, is it. To my defense, it IS a tall building that looked like the Holiday Inn. I'm still a moron. After snapping a few pics with my cameraphone (to remember this debocle - I'm realizing while I'm walking that I'm definitely still drunk. Like, not just saying "Oh man I'm still drunk!" the next morning after a wild night out, but legitimately probably still over the legal limit to drive still in every state drunk.) I gaze out to the Metrodome, and know where I have to get to. I'll post the camera phone pics after I finish setting up my account. I find S. Washington Ave. and slowly walk my way over to the hotel.

What was probably only 20 minutes seemed like an hour. The morning was cool, thank god, because if it had been warm, I would have just given up and thrown myself into the Mississippi to put me out of my misery. But the slight breeze was just what I needed to lift my battered spirits in the 60 degree weather. I looked like a zombie. I finally get to the Holiday Inn and take the elevator to the 9th floor. Room 921. I mustered up what little strength I had left and began slowly . . . knocking . . . on . . . the . . . door. It was pathetic looking, and sounding, I'm sure. The last person I thought would be the one to answer the door did; Dustin. Hours prior I had complained that sleeping a hotel room with Matt, Dustin and Jon would be the worst thing possible, as the thought of SNORING for all hours of the night would be quite unfun. How desperate I wanted those snoring sounds at that point in time. Tired shouts of what I will describe as 'joy' from my 3 friends filled the room. They were astonished that I was not dead. And after retelling this story right now, I'm astonished I'm not either. This shouldn't happen to grown ass men. But it did. And I'm here. Lesson learned.

If you mess with Minneapolis, your trip will be Minnehopelessness. A map of my travels is below...

Friday, June 27, 2008

Oh, Hi Summerfest! 2

(Note: To actually SEE the bands playing at 8:00 or 10:00pm, it's wise to get to that stage about 2 to 3 hours in advance of the show to actually get 'seats'. As I'm sure many of you know, the free stages fill up quickly, and some spots are better than others to actually see the music).

onward with my picks of who to see:

Tues, July 1st

3:00pm / Zippo Rock Stage - Muzzy Luctin
Another local Madison favorite, these guys will rock ya face off. Back in the Whitewater days when MTV thought it would be a good idea to 'invade' a small school of 10,000 bored college students with Hoobastank, Muzzy Luctin opened up for the 'stank on short notice when Everclear cancelled. They were good. Not sure if they have any new stuff out, but go check up on them anyways.

8:00pm / Zippo Rock Stage - Red
These guys have great melody. They do. Crushing guitars paired with piano & violin (probably not included in their live shows). Really liking this band as of late. Curious to see how their live show might be. Hopefully looking to actually go to this Tues night. Followed by an old fav of mine...

10:00pm / Harley Roadhouse Stage - O.A.R.
O.A.R. has been playing 'Crazy Game of Poker' for what seems like a decade now. And I'm fine with it. I've seen them 4 times, and they bring something different to every live show they do. Label them all you want, but this isn't just a stoner frat-college band anymore. These guys have to be in their 30's and still are making great records. I'm not sure how often this happens, but they are headlining Wednesday night as well.

Wed, July 2nd

2:30pm / Zippo Rock Stage - Marashino
Local Milwaukee favorites start your afternoon out right with some hard rock sounds, and if you're normal - grab a beer or ten and hang out in the sun. A local band that actually might go somewhere if they could get a break.

7:00pm / Miller Lite Oasis - Mt. Olive
Always heard good things about this band...but I've never actually seen them. Summerfest just may be the place to break my Olive Cherry. Lol that sounds ridiculous. Miller Lite Oasis stage area has also been renovated I think, so it would be nice to check that out too.

10:00pm / Harley Roadhouse Stage - Crystal Method (Dj Set)
While my buddy Tom (from Jake gets his Sobriety Tested) will be jammin out to Coheed & Cambria playing on the Miller Lite Oasis stage during this time, I'll hopefully be wasted and dancing with glowsticks and club kids to a dj set from the Crystal Method. 90's pioneers in mainstream techno music, TCM should be a crowd pleaser for the electronica fans in WI (they're out there, right?) I question the stage they were put on (nothing goes together like Harley Motorcycles & Dance Music), but by the time 10pm rolls around, I'm guessing all the 'adults' will clear out when they hear Dieselboy take the stage at 8pm...

Thurs, July 3rd
Another disappointing night for me, music-wise. Only 3 bands I would really consider going to see. Had I been attending every day of Summerfest until this point, this would be my day off.

6:00pm / Briggs & Stratton Stage - Slumpbuster Ft. KB
LOL. Another hilarious name. Slumpbuster & Roshambo should get together & jam for awhile. Anyways, I'm wondering if this "KB" is KB from 96.5 WKLH, a hilarious morning radio personality for a classic rock station. Would be great to see him rock for awhile. I haven't done my research, but I'm guessing it's him.

8:00pm / US Cellular Stage - Ludo
Just discovered this band the other day. Harmless pop music from this group. I think they have a single on the radio. It's catchy, but a tad too teenybopperish. If I was surrounded by teenagers as the show started, I'd move on to get a spot at one of the other stages for a 10:00 show. But not after getting some phone numbers first. I mean...what?

10:00pm / Miller Lite Oasis - Thievery Corporation
This was a toss up for me. I'm going with the lesser known band, and hopefully the stage with less people. Kansas is also playing at this time, so if I were actually there, I'd have to toss a coin to figure out who to go see. I'm intrigued by Thievery Corporations live show. A downtempo/jazz outfit from overseas, I'm guessing they actually play instruments for their live shows. Either way, it would be a relaxing way to end the night after getting some Cheese Curds from...well, anywhere.

Fri, July 4th
I'll be at a wedding. On Independence Day. July 4th. But if I wasn't there, I'd be watching fireworks light up the sky during the midnight hour (I think?). For the 4th of July, there's not too many bands I'd like to see on this night. Except for one, MAJOR BEHEMOTH of a band. That band is...

7:30pm / Marcus Amphitheater - Stone Temple Pilots (opener: Black Francis - Frank Black of the Pixies)
AOHHAHHDFDJkasd what a shooow. I would see this in a heartbeat. Will Scott Weiland be fucked up enough to not pronounce a single lyric correctly? I wish I could find out. I'm sure plenty of other Milwaukeeans will see this, and I'll hear about it later.

Other bands playing the headlining hour: The Roots, Goldfinger, Less than Jake, Phil Lesh & Friends, Slightly Stoopid, and Five Finger Deathpunch.

Sat, July 5th
I can tell you what I will be doing today. I have tickets for

8:00pm - Marcus Amphitheater - Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
A tradition with some high school friends started long ago. Every summer, we get obliterated and sit in the grass seats for Tom Petty. It's just what we do. Tom Petty is so old that he & Keith Richards smoke cockroaches together. He looks like a skeleton's skeleton. If that makes any sense. But no matter how toasted we all get, we all still know the lyrics to basically every song he plays. It's always just a great time. Can't wait to go again this year. Stevie Winwood opens, too! Time for some Higher Love, baby!

Sun, July 6th

10:00pm / Miller Lite Oasis - 311
Even though The Bravery is playing on the US Cellular Stage at this time, I've been a huge fan of 311 for some time now, and have STILL not seen them. Last year when I went, it rained for 4 straight hours prior to the show, and there was not an open crevice in the crowd AT ALL. We tried to snake around places to see the stage, to no avail. It's another thing I'd like to do before I turn 25. The fact that I still haven't seen 311 makes me feel like theres a void in my soul somewhere. I think I may actually go to this (if my body can even function this soon after Petty) and stake out a spot around the 5:00 hour. One of my favorite bands of all time. It had to be said.

And that's it. The end of Summerfest. The world's largest music festival. Again, any information you need can be found at .

Monday, June 23, 2008

Oh, Hi Summerfest!

Smell that? Saz's Italian Sampler...cold, crisp Miller Beer...Lake Michigan (ew). Summerfest is here, baby!

If you don't know what Summerfest is (I don't think I have too many out of WI readers), let me tell you a bit about the world's largest music festival.'s the world's largest music festival. Nestled on scenic Lake Michigan, Summerfest boasts the largest musical lineup in the world. So thats a big F YOU to England, and all your cool festivals, ya blokes. For a mere 15$ a day, you can watch the best bands around play their stinkin hearts out for ya. If you want to compete with thousands of people every day, and have the monetary means to do it - I suggest doing so. I could go on about how amazing Summerfest is for awhile - or I could just send you to their website, and have you fall out of your chair upon seeing the monstrosity of upcoming performances:

A day by day wrap up of who I would go see if given the chance:

Thurs, June 26th
2:30pm / Harley Roadhouse Stage - Roshambo
Are you serious? Their name is ROSHAMBO.
I don't need to know anything about this group. The name alone has me intrigued.

6:00pm / Zippo Rock Stage - Nonpoint
Six pm? You kidding me? Get here early to get a peak at nonpoint. Why they aren't the headliner on this stage at 10pm is beyond me (it's Drowning Pool if you're interested) Elias is a beast on the vocals and their drummer looks like he'd snap you in half like a dull pencil. Great live show, don't miss it.

10:00pm / Briggs & Stratton Stage - Gnarls Barkley
I'm not sure you realize the impact that Cee-Lo has had on music today. Do your research - the guy is important. Paired with Danger Mouse, I have to believe their live show would be top notch. If GB isn't your thing, maybe They Might be Giants or Three Dog Night will tickle your fancy.

Fri, June 27th
12:30pm / US Cellular Connections Stage - Mighty Short Bus
Well there's a pleasant surprise! Madison's own MSB makin the trek over. A good cover band that has the necessary tools to give you a rockin good time.

6:30pm / Zippo Rock Stage - Silvergun
I don't know where or why, but I've heard this band before, and I remember liking them. Some band called Anew Revolution (clever, not!) is playing after them. Followed by...

10:00PM / Zippo Rock Stage - Sevendust
Lajon. Need I say more? Rumor has it that their old drummer Clint will be playing with them at this show. Makes me jealous that I will not be going, due to my presence being needed at my place of employment.

Sat, June 28th
For the first Saturday of Summerfest, I'm actually quite disappointed. The lineups actually suck . . . a lot. I'm not sure who they're trying to aim their shows at, but honestly I'm kind of curious at the selections. Who I'd go see anyways:

12:30pm / US Cellular Stage - The Sharp & Harkins Band
HOLY CRAP! S&H get a gig at Summerfest. My boys are gonna reggae rock the shit outta you! Guaranteed to be a good time and a great show. Stoughton/Whitewater/Madison people need to be in attendance for this moment. I unfortunately cannot due to prior obligations.

10:00pm / US Cellular Stage - Shinedown
Yeah, thats a hefty space in between for 'bands to see'. Also playing around noon is Fat J and the Pinners, Waterford townie favorites. Also good around that time frame is Katie Todd band. She can wail. At any rate, yes Shinedown is the only other band I'd want to go see today. That's 8 hours of drinking and eating high caloric food in between shows. Be careful. Shinedown's new single 'devour' is ownin my soul at the moment.

Sun, June 29th
8:30pm / Miller Lite Oasis - Truth in Fiction
High school buddy Dan Beres' band is still trucking. Fresh off a new release in Japan, Truth in Fictions crowd-friendly pop punk will start your night off well. Plus, they're opening up for...

10:00pm / Miller Lite Oasis - Jack's Mannequin
Always been more of a fan of Jack's Mannequin than Something Corporate. I'm guessing it's the piano. Yes, I like the ivory...

If seats weren't available, I'd wander off to see the Scarring Party playing at 8:00pm on the US Cellular Stage. An old Whitewater friend of mine named Isa plays in that band, and although I haven't seen her in awhile, I'd go support the band. Apparently they're doing well in the Milwaukee area. Well enough to open up for the Polyphonic Spree, playing on that stage around 10:00pm.

Mon, June 30th
Also kind of a weak night. 10pm headliners include Matisyahu, Paramore, and from the 'they're still alive??' vault Gin Blossoms and Candlebox. I'll pass on those and head to see:

10:00pm / Potawanami Bingo Stage - Indigenous
Blues-rock at it's absolute finest. One of my fav songs of all time is 'Things We Do'. I'm sure they'll play it. Not to be missed.

Part 2 coming tomorrow...