Day One with Cultural Zero
It was decided at our editorial meeting yesterday that we TCD folks would attempt a sort of “group blog” about this year’s Summerfest experience. Since yesterday saw many of my fellow TCD compatriots head to the Chuck Klosterman Boswell Books thing, I took it upon myself to head out for night one. After all, everyone knows that Klosterman’s glowing review of Chinese Democracy sort of undermines any sort of journalistic credibility people assign to him.
Fig.1: Because I lack a digital camera, here’s a file photo of Matthew Sweet that I stole from Decider, because Steven Hyden said nice things about Conor Oberst today and that’s the sort of thing invites consequences
Here’s a story that pretty much summarizes night one of Summerfest for me:
Matthew Sweet is about 20 minutes into an enjoyable set of 90s power-pop at the US Cellular/102.1 stage when a young couple arrive and stand next to me. She is a nondescript, brunette-ponytailed vanilla Milwaukee lady whom you might see on any given North Avenue barhop; he is bedecked in Brewers t-shirt and cap. The girl leans over to me.
Girl: “Hey, what time did they start?”
Girl: “Oh, so they started about right on time?”
Me: Yeah, pretty much.”
Girl: “Have they played any of the songs that Nirvana covered yet?”
Me: “Um, this is Matthew Sweet. The Meat Puppets played earlier.”
Girl: “We missed them? Argh! But the radio station said they were playing at 10!”
Me: (to myself) “Ohmigod you couldn’t tell just from looking at the stage that this wasn’t the Meat Puppets WTF” (out loud) “The radio station blew it! Too bad too, because they were REALLY good! Annnnnd they played every single one of those songs.”
(Girl looks dismayed, leans over to speak to her boyfriend)
Boyfriend: “Hey man…Puddle of Mudd is playing back that way, right?”
Me: “Um, yeah, they started at 10.”
(Girl and Boyfriend leave and head in the direction of Puddle of Mudd)
Oh, Summerfest. Don’t ever change.
By the way, I had no idea that Neil Young and Wolverine shared a grandpa, much less one who drummed for Matthew Sweet. But there it is. I have since been informed that this man is former Velvet Crush drummer Ric Menck, of whom I had never heard but just from a cursory google seach can be safely assumed to have had one hell of a career. Dude totally looks like Grandpa Logan, though.
Fig.2: A shot from the screen tests for X-Men 4: Days of Future Past
And by the way, I wasn’t lying…the Meat Puppets WERE fantastic.