Monday, April 7, 2008

Vamping it Up, Wisconsin

Saturday marked my second Saturday musical road trip to Wisconsin in a row. Second time to Wisconsin in general actually. No Madison this week though- this week Caro drove Jean and I up to Chicago's cool kid sister city...MILWAUKEE! She'd bought Vampire Weekend tickets weeks ago, knowing that the Metro would sell out almost immediately and she was spot on. What would your life be like without a partner in crime?!
This first pic is really one of my favorites. Part of Jaimeson's pitch to head up to Wisconsin with them last weekend was so we could visit the Mars' Cheese Castle in Kenosha. We ended up detouring a bit early to grab a fantastically feisty neckbeard who'd been left by the bus so I dropped in for both of us this weekend instead. Safe to say that I will be back.
Yes, that is cheese in the shapes of cows, beer and the great state of Wisconsin (officially one of my favorite places now that I've been there two weekends in a row). The ones in the shape of the state almost seem redundant after the beer, cows and of course, the medium itself. I did not come away with any of these. I DID manage a brick of Applesmoked Gruyere and a 4 year Sharp yellow cheddar. I'm saving the gruyere for an occasion of sorts but the cheddar will come up again later. It already found some fabulous use.
One testy thing I will say toward Wisconsin: Wisconsin, your cities are confusing and your civil engineers should be drug out into the one way streets and shot. I mean it. I missed the grid system two weekends in a row and probably would have had an accident had Jaimeson not known his way around Madison and had Caro the Level-Headed not been the one driving through Milwaukee.

That said...great show. The opener was a guy called Yacht. Talk about a crazy f*&%. Seriously was ready to sign him off as the product of a meth-mushroom cocktail until about 3 songs in. When I realized he might be a genius. Still a crazy f*&%, but brilliantly different and coordinated. Quite a dance party he started!

Then the main event- Vampire Weekend is a talented little group of prepsters. I knew they were fresh out of Columbia but was struck at how young they really are! They played the full album and played it well but I was expecting some new material that I suppose they've just not developed yet. So they were good but green and the set was relatively short when put up against my Wisconsin show last weekend. For $12 and a road trip though? Definitely worth it and this will still likely be my summer album.
Yes, I took a picture of the women's restroom at Turner Ballroom. A few decent reasons:
  • I was in here a few times. Thank you $3 PBR Tall Boys.
  • It is bar none the NICEST venue facility I've ever seen. Including the Ritz off Michigan. When have you EVER been to a concert and looked at yourself in the mirror at a show and gone, "Huh. I look well-rested and a little glowy." Major props Turner.
  • It's the only photo I have of this trip with one of my friends in it. Caro is putting her lipgloss on in the far left mirror:)
If you're gonna road trip, you need to catch a little local flavor (way to state the obvious there TKTC). Last Sunday between the concert and all sorts of classy behavior, I got to chatting with a friend of Jaimeson's and his gf, both of whom have elected to live in Milwaukee. J told them of my impending travels and they volunteered a few of their favorite spots. The Safe House was the clear highlight on the list.
Not only were we legitimately glad to know the password (yes, you need it) but once inside a group of old bikers gave us their table. And we proceeded to hold court for a couple hours (you can still smoke in Wisconsin bars...whoops), just taking in the amazing scenery. For my Memphis friends- think a bigger, classed up Raiford's Hollywood Disco. For everyone else, there is a large erotic poster of Burt Reynolds in the women's restroom. And then there was this:
This chairlift rises up out of the floor with the guest of honor for different parties etc. His face pretty much sums it up. They then play a 2 minute smut montage. Hilarious.

Caro was incredible and had taken it easy so we decided to just head back to our own beds. Jean and I had taken it easy enough to be awake and entertaining for the ride home. The ride home made infinitely better when we found a McDonald's open at 3am. I slept till 11am Sunday. UNHEARD of.

Once I got up, there was work to be done. A house to be scrubbed, all clean towels on deck, all floor space swept for sleeping and snacks-n-Seagrams to be prepped.

I may have seen Vampires on Saturday night, but Sunday was reserved for my favorite werewolves and another late evening...


d said...

fun weekend. i love VW. not sure why but all the bands at stanford were shitty. jealous.

Nilsa S. said...

What a fun road trip. I've been to the Mars Cheese Castle before, but I think I walked away with cheese curds!

Shelley said...

During my college orientation it too my parents and I 45 minutes to travel from campus to our hotel. It should have been less than a minute drive. It would have been a 5 minute drive had they taken my advice about which roads to take. Oh well.

Even now that I have a car in Madison I still get turned around when I get up on the Capitol square. But I'm way better at navigating the than I used to be... it only took 4 years!

Sounds like a cool weekend. Wisconsin has some crazy sides to it.

The Ex said...

I have an insane need for cheese now.

PS - When I grow up, can I be you? Or at least stalk you?

L Sass said...

I happen to ADORE Milwaukee. AS's BFF from college lives there and is a big Safe House fan.

ToKissTheCook said...

D: You can listen to VW and still put a Stanford sweatshirt on the puppy. No one needs to know about either:)

Nilsa: Cheese curds. Also fantastic. So fantastic I was worried they would not have lasted the road trip.

Shelley: I'm so glad to hear a native say this because I was really starting to feel backwards. I may still be a little unhinged in the directions department but still. I'm a fan of Wisconsin, I'll just have to keep practicing on the drives up north.

Ex: Need for cheese. That should be a hat sold at Mars. Per the postscript...yeah, I'm not sure anyone needs to do this twice but I'll gladly move out to California for a week if you want some Chi time. It'll be like "The Holiday." I'll be Kate Winslet.

Sass: Proof positive that AS and I are going to be friends when he comes to visit. I'm looking for a safe house.