Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Hey! Remember?


Remember way back when “social media” was a new thing? Even back then a few wise heads expressed doubts about the ultimate good or ill of it all. Since then not only has the novelty worn off, Facebook and the others have become a pervasive presence in our lives. Perhaps perniciously so.

I’ve always been suspicious of a business that purports to give you something for nothing, and the history of Facebook has hardly proven such suspicions unfounded. Is connectedness valuable? Sure! But so is privacy. Perhaps preciously so.

A guy named Ross Douthat recently argued that if we really want to regain some of our privacy, we will need to set some limits. We will need to establish internet-free places and spaces. We will need to experience reality before it becomes virtual. We will need to rediscover ways to interact and socialize that don’t depend on smart phones.

This sounds like good advice, so we’re passing it on. And while we’re at it, here are some suggestions for places and occasions where just such reality-based socializing can be enjoyed. But down that phone and pick up a beer, Wisconsinites. So say us.

The McMusical Calendar

Saturday, April 27
The Sparks Band (Mark, Rich, and Tom) play 60s hit like it was only yesterday. (Or tomorrow, if you are reading this on Friday.) At The Great Dane-Hilldale. 8 to 11 pm

Wednesday, May 1
The Sparks Band again? Yes. This time at Me&Julio. Eat, drink, listen, dance, go home and go to bed. (You know you want to.) 6 to 9 pm.

Friday, May 3
Hear one of the best jazz big bands in the WORLD! For FREE! (All true! No feces!) Airmen of Note are the official United States Air Force jazz band, and they play The Mitby Theater at Madison Area Technical College’s main campus. Great band. Beautiful venue. Click here for FREE tickets.

Saturday, May 4
Big Wes Turner’s Trio plays the opening weekend of the summer entertainment season at Tyranena Brewing, Lake Mills—live music every Friday and Saturday on the spacious Tyranena patio (dog- and family-friendly, indoors if the weather turns nasty). Food truck on site, and Wisconsin’s best beer. Come out and catch Tom, Rick, and Gary playing Wes Turner’s signature Rockin’ RHYTHM & Swingin’ BLUES. 6 to 9 pm


Wednesday, May 15
The Maintainers keep Madison’s blues tradition alive. Mel Ford, Frankie Lee, Rick Becker, and Tom McCarty mix it up for fans of fun and FREE music. The Olin Park Shelter. 6 to 8 pm

Friday, May 17
The Sparks Band knocks musical nostalgia balls out of the proverbial park at The Atwood. 8 to 11 pm

Saturday, May 18
Big Wes Turner’s Trio brings their Rockin’ RHYTHM & Swingin’ BLUES to Me&Julio in Fitchburg. On the patio if weather permits. 6 to 9 pm

Tuesday, May 21
The Birddog Blues Band plays for Heartland Credit Union’s annual meeting at Turner Hall. 5:30 to 8

Thursday, May 23
The Madison College Big Band and Madison College Jazz Ensemble play the Capital Brewery biergarten, in Middleton. early pm

Friday, May 24
Big Wes Turner’s Trio brings the Big Wes brand of Rockin’ RHYTHM & Swingin’ BLUES to Chief’s Bar & Grill. 6:30 to 10 pm

Check back for more May, June, and July dates and late-breaking McMusical news.

NoteBig Wes Turner’s Newsletter has an amazing new option: POSTCARDS! Whaaaaa? Yeah, you heard right. Most well-informed Turnerites receive their sporadic action updates via email, but now they can alternately (or additionally) get a scrap of cheap cardboard with information scribbled thereupon... FOR FREE!!! Just ask.

'Nother Note
: BWTN postcards are redeemable for a drink wherever Big Wes Turner’s Trio is found.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

A Reputation for Repetition


We’ve said it before (in so many words), so why not again?

Our wacky wintry weather (topic of conversation numero uno), just keeps comin’. Don’t succumb to SAD.* Take advantage of a predicted Friday break in the pervasive precipitation to toast the end of the week with Big Wes Turner’s Trio at the High Noon Saloon. Doors open at 4:30, so punch out early. The "biggest little band in Madland" starts up their "Rockin’ RHYTHM & Swingin’ BLUES" at 5 and goes through to 7 pm.

Many Madisonians depend on the official heralding of “The Weekend” that is heard without fail every Friday (mostly) at 2 pm on WORT’s long-running, highly acclaimed, somewhat notorious giggle-and-snort fest, The Mel & Floyd Show. See that you segue yourselves from there to the High Noon Saloon.

Note: Despite the recent listing in Maximum Ink indicating that this High Noon “Happy Friday” gig was “SOLD OUT”, such is not the case. More on this here.

*Seasonal Affective Disorder; aka “Shit. Another Day.”

The McMusical Calendar.

Wednesday February 27
The Sparks Band slathers on the sounds of the 60s at Me&Julio on Fish Hatchery Road in Fitchburg. 6 to 9 pm.

Friday, March 1
Turner returns! Big Wes Turner’s Trio (the biggest little band in Madland) plays Rockin’ RHYTHMN & Swingin’ BLUES for “Happy Friday” at the High Noon Saloon. Can you say, “It’s Madison time!” 5 to 7 pm. No cover. Lotsa beer.

Friday, March 8
The Sparks Band energetically wallows in danceable 60s nostalgia at The Hody Bar & Grill in Middleton. 9 to 1

Saturday, March 9
The Cashbox Kings hit the Rothschild Pavilion at 5 pm to help celebrate 20 years of Wausau’s Blues Café. Other performers: The Mark Cameron Band, Ivy Ford, Danielle Nicole Band, and Ronnie Baker Brooks.

(Mr. McMusic takes time off to search for Big Wes Turner. Where he at?)

Friday, March 29
The Birddog Blues Band proves that combining Blues with “Happy Friday” booze is perfectly safe. Responsibly. High Noon Saloon 5 to 7

Saturday, March 30
The Cashbox Kings bring Chicago Blues to the North Street Cabaret The groove starts to move around 8 pm.

Check back for April dates and late-breaking McMusical news.

NoteBig Wes Turner’s Newsletter has an amazing new option: POSTCARDS! Whaaaaa? Yeah, you heard right. Most well-informed Turnerites receive their sporadic action updates via email, but now they can alternately (or additionally) get a scrap of cheap cardboard with information scribbled thereupon... FOR FREE!!! Just ask.

'Nother Note
: BWTN postcards are redeemable for a drink wherever Big Wes Turner’s Trio is found.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

SRO or SOL?

They said it was impossible. “You can’t sell out a show if there’s no cover charge.” Right?

Well, theoretically, Yes. Which is to say, No, you can’t. But theory and practice have been confounded before where the legacy of mythic musical mentor Big Wes Turner is involved.

Thus this listing from the recent edition of Maximum Ink (Madison’s Music Magazine) for the upcoming March 1 early evening “Happy Friday” gig at the High Noon Saloon.

Be it known! Big Wes Turner’s Trio’s 3/1 performance is NOT sold out, because there’s nothing out of which to sell. Except cocktails and cold beer at happy-hour prices.

Perhaps the show later the same evening with some Led Zeppelin cover band actually IS sold out. Who cares? Come early ‘cause the Big Wes Turner’s Trio “Happy Friday” show is 100% cheaper and heaps higher on the happyometer. Crowding the High Noon Saloon to capacity for Friday happy hour is a goal to which we can all aspire. Hoist a few, then hit the dance floor, courtesy of the Rockin’ RHYTHM & Swingin’ BLUES sounds of Big Wes Turner’s Trio. 5 to 7 pm. (“It’s Madison time!”)

Mister McMusic Recommends
If you are ready to rock and roll on Wednesday, February 6, consider the High Noon Saloon and SIMO, guitarist/singer J.D. Simo’s band, three musicians who can power-trio in the best traditions of such. It’s been nearly two years since the trio handily passed the acid test of taste and chops by performing with high intensity at low volume for a special lunchtime Isthmus Live Sessions performance. You can find them all over Youtube, but here’s your chance to bypass the digital algorithmic overlords and strike a blow for live music resistance.

The McMusical Calendar

Friday, February 8
The Sparks Band, mostly masters of 60s nostalgia, rock out early at The Atwood (on Atwood Avenue) starting at 8 pm.

Thursday, February 14
Again, with The Sparks Band, plectruming playfully whilst the beer taps pour at Vintage Brewing in Sauk City. (On the shores of the mighty Wisconsin river.)  Early evening pm.

Saturday, February 16
The brewery tour continues as The Sparks Band rips riffs nostalgically at The Great Dane Hilldale on Madison’s fashionable near-west side. 8 to 11 pm.

Tuesday, February 19
The Cashbox Kings help Porchlight raise funds. Sample delicious dishes from great Madison restaurants while listening to Chess-era Chicago Blues sounds on the University Of Wisconsin-Madison campus. Contact Porchlight to get tickets for this delicious event.

Friday, February 22
Madison’s musical A-Team, The Maintainers (featuring Frankie Lee on harmonica and Mel Ford on guitar) play for keeps at Chief’s (right across from Buck’s Pizza on Cottage Grove Road). 6:30 to 9:30.

Saturday, February 23
The Cashbox Kings bring authentic Chi-Town Blues sounds back to that most venerable of east-side dives, The Crystal Corner Bar. 9 pm.

Sunday, February 24
Calling all Parrotheads! That other venerable east-side eatery/drinkery, The Harmony Bar & Grill, hosts a fundraiser for WORT Backporch Radio. Waste away to the Jimmy Buffett-esque sounds of Chuck Bayuk & the Drunken Sailors. (Tom on bass, but drunken responsibly).
3 to 7 pm.

Wednesday February 28
The Sparks Band slathers on the sounds of the 60s at Me&Julio on Fish Hatchery Road in Fitchburg. 6 to 9 pm.


Friday, March 1
Turner returns! Big Wes Turner’s Trio (the biggest little band in Madland) plays Rockin’ RHYTHM & Swingin’ BLUES for “Happy Friday” at the High Noon Saloon. Can you say, “It’s Madison time!” 5 to 7
Not sold out. No cover. Lotsa beer.

Friday, March 8
The Sparks Band energetically wallows in danceable 60s nostalgia at the Hody Bar & Grill in Middleton. 9 to 1

Saturday, March 9
The Cashbox Kings hit the Rothschild Pavilion at 5 pm to help celebrate 20 years of Wausau’s Blues Café. Other performers on the bill: The Mark Cameron Band, Ivy Ford, Danielle Nicole Band, and Ronnie Baker Brooks.

Sunday, March 10
The northern tour continues as The Cashbox Kings hit some joint in Stevens Point. Details will follow.

Friday, March 29
The Birddog Blues Band proves that combining Blues with “Happy Friday” booze is perfectly safe. Responsibly. High Noon Saloon 5 to 7

Saturday, March 30
The Cashbox Kings bring Chicago Blues north to the North Street Cabaret. The groove starts to move around 8 pm.

Check back for April dates and late-breaking McMusical news.

NoteBig Wes Turner’s Newsletter has an amazing new option: POSTCARDS! Whaaaaa? Yeah, you heard right. Most well-informed Turnerites receive their sporadic action updates via email, but now they can alternately (or additionally) get a scrap of cheap cardboard with information scribbled thereupon... FOR FREE!!! Just ask.

'Nother Note
: BWTN postcards are redeemable for a drink wherever Big Wes Turner’s Trio is found.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Don't Be Cruel


Who said “April is the cruelest month”?

Actually, it was T.S. Eliot, and whatever whoever thinks he meant by it, let us agree that it was poetic opinion, not fact.

For my money, January in Wisconsin, could easily win the dampening-of-the-spirits prize. At least with snow, now that it has finally arrived, amplifying reflected light and literally brightening things up, it finally "feels like" winter. Enjoy it while it lasts.

And don’t fear the freezing temperatures, either. How else to preserve the time-honored tradition of Lake Mendota ice boating (sooo fast, sooo last century).

So “buck up, Buttercup.” There’s plenty of work that needs doing, and after a day of that, plenty of occasions for patronizing the musical arts and the taverns that host them. Examples below.

The McMusical Calendar.

Wednesday, January 23
Big Wes bassist Tom joins forces with Jimmy Voegeli and Perry Weber (of The Jimmys) for an evening of rowdy blues hosted by drummer Tony Wagner, all part of the Wednesday’s With Wags series at TheWheelhouse in Waupaca.

Friday, February 8
The Sparks Band, minor masters of 60s nostalgia, rock out early at The Atwood (on Atwood Avenue) starting at 8 pm.

Thursday, February 14
Again, with The Sparks Band, plectruming playfully whilst the beer pours at Vintage Brewing in Sauk City. On the shores of the mighty Wisconsin river. Early evening pm.

Saturday, February 16
The brewery tour continues as The Sparks Band rips riffs nostalgically The Great Dane Hilldale on Madison’s fashionable near-west side. 8 to 11 pm.

Tuesday, February 19
The Cashbox Kings help Porchlight raise funds with a pre-Mardis Gras party! Sample delicious dishes from great Madison restaurants while listening to Chess Studios-era Chicago Blues on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. Laissez les bon temps rouler! Contact Porchlight to get tickets for this annual event.

Friday, February 22
Madison’s musical A-Team, The Maintainers (featuring Frankie Lee on harmonica and Mel Ford on guitar) play for keeps at Chief’s (right across from Buck’s Pizza on Cottage Grove Road). 6:30 to 10:30.

Saturday, February 24
The Cashbox Kings bring authentic Chi-Town Blues sounds back to that venerable of east-side dives, The Crystal Corner Bar. 9 pm.

Sunday, February 25
Calling all Parrotheads! That other venerable east-side eatery/drinkery, The Harmony Bar & Grill, hosts a fundraiser for WORT Backporch Radio. Waste away to the Jimmy Buffett-esque sounds of Chuck Bayuk & the Drunken Sailors (Tom on bass, but drunken responsibly).
3 to 7 pm
.

Wednesday February 28
The Sparks Band slathers on the sounds of the 60s at Me&Julio on Fish Hatchery Road in Fitchburg. 6 to 9 pm.

Friday, March 1
Turner returns! Big Wes Turner’s Trio (the biggest little band in Madland) plays Rockin’ RHYTHMN & Swingin’ BLUES for “Happy Friday” at the High Noon Saloon. Can you say, “It’s Madison time!” 5:00 to 7:00 No cover. Lotsa beer.

Check back for more March dates and late-breaking McMusical news.

NoteBig Wes Turner’s Newsletter has an amazing new option: POSTCARDS! Whaaaaa? Yeah, you heard right. Most well-informed Turnerites receive their sporadic action updates via email, but now they can alternately (or additionally) get a scrap of cheap cardboard with information scribbled thereupon... FOR FREE!!! Just ask.

'Nother Note
: BWTN postcards are redeemable for a drink wherever Big Wes Turner’s Trio is found.