Guitar Town

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Waukesha is called (unofficially) Guitar Town.  Now…we do have several music-themed shops in the downtown area (teaching, repairing, selling instruments, and a brisk trade in old vinyl).  We also have Friday Night Live every week from Memorial day to Labor day in the downtown area, live concerts on Tuesday nights by the library, and bars offering bands the opportunity to play live throughout the year – this would suggest music town more than guitar town.

So why are we Guitar Town?

Waukesha is the birthplace of Les Paul.  The guy who, according to his Wiki page, was one of the ‘architects of the modern solid-body electric guitar.’

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This is the guy who made Gibson…GIBSON

We, the denizens of this little town, celebrate Les Paul in a lot of ways.  We’ve the Les Paul highway, the Les Paul school.

We’ve got murals painted all over town celebrating his life:

20170516_171211We’ve also got guitar sculptures scattered all across the town…

 

And, yes…we’ve got his final resting place.

 

I wandered through the cemetery on the walk home tonight – after all, it’s right across the street from work…and found where he’s laid down.  I’m not the only one to do so…several musicians had been there before me, leaving tribute in the only way guitar players can:

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Those are guitar picks on his grave.

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Barbarian Rapture

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The Men.

 

Bred and dedicated to the arte of war.  Daily, they practice their craft, seeking to be well toned and well honed, eager for the the clarion call of the battle trumpets summoning them to gainful employment.

and it comes.

The dulcet tones of brass and wind, calling them from across the moors, demanding they be present to prove their mettle on the stage of legend.

so they prepare.

Eagerly, they gird their loins in the armor of their profession.  Joyfully, they load the wagons with gear, ignoring the lamentation of their women as they march toward the field which would test their dedication.

They will come home in glory – or laid out on their … keyboards?

 

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GOTCHA!

The Beltempest is the band my SQO is head of.  They had a show on Friday at one of the multitude of bars populating the Greater Milwaukee Metro area.

It was a great show.

I was pressed into service once again as the photographer of the boys, and I got some damn fine shots.

It’s been a long time since I wielded the camera for an entire evening…I figured out I kinda missed it.  I might have to swerve out of chainmaille mode, and back into photography mode.

The muses will let me know what they decide 😀

Until then – enjoy some of my favorite shots of the boys of the Bel in action…

 

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Evil Lurks in the Strangest Places

Should have gone with the cold lunch today...

Should have gone with the cold lunch today…

You know how, when you microwave leftovers, little pockets of food-encased water will sometimes ‘pop?’  I’m pretty much assured that anything with a tomato base will errupt rather violently, spattering the top and sides of the oven with pinkish goo ANYtime I forget to cover a dish.  I’ve had some soups explode so violently that the dish actually jumps in in the microwave.  Once, I had one of those microwavable cup of soups (sadly, yes, it was tomato) actually filp over on me.

And – giving Murphy full credit for this one – it flipped on me right after I had cleaned the microwave.  I hope the moment gave him a good giggle over his asinine laws.

IMG_0087Well, today my lunch hit a new low.  It waited, like an evil basilisk patiently stalking its prey from the shadowy depths, until I’d taken the lid off and shoved a spoon up in there to erupt – spattering my hand with really, Really, REALLY hot cheesy potato stuff.

OUCH!

 

The evil protein & carbohydrate mix with which I intended to sustain myself for the afternoon at work bit me back. Actually, it bit me before I could bite it.  It was a totally offensive move on the part of my lunch.

Soooo – to teach it a lesson – I ate it.
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Keys

And – in totally unrelated news, views, and all things leaning more than slightly left – I have come up with a name for a new musical product.  I shall craft some rhyming phrases of totally nonsensical words, set them to music, and sell the project under the name MYSM.

Because I can’t write music to save my soul, have no practical knowledge of playing any instrument outside of pounding out the Meow Mix jingle on a keyboard or banging on a drum to make a sound – the name stands for MY Shitty Music.

Think it’ll be a thing?

 

Cleaning off the Memory Card

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Spinning LED Bo-Staff

The Squidnificant Other (SQO for short) …

I’ll fill you in on that story later – it’s long, involved, and defiles 😮 an undisclosed, sandy location.

… got some shirts for Christmas.  Not jtardis shirtust any shirts, mind you.  These were soft cotton blend T-shirts.  What was on those shirts made them special – priceless, even.  Printed on these amazing cotton chest-coverers were a screen print of a Dalak on one and the T.A.R.D.I.S. on the other (Doctor Who fans in the reading audience may begin drooling now…).  The REAL value of these shirts was the story behind them.

These weren’t some mass-produced, off-the-rack, let’s spend 5 minutes and find a gift apparel…these were made to order.  Dave’s friend found a local screen-print artist, floated the artwork ideas, and paid the artist to craft the screens then used to print the art onto the chest of the shirts.

THIS is what happens when one thinks outside the capitalism box and aims to support the local economy.  It was a wonderful present, and I’m happier indeed for knowing this gentleman is a friend of my SQO.

Soooo… we simply GOTTA show these wonderful creations off to the world…GO GRAB THE CAMERA!

And after a couple of quick clicks, the camera gets plugged into the computer, so he can share the T-Shirts with the world according to Facebook.

Holy crap.  I’ve got old stuff on here!

Anyone else have this happen?  You take a short series of shots because the muse points your vision at something you HAVE to take a picture of, you Oooooooh and Ahhhhh at the little view-screen on the back of the camera, and then tuck the camera away, completely forgetting the neat images you’ve caught?

Yea…me too.                                     All.  The.   Time.

I’ve got shots of the moon & cloud formations, taken in the fall, which didn’t turn out so well.  DELETE!

I’ve got shots of the candlelight shadows on the wall.  Looked good on the view-screen, not so much excitement on the computer screen.  DELETE!

I’ve got some random pictures of the cats being cats.  Cute, but I’ve got terabytes of the same.  DELETE!

I’ve got shots of me in my new over-the-shoulder camera rig.  GAWD!  There are 230(ish) reasons I stay BEHIND the camera.

DELETE!DELETE!DELETE!DELETE!DELETE!

a IMG_3447 cropI’ve got shots from the Feastival, which was the day after Thanksgiving…Ooooh.

This wasn’t a short, random shoot, and I remember several moments of pure delight as shots were captured – so I SHOULD have been excited to play with the SOOC images and tweak to perfection.  But the commute to and from was longish, late in the evening, and I had a wicked cold that weekend – so I’m gonna let that be my excuse for not immediately pulling the images from the camera.

That’s my story…and I’m sticking to it!

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Ever have so much fun you go up in a little ‘poof’ of light?

The Feastival is a yearly event hosted by a local band and spinning tribe at the Concord House in Concord, Wisconsin – a tiny little unincorporated town mid-way between Madison and Milwaukee.  The House itself had its humble beginnings as a pole building for turkey farming before being turned into this very rustic dance/reception hall…and the family who run the House have been in the hospitality business for generations – so they KNOW how to host a rocking-good party.

The kids are well-immersed in the spinning/fire tribe that have made this an annual event – and this year convinced me to tag along.  As the weather had gotten cold, and the heater in their car isn’t working too well, the invite was part entreaty (pleeeeeeeeease don’t make us go alone and freeze our butts off all the way to Concord) part bribery (there’s food, music, alcohol, and a chance to point your camera at new things!) and part meet-the-parents (I’d not been introduced to the DIL(2B)’s side of the family yet).

How could I say no?

It was a great time.  I got to meet-the-parents (chilling for parents as well as the younger couples!!!) – availed myself of the array of yumminess spread by all members of the tribe (the Feastival is also a potluck) – and enjoyed the simple community energy generated by this group.

Make no mistake, this is a very grounded group.  They celebrate coming together to come together – not to measure their portfolios or show off their new acquisitions or any of the other stuff that people enmeshed in the throws of capitalism meet for (translation:  no dick-status-measuring here!).  The festival is …folk… centered on people, family, and community.  There’s no better way to describe it.

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Otis Redding Tribute Band

Aside from the blues/R&B band – the floor show put on by the gatherers was spectacular.  This group create art with their bodies and props:  twirling hoops, poi and staff generate patterns in light vs. dark as they flow across the floor.

a IMG_3458 cropBecause this was an indoor event, and it was cold outside – they didn’t light their props on fire, but used much-less flammable LED lights embedded within their gear.

That I got to catch this amazing light-show was an honor.  One I hope to repeat as an annual thing.  Enjoy my shots!

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