I had to hit the northwoods of the Wisco for the second time this month. Okay, so maybe I wasn’t in the heart of the northwoods like last time, it was on the western check-point going in to the region. The good news is that the mighty Ojibwe River is wicked high right now. A lot of storms up there lately. The dock at Smets’ place got washed away, and the dock at Elder Broder vR’s got project blown outta alignment and sandwiched some skiff between itself and the rock-ish shore. Then, out of pure malice, the shore and the dock pulled some Night at the Roxbury shit on the little fishing rig.
I also hit up my old stomping ground bike and snowboard shop. Twas good. Always nice to see the guys who have backed me in skateboarding/snowboarding/biking since I was like 12. Not that snowboards, skateboards or bikes were invented when I was 12, but you get the point. And I got connected with a slick, new jersey. That’s a new jersey, as in unused, not guido. I swear to christ the Vosko family is that state’s only redeeming quality.
Friday night SASMETS instructs me to attend a music show with him. Shit. I haven’t seen live music in several minutes. He described it as good old Americana jug-band music. Sheeeeeit. MFer I once waited in line for 3 hours, with 400 40-yr old women to get Lyle Lovett tix, so I can hang. The band was the Gentle Guest. That’s a pretty garbage barge band name for a couple reasons: 1. I forgot it about 50 times already. 2. I personally don’t like it. Anyway, it was The Gentle Guest’s CD release party and to celebrate they organized a pub crawl, during which the band carried their instruments and threw impromptu shows in bars. Pretty stellar idea. I only made it to the last bar.
It was about 2 minutes into their set that I realized SASMETS had lied to me. Sure this band might be americana on CD but their live show was kind of like an assault. But not the kind you’re going to call the police regarding. You’re going to hold this assault some place special, for those days when you need some help passing the time, and internet connection is down. But back to the band. The best I can describe their live show is to liken it to a young Waylon Jennings backed by Man-Man. For real, they had a singer guitarist, a slide-guitar, bass, keys, 2 trombones, a drummer, and one dude who just played one drum and maracas. And of the eight members on stage, 5 were shirtless. Of those five, none of them should’ve have been. But fuck it you know, the songs were loud and completely escalated into chaos on stage. The way good, loud, fast music is supposed to. If you want to check out this band, hear their more subdued studio work, and maybe suggest a new name check them out here: The Gentle Guest.
Day 2: if there is something northern Wisco really loves, it’s ridiculous humidity. I was attending a family reunion. Not the von Rumorstein’s but the side of the family from Jamestown. I spent most of the afternoon slugging Lagunitas and thinking my cousin Maria’s baby has the largest head I ‘ve ever seen on a child. I should have warned him he’s in for a lifetime of poor fitting hats and helmets. Then I played frisbee with el niece and el nephew and some 8-yr old relative who only barked when I spoke to her. Whatever, at least she wasn’t a blood relative. Five minutes into this game I’m sweating buckets. It was probably the most exercise I’ve gotten in seven years.
After that I drove along to the Mississippi to chill out and make jokes about small towns. Por ejemplo:
A couple things about this picture: 1. Cream is the worst name for a collection of people since The Gentle Guest. 2. There is no way you would turn left to get to this supposed community of Cream. I know this because if you go left, you run directly into bluffs. and there are no roads though that shit. How do I know? I stopped at the local outfitters, hired a sherpa and scaled those MFin bluffs. Also, my “sherpa” was rather unfriendly. It could be that he was not a sherpa, simply a man of Lao decent who preferred to be called “Joe.” None the less I called him Tenzing the whole time and had him carry my shit so I could get the top and snap this picture. Then I rode down on his back.