Art Bar, bear tree painting, Eugene Mirman, goldfish painting, Green Bay, JD's Bar, Judge John Hodgman, live art, Madison, Milwaukee, Milwaukee Public Market, Natalie Gelman, octopus painting, the Wisco, Wisconsin
On Friday the 28th of March before we left Madison, we headed over to a nearby coffee shop to meet up with my cousin Amy and her little family. She’s been living there the past few years going to school, and I haven’t seen her in… I can’t even remember how long. It was really awesome getting to catch up, even for the short amount of time that we had. Then, after a few errands (including the first pair of new shoes Eric’s gotten since our wedding) we arrived in Milwaukee at the Art Bar. The bar was pretty neat and had art all over the place and we did a 2-set show.
Without a place to spend the night, we found a Walmart to park in and settled in to sleep. Neither of us slept well at all, tossing and turning and having to go use the bathroom in the middle of the night and getting cold and being woken up by an SUV next to us blasting music at 3:00 AM…
The next day, Saturday the 29th, woke up exhausted, but decided to make the best of everything. A homeless guy selling wilted flowers at the Art Bar while we were playing had given us a bouquet at the end of the night, so we decorated our car the same way my brother Ben & I use to do with dandelions on my parents’ VW van. Then we headed over to the Milwaukee Public Market (getting the idea from Eugene Mirman on the Judge John Hodgman podcast). I wish we had a public market like that. It was amazing. And we found a Wisconsin cheese shop that had Havarti on sale for $1!
We began the drive toward Green Bay, stopping to run along the beach at a lake-side park. Lakes this big amaze me. We also stopped to treat ourselves to the new Muppet movie!! Not as large and joyful as the last one, but as fun as any of the old classics. We arrived at JD’s Bar in Green Bay around 6:30 and met Jacob, who’d booked us. He showed us back to his place where he had a mattress in the basement for us to spend the night. And a roaring fireplace! Just the knowledge that we wouldn’t have to sleep in our car that night was such a huge relief to us both.
Back at JD’s we hung out, watching the Wisconsin basketball game. A singer/songwriter from California, Natalie Gelman, arrived to do a set before we started. Weird coincidence: She’d just done a Daytrotter session the same day as us at the other studio in Rock Island, and had run into the Golden Bloom guys at lunch! So odd. The crowd of that night was weird, sifting through a lot of different groups, including a very drunk bachelor party and a group of girls who’d known all the guys from high school. Natalie was really impressive with trying to engage with and handle the crowd, but she lost a lot of them when Wisconsin won the game and continued on to the Final Four by one point during her last song. Not going to lie, I was relieved that the bachelor party left soon after we started playing.
Jacob won the bid on the painting, and after such a rough night in the car, we crashed in his basement almost immediately after the show, sleeping for something close to 10 hours. Jacob was an amazing host (not to mention booker, I forgot to say that he took out three ads for us in the local entertainment paper as well as covering Green Bay in our posters), feeding us really well and allowing us to just rest up before heading off to do computer work at a nearby coffee shop.
That evening (this would be yesterday, the 30th) we had another show at JD’s Bar, this time at 5:00. I think the earlier shows at JD’s serve us better. The Sunday afternoon crowd is where it’s at. We had an awesome time and Doug won the bid on the painting again.
Back at Jacob’s we all headed to bed really early. He had to be out of the house for work before sunrise, so we were up and packed, saying goodbye around 5:15 this morning. We began the drive south, watching the sky turn pink to our left. An adorable diner called Tabbert’s somewhere along a back road was just opening as we passed, so we stopped in for a$2 breakfast including thick homemade bread for toast.
We play again in Madison tonight, over at the Wisco.