Archives For Pabst Theater

Wilco’s been on the brain lately. With all of the deserved buzz surrounding The Whole Love and their upcoming shows in Madison and later, Milwaukee, they’ve been taking up a lot of my headspace. And then, when stumbling around YouTube, I found this video that I shot from the 2nd row of the balcony at the Pabst Theater in 2009. I don’t think I ever posted it or that it’s very good. But it exists so….don’t get motion sick;)

Tonight I had an opportunity to do something that I never dreamed was possible; I saw PAVEMENT at the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee. While interviews with Stephen Malkmus had me a bit worried about the seriousness and overall tightness that this ‘short’ reunion would showcase, all concerns were left behind when the first notes of “Two States” were played. From my angle, the band had just as much fun rewinding the last 15 years as the crowd did. They joked, shouted, and bounced around like a band that’s just starting out. Amazing! If you have a chance to see Pavement, do so. You may never get another chance to see a band that might be a piece of your puzzle.

Instead of boring or intriguing you with the details of the show or recapping the encyclopedia of songs that they played, I will just tell you that they only teased “Type Slowly” and that nostalgia through music is real. I was transported back to picking up a used copy of Slanted and Enchanted to entering and exiting a countless number of retailers in search of the reissue of the same album years later during my junior year at UW-Madison. On this particular night I envisioned my skater youth, life defining conversations amidst cigarette smoke and finding comfort in music during a time of massive disillusionment. Pavement, much like a lot of the music that I tend to hold near and dear to my heart, will always symbolize simpler times; times when decisions were easy and life didn’t contain spreadsheets. These brief vacations from daily existence can be the best and the worst prescriptions for ruts. It just depends how you use them.

By now most Wilco fans and almost certainly all Milwaukee Wilco fans are aware of the new record cover that was shot in our beautiful city.  Peep Mader’s in the background!  While this album art looks pretty sweet, it is not the cover that Gentle John and I had hoped for.


On April 15th Gentle John and I arrived at the Pabst Theater two plus hours before the second Wilco show due to Jeff Tweedy’s announcement that a photographer was in town to shoot the cover of their next album and WE could be a part of it.  There was tons of milling about and petting of dogs before the photographer showed up and selected three people to wear rhine stone suits worn by the band and also one lucky person to hold a gigantic birthday cake.  To our dismay, we were not one or two of the four selected so we instead lined up with the rest of the unlucky ones.  However, as it turns out we ended up right next to one of the guys chosen to wear a suit and a super cute kid wearing a Union Jack beanie.  It was at this point we were certain that we’d made it.  We’d signed waivers. WAIVERS!!! We were guaranteed to be on the cover.  I even rolled up my ticket stub from the previous night and cigarette gripped it (ala McCartney on Abbey Road) in order to make sure that I stood out from the rest.  Gentle John and I, glowing and elated due to our future fame, walked across the street to have some celebratory beverages and text the news to our closest (and sure to be jealous) companions.

Well, looks like we should’ve bought that camel some drinks. I bet they didn’t make him sign a waiver:(   Here’s a photo set of our lousy time.

photographer, girl in one of the suits

photographer and a girl in one of the suits

dude's got the cake

photographer, girl in one of the suit, and dude's got the cakeback of the suit this lucky fella got to wear (not cooler than a camel)

the cute kid that should've been our path to glory and his pop

the cute kid that should've been our path to glory and his pop

the infamous cake

the infamous cake