Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Derek Pritzl's Saturday night gig

Here's some Flickr images from last Saturday night's soirée with Derek Pritzl. We had a real nice crowd...people were totally into Derek's performance. The guys was a machine...didn't take a break for over two hours (I think he lost several pounds in sweat and energy), playing almost entirely his own tunes (including one or two that he wrote that very week). Derek will be playing here again on Friday, December 21st (and Kelly Underwood will be here the day after, Saturday the 22nd). Check out the rest of the pics here.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Manitowoc Coffee

Yesterday (Monday) Kim and I stopped in to the new Manitowoc Coffee shop at 836 S. 8th in the old Kresge building...and I am writing this post from there today as well as we stopped in with my laptop to check mail before heading home from grocery shopping. This place has a very nice feel to it...the ambiance is warmly urban and inviting, with light brick and dark wood throughout, a softly hued tile floor and three flat screen televisions that project a rotating series of vintage images of downtown Manitowoc. Dark wood tables and chairs and a few luxurious leather chairs and couches make for comfortable sitting. They have done a really beautiful job in creating a warm and relaxing space.

Yesterday, Holly (I believe she said that she is the general manager of the building...forgive me if I got that wrong, Holly) was manning the counter and espresso machine...and the service both yesterday and today (different folks running the shop today) has been expedient and very friendly. I like the logo of the business too; a silhouette of recognizable Manitowoc landmarks, that also dovetails nicely with their tagline of "Your Community, Your Coffee" (although, according to Holly, they use Cedarburg Coffee Roastery. I might think they would use Two Rivers Roasting if they wished to really stay true to the "Your Community, Your Coffee" line...but that may be a minor quibble...or maybe not...).

In any event, it's great to have this place open in downtown Manitowoc. It is a wonderful-looking cafe and the folks staffing it seem to be excited and very keen on doing it right. After they get their website up and running we'll link to it. It's a great addition to the community and I have a feeling that they will do very well (I've always said that it's better for everyone, both businesses and the buying public, to have more choices). Check them out next time you're downtown in Manitowoc. Kim wants to get going so I have to cut this short.


Saturday, November 24, 2007

Christmas parade tonight

The "Christmas Fantasy Parade" (a title that promises far more than it can likely deliver) is tonight...5:30...downtown Two Rivers...runs right by the Stump. Derek Pritzl plays at around 8:00 (see below).
Angel & Bobbi doing some illegal gambling while waiting for the parade to start.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Nudity! Censorship! Protestors! Bears Smoking Cigarettes!

The coffee buying public expresses outrage at Stumpjack art exhibition!

(well, maybe not the "public," per se...
...and maybe not exactly "outrage"...
...and maybe not...ok, ok, it was one lady,
and she politely scolded me...
...but it could've easily gotten out of hand,
with stuff getting broken and picket lines and tear gas and paddy wagons...
...hey, coulda happened...)

Click here for the story.

Updates and Flickr photos

Nick doin' his thang...

Ok, these last couple weeks have seemed hectic, yet I can't really think of anything substantively out of the ordinary that I got accomplished. Here, finally, are some images from the last few weeks of partying and music. Click on the purple text links for the Flickr pic.

November 3, 2007: Stumpjack One-Year Anniversary Party
Marty's Flickr pics of the evening again.

Nick Venturella Nov 9, 2007

Full house for Nick Venturella...Nick was a blast, lots of fun and silliness, interaction with the crowd, and some mighty fine music from this singer/songwriter from my old stompin' ground in Madison. We're planning on having Nick back sometime soon.

TRiP Nov 16, 2007

TRiP was just that...not music in the familiar, traditional sense. Here's what I wrote on the HTR Forum, along with a couple of responses from people who were here.

"The trio of upright bass, electronic cello and keyboard/accordion, performed what was in many ways an experiment in aural stimulation and sound. It was very much a free form, electronica and jazz improvisation performance from the three artists (from Chicago, Milwaukee and Manitowoc, respectively).

If I had to describe what they did I might also add that it was at times very intriguing and engrossing, and at times almost painful and unsettling...but always interesting. The interesting thing, as it relates to the subject of this thread on the power of music, is how people reacted to it. There were those who were totally into it, trying to follow and figure out where the piece might be going, and how each musician was playing off the others. And then there were those who thought it was just too weird, too harsh, too non-melodic, too unfamiliar...those people didn't like it at all, even to the point of appearing irritated and expressing themselves rudely to what they were hearing. Attentiveness and applause from one contingent...disregard and disrespect from another.

I occasionally wonder if the prevailing musical taste in our area is automatically antagonistic to anything that ISN'T a polka, punk or pop cover band. It was nice to see at least a few folks last night who were willing to entertain the idea of something completely different."

A few responses:

My family appreciates the local injection of diverse musical styles found at Stumpjacks. Thanks, David, for taking the risk of doing something new. We had fun last night and were lucky to get a table. You may have to invest in some folding chairs - or knock out a wall.

The urban atmosphere at Stumpjacks reminded us of being downtown Mad Town. If I didn't recognize the building across the street...

-- Gopnot

Although the music last night at the Stump was not 'my cup of tea' I am continually thankful for David broadening my mind. We were pretty sure we hear a rendition of happy birthday in there - and David - I would have applauded - but I was never quite sure when a song ended. lol.

-- Outnabout

I appreciate most sorts of music and was at Stumpjack for TrIP. I didn't recognize it as music at all, but it's great that [Stumpjack] brings those types of performers to Two Rivers. I didn't stay to listen because I just couldn't get into it at all - but it would have been the same case if it would have been a old style country band.

-- TR

Y'all have an outstanding Thanksgiving now! Be thankful for, among many other things, your family and friends...and for good coffee too!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Anniversary Party Pics

Ok, here's a few images from last Saturday's Stumpjack Coffee's One-Year Anniversary Party.

John Will Balsley was outstanding as he played some great bluesy tunes, including some on steel guitar. My amigo Larry on the right...lookin' pretty fit there bro!

Lots of people dressed up; lots of coffee, wine and beer was consumed; lots of good vibes and warm compliments from all the Stumpjumpers in attendance. We're thinking of hosting parties like this (maybe themed costume parties...can you say "toga!") at least a couple times a year now.

We drew names and a bunch of people won stuff, and I'll put the names and prizes up on the next thread (gotta finish this one up now). That' me above there, gettin' some lovin' from my own personal prizes (Debbie and Laurie..."StumpBunnies").

Go here to see a Flickr set of images from the evening courtesy of our pal Marty ("Thing 2") "View as slide show" in the upper right corner when you get there.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Nick Venturella...This Friday, Live Baby!

I'll post some images and whatnot from Saturday night's anniversary party, but first I need to let you know that this Friday night we will having another fan-freaking-tastic night of live music, with Nick Venturella. We're not doing many Friday night gigs this year so this is an extra special night in that regard. Nick will have his CDs available for signing as well. Here's the press release:

Friday, November 9th at 8:00 pm...Nick Venturella at Stumpjack Coffee!

Nick is a folk-rock/garage/pop singer-songwriter who delivers smart songs with simplistic savvy. He has been writing and performing his music for a little over a decade. His music stems from personal experiences and observations of life, relationships and self-awareness.

Nick's acceptance of various influences allows his sound to be versatile and forever evolving. Plus, with a loose personable performance style, Venturella connects well with his audiences making each show a memorable one.

Music has afforded Nick the opportunity to open for and work with some outstanding performers, including: Jason LaVasseur, Copeland (Yes, the same Copeland that is on the MySpace Records Compilation), Catchpenny, Life in General, Fade 2 Shade, John Hermanson (of Alva Star and Storyhill), and Ryan McIntyre (formerly of EXIT).

Nick has recorded and released six CDs, including the just released "Premium Blend," a collection of live performances, demos and Holiday tracks. He is also currently compiling information for a book on independent musicians and performers in Wisconsin. College radio, word-of-mouth and "through the grapevine" fan distribution have grown a loyal following for this Midwestern D.I.Y. independent.

As with all shows at Stumpjack Coffee the only cover charge required is the purchase of a drink.