This summer rocked my old ass off.

Well, it started out that way. I had an unexpected amount of free time that became available just as Police Teeth rolled thru the Midwest. “Awesomer Than The Devil” blew my rock and roll paradigm to pieces, and is still holding steady at the top spot of the 2011 new elpee list I am constantly updating in my brain. I’d found out about Police Teeth thru D.j. Hostettler, the drummer for noise maniacs ifihadahifi. D.j. also was the guy who turned me on to the Electrical Audio board, and, consequently, the PRFBBQ.

Within a short span of seven days, I was able to see and have my ears and senses bludgeoned by my new heroes Police Teeth THREE TIMES. The first night was at Milwaukee’s Cactus Club, which was basically a Latest Flame showcase. Waxeater was brutal, Police Teeth was thrilling, and ifihadahifi was insanely fun to watch. As ifihadahifi raged, a filling fell out of one of my teeth. I stood there, thinking about how funny it was, rolling the filling around between my thumb and forefinger, not really knowing what to do with it until I finally realized it was useless and threw it on the floor to join the rest of the debris.

The following night, I had planned to watch Police Teeth, Zebras, and Waxeater play in Madison at an all ages show, but the venue had been shut down sometime during the week, so… they all decided to play a basement show at The Church Of Murray, ifihadahifi’s practice space on Milwaukee’s East Side. About a block away, a quite large and publicly/privately sponsored Milwaukee East Side festival was taking place, and the streets around The Church Of Murray were filled with party-goers, on their way to see the mix of local and national recording acts, one of whom was Call Me Lightning, who I was unable to catch. Leaning on the rail of the porch overlooking Murray Street, watching all the people below, I couldn’t get over how lucky I was, about to see one of the best rock and roll acts on the planet in a fucking basement in a house that all these people were walking past, oblivious.

Zebras were nuts. Police Teeth played one of the best sets I’ve ever seen. I missed Waxeater because of another commitment.

The Church Of Murray experience was an excellent run-up to the PRFBBQ at Observatory the following Friday. It was friends putting on a show for friends, making brilliant, coordinated noise for the sake of making brilliant, coordinated noise. That’s basically what I found the PRFBBQ to be. And I loved it.

I brought my two youngest boys to PRFBBQ at Observatory because it was all ages, Police Teeth was playing (my son Jackson is a skateboard fiend, plays drums, and loved the trove of Police Teeth I’d recently handed him) and by all vicarious accounts, seemed like a great, worldview-expanding event for both Jack and Cal. It was everything I had hoped it would be, and more. PRFBBQ was sort of like what I would imagine attending a superhero convention would be like with the superheroes showing up in casual attire, incognito. I lost count of how many people asked me who I was “on the board”, and every time I sort of sheepishly admitted that I pretty much just lurk on the board occasionally and really had come to see Police Teeth and to see what PRFBBQ was all about, EVERYONE WAS COOL AND WELCOMING.

That’s what community is. I felt right at home. My boys had a great time. Jack was thrilled to see and meet the band he’s had in his earphones while boarding up and down his mother’s driveway. Calvin dug Police Teeth too, but was quick to mention that Blacks were his favorite. I loved that they were able to see six hours of real rock music, played for the sake of playing, to a roomful of unassuming, smart, creative adults.

I’m coming back in the fall, and I’m bringing my kids again. For them, its fun, but I believe that PRFBBQ could have an incalculable effect on their creative and social development, and I do not believe that’s an overstatement.

For me, PRFBBQ is all I’ve ever wanted and now I’ve found it, with D.j.’s help. It’s rock and roll, the thing that just might keep my heart beating forever and ever.

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