Asparagii on the move
Paddy Fineran - Kenosha News

Did you ever have one of those favorite bartenders who just made up drinks on the spot when you said you wanted something a little different? She would pour in some of this, a little of that, a splash of who knows and top it all off with something fun. And it would be great, although for the life of you, you wouldn’t know how to re-create just what exactly made that so darn good.

That’s sort of like what “organic spaceship music” band Asparagii is, only with musical instruments and vocals rather than shots. Now, many of you already know all of that and were planning on hearing the band Saturday night at Mikey’s on Sheridan. But wait! The show has been moved to 1146 Red Olive Lounge. Tell your friends. Glad to help.
Asparagii performs at 9:30 Saturday night (Feb. 23) at 1146 Red Olive Lounge, 1146 Sheridan Road. The band will also perform March 2 at Champions, 719 50th St.

Asparagii show
Paddy Fineran - Kenosha News

Did you attend that really cool lakefront concert in the summer called Log Jam? Of course you did. Did you have fun? Of course you did. The band that organized the show is local “organic spaceship music” jam rock funk band Asparagii. If you like a lot of different types of music — jam, rock, free form jazz, spaced-out folk or reggae — you can set your GPS for Chicago, Madison, Minneapolis, Lansing, Mich., and Milwaukee, with a final stop in Kenosha. Or, just head over to Champions in town Saturday night to see and hear Asparagii.  Asparagii performs at 9 Saturday night (Dec. 15) at Champions, 719 50th St.

Good vibes emanate from Log Jam music festival

The music, artistic expression and friends that could be found at Pennoyer Park Saturday helped the Log Jam Festival get into its groove. Saturday’s beautiful weather provided the backdrop for a full lineup of bands and vendors as hundreds attended the first day of the event, which also featured several booths providing environmental information. The first version of Log Jam was held in Kansasville in 2009 and has sprouted into its lakefront home. The event is organized by local band Asparagii, and profits will go toward environmental activities, including creating a community garden in downtown Kenosha. Jay Bielarczyk, lead singer of Asparagii and organizer of the event, said he was very pleased with Saturday’s results. “It’s fantastic,” Bielarczyk said. “There’s happy people and great vibes all around.” Bielarczyk also credited the neon-green-shirt-clad bevy of volunteers for making the event run smoothly. Those volunteers also added to the energy of the crowd by often being the most boisterous in responding to the day’s bands.

Music and art
Saturday’s bands kept the Log Jam crowd dancing around the Sesquicentennial Band Shell, with plenty of long songs, drum solos and jams to be enjoyed. Creativity was also on display as various kinds of art and clothing vendors were on hand. Jennifer Applegate of Sonshine Desdini was selling hula hoops and sandals on Saturday. But Applegate said there was more to this event than just business. “There’s all these people to meet, and it’s cool to see what everyone is making,” Applegate said. “We see people here from other events we do in Wisconsin and Illinois, and it’s all very friendly and kind and family-oriented.” The Glasstronauts stand drew plenty of interested eyes during the fading sunlight of Saturday as Tony “Nails” Wagener of Eau Claire sculpted blown glass creations with fire. “We enjoy the music, and we have fun down here; it’s like a working vacation,” Wagener said.

Family friendly
Log Jam also had an area for children’s activities, using inflatables and the park’s playground. “Everyone is so calm and mellow, and it’s very family-friendly,” Nichole Meyer of Kenosha said. “It’s awesome.” Meyer also had high praise for the food lineup, which included local restaurants TG’s and Trolley Dogs. The Log Jam keeps on rolling today from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Admission is $5, and anyone under 17 is admitted free.

Kenosha News Front Page

Kenosha News

The Log Jam Music Fest is today and Sunday on the band shell in Pennoyer Park, along our gorgeous lakefront at 35th Street and Seventh Avenue. This event is packed with live music from popular local and regional bands, along with vendors, artists and environmental groups. The band Asparagii hosts the music fest each year (this is its first time in Pennoyer Park) to raise awareness on environmental issues. As part of that focus, Log Jam will feature recyclable art activities for kids, a beach cleanup and a silent auction to raise money for Environmental Health Concept’s Community Garden Project.

Doors open at 10 a.m. both days, with the music starting at 11 a.m. Tickets are $10 each day for adults, $5 for ages 13 to 17 and free for ages 12 and under. For more details, go to

Log Jam Festival combines music, environmental message
By Bill Robbins - Kenosha News

Log Jam, a festival featuring musicians, artists, vendors and environmental organizations, is Saturday and Sunday (Sept. 8 and 9) at the band shell in Pennoyer Park. The festival is being organized by the local jam band Asparagii (pronounced As-PAIR-a-guy) through its Asparagii Productions, said the group’s drummer, Marc Eaton. Fifteen bands are scheduled to perform over the course of the festival, whose theme is promoting environmental awareness. The festival began in 2009 at the Wildlife Refuge bar in Kansasville.

The event is not-for-profit and will rase money for environmental activities such as a community garden in downtown Kenosha, Eaton said. Vendors will sell merchandise such as recycled artwork, jewelry, soaps and clothing as well as items such as seasonings and spices, Eaton said. “It will be similar to the Kenosha HarborMarket,” he said.

There will also be half a dozen environmental groups with booths presenting information. Food vendors and a beer garden will be staffed by members of the local group Musicians Assisting Advancing Musicians. “We wanted to organize a large-scale festival with hand-selected entertainment and artists,” Eaton said. “We’re trying to exceed expectations of music festivals the town has seen in the past.”

Bands are coming from as far as the Twin Cities to perform, he said. There are also local groups on the bill, including Asparagii, Cosmic Railroad, American Folk, Acoustic Soul, the Eco Limes and Donoma.

“The quality of entertainment will be very high,” Eaton said. “Every band every hour has a lot to offer.” Children’s activities will be available, including making recyclable art and face painting. A beach cleanup also will be organized, Eaton said.

It will be a busy weekend for Eaton. He plays drums with four of the bands that will perform. His father, Steve Eaton, a Kenosha resident, plays drums in the Madison-based group the Fixed Income Band, which will play Sunday. “They’re all retired — thus the name of the band,” Eaton said with a chuckle. The festival area will be set off by a chain-link fence, he said. People from around the region are expected to attend. “If the festival goes off great — with good weather — the goal is to have 2,000 people over the two days,” Eaton said. “We need a minimum of 1,000 to cover the budget and make the event barely worthwhile.”

It is hoped the festival will become an annual event at the band shell. “We’re hoping to double the attendance over the next few years if we keep this going,” Eaton said.

Log Jam, Tuesdays@The Shell keep Pennoyer Park hopping with music
By Paddy Fineran - Kenosha News

It’s finally here. Many of you live music lovers have probably noticed a ton of Facebook postings about it. Your favorite band may have let you know that they are performing at this event. You may even have noticed sky writers or those planes with the long banners mentioning it. Just kidding.

“It” is Asparagii’s cool event Log Jam. Log Jam is an annual arts and music festival celebrating good vibes through regional and local musicians, vendors, artists, environmental groups and sponsors along with music and art lovers of all ages. The 2012 event will focus on environmental awareness and feature children’s recyclable art activities, a beach clean up and a silent auction to raise money for Environmental Health Concept’s Community Garden Project.
(For a complete lineup, see Bill Robbins’ story on Page 5.)

Doors open at 10 a.m. each day. Tickets are $10/day for 18 years of age and older, $5 for ages 13 to 17 and ages 12 and under are admitted free. Oh yeah, the event is also being held at the wonderful Pennoyer Band Shell, 3601 Seventh Ave. For more information go

Live music takes over Remo’s, Kenosha’s lakefront
Kenosha News

Let’s get right to the point here today.
Remo Fest has one of the coolest lineups I’ve seen in quite a while. The little bar with the great big yard will be hosting a staggering 14 bands Saturday starting at noon and going until who knows when. Not a plugged in band fan? How about five solos or acoustic acts? Not a band fan? How about eight DJs? That should just about cover it but then again, more may have been added since I got my list. Here’s what I have in the way of bands. I’m not sure time slots (go to your favorite band’s website for that) so I’ll just go in alphabetical order: Betsy Ade, American Folk, Asparagii, Cosmic Railroad, Delta 9 Band, Docksters, Donoma, Livin’ Will, Matt Meyer and The Smooth Riders, Glenn Morrison, Terry n The Front, Venice Gas House Trolley and Kyle Young.

Whew. I got a little excited there just typing that. That much original music is almost impossible to find at any festival, so hats off.
Speaking of hats off, I want to especially thank the band Donoma for asking me to be a part of the video shoot for their song “Rain Circles.” I got to be part of a drum circle and bang away on a planter, some paint cans and even part of Israel Alpizar’s (Donoma’s drummer and the video director) drum kit next to a great bonfire. That Israel is one talented cat. I believe Donoma will be performing a rare acoustic set at 6 p.m. Remo Fest begins at noon Saturday at Remo’s Corner, 1200 Green Bay Road.

Asparagii to perform July 13 for Pike Creek series
The Journal Times (

SOMERS — Hawthorn Hollow Nature Sanctuary and Arboretum, 880 Green Bay Road, will host the second of three concerts as part of their Pike Creek Benefit Concert Series from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, July 13. Asparagii, a local jam rock trio that plays original music and covers, will perform. Then on Friday, Aug. 3, the acoustic music of Rusty Horse will be featured. The concerts take place in the amphitheater along the Pike Creek at Hawthorn Hollow. Admission is $5. Food and beverages will be sold. Proceeds go to Hawthorn Hollow.

Pike Creek Benefit Concert Series opens June 22
June 19, 2012
The Journal Times (

Hawthorn Hollow Nature Sanctuary and Arboretum, 880 Green Bay Road, will host three concerts over the summer as part of their Pike Creek Benefit Concert Series. The first concert will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, June 22, and will feature American Folk, a local non-traditional six-piece bluegrass band with original music, classic bluegrass/country and bluegrass versions of familiar rock songs. Then on Friday, July 13, the jam/rock band Asparagii will perform. The final concert of the season will be Friday, Aug. 3, and will feature the acoustic music of Rusty Horse. The concerts will take place in the amphitheater along the Pike Creek. Each concert is from 6 to p.m. Admission is $5. Food and beverages will be sold. Proceeds go to Hawthorn Hollow.

Revenge of the nerds!
By Paddy Fineran

OK, here’s a revenge of the nerds move that I can get strongly behind. The good folks at Club 1146 are hosting a “Nerd Rage” themed party Saturday night. They are having a ton of bands I really enjoy. Does that make me an angry nerd or does the fact that all of these bands are performing together make nerds really bent? I guess the best way to really tell is to stop by and check things out as Asparagii, Terry ’n the Front, Venice Gas House Trolley and Undercover Organism all will take the stage. I’ve praised Asparagii and Terry ’n the Front here before, but you may not know about the other bands on the bill. Undercover Organism calls itself “a jamtronica band blending electronica loops and sounds with a live band setting influenced by jam, funk, jazz and hip hop.” Venice Gas House Trolley has garnered some critical and fan praise as a “Cerebral Groove” or “Chill Psychedelic Jam” band. Now how could anyone be mad with a lineup like that?
Asparagii, TNTF, VGHT and Undercover Organism perform starting at 9 Saturday night (June 9) at Club 1146, 1146 Sheridan Road. $5 cover.

Rock the Earth
By Paddy Fineran - Kenosha News

Earth Day 2012 is Sunday (April 22). Hattrix is going to celebrate tonight (April 20) by hosting some of the earthiest, fingers-in-the-rich-soil-of-music bands in te area. Madison's ColorPhase dubs itself a "rock 'n' roll/ indie soul band." Terry 'n the Front has a rock 'n' roll attitude as filtered through punk, jam, funk, and soul influences. Asparagii is a band that pretty much plays whatever tickles their fancy. One posting I saw described them as "organic spaceship music." Expect everything - including the kitchen sink.
The Hattrix Earth Day Celebration is tonight (April 20) at Hattrix, 2425 60th St.

Get Out Today for April 20
4/19/2012 2:06 p.m.
Kenosha News

— Hattrix celebrates Earth Day a few days early with three bands performing tonight: Madison’s Colorphase ( a “rock ’n’ roll/indie soul band”), Terry ’n The Front (with a rock ’n’ roll attitude filtered through punk, jam, funk and soul) and Asparagii (a band that pretty much plays whatever tickles their fancy).
Hattrix is located at 2425 60th St.

I'm With The Band: A lucky Friday the 13th at Bar 525
By Scene262 staff - Scene 262

Friday the 13th is going to be scary at Bar525. Scary good, that is. What else would you expect from something called Zombie Apocalypse? It's going to be an out of town affair at the downtown bar with two Kenosha bands along with a Madison act. Madison's Venice Gashouse Trolley and Kenosha's Asparagii and Terry n' The Front make for a night of truly original music. Sounds and styles include rock, reggae, hip hop, jam, funk and groove. Basically, if you're sick of over-processed music that all sounds alike, you'll love this show.

Zombie Apocalypse is Friday, April 13 at Bar 525, 525 Wisconsin Ave.

50-plus acts to take the stage at SRIM Fest
3/29/2012 11:32 p.m.
By Paddy Fineran - Kenosha News

If Racine’s Thoughts For Food opened the month with a huge concert featuring a ton of bands in a tightly located area, SRIM Fest is sure closing out March with a bang as well. “In like a lion, out like a lion,” I like to say.

This weekend’s version of the Matt Meyer-produced event is, as always, a colossal affair with something for all but the pickiest of music lovers. Many of Kenosha’s top names in music will perform on multiple Brat Stop stages. A very good percentage of those acts perform original music — which is what this column tries to push as often as possible.
Rock, indie, blues, country, soul, jam band and new wave will all be represented as 50-plus acts will entertain. Some of the “name acts” you might recognize include Donoma, Cosmic Railroad, Terry ’n the Front, Delta-9, Caveman’s Fire, Betsy Ade, Acoustic Soul, Jason Kent, Matt Meyer and The Smooth Riders, Penguins With Shotguns, Richard Cranium, Tamara Vendetta, Asparagii, American Folk, Blue Edge of the Prairie, Mallory Helen and Jimmy Pendleton, Sid Simo and Dropping Daisies. And that’s not even the half of it.

Tickets are $8 per night with pre-sale tickets from the bands or Brat Stop; $10 per night at the door and $15 dollars for both nights.
SRIM Fest is tonight (March 30) and Saturday night (March 31) on five different stages at the Brat Stop, 12304 75th St.

Kenosha’s own ‘superband’ includes several familiar names
1/26/2012 11:32 p.m.
By Paddy Fineran - Kenosha News

Over the years, the term “superband” has been bandied about quite a bit. There was the Traveling Wilburys (Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, George Harrison, Roy Orbison, Jeff Lynne). There was Blind Faith (Eric Clapton, Stevie Winwood, Ginger Baker and Ric Grech). There was the Jeff Beck Group (Beck, Jimmy Page, Keith Moon, John Paul Jones, Rod Stewart, Ronnie Wood and Nicky Hopkins).

And now there’s The Superband Supershow. Now, before I go any further, let me stress I’m not being sarcastic, it’s just what the show is being called.

Actually, all of the players in this show are hugely accomplished and if they mesh well, it should be great. The Superband is comprised of Matt Meyer, Danny Crucianelli, Chad Canfield, Marc Eaton and Jason Kent. Between them these cats have performed as part of The Smooth Riders, The Real Deal, Donoma, Asparagii, Richard Cranium, Penguins With Shotguns, Old Junk, Jason Kent’s Flying Circus, J&H Crossing, Terry ’n The Front and Delta-9 — to name just a very large handful. Together they should be, … well, super.
The Superband performs starting at 9 tonight (Jan. 27) — doors at 6 p.m., cover charge is $5 — at the Art Bar, 5301 22nd Ave.

End of the world?
12/29/2011 11:32 p.m.
By Paddy Fineran - Kenosha News

I know a lot of people who simply will not allow the new year to come unless there is some rocking live music happening. It’s a pretty good bet that a lot of them will be over at High Spirits in Trevor this weekend. Why? Because the best-named local New Year’s Eve bash is happening there. The Apocalyptic New Year’s Eve Midnight Masquerade Ball is going down right there along the Wisconsin/Illinois border.

The ever-energetic Richard Cranium will lay down the alternative rocky, edgy pop-ish, old-school punk sounds. The always grooving Asparagii will provide the jam-based, trippy atmospherics. Together, yeah. It sounds like a good way to bring in the last year of humanity, according to those crazy prophecies. It’s time to party like a Mayan!
Richard Cranium and Asparagii perform Saturday night at High Spirits, 12417 Antioch Road in Trevor.

Local music: Cranium Fest
12/15/2011 11:32 p.m.
By Paddy Fineran - Kenosha News

It’s a pretty big thing to wrap your head around, but it’s time for Cranium Fest. Held over three days this weekend at Hattrix, an amazing 15 bands will take the single stage. When you have Kenebula Records and Richard Cranium in the house, you’ve got a whole lot of ground covered — both with sheer number of acts and with variations on rock ’n’ roll. What I got sent to me by the fine folks at Kenebula is a weekend of acts including Donoma (I had a dream about them not long ago), NoOneSouldier, Asparagii, Terry n’ the Front, Richard Cranium, Penguins With Shotguns, Whiskey of the Damned and oh so much more.
Check things out all weekend at Hattrix, 2425 60th St.

Asparagii’s music
11/17/2011 10:32 p.m.
By Paddy Fineran - Kenosha News

You may as well hear something different this weekend. What do you want? Jam music? Maybe reggae? How about free form jazz or perhaps space-folk? Well, let’s see. In order, how about Asparagii, Asparagii, Asparagii and Asparagii?

Asparagii performs all that type of music starting at 9 Saturday night (Nov. 19) at TG’s, 4120 Seventh Ave.

Get Out Today for Oct. 2
9/30/2011 10:59 a.m.
Kenosha News

— Scotty’s, 2117 50th St., is hosting an Oktoberfest today — with no polka music! Bands performing are: Acoustic Soul, Cosmic Railroad, Kevin Grissom, Matt Meyer, Fire Up Acoustic, Asparagii and Amy Ashley.

A different type of Oktoberfest
9/29/2011 11:32 p.m.
By Paddy Fineran - Kenosha News

So you’re a die-hard live music fan and the five bands at the Rhode theater Saturday night just won’t cut it for you. What are you going to do? Afterall, Sundays in the fall are for football and — finally — baseball playoffs. Right?

Don’t try to get that nonsense past the folks at Scotty’s. That’s because they are hosting one of what I’m sure will be many Okoberfests this month. You won’t find an oom-pah or polka band among the seven that will be performing, but they are all quite entertaining and worthy of raising a stein to in appreciation. Acoustic Soul, Cosmic Railroad, Kevin Grissom, Matt Meyer, Fire Up Acoustic, Asparagii and Amy Ashley will all be saying, “Raise ’em up; Eins, Zwei, Drei, Prost!”
Oktoberfest at Scotty’s is 3:30-10 p.m. Sunday (Oct. 2) at Scotty’s, 2117 50th St.

Two artists, one show
9/15/2011 11:32 p.m.
By Paddy Fineran - Kenosha News

Remember a while back when I told you about Matt Meyer and his “Story Teller” shows at Art Bar? Each week he trades songs with another artist. Next week’s (Sept. 22) guest will be reggae/jam/space-folk/rock band Asparagii. It will be a night of expect anything, and that is good.
Matt Meyer and Asparagii perform at 6 p.m. Thursday at Art Bar, 5301 22nd Ave.

Shoe donation drive kicks off Saturday
8/15/2011 6:01 p.m.
BY JOE POTENTE - Kenosha News

A group of local volunteers has got a home for those old pairs of shoes collecting dust in the back of your closet.
Mark McCarthy would like to see you take them to one of a half dozen selected Kenosha businesses and leave them behind for those in need.
McCarthy is a Kenosha resident and the man behind the local incarnation of Soles4Souls, a national drive to collect new and “gently worn” shoes for victims of natural disasters all over the world.

A daylong kickoff of the Kenosha drive is set for 2 to 10 p.m. Saturday at TG’s Restaurant and Pub, 4120 Seventh Ave. Donations will be collected there and at five other establishments through Sept. 3.

“I think it’s going to be a successful project,” said McCarthy, who heard Shoes4Soles founder Wayne Elsey describe the project in a radio interview earlier this year.
Elsey, according to the Soles4Souls website, is a Nashville, Tenn., shoe company executive who was inspired by the December 2004 tsunami that devastated Sri Lanka and elsewhere along the Indian Ocean coast. Elsey used his contacts in the industry to gather 250,000 pairs of shoes for those affected by that disaster; in the years since, the program has collected 15.4 million pairs around the world. McCarthy saw Kenosha as a good place to further the effort.

“We were thinking in this economic time we’re sitting in, this would be a good idea,” McCarthy said. “We’re not asking for money from people. We’re just asking people to go through their closet and see what they’ve got in terms of gently worn shoes.”
In a pilot at St. Catherine Commons senior housing complex, McCarthy said he has already collected a few hundred pairs.

Local partnership
McCarthy teamed up with Sharing our Service, a local organization of service industry workers that TG’s employees Angela Cook and Shannyn Franklin founded earlier this year.

Cook and Franklin used their ties to local musicians to assemble Saturday’s kickoff, which will feature free performances by eight musical acts and a southern-style “low country boil” dinner cooked by Franklin.

In anticipation of substantial crowds, Cook said TG’s received permission from the city to erect a tent and stage the musical performances outside in the tavern parking lot.
“I’m very excited about this,” Cook said. “I think it’s going to be a lot of fun, and I think we’re going to collect quite a few shoes for people in need.”
Cook said she likes the idea of a charitable event where people can donate without necessarily opening their wallets.
“How can you go wrong?” she said. “Everybody has shoes.”

If you go
What: Soles4Souls drive to collect new or lightly used shoes for disaster victims
When: Kickoff from 2 to 10 p.m. Saturday; donations collected through Aug. 3
Where: Kickoff at TG’s Restaurant and Pub, 4102 Seventh Ave. Donations accepted at TG’s as well as Alpaca Art, 5813 Sixth Ave.; Andrea’s 2401 60th St.; The Coffee Pot, 4914 Seventh Ave.; DeBerge’s Framing & Gallery, 2008 63rd St.; and Peacetree Originals, 4721 Seventh Ave.
What’s needed: Shoes of any size, including flip flops, sandals and kids’ sizes.
Saturday’s event: Will include a southern-style “low country boil” dinner and musical performances by The Real Deal, Asparagii, Yves Francois, Mark Paffrath, Jimmy Pendleton and Mallory Hellen, Jill Plaisted and Terry Maraccini, Rusty Horse and Three Hours Ago with Tamara Pierce.

Taste of Wisconsin offers plenty of live music along with the food
7/29/2011 8:56 a.m.
By Paddy Fineran - Kenosha News

Cosmic Railroad
There’s little doubt that the top of the local jam band food chain is occupied by Cosmic Railroad. There’s also little doubt that the band’s special campground shows are looked forward to by many all year long. The Cosmic Railroad Family Gathering show is this weekend out at the Rivers Edge Campground along the Wisconsin River in Stevens Point.
Yeah, I know it’s a bit of a drive for some of you. Not far at all, though, for Cosmic Railroad fans.

In addition to the headliner, The Big Wu, The Heavy Pets, Roster McCabe, Barefoot Fred, Delta 9, The Electric Boogaloo, Thinner Teed, Undercover Organism, SLM, Recalcitrant, Asparagii, Terry n’ the Front, Ifdakar, Wandering Foolz and Snook will also perform over the two-night show. Show tickets are $75, camping fees extra.
Show information is online at

Stock up on live music at Bratstock
Get your fill with 50 bands at the Brat Stop’s 50th anniversary event all weekend long
5/26/2011 11:32 p.m.
By Bill Robbins - Kenosha News

It’s being billed as 50 bands celebrating 50 years on Highway 50.
The Brat Stop is observing its half-century of existence with a huge indoor music festival dubbed Bratstock.
The event will feature more than 50 bands on three stages over four days beginning today at 6 p.m. and continuing into Monday night, with the last band starting at 9 p.m.
The majority of bands are donating their time to perform, said general manager Nick Klein.
“Many of them have played here before, and I asked them to donate to the Brat Stop’s biggest birthday,” he said. “They were very happy to do so.”
Also, portions of the proceeds will go to the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the Save-a-Vet Foundation, which assists veterans.
Established in 1961, the Brat Stop is a nationally known restaurant, tourist attraction and live-music venue at I-94 and Highway 50.
Each year, it attracts 450,000 visitors and serves 27 tons of brats, Klein said.
We asked Klein, 26, son of Brat Stop founder and owner Jerry Rasmussen, some questions via email. Here are his responses.

Question: Please give us a brief history of the Brat Stop.
Answer: On April 15, the Brat Stop celebrated its 50th year of business, with one owner — my father, Jerry Rasmussen.
He started it as just a cheese-and-sausage mart that quickly developed into an eight-stool bar nearly exactly where it is now off of Highway 50.
The reason I can’t say exactly where it was is that in 1984 the Brat Stop burned down.
After nearly a year of rebuilding, the Brat Stop was back and bigger than ever —including a stage featuring live musical entertainment.
A banquet hall was added to the cheese mart/restaurant/concert venue. And the success of this single hall led to another expansion in 1994 — the Parkway Chateau banquet facility, which has multiple rooms and is capable of hosting parties for more than 500 people.
Throughout all 50 years, Jerry Rasmussen has been there to take care. The staff and regulars are something of a family.

Question: At what point did live music become a major aspect of the locale?
The rebuilding in 1984 led to the boost, with the addition of JR’s Stage, which is our main stage.

Question: Many big-name acts have performed at “the Brat” over the decades. Can you give us a sampling of them?
In the early years we had Styx, Cheap Trick, the Charlie Daniels Band and Eddie Money. Today we have bands such as Shinedown, Sevendust, Saliva and Puddle of Mudd.

Question: Are most of the bands for Bratstock from this area?
Answer: The acts come from Madison and Milwaukee, down to Chicago, and everywhere in between. Several are from Kenosha, though. There is a lot of local flavor.
Saturday’s featured act is Anthony Gomes, originally from Canada, but now (living in) Nashville. He is constantly nominated for blues artist of the year.
Sunday night, Tommy Holland and his band, House of Holland, will perform. He is the former singer of Steppenwolf. (Holland, of Lake Geneva, toured as Steppenwolf’s lead singer in 1979).

Question: How many stages will there be for Bratstock?
There are three stages — 50-plus bands over four days on three stages.

Question: What were some challenges of organizing such a huge event?
Originally, I thought that getting 50 bands together to put some time in for the Brat would be the most challenging.
But all the bands were surprisingly helpful and very excited for the opportunity to play.
The most difficult thing for me, however, is getting people to come. I have put on countless events in my short professional life, but I have seen successes and failures. I can’t put a finger on what makes any one more successful than the other.
Between TV, the movies, the countless outdoor activities and all the time Facebook takes up, how do I convince the masses to give me some of their time?
In the end, I just have to have faith that people are looking to be entertained, because that is the Brat Stop’s desire: To entertain and provide an experience and moments that are worth remembering and posting on Facebook.
That should be my tag line! “Bratstock: For moments worth talking about on Facebook.”
I’ve had incredible help (with this event), of course. Special thanks to Debbie Crawford, Tonya Sund and Tom Csech and all the Brat Stop staff

Question: What makes the Brat Stop so popular among tourists — and among local people?
The Brat Stop is the It destination in southeastern Wisconsin. From northern Milwaukee to southern Chicago, you will find no place like it.
But I’m not sure the locals know this so much anymore. There has been a lot of competition and development throughout Kenosha, which is fantastic. However, it makes the share of locals all the smaller for everyone.
And in the restaurant, bar and entertainment business, proximity is one of the most important things, next to personality, of course. And the Brat Stop is rife with personality.
Here is the list of acts and times for Bratstock as presented on the Brat Stop’s website. Music starts at 6 p.m. Friday and at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sunday and Monday — with the last band going on at 9 p.m. that night.


Jr’s Stage
6 p.m. — The Real Deal
7:20 p.m — Boys and Toys
8:40 p.m. — Losing Scarlet
10 p.m. — SLM
Midnight — Superfuzz

Stage 50 (Metal Mayhem Night)
5:40 p.m. — Ten Eyes Wide
6:30 p.m. — The Slutty Squirrels
7:45 p.m. — Three Left
9 p.m. — Cavemans Fire
10:15 p.m. — ADyingNovel
11:30 p.m. — Penguins with Shotguns
12:45 p.m. — Full Shred Ahead

The Beer Garden
6:20 p.m. — The Daniel Kin Band
7:40 p.m. Annie B. and Vagabond Co.
9:00 p.m. — Delta9
10:45 p.m. — Karaoke w/Capt. Carl


Jr’s Stage
11:40 a.m. — Villa Avenue
1 p.m. — Allura
2:20 p.m. — Playground of Sound
3:40 p.m. — Glass Fog
5 p.m. — Rob Webster
6:20 p.m. — Annie B. And The Vagabond Co.
7:40 p.m. — One Night Stand
9 p.m. — Savanna Road
11 p.m. — Anthony Gomes

Stage 50
Noon — Exit to Enter
1:20 p.m. — Midnight Outlaws
2:40 p.m. — Dawn of Dorsie
4 p.m. to 7 p.m — Open Jam
7:20 p.m. — Animals in Human Attire
8:40 p.m. — NoOneSoldier
10 p.m. — Terry N’ The Front
11:20 p.m. — Asparagii
12:40 a.m. — Richard Cranium

The Beer Garden
12:20 p.m. — Empire
1:40 p.m. — The Jitters
3 p.m. — Monk9
4:20 p.m. — The Affordables
5:40 p.m. — Country Boy Blues Band
7 p.m. — Kush
8:20 p.m. — TBA
9:40 p.m. — Commove
10:45 p.m. — The Stumes


Jr’s Stage
11:40 a.m. — Aly Jayne
1 p.m. — The Dayrollers
3 p.m. — The Lakeside City Band
4:20 p.m. — Trading Betty
5:40 p.m. — Cannibal Galaxy
7 p.m. — Avedis
8:20 p.m. — Cereboca
9:40 p.m. — Skrude Loose
11 p.m. — House of Holland

Stage 50
1:20 p.m. — Empire
2:40 p.m. — Keep it Simple
4 p.m. — Monk9
5:20 p.m. — Blaze Daze
6:40 p.m. — Villas Avenue
8 p.m. — Midnight Rider Band
9:20 p.m. — Mandy Z
10:40 p.m. — Country Storm

The Beer Garden
11 a.m. — The Stumes
12:40 p.m. — Pilot
2 p.m. — The Spirrizzis
3:20 p.m. — Matt Haeffel
4:40 p.m. — The Daniel Kin Band
6 p.m. — Dawn Of Dorsie
7:40 p.m. — Lakeside City Band
9 p.m. —The Ecolimes


Jr’s Stage
11 a.m. — Set For Disaster
12:20 p.m. — Empire
1:40 p.m. — 8 Miles South
3 p.m. — TBA
4:20 p.m. — Richard Cranium
6 p.m. — Whiskey of the Dammed
7:30 p.m. — Trading Betty
9 p.m. — Floog

The Beer Garden
12:40 pm — TBA
2 p.m. — Keep it Simple
3:20 p.m. — Set For Disaster
4:40 p.m. — Empire
6 p.m. — Big Johnson and the Thrusters
7:20 p.m. — Villa Avenue
8:40 p.m. — Keep it Simple

Local music: Wildlife show
5/19/2011 11:30 p.m.
By Paddy Fineran - Kenosha News

What do you want first, the good news or the bad?
The bad news is the venerable venue Wildlife Refuge may very well stop having concerts. Word is that it’s being sold. The good news is, you still have time to catch a show there.

Now, I’ve seen notices a couple weeks in a row now about “the last show ever” at Wildlife. Does that mean last ever for the Refuge or for that particular band there? Whatever the case, it looks like things will change soon. (If you’re the new owners, shoot me a line at the contact at the end of the column.). The “last ever show” I’m talking about here — and I haven’t heard of any future shows yet — is Delta-9 Band and Asparagii.

Delta-9 is a versatile band leaning toward rock, funk, reggae and jam music that lays down mostly originals with some “deep cuts” by other artists. Songs you’re likely to be familiar with include cuts by Bob Dylan, The Meters (cool!!), Outkast and Led Zeppelin.

Asparagii is a band that is hard to nail into a specific genre, and that’s good. Jam-based with whiffs of reggae and spacey-folk along with touches of whatever tosses their confetti that night is pretty much what they’re about. The band members themselves describe their sound as “folk reggae, with a jammy rock, blugrassy, space funk feel fused with an R&B edginess.” Come out and pay homage to a great live music venue.

The bands perform Saturday night (May 21) at Wildlife Refuge, 3518 S. Beaumont Ave. in Kansasville.

Matt Meyer hosting huge indoor music festival at the Brat Stop
3/24/2011 11:30 p.m.
By Paddy Fineran - Kenosha News

A lot of weeks, I fuss and fiddle trying to figure what to open with. No problem this week. It’s SRIM Festival time — 40 bands at one site over two nights. It’s a no-brainer, and that’s what I specialize in.

First off, I want to say congratulations to Matt Meyer for getting all of this together. I know that it’s no small feat just to get all of the bands agreeing (somewhat, at least) on time slots and stage locations and sound engineers and sharing backline and all of the other not-so-little details that go into something like this. Trust me, I’ve done enough of them myself over the years. So, no matter how many people show up (and let’s hope it’s a ton), you’ve already succeeded.
OK, details. SRIM stands for Smooth Riders Indoor Music Fest. The Smooth Riders are Meyer’s main band. The one site hosting all of these great acts is the Brat Stop. To get 40 acts on, a lot of space will be used.

Tonight, acts will be on the Main Stage, the Wisconsin Room and the Beer Garden. On Saturday, you can add in the Bristol Room and the Parkway. The event runs from 6 p.m. until closing time both today (March 25) and Saturday. Cost is $5 today, $8 for Saturday or $10 for a two-night pass.
Now, I’m guessing you want me to get into what bands are performing. Here’s the deal. There are 40 of them — 15 today and another 25 on Saturday. There are going to be MANY acts that you’ll love. There are the bigger names, like Cosmic Railroad, Bascom Hill, The Real Deal, Terry ’N The Front and Jason Kent’s Flying Circus. There are lesser known acts, such as Recalcitrant (prog funk reggae), SLM (salsa-fied jam rock) and Sioum (instrumental prog, post-metal). There are big, loud and crashy rock bands you may know like Caveman’s Fire, Penguins With Shotguns, Spiral Trance, Rude Rooster and L.S. In Chains. There is also quieter fare, including the Brent Mitchell Trio, Pierce Vendetta, Saturday Night Preachers and Asparagii. And what’s a party without the rockabilly of Old Junk?

And that’s not even half of the bands! Get the idea? For an up-to-date lineup listing, check out On the left side under “Likes,” you’ll see a thumbnail with the heading SRIM Fest. Click and plan away.

SRIM Fest is 6 p.m. to close tonight (March 25) and Saturday (March 26) at the Brat Stop, 12304 75th St. This is a 21-and-over event.

Smooth Riders Indoor Music Festival at Brat Stop
March 24, 2011
The Journal Times (

KENOSHA — The Smooth Riders Indoor Music Festival, also known as SRIM Fest, will be held Friday and Saturday, March 25-26, at the Brat Stop, 12304 75th St. (Highway 50). 
The event will feature live music by 40 bands on eight stages. The lineup:
Main Stage — Betsy (acoustic, originals), 6 p.m.; Jason Kent’s Flying Circus (electric rock), 7 p.m.; Bascom Hill (pop rock), 8:30 p.m.; Asparagii (acoustic jam), 10 p.m.; Donoma (tribal rock), 11:30 p.m.; and Richard Cranium, 1 a.m.
Wisconsin Room Stage: Annie. B (alternative/acoustic), 6:45 p.m.; Dropping Daisies (rock), 8:15 p.m.; Brent Michaels Trio, 9:45 p.m.; JOSB (reggae rock), 11:15 p.m.
Beer Garden — Slutty Squirrels (garbage punk), 6:30 p.m.; Fur Coats For Sportsmen, 8:15 p.m.; Three Left (heavy rock), 9:30 p.m.; Caveman’s Fire (original hard rock), 11 p.m.; Adyingnovel (alternative/metal), 12:30 a.m.
Main Stage — 7:00pm Joel Pingitore & the Playground of Sound, 7 p.m.; Old Junk (rockabilly), 8:30 p.m.; Matt Meyer & the Smooth Riders, 10 p.m.; Cosmic Railroad, 11:30 p.m.
Wisconsin Room — The Wads (pop rock), 6:45 p.m.; No One Soldier (jam rock), 8:15 p.m.; Recalcitrant (progressive reggae), 9:45 p.m.; SLM (salsafried jam rock), 11:15 p.m.; Terry ’N the Front (jam rock), 12:45 a.m.
Beer Garden — The Real Deal (rock and soul), 6:30 p.m.; Praying Mantis Theory (originals, rock), 8 p.m.; Drownin’ Thirsty (rock, originals), 9:30 p.m.; L.S. in Chains (Alice in Chains tribute), 11 p.m.; Cobain (tribute), 12:30 a.m.
Bristol Room — Pierce Vendetta (acoustic pop), 6:15 p.m.; Saturday Night Preachers (bluegrass), 7:45 p.m.; Sweet Pev Perron & the Mark Rodgers Band
(rockin’ blues), 9:15 p.m.; Ten Eyes Wide (metal, original), 10:45 p.m.; Rude Rooster (hard rock), 12:15 a.m.
Grand Hall — Trading Betty (classic rock), 6 p.m.; Spiral Trance (rock, metal), 7:30 p.m.; Sioum (instrumental, rock), 9 p.m.; Before Tomorrow (aggressive alternative), 10:30 p.m.; Penguins with Shotguns (originals, hard rock), midnight.
Admission fees are $5 for Friday, $8 for Saturday or $10 for both days. 

Log Jam Music Festival returns July 17
July 14, 2010
The Journal Times (

KANSASVILLE - The second annual Log Jam Music Festival will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday, July 17, at the Wildlife Refuge, 3518 S. Beaumont Ave.
The outdoor festival features music by Asparagii, Kelsey Montanez, American Folk and Jeff Palkoner. Guest DJs include DJ Ed Reynolds and DJ Luke Warm (of Wisco Jazz).
Admission costs $5 and is for adults ages 21 and older.
For more information, call (262) 878-5600.

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