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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Wednesday, July 30, 2014

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Billie Joe Armstrong performing last month in England.
Billie Joe Armstrong performing last month in England.

Are musicians entitled to act like this?

I've been hearing a lot about the iHeartRadio music festival, which was held in Las Vegas last weekend. I'm sure it's the same for everyone else who tunes into Milwaukee radio. Local stations in the IHeartRadio network include Oldies 95.7, FM 106.1 and 97.3 Radio Now.

It seemed like a great idea to me, and frankly I was amazed that anyone could pull off such a monumental project. Getting all those stars together at one time to sing their radio hits - how does that work? How many managers do you have to deal with, how many contracts need to be made out, and with what provisions? Doesn't Britney Spears only want green M&M's in her dressing room, or something? (Maybe I'm just making that up.)

And most of all, I wondered how these megastars share a stage. That's a lot of talent, a lot of ego.

As it turns out, some of them couldn't. 

Billy Joe Armstrong had a massive meltdown when told he only had one minute left on stage. You can watch the video on Jesse Mitchell's blog (if you don't mind hearing the F-word...a lot) so I won't go into the details, but it suffices to say that he smashed his guitar. Smashed his guitar. Like he's Pete Townshend.

Except he's not.

Well, we certainly know he's not Justin Bieber either, because he yelled that as he was smashing the guitar. 

Green Day apologized today and Armstrong entered rehab, that tried-and-true face-saving move.

I've attended and reviewed plenty of concerts and interviewed plenty of musicians. 99% of them have been friendly, polite and self-deprecating. But then there's that 1%.

I don't know what to make of this. Is it just another rock n' roll moment, par for the course at a concert like this? The tantrum of a spoiled artist? Is a talented musician entitled or even expected to act like this? And if he didn't, what would we all talk about?

Read more...
Donesha Jackson and James Jones, juniors at Bradley Tech high school, stand next to a composite photo showing 5th and National Avenues, then and now.
Donesha Jackson and James Jones, juniors at Bradley Tech high school, stand next to a composite photo showing 5th and National Avenues, then and now.
James Jones points to the former site of Bradley Tech High School in a historical insurance map inside the Cultural Memory House.
James Jones points to the former site of Bradley Tech High School in a historical insurance map inside the Cultural Memory House.
The Then & Now photo game.
The Then & Now photo game.
The students want members of the community to come visit the exhibit and share their own stories at the interview table they have set up.
The students want members of the community to come visit the exhibit and share their own stories at the interview table they have set up.

Bradley Tech students connect the past, present and future

"What do you think makes up a neighborhood?"

Donesha Jackson, a junior at Bradley Tech High School, asked me this yesterday as we stood on the school’s west lawn.

I couldn’t even begin to answer her.

But this is the question that she and 34 other students from Bradley Tech and Bay View high schools have been grappling with for several months.

The answer? The Milwaukee Observatory, an impressive, exhaustively-researched public art installation and urban archeology exhibit on the high school grounds (there is another location at the Bay View Historical Society).

The culmination of Discovery World’s 15-week Milwaukee Observatory program, the site contains 16-foot "personal archeology banners" depicting students’ individual history and genealogy, "Faces of the Future" boards with photographs of students holding historical objects and a Cultural Memory House inspired by the 1840 home of neighborhood pioneer George Walker.

Heidi Heisted, Discovery World’s digital media producer and the lead developer for this program, explained to me the manifold benefits for these students, who spend months becoming what she describes as "urban archaeologists."

"It’s a deep-dive immersive program," she said. "The kids get the skill sets to be public educators. They get experience with visual arts and digital media; they give tours to the public. At the end there’s an opportunity for nine students to have an internship with Discovery World.

"People always think: great things are happening in other cities," she continued. "But great things are happening here. We want them to use the city as a school."

Jackson and fellow junior James Jones gave me a tour of the Milwaukee Observatory yesterday afternoon. Their knowledge of Walker’s Point history – and Milwaukee history as a whole – was impressive. They spoke at length about the impact Latino immigrants have had on their community, about their experiences excavating the site of the former Florence Hotel and even gave m…

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Men's underwear label 2(x)ist offers several options for men's shapewear.
Men's underwear label 2(x)ist offers several options for men's shapewear.

Are Milwaukee men ready for shapewear?

Most women know what it feels like to squeeze into shapewear. We’ve been doing it since the time of the corset. It’s reviled and it’s uncomfortable, but for many it’s just the price of beauty. This diet-free solution to eliminating panty lines and looking 10 pounds thinner is just too good for most of us to pass up. 

Tight zippers and unflattering bulges have had Americans reaching for anything with the words "control top" in the title for years; the industry rakes in hundreds of millions of dollars annually. Presumably, it's the women who are dropping the big bucks. Most brand name pieces are somewhat expensive – and, well, they suck your fat in. Far in. It doesn’t feel great. And how many of us know men who are willing to pay to be in pain? (Settle down, "Fifty Shades of Grey" fans, we don’t mean it like that.) 

It turns out, the folks at men’s underwear label 2(x)ist have found some who are. 

"Definitely within the last three years there’s been an interest in shapewear for men," said Jason Scarlatti, creative director and vice president of 2(x)ist, which offers high-end men’s underwear and has a solid celebrity following. Scarlatti said that Zac Efron, Ben Affleck and Channing Tatum have all been seen sporting the 2(x)ist brand. 

But are the celebs going for the shapewear, too? 

"We have sent shapewear to celebrities, but they’ve told us not to tell anyone," Scarlatti said. 

It makes sense. Ultimately, there is a gender divide when it comes to issues that are perceived as having to do with personal vanity. Fat-controlling undergarments are widely regarded as a feminine solution to a feminine problem. 

"Men are less vocal about it. They’re self-conscious," said Scarlatti. "Women are very courageous about it, more willing to try new things." 

2(x)ist isn't the only brand to have encouraged men to broaden their horizons while narrowing their backsides. Labels like Spanx and Faja also sell similar pieces. Underworks offers pr…

Read more...
The Green Machine cocktail contains Red Stag by Jim Beam Black Cherry Bourbon, Apple Schnapps, Sweet & Sour mix and a lemon twist.
The Green Machine cocktail contains Red Stag by Jim Beam Black Cherry Bourbon, Apple Schnapps, Sweet & Sour mix and a lemon twist.

Packers fanatic cocktails

The Packers vs. the Bears. Football's biggest rivalry.

Every television in Wisconsin will be tuned in to the game tonight, and when the Packers emerge victorious you'll definitely want to have a celebratory drink in your hand.

And if they lose, you'll probably want to get pretty drunk.

Either way, these Jim Beam-fueled cocktail recipes are sure to liven up your viewing experience. Whether you're at a gathering with friends or unwinding in the comfort of your own living room after a long day at work, how can it be anything other than a touchdown if you've got Kentucky bourbon in your glass?

Green Machine

1 ½ parts Red Stag by Jim Beam Black Cherry Bourbon
1 part DeKuyper Pucker Sour Apple Schnapps
2 parts Sweet & Sour Mix
Lemon twist for garnish

Preparation:
In a mixing glass, pour all liquid ingredients and shake with ice. Strain into chilled glass and garnish. 

The Championship Belt

1 part Jim Beam Black
¾ parts Fresh Sour
2 ½ parts lemon lime soda

Preparation:
Build cocktail over ice in a tall highball glass.
Garnish with a wedge of lemon or lime.