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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Wednesday, July 23, 2014

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Eatin' healthy at the Big Gig.
Eatin' healthy at the Big Gig.

5 healthy Summerfest foods (no, that is not an oxymoron)

There are a lot of rich, decadent foods at the fest, but there are certainly plenty of healthy edibles. They're not necessarily easy to find.  So, we did the legwork (and the mouth-work) to track down five food items that will allow you to save your calories for beer or wine coolers. Mangia.

1. Corn-on-the-cob from Robbys. Skip the butter. Do not skip the toothpick.

2. Turkey asaparagus salad from Mader's. You can eat all of the lettuce you want and not feel a shred of guilt.

3. Koepsell's Popcorn. A filling, low-fat beer-soaker-upper.

4. Caprese salad from Mille's. $6 is a little steep for a dish that's primarily sliced tomatoes, but it was at least $5-worth-of-fresh.

5. Fresh fruit from Catalano's. Apples are debatable but everyone loves a plum. Don't they?

6. Oh, screw it. We all just really want the sampler platter from Saz's.



Linda Kramer is the co-owner of the Gluten-Free Trading Company.
Linda Kramer is the co-owner of the Gluten-Free Trading Company.

Gluten-Free Trading Company will close Bay View location

Gluten-Free Trading Company, 3116 S. Chase Ave., will close for good on Sunday, July 6.

Linda Kramer and John Shaw opened the gluten-free grocery store in 2000 and reported on it a few times, including a piece I wrote in 2012. 

Most likely, the abundance of gluten-free items available at chain grocery stores affected sales.

In 2010, the owners opened a location in Pewaukee, which will remain open.

A post on the Gluten-Free Trading Company's Facebook page today reads, "Over the past couple of years, changes in business conditions in Milwaukee have impacted the Milwaukee store’s financial viability. After much deliberation, we have decided to consolidate our business and focus on the Pewaukee store."

Hug it out at the Big Gig.
Hug it out at the Big Gig.

Random fest guest #2

This is the second blog in a series focusing on "random fest guests" – people I spontaneously interview at Summerfest. 

Even though folks usually attend Summerfest for the food, drinks and/or the music, Brookfield’s Wendy Friedrich and her daughter, Alexa, showed up for the hugs.

At about 1 p.m. on Friday, the two made it through the gates with a handmade sign reading "free hugs" and stood next to the flow of fest walkers on the south end of the grounds, holding their sign and, about every few seconds, offering up a hug to a passerby.

"It’s the first time we’ve done this," says Friedrich.

Friedrich was inspired by a Facebook friend who had done the same thing in Canada. I wrote about a woman who was trying to dole out 1,000 hugs at Locust Street Festival last year. 

"I thought it was really cool," says Friedrich. "There’s just not enough positive interaction between people anymore. There’s a lot of electronics and less person-to-person contact."

By the time I stumbled upon the huggers, they had been doling out embraces for about four hours.

"We’ve given out at least 100 hugs so far," says Friedrich.

Being a "hugger" myself, I hugged both Wendy and Alexa and indeed, both are doing it right. None of that back-patting, side hugging BS. Instead, they offered up friendly, genuine hugs that weren't too long, crushy or creepy.

Nor were they similar to the pathetic "man hugs" publisher Andy Tarnoff wrote about last summer

According to Friedrich, only one fest-goer acted inappropriately and stuck a sticker on Alexa’s chest. Other than that, everyone else was positive.

"Even if people walk by and think we’re nuts, they still smile. It’s been awesome," says Friedrich. "And we’re not going to hang out too much longer. It’s probably best we stop before there are a lot of drunk people."

Tegan and Sara: poppier and all grown up.
Tegan and Sara: poppier and all grown up. (Photo: David Bernacchi)
The show was a celebration of songs new and old.
The show was a celebration of songs new and old. (Photo: David Bernacchi)
Both Tegan and Sara sing, play keyboards and guitar.
Both Tegan and Sara sing, play keyboards and guitar. (Photo: David Bernacchi)

Tegan and Sara spread cheer at the Big Gig

Long-time fans of Canadian pop duo Tegan and Sara – who are also identical twins – have witnessed a metamorphosis of the sisters / bandmates. What began as a gritty-penny collaboration slowly became a shiny new dime.

Case in point: earlier albums released in the early-to-mid 2000s like "This Business Of Art" and "So Jealous" featured a scrappier, punkier sound. By 2007, with the release of "The Con," fans started to detect a more polished sound that continued to evolve with "Get Along" in 2011 and "Heartthtrob" in 2013.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

The epitome of the transition from punk pop to straight-up pop came with the theme from "The Lego Movie" and the song "Everything Is Awesome" which they collaborated on with the American comedy musical group "The Lonely Island." 

Fans accustomed to more intense lyrics from songs past, like "Maybe I would have been something you'd be good at" and "I just want back in your head," might pine for more than the simpler words.

But "The Lego Movie" and Tegan and Sara Quin have more than a theme song in common. Both remind us that contributing to mainstream culture doesn’t always mean sacrificing artistic expression or not challenging the status quo.

This was apparent tonight when the sister musicians – who were both clad in black outfits and a similar short-cut hairstyle – brought their "Let’s Make Things Physical" tour to the Big Gig for a 10 p.m. show on the Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard stage.

In short, although less edgy, Tegan and Sara are still sharp. Less moody, snarky and indie than past shows – and way more perkier – but not fake. They definitely have a genuineness that continues to shine.

The majority of tonight's set list was drawn from the most recent release, "Heartthrob," including the opener "Goodbye," along with "I Couldn’t Be Your Friend," "I’m Not Your Hero," "I’m All Messed Up," "How Come You Don’t Want Me," "Drove Me Wild," "I Was A Fool," "How Come You Don’t Want …