In August 2009, freelance writer Scott Weinberger died unexpectedly at the age of 45. A few months later, his family created the Scott R. Weinberger Scholarship Fund to provide scholarships to a graduating senior at Weinberger's alma mater, Oakfield High School, near Fond du Lac.
And some of Weinberger's many musical friends banded together to launch ScottFest, a benefit to raise money for that scholarship fund, at Club Garibaldi.
A year later, ScottFest II is here. And it takes place once again on April 16 (Weinberger's birthday) at Club Garibaldi, 2501 S. Superior St., in Bay View.
"Scott was a very smart and creative man whose life was cut tragically short. He was a warm soul and a kind friend," co-organizer and Wooldridge Brother Brian Wooldridge told me.
"He was a huge supporter of my music life and of my personal life. ... He was the consummate supporter and just a great guy. Doing the show is just a small way for all of us to 'tell' Scott what he meant to us."
Wooldridge says last year's show raised about $1,200 and was a big success. "Turnout was great last year," he enthuses, adding that hopes to build on that with this year's lineup, which includes The Wooldridge Brothers, Liv Mueller (Lovelies, Dark Horse Project), George Brumis Band, The Mike Benign Compulsion (in which Wooldridge also plays bass), Conrad Plymouth's Chris Porterfield, The Carolinas, The Friendly Lens and Ray of Light.
Showtime is 7 p.m. and donation is $10. (Disclaimer: OnMilwaukee.com is a media sponsor of the event.)
For more information on Scott Weinberger, on ScottFest II and the scholarship fund and how to donate, visit www.scottwfund.org.
Some other gigs on the books this week include:
Ra Ra Riot is on the road in support of its latest disc, "The Orchard," which blends lush chamber pop with psychedelic elements, catchy melodies and a tight rhythm section. Best of all, it's concise, running less than 40 minutes. That's a refreshing ability to self-edit in the over-long world of the CD.
The band lands at Turner Hall Ballroom on Wednesday, April 13 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $14. Generationals and Scars On 45 open.
Meanwhile, over at The Rave you can catch My Chemical Romance on the same night in the Eagles Ballroom. The band brings Neon Trees and The Architects along on the World Contamination Tour. The show starts at 7:30 and tickets are $27 and $32
Nashville twosome The Civil Wars make their Brew City debut on Thursday, April 14 at 8 p.m. at Turner Hall Ballroom. The duo's debut "Barton Hollow" catapulted it into the national psyche quickly, going to the top of the U.S. iTunes and Amazon.com charts when it came out in February.
Texas' Arum Rae (aka White Dress) opens the show, which costs $10.
Windy City singer-songwriter Michael McDermott made a new year's resolution to try and dish up 100,000 meals to hungry kids in America in 2011.
"These are difficult times and at the heart of it, as much as people are concerned with their own well being, a sense of fellowship is making a comeback in our society," he says.
McDermott comes to Milwaukee on Friday, April 15 to play UnderGround at The Intercontinental Hotel, at 8 p.m.
As part of the fund raising effort, McDermott has created a "Legendary Blend" coffee and each bag purchased equals seven meals for kids in need. Learn more and buy from McDermott at the gig or online at mcdermottgear.com.
Blues-inflected singer-songwriter Ron Pope plays at the Miramar Theater on Oakland Avenue on Friday, April 15. Check out a Pope mash-up with Kanye West, Eminem and Wiz Khalifa.
Then check out Pope -- whose new record, "Whatever It Takes," is out tomorrow -- at the Miramar.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.