By Margaret Stutt, Special to   Published Jan 28, 2010 at 9:01 PM

MINNEAPOLIS -- Dear Milwaukee,

First night back on the road since Thanksgiving. First drive to
Minneapolis without a speeding ticket since ... let's not go there ...

First time at Bedlam Theater which is, I've decided, in my top 2
venues. They have a stage for theater, cabaret, and music, fantastic community. Two real pianos in house, one grand and one upright.

This. Is. Home. ... Home away from home. Scratch that. Home isn't a geographic location.

Last night, after the set, I met a genius.

He performs as "Pepper Patriot" using 3 turntables, a gas burner and teapot, guitar ... describes his music as rock and roll because "rock and roll is about the unknown, chaos. It's not safe."

As the band as packing up and staff sweeping floors, Pepper Patriot threw down with a performance that made people question if what was happening on the floor in front of the stage was a show at all, if the sounds were music, and if it was worth watching. In Art History we learned that the artists who moved ART forward were those that pushed the boundaries, the ones that challenged the very meaning of art. Last night I met a genius.

This encounter is what makes touring so exhilarating. The people. Unexpected discoveries and connections.

You won't find him online. Like so many great musicians, he isn't
interested in promotion, considers it time that would be better spent listening to new music and developing his craft. A former touring rock and roller (in the way we usually conceptualize the term), Jerry began performing as "Pepper Patriot" a year ago, "The Serb minority within the Austro-Hungarian monarchy were notorious for being a recalcitrant and unruly minority, and they were referred within the monarchy as "Pepper Patriots."

Recalcitrant and unruly minority, indeed.

Thanks to the full room at Bedlam Theater. Great to see old friends (and meet new ones). To Matt, my first fan, for representing. Matt saw me play my first public performance ever on the accordion in my hort-lived stint with a six-piece Milwaukee band at Art Bar in early 2008. Unbelievable.