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All of George Harrison's solo records in one big box to celebrate his birthday.
All of George Harrison's solo records in one big box to celebrate his birthday.

Beatles goodies perfect for Record Store Day hunting

Since we’re talking Record Store Day this week, I thought I’d rave about two new, high-end Beatles-related gems that emerged recently, perfect for digging up this Saturday. They'll keep you more than a little occupied while you wait for the 50th anniversary reissue of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," due out May 26.

In honor of the late George Harrison’s birthday in February, an extended edition of his book, "I Me Mine," was published in an absolutely stunning package.

First produced by Genesis Publications in 1980, "I Me Mine" was packed full of photos, reminiscences and hand-written song lyric sheets, reminding us that for all his serious spiritual side, George never stopped being the fun-loving Liverpool kid with a razor wit.

This new hardcover "extended" version includes another 59 handwritten lyrics and more content that will thrill Harrison fans.

It makes the perfect accompaniment to the sprawling box set that arrived at the same time, collecting all of Harrison’s 13 solo outings on vinyl. "George Harrison - The Vinyl Collection" also adds 12" picture discs of "When We Was Fab" and "Got My Mind Set On You."

All the discs are exact replicas of the original releases on 180-gram vinyl and stored in a two-piece slipcase box. The discs (except the picture discs) will also be available separately.

Pro-Ject Audio Systems has a limited edition George Harrison Essential III turntable available, too, with only 2,500 worldwide.

Meanwhile, Paul McCartney’s acclaimed 1989 "Flowers in the Dirt," written in collaboration with Elvis Costello, gets the massive reissue treatment this year. The 10th release in McCartney’s Archive Collection is a whopper.

There are three CDs – the original record and two discs of demos – as well as a DVD full of videos, plus codes to download 13 b-sides, remixes and edits and a trio of demos. (Those demos will also be available on a limited edition cassette for Record Store Day this week.)

But this set weighs a …

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Young Milwaukeeans learn about Korean folk songs and to play Korean drums at a recent class.
Young Milwaukeeans learn about Korean folk songs and to play Korean drums at a recent class.

Walker's Point Center for the Arts turns 30 today, celebration begins next week

Though the celebrations won’t really kick in for another week or so, today is 30th anniversary of the incorporation as a nonprofit organization of the Walker’s Point Center for the Arts, 839 S. 5th St., and that definitely seems worthy of note.

For three decades, WPCA has been a leader in arts education for youth in Milwaukee. I speak from experience when I say that the center’s programming for kids is fun, engaging and culturally expansive.

Kids can learn to draw and paint, certainly, but also to make animations and to make and perform on Korean drums.

All of this in a gorgeous historic Walker’s Point building that houses a gallery on the first floor.

At a time when arts education in school seems to always be under fire and scrambling for resources, what organizations like WPCA do is priceless. And the fact that the classes for kids have what might be described as an almost nominal fee is important in terms of access to all Milwaukee families.

I’ll step down from my bully pulpit now and say that WPCA kicks off a year-long 30th birthday exhibition on Friday, April 14.

"Turning 30 means that there have been thousands of people who have contributed to our growth," says WPCA’s Howard Leu. "Being around for three decades as an arts nonprofit shows that what we provide to the community is needed. This is a good time to examine what we've done really well and what we can improve on going forward.

"We also take this opportunity to reflect on the people that carried us here. We've been in Walker's Point for 30 years. We see ourselves as a service to this community as well as an anchor in this fast growing art district. We purchased our building in 2010, knowing that we'll be here for a while. We're looking towards the next 30 years."

WPCA was founded by a group of artists, entrepreneurs and curators, says Leu, in response to a need for exhibition and performance space in the city.

"The nonprofit was incorporated on April 6, 1987. The first exhibition op…

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George's Garage will open as a new dining room adjacent to Georgie Porgie's in Oak Creek in May.
George's Garage will open as a new dining room adjacent to Georgie Porgie's in Oak Creek in May.

Georgie Porgie's in Oak Creek expands dining room and adds craft beer

Georgie Porgie’s Treefort Restaurant, the frozen custard and burger eatery with locations in Oak Creek and Mount Pleasant, says it will open George’s Garage – "a concept meant to provide a more grown-up experience to the current Treefort theme" – next door to the Oak Creek location, 9555 S. Howell Ave., in May.

The new dining room space will add 22 seats – doubling the restaurant’s capacity. It will also serve craft beer, which is something that customers have repeatedly requested in the past, according to restaurant co-owner Peter Liapis.

The garage concept, meanwhile, is meant to complement Georgie Porgie’s weekly summer classic car shows. The name is a tribute to the restaurant's founder, the late George Liapis.

The two restaurants are already pretty fabulous atmospheres for kids. While the Oak Creek location has a cool tree built into it, the Mount Pleasant eatery ups the ante with an actual "treefort" balcony.

"George’s Garage is a place to come relax, enjoy delicious food and a cold one in a more grown-up space," said Peter Liapis in a news release. "We know car enthusiasts will love the space it and kids will think is cool! My brother Lou and I are thrilled to pull off a space that honors our dad’s legacy while honoring the desire for our customers in Oak Creek to have more seating."

The Liapis brothers hope to keep some of the details a surprise, but a keen eye may spot some design clues "hidden" in the image above.

Georgie Porgie’s was founded by George Liapis in 1991 and is now run by his sons Peter and Lou.

The restaurant hosts an annual burger contest, which takes place this year on Thursday, May 25. Last year it also hosted its first custard flavor contest, for which I was a judge, along with Kathleen McCann, the co-author of our book, "Milwaukee Frozen Custard."

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