Home Rock music Using themselves (and rock itself), local musicians are ready for Trashfest

Using themselves (and rock itself), local musicians are ready for Trashfest



The coronavirus hasn’t interrupted one of the funniest aspects of Trashfest. The almost disrespectful and ceremonial throwing of crumpled newspapers at anyone on stage will continue. According to longtime Trashfest organizer Paul Lawson. “I have no idea if the disease can be spread through the newspaper, then it will be there.”

The festival will be held this year at Quarters Rock ‘n’ Roll Palace (900 E. Center St.) on Saturday, October 2 from 7 p.m. Why the Trashfest? “Groups have fun instead of what they usually do,” Lawson says.

“We jumped last year,” he continues, explaining that COVID-19 canceled an event that had been going on since 1984. And it wouldn’t have been the same as a livestream. “There was talk of trying to make it virtual,” he recalls, “but I couldn’t see having one without the participation of the public.”

Among the groups that will be laughing this year will be Trashfest-only perennials Nervis Virgins and Lawson’s group The Paulettes. Others can only be seen once, however. “The Band to Save the World, Dueling Theremins, Dekathlon, Giannis & the Koumpos are all formed just for this show,” Lawson said. But not all of them are fun. Dekathalon will play Kraut rock of the genre that was proliferating in Germany in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Under any alias

Another act will make their festival salvo under an alias. “The unwanted are actually the strangers, who have been around for many years,” Lawson says. Yet another set doesn’t need to go under one name of the trashfest nor be an ad hoc assembly to qualify for the bill. “Atheists & Airplanes is a band that I saw at Pridefest and I knew they would fit in just by doing their usual set.”

The deceased musicians also receive a cheeky tribute at Trashfest. This year’s issue of Lawson will reunite the recently deceased founding member of ZZ Top and one half of one of the great soft rock duets of the ’70s. As Lawson says, “Les Paulettes have a bass player who was recently released from his commitments to his former band, Dusty Hill. And we also have Karen Carpenter on drums.

Trashfest has been through a lot of trash over the years at places like Irene J’s, Falcon Bowl, Stone Toad, Club Garibaldi, Kochanski’s Concertina Beer Hall, Unicorn and Cactus Club. As to who will be the most trashy of all this year, Lawson cannot yet say. “I can only answer after. They are all losers.

Jamie Lee Rake

Jamie Lee Rake is a freelance writer based in Waupun, Wisconsin. His wide range of tastes and studies in music and food places him in a good position to write about these same things for Shepherd Express.

Read more about Jamie Lee Rake

September 30, 2021

9:06 am



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