Under 30

I can't complain but sometimes I still do

Monday, May 08, 2006

A wishlist for the Fox Cities

This week's cover story for The P-C's Weekend section is a wishlist of entertainment-related stuff for the Fox Cities.

Here is our top five wishes. Read the rest of the list on Thursday.

5. An all-ages music venue: Kids love seeing bands. Bands love playing for kids. But in the Fox Cities, kids can’t see bands on a regular basis at a regular venue.

Places like The Monkeywrench in Appleton and Rock ‘n’ Roll High School in Green Bay did well for a while, but bottled water and Mountain Dew don’t pay the bills as well as beer and booze. It’s too bad, because some of the area’s best bands (and music fans) aren’t 21 yet. And they appreciate live music more than us geezers. Give the kids a place to rock.

4. More attractive singles: With a name like Fox Cities, you would think this area would be crawling with hotties. But looking for attractive singles in northeast Wisconsin can be like hunting for sharks in the Fox River. Even with a lot of patience, you probably won’t be successful.

Not to be mean, but most of the singles we see in bars make joining the priesthood look like a sexy alternative. Maybe they are trying too hard with their designer clothes, expensive haircuts and fake suntans. Then again, we would rather stare at these people than talk to them. Not that the office politics of the insurance company where you work aren’t fascinating, but still. All we want are cute, funny people with good taste in beer and music (not necessarily in that order). Is that too much too ask?

3. A radio station geared toward people who actually like music: Unless you work in a dentist office, you probably find local radio a little borrriiinnngggzzz.

Sorry, we dozed off there. Look, we don’t have a problem with country, “soft favorites” from the 1980s and 90s or Top 40 if that’s your thing. But there’s this new music genre called hip-hop that’s mildly popular outside of northeast Wisconsin. Might be nice to hear it on the radio again. We would also kill to have a station that plays indie/alternative rock. And we’re not talking about Shinedown or whatever crap band that bald guy from “American Idol” likes.

2. A movie theater that plays good movies: The biggest fans of local movie theaters are local video storeowners. Thanks to the limited selection of flicks on the area’s big screens, movie buffs have to wait to see non-mainstream films on DVD.

In a way, we’re cool with that, because going to a movie theater usually entails dealing with some jerk yammering on his cell phone and kicking your seat. Who wants to suffer through that? But it would be nice to see all these cool independent and foreign films we’re always reading about in magazines the same year they come out.

1. More people who “get it”: For any of the things on this list to become a reality, we need more people who “get it.”

We’re talking about people who didn’t giggle every time Jake Gyllenhaal looked longingly at Heath Ledger in “Brokeback Mountain.” We’re talking about people who have never seen an episode of “According to Jim.” We’re talking about people who want to plunge ice picks in their ears when Nickelback, Staind or some other awful band is booked again at a local venue. We know you’re out there, people who get it. Please reproduce among yourselves.


Anonymous Gavin said...

Mixed feelings on this list... can't pinpoint it.

Agree with some parts, not sure about others... but yeah, I wish I could have seen "The Aristocrats" without going to Milwaukee or stealing it from some Swedish guy.

3:51 PM  
Blogger Olson said...

People who get it usually end up leaving. I have been clamoring for the Fox Cities to pull it together for years, and for the most part, it appears to be getting better.

But, if you want your wish list answered you may need to move to the Twin Cities, Madison, or Milwaukee.

3:55 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

I think there are plenty of people in the Fox Cities who get it. We are starting to slowly come together the more the Cities grow. Parts of your wish list aren't horribly difficult to pull off. A few people with a vision. Dedication and stick-to-itiveness. Good marketing. The funding to back it up.

However, I don't think the Fox Cities demographics will be changed anytime soon to include more good-looking singles. Oh, and the politics of the insurance company that I work for don't find their way into conversations when I'm out. Thank you very much.

So, Steve has a vision. I will be dedicated to this cause. Who here has the money? Anyone? Hello?

4:30 PM  
Blogger mark said...

i'll open up the all ages venue. who will work with me.. besides just baruth..

5:25 PM  
Blogger klhp said...

Having grown up in Appleton, I must add that A-Town is much cooler than it used to be. I remember when there wasn't even a mall. Now we not only have a mall, we have cute boutique shopping! And downtown Appleton started getting cool when Peggy's Cafe moved in. I think they started the Cool Movement there.

Not that this helps the twentysomethings of today...

7:00 PM  
Anonymous Gavin said...

Also, I don't miss Wild 99.7 (though if that's what some people wanted, it's no worse than the homoerotic stuff I prefer).

12:33 AM  
Blogger Big Picture Man said...

I can't disagree with your points about cell-phone users and chair kickers in the local multiplexes, but as someone who worked in the local theater industry, I can tell you that Appleton does not get independent or foreign films for one simple reason. Most of the general public won't come see them, and the people who would are not large enough in number to offset the costs in booking the film, shipping it here and then staffing the theater during showtimes.

The Big Picture in downtown Appleton recently hosted the Wildwood Film festival, which was all about local, independent film makers. There were three film sessions, each session featuring many films and those sessions didn't come close to selling out.

Your point is well taken, but the fault lies not with local theater operators, but with the general population who does not want to see this stuff.

5:45 PM  

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