tom smith | make green bay weird | dec. 2018
Normally, Make Green Bay Weird does not cover Green Bay's summer collegiate baseball team, the Green Bay Bullfrogs, but recently a name change has brought them to my attention. The Bullfrogs new name is the Green Bay Booyah, and I must admit that at first I didn't like the name. Not only did I not like the name, but looking at their new logo (a chicken head) I instantly thought of it fighting Peter Griffin, because it really looks like the chicken that battles Peter Griffin on “Family Guy."
Whoever runs the social media accounts for the Green Bay Booyah was not amused by my pointing this out on one of their posts. Getting back to why I didn't like the name: because I had an immediate, visceral reaction of “That's so Green Bay."
Growing up in Green Bay — I've lived here since I was four, born in Milwaukee — and my whole life I've associated booyah with something served at Catholic Church picnics. Raised Lutheran, I was never included in this booyah tribe. Years later in life, I did have booyah, and you could not color me impressed. So at first, I really thought it was a stupid name change, I even suggested the name 'The Green Bay Fart" would have been a better choice. I even joked that the name must have been taken already. But with a little research, I discovered the name of the Fond du Lac team is not the Fond du Lac Fart but the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders.
Then I started to warm up to the name when I realized that booyah has been called a weird soup that you'll have to explain to anyone who's not from Northeastern Wisconsin. Looking at their list of finalists for a new name, there wasn't much competition. The only two I would have considered on their list would've been the Green Bay Old Fashioneds and the Green Bay Supper Clubbers. I guess we should consider ourselves fortunate, they could have picked the Green Bay Cheese Curds, the Green Bay Tailgaters, or the worst of the bunch, the Green Bay Wurst. If they asked my opinion I would have suggested the Green Bay Stone Cold ETs, and if you don't know who Stone Cold ET is, stop reading this article and look him up on YouTube. We will be waiting here for you.
Since Green Bay allegedly has a rat problem we could go with the Green Bay Rats, or the Green Bay Secret of Nimhs, the Green Bay Roundabouts, the Green Bay Bad Roads, or the Green Bay The Bridge Is Up Downtowns. Another name involving something I'd assumed that was only done by Catholics: the Green Bay Saint Nicks. If we pick some names involving Green Bay's rich and illustrious music history, we could use the Green Bay Buddy Holly Played Here Two Days Before He Dieds, the Green Bay I Saw Elvis At The Brown County Arenas, or the Green Bay Suburban Mutilations. There's also The Green Bay I Can Smell The Pickle Factory Tonights — just think, their mascot could look like Pickle Rick, which was the episode that warmed me up to “Rick and Morty."I think the merchandise sales would be incredible and isn't that really the reason for this name switch? Someone else also suggested to me the Green Bay Stolen Sausages, but I have no idea what the historical significance is to Green Bay.
Another factor in my warming up to the Booyah name is that one of their logos is their mascot being boiled alive in a booyah kettle filled with the chicken's own blood. I don't think that chickens contain this much blood, but this appeals to the Gomez Addams part of my personality. Yes, I know I hated the name at first, but I'm officially signing off on it now. Just to show there are no hard feelings, if someone in the Green Bay Booyah organization would be willing to drop off at the Exclusive Company a free XL t-shirt with their mascot on it (preferably the one where he's boiled in his own blood), I promise to wear it all day on both our Festivus Eve Sale, Saturday, December 22 and our Festivus Sale Sunday, December 23, to give it top visibility. What kind of visibility? Top visibility. See what I did there? Another “Family Guy" reference! (That's right, I haven't forgotten your mascot looks like the chicken that fights Peter Griffin on a regular basis.) I'm allowed to warm up on things. Heck, I've even warmed up to “Star Wars: The Force Awakens," though the reason for that is that I'm even more appalled and sickened by what a dumpster fire “The Last Jedi" was.
I've also warmed up now to Becky Lynch, she obviously is the best thing going on the WWE main roster. I'd also even go as far to say she has the potential to be the next Stone Cold Steve Austin, fingers crossed that Vince MacMahon doesn't screw this up. I also think it helps that Becky Lynch got rid of her stupid steampunk looking goggles. I've also warmed up to Kenny Omega and now no longer let the fact that he reminds me of late-'90s WCW wrestler Van Hammer. I still hate liver. The Green Bay Booyah have a history of booking former WWE superstars to sign autographs at games. This leads me to believe that they will book former WWE superstar Terry Taylor, the Red Rooster. I just hope the Green Bay Booyah is wise enough to book the Rhythm Chicken to perform before, during, or after their games this upcoming season.
Previously on Make Green Bay Weird, I promised more details of my trip to Portland, but before I do that I think it's important to talk about how that week started to properly frame the musical significance. It started off Tuesday with a jaunt down to Milwaukee to see the MC50 at Turner Music Hall. The MC50 is a group put together by MC5 founder Wayne Kramer to celebrate the 50thanniversary of the debut MC5 album “Kick Out the Jams."The band Wayne put together was flat out perfect. On vocals he picked Marcus Durant of Zen Guerrilla, who might be the best frontman in rock and roll. Here's a list of things that ran through my head watching Marcus front MC50: 1. Damn, I really miss Zen Guerrilla. 2. There could have been no better choice for frontman than Marcus. 3. I'm not sure they could have pulled this off not having Marcus. 4. Those sunglasses, that hairdo — love that look. 5. Look at that steady stream of sweat dripping off his elbow. This man has given his all. 6. Love the jazz hands. 7. Damn, I really miss Zen Guerrilla.
But wait, there was more! Kim Thayil of Soundgarden was on guitar. After the show I was fortunate enough to meet Kim and tell him I used to play much Soundgarden on my radio show on WGBW. Kim laughed when I told him a favorite was their cover of the Ohio Players “Fopp." On drums was Brendan Canty of Fugazi, who these days kind of looks like TV's Frank from “Mystery Science Theater 3000." Bass duties were handled by Billy Gould of Faith No More. I was treated to a night of inspired renditions of songs from “Kick Out the Jams" and other gems from the MC5's hallowed canon. Truer words could not have been said when Marcus proclaimed into the mic, “And a good night was had by all."
Three days later arriving in Portland I was still on an MC50 high. You may recall a few months back I mentioned what if I ran into David Yow at Voodoo Donuts — that didn't happen, but I did see Mark Arm sitting outside a business adjacent to Voodoo Donuts. I also ran into Steve Turner of Mudhoney outside Dantes, the venue they were playing. Steve mentioned at the pressing plant he works at in Portland he'd just had a conversation with a co-worker about Green Bay and the Rev. Norb. I also mentioned that I would love to see Mudhoney perform in Green Bay again. Steve mentioned in 2019 they will be doing some weekend runs and perhaps they could return to Green Bay; fingers crossed that happens. Mudhoney that night put on one of the best performances I have seen from them over the 30 years I've been blessed to see them. I'm pretty sure that was the longest set I've ever seen them play also. I believe they played seven songs from the new album “Digital Garbage" plus a wide range of songs from their catalog.
The next day in Portland I saw The Jesus Lizard for the first time in maybe 19 years and I honestly forgot how great they were live. This of course reenergizes me in my pursuit to see The Jesus Lizard play Lambeau Field. Immediately after The Jesus Lizard finished, I rushed to Dante's once again to catch Shonen Knife, a band that I've wanted to see for about 30 years. I missed a few songs but I had perfect timing to walk in as they were starting Nick Lowe's “Cruel to Be Kind." The rest of their set was fantastic and the perfect bookend on an incredible week of legendary live music.
Live long and remember the new Mudhoney “Digital Garbage" is the perfect stocking stuffer this Christmas. Available in cassette, compact disc and vinyl.
Since 1984, when he first began selling records at Galaxy of Sound inside the Port Plaza Mall, Tom Smith has been part of the Green Bay music scene. Promoting his first show in 1986 and hitting his stride with the Concert Café (1995-2001), Smith continues to promote shows in Green Bay. He first honed his journalistic chops while serving as a student DJ at WGBW, interviewing such icons as Motörhead and the Ramones. Today you can find him championing live music and managing The Exclusive Company in Green Bay.