Milwaukee’s Lotus Land Records, Center Street’s trove of rare vinyl, has been on the lists of serious soul, funk, hip-hop and jazz collectors throughout the United States for years. Milwaukeean Mark Escribano’s camera hangs out with the brothers who own Lotus Land as they struggle to run this Milwaukee landmark, perform incredible live acts, discuss all matter of miscellanea and paint (particularly Davey, master painter of erotic abstracts). The brothers are a staple of the counterculture scene throughout Milwaukee’s Riverwest neighborhood; however, their national and global influence is relatively unknown, ultimately reinforcing their humble attitudes. Intimately filmed at a swift pace, The Super Noble Brothers succeeds as an illuminating portrait of Milwaukee artists and businessmen, but perhaps more importantly as a testament to finding your own way in business and life.I actually found that the movie kept me engaged through its length, even though I wasn't sure where the ride was taking me. It could have been "slacker" self-absorption, but avoided that by the sheer dedication of taking a naked and unwavering look at the brothers' lives. We had dinner afterwards with Diane's friend Kathy, and the film gave us two hours' steam in conversation afterwards, both as a subject itself, and as a jumping-off point. The collected music of their obscure search through unknown soul made for one of the best soundtracks I've ever heard. They missed an opportunity by not having had CDs ready for sale in the lobby.
Saturday is featuring my hometown Oregon, Illinois' famed Autumn on Parade festival, though the 85-degree weather will make for a different day than I'd imagined. Still, being in the Rock River Valley again shortly before peak week will be an orgy of beauty. Some time wandering the huge arts and crafts venues around the courthouse square, the possibilities of running into people from my past, and then specific time with friends, including a high school reunion, will make for a day of smiles and unforeseen flashbacks, unless I miss my guess. For a moment, it looked like the full-sized car I was renting for the weekend was going to be a sort of hot pink Taurus, which would have put an utterly new spin on my bachelorhood. Instead I ended up with a black and chrome overstuffed Dodge Nitro that looks like a Batmobile SUV, which probably would give the opposite impression that I'm overcompensating for something. Somewhere in this hot weekend, I figure I'll head up to Stronghold Castle for a look-around, but an even higher priority is to make it out to Castle Rock State Park and to hike back into Heather Valley and climb up to my old "favourite spot," which I'd love to get some pictures of. It's such a small-scaled place compared to other places I've been, and certainly in light of hiking in the Tetons being right around the corner, but it's my land, or it was. I'd love to strike northwest from there and see if the beaver dam and lodge - and pond - that Tim and I found is still back there, or its descendant, but that might be too much of a time commitment. I miss my land.