Sonic Diet

Radio Summer Camp Weekend is Here: WMSE DJ Craig Mertes Gives Us the Play By Play


words by Craig Mertes

Call Me Lightning appropriately kicked off this year’s Radio Summer Camp Wednesday night at Turner Hall Ballroom. Pulling heavily from last years’ exceptional When I Am Gone My Blood Will Be Free, Call Me Lightning delivered an amazingly tight, rocking set. If you haven’t seen these guys live yet, I highly recommend that you make it a point to check them out. Their live set will make you fall even more in love with My Blood Will Be Free.

My turn at the WMSE RSC pass table caused me to catch Tweak Bird’s set from the foyer. But I can still tell you that the two brothers that form Tweak Bird create a fantastic wall of noise. The set ended abruptly with Tweak Bird asking if they could “get more guitar in the monitor” which I found puzzling at the time. Thursday morning the A.V. Club caught me up and unfortunately Tweak Bird had a mishap with when their guitar amp crashed to the ground which cut their set short.

Ted Leo came out and let us all know he would be starting his set early, just after he went to the bathroom. Ted Leo and the Pharmacists started their set out with “Where Have All the Rude Boys Gone?” and played roughly an hour long set that pulled from their entire catalog. Even though Ted is nursing a sore knee, which was pretty evident as he half hopped off stage at the end of the night, the night was still pretty lively. Ted kept the banter away from his typical political topics but still showed off his whit, which netted him two bras and a sweaty sock. It was a fantastic evening full of rock and an even better way to start this year’s Radio Summer Camp.

I didn’t make either of the shows last night but tonight the Summer Camp ramps up into full swing. My suggestions for tonight’s viewing include the following:

Saturday night brings you even more fun:

  • Wereworm brings you instrumental post-rock over at the Cactus Club starting at 10 p.m. Bleed makes a rare appearance [above poster is from a bygone show] at the Bay View Brew Haus at 11p.m. tomorrow night followed by Jaill.
  • An alternative would be to hang out at Linneman’s Riverwest Inn for some local jazz with Nineteen Thirteen at 10 p.m. followed by Conrad Plymouth. Otherwise, Blueprint hits the Stonefly Brewery stage at 10 p.m. followed by Juiceboxx.

A full schedule of tonight and tomorrow night’s Summer Camp festivities is here.

Sunday’s culmination of the Radio Summer Camp with the Backyard BBQ at Cathedral Square Park features the Uptown Savages and the Budos Band as well as some fantastic food and other great attractions.

It’s a great weekend for music so get on out and take some in.

WMSE DJ Craig Mertes hosts The Shape of Rock. The Shape of Rock airs every Tuesday from 6 a.m. – 9 a.m. CST on WMSE with host, DJ Craig Mertes. Tune in at 91.7 FM or at Check out Craig’s blog at

This entry was published on July 29, 2011 at 6:42 pm. It’s filed under General and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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