Category Archives: those drawn with a very fine camelhair brush

Set lists for December 13, 2013

Here’s what you missed if you missed The Viper & His Famous Orchestra playing at the Underground Wonder Bar this past Friday night, December 13, along with John Peacock and Edward Burch.

And it should give you a taste of what to expect at our upcoming shows: Saturday, Jan. 11 at Martyrs’ in Chicago for the big Sousaphenia event; Saturday, Jan. 25 at Uncommon Ground on Devon in Chicago (with Jack & Ace); and Friday, Jan. 31, at  the Sugar Maple in Milwaukee. Details on our shows page at

Viper set #1

  1. Hey! Rounders
  2. Ukulele Rhythm
  3. I Love a Girl in Moscow
  4. Save Me a Krampus (for the Holiday)
  5. Pound It Out
  6. Heartbreak for Beginners
  7. Make a World (Brand New)
  8. The Viper’s Blue Yodel no. 6.02 x 10 to the 23rd
  9. Big Headed Small Minded Man

John Peacock

  • IL Central
  • Make Believe
  • Poor Alice

Edward Burch

  • The Neapolitan
  • I’m Gonna Lasso Santa Claus
  • There’s Always Tomorrow / Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Viper set #2

  1. My Seafaring Lassie
  2. The Winnebago Bay
  3. The Yodeler’s Christmas
  4. The Yodeler’s Christmas (encore — honest!)
  5. The Monsters Are Coming
  6. Transformer Man
  7. Are You Now, or Have You Ever Been… Blue
  8. Das Kapital
  9. Ludlul bel nemeqi (Body and Soul)
  10. Good Morning Irene
  11. I Left My Liver in Libertyville

As you’ll see from the actual stage set lists below, we cut a bunch due to time and a sense that the audience wasn’t going to go for a whole set of un-mic’ed on-the-floor washtub bass tunes. AND when John and I were putting the list together while sitting in his car on the way down stopped on the interstate for and hour-and-a-half outside of Northbrookfieldparkridgeviewgrovemette, we somehow forgot to transfer some of our biggest crowdpleasers, including “Stopper in My Hand” and a season-appropriate “Mele Kalikimaka.”

C’est l’amour, c’est la guerre.


Blood + Money

Fillmore & Buchanan
by Lotas, age 2

As you thank Abraham Lincoln and Sarah Joseph Hale for bringing you the national holiday you are about to enjoy, save an empty space on your plate for Millard Fillmore and James Buchanan, two U.S. Presidents who (along with Zachary Taylor and Franklin Pierce) ignored Hale’s entreaties and passed on the chance to institutionalize Thanksgiving.

And as you remember Fillmore and Buchanan, take a gander — if you haven’t already taken the goose — at some recently digitized pieces by 8 great contemporary American artists that we are featuring in the new archival section of the site.

For an August 9, 2009 afternoon show that was to be billed as kid-friendly — and for a Wisconsin native like the Viper, kid-friendly means held in the outdoor beer garden of Mike ‘N Molly’s in Champaign, Illinois — The Viper and His Famous Orchestra sponsored a coloring contest. To accompany our performance of the “Fillmore & Buchanan March” we asked members of our audience to do what they would with two public domain portraits (courtesy of of the eponymous Millard Fillmore and James Buchanan: two of our least remembered, least loved, and best forgotten U.S. Presidents.

Contestants who submitted entries ranged in age from 2 to 46. The entries were judged by Irene Jerving, Sophie Rainey, and Anna E. Staley. Below we present a sampling of the best of the best. Click on the thumbnail for a full-size version of the image.

Fillmore & Buchanan
by Lotas, age 2

Fillmore & Buchanan
by Sage, age 4

Fillmore & Buchanan
by Caroline, age 4

Fillmore & Buchanan
by Charlotte, age 5

Fillmore & Buchanan
by Maeve, age 5

Fillmore & Buchanan
by Ciara, age 15

Fillmore & Buchanan
by Kristin, age 39

Fillmore & Buchanan
by Tom, age 46

If you missed out on the contest, it’s not too late: you can still download and print out the PDF of the coloring sheet, complete it (as you complete me) and mail it to Ryan Jerving / 2171 N. Hi-Mount Blvd. / Milwaukee, WI 53208. When I get a chance, I’ll upload any entries I receive to this space and to our Facebook fan page.

For information on the “Fillmore and Buchanan March” itself (and some recordings and ring tones of various versions), see this site’s blog entries for November 14, 2008 and February 28, 2008.