Milwaukee debates where Wilco put the camel

Yes, the new album cover’s setting is no Marina Towers, but where is it? Milwaukeans have quickly identified the dromedary as hanging out in their hometown. Jeff Sherman at On Milwaukee.com reports:

The band’s latest release features a Milwaukee cover shot on Old World Third Street. The photo, of a balcony, features a camel, tables and Mader’s restaurant in the background. By looking at the image, it seems to have been shot at the building that houses Wisconsin Cheese Mart and Usinger’s Famous Sausage, steps from Turner Hall Ballroom, a sister venue to the Pabst Theater where the band recently played.

In addition, the owners of Wisconsin Cheese Mart tell me this, “Wilco also photographed images of the band inside the Wisconsin Cheese Mart, alongside mannequins dressed in elaborate Elvis-like costumes. It was very cool. The band was awesome.”

Awesome is the correct word. Commenters at ExpressMilwaukee.com note the cover’s font mimics Mader’s as well. But a balcony? How did Wilco get a camel on a balcony? Did they put it in an elevator? Did they push it up a set of stairs? The Wilco mind reels! But a commenter at OnMilwaukee disputes the balcony: “Actually it appears the photo was taken from the sidewalk on Highland Ave. looking south at the side of Mader’s. You can see the parking lot behind the fence and gate.”

The Journal-Sentinel’s Hubbub blog confirms the comment. Photos came on the street and in a parking lot, according to those who passed by.

That’s according to eye witness Melinda Caughill, whose office is on West Highland Avenue. She would have been more excited — if she knew who the band was.

First she asked about the camel. They told her it was for an album cover for a band. They being three members of the band she found out later. Give Melinda a break. She has a toddler and spends more time listening to Bob the Builder than she does music. 

In another report, the birthday cake in the shoot was very heavy.

The shoot sounds awesome, but I’m kind of disappointed they didn’t have to get the camel up stairs. I’m picturing Jeff, John, Glenn, Pat and Mikael pulling in front, and Nels and the Total Pros pushing in back.

John would volunteer for the back but be the most likely to carry sugar cubes in his pockets, so would have to be in front. Nels would normally have front-of-an-animal status, but in this instance he would be the only one with a chance of catching the camel if folks in front lost hold. No one would ride on top of the camel because everyone remembers what happened with Jay Bennett and the donkey.

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