Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Broad Ripple Gazette vol 10, no 19

First published in the Broad Ripple Gazette 

I owe everyone a big apology. I was looking at the wrong week on the calendar and thought that Jazz Fest was a week later than it actually was. I hope you all attended some of the shows and had a wonderful time. 

Here are some events that I am telling you about at the proper time: 

Art vs. Art featuring Mike Wiltrout and the Modes of Death
September 27, 2013
Vogue Theater
6259 N. College Ave
$12 advance/$15 night of show, 21+, 8:00 PM

Are you a fan of art, chain saws, fire-breathing emcees, decibel meters, witty banter, audience participation, deciding fate by the spin of the wheel, and general bedlam? I can’t be the only one… Art vs. Art is a boisterous and fun art show with a twist. And the twist is worth $4,000 for the winning artist. 

Earlier this month artists gathered at Garfield Park and were given a canvas and paints and just a few hours to create a masterpiece. The paintings are all online ( to be voted on – now is your chance to be an art critic in the privacy of your own home. The top 32 vote getters will be on display at the Vogue. Balloting that night will determine the top 16. The other 16 will be offered for sale for $100. The rest will be for sale for $50. It’s not as confusing as I just made it out to be – the bottom line is that before the show even starts you can out of the Vogue with a great piece of original art for $50 or $100 – the artists get 70%.

The top 16 paintings are randomly paired on stage and voted on by audience cheering – the decibel meter has the final say. The winner moves on to the next round. The loser is subjected to the Wheel of Death. A spin determines the fate of the canvas – past year’s methods have included chain sawing, pizza making and fates that I cannot type without blushing. You can spare the art by buying the painting from your perch in the audience; the price going up with each round (Round 1: $150, Round 2: $250, Round 3: $350, Round 4: $450). The Grand Prize is $4000, a title belt and a whole lot of bragging rights. 

I know it sounds a little confusing but it really is a fun night. Seeing Mike Wiltrout in action is worth the price of admission. 

Nathan Angelo with Micah Dalton
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Birdy’s Bar and Grill
2131 E. 71st Street
21+, $10 advance/$12 day of show

Nathan Angelo is touring in support of his new album, Out of the Blue. His intention was to channel the vibe of the sounds of Marvin Gaye, Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder and Otis Redding. He did it admirably, recording on two-inch tape reminiscent of how recordings were done in the heyday of the 60’s and 70’s era bands. 

The record incorporates the signature “call and response” singing style common to Motown as well as the distinct orchestration: horn sections, strings, guitars, snaps, claps, tambourine and the unforgettable keys. Nathan’s live shows garner rave reviews and have created a loyal fan base across the country. Expect original danceable music and a whole bunch of fun. 

Micah Dalton has been described as sounding like a clever Ben Harper and musically reminiscent of Prince. How can you go wrong with that? 

Come Here Architekt: Jan Ruhtenberg
Opening reception: October 4, 6-11 PM
Show: October 4 – November 16, 2013
Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art
Murphy Building, 1043 Virginia Avenue, Suite 5
all ages, free
I’ll admit to being an architecture neophyte. Like with most things I know what appeals to me and what makes me turn my nose up, even if I can’t put a name to it. Through his grandson, Vess von Ruhtenberg, I’ve become fascinated by the work and mystery of architect Jan Ruhtenberg.

Jan Ruhtenberg ‘s accomplishments are astonishing: an apprentice and colleague of Mies van der Rohe during his most significant projects; a close confidant of Philip Johnson who helped introduce modernism to America; a man who escaped Nazi Germany to design projects for Herman Miller, Greta Garbo, Nelson Rockefeller and the Swedish Royal Family. 

However, as Jan approached the pinnacle of his profession, he was outed as a gay man in conservative 1950's America. Jan's commissions disappeared and he all but vanished from the history of modern architecture. This exhibition, curated by Vess von Ruhtenberg and Jeremy Efroymson, begins the process of reintroducing the world to one of its great architects and designers.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Broad Ripple Gazette, vol 10, no 1

first published in the Broad Ripple Gazette

Happy New Year! 

I love the blank slate of a new calendar waiting to be filled with concerts, dinners with friends, and celebrations. Read on to find some of my favorite annual events to fill your 2013 calendar. 

Elvis Birthday Bash
January 4, 2013
Radio Radio
1119 Prospect Street
 21+, 9:00 pm, $10

If Elvis Presley was still alive he’d be celebrating his 77th birthday. In honor of the King of Rock and Roll’s birthday, Wayne Bertsch hosts an annual concert to celebrate the music of the King. “I wanted to assemble a line-up that reflected the diverse sound that made Elvis a standout even amongst the other giants in the Sun records stable.”

This year’s lineup includes as Andra Faye and the Rays, local soul legend Kenny Dodson, and Danny Thompson doing double duty playing with both Bigger Than Elvis and the Danny Thompson Trio.

Andra Faye, of Andra Faye and the Rays, was formerly a member of Saffire - the Uppity Blueswomen. Saffire won the WC Handy Award for best original blues song in 1990. I can’t wait to hear the uber-talented Andra Faye’s take on Presley’s songs.

Kenny Dodson has been singing R&B and Soul around Indianapolis for years. His 1970s single “Can’t You Understand” got a lot of spins on WTLC in the day. Most of Elvis’ early albums were R&B tunes remade for a mainstream audience, so Kenny bringing them back to their soulful roots should be a real treat.

Danny Thompson is well known to punk fans as Danny Roadkill of the band Sloppy Seconds. This year’s Elvis Birthday Bash marks the first time he’s played sets with both his Bigger Than Elvis line-up and the Danny Thompson Trio. Both play the hot, rockin’ rhythm and blues that made the Sun Records music so dangerous in the minds of 1950s parents.
Annual Events: 

Record Store Day
Saturday, April 20, 2013
Indy CD & Vinyl, LUNA music, Vibes
all-ages, free

This will be the sixth year for Record Store Day, an event created to celebrate independent record stores. According to the Record Store Day website Indianapolis has seven indie record stores and three of them are in our neighborhood. How cool is that? 

In the past Indy CD & Vinyl, Luna music, and Vibes have all participated and I imagine they will this year too. Recording artists produce special offerings (records, CDS, EPs) that can only be sold at the independent stores. In the first year of RSD ten musical artists participated, last year there were over 400. 

Not only do the stores have the RSD exclusive music they host in-store concerts and other activities from artesian craft fairs to cookouts. 

Record Store Day marks the start of springtime for me. It’s great to see everyone enjoying the day and our neighborhood. 

Broad Ripple Art Fair
Saturday, May 18, Sunday, May 19, 2013
Indianapolis Art Center
all-ages, $12 advance, $15 at gate

The Broad Ripple Art Fair is typically the weekend after Mother’s Day and this year it falls on my birthday weekend (the 19th, in case you want to mark that on your calendar too). This is the 43rd year for the Art Fair and it keeps getting bigger and better each year. The weekend features over 200 artists, children’s activities, hands-on demonstrations, gourmet food courts, beer gardens, and music on four stages. Truly something for everyone. 

54th Street and Monon Art Fair
Saturday, June 1, 2013
54th Street and the Monon Trail
all-ages, free

I wasn’t able to confirm the date, but the 54th Street and Monon Art Fair is traditionally on the first Saturday in June, so I feel pretty confident. This is one of my favorite summer traditions. I love that it’s just a short walk up the Monon Trail and the neighborhood vibe of the day. This will be the thirteenth year for the Art Fair – I wonder how many free hotdogs they’ve grilled and how many gallons of lemonade they’ve given away? I always find something great to guy and the music is always wonderful.

Indiana State Fair
Indiana State Fairgrounds
August 2 – 18, 2012
all-ages, admissions prices vary, packages available

If you’ve been reading this column for long you know that I’m an Indiana State Fair geek. Not the Midway sort of geek, but the sort of geek that can tell you where every single restroom on the Fairgrounds is and which buildings were built WPA funds. If we’ve meet you might know that popcorn is my absolute favorite food and that rarely a day goes by without me eating some. At work I’m teased for my popcorn breakfasts.  

You can imagine my delight when I heard that the Indiana State Fair 2013 will be the “Year of Popcorn.” Noblesville’s Weaver Popcorn, a family-owned business founded in 1928 is the presenting sponsor. Any wagers on exactly how many quarts of popcorn I’ll consume during the seventeen days of the Fair? 

There are a few changes in store for this year’s State Fair. There will be no ticketed concerts, but I’m hearing that the free stages will still host music. New for this year – and outdoor ice show -- in August, no less. 

Rosstyn Ice Shows has been touring the world for nearly 20 years presenting a variety of family-fun shows. They will have four daily performances taking place on the 40-by-40 skating rink in DowAgroSciences Celebration Park (NW side of the Grounds). The rink will be covered by a clear tent and have enough seating for 800 spectators. The shows will feature a number of skaters performing all sorts of stunts that combine music, pageantry, and comedy. Admission is free with paid admission to the Fair. 

Something else new for the 2013 State Fair is an 8,000 square feet exhibit in the Grand Hall exploring the world of animation. The interactive experience takes visitors back to the classic hand-drawn celluloid animation and brings them to the current day of computer animation. You’ll be able to learn to draw classic characters from an instructor and experience a 3-D Zoetrope that will bring characters to life in a spinning whirl of illusion. 

I can’t wait! 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Broad Ripple Gazette, vol 9, no 25

first published in the Broad Ripple Gazette

Happy holidays gentle readers. I love December in the Village. The lights, the shoppers, the window displays, the restaurants full of revelers, and music all warm my community minded heart. I hope that you’ll take time to relax and soak in the warmth of the season and our great neighborhood. Here is a sampling of some of the great events in Broad Ripple Village. 

Gary Wasson’s Open Stage
Every Sunday
Corner Wine Bar Cellar
6331 Guilford Ave
free, 21+, 6:00 p.m.

Gary Wasson is celebrating ten years of hosting Open Stage shows. If you’ve never been to one, they are a great way to hear several musicians in an intimate setting. Local and touring musicians sign up that evening for a time slot to play, so the lineup is always a fun surprise. The musicians are often trying out new songs or new lineups or dusting off old favorites. The camaraderie between musicians is always fun to soak in and I’ve seen bands form and songs written during the course of an evening. And if you’re lucky Gary will play a few tunes. 

The excellent menu of the Corner Wine Bar and the great beer selection of the Wellington are both served in the Wine Cellar. The Open Stage is a great way to end the week. 

Premium Blend Jazz Band
Every Wednesday
10-01 Food & Drink
1001 Broad Ripple Ave
free, all-ages, 7:00 p.m.

Remember the late-great Provincial Kitchen?  I remember feeling very hip and swanky when Mom and I dined there one evening when I was in my 20s. You’ll feel the same way dining at 10-01 Food & Drink. They have great food and fancy cocktails every day, and on Wednesdays you can also enjoy the posh sounds of Premium Blend Jazz Band (and half priced bottles of wine). 

Holiday Sing-A-Long
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
The Jazz Kitchen
5377 N. College Ave
free, 21+, 7:00 p.m.

Have you ever eaten at the Jazz Kitchen? If not, you’re missing out. They take the kitchen part of their name as seriously as the jazz part of their name. This would be a great night to join them for dinner. The Sing-A-Long is a collaboration of the Jazz Kitchen and Indy Jazz Fest, so you know the music will be great. You can expect special musical guests and warm and fuzzy holiday feelings. 

Birdy’s Annual Xmas Bash
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Birdy’s Bar and Grill
2131 E. 71st St
21+, doors 7:30, show 8:30

I’m not sure how many years the Birdy’s Xmas Bash has been going on, but it’s always a blast. The evening is full of rock version of Christmas standards, including my annual favorite: Vinyl Shriner’s rendition of the “Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late).” If that song doesn’t get you in the holiday spirit, nothing well. 

You can also expect performances from the Crème De Les Femmes Burlesque troupe, Broddis, Kiss Me Under the Cameltoe, Scott Kline, Lines of Nazca , Santa Claus, and more. 
Birdy’s has terrific food and hearty drinks.  See you there! 

Punk Rock Night New Year’s Eve
Zero Boys with The Dockers, Werewolf with a Shotgun, Teenage Rehab, & Fallen Angel Burlesque
Monday, December 31, 2012
Melody Inn
3826 N. Illinois
8:00, 21+, $10 pre-sale, $12 at door

This should be a New Year’s Eve to remember! The punk legends Zero Boys have been have been rocking our world since the early 1980s. While I certainly consider that the Zero Boys are part of my musical history since I was lucky enough to see them in the early days, they are revered world-wide. Bootleg copies of their music have been collected for decades and their shows are the stuff that legends are made of. And you can ring in 2013 with them – how great is that?  

The lineup is action packed and includes the bands, The Dockers, Werewolf with a Shotgun, Teenage Rehab, and the Fallen Angel Burlesque troupe. 

And in keeping true to the awesomeness of the Melody Inn there will be a PBR toast a midnight to ring in the New Year. I suggest buying your ticket ahead of time at the Melody Inn or online at Punk Rock Night’s site.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

broad ripple gazette vol 9, no 23

first published in the Broad Ripple Gazette

Born Again Floozies, Vess Ruhtenberg, Party Lines
Saturday, November 10, 2012
Deluxe at Old National Centre
502 N. New Jersey St.
all-ages, $10 ($20 VIP), 8:00

I’ve been playing the heck out of the Born Again Floozies’ new record, The Voluptuous Panic. And as we’ve come to expect from the Floozies, the album is excellent. Not only does the band sound great, they are big fun to watch. Songwriter and vocalist Joey Welch has an unusual guitar technique. His fingers fly across the strings almost like he’s playing piano on his guitar. Add in tap dancer/percussionist Michele Long, turntablist Mike Graves, drummer Vincent Jackson, and bassist Brett Cantrell and you’ve got a show!

I’m a sucker for unusual percussion and great lyrics, and this record has both. Welch wrote the majority of the songs and his words are layered with hip-hop, lovely instrumentation, and lush horns. And I have a special place in my heart for CDs that come with liner notes and the words to the songs – thank you for both. 

The band is celebrating the release of record with a big show at Old National Centre. The lineup includes the iconic Vess Ruhtenberg, and the band Party Lines. 

Tonic Ball, Tonic Gallery, Tiny Tonic
Friday, November 16, 2012
Fountain Square

The Friday before Thanksgiving is always my favorite day of the year. Hundreds of musicians and artists come together for a great cause. The fact that I am Director of Programs for that great cause - Second Helpings – is icing on the cake. This will be Tonic 11 – I’ve been lucky enough to have attended the first ten and I don’t intent to break my streak now. 

This year’s tonic features the music of Stevie Wonder, U2, and the Kinks. I’m excited – I’ve actually seen all of those musicians live and can’t wait to hear my favorite local band’s renditions of the music. 

Tiny Tonic
Friday, November 16, 2012
SECS Youth Center, 924 Shelby St.
5:30 – 7:00, all-ages, free

Tiny Tonic features musical fun for the youngest Tonic fans. Ruditoonz (Scott Rudicel) will be performing child-friendly versions of our featured artists: U2, The Kinks, and Stevie Wonder, as well as original music. Kids will also enjoy musical crafts and food, compliments of Gordon Food Service.

The event is free; donations to Second Helpings are encouraged. Kids who attend Tiny Tonic are welcome at the Fountain Square Theatre for free (over 12 will need to purchase Tonic Ball tickets). 

Tonic Gallery
Friday, November 16, 2012
New Day Meadery
1102 E. Prospect Street

5:00 – 8:00, free

Artwork by Joey Ponce 
Tonic Gallery features art work by more than 25 of the city's best visual artists -  all for sale at a limited silent auction and available for as little as $100. Many of the artists created work especially for the Gallery using the music of the featured bands as their guide. 

Tonic Ball
Radio Radio
Fountain Square Theatre (all-ages)
White Rabbit Cabaret (21+)
Fountain Square (21+)
$25, 7:00 

Here is the tentative lineup:

8:00 PM          Blue Collar Bluegrass
8:20 PM          KRS + 1
8:40 PM          CW and the Working Class Trio
9:00 PM          Vess Von Ruhtenberg
9:20 PM          The Haters
9:40 PM          Brian Deer & The Achievers
10:00 PM        Yoko Moment
10:20 PM        Phyllis
10:40 PM        Red Light Driver
11:00 PM        Everything, Now!
11:20 PM        Cocaine Wolves
11:40 PM        Pravada
12:00 AM        Red Rash
12:20 AM        Coolidge
12:40 AM        Odyssey Favor
1:00 AM          Deezen
1:20 AM          The Founders
7:40 PM          South Six Five
8:00 PM          Vertigo, Joe Welch
8:20 PM          ROOMS
8:40 PM          Sudo
9:00 PM          Everest
9:20 PM          Kaliedostars
9:40 PM          The Common
10:00 PM        Mars or the Moon
10:20 PM        We're Not Squibnocket
10:40 PM        Gabriel Harley Band
11:00 PM        Circle City Steel
11:20 PM        Byrdhouse
11:40 PM        Buster Eagle

Stevie Wonder - ACLF 2011

8:00 PM          Pink Boyd
8:20 PM          Crackhead Patty
8:40 PM          Motorboat Mary, Dave Harrison
9:00 PM          Freddie T. & The People
9:20 PM          Mina & the Wondrous Flying Machine
9:40 PM          Ty Causey Band
10:00 PM        Scott Kline and the Illusion of Control
10:20 PM        Goliathon
10:40 PM        Tad Armstrong
11:00 PM        Bill Mallers
11:10 PM        Matt Mays
11:30 PM        Household Guns
11:50 PM        EchoMaker
12:10 AM        Chad Mills & the Upright Willies
12:30 AM        Randy King & the New Positions
12:50 AM        Bat Tattoo
1:10 AM          Old Truck Revival
1:30 AM          Born Again Floozies
Tuck & Patti
Friday, November 23, Saturday, November 24, 2012

Jazz Kitchen
5377 N. College Ave
8:00 & 10:30, $25, 21+

I’ve been hearing about Tuck & Patti for years from my Aunt Ann and Uncle Jim. The Jazz Kitchen seems like a great venue to be able to really listen to their music – and a nice respite from your Thanksgiving activities. 

Onstage and off, guitarist Tuck Andress and vocalist/arranger Patti Cathcart might, at first impression, strike you as an odd couple. With 29 years of performing together, and 26 years of marriage, the devotion forged by this extraordinary couple shows no sign of dimming from the pressure of familiarity.

This unique vocal/guitar jazz duo has cast its passionate musical spell. Patti exudes the soft, centered yet powerful graciousness of a gospel singer; Tuck almost wears his brain on his skin, anticipating the thousands of musical decisions he’ll have to send to his ten fingers during the course of a performance. Seeing the virtuosity and complexity of Tuck’s guitar work, most are surprised to learn that Patti is the actual writer, arranger, and producer. Without even blinking, Tuck-the-problem-solver brags, “Patti writes and arranges; I am just the orchestra.”