Friday, May 2, 2014

Broad Ripple Gazette volume 11 number 9

First published in the Broad Ripple Gazette

Indiana State Fair Coliseum

Weeks ago I was thrilled to see the old Indiana State Fair sign hoisted to the top of the building replacing the Pepsi Coliseum neon (nothing against Pepsi – this column is fueled by diet Pepsi and popcorn) and I couldn't wait for the chance to peek inside the building.
I had the opportunity to go behind the scenes at the newly remodeled Coliseum a few days before the public opening and it is grand!  I tend to be suspicious of change and couldn’t imagine how the 75 year-old could be made better. I was wrong.

I was counting the hours until the open house for the folks that had worked on the building. While I didn't swing a hammer or run any wire, I do know the guys who installed the beer lines (yes, beer!) so I tagged along as their guest. I was so excited that I arrived before event started. You can ask the editor of this fine paper or any of my three employers – I’m never early for anything.  Ever.

 Wooden seats salvaged from the old Coliseum. 

The renovated Coliseum looks great, with several nods to the old building including a section of the original wooden seats, photographs from old concerts (Beatles!) and the brass deco ticket windows. I did my best to open all of the doors, sit as many places as I could – including the ice hockey penalty box and drink out of every water fountain. 

All I'm missing is the sash and crown! 

Speaking of drinking, I had a delicious locally brewed beer from Outliers. It would have been rude to not test the beer lines after all of Spencer and Schaun’s hard work, although I think they were pretending like they didn't know me when I walked down the runway like I’d just been crowned Miss Indiana State Fair. For the record, that was pre-beer sampling.

The Coliseum Concert Series at the Indiana State Fair has been announced:

-Lynyrd Skynyrd with special guests Jamey Johnson and Drake White and the Big Fire - July 31 at 7:30; $26, $36 and $60.50

-Robin Thicke with special guest Estelle - Aug. 1 at 8 p.m.; $35, $45 and $75

-Phillip Phillips - Aug. 5 at 8 p.m.; $25 and $35

-American Idol Live! 2014 Tour – Aug. 6 at 7:30 p.m.; $25, $39.50 and $59.50

-Pitbull - Aug. 8 at 8 p.m.; $35, $45 and $75

-Hunter Hayes - Aug. 9 at 8 p.m.; $35 and $45

-Jim Gaffigan - Aug. 17 at 8 p.m.; $25, $35 and $45

For more information, contact the Fairgrounds Coliseum Box Office at (317) 927-7601 or visit

Mark Buselli Quintet CD release show
Sunday, May 4, 2014
The Jazz Kitchen
5377 N. College Ave
21+, 5:00 – 9:00 PM, $12

Mark Buselli is celebrating the release of his newest album, Untold Stories. He as recorded several records with his orchestra over the last decade, but this is his first with the quintet in a few years. The record has six of his original songs and his take on Duke Ellington’s “Angelica.” I especially loved the song, “Claude” a tribute to the late Claude Sifferlen, Mark’s long-time collaborator and Indianapolis jazz piano legend. The record features Mark playing trumpet, saxophonist Danny Walsh, pianist Steve Allee, bassist Jeremy and drummer Steve Houghton.  

I have to share this review of the album by Chris Spector, Midwest Records: The unique thing this trumpeter brings to the bandstand is that he sounds like he could have been a student of Miles but he isn’t trying to ape Miles. What a cool fine line to be able to tread. One of those cats with a day job as an educator that doesn’t let the classroom interfere with his ability to swing, this is a sweet, straight ahead listening date that knows you want to groove even if you are sitting down. Well played throughout, this well decorated cat within the halls of academe is well deserving of some more love from the real world. Time to show this cat what Valentine’s Day feels like.

I need to start writing jazz reviews so I can throw around descriptions like “cats” and “ape” and “groove.” 

Broad Ripple Village Gallery Tour
Friday, May 9, 2014
Various Venues
free, all-ages, 5:00 – 9:00 PM

This year’s Spring Gallery Tour features 20 venues filled with art and goodness. Start at the Broad Ripple Fire Station (6330 Guilford Avenue) to get your official map with the galleries and the artists they are featuring. Here is a sampling:  

Fine Estate Art – Gallery Two (5914 N. College Ave). Gallery Two is a brand new gallery space and is an extension of Fine Estate Art. The work in the new space features nine Indiana and regional artists.

Broad Ripple Magnet High School (1115 E. Broad Ripple Avenue). The works of middle school and high school students will be on display. And being in a school when you’re not required to be is extra fun!

Flanner and Buchannan Funeral Centers (1305 Broad Ripple Avenue). First of all pop in to thank them for being the sponsor of the Gallery Tour. Secondly, check out the work of painter John Reynolds work of farm animals. And thirdly, just like high school – it’s a great place to visit when you’re not required to be there!

VSA Indiana (924 E. Westfield Boulevard). The students of Very Special Arts have been making beautiful items for the Gallery Tours for years – I have a great collection of flower pots, candle holders, tiles, and bowls purchased though participating merchants. Their Urban Artisans interns work will be featured in this show.

The Bungalow (924 E. Westfield Boulevard). Artist Phil O’Malley’s bold work will be featured.

Marigold Clothing (6512 Cornell Avenue). The late-nature photographer Bill Brink’s work in the form of prints and notecards will be on sale to benefit his namesake memorial garden along the Monon Trail. Indianapolis jewelry artist Suzanne Bowles will be in the store with her one-of-a-kind textured pieces.

Broad Ripple Knits (6510 Cornell Avenue). The shop will be showing off their new space and yummy yarns.

Editions Limited Gallery of Fine Art (838 E. 65th Street). Editions Limited is hosting their annual group show, titled Fresh From the Studio.

Ashland Gallery & Stu’s Studio (6537 N. Carrollton Avenue). The Gallery is featuring the self-portrait of photography of local artists and photographers including Michelle Merle Pace, Erin Huber, Benaiah Cusak.

Indianapolis Art Center (820 E 67th Street). The Art Center is hosting their biennial Art from the Heartland exhibition, featuring work from some of the Midwest’s most exciting artists.

Before or after you visit all 20 galleries – you can do it, I just know it – please pop into the restaurant sponsors, Ambrosia (5909 N. College Avenue) and Corner Wine Bar (6331 Guilford Avenue) and thank them.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Broad Ripple Gazette volume 11 number 6

First published in the Broad Ripple Gazette. 

Byrd House Sound – Early Byrd Show with Steve Fulton
Saturday, March 22, 2014
Melody Inn
3826 N. Illinois Street
21+, 8:00 – 9:00 PM

Jeff Byrd, Russell Birch, Steve Johnson are a  Heartland rock-n-roll band in the vein of Bruce Springsteen, The Replacements, Gaslight Anthem, and John Mellencamp.

I’ve been a fan of Jeff Byrd for years and have enjoyed all of his projects and this one sounds great too (you can listen to some of their songs on Reverb Nation). Shows at the Melody Inn are always a blast.
Put on your dancing shoes – or at least your swaying in place shoes – and rock out Midwest style to Byrd House Sound.

40th Anniversary Celebration
Sunday, March 30, 2014
Indy CD & Vinyl
806 Broad Ripple Avenue
all-ages, free, 2:00 – 5:00 PM

D.J. Jewey Ramone is hosting a 40th anniversary to the day celebration of the Ramones first-ever show on March 30, 1974 in New York City.

I was lucky enough to first see the Ramones at the Vogue on May 24, 1982, just five days after my 21st birthday. I couldn’t imagine a better way to celebrate! Joey Ramone and I shared the May 19th birthday so I made a ‘Happy Birthday Joey’ sign and was thrilled when he nodded to me. In my mind our eyes met and he was conveying his everlasting love through a meaningful gaze. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. And since his hair was always famously in his eyes and he wore sunglasses, it could have happened!

I’ll see you there!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Broad Ripple Gazette volume 11 number 5

First published at the Broad Ripple Gazette. 

Trusted Mentors Marketplace
Friday, March 7, 2014
Fletcher Place Arts & Books
642 Virginia Ave
all-ages, 6:00 – 9:00 PM, free

As you’re out and about on what will hopefully be a snow-free First Friday, be sure and pop into the Trusted Mentors Marketplace at Fletcher Place Arts & Books.

I’m as impressed as I can be with the nonprofit agency, Trusted Mentors. They connect volunteer mentors with adults navigating the issues of poverty, homelessness, under-employment, and the side effects of incarceration. How great is that? I've gotten to see the power of Trusted Mentors first-hand in their work with Second Helpings graduates.

Trusted Mentors is celebrating the talents from several of their mentors and mentees. Enjoy poetry and live music while checking out handmade arts and crafts by local artist. Items for sale include, fiber art, fragrant body butters, hand-crafted earrings and stone jewelry, pottery, photography, loose leaf teas, and more. Second Helpings mentees will pair up for a cook off, so I’m guessing there will be tasty samples.

I’ll see you there!

Edie Carey
Friday, March 14, 2014
Irving Theater, Second Stage
10 S. Johnson Ave
all-ages, $12 advance/$15 night of show, 8:00 PM

Edie Carey was a favorite performer at CATH coffeehouse (northeast corner of 54th and College Avenue, closed 2004). I always looked forward to her shows at the coffeehouse and our late night talks on my sofa. She was New York based and on the road so much she named her car.

Edie is now living in Chicago, has a family, and tours internationally. She just returned from Holland where juggled a guitar case and a baby. I can’t wait to hear the story about pushing a stroller through the Red Light District.

Edie has a poet’s sensibilities wrapped in a beautiful voice and charming stage presence. The lineup for the evening also includes Baltimore’s Heather Lloyd (ilyAIMY) and Indianapolis’ Briagha McTavish.

The Murat Highlanders Pipe Band
Monday, March 17, 2014
see below for schedule

The Murat Highlanders Pipe Band formed in 1949 – two years before Russel Settle purchased the Red Key. The Highlanders are a parade and performance band dedicated to entertaining the crowds and maintaining the Celtic pipe traditions, while promoting the worthy philanthropy of the North American Shrine. And having lots of fun along with way. You can catch them in the Broad Ripple area on Saint Patrick’s Day.  

7:00p.m. – JT’s Grille & Bar, 2210 E 54th Street
8:00p.m. – Pawn Shop Pub, 2222 E 54th Street
9:00p.m. – Twenty Tap, 5406 N College Avenue
10:00p.m. – Red Key Tavern, 5170 N College Avenue
11:00p.m. – The Sinking Ship, 4923 N College Avenue
Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Broad Ripple Gazette volume 11 number 4

First published in the Broad Ripple Gazette

Ireland was beautiful and green…and damp. The rain couldn't dampen my spirits, even though Ireland was experiencing record storms; since none of them involved ice or snow so it was all okay with me.  

I was lucky enough to attend a traditional Irish music session at a hostel one evening and it was lovely. Everyone sat in a sort-of circle – as much as I tried to tuck into a corner, it would not be heard of – and traded songs and stories. There were accordion players and tin whistle blowers to accompany our songs.  My Indianapolis raised, County Kerry-living friend, Linda suggested that we sing Back Home Again in Indiana. I quickly pulled up the lyrics on my iPhone and we made it through the song. It helps that she has a beautiful voice. 

I especially loved one man’s recitation of a scene from Irish playwright, John B. Keane’s, play, Sive. The break for tea and biscuits with jam was delivered by a darling young man was delightful. The session ended with all of us singing all of the Pete Seeger songs that we could collectively remember.

 I realized that I am woefully unprepared in situations like that. I’ve made a promise to myself to learn a James Whitcomb Riley poem to recite from memory.  Suggestions?

Jenn Cristy Band
Friday, February 21, 2014
921 Broad Ripple Avenue
21+, 9:30 PM, $5

Every time I see Jenn Cristy play I wonder why the world she’s not a household name and I’m convinced that we’ll see her on Jimmy Fallon soon. In the meantime, you should catch her while you can. Jenn has an amazingly soulful voice that she in grand rock and roll style. She’s talented, surrounded by a top-notch band, super-nice, and beautiful. If you’re not acquainted with her music, you need to be and now is the perfect time. Shake off those snow shoveling blues and enjoy a cozy evening at Sabbatical. The food is terrific and the drinks are lovely.

ABC Paint Party with Travis
Monday, February 24, 2014
Union Jack Pub
924 Broad Ripple Ave
6:30 – 9:30 PM, $40

I always say that my creativity far outweighs my artistic talent. Here is a chance for people like us to create a painting. Travis will take you through the steps to create your own, “Starry Night Over Indy” masterpiece. Come dressed to paint, everything else will be provided. Register for the event at:

Cultural Cannibals Brazilian Carnaval
Saturday, March 1, 2014
The Jazz Kitchen
5377 N. College Avenue
21+, 10:00 PM-3:00 AM, $12 advance, $15 at the door.

Pry off your snow boots and put on your dancing shoes for a high-energy evening of Brazilian Carnaval. The event features the IU Brazilian Ensemble - a group of 40 drummers led by renowned percussionist Michael Spiro of the Carlos Santana band, Samba dancers and DJ Kyle Long playing a mix of Brazilian Carnaval music. Talented artist, Artur Silva will have Carnaval art on display. 

There will be a special menu of Brazilian food, including Feijoada (a savory stew of black beans, beef and pork), and of course there will be Brazilian beers and Caipirinha (the national drink of Brazil) available. And if that isn’t enough, big screens will display the Carnaval parade in Rio de Janeiro and Bahia.
Advance tickets at:

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Broad Ripple Gazette volume 11, number 3

First published in the Broad Ripple Gazette.             

Greetings from Ballangarry, Co. Limerick, Ireland. While the sunshine is limited, it is a good 50 degrees warmer here than Indianapolis as I write this. Not only can you see the ground, but the grass is green! I've been lucky enough to stand on the farm where my great-grandfather lived and meet charming relatives.
The first week of my holiday has been spent chasing down relatives and enjoying a lovely thatched-roof cottage and losing track of what day of the week it is. Next week will be spent touring and seeking out music. The big music news here is that Garth Brooks sold out three Dublin shows in 90 minutes – 240,000 tickets!

I’ll have more to report next time.

Remembering a Friend - Pete Seeger Tribute
Friday, February 7, 2014
Harrison Center for the Arts
1505 N. Delaware Street
all-ages, free, 7:00 - 9:00 PM

I think we’ll all Pete Seeger fans whether we realize it or not. Pete's death especially effected the music community.  Geoff Davis has gathered a group of musicians to celebrate Pete’s music and share joy, hope, love, peace and sorrow.

The event will be in the spirit of Pete Seeger. Each musician will play a few songs and share thoughts about Pete and his influence. The full line up was still being formed at press time; the concert will open with sing-alongs. The show will be an intimate gathering with the musicians sitting among the fans in an acoustic setting.
We concert will end with the Moontown Pickle Stompers leading a community sing. It sounds like a lovely and fitting tribute to Pete Seeger.

Rick Dood & The Dickrods CD Release
Friday, February 7, 2014
Birdy’s Bar and Grill
2131 E. 71st Street
21+, 8:30 PM

You guessed, the band is led by Rick Dodd. The Dickrods include some of my favorite musicians,  Sean Jackson, Erik Styles, Andy Shutz and Chad Dressler. I always enjoying seeing them play and I’m sure they’ll be in rare form as they celebrate the release of their record, Tavern Songs.

Their sound is Americana and their sensibility is firmly tongue-in-cheek as you can tell by their name! I can promise great music, laughter, and a fun time.

Indy CD & Vinyl's Grand Re-Opening
Saturday, February 8 and Sunday, February 9, 2014
Indy CD & Vinyl
806 Broad Ripple Avenue
all-ages, free

Annie Skinner, Andy Skinner and Eric Davis have purchased Indy CD & Vinyl from founder Rick Ziegler. They are celebrating by throwing a big old party and showing off new products, a reconfigured space – including more room for in-store performances – and 10% off all purchases.

They've lined up Indianapolis’ best deejays for the party.

Saturday - Noon-9pm
Noon: Cool Hand Lex
1pm: Action Jackson
2pm: Jackola
3pm: DJ Lockstar
4pm: DJ Helicon
5pm: DJ Metrognome
6pm: DJ Gabby Love
7pm: DJ Indiana Jones
8pm: Rusty Redenbacher
After-party Saturday night at The White Rabbit Cabaret for REAL TALK with A-Squared and Action Jackson (21+, 10:30pm-3:00am)
Sunday – Noon-5pm
Noon: A Squared Industries
1pm: Shimmercore DJ set
2pm: Crookshanks
3pm: DJ Little Town

PRINTtEXT Grand Opening
Saturday, February 8, 2014
652 E. 52nd (52nd Street & College Avenue)
all-ages, free, 8:00  PM -

PRINTtEXT is a lovely and cozy periodicals shop. I popped in one Saturday night recently (which may or may not have occurred while I was waitressing at the Red Key) and was immediately charmed with the spot.
Proprietors, Janneane and Benjamin Blevins, have over 300 titles on hand ranging from fashion, literature, design, food, architecture, art, theory, and politics. Everything, really. Their vision for “PRINTtEXT is a shop, salon, archive, and study. Browsing is mandatory. Discourse is expected. Disagreements are encouraged.”

They’ll be on hand to talk about the shop’s publications and anything else you like. For an online look at the periodicals visit:

Friday, December 20, 2013

Broad Ripple Gazette volume 10 number 25

First published in the Broad Ripple Gazette

Chad Mills and the Upright Willies, The Innocent Boys, Stampede String Band
Friday, December 27, 2013
Birdy’s Bar and Grill
2131 E. 71st Street
21+, doors 7:30, $5 presale

I've had the pleasure of hearing Chad Mills twice in the last few months. Once was planned, the second accidental – he happened to be playing at a fundraiser that I attended last weekend. Every single time I see him I’m blown away by his talent and his ability to win the crowd over. Whether he’s playing with the Upright Willies in a bar or solo in a room full of people seeming more interested in eating fancy food and drinking craft beer, Chad’s songs and voice always wins them over.

The Upright Willies are big rock fun. The band includes William Rood (upright bass), Grover Parido (cello), Bob Stewart (percussion), and Chad playing stringed things and singing.

The Stampede String Band is made up of a trio of banjo, guitar, and bass playin’ musicians singing beautiful harmonies. I look forward to hearing them in person!

It is hard to hang a tag on the Innocent Boys. They’re a little bit rockabilly, a little bit bluegrass, and a lot of fun. Banjo, guitar, harmonica, accordion, bass, and harmonies all add up to a big sound.

New Year’s Eve Roundup
Tuesday, December 31, 2013

There are plenty of great places in the neighborhood to ring in the New Year. Cheers!

Brenda Williams and Cold Fusion
The Jazz Kitchen
5377 N. College
21+, 9:00 PM – 1:00 AM, $80 – includes dinner, dessert, champagne toast, party favors

Once you make a reservation at The Jazz Kitchen for New Year’s Eve, you don’t need make another decision. The ticket price includes dinner and dessert, tax and gratuity, champagne toast, party favors, and fabulous music.  If you haven’t heard Brenda Williams yet, you’re missing out. You have just enough time to remedy that. You’ll be charmed by her fabulous voice and talented, all-star band.  The menu looks great – the food at The Jazz Kitchen is always great.

Indien, Minute Details, Kaleidostars, DJ Diablo
Birdy’s Bar and Grill
2131 E. 71st Street
21+, music starts at 9:30, $6

It’s an indie Indy night at Birdy’s. They have a great lineup of local bands to ring in 2014. Go early and have dinner – the food is always good. 

The Kaleidostars are sexy rock fun. Lindsay Manfredi plays guitar and sings, Eric Klee Johnson plays bass, Marc Johnson plays guitar, and Brian Fields is the drummer. They deliver powerful energy, glam rock swagger and ambitious sounds.

Punk Rock Night New Year’s Eve
Melody Inn
3826 N. Illinois Street
21+, doors 8:00, music 9:00

The Melody Inn has a great lineup to celebrate the last hours of 2013. The Fuglees, The Crypto-Kats, Mr. Clit and The Pink Cigarettes, and Maella Cai Vane & Friends Burlesque will entertain with high-energy music and almost-naughty burlesque. In Melody Inn fashion, the countdown to the New Year toast will be with PBR and apparently there is a scheduled countdown to a bra drop. I hope someone takes photos.

Glitz & Glamour NYE
The Vogue
6259 N. College Ave
21+, 9:00 doors and show, $20, VIP packages available

The Vogue knows how to throw a dance party! Put on your party clothes and dance in the New Year. 

I sure enjoyed hanging out with you all in 2013 and I look forward to seeing you in 2014. Have a happy and safe New Year! 

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.