Wednesday, December 31, 2008

year in review: NUVO

Here are the top musical events in the Indianapolis folk world (according to me, anyway) for 2008. Read it here.
And check out the always hilarious Harry Cheese's take on the news events of 2008 here.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Broad Ripple Gazette, vol 5. no 26

Hayes Carll and John Evans
Monday, December 8, 2008

The John Evans Band kicked off the show with big tall Texas Rockabilly fun. The band included all of the usual Rockabilly suspects; an excellent pedal/electric guitar player- Billy Beason, a fast playin’ drummer – Anthony Pummil and a stand-up bass player named Reverend Sidecar Sweet-Ass. Band leader John Evans sang honky tonk goodies about BBQ, drinking, pretty girls and “bad thoughts in a good way.”

I’d been looking forward to the Hayes Carll show for a long time, since I first him, actually. I saw Hayes open for Robert Earl Keene three years ago. I’d been listening to Hayes’ Little Rock record a lot since then. And when I say “a lot,” I mean that most of my co-workers at Second Helpings can sing along. His next record, his first on a major label (Lost Highway) Trouble In Mind, quickly became a favorite when it was released this spring.

Hayes was scheduled to come to town in June, but had to cancel. Luckily the Indianapolis Songwriters Café booked him on this swing through town. And I had the pleasure of interviewing him for NUVO (you can find it on

I was happy to see such a great turnout on a Monday night. This was Hayes’ first trip to Indianapolis as the headliner. And he’s touring with a full band. Kenny Smith (of the great eyebrows Smiths) on drums, Scott Davis played guitar, banjo, lap steel and I suspect he could play anything that you could throw at him, Ricky Ray Jackson on pedal steel and more guitar and John Michael Schoepf on bass guitar.

The show was great. They played a nice mix of older and newer tunes. Hayes’ charm and sense of humor were evident throughout the show, both in his banter and clever songs. He’s Texas born and lives in Austin now, but his time in Arkansas defiantly left an impression. He played a trio of songs “to raise the profile of the beautiful state of Arkansas,” including the title track from Little Rock.

Opening band leader and long-time friend and collaborator John Evans joined him on stage for a few songs as the super-group, The Ego Brothers featuring a tongue-in-cheek song about how great they are. Hayes’ played a song he wrote with Ray Wylie Hubbard called “Chicken.” He said that they might have “overestimated the whole folk poultry rock market.”

Hayes’ played a brand new Christmas tune he’s debuted on the Bob & Tom show earlier that morning. He mentioned that he had to “kill a few people off” to write the progression of who gave the blessing this year. It is a great song; I hope he has the chance to record it soon.

I look forward to Hayes’ next trip through town.

Holiday Party at Locals Only
December 26, 2008
2449 E. 56th Street

I don’t know any details, except that I guarantee it will be a blast. The crew at Locals Only always has fun up their sleeve. And if I know Michele at all there will be great decorations and she’ll be wearing some holiday socks. Hopefully there will be more information on their Web site soon.

Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band w/ Harley Poe, Woodstove Flapjacks
Friday, December 26
Doors at 8:00, show at 9:00
$10 advance, $12 day of. 21+

This is their big damn holiday show. They are celebrating the release of their latest record, The Whole Fam Damnily. The country-blues-punk-rock-family-band spends a lot of time in their van, touring the country and making fans. Catch them while you can, they’re headed to Colorado for a show later that week. Check their Web site for great road stories and photographs.

New Year’s Eve Round-Up

Check the venues for more information about start times and cover charges. These are the Broad Ripple-ish shows I could find on the calendar. Whatever you wind up doing, be careful and have a lovely time.

Brenda Williams
The Jazz Kitchen
8:00, 21+, $25.
5377 College Avenue

Brenda Williams is known for her sassy takes on jazz standards and soul classics. She always has the audience in the palm of her pretty little hands.
Call the lovely LuAnn for information on the swanky new private room for New Year's Eve – or any occasion.

Blackberry Jam and Jumbo Shrimp (bands, not a dinner special)
Locals Only
2449 E. 46th Street

Latex Novelties, Atomic Bombay and others
Punk Rock Night New Year’s Eve
The Historic Melody Inn
21+, doors 8:00, $5.
3826 N. Illinois Street

If I told you I had a Latex Novelties button would you think less of me? I’m sure I’ve had the button for at least 25 years. I think it’s kind of sad that I’ve managed to lose every piece of good jewelry I’ve ever owned but my button collection is intact. Come to think of it, the buttons have better memories. And I promise this will be a memorable evening. The Latex Novelties and Atomic Bombay are always good old school punk and surf rock fun

Henry French & the Shameless CD release
Spin Nightclub
6308 Guilford Ave

Chad Mills, Evan Haughey and Matt Martin
The Upper Room (above the Broad Ripple Steak House)
Friday, January 2, 2008
929 E. Westfield Blvd.
21+, 9:30

I can’t think of a better match- one of my absolute favorite musicians, Chad Mills and one of my very favorite nonprofits, School On Wheels. Chad will be joined by the just as talented Evan Haughey and Matt Martin. Start off the new year with good music and a donation to a good cause.

School on Wheels is just that – they provide volunteer tutoring for the nearly 2500 Indianapolis' school-aged homeless children at twelve locations. These kids are living in shelters, on grandparent’s sofas and friends floors. Did you know the average age of a homeless person in Indianapolis is 9 years old?

School on Wheels works to help these students break the cycle of homelessness, by connecting them with tutors, mentors, educational advocacy and link them and their parents to resources’ for a college education. How amazing is all of that?

Since 2001 over 1,000 School on Wheels community volunteers have provided over 17,000 hours of tutoring.

I’ll see you there, for sure.

Elvis Birthday Bash
Saturday, January 10, 2008
Locals Only
2449 E. 56th Street
10 pm

Gather ‘round Elvis fans – the King would be 74 this weekend. And NUVO cartoonist Wayne Bertsch has gathered a group of musicians that celebrates the diversity of Elvis’ music. "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. Elvis was more than a rockabilly act. His music assembled elements of rock, gospel and R&B in ways that influenced almost every musician that came after him,"

The showfeatures zydeco powerhouse band Mojo Gumbo, The Mess Arounds, Indy's hot rockin' blues trio fronted by Danny Thompson and local rock heroes Mardelay.

Locals Only feature an Elvis-centric menu of items as deliciously bad for you as they were for the King. I see a fried peanut butter sandwich in my future. I wonder how many Weight Watchers points that is?

Is learning an instrument on your New Year’s resolution list? Read on….

Community Steel Band
For all musical levels, taught by Tom Berich
Indianapolis Art Center
820 E 67th Street
317. 255.2464

Come learn how to play the steel drums! Students will learn scales, simple melodies, and specific strumming patterns and groove related playing techniques. This class will also cover the history of the steel drum art form and forms of music generally associated with steel drums, including Calypso, Soca, as well as tunes and musical genres not generally associated with steel drums, such as classical, holiday, and jazz. Students will gain an appreciation for how an art form is started, and how creativity, cooperation, tenacity, and imagination can be utilized to better one’s life. Steel Drums provided. Frank M. Basile Auditorium.

Wednesdays, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Session I (SP111e)
- 7 Weeks: January 14-February 25 (register by January 6)

Session II (SP188e)
- 7 Weeks: March 11-April 22 (register by March 3)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Broad Ripple Gazette, vol 5. no 25

first published in the Broad Ripple Gazette.


Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s on Conon O’Brien
November 19, 2008

I was very excited when I heard that the indie Indy darlings, Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s were going to appear on Late Night with Conan O’Brien. I called my friend John Gernand, who works on the show to see if he could snap some photos and fill me in on the back stage scoop. Unfortunately John had another gig that night (taping Beyonce for the Rockefeller Center tree lighting special). I set my alarm for 1:15 and woke up just in time to see the band.

They were great! I was bouncing on the bed and talking to the television like a proud, albeit crazy aunt. I loved that Richard wrote “Marmoset” on his guitar with what looked like electrical tape in a nod to the beloved Indianapolis band. And I recognized that Hubert was wearing a Melody Inn tee shirt. I’m sure you could see it better on a television that was not sporting rabbit ears and at least 20 years old.

Band mates Andy and Emily were in the Red Key last week and said the whole experience was a blast. Everyone that worked on the show was kind, funny and amazingly nice to them. I’m thrilled for them and can’t wait to see where they show up next.

The Big Roots Show
Stasia Demos and Tad Armstrong
November 20, 2008
Locals Only

A few words about The Big Roots Show. The weekly Thursday show starts at 7:30 and only costs $5. Perfect for us working folks. I love being able to see a great show and still be home at a decent hour.

This week’s version of The Big Roots show featured Stasia Demos as the musical appetizer. The very talented Stasia has a great stage presence. I swear that you could plunk her down in front of any audience – from Ted Nugent to Abba and she’d win them over with her warmth, talent and quirkiness. Stasia played both her guitar and accordion – not at the same time, and sang. Her songs ranged from tunes she sings her son to the Queen song she was covering for the Tonic Ball the next night.

Tad Armstrong joined Stasia for a set. They played several songs from their Middletown days, songs of their own and quirky covers.

Tad Armstrong and his band played a rollicking set, including a lot of songs from his new record, Scorpio Falling. Stasia joined them for some songs -- singing, playing piano and accordion.

I really love Scorpio Falling; I think it showcases Tad’s songwriting and voice better than anything he’s done so far. It’s always a pleasure to see Tad perform. You can next catch Tad playing at Boulevard Place Café at the December 19 Indianapolis Songwriter’s Café Show. He will be joined by Sarah Grain and Tom Roznowski for the in-the-round performance.

The Tonic Ball
November 21, 2008
Radio Radio and Fountain Square Theatre

Once again the Tonic Ball earned its spot as my favorite night of the year. 25 bands and hundreds of music fans in one place- what’s not to love? This year I finally got to see the band Yoko Moment. The super group is the brainchild of Tonic Ball founder, Ken Honeywell and business partner, Scott Woolgar. Some how I missed them each year. I either was working the door or in the other venue or waiting in line to get in. The six-year wait was worth it! Ken and Scott and the two other guys whose name I should know rocked the medley of Queen songs they played.

Thanks to all of the bands, volunteers, Tonic Ball committee and people who attended for making it the best music event in the city.

For photographs and videos check out

Fight Night
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Coliseum, Indiana State Fairgrounds

I have season tickets to the Golden Gloves matches at the Tindall Armory, but Fight Nights at the Fairgrounds have a different feel. Could be the Hooter Girls, not sure. I was really looking forward to seeing the Stuart Lanford matchup. Sergeant 1st Class Stuart Lanford is from Indianapolis and was undefeated going in to the match. I’d written about Stuart before and I was sitting with some of his softball buddies, we were all on our feet when he climbed in to the ring.

Unfortunately, Stuart lost the bout. I wondered if he would even come out of the locker room- I’m not sure that I would have. As great as it was to see Stuart win the past, it was even more amazing to be around a graceful loser just minutes after the fight. Stuart was planning to have his last fight in February, but there is a chance he’ll be out of town with his unit. Even if that was Stuart’s last fight, he’s a winner to everyone that knows him.


Hayes Carll
Monday, December 8, 2008

2131 E 71st Street 

21+, $12, 8:30 pm

I think it’s safe to call me a Hays Carll geek – that sounds so much better then super-fan stalker. I saw Hayes a couple of years ago at the Music Mill opening for Robert Earl Keen. I purchased is self-published album, “Little Rock” and it has become a staple in my work CD player, I listen to it at
least once a day and I think the whole staff can sing-along now.
 I was sent a review copy of his Lost Highway Records released “Trouble In Mind,” and liked it so much that I purchased a copy. I've been listening
to it non-stop in my truck and really love it. Mom handed me an envelope with his name written on it a few months ago- she heard him on NPR and thought I'd enjoy his music – she sure does know me.

I got a chance to interview Hayes for NUVO (you can read it at I’ll see you at the show. I’ll be the one trying not to sing along.

School 70 Winter Concert Performance
Tuesday, December 9, 6:30
First Meridian Heights Presbyterian Church
4701 Central Ave
all-ages, free

I vote at Mary E. Nicholson School #70. I enjoy my twice a year visits, but must admit that I didn’t know much about the school. I was thrilled to be offered a tour when I was there in November. My tours guides (I wish I could remember their names) proudly showed me around the school. I learned that the school is really called The Nicholson Performing Arts Academy. I got to observe classrooms full of students playing instruments, singing and making art. There was plenty of reading, writing and arithmeticin’ going on to. In fact the school the winner of the School of Distinction Award for 2008. Which is a big huge deal.

I can imagine their Winter Concert will be wonderful with all of that talent running around. The concert will be held at the First Meridian Heights Presbyterian Church, just north of the school.

The Big Roots Show
Thursdays in December, 7:30
Locals Only
2449 E. 56th Street
21+, $5.

December 11, 2008
Anthony Scroggins (Hey, Hey Melodica)
Breaking Laces

December 18, 2008
Tim Brickley and the Bleeding Hearts
Richard Sullivan

Gamblin’ Christmas
Thursday’s in December, 7:00
The Wine Cellar at the Corner Wine Bar
6331 Guilford Avenue
non-smoking, 21+, free

The Wine Cellar is the perfect place to have a delicious dinner and hear music. They have started their Thursday evening winter series with the aptly named band, Gamblin’ Christmas. The duo, Patrick Flaherty and Kurt Franke play high-energy music, and promise that you’ll have a great time.

A Celtic Midwinter Celebration
Traveler’s Dream
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Glendale Branch of the Indpls. - Marion County Public Library
6101 North Keystone Avenue, 275-4410
7:00-8:15pm, all-ages, free

From the Traveler’s Dream Web site: Traveler’s Dream presents a treasury of heartwarming songs to celebrate the winter season, Christmas and the New Year. Listeners will enjoy the festive sounds of traditional carols from the Celtic lands as well as lively jigs and reels played on the Irish flute, concertina, bouzouki, and tin whistle. Michael Lewis and Denise Wilson will tell how each song relates to the ancient traditions and unique holiday customs of Ireland, Wales, England, and Brittany. This concert of familiar favorites and uncommon musical gems gives voice to a wide variety of religious traditions and captures the wondrously mystical nature of Celtic spirituality. Like a soothing mug of warm wassail, these songs will kindle the spirit with their messages of hope, good cheer, the beauty of winter, and the joyful gatherings of family and friends!

Nora here: I for one, can’t wait to find out what a bouzouki is.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Hayes Carll

I have Hayes Carll on the brain. It's no surprise that I'm constantly humming his songs, since I have his latest CD, Trouble In Mind in my truck player and his self-released Little Rock is on heavy rotation on my work player. 

I had the pleasure of writing about his upcoming show for NUVO. Read the interview here
And I'll see you at the show Monday. 

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Friday, November 21, 2008

Broad Ripple Gazette, vol 5. no 24

Happy Anniversary to me!
Three years, seventy-eight columns, hundreds of bands and over 150,000 words. And this will be only the second time I’ve turned in the piece by the deadline.

My life a changed in the time I’ve been writing Buzzing Around Town. I’m now the director of operations for Second Helpings. I purchased the house I’ve been living in for the last twelve years, my home now has Internet access – I now longer have to stand outside the Northside News to transmit my column and I’ve gone from being the “worst photographer” Alan’s ever seen to half-way decent.

A good chunk of my life is the same. I still work at the Red Key most Saturdays and Marigold one Sunday a month. I still drive the same truck, have the same cat and love living in the neighborhood.

Some really cool things have happened because of the column. I’m now freelancing for NUVO – and had a cover story in May. I got to attend the Austin City Limits Festival with a press pass. Most importantly I’ve met tons of cool people who keep this music community rolling – musicians, soundmen, venue owners, promoters, bartenders and doormen. The other music writers have been helpful and kind. I vote on the Top Ten Live list every week and Queen Bee is a reoccurring character in the Barfly comix.

It’s been a great three years, thanks for being part of it. Now, on to the music…

Saturday, November 1
Monumental Marathon

The first-ever Monumental Marathon was a great success. The run benefited several IPS programs. I want to thank all of the people who got out and cheered on the runners, hosted entertainment and played. I heard from several runners that the stretch through Meridian-Kessler and Broad Ripple Village were the best on the 26-ish mile route.

I loved the scene around Mile 11 on 5600 block of Washington Boulevard. The very generous Altemeyer family loaned their front porch for entertainment and rallied the block to get out a cheer. And the Long’s doughnut was delicious also, although it felt weird to be munching on a pastry as marathoners were running by.

The talented metal band, Condemned played on the porch. They were loud and good and perfect for an early Saturday morning. The band is made up of Chatard students Alex Koch, Corey Sauer and Drew Schroeder. In case you’re wondering how an electric rock band mixed with Meridian-Kessler neighbors, the answer is: beautifully. Both groups have volunteered to do it next year.

I loved it also. I actually got all misty standing on the street watching it all unfold. We do live in the best neighborhood. Thanks Teresa, Alex, Corey and Drew and all of the other musicians and all of the other makeshift venues.

Holiday Preview Night
Broad Ripple Village
Friday, November 14, 2008

I started out the evening by working at Marigold, which is always a blast. It reminds of when Mom convinced us kids that it was more fun to be home greeting trick-or-treaters than going out ourselves. And she was right, it is cool to be all dressed up and be a hostess. Everyone was in a festive holiday mood in spite of the cruddy weather.

After work Linda and Elizabeth Shikany and I enjoyed a delicious dinner at the Corner Wine Bar. The tomato soup rocks, perfect cold night. During dinner we could hear the melodic sounds of Touch of Grass

Here is the lineup for the Tonic Ball

Elvis stage (Fountain Square Theater)
7:00 The Turnipseeds
7:15 Luke Austin Daugherty
7:30 Fair and Square
7:45 Susan and The Desperate Seekers
8:00 We're Not Squibnocket
8:15 The Innate
8:30 CW and The Working Class Trio
8:45 Brian Deer
9:00 Creepin' Charley
9:15 Bars and Tone
9:30 Sanuk
9:45 Jennie De Voe
10:00 Frankie Camaro's Atomic Bombay
10:15 Mandy Marie and The Cool Hand Lukes

Queen stage (Radio Radio)
8:00 The Misprintz
8:20 Mars or the Moon
8:40 The Odyssey Favor
9:00 Everest
9:20 Jeff Byrd and The Wingmen
9:40 Bigger Than Elvis
10:00 We're Not Squibnocket
10:20 The Common
10:40 Retromeo
11:00 Yoko Moment
12:20 Dale Lawrence
11:40 Vess Ruhtenberg
mid Everything Now!
12:20 Red Light Driver

Monday, November 17, 2008

Tonic Ball VII

From IBJ: Doing Good Tonic Ball VII

And, the lineups are:

Elvis stage (Fountain Square Theater)

7:00 The Turnipseeds
7:15 Luke Austin Daugherty
7:30 Fair and Square
7:45 Susan and The Desperate Seekers
8:00 We're Not Squibnocket
8:15 The Innate
8:30 CW and The Working Class Trio
8:45 Brian Deer
9:00 Creepin' Charley
9:15 Bars and Tone
9:30 Sanuk
9:45 Jennie De Voe
10:00 Frankie Camaro's Atomic Bombay
10:15 Mandy Marie and The Cool Hand Lukes

Queen stage (Radio Radio)

8:00 The Misprintz
8:20 Mars or the Moon
8:40 The Odyssey Favor
9:00 Everest
9:20 Jeff Byrd and The Wingmen
9:40 Bigger Than Elvis
10:00 We're Not Squibnocket
10:20 The Common
10:40 Retromeo
11:00 Yoko Moment
12:20 Dale Lawrence
11:40 Vess Ruhtenberg
mid Everything Now!
12:20 Red Light Driver

For more information:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


origianlly published in NUVO.
Thanks Wayne!

Click on the image to see the whole comix.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Broad Ripple Gazette, vol 5. no 23

first published in the Broad Ripple Gazette

Broad Ripple Music Fest
October 25, 2008

I want to start out by saying that I love working at the Red Key. That said, working most Saturdays I've missed my fair share of stuff. Broad Ripple Music Fest Saturday I felt extra Cinderella-like. I'd had the last two weeks off - I really needed to work tonight and I've exhausted my options for getting my shift covered.

And as the music columnist for the Broad Ripple Gazette, I felt like I should be out seeing music. And to add to the layer of guilt, two venues choose Second Helpings to partner with to raise awareness and funds for the nonprofit.

I managed to see one band before work and sneak over to Luna for a minute during my waitressing shift (shhhh, don’t tell Russel). I caught Rodeo Ruby Love at Trinity ES Jungle (6151 Central Avenue, downstairs) before work. The minute I heard their quirky, beautiful pop sound I remembered who much I liked them and was sorry that I’d waited a whole year to see them again. They played at Luna for the BRMF last year.

I caught a few minutes of Grampall Jookabox set. Grampall Jookabox is David Adamson of Archer Avenue and Big Big Car fame. I didn’t get to see enough of his set to be able to describe it, but I’m not sure that seeing more of it would have helped. I really liked what I heard – it had a hip-hop feel layered over textures of dense beats. I think. I was playing hooky when I crossed the street to Luna. I overheard a couple talking about going to the Red Key so I tried to beat them out the door. It was close.

I was thrilled to hear that the Broad Ripple Music Fest went so well. I’ll be there next year, promise!

A Night of Fortune
Rivera Club
October 29

All of my worlds collided in a very good-way at the Night of Fortune…Fun, Fashion and Finds for the Home. It was hosted by Marigold (work there), The Rivera Club (enthusiastic member) and Style Salon (new fan). And – the icing on the cake (oh, I’m a big fan of cake also) – it benefitted Second Helpings (work there too). And – here’s the scary part. I was a model. I was sure I’d trip or step on the edge of my skirt or something but it turned out okay. The women from Style made me hair all smooth and flat and did something fancy with my makeup. For the last trip down the runway we all were sporting G.Thrapp Jewelers goodies. Carol Golden (what a great name for a jewelry store person!) put the necklace, earrings and bracelet on me and I ran up to the stage with out seeing what I was wearing. When I heard the description of the necklace and earrings I stopped in my tracks. I was wearing more diamonds than I ever have. Wheeee!

The evening drew a standing room only crowd – over 200 people, collected 400 pounds of rice and a healthy monetary donation to Second Helpings. Several Broad Ripple merchants showed off their lovely goods and there was a wine tasting. Thanks to everyone that attended and special thanks to Marigold, Rivi, and Style for making me feel so glamorous.

Tim Brickley’s Troubadour Night
D’Vine, a wine bar
October 29, 2008

I blew it by not getting to the Tim Brickley hosted Troubadour series sooner. The lineups always looked great and I don’t know why I couldn’t ever pull it off. The theme for this night was Hoot Night: Political Songs. The lineup was amazing – Tim Brickley, PJ Christie, Cara Jean Wahlers, Cliff Snyder, Gideon Wainwright, Luke Austin Daugherty, Scott Sanders, Richard Sullivan, Paul Matthew Lauck and Dale Lawrence. Each musician played a short set, often joined by Tim Brickley on guitar. I enjoyed each and every one of them and got to see a different side of several of the songwriters.

I have to say that my very favorite was Dale Lawrence’s acoustic version of his Gizmos song, “Bible Belt Baby.” He told me that it was the first time he’d sung that acoustically. I’m glad I was there to hear it.

Since I was still all giddy (and made up) from the fashion show and the Philadelphia Phillies World Series win, D’Vine was the perfect place to celebrate.

Tad Armstrong CD release party
Sam’s Saloon
October 30, 2008

It’s no secret that I’m a big Tad Armstrong fan, but I had to push myself to go to the show. After all of the excitement of the night before – in retrospect the World Series celebratory glass of champagne might not have been such a good idea and I had a late running meeting after work. I was so glad that I launched myself out of the house. The vibe of the evening was warm and cozy.

“Scorpio Falling” is Tad’s first ever solo record. Tad is a triple threat. A great songwriter, fine musician and killer vocalist. The record is full of introspective, confessional songs. And they could be a slice of anyone’s life. He’s getting great, well-deserved press, everywhere from the Huffington Post to well, the Broad Ripple Gazette.

Tad played a great mix of songs from the new record, Middletown tunes and covers. He surrounded himself with excellent musicians. David Egland played guitar, John Byrne played pedal steel and guitar, Matt Wilson bass and Adam White drums. Tad alternated playing keyboard and guitar with David and John harmonizing.

I missed the opening band, ESW. I’ll quote the review that my friend Tim Considine gave me, “ESW did a fine opening set--including a rocking "Frankenstein" for Halloween. Adam White (drums) and Matt Wilson (bass) stayed on to back-up Tad. They do cool funk/jazz/experimental music which is popular in places like Chicago but more of a harder sell here. The ESW line-up last night was: Josh Silbert (saxes and keyboards); Adam White (drums); Matt Wilson (bass);and sitting in-- Brian Deer (guitar).” I look forward to hearing ESW with my own ears.

The ReachArounds
Daddy Jacks
Halloween night, 2008

I got to hang out with my niece and nephew during prime trick-or-treating time. I swung by the hospital to visit the Lieber twins (yep, Tammy Lieber of Tammy’s Take) is now a proud mother. I took Tammy a severed finger cookie, held the beautiful babies for a while and drug her to Daddy Jacks.

I had to show off my bee costume, you know. I always enjoy hearing the ReachArounds (even if I do blush and cringe every time I type their name). They have great range, covering everything from the Jayhawks to Iggy Pop. They keep the crowd dancing and singing along. It was especially fun to see Tammy dancing with Elvis and a ladybug dancing with a monster. There were a few outfits that I was not sure if they were costumes or not.

Tonic Ball
The King vs. Queen
Radio Radio and Fountain Square Theatre
Tonic Gallery
Big Car Gallery
November 21, 2008

It’s time for Tonic Ball VII. This year half of the bands will cover songs of The King (Elvis Presley) and Queen. I’ll have the full line up with times in the next issue but I wanted to give you the heads up. Thirty bands have all be confirmed – Brian Deer, Jennie Devoe, Red Light Driver, Dale Lawrence, Bigger Than Elvis, Vess Ruthenberg and The Common to name a few. Tickets (only $20- less than a buck a band) are available at Future Shock, both Luna Music locations and there is a good chance you can buy one from me at the Red Key on Saturday night.

I love that Fountain Square Theatre is all-ages. This is a great chance for under 21 folks to hear a dozen bands. Or a great time for you to share your love of music with your children, nieces and nephews and neighbors.

The Tonic Gallery is a limited silent auction of Indiana’s finest artists. The Gallery event is free and always fun. Look for pieces from Kipp Normand, Rob Day, Kyle Ragsdale, John Spitznogle and Bernadette Ostrozovich to name a few.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Tad Armstrong -- review and photos

I've made no secret of my love of Tad Armstrong's music over the years. I got the chance to review and photograph his CD release show for NUVO.

Read the review here and see the photos here.

Now run out and buy a copy or two of Scorpio Falling. You deserve it, really.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I need you!

I'm looking for help getting entertainment along the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon route. Click for route and times the runners will be passing by.

The proceeds from the marathon benefit IPS programs.

The weather looks good- much warmer than last weekend.
I'd love bands, kids banging on pots and pans or you in your bathrobe drinking coffee and cheering along the runners. There are over 3100 runners registered from six countries. The majority of them are from central Indiana. The rest are coming from Kenya, Poland, Canada, Austria and the UK.

Let me know if you're able to help at all and thanks for your continued generosity to the community.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Broad Ripple Gazette, vol. 5 no. 22

first published in the Broad Ripple Gazette


Senator Obama
Indiana State Fair Grounds
Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I debated about whether to write about this, I don’t want anyone to think that I (or the Gazette) am endorsing anyone. Ever since Indiana moved to the "swing state" column last month we've all been getting hit hard with ads and such. It was pretty amazing that a presidential candidate spoke in our back yard (pretty close, anyway). No matter what your political views are, it is pretty darn amazing to be standing just 30 feet from a presidential candidate.

My biggest goose-bumpy moment was when 12,000 of us recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

As exciting as this presidential election is, don't forget to pay attention to the local races. Your governor, city council members, school board members, assessors and township leaders have an awful big impact on your day-to-day life.

Monday, October 20, 2008
Frank Glover Quartet
The Jazz Kitchen

Frank Glover is a legendary saxophone player – he even has his own Wikipedia page, and a Monday night tradition at the Jazz Kitchen. Monday’s also feature the fabulous “8 before 8” dinner specials. The night I was there the $8 specials sounded great but I opted for the amazing eggplant tower off of the regular menu, it seriously rocked.

The music is lovely and the food is amazing. Hanging out at the Jazz Kitchen is a great way to spend Monday night.

Frank Glover
The Jazz Kitchen

This is the second year for the Broad Ripple Music Festival. I loved it last year and this year promises to be even better. The festival kicks off with a big fat show at the Vogue.

Friday, October 24
8 p.m., $7, 21+

8 pm: Abner Trio
9 pm: Grampall Jookabox
10:00 pm: Mardelay
11:00 pm: Everthus the Deadbeats
midnight: Born Again Floozies
1:00 am:Twin Cats

Here is a rundown of the what’s where and who’s when for Saturday. The festival not only showcases music, but the venues who host them. This is your big chance to check out some place new. First venue visited, $6.00 and each venue after that $3.00 cover. Or purchase an all-access wristband for $10.00.

Saturday, Oct. 25

Birdy’s, 21+
2131 E. 71st Street

8:30 pm: Avero,
9:15 pm: Eisenhower Field Day
10:15 pm: The Last Good Year
11:15 pm: No More Goodbyes
12:15 pm: The Hip Shooters

Boulevard Place Café, all ages, no cover
4155 Boulevard Place

3:00 pm: Gideon Wainwright
4:00 pm: Sean Smith
5:00 pm: Gamblin’ Christmas
6:00 pm: Cliff Snyder
7:00 pm: Kit Malone
8:00 pm: Bill Price, 8 p.m.

Casba, 21+
6319 Guilford Ave

6:00 pm: A Caesar Holiday
7:00 pm: Kentucky Nightmare
8:00 pm: Thin Fevers
9:00 pm: Two O’Clock Twilight
10:00 pm: Action Jackson
11:00 pm: DJ Fate
midnight: Black Heat
1:00 am: Jackola
2:00 am: DJ Starsteady

Conner’s Pub, 21+, no cover
6331 Ferguson St

9:00 pm: Bronze Float
10:00 pm: The Delicious
11:00 pm: Everything, Now!
midnight: Marmoset

Indy CD & Vinyl, all ages, no cover
806 Broad Ripple Avenue

Luke Austin Daugherty and Ann McWilliams, 3:30 p.m.

The Indy Hostel, all ages
4903 Winthrop Avenue

7:00 pm: Cari Ray
7:45 pm: Kendall Ludwig
8:30 pm: Noah East
9:30 pm: Gideon Wainwright
10:30 pm: Jenn Cristy

Local’s Only, 21+
2449 East 56th Street

7:00 pm: Dwane Ferren
7:45 pm: Simeon Pillar
8:30 pm: Otto the Comic
9:00 pm: Shelby Kelly
9:30 pm: Jethro Easyfields and the Arrowheads
10:30 pm: Christian Taylor
11:00 pm: Red Light Driver
12:30 am: The Popular Favorites

Luna Records, all ages, no cover
5202 N. College Avenue

2:00 pm: Adam Kuhn, 2 p.m.
3:00 pm: Accordions
4:00 pm: Kendall Ludwig
5:00 pm: Jascha
6:00 pm: Beat Debris
7:00 pm: Jesse Lee
8:00 pm: Christian Taylor
9:00 pm: Grampall Jookabox

The Melody Inn, 21+
3826 N Illinois St

starting at 10:00 pm: The Dockers, Sump Pumps, The Inhumanoids, One Punch Knockout

The Monkey’s Tale, 21+
925 E. Westfield Boulevard

2:00 pm: Jamie Nichole
3:00 pm: AC Foster
4:30 pm: Ruined for Life
5:30 pm: Art Adams and the Art Adams Band
6:30 pm: One Side Later
7:30 pm: Landon Keller
8:30 pm: Davey and the Chorus Caravan

Monon Coffee, all ages, no cover
920 E. Westfield Boulevard

1:00 pm: Juhn Tuttle
2:00 pm: Steven Cooley
3:00 pm: Tonos Triad
4:00 pm: Tea & Sympathy
5:00 pm: Motif
6:00 pm: El Carnicero
4:00 pm: Lockstep
5:00 pm: Postscript
6:00 pm: Sarah Grain
7:00 pm: Organic Soul
8:00 pm: Alpha & Metrognome
9:00 pm: Twin Monster
10:00 pm: The Ben Ishmael Revival

Mugshots, 21+
6525 North College Avenue

5:30 pm: Bohamus, 5:30 p.m.
7:00 pm: Hip-O
8:30 pm: Henderson
10:00 pm: Solar Howard
11:30 pm: James Brown Car Alarm
1:00 am: Chained Fate

Spin Nightclub, 21+
6308 N. Guilford Avenue

8:00 pm: The Holiday
9:00 pm: Amo Joy
10:00 pm: Gentleman Caller
11:00 pm: Records Records Records
midnight: Win with Willard
1:00 am” Mudkids

Trinity ES Jungle, all ages
6151 N. Central Avenue (downstairs)

4:30 pm: Rodeo Ruby Love
5:15 pm: Missing Six
6:00 pm: Amo Joy
6:45 pm: God Made Robots
7:30 pm: State
8:15 pm: The Working Hour

The Upper Room, 21+
929 E. Westfield Boulevard

7:30 pm: Chad Mills
8:15 pm: Kory Quinn
8:45 pm: Rob Glass of Dorsey
10:30 pm: DJ Ohbeone

Broad Ripple Buzz for more information

Big Roots Show
Thursday, November 6, 2008 (and beyond)
7:30, 21 +, $5
Locals Only
2449 East 56th Street

The Big Roots show is a brand-spanking new showcase. You can catch it every Thursday. It’s starts early enough that you can still get home for Grey’s Anatomy.

As you all know I’m a big fan of roots music and the November lineup is great.

November 6: Sindacato, Cliff Snyder
November 13: 19Clark25, Gamblin Christmas, Midwest Rhythm Exchange.
November 20: Tad Armstrong (with full band), Stasia Demos.

Big Roots Show

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Broad Ripple Music Fest preview

NUVO's Broad Ripple Music Fest preview. 

I got to write a few of the blurbs -- read all about here

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

looking for musicians and enthusiastic folks for Monumental Marathon - November 1st

Hello pumpkins,

The very first-ever Indianapolis Monumental Marathon is Saturday, November 1. We're looking for musicians, children banging pots and pans and folks to cheer along the 26.2 mile route. The marathon benefits IPS programs - click here for more details.

The route starts at the Indiana State Capitol, passes the Arts Garden, Lucas Oil Stadium, Circle Center Mall, Monument Circle, a number of federal monuments, the Cultural trail and the Mass. Ave. District and loops through great neighborhoods including the Old Northside, Fall Creek Place, Meridian-Kessler, Butler-Tarkington and Broad Ripple. Click here for the full marathon route. And here for the half marathon route.

There are over 2700 runners from 34 states and 4 countries participating.

Let me know if you can spare a few hours on Saturday morning to show off your talent - be it music, cheering, yelling through a bullhorn or playing your iPod though speakers in your front yard. I'm also looking for contacts for school/church bands, choirs and groups.

Let me know as soon as possible if you're available or would like more details and I'll send you more details.

Thank you for all you do for the community,


And, if you live or work on the route we're looking for a few more spots that can host entertainment.

Nora Spitznogle

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Broad Ripple Gazette, vol 4. no 21

first published in the Broad Ripple Gazette

Austin City Limits Festivals
Zilker Park, Austin Texas
September 26-28

Friday, September 26, 2008
ACLF Day One

I had the great opportunity to attend the Austin City Limits Festival -- and I had a media pass, which made it extra fun. I started really getting excited about the festival on the plane. My seatmate was attending for the third year in a row. John gave me lots of good tips on transportation, restaurants and other good stuff. I was impressed how the whole city wrapped their arms around the festival from the greetings at the airport to my 84 year-old uncle giving me tips about getting around the venue.

The weather was great, for Austin anyway, for the festival- high 80s, low 90s each day. Because of a series of unfortunate events (mostly involving exchanging my rental car and losing three hours), I arrived at the park much later that I wanted to and was worried that I wouldn’t make it to the make it to pick up my pass before the cutoff time. I leapt off the shuttle bus with fifteen minutes to spare. I raced through bike racks, people with clipboards pitching Green Peace and strollers and skidded to a stop in front of the media table with seven minutes to spare. I know, without a doubt that if I would have missed getting the pass you would have found me sitting on the sidewalk sobbing.

Once my wristband was safely around my wrist, I calmed down and looked around the media area. It just happened to be happy hour. I tried my first and last Red Bull and vodka; I ditched it and grabbed water instead. The media corner is tucked in the shade, which proved to be a lifesaver over the weekend.

All of the local radio stations had areas for interviews and live broadcasts. There was a stage for interviews and such. In the middle there was a tent with tables, power, computers and Internet access for us writer-types. After taking advantage of the air-conditioned, big-as-my-bathroom at home porta-potty I launched myself out in to the fray.

I started by walking around the parameter of the park and checked out the location of the eight stages. I couldn't believe how many people were there. The food area was full of local vendors and the art section was full of local art, clothes and jewelry. I bought a bag of the best kettle popcorn I've ever eaten, and trust me when I say that. I consider kettle corn a food group. The other side of the venue had an autograph tent, a Waterloo records tent and a giant tee shirt and merch tent.

David Byrne had a huge crowd. I stood at the back of the crowd, and when I say back of the crowd I mean that I was behind thousands of people. ACLF has giant screens that project the sets. Byrne played a great mix of Talking Head tunes and songs from his collaboration with Brian Eno. And let me tell you, Byrne and his band can get away with white after Labor Day. They looked and sounded great!

I'm a huge Ryan Bingham fan, and he was playing at the same time as David Byrne – the first of many hard choices. As it turned out, Ryan and the Dead Horses had a big crowd also. I discovered the 'back stage' entrance and the guy watching the “door” let me through with my media wristband. And then another guy waved me up the stairs to the stage. Suddenly I was standing next to the guitar tech, just a few feet away from Ryan and the band. Holy crap! It was wild to look out on the sea of thousands of faces dancing also to the music. I can't imagine what it must be like to play for all of those folks.

Ryan invited Doug Moreland, who as it turned out was standing next to me, to play violin. They rocked though two songs with Doug and then Ryan said they were going to "turn it up," and they sure did! The stage was shaking with the intense playing and stomping. I peeked around a stack of amps and the crowd was matching the band's force with dancing and clapping. I stood there like a proud Aunt, grinning from ear-to-ear at Ryan's success.

We were hustled off stage for the last song. I stood at a table next to the stage stairs, jotted some notes and watched the hospitality area action. There was plenty of fun to be had and the drinks were flowing. I hung back, munching popcorn like I was watching a movie.

Ryan and the band came flying down the stairs after the show and Ryan barely made it to the last step before people swarmed him with congratulations on the great set. I hung around for a few minutes, waiting my turn to chat with Ryan. I talked to his bass player, Elijah Ford for a minute, reminding him of the Birdy's show and how they had to drive through torrential rains to get there. I snuck in to shake Ryan's hand and geekily told him that was a big fan and had written about him and his Indianapolis show. I reminded him that we couldn't connect for a phone interview since he was performing on Conan O'Brien instead. He apologized with a very charming "I'm sorry ma'am." I told him that I was sure he'd made the right decision. I mentioned that I thought there were more people watching him from the stage than were at the Birdy's show. He laughed and said the thought today was the most people he'd played for. I slipped out of the backstage area before I was tempted to grab a beer.

I was hoping to catch up with Indianapolis-to-Austin transplant Cameron Smith. In Indianapolis Cameron booked national acts at Verizon, the Murat and Birdy's. Cameron was the one who clued me in on the festival in the first place, which started the ball rolling for me to attend. He teaches a course at the University of Texas, Austin on artist and venue management. I know from our Facebook friendship that he is a huge Alejandro Escovedo fan. I had a feeling that if I hung around the opening to the backstage area when Alejandro was playing I'd run in to Cameron. That was a pretty bold plan considering, the thousands of people packed around the stage. It worked! Cameron and his friend, Kyle actually found me and soon we were standing on the stage. I think my favorite part of the festival was watching Cameron watch Alejandro.             

Cameron told me lots of great stuff while we were watching. Susan Voelz, the violin player was part of Melloncamp's band and in one of my favorite bands, Poi Dog Pondering. The cello player, Brian Standefe is an I.U. grad. Alejandro Escovedo had a residency at the Continental Club in Austin and Cameron told me how cool to see the songs unfolding each week. The result of the residency was the new album "Real Animal." Cameron pointed out the waitresses from the Continental dancing next to the band, like they do when Alejandro plays the club. The band played shout-outs to Iggy Pop and Joe Strummer. Not only are the band members great instrumentalists, but also they harmonize beautifully.

We walked over to hear a bit of Manu Chao. His music mixes several languages and genres - Latin, pop, reggae and techno. Hearing just few songs was enough for me; I parted from the guys and started the trek home. In Nora fashion, I walked the wrong direction for what seemed like forever. I really do have the sense of direction of a doughnut. Every trip seems to include at least one u-turn. It really stinks when I’m on foot.

Saturday, September 27, 2008
ACLF Day Two

I keep getting to ACLF much later than I intend to. I'm staying my cousin Sheila’s, lovely house north of town. By the time I write, dip my toes in the pool, and make the drive and park and it is hours later than I've planned on. I decided to check out the local flavor (beer, flavor that is) and met my airplane seatmate, John for a beer at the Ginger Man. I had a lovely Live Oak (Austin) pilsner, and then we made our way to the shuttle buses. I don't think I can rave enough about how well organized and manageable the festival is. It's very impressive how they keep 65,000 people organized.

Robert Earl Keen was first on my must-see list for the day. I've seen REK twice in Indianapolis, first at Birdy's and the last time at the Music Mill. I was anxious to see him on Texas soil. REK is a native Texan who lived and wrote for a newspaper in Austin for a bit. In college he lived next door to Lyle Lovett. They would hang out on the front porch and play. Wouldn't you have loved to hear those jams? "The Front Porch" song was inspired by those nights and both REK and LL often play it as part of their sets.

Robert Earl Keen is a great storyteller, both in his songs and stage banter. I was having a conversation with John earlier about how some musicians should talk between songs. REK is a master at stage banter and is fun to listen to. He told a fun story of seeing Townes Van Zandt play at a place in Austin called I Scream, You Scream. REK swiped the cup TVZ drank from (he still has it and is happy to show it to anyone), before launching in to a Townes Van Zandt song.
I'm a big fan of pedal steel, in fact it makes me swoon. There was plenty of petal steel for me to swoon over. I loved seeing the thousands of people singing and dancing along. His fan base was across the board age-wise. I really enjoyed the set.

I had a Nora moment in the afternoon. I was standing by myself in the media area, trying to look like I belonged there, when a woman walked up and asked if I was “Nora.” Woo hoo! It was Roxanna from WFYI who recognized me from the Red Key. She had Evan from Indianapolis Monthly in tow. I saw a guy wearing a Rock for Riley tee shirt - it was Greg from My Kentucky Blog, a must read for any indie music fan.

I got BBQ’d in a tragic accident with a photographer from Dallas juggling his gear, a plate of brisket and a Coke. I very nerdily ran to the merch tent, purchased a ACLF tee and changed.
After that I caught parts of Spiritulized, John Fogerty and the Yonder Mountain String Band. I joined the throng heading to the Black Keys show. I tried to walk close to the stage (and when I say close, I mean a football field away) and got a little freaked out by the crowd. I wound my way out and headed to the Austin Ventures stage. Roky Erickson's band reminded me of a garage band- in a very good way. He was recently named 'Musician of the Year' at the Austin Music Awards. Erickson was a rock icon in the 1960s Austin but had a rough road to travel, from schizophrenia to shock treatment. With help from his musician friends he is enjoying a well-deserved resurgence of his career.

I bounced between the Beck and Robert Plant/Alison Krauss stages and as some points could hear both bands at once. “Two Turntables and a Microphone/Through the Morning, Through the Night.”

I joined the queue for the buses- walking the right way this time and headed north, with a quick stop to meet John for quick post-show recap beer (Live Oak Hefe-Weizen) at Ginger Man in between. It was fun to listen in on the conversations of other ACLF patrons. One guy said that he suddenly felt less cool the second he saw David Byrne. I totally understood that.

Sunday, September 28,2008
ACLF day three

I started the day off joining my Uncle Bruce for 7:30 Mass. While not very rock-and-roll, it was good for my soul. I waffled, but opted for a nap before I started the trek to town.

Once I arrived I wandered around for a bit, spending a few hours walking around and stopping for music. I heard bits of Gnarls Barkley, Tegan and Sara (who I saw in the media area Saturday), Band of Horses and South Austin Jug Band. I finally got brave and figured out that I could stand in the photo pit for some shows. I heard the first three songs of Austin's Kevin Fowler up close and got some great photos - and a cigarette flicked on me. Another shirt bit the dust. Who knew that music writing could be so hazardous to my wardrobe? Anyway, Kevin Fowler and his band played good-old- boy, sing-along rock and roll.

I joined the masses heading to the buses and was back downtown in less than half an hour. I decided to check out the Continental Club to see Redd Volkaert and I'm glad that I did! Redd and the band, Heybale are amazing. I grabbed a whiskey and stood along the wall watching the band and couples dancing. I was already loving the club- the doorman told me I was "good lookin'" and the bartender was nice and friendly. As you know, pedal steel makes me swoon - when pedal steel player winked at me after a solo it was almost too much for me.

During the break I had fun chatting with the band. The keyboard player, singer Earl Poole Ball, is a legend in his own right.

All of my guitar-playing friends that have heard Redd play want to move to Austin. I'm not kidding. I was stretching the truth just a little bit and teasing Redd that he was not good for my love life. As we were laughing, a guy joined our conversation and asked Redd if he had time to give a guitar lesson the next day. I was trying not to let my jaw drop, but I thought he looked like the guitar player for the Foo Fighters.

Chris: I'm just in town through tomorrow; I'd be honored if you'd have time to work with me.
[Nora’s brain is screaming: You're in town tomorrow because you're taping Austin City Limits show Monday night!]
Redd: Do you play guitar?
[Nora’s brain: to about 50,000 people just two hours ago!]
Chris: I play in a band that played ACLF, the Foo Fighters.
[Nora’s brain: the freaking headliners of ACLF]
Redd: I live about half an hour south, do you have a car?
Chris: I think I can arrange something.
[Nora’s brain: ummm, yea, like the tour bus...or I could drive you...]
Redd: Well, if you can get a ride, here's my number.
[Nora’s brain: should I take a picture? yes, no, yes, no...]

I shook their hands, and took my star-struck self back to the wall where I belonged and concentrated on not stalking Chris or Redd.

I wound up slipping out when the next set started before I got myself in trouble. It was the perfect ending to a great visit to Austin and ACLF.

I’d like to give a big shout-out to the organizers of the festival. As someone who works with volunteers and events, I can't tell you how amazing well ACLF is run.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

austin city limits wrap up

Click here for the NUVO print piece. It was hard to boil it down to 400 words!

Be sure to check out Adam Yale's great photographs - here.

Friday, September 26, 2008

ACLF day one

Click here for a quick and dirty post about day one of ACLF.
Click here for Adam Yale's photographs

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Austin City Limits Festival

I'm here
I'm very excited and more than a little nervous. 
I'll be blogging about the festival here: NUVO Travel Blog

Broad Ripple Gazette, vol 4. no 20

Ribs and Bone
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Daddy Jack’s
9419 N. Meridian St.

I was working late when my brother J.R. called to see if I wanted to meet him for a drink. Since it was 9:00 and I was still at my desk downtown it was the only sensible thing to do, really. Hanging out with J.R. is always fun, but it felt like a trip down memory lane when I got there – Ribs and Bone were playing. J.R. and I spent an extraordinary amount of time in the 1980s bopping to bands that Zanna and Michael were in.
Ribs – Zanna, grew up playing in the pop-rock band The Starlettes, playing with two of her sisters and brother. I can’t tell you how many times I saw them play, including a memorable Halloween party that J.R. threw in an old school house that involved a beer truck. Since then Zanna has been in bands with Henry Lee Summer and Carl Storie.
Bones - Michael Read has been playing music since he was in the iconic Indianapolis rock band Roadmaster. Since then he has played with Mitch Ryder, Henry Lee Summer and Carl Storie – which just about covers any well-loved rock bands that I can think of. He has shared the bill with ZZTop, Rush and a bunch of other folks that you’ve heard of. Michael plays keyboard and sings and I always love seeing him perform with his bands. No matter who he’s playing with there is always a crowd of dancers, which means that I’m usually standing in the band avoiding eye contact with my friends who spend too much energy trying to get me on the dance floor. I loved getting to enjoy Michael up close at Daddy Jack’s.
You can’t go wrong seeing any band these two are a part of. You can often catch them at Daddy Jack’s. And you can dance; just don’t ask me to.

Soul Bus
Monday, September 15, 2008
Daddy Jack’s
9419 N. Meridian St.

Even though Soul Bus plays almost every Monday night at Daddy Jack’s, you never see the same show. Jes Richmond, Tad Robinson, David Murray, Jeff Chapin and Gordon Bonham always keep the show fresh and are generous with having guest musicians play. This week the very talented guitar player David Steele joined the band for a set.
David is part of rockin’ country star Gary Allen’s band that was part of the marathon opening concert at Lucas Oil Stadium just a few days before. You can see why David Steele is in hot demand as a guitar player. He’s excellent. Seeing him and Gordon playing together was a special treat.

You can’t go wrong with Soul Bus at Daddy Jack’s. Pinky swear.

Your 33 Black Angels
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Luna Music and the Red Key

corner of 54th Street and College Avenue

As you know, I work most Saturday nights at the Red Key. Occasionally I feel like Cinderella, working when most people are out enjoying music and nights off. But more often I feel like I’m in exactly the right place and so many cool people wind up in the Red Key that I get to be front and center for the action.

I was sorry that I didn’t get to see the band Your 33 Black Angels when they played at Luna Music (although I’ve been known to slip out of the Red Key and catch a peek of bands), and low and behold they came in for dinner. Woo hoo!

The guys were charming and fun to wait on. Anyone who eats two Red Key burgers is a rock star in my book. I asked where the band name came from. Your 33 Black Angels is a line from a song- that they don’t sing any more. The talented band has been favorably reviewed everywhere from Rolling Stone to Harp.

I’m seriously addicted to Facebook. It is like having a big bunch of friends and family at my fingertips at all times. I still like MySpace for music, but all of my Facebook friends are actual friends. One of my Facebook pals in Scot Sedley, who I met at the Red Key and now lives on the east coast. We discovered later, via Facebook that one of Scot’s friends is in the band. It’s a small (cyber) world.

Austin City Limits Festival
September 26-28

Why am I telling you about this you ask? BECAUSE I’M GOING! And I have a press pass, which makes me feel very big time and special. More later.

Tuesday, September 30
Sybris, The Coke Dares and Turnbull AC’s
2131 E. 71st St.

One of the bands on my must-see list at ACLF is Sybris – and they are playing at Birdy’s just a few days later. The lineup for the Birdy’s show is great. Sybris has been compared to Pavement, Yo La Tengo and Sonic Youth – all bands I enjoy. You can get a preview of their Indianapolis show by watching on Sunday at 12:45 pm (if I’ve done my Central to Eastern time zone conversion properly).

The Coke Dares are based in Bloomington and are well known for their short, but excellent songs. Cincinnati’s Turnbull AC’s have a well-deserved fan base in Indianapolis ever since they played the Midwest Music Festival a few years ago.

Friday, October 3, 2008
The Queers, The Independents, Up!Scumbag, BoLth and Highway Magic
Locals Only
2449 E. 56th Street

“Punkshots” Tom gathered his favorite touring and local punk bands. The Queers hail from New Hampshire and have been playing since 1982, which makes them pioneers in the American punk rock scene. You know my theory that band years are like dog years, every one equals seven. I think in the case of punk bands you need to double that.
The Independents hail from South Carolina and have been together since the early 1990s playing ska-ish punk. They have a new album coming out in mid-October, so I’m sure you’ll get a preview of it at the Locals Only show.
Indy’s own Up!Scumbag has been together since the early 2000s and have become well-deserved darlings of the Indianapolis punk scene. BoLth’s CD, Short Sighted has received great reviews. Highway Magic is known for happy punk (it’s all happy to me).

Saturday, October 4, 2008
Memoir Writing Workshop
Writers’ Center of Indiana
812 E. 67th Street

I wouldn’t dream to tinker with a press release from the experts at the Writers’Center, so here it is: Join Thomas Larson, author The Memoir and the Memoirist, for an all-day memoir-writing workshop, "Writing the Memoir," on Saturday, October 4th, 2008 at the Writers’ Center of Indiana, located at 812 E. 67th Street, Indianapolis. For registration or for more information log on to or call 317.255.0710.

Many of us have lived fascinating lives whether inwardly or outwardly, during childhood long ago, or as adults in the last decade. But when it comes to writing a memoir, where do we begin? The day of our birth? The day we left home? The beginning or end of a relationship? Memoir is most successful when it is not the "story of a life," but a focused part of that life—a dozen summers spent working on a grandfather’s farm; a long relationship with a dying relative; the first year of law school.

Instructor Thomas Larson is the author of The Memoir and the Memoirist: Reading and Writing Personal Narrative, Swallow Press / Ohio University Press, 2007. His book is the first of its kind to evaluate the dramatic rise of the memoir in the last twenty years and to explore the craft and purpose of contemporary memoir writing. Four months after publication, The Memoir and the Memoirist entered its second printing. Larson also writes personal essays, memoir, nonfiction, and literary criticism. Since 1999, he has been a contributing writer for the weekly San Diego Reader where he specializes in investigative journalism, narrative nonfiction, and profiles. Larson leads workshops and lectures on memoir throughout the United States and facilitates private memoir-writing groups. He lives in San Diego with his partner Suzanna Neal.
In this workshop students will discuss how to plan, focus, and begin a memoir. What makes for good subjects in memoirs? Examples include a relational memoir, one focused on mother and daughter or father and son; a memoir of passionate interest, a love of reading or mountaineering; a memoir of a phase or era, time spent in Mexico, a divorce, the death of a favorite uncle. Participants will also explore the differences between autobiography and memoir and address the idea of self-disclosure. There is time for multiple writing exercises, readings from published memoirs, discussion of the tension between emotional and factual truth, ideas about truth-telling for memoirists, and one-on-one sharing and critique. The goal will be to draft the material for the first chapter of a memoir.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008
The Bermondsey Joyriders, Atomic Bombay, State and You’re A Liar
Locals Only
2449 E. 56th Street

It must be autumn, ‘cause there is punk rock in the air. This is another lineup of iconic touring and local bands. Good job Tom!

The Bermondsey Joyriders hail from the UK. The power trio plays fast and furious rock – as it should be played, really. Atomic Bombay is a Frankie Camaro project, which means good and fun. Their sounds mixes garage blues with new wave punk (they sounds much better than that description, trust me). State is known for their high on the intense meter shows. You’re A Liar hails from Bloomington and describe themselves as a funk, punk, progressive band. I cannot repeat the only quote that I found on their myspace page in this family newspaper.

Friday, October 10, 2008
Eilen Jewell and Brandon Whyde
doors 7:00, show 8:00, $15/$18 (day of show)
Royal Theater
59 S. Washington Street
Danville, IN 46122

The Royal Theater kicks off this season’s live music it's series this with Eilen Jewell. Eilen plays a mix of traditional country, swing, folk, blues and jazz. Special guest Brandon Whyde, arguably the best new emerging artists will open the show.

Tickets may be purchased at Luna on Mass Ave, Indy CD and Vinyl or by
phone at 317-696-5279. Season tickets also available at a special $12 per show in an
8-show bundle for $98.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Indianapolis Irish Fest

Might be the best headline ever: Three days of music, sport, drink and sheep herding.
Special thanks to Scott Shoger, music editor. He added some great stuff to what I wrote.

Indy Irish Fest this weekend. September 19 and 20.

Friday, September 12, 2008

broad Ripple Gazette, vol 5. no 19

I stink. 

Not the phewy stinky way, although I’ve been sweating so much over this column that may be true soon. I skink in the can’t put words to paper, this is long overdue and I’m sure Alan Hague is thinking not so nice thoughts about me right now.

Major writers block was bound to happen sooner or later. I’ve been writing this column for three years; twenty-six issues a year, 2000-ish words a pop. 156,000 words. Conservatively It takes me about six hours a column (going to shows, research and writing). 6 hours times 26 issues times 3 years equals 468 hours. That’s almost 60 8 hour days. I won’t go in to the math of how much money I’ve spent going to shows. Mind you, I’m not complaining. Buzzing Around Town is one of the favorite things that I do and I’m grateful for the opportunity. And my investment is nothing compared to that of Alan Hague, who brings you this fine paper.

The really amazing part of that whole equation is that I took the time to do math and a story problem, no less. I am grasping at straws to put off writing. So without further ado, since I’m in deep doo doo time wise, here we go.


Part of the problem is that not only did I wait until after the very last second to start writing, but I’m writing about shows that happened almost a month ago. Reviews that I put off while I was recapping the state fair. The other challenge is that I saw several metal bands in that time.

I know that all metal bands don’t sound alike; they all had different “flying v” guitars and different length beards. I’m just having a hard time deciphering my notes after all this time. I did jot some tantalizing notes on a cocktail napkin: been a long time since I’ve seen so much gear on stage, drum rack, stack speakers, dueling beards and enough tattoos to sink a ship – a pirate ship, of course. Humm…

Stasia Demos
Amy Speace and The Tearjerks (NYC)
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Boulevard Place Café

You know how much I love connecting dots - the first time Amy Speace played at CATH coffeehouse I drug her to see Stasia Demos’ band, Middletown at Utopia. That was the night that Stasia announced her engagement. Ta da! So, how cool is it that Stasia opened for Amy 8-ish years later?

Stasia had a rough day, it started out with a stolen car and so far the highlight was eating cold meatloaf for dinner standing over the sink. She didn’t let any of that get in the way of a great stow. Stasia does a great job of making her songs real. I feel like I know her uncle Billy Joe and his tired Cokes. I know that Karl would love the songs Pushing Daisies. Watch for some of her songs on the new Middletown record. I’ll let you know when it comes out.

I cannot tell you how much I adore Amy Speace. She was one of the first people to play at CATH. And she started a long tradition of musicians sleeping on my sofa. In fact my cat’s last name is Speace, because, well that’s a long story and involved a broken foot (mine) and chasing a kitten through the neighborhood (not mine, as it turned out). Her music, and the cat, has found a permanent home at my house. 

Amy did not let the small audience (six people, counting me) dampen her enthusiasm, but I sure was bummed out. I’m not mad at anyone, just disappointed. Amy was playing for thousands of people just the week before. Amy caught the ear of Judy Collins a few years ago, and is now opening for Judy and on her Wildflower Records label.

This was the first time I’d heard Amy play with Richard Feridun. Rich’s beautiful guitar playing adds a gorgeous touch to Amy’s songs. As always, percussionist Jagoda and Amy made a great team.

Amy played the title track, The Lover In Me, for her in–the-works next record. She introduced us to two other new songs and was persuaded to pull out the longest tune she’s ever written. It was about her experience with the Jersey City parking violations authority.

I’m very excited about this - Amy is featured on a new record, “Born To The Breed”: A Tribute to Judy Collins. Other contributors include Dolly Parton, Rufus Wainwright, Shawn Colvin, Chrissie Hynde, Leonard Cohen, Dar Williams, Bernadette Peters, and Joan Baez. Look for the record at the end of October.

It was a great night for me, and I feel like I got a private concert, but I understand why its to hard to convince musicians to stop in Indianapolis. Amy and the gang stayed at my house so at least they weren’t out money for lodging and could catch up on laundry and e-mailing and working out. I’ll let you know when her new record it out. Let’s show her some Indianapolis love.

Evan Haughey
The Ramblers (NYC)
Monday, August 28, 2008

Thanks to Jeff, Sue and Mike for putting together this last minute Monday night show. And extra love to everyone who came out.
I first heard Evan Haughey last month at the Second Friday, Second Helpings show at the Upper Room and he impressed the socks off of me then. His songs are lovely and he’s got a great voice and stage presence. Unfortunately, I arrived just in time to hear his last song.

I’ve been listening to the Ramblers online for the last year and was anxious to see them in person. Singer songwriter Jeremiah Birnbaum has performed in Indianapolis several times before, often with drummer John Embree. I love then in the band! John Embree has a great voice. I’m always impressed when drummers sing and play all at the same time. It requires coordination that I don’t possess.

The Ramblers play rock with a dash of twang. Great songs, harmonies and camaraderie. I look forward to their next visit to Indianapolis.

After several intense years of putting musicians up at my house when the air mattresses were a permanent fixture in my dining room, I enjoyed pulling out the extra sheets and towels. The Ramblers were great guests; I think the house was cleaner when they left!

Nathaniel Bartlett
Thursday, September 18, 2008
7 pm, free, all ages
Indianapolis Art Center
820 E. 67th Street

The Art Center will get a change to show off all of that fancy sound equipment. Nathaniel specializes in marimba and computer generated sounds, creating an impressive soundscape.
Nathaniel says of his work, “The focus of my repertoire is on works involving 3D, high-definition, computer-generated sound projection. Through the use of a high-powered computer, other electronics, and a cube of eight high-definition speakers, I am able to project and move sound anywhere in the performance space – total immersion in sound. In fact, the computer-generated sounds relate quite well to the visual arts in that concepts of objecthood and spacial structure become a part of the musical fabric.”

Art vs. Art
September 26, 2008
8 pm, 21 +
The Vogue
6259 College Ave.

Art vs. Art is moving to Broad Ripple! I’m sure it didn’t have anything to do with most of the Gazette staff attending the event last year, but we sure are happy about it.

This is the seventh year for the painting competition with a twist. The paint days, where the artists created their work, all on the same day with canvases provided by the Art vs. Art folks has already happened. Now the audience participation begins- go to and vote for your three favorite paintings. The top 32 go on to the competition at the Vogue.

The doors open at 8 p.m. and the bouts start at 10 p.m. Enjoy music and cast a ballot ballots to narrow the field to 16.

Final judging involves four rounds of head-to-head competition. Two randomly selected paintings square off on stage as the audience cheers wildly for their favorite. The electronic applause meter sends the winner to the next round; the losing painting faces the threat of destruction (by chain saw, acid bath, samurai sword, etc.) as determined by a spin of the ominous “Wheel of Death.” A “losing” painting can only be saved from its impending doom if someone purchases the painting for the minimum purchase price. Artists take home 70% auction price.

The last painting standing is crowned the Art vs. Art 2008 champion. and wins the title. The stakes are high (I have to close my eyes when the art is destroyed), but the rewards are sweet (big check and the title belt- plus a sash and a serenade). Come support the arts like never before…or some art will die.

The Jazz Kitchen hosts so much great music each week that I forget to talk about it.
Here is a rundown of their recurring acts.

Mondays • 6:30-10:30p • FREE

For 9 years running the FGQ has been a Monday night fixture. Vituoso saxman Glover
& hall-of-fame pianist Sifferlen lead Indy’s best straight-ahead jazz group through
hi-energy jazz standards.

Tuesdays • 7-10:30p • $10

The 10-piece MidCoast Swing Orchestra performs classic 30's and 40's jazz representing
the great Harlem dance bands including Basie, Ellington and Lunceford.

Wednesdays • 7:30-11:30p • $5

A new collective of legendary B-3 organist Melvin Rhyne with sax young lion Rob Dixon.
A blend of acid and straight-ahead jazz.

Thursdays • 9p-2a – $7 Ladies FREE 'til 10p

Indy's longest running Latin dance night featuring Univision's DJs Marco Dominguez
and Fernando Ramirez playing a mix of salsa, merengue, bachata, reggaeton,
Latin hip-hop & more. Free dance lesson with the "Queen of Salsa" at 8:30p.