Birdy’s Christmas Party
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
The Benders and Chevy Downs
Friday, December 21, 2007
A great byproduct of the holidays (besides fudge) are that hometown musicians come back to visit. You can always count of a raucous Chevy Downs show around Christmas. This year was no different and these charming lads play a hard-to-describe mix of rock, bluegrass and soul. They are always good sing-along and dancing fun.
John Byrne, Aaron Stroup and Tad Armstrong
The Benders grabbed everyone’s attention with their amazing harmonies, right-on timing and excellent musicians. John Byrne (guitars and all things guitar-y, vocals), Dave England (guitar, writer, vocals), Tad Armstrong (bass, writer, vocals) and Wade Parrish (drums, vocals) make up this super-star lineup. Visiting guitar player Aaron Stroup joined them for a few songs, which unfortunately coincided with a tragic camera battery incident. I got a great aerobic workout racing upstairs and retrieving the fresh batteries from Tammy Lieber and flew back down the steps. It’s not often that I get to see my two favorite guitar players on the same stage with my favorite singers. Some people play Fantasy Football – I like to play Fantasy Bands, and the Benders are one of them. I cannot say enough good things about this band, but I’ll keep trying!
The Northside Newsstand Festivus Party
Sunday, December 23, 2007
The Jazz Kitchen
Gnome Jamie Ridpath
The weather was very cold and windy so I bundled up for the walk down to the Newsstand Party. It was great to see all of the Christmas lights along the way – thanks neighbors for decorating. I promise to talk my lights down before Independence Day next year.
If you have not been in the Newsstand the décor focuses on globes and maps. The window is filled with globes and each table has map under glass. There was a ceramic gnome tucked among the globes in the window. I noticed at some point this year the gnome was gone, but I asked what happened to it. This fall photographs of the gnome in a hospital bed appeared at the newsstand, with a note saying that he would be returned soon. Who sent it was a mystery. A few weeks ago a friend admitted that her daughter had broken the gnome. She panicked, put the broken gnome in her bag and fled. She snapped the photographs and plotted how she could sneak the gnome back to the window. She got the idea to dress up as a gnome to return the original gnome at the Festivus party. As you know, I love a theme - I found a great stuffed recordable gnome at Posh Petals. Jamie's boyfriend recorded a "see you later" message and left at the Jazz Kitchen before the party. Jamie came dressed as the gnome and almost off the secret - the gift bag she returned the ceramic gnome had a gift tag attached that said "to Jamie."
The party was a blast as always. There was lots of great food and conversation. Otto the Comic did a fun set and DJ Rusty kept the packed house dancing.
Otto the Comic
Thursday, December 27, 2007
The Corner Wine Bar (Wine Cellar)
The late great Middletown has a reunion show whenever Aaron Stroup is in town. I have a soft spot for the band. Aaron and I used to live on either side of the double that we both rented (and I now own). I heard Middletown form and practice through our shared wall. I loved sitting on the sofa reading with the songs filtering through the wall. The band sounds good as ever. Amazing harmonies, terrific songs and all-around lovely people. Tad Armstrong (vocals, songwriter, guitar and bass), Stasia Demos (vocals, songwriter and accordion) and Aaron Stroup (vocals, songwriter and guitar) manage to play together in various forms. Aaron and Tad tour as part of Susan Cowsill’s band, and Stasia and Tad team up for occasional acoustic gigs.
Tad co-fronts The Benders and plays solo gigs. I hear that his to-be-released-this-Spring album is amazing. I’m looking forward to it. Stasia also plays solo (if fact they boys hijacked this gig from her). Aaron plays with the Austin based Johnny Cashdraw.
Aaron Stroup, Stasia Demos and Tad Armstrong
The Corner Wine Bar is starting a Thursday acoustic music series. The shows will be early and you can have dinner (and delicious food it is). I’ll keep you posted on the schedule.
You can next catch The Benders at Daddy Jack’s on Saturday, January 26th. Great food and no cover (be nice to the band tip bucket) – can’t beat it!
The Vogue (12:15 am)
This was my first Mummies experience. They are an amazingly good funk band dressed in Mummy rags. The Vogue was packed with revelers. I stood by the soundboard (and stole a quick Happy New Year peck on the cheek from Jonee Quest) for a bit to soak it all in. The band is big – I’m not sure how many were on stage. Lots of horns and vocals. I look forward to seeing them some other time. I took a quick lap through crowd and headed back out to the cold.
Local’s Only (1:15 am)
The Gizmos guitar player Tim Carroll lives and records in Nashville, TN where Billy Nightshade moved a few years ago from Boston. Tim and Billy still play together in Nashville. You can find Dale Lawrence playing with The Vulgar Boatmen and as a solo act.
I’m just sorry that I could not get to Local’s Only sooner – I hated to miss the Slammies set (featuring Otto). I hear that it was fabulous. Hopefully they’ll play again soon.
I was glad that I got to end the evening - and start the New Year among old friends.
Elvis Birthday Bash
Friday January 4th, 2008
I cannot say this any better than Wayne does, so here is his press release:
Each year on the weekend of Elvis Presley’s birthday Locals Only celebrates the music of the King of rock and roll. Now in it’s third year the Elvis Birthday Bash has become one of the most happening events of Indy’s winter music season. This year the show falls on Friday, January 4th.
As always the event is headlined by The Messarounds, featuring Danny Thompson.
Danny is well known to rockabilly fans as the long-time front man of Bigger than Elvis. They play the hot, rockin’ rhythm and blues sound that made the Sun Records music so dangerous in the minds of 1950’s white America.
Hey Hey Melodica play artsy, acoustic rock in the tradition of The Flaming Lips or Ben Folds. They’re sure to put an interesting spin on the music of the King because their music frequently features such non-traditional instruments as the glockenspiel, slide whitsle and of course the Melodica.
Little Voice are a female fronted trio of alt-rockers whose sound is compared to music of Allanis Morrisette or Juliana Hatfield. They sing earnest songs that are snapshots of hidden moments, and angst ridden truths. Ericka’s excellent original tune “she dreams of Elvis” made them a natural choice for this show.
As a special added bonus Jay Elliot will perform solo in between sets to keep the music going. Jay has quite a good thing going as the the front man of Band Battle Champs Stereo Deluxe. What A lot of people don’t know is that he gigs frequently as a Solo acoustic artist as well. Here’s a chance to see one of Indy’s most charismatic front
I’ll be there with my Elvis mask and bacon sandwich!