Thursday, July 3, 2008

Broad Ripple Gazette, vol 5. no 14

David Sedaris
June 10, 2008
Big Hat Books

I took the day off from work under the guise of helping Liz Houghton get ready for the David Sedaris reading at her bookstore. David Sedaris is one of the funniest people ever. He is laugh out loud hilarious. Just seeing someone read one of his books makes me giggle. I was hoping that being in the same room some of his wonderful humor would rub off on me.

I worried about what to wear to meet him and what I would say. After all the biggest fear/thrill is that somehow you would make your way in to one of his stories. As I was racing out the door I remembered that his new book (When You Are Engulfed in Flames) has a skull on the cover. I ran back to grab the Halloween skull ring from my jewelry box. Yep, the ring is indicative of the precious jewels that I keep nestled safely in its velvet home.

When David arrived at the store I was so nervous that I could even glance his way. I kept thinking ‘look busy Spitznogle, Sedaris is in the house.’ Liz dragged me over for an introduction. Any witty thought I ever had flew out of my head as I shook his hand. “See my ring? It is a skull. I love a theme.” I babbled. “Does it glow in the dark?” David asked. “Why yes, it does!” I blushingly squeaked and scurried back to the tent.

David was charming and signed books for hours. He took time to speak with all 750 people. The last customer left the store after midnight. I love hearing what he wrote in peoples books. Mine? “Nora, thanks for doing stuff.”

Special thanks to my mom, Meg, sister, Beth and cousin Sarah for volunteering at the last minute and to Uncle Jim for waiting in the book signing line.

Susan Cowsill
Saturday, June 28, 2007
Indy Hostel

It was the perfect night to inaugurate the new outdoor Indy Hostel stage. Susan pointed out the last time she played in a backyard in Indianapolis it was just a few blocks away. She and her husband Russ landed in Indianapolis and reunited with her daughter after Hurricane Katrina here.

The Hostel was the only second stop on Susan’s summer tour. Her band is drummer/husband Russ Broussard, guitar player/singer Aaron Stroup and bass player/singer Tad Armstrong. They swore that they’d only heard some of the songs for the first time last night. I loved watching how much fun they were having and they sounded amazing. They played lots of Susan originals, a few Middletown songs and a handful of Cowsills tunes.

I was not sure if I could have named a Cowsills song, but I sure recognized them when played Indian Lake and The Rain, The Park and Other Things. Tad also tours as part of the Cowsill family band – Susan called him “little Jeremy Cowsill.”
I am continually amazed by Aaron Stroup’s guitar playing. He really is a remarkable player and just makes it look so easy. He makes incredible sounds with out the help of tremolo bars and fancy pedals. It’s always a treat to hear Mr. Stroup play. I’m glad they added Indianapolis to their tour.

Thanks to Joe and Yats for the amazing food and for just being the generous man that he is.

Calligraphy Exhibition
Indianapolis Art Center

820 E. 67th Street
June 27-August 24 2008

I love how the Art Center carries the theme of their exhibition all the way through out the property. The trees were festooned with red ribbons and Chinese Lanterns were hanging from the building.

The calligraphy show is hanging in conjunction with the Two Worlds, One Language Through Art exhibition. The Art Center will present programs, workshop and lectures based on a cultural exchange with artists from the Shandong College of Arts (Jinan, China).

The calligraphy exhibition is in two parts. There are amazing pieces by Dick Beasley
(1934 b. –1992 d.). He was a noted calligrapher and multi-media artist. He joined Northern Arizona University in 1968 where he taught design, painting, printmaking, drawing, and calligraphy. His calligraphic design and artistic abilities resulted in a prolific output of commissions for the University, numerous regional and national organizations, and private collectors. The pieces in the exhibition are amazing.

I was really interested in the Calligraphy Guild of Indiana member’s exhibition. My favorite calligrapher, Fran Herr has two pieces in the show. When ever I get a card from her I hang the envelope on my bulletin board because her work is so amazing. Mrs. Herr (she’s the mom of my best friend since I was six years old, she’ll always be Mrs. Herr to me) has two pieces in the show. Just Letters is a study of letters of the alphabet painted on fabric. The ABC’s are floating through the piece. The second piece, Change is ink on paper, “Without change there would be no butterfly.”

I also loved Bruce Westphal’s pieces. Evolution is a study of the alphabet and Inspire is well, inspiring. I can’t wait to go back and study every thing more carefully.

There are currently two other exhibits hanging at the Art Center: Art, Harmony and Nature: From the Land of Confucius -featuring more than 60 prints and paintings by master artists and professors from the Shandong College of Arts. Outside Looking In: Paintings by Becky Fehsenfeld is a collection of oil paintings by local artist Becky Fehsenfeld, recollecting her travels in China. Also incorporated into the exhibition are sketches and mementos that Becky has collected during her visits.

Flower Man Jam
South of Broad Ripple
June 30, 2008

The Flower Man Jam is the official start of summer for me. I rode my bike to the great farm house at the corner of Rosslyn and Kessler and got to soak in a terrific Bluegrass jam. Be sure and stop by Helen’s for amazing flowers. You can catch her at the Broad Ripple Farmer’s Market on Saturdays.


April Combs, Michael Mann (Arson Garden) and Brandon Whyde
Second Friday, Second HelpingsFriday, July 11, 2008The Upper Room (above Broad Ripple Steak House)929 Westfield Boulevard
10 pm, 21 +

I am very excited about this concert. It is one of those rare shows that I have not heard any of the musicians yet. Husband and wife team April Combs and Michael Mann were part of the acclaimed indie band Arson Garden. Arson Garden made three internationally-acclaimed albums and group was named "the only art rock band in America that matters" by the Chicago Reader (and received rave reviews from hundreds of other publications).

I’ve been listening to April songs all day and I can see why she is widely regarded as one of the top singers from the fertile Bloomington indie scene that centered around Second Story, The Bluebird, and Jake's. April’s music video aired on MTV and she performed at a Lollapalooza Festival. She has recorded every where from Hit City to Prince's Paisley Park Studio. April and Michael are based in Cincinnati, catch them while you can.

Google Brandon Whyde name and you get links to People Magazine and photographs of Josh Kelly and Katherine Heigl's wedding. And all of the Google hit are legitimate. You see, Brandon played at Josh and Katherine’s wedding. I can’t wait to hear the stories and the songs!

They will be passing the bucket to benefit Second Helpings. Cash, rice or pasta is greatly appreciated. I’ll see you there.

Friday, July 18, 2008
The Upper Room (above Broad Ripple Steak House)
929 Westfield Boulevard
10 pm, 21 +

Aaron Stroup is back in town and we know what that means! You guessed it! The semi-annual Middletown reunion show. Stasia Demos, Tad Armstrong and Aaron will be cranking out all of the favorites (shhhh, everyone be quiet during Green With Envy). All three are great musicians, songwriters, singers and all-around swell people. Hopefully Stasia’s shoulder will have recovered enough by then for her to play accordion.

Broad Ripple Farmers Market
behind Broad Ripple High School
8:00- noon

July 5: Robert Bruce Scott
July 12: Patchwork (I heard a bit of their new CD recently. It’s lovely. Just lovely.)

In other news:

On the very day that it went in to effect, a federal judge threw out the Indiana law requiring bookstores and other retailers to pay a registration fee if they want to sell sexually explicit material.

U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker found the new law passed earlier this year by the Indiana General Assembly to be vague, too broad and potentially applicable against "unquestionably lawful, nonobscene, nonpornographic materials being sold to adults."

"A romance novel sold at a drugstore, a magazine offering sex advice in a grocery store checkout line, an R-rated DVD sold by a video rental shop, a collection of old Playboy magazines sold by a widow at a garage sale ... would appear to necessitate registration under the statute," Barker wrote.

The American Civil Liberties Union took on the case for a team of plaintiffs that included the Indianapolis Museum of Art, booksellers and publishers.

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