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.