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…
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.
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!
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 +
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 www.artvsart.com 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
FRANK GLOVER QUARTET
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
MIDCOAST SWING ORCHESTRA
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
DIXON / RHYNE PROJECT
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
LATIN DANCE PARTY
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.