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.

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