Thursday, April 30, 2009

Broad Ripple Gazette, vol 6. no 9

first published in the Broad Ripple Gazette

After three and a half years I’ve decided to mix it up a bit and put the reviews first. We can all adjust, right?


Broad Ripple Farmers’ Market
Beginning Saturday, May 2, 2009
1115 Broad Ripple Avenue
(behind Broad Ripple High School)
8:00 – noon

It’s springtime and the farmers’ market is back! Yippee! I had the honor of booking the musicians for season. These talented folks are donating their (early-morning) time. Be sure and stop by and tell them hello.

May 2 – Cara Jean Wahlers
May 9 -- Caleb Hawkins
May 16 – Gamblin’ Rovers

Adrienne Anemone, Dave End, Jordan O'Jordan
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Indy Hostel House Concert Series
4903 Winthrop Ave
7:30, all-ages, $5.

The Indy Hostel House Concert Series is in full swing. The Indy Hostel is a wonderful place to see music; intimate and comfortable. They host singer-songwriters from all over the world. This edition features: Adrienne Ameone, who hails from Brooklyn, Dave End from NYC and Philadelphia and Jordan O’Jordan from Olympia, Washington. This promises to be a great evening of folk music.

God Made Robots, Sick of Sarah, Von Iva
Sunday, May 3, 2009, 8:00 pm,
Birdy’s Bar and Grill
2131 E 71st St
(317) 254-8971
8:00, 21+, $6.

When you see a band in a movie do you wonder who the musicians are? I do. And you have a chance to see one of those movie bands up close. Von Iva, the San Francisco all-woman trio plays the band that fronts Zooey Deschanel in the film Yes Man with Jim Carrey is leaving the bright lights of Hollywood behind for a jaunt to the Midwest.

Touring with Von Iva, all-woman band Sick of Sarah, hail from Minneapolis, Minnesota. They are known for their thoughtful and humorous songs.

Indianapolis based, God Made Robots opens the show. They are not an all-woman band, but they have Sarah Jane Mills, and she’s worth at least three women.

I love the gallery tour. Broad Ripple is chock-full of art on a typical day and nontraditional venues also open their doors to artists for the gallery tour. All of the gallery sites are fairly walk-able, but there is a free shuttle circulating the route all evening. Just look for the shuttle stop signs along the tour.

The art offerings range from ModUrn – durable ceramic urns for your loved one’s, you know, spirit at Demerly Architects to vintage Indiana art work at Fine Estate Art & Rugs. The artwork includes pieces by T.C. Steele, Frank Hohenberger, William Forsyth, Leota Loop and several other well-collected Hoosier artists.

If you have not had a chance to check out the new digs of Big Hat Books and Marigold now is your chance. Big Hat is hosting several artists including one of my favorites, ceramicist Mary Jo DeMeyer. Marigold is hosting jewelry-making sisters from New York, Julie Tought and Lisa Valentine. And, this just in – I’ll be working at Marigold that evening. Stop by and say hello.

I’m also looking forward to seeing the new works from VSA. They have created special edition ceramic bowls and trivets for the Gallery Tour. They will be on sale at nine of the tour locations.

For more information visit or grab a brochure from almost anywhere in village.

Brooks Ritter, Lovely Houses, Cara Luft
Friday, May 8, 2009
Indy Hostel House Concert Series
4903 Winthrop Ave
7:30, all-ages, $7.

Locally acclaimed Lovely Houses is led by David Campbell. Cliff Snyder says, “He's got an amazing vocal range, uses dynamics like you wouldn't believe, and has some lyrics that you'll chew on long after the show."

Lousiville’s Brooks Ritter plays original rock, folk and soul.

Winnapeg’s Cara Luft, of the Wallin’ Jennys, is a nationally recognized musician. A powerfully elegant guitarist, Cara also plays mandolin and banjo. And she’s a damn good storyteller.

Indianapolis Songwriters Café
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Earth House
237 N. East Street

Since the Indianapolis Songwriters Café lost their home when Boulevard Place Café closed a few months ago the series has been floating around. Host Cliff Snyder is celebrating the one-year anniversary of the café with a special Saturday night show.

Joe Welch (Born Again Floozies), Cara Jean Wahlers and Linda McRae will be playing in the round, trading songs and stories. Joe and Cara are Indianapolis based, and Linda is from Canada. Joe is the man behind the charmingly quirky band, The Born Again Floozies. Cara Jean Wahlers is putting the finishing touches on her first solo album as you read this and Linda McRae’s bio list so many songwriting awards it makes my head spin.

I had the task of choosing the top five events in the singer-songwriter folk realm for 2008 for NUVO. I had no trouble coming up with the number one thing: Indianapolis Songwriters Café. I hope you get a chance to soak in the good music and congratulate Cliff on a year of great music.

Extreme Makeover Viewing Party
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Locals Only
2449 East 56th Street

I’m really looking forward to the season finale of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. As you might know the home is in the Martindale-Brightwood neighborhood in Indianapolis – it was all I could talk about for two weeks. I’ll have more details in the next issue of the Gazette, but mark your calendars.

Dyngus Day
Monday, April 13, 2009
Chatterbox Jazz Club

Dyngus Day, or Easter Monday is also called Wet Monday in honor of the water based pranks that are traditionally pulled off on that day. My dear South Bend-born brother-in-law Ron Trojanowski introduced our family to the holiday. And David Andrichik of the Chatterbox gives us a place to celebrate.

Rain or shine, David cooks kielbasa on the grill and the band, Polkamotion has people dancing in the street. The Chatterbox used to be the point of departure for newspaper folks covering the political festivities in South Bend. Eventually the party just stayed at the Chatterbox.

Polkamotion has played at the Chatterbox every Dyngus Day for the last twenty years. Robert Klemen and Fred Riffel have been playing together just as long. Jeff Strayer and Joe Petruzzi are the “new guys” in the band.

And the Chatterbox is the only bar the band ever plays in (you can next catch them at Holy Rosary Church’s festival on June 12 and 13). The band is big polka fun – instead of a line of guitars on the stage there were two kinds of accordions. na zdrowie!

The most bizarre thing that happened that evening? I joined a bowling league. I blame the kielbasa. I’m a Chatterbowler! I’m having a blast (just don’t ask me what my average is)!

Record Store Day
Saturday, April 18, 2009
LUNA Music

My sweet little sister Ann was visiting from Phoenix, and I had a lovely lunch with her and sister Beth in Zionsville so I missed most of the Record Store Day festivities. From everything I heard it was a roaring success. I did have time to drop off a skirt at LUNA to have the logo silk screened on. It was not ready until after I started my shift so I snuck out for a minute to grab the skirt and change on the street in front of the store. Those old gym class tricks still come in handy.

I look forward to Record Store Day next year.

Cousin Roger
Friday, April 24, 2009
Ale Emporium
8617 Allisonville Road

Cousin Roger is one of those bands that I’ve had on my radar for quite a while, but had not had a chance to see. The stars aligned and my friend, Novella Nedeff and I headed north. We had a great time. And I always love looking at the photographs after Novella and I hang out. Novella attracts the most interesting people.

The Ale Emporium has been known for their amazing beer selection for a long time – in fact, they’ve been around since I turned 21. They opened up the back room last year for music. There is a great stage and plenty of tables, great service and room to dance.

Cousin Roger, ironically does not have a Roger in the bunch, but they do have a whole bunch of Jasons and one Mark on the roster. Vocalist-guitar player Jason Brown and drummer Jason Stahl played in the wildly popular band, Push Down and Turn. They joined keyboard player Jason Barth and bass player Mark Bertram to form Cousin Roger three years ago. They mesh perfectly and were a joy to watch. It’s a pleasure to see a band having fun on stage.

They play a great mix of songs you love and songs you forgot that you fell in love to. Jason Brown has great range and Mark Bertram adds beautiful harmonies and one of my favorite things – mandolin to some songs. They had people dancing almost all night.

I look forward to seeing them again.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Mini Marathon Music

I've always been intrigued by the music along the 500 Festival Mini Marathon 13.1 mile route. There are over 100 groups that perform for up to four hours. For free. At 7:30 on a Saturday morning. 

One of my favorite musicians, Chad Mills has been playing along the race route for five years, here is my interview with Chad about his experiences. Click here to read it. 

I will be walking the Mini Marathon route Saturday and reviewing all of the bands along the way. Woo hoo!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

broad ripple gazette, vol 6. no 8

Saturday, April 18, 2009
Record Store Day

I’m going switch things around a little for this column and put the previews at the beginning. I don’t want anyone to miss any of the great Record Store Day (Saturday, April 18) festivities. But first, a public service announcement: Do you know how lucky we are to have three independent record stores in our area? There are lots of cities that don’t even have one. There are only 700 independent record stores across the country.

This is the second year for Record Store Day. Several musicians and bands are putting out Record Store Day-only CD, DVDs and special downloads. And all three local record stores are hosting music and other fun stuff.

Even if you can’t make it to any of the great Record Store Day festivities, make it a point in the next few weeks to at least pop your head in to one and say “thank you,” they’ll really appreciate it.

All three stores (Indy CD and Vinyl, Luna and Vibes) are hosting music and other activities. Here’s a rundown (in alphabetical order):

Indy CD and Vinyl
806 Broad Ripple Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46220

Indy CD and Vinyl is opening at 10:00 for the early birds and will have a sale on “just about everything in the store.” Their across-the-street neighbor, Savvy Salon will host the Indy CD and Vinyl Chill-Out Room. The salon has offered the space for customers, fans, guests and bands to hang out, grab a bite to eat, get a drink and just relax between bands and shopping!

11:30 Wolfy (with string section)--come at 11 and have breakfast with Wolfy!
12:45 Mudkids - Indy's long-standing heavyweight champions of Hip Hop!
2:00 Everthus The Deadbeats - Indy's contribution to the indie rock phenomenon!
3:15 Jennie DeVoe - Our famous female singer-songwriter!
4:30 Stereo Deluxe - Pop rock legends with a long career ahead of them!
5:45 Tonos Triad
7:00 Thunders - "Indy's Coolest band" as crowned by readers and editors!
8:15 Mystikos Quintet CD release party and DJ set - we will have the new CD by Mysitkos Quintet for sale throughout the day on Record Store Day!

Be sure and check out their brand-spankin’ new Web site.

LUNA Music
5202 North College Avenue
Indianapolis Indiana 46220

LUNA Music is having a sidewalk sale – with promises of thousands of $1 CDs, vinyl and other goodies. Free grab bags full of fun will be handed out and My Old Kentucky Blog will be documenting the day. YART 200, Nat Russell’s one-of-a-kind artwork will also be available. Oh, and they’ll feed you too – the grill will be going most of the afternoon with free veggie dogs and traditional burgers.

I’m really geeked-out about this - they will silk screen anything your little heart desires with the rockin’ LUNA logo. Be the hippest guy in an apron or make grocery shopping a little more fun with the LUNA logo on your earth-friendly bag. I have just the skirt in mind to be LUNA’d; I’ll wear it for my Red Key shift that night.

Noon – Kentucky Nightmare
1:00 pm: Everything, Now!
2PM Yuki
3PM Richard Crainium
4PM Pons
5PM Jorma Whittaker (a rare acoustic set!)
6PM Thunders

Vibes Music 2
1051 E. 54th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46220

Vibes Music 2 is having a big old sale on Record Store Day. All used CDs and vinyl will be buy one get one free (of equal or lesser value) as well as all used DVDs and $2.00 off new stuff.

John Zeps tells me he’ll be moving the Castleton Store to the 54th and the Monon Trail location in June. They’ll be hosting music in the backroom of the store.

3:15-3:34 Ryan Reidy (Thunders)
4:00-4:30 Vess Ruhtenburg (Zero Boys/Action Strasse)
4:45-5:15 Jorma Whitaker (Marmoset, Movie Bare)
5:30-6:00 Adam Kuhn
6:15-6:45 Scarring Party (Milwaukee)
7:00-7:30 Christian Taylor (America Owns the Moon)
7:45-8:15 Pons
8:30-9:00 Golden Tongues (Mark from Thunders)

I hope to see you out and about on Saturday. All of the music is free, non-smoking, all-ages and close to each other. There are no excuses for not stopping by. Really.


ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Wrap Party
Indiana History Center
April 4, 2009

I was lucky enough to be invited to the wrap party for the cast, crew and sponsors of the Extreme Makeover show. The amazing Anne-Marie Dezelan, of Annie O’s put together an evening that confirmed her tag line – Fab Parties for Fun People.

The History Center was a great backdrop of for the party. The band and tables were on the main floor, with fabulous Hoaglin Fine Catering food, bars, an ice sculpture, an old fashioned photo booth, Flying Cupcakes and coffee scattered in the side rooms and on the balcony.

The Home Makeover crew and most of the cast took over the band duties at midnight. They played a rocking set to cheering crowds and plenty of dancers. It was a blast and I had fun rubbing elbows with the fabulous people.

Gary Wasson’s Open Stage
Old Town Ale House
8657 E. 116th Street, Fishers, IN 46038
Sunday, April 5, 2009

I had not been to Gary Wasson’s open stage since it moved from Noblesville to Fishers. And for the first time in a while I had a touring musician sleeping on my sofa. Seth Horan had a few days between his Saint Louis and Chicago gigs and spent them in Indianapolis. There is not much music to see on Sunday nights and Gary’s open stage is the perfect fix for people wanting a dose of music.

One of the great things about open stages is that you never know what you will see. This was my favorite one ever! Paul Hippensteel brought a Farfisa Organ. The Farfisa was popular with rock groups in the 1960. They were fairly portable and inexpensive. When synthesizers became popular, organs in rock bands fell out of favor. The Farfisa made a little come back in the late 1970s by Blondie, B-52’s and Talking Heads. They have been used recently by Yo La Tengo, Death Cab for Cutie and Green Day for the great retro sound.

Anyway, they are cool as can be, but you don’t see them played often - especially at an open stage. It is a hard instrument to pull off solo. Paul pulled it off! He did a delightful rendition of “The House of the Rising Sun.” I was too busy soaking it all in to take more notes.

Paul will be playing again at the Old Town Ale House on Sunday, April 19 at 6:00. Don’t miss it. The restaurant has excellent food and a tremendous beer selection.

Todd Rungren
Monday, April 6, 2009

Todd Rungren has always been on my should-see list. And glad I finally did. Todd is touring in support of his new record, “Arena.” He is delightfully cranky. As a 60 year-old touring rocker, he’s earned it. He went on a scatological rant about the lack of potty in the band room of the Vogue (like a lot of older venues there is no separate bathroom for the band). Several fans had put their coats and drinks on the stage. Todd asked if people “wanted a convenient place to stash their [stuff], or if they wanted to give him room to rock.” He also commented on the plethora of cell phones cameras, asking if they had enough brain cells to transfer the photos off of the phone. I’ll admit to nodding my head vigorously to that.

I had a photo pass. There is some etiquette for photographing bands. Sometimes the photographer signs a release that spells things out, but for big shows there is a general protocol. No flash and shooting only the first three songs are standard. It’s hard enough to photograph moving targets in low light without having to fight for space to get a good shot in a short amount of time. I can’t tell you how many photos I have of cell phones and cameras. Maybe I’m getting a little cranky too!

Anyway, back to the show. I thought there was a good turnout for the show for a Monday, NCAA championship game night– I’m guessing there were around 350 people there. And all of them were big fans. Todd started the show out with a handful of his older songs before launching in to songs from his new record. I really liked the new stuff, it reminded of what I imagined Todd Rungren to be – the king of power-pop. Some of the new songs had more of a metal flair. I think this is his strongest stuff in years. And he can still rock.

I was fascinated by the band. Half of them --drummer Prairie Prince and guitar player Jesse Gress are veterans of tours past, and the other half were new members-- bassist Rachel Haden, keyboardist Matt Bolton. I was pretty sure that Rachel was probably not born when Rungren started his career and I was right. Rachel is one of the triplet daughters of jazz bassist, Charlie Haden. She has several indie projects, including a album of traditional country songs with her sisters, and has played drums and sung backup on several Beck songs.

There was strong audience participation required for one of the songs. Todd gave us very detailed instructions on how to make a fist. Those fists were given a good workout during, “Strike” (while the iron is hot).

All and all it was a fun evening.

These United States
Big Roots Show
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Locals Only

I had season tickets to the Golden Gloves matches so I had not been to the Big Roots Show at Locals Only for several weeks. I would have missed this show also, but I’d gone to the fights by myself and only stuck it out for the first dozen matches. There are a lot of things I happily do alone, but I’m taking boxing off of that list.

I’m so glad I stopped at Locals Only on the way home. These Untied States (Washington D.C.) had just started when I arrived and it was like walking in to a sunshiny hug. They are so much fun --talented and happy and a pleasure to watch. I loved how they all respected each other musically – no one was fighting for the limelight. I appreciated that they were all in a row on the stage, instead of the traditional set up of the drummer in the back. The music is very collaborative, not all of them played on every song and there was a good bit of seamless instrument switching. Their songs are thoughtful, lush, melodic and intimate.

I posted a photo of the band on Facebook that night, with a quick note about how much I liked them. My Second Helpings coworker, Jeanne Bohannon, couldn’t believe it when she saw the photo. Singer-songwriter and bandleader Jesse Elliott is the son of her college roommate. She’s known Jesse since he was born. She brought an adorable photo of young Jesse to work the next morning. It’s a small little Facebook world; Jeanne and I would never have talked about the band to her otherwise.

Touch of Grass
Friday, April 10, 2009
Wine Cellar (The Corner Wine Bar

The band Touch of Grass plays every Friday and Saturday in the Wine Cellar at the Corner Wine bar. It’s always a treat to see these talented guys play. They put a bluegrass twist on favorite songs and throw in a dash of vaudeville.

This was the last show for guitar player Scott Dallas: he’s on his way to North Carolina. Pat Brunner plays banjo and cowbell. Legendary WNAP disc jockey, Al Stone plays bass. The very talented guitar player, Scott Ballantine joined them for the evening. They cover sing-along favorites including songs by Tom T. Hall, Johnny Cash, Pure Prairie League and Van Morrison. Broad Ripple Animal Clinic’s Dr. Cara Gardner joined the band to sing, “Rocky Top.” Fun stuff.

I arrived during a break and Scott Ballantine bet me on the way in that I wouldn’t know anyone in the room. And he was right, with the exception of the band and the lovely bartender, Michelle I didn’t recognize anyone. I was thrilled to see the room packed with people that I don’t usually see at shows. And just in case you’re worried that I’m losing my touch, by the time the evening was over there were a handful of people that I knew. I drug one of those people, Novella Nedeff with me to the next stop.

The Mess Arounds
Locals Only
April 10, 2009

We got there just a few minutes too late – the band had just finished their last song. We did split a beer (I know, how rock and roll is that?) and trekked next door.


April 10, 2009

Okay, technically it was Saturday at this point. The Mousetrap was packed and most of the customers were on the dance floor. SouLOVEuniverse had the whole room enchanted, if people weren’t dancing, they were tapping their feet and nodding their head to the music.

This was the first time I saw the full band in action – wow! The three women singers harmonize beautifully and take turns with the lead vocal duties. The band is full of music heavyweights – guitar player Sean McGary, bass player, Mike Hogan and drummer extraordinaire, Devon Ashley.

It was a good evening – bluegrass to funk. I’m just sorry I missed the dose of rockabilly in between.

Bill Callahan
LUNA music
Easter Sunday, April 12, 2009

Like cute little lemmings all of the neighborhood music fans descended on 52nd and College Avenue on Easter evening to hear the fabulous Bill Callahan. I counted over 75 people in the store and I couldn’t see everyone that was sitting on the floor. Callahan played under the name of Smog for most of his career. He is known for is experimental music, repetitive structure and non-emotional voice – which does not sound like anything that I would appreciate. But I was smitten from the first song. Later that night I described him as “dreamy,” joking that I learned to write about music by reading Tiger Beat.

The combination of his deadpan delivery and his electric guitar accompaniment were perfect for his slightly dark and heart-breakingly romantic songs. His new record, Sometimes I Wish We Were an Eagle will officially hit the streets on April 14, 2009. We were able to buy one at the show, and it has found a home on my work CD player.

Thanks to Todd and the LUNA crew for opening the store for the Easter show and bringing Bill in.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Broad Ripple Gazette, vol 6. no 8

first published in the Broad Ripple Gazette. 

Savvy Bazaar
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Savvy Salon

I followed the Twitter tweets to the Savvy Bazaar. The Savvy Saloon turned their space over to local crafters and vintage clothing folks for the day. They set up their wares bazaar style all over the salon. Shoppers were encouraged to barter (which totally freaks me out and I never do) and wander from booth to booth. I think I bought something at almost every booth and if I had a pierced navel I probably would have. I scored funky earrings, popcorn bowls, a Shrinky Dinks ring and a rockin’ winter coat. The salon’s Katie Jones says they are planning another bazaar in May.

Whenever I write about a hair salon I feel like I should give a shout-out to my fabulous hair guy, Michael Matthews from Shampoo salon. He’s the guy who gives me the hairstyle that goes from my nonprofit job to a rock club with the wink of a brush.

What is Twitter you ask? It is a new media Web site where you can post stories that are 140 characters or less. I think it’s a blast. Here is how Rusty Redenbacher describes Twitter (in 117 characters): A status bar on a two-way pager that the world can see and comment on. Great for linking and networking. To follow Rusty on Twitter - @rustymk2. You can find me @noraleona.

Wendy Reed Band
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Sullivan’s Steak House

I’m the first one to admit that I don’t often wander out of the neighborhood. It usually takes my sweet niece and nephew to get me north of Broad Ripple Avenue. I don’t know why – I guess I’m afraid of doing something stupid.

Which is exactly what happened. I bypassed the valet parking, I know – it’s free. I just feel a little weird about asking someone else to park my 2001 S-10 manual transmission dented pickup truck. So I parked it myself. Tossed the keys in my purse, locked the door and slung the purse over my shoulder. Halfway to the door I realized that it was not my purse over my shoulder, but my camera. H-E-double hockey sticks. Back at the truck I noticed that my window was down I few inches. Bingo – one wire hanger and I’d be back in business, the beauty of non-power locks. I talked to the nice valet man who searched to for a hanger, but what self respecting coat checkroom uses wire hangers? So the lovely hostesses called the mall security, who unlocked it for me. Moral of the story: swanky places can easily get you out of a jam.

By the time I actually walked to the lounge the party was in full swing. Wendy Reed and her fabulous band play every Wednesday, but this one was extra special – it was Wendy’s birthday. If you’ve spent any time around Wendy you know she makes everything a blast. Wendy has an amazing voice and an equally talented band. They played smokin’ jazz standards that show off Wendy’s marvelous talent and make you feel posh and glamorous.

I’m planning on going back soon, and I will take advantage of the valet parking. I’m going to wind up tipping the guy anyway. 

House Cats
Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Since I was already having an out-of-my-element night I drove across 86th Street to LuLu’s. Guitar-playing friend Wade Terry plays every Wednesday with the House Cats and I’ve neglected to check it out before now.

I knew that Wade was a good guitar player, but I had no idea how great he is. Holy crap! All of the musicians in the House Cats are excellent; I can see why they pack the house. They played danceable sing-along rock favorites. I look forward to going back to LuLu’s, anyone want to join me?

Deep Cricket Night
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Melody Inn

I forgot to go to this show! I’m so mad at myself. I’d been looking forward to it for so long that I totally spaced it. In fact I was lamenting that night that I had not heard much music in the last two weeks. I worked late that night and was too tuckered out to think beyond a delicious grilled cheese with tomato (thanks Lana!) and a fake beer (thanks Robin!) at the Red Key.

Deep Cricket Night’s record, Before Morning is one of three CDs in heavy rotation on my player at work (Mysteries of Life and Shelby Kelley are the other two, in case you’re wondering). Lance Drake handed me the record last summer after they played at Indy Hostel. It floated around my purse, truck and house for months before I finally popped it in the player. I’m the worst CD reviewer, ever! Anyway, I’m really enjoying the record. It is a nicely balanced mix of the instruments and vocals. Before Morning is a pop record for grownups.

Deep Cricket Night will be back in Indianapolis on July 31. I’d say I’ll see you there, but it is the night of my (I’m not telling you how many years) high school reunion.

ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
Extreme Food Drive: Second Helpings Edition

One reason that I had not been out very much the last three weeks to see music is that I had a secret! And it was hard keeping this exciting news quiet, so I stayed home and told the cat. As you have probably heard, the Sunday night, tear-jerker show, Extreme Makeover is in Indianapolis. They are holding an Extreme Food Drive for Second Helpings in conjunction with the construction of the house. Any food that we cannot use for prepared meals at Second Helpings will be sent to food pantries in the Martindale-Brightwood area.

Second Helpings provides 880 meals in that neighborhood every single week. We also redirected 131,000 pounds of food in the last six months to the Saint Vincent DePaul Food Pantry that serves the neighborhood. In the first two days of the Extreme Home Makeover we’ve collected over 800 pounds of food.

I am just amazed by all of the behind scenes things on this project. The house is on the 2300 block of Oxford, just east of Keystone Avenue. There is a staging area across Keystone in the industrial park. All of the trucks are queued up and ready to go. It was amazing to see all of the concrete trucks lined up. When I left Monday evening they were pouring concrete for the resource/library building and working on the basement for the house. One day later they were putting on the roof, running the electricity and putting in the HVAC system.

The show travels with a crew of 70, a security company and trucks of supplies. The community has stepped up with 3000 volunteers, donated goods and labor. All of the food for the volunteers and crew has been donated. Kroger provided water, fruit and granola bars for the 1000 neighborhood cleanup people. I had a delicious Qdoba meal in the catering tent. The VIP tent is full of delicious Hoglan Catering food, Posh Petals flowers and Annie-O’s flair.

I am most impressed by the work that is being done in the neighborhood. Two abandoned houses have been demolished, several houses painted, tons of trash picked up, windows replaced and 1500 trees planted. It warms my heart to see some basic quality of life things that most of us take for granted being addressed. I can’t say enough about Estridge – they’re doing things right.

I volunteered on Monday and had the best, yet nerve-wracking volunteer job ever. I shuttled folks around the site in a golf cart. It was disconcerting to look over my shoulder and see a cement truck behind me as we’re crossing Keystone.
If you want to see the site and watch the construction there are buses running from 8:00-8:00 (Friday and Saturday) from the Indianapolis State Fair parking on Coliseum Drive, south of 38th Street. Check the Estridge Web site for more information.

Tom Goss Back To Love CD Release Party
Wednesday, April 8, 2009d
Indy Hostel
4903 Winthrop Ave.
7:00 doors, 7:30 show, $5. all-ages, nonsmoking.

Tom Goss hails from Washington D.C. He’s celebrating the release of his latest CD, Back To Love, a collection of edgy alt/pop songs that are about love --not always romantic love, but the many faces of love. I wish I had more room – and time to write about this show. You know its springtime – musicians are touring!