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 Indy.com 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.
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!
3PM Richard Crainium
5PM Jorma Whittaker (a rare acoustic set!)
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)
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.
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
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
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.
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.