Thursday, May 28, 2009

Broad Ripple Gazette, vol 6. no 11

Musical Family Tree presents Math Bats reunion show w/ The Last Digit, Bramble Grit, Cheeses from France.
Friday, May 29, 3009
Birdy’s, 2131 E. 71st Street
9:00, 21+, $6.00

I am continually amazed at how things in my life circle back around, especially in the music world. Cue the flashback music, and travel with me to 1979. The year that young, innocent, wide-eyed, braces wearing Nora went from zero to punk rock musically. We didn’t listen to much music when I was growing up. I got most of my music education from the AM radio, singing, “Run, Joey Run,” at the top of my lungs on the tractor.

So you can imagine how my little mind was blown by punk rock. And I wound up with a front row seat for some the most amazing things that were happening in the Midwest (and national) scene. After a chance meeting in the Purdue Student Government office (I’d snuck in one night to use the typewriter) I was the assistant to the treasurer of the student government and hanging out with the punk band crowd of Dow Jones and the Industrials. They were the smartest, hippest and most fascinating people that I knew. It truly changed my life and gave me the courage to be my own person.

The Last Four (5) Digits was one of the bands I was seeing play at parties and backroom concerts, including a memorable gig at the Sigma Nu House at Purdue – forever dubbed as the Sigma Nu-wave House in L5D history. The band followed up their wildly successful 1982 east coast tour – including a CBGB gig with Marky Ramone in the audience with a raucous Bill Levin promoted headlining show at the Vogue. And then they broke up (see band name timeline below).

The original band lineup was: Brad Garton (Mr. Science from Dow Jones and the Industrials) Mike Sheets, Julie Huffaker, John Koss, and A. Xax (Dave Fulton). The lineup Friday includes everyone but Mr. Science.

The Last Four (4) Digits last played at a benefit show for the late Dow Jones and the Industrials drummer Tim North six years ago. I got the chance to catch up with them after a Last Digit practice last week. I’ll admit to being awestruck. They are working on new stuff for the show – including a mash-up of one of their songs with an E-In-Brino tune.
This will be a great show if you’re an old school punk rock fan, or if you want a peek in to new wave history. I’ll be there for sure.

Here is my attempt of a L4D timeline. Ground Zero: Joint Chiefs of Staff to Last Four (5) Digits to Last Four (4) Digits to Weird Jimmy Hoffa. They are playing this show under the name of The Last Digit.

JJ & Kai Tribute
Friday, June 5, 2009
The Jazz Kitchen
5377 N. College Avenue
7:30 & 9:30 pm, $12.

Trombonists Tom Garling and Dave Dickey will be giving a special tribute to trombone legends J.J. Johnson and Kai Winding. Original arrangements J.J and Kai did in the 50s, plus new arrangements will be performed. 
The band includeds Jeremy Allen on bass, Jason Tiemann on drums and Chip Stephens on piano.

54th and Monon Art Fair (Reese Kitchens)
Saturday, June 6, 2009
10 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
54th Street and the Monon Trail

This always feels like the kickoff to summer for me. The juried fair features more than 60 local artists. Free hot dogs, lemonade, music and balloons and great artwork are featured. Good stuff!

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition viewing party
May 17, 2009
Locals Only

We laughed, we cried. Big thanks to the folks at Locals Only for opening up on a sunny Sunday so we could all watch. It was really cool to see our city featured in the two-hour season finale. If you missed it, you can still catch it at

Willie Nelson
May 18, 2009

What more could be said about Willie Nelson that has not been said already? The show was excellent. He started with Whiskey River and played two hours of rock and roll. The Vogue was sold out for the show. I loved standing in the middle of a packed venue. There are a good chunk of shows that I see that I’m one of a dozen people in the room – including the band. The crowd was multigenerational and enthusiastic. It did my little heart good to stand with hundreds of people on a Monday night listening to live original music. Don’t ever miss a chance to see Willie Nelson in concert. You won’t be sorry.

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