Thursday, July 23, 2009

Broad Ripple Gazette vol 6, no 15

first published in the Broad Ripple Gazette

Do-Re-Mi Steps, Salzburg, Austria
Tuesday, June 23

Most of my family took a wonderful vacation to Germany last month. We took a day trip to Salzburg to see the wonderful town and amazing churches. Salzburg is famous for two musical things – Mozart’s birthplace and the setting for a good bit of the “Sound of Music.” It was pouring rain that day, so everything I saw that day was filtered though my umbrella and a sheet of rain. As I skipped down the famous “Do-Re-Mi” steps, “Singing in the Rain” was running through my head. All musicals tend to run together in my mind. The churches were amazing and I adored the baroque architecture. And I scored one of my favorite souvenirs -- an inexpensive cardboard music box that plays Edelweiss. It only got slightly warped in the rain.

I must admit that I enjoyed the time on the train traveling to and from Munich, Germany. I laughed harder than I did on the whole trip about the Paper Mache that formed on my jacket from a wet shopping bag rubbing against my coat as we ran to the train – and the fact that Mom handed me a hot pad to try to clean it off. I guess you had to be there…

Our (Radius Tours) tour guide was amazing and we were lucky enough to be the only folks on the tour. Mike Richardson’s knowledge of the area, history, art and quirky stuff was incredible and he did a great job of tying it all together for us. The conversation on the train turned to music and it turned out Mike booked and hosted punk rock shows while in school in Minnesota (his home state). His band toured with the Dropkick Murphy’s in 1998. I loved collecting band names and his now has a sticky note on my inside closet door wall of fame – Ten Kegs. Who wouldn’t go to a show with Ten Kegs on the flyer?
I’ll continue the art, music and beer tour of Germany in the next issue.

Bill Mallonee, The Benders
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Radio Radio

Bill Mallonee earned a dedicated fan base with his former band, The Vigilantes of Love. Bill is a great songwriter -- Paste Magazine lists Bill at number 65 as on the 100 Greatest Living Songwriters Poll. So you don’t need me to tell you about Bill – there has been lots of great stuff, written by much more knowledge people than me for you to read.

I want to talk about revamped band, The Benders. The lineup is David England (guitar, vocals), John Byrne (guitar, pedal steel and vocals), Matt Brookshire (bass) and Wade Parish (drums, vocals). I’ve been a fan of the band for quite a while and quite frankly was worried about the lineup changes, but not to worry – they sound great! David, John and Wade harmonize beautifully. The set was full of guitar-laden goodness. Their set included a good chunk of David England’s new album, Little Death. His new record is great! It showcases David’s songwriting and his power-pop sensibilities. Think Elvis Costello. Good stuff.

Soul Bus
Slippery Noodle Inn
Thursday, July 2, 2009

I must wear my blues bias on my sleeve because when I parked in the lot next to the club the parking guy quizzed me to make sure I was in the right place. The nice guy at the door double-checked that I was in the right place. And I know I was one of last people Soul Bus bass player, David Murray expected to walk through the door at midnight.

And guess what? I loved it! That night’s Soul Bus line-up that night was Gordon Bonham, Paul Holdman, David Murray and Jeff Chapin. They played a lot of Rolling Stones and surf-rock. You can catch Soul Bus every Monday night at Daddy Jack’s.

Premium Blend
Saturday, July 4, 2009

I don’t know if you remember how soggy Independence Day was, but I was one of the folks that stayed at Victory Field until the fireworks were officially called off at 10:00. Through the magic of texting I met up with friends at the Chatterbox. Listening to jazz was the perfect way to melt the craziness and tension of the day away. David Andrichik has created a magical place – always worth popping in.

Ryan Bingham and the Dead Horses
Radio Radio
July 10, 2009

When people ask me about how I started writing about music I credit Alan Hague for letting me write this column and have free-reign to write about what I want to. And Lost Highway records for keeping me on their radar. My first-ever phone interview was to be with Ryan Bingham last year. I was super-freaked out and nervous. The interview was cancelled at the last minute because Ryan got a last minute invitation to appear on Conon O’Brien. I can’t tell you how relieved I was, but I still hang my ability to get to interview national touring musicians on Ryan’s hat rack.

I got to stand on the stage at the Austin City Limits Festival last year when Ryan and his band knocked the socks off of the huge crowd. I felt as proud of him as I do when I see my sweet niece and nephew do something adorable (which is every time I see them).

Ryan has a new CD, Roadhouse Sun. His observational singer/songwriting and his alt-country swagger shine through on this record. Roadhouse Sun is more roots rock than his first record, the twangy Mescalito.

The Radio Radio show was great. Ryan and the band pulled out all of the stops. And I stood on the side of the room, singing along and grinning like a proud aunt.

Deer Tick
Locals Only
Tuesday, July 14, 2009

First of all, it warmed my heart to see over 100 people out on a Tuesday night seeing live original music. Woo Hoo! It’s easy to see why Deer Tick has the ear of the cool kids. Deer Tick has great songs, excellent musicians and indie band charm. Besides their own music they play ironic covers of Tom Pet. I giggled during the encore set of psychedelic rock at the thought that their parents were probably listening to the same songs in their bedrooms in the 1970s and melting crayons over light bulbs in their closets.

Neko Case
Clowes Memorial Hall
Friday, July 17

Thanks to Jeff Grantham for the awesome birthday gift – second row, center seats to see Neko Case. I’m not usually a sit-down sort of concert person. I like to be able to move around and listen from different parts of the room. That said, wow! The seats were great – and the legroom was incredible. I could stick my feet straight out and my cowboy boots did not touch the seat in front of me. I can’t even do that in my kitchen.

I’ve been listening to her new record, Middle Cyclone a ton. I used to say that I have a musical crush on Neko; now I’ve decided that I want to be her. Sadly I think the only things she and I have in common is our prudish dislike of certain words – I’m shivering just thinking of them. Neko and long-time singer/collaborator Kelly Hogan have great stage rapport and really connected with the audience. Neko seemed like she was having a lot more fun than the last time I saw her. The whole band seemed to be in good spirits and full of fried chicken (their pre-show dinner was at Hollyhock Hill).

Neko Case and her band were wonderful – I was particularly intrigued by the pedal steel/guitar/banjo player, Jon Rauhouse. As you know, I adore pedal steel and banjo and Jon brings it to another level. They played a good deal of Middle Cyclone and older Neko songs. Neko switched off between accompanying herself on guitar and singing. I soon figured out how to tell what she was going to do next. Hair up, sing. Hair down, guitar. Okay – that just seemed a little stalkerish. I’m going to declare this as my favorite show so far this year – it will be hard to top.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Broad Ripple Gazette vol 6, no 14

first published in the Broad Ripple Gazette


Deer Tick, Dawes, Kentucky Nightmare
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Locals Only
2449 E. 56th Street
9:00, 21+

When I saw Dawes play at Locals Only a few months ago I was blown away by two things. One, they were amazing good. Two, there was nobody there. The San Fernando Valley band plays soulful pop. Brothers Taylor (guitar) and Griffith Goldsmith (drums) harmonizing beautifully with Wylie Gelber's bass guitar. They played as a trio the last time they were in town. I can’t wait to hear what the addition of keyboards does to the mix. I’ve really been enjoying their self titled CD. They’ve got it all – great songs, tight sound, good looks and boyish charm.

Steve Smith and Vital Information
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Jazz Kitchen
5377 N. College Ave, 317-253-4900
7:00/9:00, $20. 21+, non-smoking

The all-star Soul/Jazz/Funk/Fusion super-group is celebrating their 25th year and the celebrating release of their new album, Vitalization. I’m always fascinated by groups that have drummers as bandleaders. Not because of any drummer stereotypes, but because I think that the whole process of being a drummer would consume every ounce of energy that I had. Just the thought of keeping time makes me sweat.

Steve is no ordinary drummer. He was named Modern Drummer’s "#1 All Around Drummer" five years in a row and was voted one of the "Top 25 Drummers of All Time" in a recent reader’s poll and was named to the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 2002. I hope all of these awards mean that he does not need to carry and set up his own kit anymore.

A concert to celebrate the life of Mark Garback
Friday, July 17, 2009
Radio Radio
1119 E. Prospect Street (Fountain Square)
9 pm, $5 donation, 21+, non-smoking

I first met Mark Garback as a volunteer for the Tonic Ball. He had the formidable job of helping hustle 15 bands on stage for 10 minute changeovers, keep the path to the stage and the equipment clear and the path to the exit open at Radio Radio. And he managed to pull all of that off with good-humor, grace and charm.

Mark was an ABATE motorcycle safety instructor and had a part-time gig as a motorcycle funeral escort. He was hit by a car while leading a funeral procession in May and died a few days later of his injuries. He would have turned 48 on July 21. His friends are throwing a memorial concert/birthday party/fundraiser (for SCI Hope fund – helping people with spinal cord injuries), and they encourage everyone to come.

The emcee for the evening will be Mark's good friend, Steve "Papaw" Pyatte and there is a stellar lineup of bands playing - Shelby Kelley, Big Betty and The Common. I’ll see you there – right after the Neko Case show, of course.

Josh Hoge
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Birdy’s Bar and Grill
2131 E. 71st St.
31- 254-8971
8:30, $8, 21+

Nashville’s Josh Hoge is one of the guys that I’ve been meaning to see for a long time. I keep reading great stuff about him and I like what I’ve heard of his music. I’ll let Ryan Tedder of One Republic tell you about him. "Josh Hoge is one of the most talented vocalists I have ever worked with. In a world filled with copycats, he doesn't sound like anybody but himself. I've known him for almost a decade and have watched him go from talented singer to talented singer, writer and performer; he is a recording 'artist' in every sense of the word."


The good news: I’m back in the groove of seeing shows. The bad news: I’m back in the groove of seeing shows, coupled with jet lag, Second Helpings fiscal end of year and the Independence Day holiday I’m shockingly far behind on writing up the reviews. So you’ll have to wait until the next issue to hear about the punk-rock Salzburg tour guide and my turn on the ‘do ri me’ steps and running in to someone I know while naked at the baths in Baden Baden – and getting ‘shushed for talking about our love of Yat’s. In the mean time…

Blythe Hager – Dry Rot
Healing Arts Indy
805 S. Meridian Street (across from Shapiro’s Deli)

I first met Blythe at CATH Inc, back in the days when it was in the storefront space across from Hit City Recording. We passed the manager baton and she went off to bigger and better things. I knew that she wildly talented and creative. I love when I get a piece of mail from her and she always brings delightful things to parties. I still have a bouquet of doll’s heads from a Saint Valentine’s Day party years ago.

I am surrounded by such talented folks, that I tend to forget how amazing they are. I was smacked in the eyes with it when I walked in to the Healing Arts Indy gallery. Blythe came up with the concept of the show while contemplating the house she’s lived in for years and the repairs it needed. As she says, “Dry rot is defined, in part, as decay from within caused especially by resistance to new forces.” Her series looks at that through the eyes of contemplating the American dream of home ownership.

The official word on Blythe: Hager is a fine artist and scenic painter from Indianapolis and Herron School of Art graduate. For over 10 years, Hager’s work as a scenic and decorative painter has taken her throughout the U.S. and even to Japan. She has worked on a wide variety of murals, backdrops, stage and television sets, exhibits, and props. As a fine artist, Hager has exhibited her paintings in local galleries. Working in acrylic and oil, she paints narratives of mundane life suspended in mysterious moments.

The unofficial word: She’s a kick-ass artist and all-around cool chick.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Ryan Bingham at Radio Radio, July 10, 2009

Click here and scroll down to 'Friday roots' for the NUVO Soundcheck preview that I wrote for the Ryan Bingham show. I'm a big fan of Ryan and have been listening to his new record, Roadhouse Sun pretty much nonstop for the last month. Great stuff.

While you're reading the previews, scroll down to Saturday and read Scott Shoger's 'Butt Rock' blurb about the Kid Rock/Lynard Skynyrd show. The best two sentances I've read in a long time.