Friday, July 23, 2010

Broad Ripple Gazette, vol 7 no 15

first published in the Broad Ripple Gazette
Broad Ripple Farmer’s Market
Saturdays, 8:00 – 12:30
behind Broad Ripple High School

July 24 - Cara Jean Wahlers
July 31 - Ted Kirkendall
August 7 - Chad Mills

Girls Rock! Indianapolis Campers’ Show
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Earth House Collective
237 N. East St.
2:00, all-ages, non-smoking

I love this! I heard about this idea from my friend Portland friend, Maura Ahearn, and it’s finally come here. Girls Rock! Indianapolis is a non-profit organization dedicated to building positive self-esteem in girls and encouraging creative expression through music. The music education programs will provide girls with an opportunity to participate in an environment that fosters leadership, encourages social change, and cultivates a supportive community of female peers and mentors. Rock on!

It is run entirely by a team of volunteers with support from independent contractors assisting in areas of bookkeeping, PR and legal matters (the non-rock stuff!). As funding allows, they hope to operate with a full-time staff and offer year-round programs and workshops, multiple summer camp sessions and a Ladies Rock Camp for women.

The first week-long day camp will culminate with a concert at Earth House Collective. The girls (between the ages of nine and sixteen) will receive instruction on guitar, bass, drums or vocals. Each camper will become part of a band, learn how to write songs, and perform in front of a live audience. Campers also take part in various workshops that relate to body image, self-esteem, and empowerment.

Go cheer the girls on – I’m looking forward to seeing the very talented Abby Jordan’s band.

Monday, July 27, 2010
Vogue Theatre
6259 N College Ave, Indianapolis
$45, non-smoking, 21+

I love purchasing tickets to shows at the Vogue in their up-the-stairs box office (open noon – 5:30, M – F). It feels special – and a little naughty, to open the door in the daylight, watch the clean-up or set-up activity happening on the floor as I walk up stairs to buy tickets. There is an exciting feeling to handing over my cash and getting a real ticket from a real-live person. And when you buy the ticket at the venue you avoid the service fees.

I was buying a fist-full of tickets last month – Ingrid Michaelson, Cake, Bodeans, Blitzen Trapper, Billy Bragg and Toad the Wet Sproket – when talent booker, Matt Schwegman, popped out of his office and asked if I’d pay $45 to see DEVO. It was easy to say, YES!

DEVO has been playing sporadically since their break-up in 1991, but have continued to be an underground favorite. They are touring in support of their new record that was released last month. Everything I hear about the tour and record is wonderful.

There are still tickets left, either at the box office, on-line or at the door. The show promises to be a night of post-punk energy and pogo dancing with a dash of silliness thrown in.

I just hope they are selling energy domes at the merch table. I want a red one. I’ll see you there!

Cara Jean Wahlers and Grover Parido CD release concert
(+ openers Evan Slusher and Tonos Triad)
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Riverfront Ampitheatre - Indianapolis Art Center
(rain location inside the Art Center)
7:00pm door, 7:30pm show, $10, family friendly, non-smoking, children under 12 free

I’ve been like a little kid waiting for my birthday and been counting down the days in anticipation of the Good Night Charlotte CD release show. Cara Jean Wahlers and Grover Parido will celebrate the release of their first album with an outdoor show on at the Riverfront Ampitheatre at the Art Center. The river is the perfect back drop for these two songbirds.

Cara Jean Wahlers is a fourth generation musician. As a youngster she studied piano and double bass with an eye on classical music. In her early twenties she found her voice as in songwriter, drawing from lessons learned by listening to her parents’ record collection. Simon and Garfunkel gave her an understanding of storytelling, which combined with current day influences – Steve Poltz, Vic Chesnutt, Phil Collins, and Joni Mitchell helped her develop her unique style of songwriting. Wahlers songs reveal a the balance of personal experience and human truth.

Grover Parido is a classically trained cellist who is also well versed in rock and roll, hip-hop and folk music. He is a composer, performer, producer and educator – in his spare time he plays and records with The Maple Trio, Chad Mills and Bill Price – just to name a few.

Cara Jean and Grover connected when she saw him perform with Blueprint Music. She felt that his style would compliment her songs. She was beautifully right. Their collaboration has resulted in amazing music.

The duo recently finished composing the musical score for the feature-length independent film, Paradise Recovered, scheduled to release this fall.

Here are Cara’s words about the new record, “Goodnight Charlotte, is a collection of ten songs written between 2005 and 2009. I wrote most of this album in my head, probably while I was randomly walking or driving somewhere, so it makes sense to me that the cello travels and weaves through it a bit, exploring different terrains, while still remaining familiar and human and guiding you through. It was important to us to create different soundscapes for our listener, while staying true to the general sensibility of our live show. I like driving on the highway - little towns pop up every half and hour or so. Kind of like how memory works - something appears though the windshield, you follow it for a little while and then all of a sudden, you're looking at it getting smaller behind you. That's how things enter and leave my head, I think. The album was born out of rainy afternoons spent walking through antique shops, driving through the woods or simply walking across hardwood floors playing guitar around the house.

"I wrote these songs almost in a woodshedding kind of situation, where I sort of shut out all the noises that aren't coming from inside of me. It's very personal and I think that intimacy is reflected in the album. I feel like Grover's cello arrangements create the room where these songs exist and give them a lot of color and texture."

Dress casually and bring a lawn chairs. The show will be in the Art Center if it rains.
Broad Ripple Brewpub will provide craft beers for purchase. Don’t forget your ID – as of July 1, you can’t be served without it – no matter how old you are.

Check Cara Jean’s Web site for a sneak peek at the new record.

Evan Slusher
Tonos Triad

Friday, July 9, 2010

Broad Ripple Gazette vol 7 no 14

Broad Ripple Farmer’s Market
behind Broad Ripple High School
Saturdays, 8:00 – 12:30

July 10: Robert Bruce Scott, July 17: Sensible Shoes, July 24: Cara Jean Wahlers

The John Denver Songbook and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra
Friday July 9 and Saturday, July 10, 2010
Symphony on the Prairie
$20 adults, tables available

I have to admit that I’ve never been to Symphony on the Prairie. I’ll totally confess to falling asleep at plays, especially musicals, and sit-down concerts with beautiful music. I can’t help it. I try biting my lower lip, curling my toes and counting backwards to stay awake but nothing helps. Outdoors, pretty music and sitting on a blanket is the perfect recipe for a nap. 

This is one concert I’m sure I could stay awake for this one; after all it’s the songs of John Denver! My best friend since we were six, Ann loved John Denver (Randy Mantooth and Donny Osmond rounded out the top three) so I first heard about John from her. John Denver was the sound track to our teenage years.
Musician Jim Curry will be playing and singing the John Denver tunes. I saw a video on YouTube and Jim sounds exactly like John and when I took my glasses off he looked like him too. I don’t think you can go wrong with this show. 

Detholtz!, God Made Robots
Saturday, July 17, 2010
2131 E. 71st Street
8:00, 21+ 

This is a Full Blown Productions concert, so know it will be good – Kim Oskins always puts on a great show.  The lineup also includes The Daredevil Christopher Wright and Montauk Monster.
I first heard Chicago’s Detholtz! at the Melody Inn several years ago and was smitten. They play clever rock with a new-wave-ish twist. Indy’s God Made Robots are also good quirky fun.
Homespun - Modern Handmade
Saturday, July 10, 2010
5624 E. Washington Street 

Homespun is the brainchild of Neal and Amanda Taflinger and the winner of a Pepsi Refresh Grant to help launch the project. I’ve had the pleasure of watching this project unfold and am thrilled for them.
The store’s mission is four-fold: to provide a brick-and-mortar retail outlet for contemporary artists, artisans and crafters, offer low-cost art and craft classes for people of all ages and skill levels, serve as a gathering place for the contemporary craft community, and inspire further development and renewal along the E. Washington St. corridor. They want to help people earn a living wage for meaningful work and spread the message that our lives are what we make of them.

The shop will open for business on Saturday, July 10. I can’t wait to see the handmade craftwork they will have for sale and to see the class roster. 

The Pepsi Refresh Grant not only gave them a good dose of cash, but also featured them in a television spot that ran nationally on MTV.

Mumford & Sons
June 14, 2010
Bluebird, Bloomington, IN

Road trip! As you all might gather, I’m pretty neighborhood-centric. As a Purdue graduate my trips to Bloomington have been few and centered around Oaken Bucket football games and helping friends move to grad school. 

I had no idea who Mumford & Sons were, but when Kristofer Bowman, keeper of all things cool, sent me a text asking if I wanted to go, I said yes, without question. I knew I’d love the band.
After years of driving a truck I now have a vehicle with fancy stuff like backseats, power locks and XM radio. The drive down was fun and fueled by sandwiches from Mass Ave Wine Shop and truffles from The Best Chocolate in Town. 

The sky got darker and darker as we drove and heavy rain hit and the tornado sirens were blaring by the time we parked.  We ducked into a restaurant and the first thing I asked the bartender was where the walk-in cooler was – generally the walk-in is the safest place in the restaurant if a tornado hit. I don’t know if my new friends were impressed or frightened by my safety concerns. If anything ever happens, follow me. I’ll do my darndest to get us out of harms way. 

Luckily there was no tornado, although we did see a small tree fly by, but it was a soggy walk to the Bluebird. The show was sold out and the venue was packed with damp people. I swear you could see steam rising from the crowd.
I really enjoyed the opening musician, singer-songwriter, Adam Stockdale and the fact that he is the band’s guitar tech made me dig him even more. 

After a half an hour wait a second opening band took the stage, the duo French & Indian War. Regular readers of this column know that I’m mostly sunshine and ponies in my recaps of bands and events. If something is not great, I usually don’t write about it or talk about the scenery or something else.
French & Indians Wars created the perfect storm of an awful opening band scenario. The audience was restless, the band took too long to set up and break down (I was ready to jump up and wrap cords and carry monitors off of the stage) and quite frankly, and they weren’t good. I’d wedged myself next to door where the bands were entering and leaving. At one point the lads from Mumford & Sons were standing next to me ready to take the stage and they finally gave up and walked back down the hallway. 

But it was all worth it! Mumford & Sons were fabulous and worth the wait and the rain and tornado warnings. The London folk band is delightful and talented. The members switch instruments and trade vocals. They have some bluegrass sensibilities – banjo, dobro, mandolin and accordion play a big part in their music. The songs are great and the harmonies lovely. If you’re a fan of the Avett Brothers, you’ll like Mumford & Sons.